Fitness Friday | Frequency & Consistency

When I started running a couple of years ago, my goal was to run (or do some type of aerobic exercise – at the time I was also doing the Shred) at least 3 times a week.

As a result, I averaged about 2 times a week.

Sure, some weeks I would run 3 or 4 times, but usually it was 2 and often even 1.

I can find almost any excuse not to exercise — too hot, too cold, too sunny, too windy, too tired, too early, too late.

You get the idea.

Then I started working with a trainer  2 times a week last fall, lifting weights and doing TRX.

Soon after I started weight training, my knee complaints resurfaced. They weren’t debilitating, just annoying. I’ve done the ice thing, and sometimes I would take a few days break in between runs, hoping to allow them to recover.

I continued to run a couple times a week, but one day not too long ago, my trainer challenged me to start running 5 or 6 times a week.

I had been complaining about the pesky pounds that won’t budge and that roll that suddenly seems to be a permanent fixture around my midsection. (We are our own worst critics, yes?) Rather than lecturing, she told me the story of a former client who was much like me — about my age, not an athlete, not really overweight, but just not in shape — and started to come to the gym something like 5 days a week and how she transformed her body over a period of just a few months.

Then she encouraged me to start running more. A lot more. As in, almost every day.

She promised that after a few weeks of that kind of consistency, I would not like how I feel on the days that I don’t exercise and I’d want to keep it up.

She also predicted that the nagging knee complaints that I’d been having would actually improve with more consistent exercise. She actually blamed the fact that I was so inconsistent about my workouts for causing the issues — the exact opposite of what I assumed (that I needed to rest it more in between).


I figured I had nothing to lose, and I went for it.

Knowing that if my goal was 5 days, I’d end up running 3, I decided my goal was to run every. single. day. Then when I miss a day here and there due to rain or laziness or what-have-you, I am still getting in 5 or 6 runs a week.

It worked.

I get up every day, planning to run. I put on workout clothes first thing in the morning so that I’m one step closer to getting off my duff and stepping outside whenever I have a spare 30 minutes. I have been averaging 5 times a week, 30-45 minutes a run.

I feel great. 

Not only do I feel empowered and athletic, but my knee complaints have lessened (as predicted) and I really DO notice a difference on the days I don’t run. I feel more sluggish, less energized, less productive.

I thought I’d get really tired of running if I ran every day, but that hasn’t been the case at all. I’m learning that the power of the mind is a lot stronger than I realized. Mind over matter isn’t just a nifty saying; there’s a lot of truth to it.

Have I lost that “last 5 lbs”? Well, no. But the truth is, I like my snacks too much. And maybe I just need to be okay with that.

I do think I notice a difference in the way my clothes fit, even though I haven’t lost any weight. I’m looking FOUR-OH right in the eye, and I guess we all have to make some concessions to age. I’m not going down without a fight, but I know when to compromise.

For now, I’m happy with the way I feel, and that’s enough. I have never been an athlete, and I probably will never consider myself an athlete. But I’m not giving in to the ticking of the clock either. I’m determined to stay fit and active so I can keep up with my kids — and that is no small feat!

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17 Responses

  1. I, too, have been trying to get back in shape. My hubby runs every other day, but once summer starts next week for us, I plan to join a gym with some girlfriends of mine. That way there is some accountability for us.

    You look great!!!!

  2. I am the most nonathletic person ever born. However, i started c25k several months ago and have discovered I LOVE running! I am so surprised and shocked at my enthusiasm. And like you, i feel awfully sluggish on days I do not run.

    1. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I have wanted to be a runner ever since high school. I tried at several different points in my life, but it never stuck till now. I wonder what made the difference. Anyway, I’m loving it now!

  3. Way to go. It’s hard starting a new workout routine at our age. I’ll be 42 in July and I thought I could stand to lose oh maybe 10lbs. Well last October I went off sugar amped up my workout routine a bit, cut out sugar and have lost 18lbs. I think I’ve probably already told you this but it’s worth repeating. If you really want to lose the lbs. just and I use that word loosely, just cut out sugar and keep up the routine. The lbs. will melt off, I promise. Do it for a month and I guarantee you’ll lose that last 5lbs. 30 days out of your life isn’t to long and it’s easier then doing the Shred. Ha! ha!
    You won’t believe what workout I’ve been doing that totally kicks my butt (on hard). My hubby even does it with me. We do the Wii Active 2 and love it. I’m in better shape now then when I was ever at the gym.
    Well regardless, I hope you keep up the good work. It’s more of a necessity at our age then anything. *sigh*

    1. I totally think sugar is the biggest health hazard our society faces. And I still eat FAR too much of it. 🙁 I know that I am never going to lose the last 5 lbs I want to lose unless I cut it out (and that means my nightly glass of wine.) I’m not sure I care enough. LOL!

  4. I love the post, so honest and open. Congrats on over coming your hurdle. I think of you as an athlete, You motivate me so much. I am glad you are running more I know you wanted, based on your last posts. When I work out I feel so much better also, funny how that works a body in motion wants to stay in motion.

  5. You are SO right that the list of excuses is never ending. I just started jogging again. I’m 27 years old, I look healthy, but I’ve been feeling run down lately. After only 1 week I started feeling great! I was also suffereing from insomia for a little while there… getting up at 6am and jogging knocked that right out. I’m sound asleep by 10:30pm now, lol. I’ve been eating healthy for the last 4 years, and that made a huge difference in my health. But exercise is important too! Now I’m like, “Geez what took me so long!” Because I feel great.

  6. Have you been consistently rolling out your Iliotibial band on a foam roller? That really helps the knees of runners!! 🙂

  7. This is a video on how to roll (massage) out the Iliotibilal (ITB) band. Try to get the foam roller to hit between the lateral quadricep & the lateral hamstring–> the ITB connects them. Really, the ITB does not get tight- it is connective tissue. But the muscles can get really tight (especially in runners & jumpers) causing knee pain. Give a try. It is NOT comfortable… but it feels so much better afterwards. You can also roll out the front of your legs (quads) and back (my favorite!)

    This is an example of a foam roller for sale: Get white or blue *NOT BLACK– too firm. 6″ diameter. They are relatively inexpensive and can become a runners BEST FRIEND! 😀

    Enjoy! Let me know how it goes! 😀

  8. you know what? i’m the same way!
    i have residual effects from my bout with juvenille rheumetoid arthritis {diagnose 18 months, remission 13 years} mostly in my knees, elbows, and more recently, my wrists. but i started running about 10 or so months before i got pregnant with marcus, and have found, especially recently, that when i DON’T run and do my workout every day, my joints hurt, and what’s more, they get inflamed. but i go back to my regular routine, and i don’t have a problem at all. WHO KNEW?! i have a friend who said to me that anything can become a habit if you do it for 30 days – and he was right, that’s how i started running! {sorry about the novel}

  9. So, SO proud of you. I’m trying to get back into a fitness groove too. Another blogger that I read is committing to run one mile a day for 30 days. Perhaps I ought to join her?

  10. I’ve noticed recently as I run for longer periods that the lower part of my body is shrinking, though I don’t see a difference on the scale. I had to put away shorts because they were just too baggy.

    I’m running 4 days a week right now, and I already thought about adding another day next week before I read your post. I would have 2 days of running, 1 day off, 3 days of running, 1 day off, then 2 days again. I dropped the Shred routine though with school over, I’m confident I can do it on my days off. I’m also doing my weight routines which I think make a big difference. Plus, making sure I don’t eat wheat.

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