Intensity: I bought my bike!!! Seeing this coming, I knew it only meant one thing… a very intense week. I broke in my bike and did my three bike rides this week, along with my three runs, along with my four workouts… This weeks intensity was 9/10 for the second week in a row and I’m loving it.
Motivation: Obviously with the purchase of my new bike my motivation has been high. I’ve still felt really motivated to run and workout too which is great. That being said my motivation isn’t always this high as evidence by my weekly fluctuations in motivation. I am taking this great motivation and literally running with it. I have been a little nervous with how my body is going to respond to the added exercise, which brings me to my lesson for the week.
Lessons: Coming from a very minimal cardio background, I have been working my way slowly up to this point of endurance. The biggest take away when you are adding in different forms of exercise is, ease yourself in. This is ultimately going to prevent injuries from occurring.
Here is an example of how I progressed my cardio over the last 3 months:
1 – long walks or hikes 5x/week, resistance training
2 – 2-3km runs 3x/week, plus resistance training
3 – 3-5km runs 3x/week, plus resistance training
4 – 4-5km runs 4x/week, plus resistance training
5 – 5-7km runs 4x/week, plus resistance training
6 – 5-7km runs 3x/week, 7-9km bike rides 3x/week, plus resistance training
The biggest takeaway here and what a lot of people don’t realize when doing a lot of cardio is how important resistance training is. I know for endurance athletes it seems very daunting because now you have all these extra workouts or exercising you need to do, but it is well worth it (and doesn’t have to be dreadful either).
Here are the two main reasons why you need resistance training alongside cardio:
- When you are performing cardio (running in particular) you are putting a ton of strain on your joints. This is caused by the impact or hard surface on the ground accompanied by the repetitive motion of running, biking, or any endurance machine. For swimmers it is strictly the repetitive motion that can cause strain. Machines and biking also ease the impact that cardio has but can be hard on certain joints as well.
How you protect your joints from this impact is by building up and strengthening the connective tissue that support your joints including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and surrounding fascia. You build and strengthen connective tissue through resistance training. Connective tissue gives your joints the support it needs and kind of acts as a protective cushion against injuries.
With all this being said, a little resistance training can go along way. You don’t need to workout 5 days a week and lift really heavy and have super intense training sessions if it’s not something you enjoy. Three short resistance training sessions a week including balance and/or a couple bands or light equipment could do the trick.
2) Another reason to resistance train alongside cardio is to build and/or maintain muscle. If you are only ever doing cardio, you could be very well losing muscle simultaneously. Muscle is needed to keep unwanted fat off your body and your organs, it is needed to prevent injury, it improves balance and coordination, muscle also keeps your internal organs healthy.
No matter how much cardio you do, it is a good idea to keep your joints healthy not only to prevent injury, but to prevent aches and pains and improve overall quality of life as well!
There are so many places nowadays where you can get resistance training programs or workouts, online, apps, fitness centres, coaches. Just make sure that the training is aligned with your goals and that the workouts are safe for you. Hiring a fitness coach is your best bet in ensuring all these things:)
For personalized programs that fit your health and fitness goals e-mail email@example.com for more details!