I think the saying “No Pain No Gain” has some truth in it.
For the past two days I have started doing some spinning and swimming by myself just to help me get back into shape before training. I haven’t worked out much during the summer but now my motivation is back and I was and am ready to get started. So start I did, with spinning.
As I haven’t been working out, I figured I would start out with a 30 minute spin. During my spin session I wanted to get in some hills and sprints to get my heart rate going and to start rebuilding my muscles. I started out with a five minute warm up, just spinning at a leisurely pace with little to no resistance. After those five minutes I turned it up…literally. Luckily our spin room at the Y wasn’t in use, except by me, so I plugged in my IPhone to the aux cord in the stereo system and I blasted the music as I turned the resistance on my bike up and headed uphill for one minute. Man was that one minute a long one. I turned the resistance down to normal where it was not exactly the imitation of a flat road but easy enough to pedal without straining too much and took a break for a minute and a half. After that minute and a half I turned the resistance up a little more, a little less than the uphill resistance, and sprinted on the bike for 30 seconds. After that I turned the resistance back down to where it was at after the first uphill and gave myself a two minute rest. After the rest I repeated the same pattern I had just set up about four more times. This took me a little less than 30 minutes. At the end of my sets I gave myself a five minute cool down which was similar to my five minute warm up and added some stretching on to the end of my work out. Immediately after my workout I felt about 100 times better than I have all summer. I felt more energized and definitely a lot better about myself. Not only did I finally start exercising again but I was really encouraged that I was able to get on the bike and spin for 30 minutes. But with that gain in energy, confidence, and motivation came the pain. My butt was already sore from the bike seat which is something I know I will adjust to with time, or I’ll just invest in a seat pad, and more soreness was on its way. It really hit me at about 7 P.M. when I was at dinner. As I was sitting in my seat I realized how tense my back muscles were. They were so tense I thought sitting that way forever might be my only option. I always forget how many different muscles are used to spin and I’m reminded, painfully, after a good spinning session. Overall in this case the pain was defiantly worth the gain!
Swimming was a different story today. I was very confident that I could already swim the distance required for the triathlon. I was just unsure of my time. So today I got in the pool, also my bathing suit and swim cap and goggles came yesterday and I was VERY EXCITED to put them to use. I got in the pool with no time expectations, just the expectation to swim the required length (36)/laps (18). I was a bit self conscious getting into the pool, I can’t deny that, since I’m not the most confident person and sometimes its nerve racking for me to go do an exercise I’m not used to by myself. But with the confidence and motivation from my new swimming gear, and from my spin session the previous day and from my motivation to “Just do it,” as Nike says I found a lane and got in. Once I was in the pool I was able to realize that I was swimming for me. I mean I’m not staring at or judging anyone else in the pool so no one is doing that to me either, we are all doing our own workouts and swimming how we want to swim for ourselves. As I did length after length I felt pretty good. I would do about four lengths at a time and then give myself a little break when I got back into the shallow end of the pool, never more than two minutes, then I would get back to my swimming. Overall it took me about 30 minutes to swim all 36 lengths. This made me feel very happy and gave me some more confidence. I knew I could swim the required distance but I just wanted that reassurance and I needed to see how long it would take me in my current fitness state. While swimming has definitely not been as painful as yesterdays spin session I can’t deny that I’m feeling the work that I put my upper body through this evening.
Each of these pains, from spinning and swimming, are all worth the gains. I’m getting back into shape and I’m doing something good for my body. But most important to me I’m gaining confidence, I’m feeling energized, and I’m feeling really good about myself. Tomorrow I plan to take a 1.5-2 mile run. I won’t be doing the run for time yet. I’ll be running just to help get my body back into shape and get used to the exercise. Like these past two days I know there will be some pain that comes along with this run, but as of today, thanks to my two day workouts, I am a believer (only in the good ways of course) in the saying, “No Pain No Gain.”