Exercise! - need to figure out a exercise plan

12-21-2008, 05:50 PM
I am going to follow the couch to 5K program, and then extend because I want to do an 8K in April. I figure I should be able to manage that. Maybe shoot for a half marathon some time this year. I know you aren't supposed to run every day, but I need to lose some serious weight so think I need to do more than just 3 days a week. On the off days I am thinking of doing some weight training with hand weights, but I need another cardio. Some ideas I have are I play soccer 1 day a week, I have a tae-bo tape, walking, biking, do those sound like good off day activities?

How many times a week should I try and fit in the weight training, it would be hard to do with the soccer as it is a whole hour game away from home, so I would cool down in between which ever was first.

Maybe this stuff won't matter much at all, but I would like to give myself the best opportunity for success. I plan to follow South Beach Diet as carbs are my problem area. I need to lose 50 + pounds, but will start with an initial goal of that 50 pound loss.

Thanks for all opinions

12-21-2008, 06:24 PM
Strength/resistance training any particular muscle group should not be done more than every 48 hours or so -- basically three days a week. Since your body builds muscle by getting small "tears" in the fibers...which then need to heal...your body needs a rest day between workouts to repair itself properly.
I do my resistance training at home with a mix of resistance bands for things like triceps, biceps, shoulders, chest, back, etc. and "body weight" exercises like crunches, bicycle crunches, leg lifts, push ups, squats, lunges, etc. I do a full "circuit" of all the muscle groups every other day...nothing crazy, just 2 sets of 12-15 reps. It seems to work though...my husband told me I was "ripped" yesterday...kind of a joke, but I do have pretty nice definition and my tummy has an actual six pack...well four pack. :)

As for "off day" cardio. It doesn't really matter what you do...as long as you're moving. Hike, soccer, bike, jump rope, do some videos, walk...whatever. Moving is the key -- cardio does not have to be high intensity every day of the week to have benefits.

12-21-2008, 07:26 PM
What Schumeany said.

Also - we just discussed this in another thread - but it's pretty common for distance runners to NOT lose weight when they're training. Especially when you're talking about things like half-marathons. That kind of distance running really eats up the calories and your body actually goes into a bit of a survival mode in order to hold on to nutrients.

Also distance runners tend to burn a lot of lean muscle mass when they're in heavy training or competition. :)

So for weight loss, you're better off doing a combination of strength training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) for your cardio.


12-22-2008, 09:36 AM
Being that you are new to running your body has yet to acclimate to running you are bound to lose weight. A lot of distance runners make the mistake of running the same pace and doing the same route after their bodies have become more efficient. Also because of the perceived effort of training a lot of runners overestimate the number of calories they burn during exercise and eat more than necessary.

runnersworld.com has a lot of good info regarding using running as a means of weight loss as well as different type of workouts speed intervals, hill repeats, tempo runs you can do to keep things challenging. There is a training section and discussion board especially for beginners. There is also great info as well on cross training and how to incorporate resistance training into your running plan. Also there is a calculator in the tools section that helps estimate the number of calories you burn with each mile.

I run 20-25 miles per week and am increasing to about 30-35. I have continued to lose weight as I have increased my long runs because 2 days a week I do hill repeats. I'm fortunate to live by a very challenging hill and I run up and done 4 times before doing a quick 3 miles to recover. I also do speed intervals which is where I'll run full out for 3 minutes and recover for 1 minute and keep on as long as I can. Another good workout is the tempo run which is where you run a moderate distance at about 70-80% of maximum aerobic effort. I also weight train 2-3 times a week and incorporate spinning and step aerobics classes a few times a week as well.

If you are concerned about losing the weight loss benefits of running, investing in a good heart rate monitor is very helpful. You are able to see how hard you are working and as the months go by you'll notice your heart and lungs become more efficient, even at rest and will be able to increase the intensity of your training accordingly.

12-22-2008, 10:48 AM
I completed the C25K. Could NOT run at all before I started. Last night I ran 3 miles, easy. I followed the program and then did HIIT running after the C25K but still working for distance one day a week. Still only run 3 days a week. I haven't really lost A POUND, which is SUPER annoying to me, but I do see a huge difference looking at me naked! :)

12-22-2008, 01:05 PM
Yeah, I'll second all those things Jackie mentioned. I was surprised to learn how many ways there are to put variety into your running workouts.