Lazy Runner Winter to Summer Challenge

I love a fitness and health challenge. And no its not anything to do with dieting or losing weight- I do it every now and again to shake things up. Plus watching the Olympics from my arm chair makes me feel very lazy- I want to get out there and be like them- super fit!!

The body is a creature of habit- and it likes routine. So when you annoy it by doing things differently- it reacts- and that is what we are looking for- we want it to come out of it's boring routine- wake up and start giving us the things we want. For me I like energy, improved running and just to feel great.

The reason I like to do a challenge at this time of the year is to get ready for the silly season! Which seems to start earlier and earlier these days- around November. Holidays loom, weather gets better, we get more social and we get out and about- when all of these things come along I want to be full of energy and ready to go.

I think I am reasonably fit right now- but coming off a 5 week trip overseas- where I did run alot, but I also ate and drank far too much. In Winter I just go through the motions, I only do the minimum amount of exercise, and of course I still eat the maximum amount-  something has to give. So my theory is starting now, before Winter is over, then of course Spring is the best time to start getting out and about and then by Summer I will be fighting fit.

I'm also a great believer in everyone setting their own challenge. The challenge I set may be of no benefit to you- we need to make the changes to our own lives that suit our lifestyle. I am in my 50's, all children have flown the coop, so I'm not as busy in my homelife. However, I travel heaps for work, so that cuts into the way I can exercise and how I eat. 

I also base the challenge on my own interests. I don't mind exercise- I can run, I like to ride my bike and I like hiking for hours as well. I have trouble cutting back my calories or food and drink choices. So my theory is ramp up the exercise and then you can eat more! Other people may be of the opinion that they don't like exercise much or are too busy to fit it in, so they would rather look at the diet side and alter that. Its far best to do something that you can manage rather than make huge changes and know you will not be able to sustain them for a week let alone 3 months.

And the reason I pick 12 weeks- If you want to see a significant change in your life- it could be in your fitness levels, your weight, your strength, your general well being, or just to break some bad habits you have formed or get into good fitness habits- then 3 months is an ideal time frame. 

If You want to get into running- it will take at least 3 months to go from zero to 5km. You want to train for an event or increase your speed- 3 months of training is needed. You want to improve your nutrition and break some bad eating habits- it will take up to 3 months to work on those goals.

Ok- Lets set our challenges
The best way to do a challenge so that the results will come quickly - is what I call double trouble
You need to add something in to the exercise side (so up the amount or intensity) and you need to take something out of the food side (so cut back on the things you find irresistible) and then you know you have done something in your life that suits both sides of the scales. And when I say something- it doesn't have to be huge- just adding 5-10mins to each time you are out exercising and having a couple of treat free days is all you need to do.
The best thing is to look at what you are doing right now- or look at last week- base your challenge on what ever you did last week

To give you the best idea of how to set yours, look at mine- You need to set two challenges- one on the fitness and one on the diet- and then you must set a bonus challenge- it can be anything you like- and it doesn't have to be diet or exercise related- you may challenge yourself to meditate everyday, take up a different activity like yoga or challenge yourself to work in your garden more, clean house more, read more- anything you feel is lacking or needs to be added to your life (or removed) then set it in the bonus challenge.

Marie's Lazy Challenge

Challenge 1. (add in something) I am going to cover 100km a week in exercise!! Not all running- it could be walking, cycling or running.
How did I come up with that figure you ask? I am doing about 3-4 runs a week now, a long one and 2-3 shorter runs- so lucky to be hitting 40km a week. Normally I would ride my bike a couple of time, but I have been lazy so not doing that at all. And walking nil- so I want to at least double my exercise. I will not run 100km a week- I may aim for 50-60km of running and maybe the rest on the bike

Challenge 2. (Take out something) I am going to have four alcohol free days a week!
My two weaknesses in the diet side are alcohol and chocolate. That's it, I eat quite healthily aside from these two treats. So when it comes to setting challenges for the food side, these are the two I always go to. 

Bonus Challenge- Eat less Sugar
Notice I didn't make any grand statements here, or say the exact amount. Over the years I have made ridiculous statements like I am giving up chocolate or sugar and find within 24 hours I am craving it, thinking of it, wanting it, depressed over it- get my drift- I cant go on with out it etc. So I find a softly softly approach for me is better- just find ways of cutting back. So I could just go for a run or walk or garden when it strikes. Or not have it until a certain time of the day- say 4pm- or try for every second day etc. But I am going to eat less sugar over the 12 weeks

Ok- Thats Me
I've had a good think about my challenges and to be honest I think the 100km will really push me- but whats a challenge if its not a challenge!! I start tomorrow- Monday morning (8th of August) and end on the 24th October

Naturally there are a few rules for the challenge
It has to be done- by that I mean if I fail on a week- I dont just move onto the next week and try again- it rolls over
If I do not do 100km of exercise one week- say I did 90km- then the following week I have to do 110km- if I only do 100km that week, I am looking at 110km the week after- at this rate I could be cycling around Tasmania on the last week! But I need to know that the kms do not disappear if I do not do them- they are still there waiting for me- I call it run debt!

The same with the alcohol- if I have a lapse and drink 4 days of one week, then the next week, I have to add in another alcohol free day. However the reverse does not apply- I cannot drink on more days if I have two alcohol days one week- so I cannot store them up!

And as for the sugar- I cannot go without for one day, and then double the next day on block of cadbury chocolate- I need to cut back and stay back- no rewards of sugar just because I have been good.

Ok NOW YOUR Challenge

Here are some ideas for the add in side
*You can be like me and just double the amount of exercise or kms you are doing right now
*You can make your challenge to exercise everyday for the 12 weeks- you miss a day then the following week you need to exercise twice on one day. (Make sure it's not the same exercise every day- you do not want to be running everyday- too much)
*You can opt to increase the time or intensity you exercise right now- so 15mins or half an hour onto every exercise session you would normally do. So you turn your 5km run or walks into 7km ones. You ride an extra 15mins each time, swim and extra few laps each time etc.
*If you walk now- you can start to run- you have 12 weeks to become a runner
*You may challenge yourself to a new activity so you may learn to swim for Summer, start cycling etc- remember it needs to be added in, so you do all on top of your normal stuff , you dont replace it.

Here are some ideas for the take out side
*Reduce the snacks you eat- so if you have three snacks a day cut it down to two or one
*Like me cut back on your go to temptations- so half it or even drop it altogether- this could be alcohol, sweet things, savory things eating out, takeaway meals , nighttime snacking etc- I say half it- or even go the cold turkey for 12 weeks.
*You may split up your week, so eat healthy Monday to Friday and normally on weekends- when I say normally, no pigging out to make up for the good behavior during the week- but just eating as you do now.
*You could set a healthier diet challenge- like eat 5 serves of veg and 2 fruit every day; or drink 8 glasses of water a day- pick something that you feel you need to do or have been wanting to do but just failing or don't get around to it.
*You may just chose to cook more, or not eat out for the 12 weeks- we now know that people who cook their own meals or eat at home (not packaged meals) eat less sugar, fat and salt- so that could be your challenge

And the bonus challenge
*This can be something new you have wanted to take up- could be any hobby, fitness activity, join a club- or could be things you need to do- so more in the house or garden or  spending time with family or friends or your own kids- set a list of things you need to achieve in that area and devote time each day to doing them.
*It could be some other area of your life you want to work on- for instance you would like to de-stress - so each day your challenge is to do something to aid that- could be time out, reading a self help book, meditation anything that makes you feel better.
*It could be that you would like to give your time to someone else who needs it more- so you your challenge is to spend time or help out someone who could really use your help and time.
*It could be getting more time into your day- so getting up half hour earlier each day- 12 weeks is a good way to test out if that can really help improve your lifestyle
*Or it could be like me- tackling a recurring food problem in your life and trying to break the habit it has over you- mine being sugar.

I have given you heaps of options, but the main thing is you need to pick your own challenges and they need to be something that will help improve you and your lifestyle and something that you can do for 12 weeks.

So Fill this out and cut and paste it- to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page- or to my Facebook page (Marie Bean- Lazy Runner), so we can keep tabs on each other- or just write it in your diary every week- print it out and stick it on the fridge, get someone in the house to do it with you so you can keep tabs on each other (you dont have to to the same challenges)- the reason I say to share it- as once you put it out there or do it with other people- you are more compelled to do it and more motivated as well- as you can talk about it, or share the highs and lows- I find there is always safety in numbers when we do these things!


START DATE__________ END DATE_________

CHALLENGE 1- ADD SOMETHING IN ________________


BONUS CHALLENGE_____________________________

I will be sharing my experiences on Facebook and with my Lazy Runners, but I would love everyone to join in...




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