Refreshing my routine

I thought I’d do a short and snappy post on my new workout routine.

A few months back I used to do lots of longer runs every week (5 miles – which is quite long for me!) but then decided it would be better to vary things a bit more by doing shorter runs and more strength training (check this post out for a recap). I’ve been really enjoying this because it means I don’t get as bored. I do love running but I was finding that my runs were becoming very prescriptive and wearing. Same miles, same route, snorrrre.

Now I run no more than 3 miles and ensure I’m doing bursts of speeds and then recoveries throughout the run. This has been increasing my pace amazingly! I can now run 3 miles in under 23 mins.


I’m so chuffed! And running mainly at lunch-time rather than stupid o’clock in the morning is making me enjoy the runs more and push myself harder. I no longer think “I can’t run faster, I only woke up 10 minutes ago”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get my run done in the morning as it’s done and dusted, but I much prefer running in actual day-light (granted, it’s grey, drizzly and cold daylight, but I’ll take what I can in Britain!)

I still do my strength training in the morning but I get to do this in the pleasure of my warm home, usually in my pyjamas. Alfie looks at me like I’ve gone mad when I do my routines in the living room. But as I said in a previous post, this means I get 30 minutes more sleep and can still do the workouts I want. It’s a win-win situation!

Previously my strength routines have been vary random. I would find a routine on YouTube, or whatever I could remember from various sources (years ago Pump classes, Internet, other blogs). Not very structured. Now I’m getting serious.

I devised three workout routines: core, upper body and lower body. They each pretty much take 30mins to complete. In about 6 weeks I’ll change the moves to continue challenging my body. Both Jemma and Laura do this and I thought I’d follow suit as it seems like a very good idea. Also it requires less brain power in a morning to work out what I’m doing – very important!


Core Workout
Plank 2.30-3mins
Side plank 1  min
Sit-ups 60-70
Bicycle sit-ups 60-70
Reverse crunches (instruction) 30-40
Vertical leg-crunch (instruction) 30-40
Seated Russian twist (instruction) 45
Wiper Plank (instruction) 46


Upper Body Workout Routine (instructions)
Three sets of 12-14:
Press ups Chest
Flat chest flies Chest
Triceps push Triceps
French presses Triceps
Lateral raises Shoulders
Upright rows Shoulders
Hammer curls Biceps
Single arm row Back


Lower Body Workout Routine
Three sets of 12-14:
Dumbbell squats Legs
Dumbbell sumo squat Legs
Lunges Legs
Side leg raise (instruction) Thighs
Hip-lift progression (instruction) Butt
Toe-Taps (1-2 minutes) (Instruction) Butt
Single-Leg, Single-Arm Reach (instruction) Butt & core

[For the lower body squats and upper body moves I use dumbbells.]

So far these have been great. The upper body one absolutely kicked my butt. Well, it kicked my arms, shoulders, chest and back! Just opening doors was painful put it that way. As the weeks progress I’ll be upping my weights and/or repetitions to keep pushing myself.

So with running three times a week, these three routines every week and Pilates on Saturday I think I’m all set. Maybe this sounds a lot but I’m really enjoying it. I can’t not run, I know that much is true. But running alone didn’t give me a balanced workout. I’m a perfectionist, what can I say?

Soon this will all change though and I will be sticking to a training plan for the Reading Half Marathon. But this won’t be until after Christmas. Enough time for me to get bored of this routine! Winking smile

And HERE’S a great site for lots of “booty-focused” exercises too. Glute strength is something that tends to get forgotten about with runners and cyclists alike so it’s quite a handy list.

How do you keep in shape?

12 Replies to “Refreshing my routine”

      1. Brilliant! 🙂 Yeah I’m always looking for new moves and this works perfectly for me at the moment. Currently I’m using two dumbbells with 5kg worth of weights on each one for my lower body. Then for upper body I think it’s 3kg. But I guess I’ll increase as soon as I find it easy.

  1. My workouts used to be 100% cardio-based too. The only way I’d get through those tedious treadmill or elliptical sessions was by entertaining myself with magazines. I’d re-read the same stories over and over and over again (a gym can only stock so many magazines), until a new one was added to the rack. A good workout meant I’d had a good read to accompany it! ;-p Now I strength train 4 days/week and do plyometrics or cardio 2 days/week. I love the variety, and the fact that I’m seeing results!

    Your three routines look fantastic! I might borrow the core exercises; that’s one area I don’t work enough!

    Happy weekend! xoxo

    1. You know that’s exactly what I found. With just running I wasn’t seeing any real results. Yes my fitness was good but in terms of muscle definition and toning I just got nothing. As soon as I started with weights I saw some definite changes and I just feel so much stronger.
      Glad you like them! 🙂

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