Wellness Challenge: Day 8 at the Six Senses Destination Spa in Phuket

(image shows Kinesis)

Today was about pushing beyond limits and pre-existing barriers. Physically and mentally, I pushed the envelope…

Running up that road

I’ve always wanted to run. It’s one of the things that has frustrated and eluded me over the years. I even dream about it. And in my dreams, I am a brilliant runner. Smooth, fit and I can cover great ground.

At school, I found all the PE tests excruciating. And for me, sports carnivals were all about putting together a great cheer squad – not being on the winners’ podium.

So today, emboldened by the feeling of anything is possible, I felt mentally and physically ready to crack the big one. Armed with a bouncy pair of Nikes and some basic instructions on Progressive Overload, which in layman’s terms is the principle that over time, you can stretch the body’s load and resistance and each time, you get a little fitter, stronger and better.

Bryan Hoare, the Wellness Director of the Six Senses Destination Spa, is a world class athlete. He’s the real deal when it comes to fitness psychology and physiology. He’s competed in Iron Man events, marathons and is no stranger to Boot Camps. I simply wanted some tips to master the art of running and his practical tips unlocked a door that had been slammed shut by around 9th grade for me. The tips are simple and easy for anyone to follow. I’ll also share my own suggestions at the end, but let me start by saying that today I ran for 10 minutes as part of a 25 minute interval training program. For me, this was a stellar achievement both physically and mentally.

The key apparently is to build up stamina and fitness over time, in bite size goals. So I ran for 2 minutes and walked for 3, ran for 2 and walk for 3 and so on for 25 minutes. When I ran, I gave it a great shot. I blasted music by Michael Jackson and Rihanna and knew that I only really had to make 2 minutes before I could ease back into a brisk walk. It totally worked. The mental block I had around running dissipated with the knowledge that I only had to do it in bite size portions. Just as I was about to blow a gasket, it was time to walk again and before I knew it, 25 minutes were up. I worked up a very impressive sweat and felt the most amazing rush of satisfaction.

Later, at the dining table, there was much cheer and talk about City to Surf and Bondi to Bronte. I’m just working up to my own personal goal of running for 30 minutes straight a few times a week and feeling strong and fit. It’s more of a mental challenge than physical, given I am reasonably fit and can power through a spin class, but running, that was the one I hadn’t cracked. Bryan has suggested that if I want to lose weight and have a leaner physique, I should focus on longer time and to take my cue by looking at the physiques of athletes from different sports. Sprinters usually have a stockier build because they rely on strength and power. While, marathon runners are slim and sleek.

He also suggested I try running and walking at equal intervals. Tomorrow, I’m going to try to go 2 for 2 over 30 minutes. This time, I’ll be breaking out tunes from Confessions On A Dancefloor. Nothing like Madonna to channel a super fit and strong body. 

And if you have missed any of my Wellness blogs, click here to go to the Wellbeing section.

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