Since my recent move, one of my goals has been to get back to normal training levels as well as take advantage of the move—a fresh start is always a terrific time to assess your habits, then add/drop accordingly to seek further improvement.
This assessing and refiguring process has taken me longer than I’d assumed though, especially concerning weights. My goal is always two-three times week. But upon reviewing my log, I see that I haven’t come close to even the low end of my “ideal” (eight sessions, or two/week) for months. Here are some recent tallies: February six, March five, and four so far in April (with only one week left in the month).
Of course, some of my recent weights roadblocks revolve around the move (many days devoted to packing, driving, unpacking), as well as the need to find a new gym. And, I caught a late-season virus earlier this month.
On the other hand, my new gym is fabulous and within walking distance, so naturally, I assumed that once I joined, it’d be a snap to work in weights three times a week. Heck, I even imagined myself attending classes like yoga and pilates on a regular basis.
Fresh start or not, the reality is that my days are still super busy and swimming is my exercise priority. Thus it’s been tough to find time for weights during my first month in Reno (hello half-day at the DMV!)
My lack of consistent weights is starting to freak me out though, especially when I’m brutally honest with myself concerning two key facts: 1) the last time I was truly hitting my three/week optimal was the year or so before the year leading up to surgery, and now I’m nearly two years post op, and 2) I’m not getting any younger.
As an age grouper, weights were always done to support my swimming, to build endurance and strength. I began lifting around age 12, starting with a simple, one-set, all-machine circuit (anyone recall how Nautilus was all the rage back then?) Somehow, even with swim doubles, school, and assistant coaching, it was easy to fit three/week sessions in, most likely because my days were structured and it was that delightful phase of teen energy and fewer obligations.
As a masters, especially since now I’m staring down 50, I realize that “want to remain healthy” has eclipsed “enhance my swim performance” for weights motivation. Foremost, I’m terrified that menopause will hit me like a ton of bricks and I’ll wake up suddenly weighing 200 pounds because my daily dark chocolate consumption caught up with me. Second, I really want to remain fully functioning (swimmies! And, “basic-task able”), and thus independent until the end.
As such, my resistance work has evolved into multiple sets of dynamic exercises to boost my metabolism, keep bones strong and balance challenge while training for strength and endurance (foci: hips, core, legs/butt), and “injury prevention” exercises (foci: shoulders, back, knees) via equipment (free weights, medicine/kettle/Resistaballs, bands, etc.).
To kick-start myself, I’ve created a new routine (yes, I barely did the old one, but it’s been three months+ since I started it), and set a goal of two/week until my body is ready to add a third (swims are currently five/week). Most importantly, I’m giving myself space—realization that I may not be back to three/week until fall because outdoor season is nearly here, which means LCM pool time will be the focus through LCM Nationals.