Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Running hills and the "perfect" bikini body

What a GLORIOUS day!
The view from my cube at work. Yeah, it's raining.
If that is not bad enough we have another winter storm watch in effect until 1:00 Thursday - another 5-6 inches of snow is on the way. YAY. However, today I will be running hills outside. Hill work is part of every reputable training plan. Hills build strength, which in turn makes you faster and helps prevent injuries. I like how hill workouts can be completed in a pretty short time frame and while they are hard, they don't kill me like intervals do.

For my hill workouts I try to find a hill that takes about a minute to run up, and one that is about 15-20% grade (I think?). I do about two or three miles of warm up, and then run the hill continuously- the only recovery I give myself is the slow walk/jog to the bottom of the hill. Depending on the hill, I will do about 6-12 repeats and then cool down about 10-15 minutes. Is this the perfect or only way to do hills? No, of course not- but it works pretty well for me.

How do you run your hill workouts? Do you like them or loathe them?
On a sort of related topic- last Thursday Jezebel posted an article from the Lingerie Lesbian  (http://jezebel.com/5993383/the-concept-of-a-bikini-body-is-absolutely-infuriating) about the "bikini body" craze that hits magazines and websites about this time of year (warning: the comments on this article get feisty). As a runner, maintaining fitness is important to me. But obsessing over fitness in order to conform to what people view as the "ideal" body seems sad.
I understand that our country has problems with weight and that obesity is a major contributor to increasing health care costs. But calling out women (or men) who don't look fit and toned yet still dare to go out in public in a bathing suit is not the way to combat this problem. It bothers me that so many women and men feel uncomfortable in a swimsuit because of what people might think. Motivation for weight loss or getting in shape should come from wanting to improve health, not to fit some mold of what is appropriate to look like in swimwear.

On the other hand, does it matter what one's motivation is for losing weight, if the end result is better health (I'm giving the entire world the benefit of the doubt and assuming they are going about this in a healthy manner i.e. not restricting/binging etc, and stopping once they have hit a healthy weight)? Shouldn't we all strive to be "healthy"?

What are your thoughts on this?
Do you run or work out for fitness/health or for looks? Is it a little of both?
- I won't lie and say I run purely for the joy and fun of it all. I also run to avoid gaining weight and to avoid buying new clothes.
On a less serious note....

Run Rodgy!!!!!!! Don't worry, everyone was just having a good time. He survived.

All red jelly beans! MY LIFE IS COMPLETE.

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