The New and Improved Fitness Plan

11 Jun

After sadly saying goodbye to Insanity (for now), it was back to square one for the next few months of fitness.  Over the past couple days I’ve been doing some brainstorming and mapping to determine the best plan to recover from Runner’s Knee while maintaining (continuing?) my fitness level from P90X.  And finally, I think I have it!

There are 3 main components to my plan: running, hip/knee exercises, and strength training.  Running and strength training are things I’ve been doing for 6 months or so and I wanted to make sure to continue.  I have loved the combo and feel like I’ve really found the right mix for me.  Running for the mental release aspect (stress relieving, calming, etc,) and strength training for the improved toning and strength. The added hip/knee exercises will be the icing on the cake to get my body back to uninjured bliss.


Conveniently enough, my sports med doc gave me a running schedule to work myself back up to higher mileage.  I used this as a starting point and thought about my priorities and timing.  My next big race is in November, and I’m in no real rush to get to mileage like 8, 9, 10 plus.  I’d rather start slow and steady, and keep my mileage low and fast over the summer.  Once August hits I’ll begin official “Half-Marathon Training” and work my mileage up to those higher distances.  Over the next 6 weeks I plan to not run over 5 miles at a time.  I also plan to gradually work on speed.  The first few weeks my goal will be: run without hurting.  After I’ve successfully passed that level – onto speed work!  I’m hopeful my first couple weeks will go smoothly to allow for speed work (something I’ve never really done before – an adventure!).


After many months of P90X I am mentally ready for a change, but I don’t want to give up the convenience of already-planned workouts right from home.  Interestingly enough, at my last physical therapy appointment on Friday my amazing PT recommended a workout DVD that would be low impact on my knees.  Score!  Her recommendation?  Jillian Michaels: Ripped in 30. I have never done a Jillian Michaels DVD, but my PT had me at: it won’t hurt your knees. At this point – I’m willing to give anything a go!  A huge benefit: these workouts are only 30 minutes!  After a usual 75 minute workout with P90X, this will be a breath of fresh air.  And will allow me time daily for…

Hip/Knee Exercises

The newest addition to my workout routine should hopefully be the missing piece of the puzzle!  Upon completion of my physical therapy, my PT gave me an awesome list of exercises to strengthen my muscles and improve my knee alignment.  My plan is to incorporate different ones daily.  Since I’m used to working out for more than an hour in the morning, I’m hoping 15-20 minutes of exercises will round out my morning session.  Ideally this added piece will help me continue to heal and strengthen my body to prevent future injury.  These exercises include things like hip raises, lunges, and all sorts of things that involve a strengthening band.  Sounds good to me!

So what does this look like?

Once I realized my priorities and strategy I had to sit down with the ever handy Microsoft Excel to map it all out.  I made groups of rows for weeks and plotting everything out.  The key?  Balance.  I wanted to make sure I allowed my body enough time to rest, but still allowing some great working out.  I have made such strides that I don’t want to fall backwards!  I’m still tweaking the final version – but here’s where I’m at now.  Running 3-4 times a week.  Lifting 5 times a week.  Hip exercises 5 times a week.  And… a couple ab rippers/yogas/cores thrown in for good measure.  I’m looking at my weekday workouts as required, and my weekends more on the optional side.  If I’m traveling or away from home I might not be able to squeeze them in every time.  And that’s okay. During the summer and such a crazy busy (exciting) time of my life – I’m okay if I miss a few workouts.  Once fall hits that might be another story.  But honestly, I think mentally I need a less intense program for now.  I deserve a little rest :)  Just a little.

Oh yeah, what about nutrition?

Well, I’ve thought about that one too. After my very successful “post-it note eating” I’m sort of craving something a little different as well.  I’m leaning toward straight old fashioned calorie counting with a focus on higher protein.  I know I know.  That’s so restrictive!  Calorie counting is no fun!  That’s limiting!  That’s not trendy!  Well here’s the thing folks.  Truth be told I’m not fantastic at eating the right amount on my own.  Cue gasps.  I can’t intuitively know and listen to my body about portions and food.  Because you know what my body says?  EAT THIS WHOLE BLOCK OF CHEESE RIGHT NOW.  It might also say… You should also eat this whole thing of cherries too. Honestly I can’t really trust my brain to not let me eat a whole box of white cheddar cheez-its mindlessly while I write this blog post (note: that is not currently happening, phew).  So as much as counting calories isn’t fun and can feel restrictive at times, it is what I need to do to stay conscious of what I’m eating and remain healthy.  I know many people can be successful without this, but sadly I’m not one of them.  Maybe in time that will change!  Here’s to hoping I can train my body to not crave entire blocks of cheese. Dang it.  Now that I’ve said it so many times I really want to grab some cheese right now.  See?? Gah.

Eat me. Eat all of me! YUM!

I’m planning to log my calories in My Fitness Pal.  I’ve used it before and find it really helpful.  This free app is fast, easy, and sort of fun to track things.  I don’t want to obsess over my calories – oh no I ate 50 more than planned!  But, I do want to use it as a tool to make sure I’m not letting myself get too comfortable (multiple days far above my plan might be a red flag).  Remember folks, I’m not very good at feeding myself!

Hey brain – start ONLY wanting this stuff! Come on, be a buddy.

Wish me luck!

I’m really excited about my plan and feel like it will really accomplish my goals nicely.  Tomorrow will be my first day starting the Jillian Michaels DVD and hip/exercises – woot!  Should be a great change.  I’m looking forward to printing this puppy out, taping it on the wall (where my Insanity calendar used to hang), and enjoy crossing the days off!  Yay for plans!


Have you ever created a work out program from scratch?  What tips do you have?

10 Responses to “The New and Improved Fitness Plan”

  1. PoPpy @ Persistence Over Perfection June 12, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    This sounds great – I’m so pleased you’ve found a compromise that you can work with :) The hip/knee exercises sound like a good idea. I’ve used a few JM DVDs and can highly recommend her – that woman is really tough (but her workouts really work!). I haven’t tried ripped in 30 so would be interested to hear how you get on. An excel spreadsheet sounds like just the way to get organised – I need one too! :)

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 12, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      Thanks! Yeah I think this will be the right mix of exercises – here’s hoping anyways! :) And you are RIGHT about JM! I sort of was anticipating a wimpy workout this morning because it’s only 30 minutes, but it was great! Efficient but I was certainly sweating by the end of it. So far so good! :) I’ll keep you posted on how I like the program! And I tried to get my spreadsheet to post to share – but I was having trouble with it last night and gave up. I’ll give it another go – could be that I only have the free version of wordpress ;)

  2. megbek June 12, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I’m thrilled that you’re setting up a plan along with your PT for your exercise. It’s so smart that you’re slowly building up your mileage with no rush – that’s the best attitude. I need some of that wisdom and patience you’ve got! :) I would love to know what kind of knee and hip exercises you’re doing because that seems to be where I have a lot of problems too… So if you’re willing to share some helpful moves, I’d be indebted to you. LOL! Good for you for using my FitnessPal… I used it a while ago to educate myself and then I gave up on it because I was lazy (sort of contradictory, no?). In any case, you’re right, it’s a great tool. Good luck with your new plan, I look forward to hearing about your success (yes! success!). <3 have a wonderful day pretty face!!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 12, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Thanks lady!! Yep – I tried to think as wisely as possible (no more over use injuries!) and do slow and steady. I’m thinking the variety will be nice too. I will definitely share my hip/knee exercises! Maybe I’ll do a whole post on them to give you all the deets! Brilliant idea. And yeah as far as MFP – I usually do the same thing – my goal is to log a minimum of 4 days a week. I’m not good about being extremely dedicated – but hopefully a few days of logging will keep me on track! Cheers to success!!

  3. Mr. Benzedrine June 12, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Hey! Just wanted to stop by and wish you the best of luck with your routine, it sounds perfect for your goals. I understand getting mentally tired of P90X; I think I’ve gotten that way with Insanity so I’m starting a full round of Les Mills COMBAT and introducing some Vegan Chocolate Shakeology into my diet since whey Shakeo seemed to help me out. Keep me posted and I’ll do the same!


    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 12, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Thanks so much Chris! I’m excited to get started – it sounds like you totally understand the need to keep mixing it up and trying new things. I’ve heard a lot about Les Mills – something I’ll have to check out one of these days. And you’ve got yourself a deal!

  4. runslikeelephant June 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Keeping balance in your workouts and your eating is absolute key and so difficult to put into action. Good luck to you!

  5. atwostoreyhome June 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    I totally hear you on the nutrition stuff. I am all about intuitive eating–I do believe that our bodies know what they want and when they’ve had enough–and I TRY to eat that way, but let’s be honest: if I let myself get too hungry, I will eat the entire box of Cheez-its (seriously… how are they so delicious?) I don’t count calories, but I have a general sense of how much I’m eating by portioning out my snacks rather than eating straight from the box.
    Also, Jillian’s workouts are pretty intense for thirty minutes! The first day I thought, “Pshh. 5 lb weights? This is going to be a breeze.” How wrong I was… :)
    It sounds like you have a great plan in place!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

      I think you hit the nail on the head! If I do a good job of eating every hour than I stay nice and full and content and don’t feel the urge to eat whole blocks of cheese. I just often get distracted or lazy and don’t do a great job of preventing that all out hunger panic. Portioning is what I’m hoping to switch to once I have a good sense of calories. I think portioning is better for long-term maintenance. And boy oh boy you are right about that whole 5lb. thing. I mean – I’m super buff?! Oh no.. haha! Thanks for the support!

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