Tag Archives: knee exercises

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?