Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WK1/D2 - 5K on a Treadmill

~35 minutes - 12 minutes per mile?

The weather was not running friendly today (for me) so I took advantage of my new gym membership instead. After a kickbutt pilates class (this was for beginners?!?! An excellent class, but my core is really aching!), I jumped on a treadmill and ran for 5K. It was a little confusing because I couldn't find the metric measurement switch and my Garmin was useless so I ended up playing with some of the speeds. It ended up being an impromptu interval workout.

I have only had this one experience so far, but I found the wall of TV screens a little distracting and running flat on the same spot was a little boring. I used my music/ipod rather than watching a TV program - perhaps concentrating on watching one show on one screen may help. I also just turned the machine on and ran; I did not take too much time to figure out the settings and options. A 5K run was one option so I just used it to get myself going (time constraints). I am sure I will have a more favourable review on treadmill running in the future because this is new to me and I need a little more time to get accustomed to it. However, it did make me think about what I am enjoying about running - the scenery, the people-watching, taking one or two of my little 4-legged partners with me, and being outdoors. There's more to running for me than just pace and mileage after all! :)

Anyway, Thursday is a day off so we'll see what Friday brings. The next time I use a treadmill, I will be better prepared.


On a side note, I had an initial "Discovery Session" on Monday evening with a fitness coach. We paid an additional $25 each for an additional "$200 value" Fitness Support package, which includes four sessions; Discovery Session, Club Orientation, Personal Training Demo, and Program Review. I have not written about it until now because I was so pissed afterwards. I needed some time to put the experience into better perspective ...

IMO, this session was mainly an aggressive sales pitch to hire a personal trainer. Ben and I had separate one hour sessions, and he went first. Ben has some workplace injuries; there are muscles he needs to concentrate on rebuilding. He discussed these injuries in detail with this coach who, "armed" with this knowledge, still insisted that Ben try different moves in front of him as a "test" to prove how out of shape Ben is, and what he needs to start doing right away to improve his core and posture. Ben was in pain as a result, and a little miffed that the the so-called expert didn't realize that these very moves were not easy for him. Ben has never belonged to a gym before, and felt overwhelmed by all the lingo this coach used with him that he didn't understand. By the end of this session, he was trying to convince Ben that he needed a personal trainer 3X week for the next few months, and 48 sessions in total!

I was unaware of this until my "consult," which went a little differently. I have lost a good chunk of weight (3 sizes) in the last few years, and I am working on changing my eating habits. I shared this with the consultant, and enthusiastically spoke about my passion for running, explaining how I was ready to layer my achievements by committing to the next level of fitness. This info went in one ear and out the other because my past and current efforts were barely acknowledged. The fitness coach focused on where I was failing - my high body fat percentage. He then proceeded to criticize my muscle-burning running, and to advise me to avoid isolated strength training until my core was in better shape by working with a PT. The fitness coach then started explaining to me why Ben needed a PT for 48 sessions whereas I probably did not need a PT for as many ... the session ended with a short joint session with all three of us as the consultant pushed the <$3,000 personal training programs to us, and how he could give us a discount if we booked that night ...

Needless to say, Ben was overwhelmed and upset by the time we left because, after spending money on new club memberships for us, suddenly our new venture was tripling in price before our first workout! I felt overwhelmed by it, too, as it was not what I was expecting at all. So much for "addressing my concerns, answering my questions, and helping me to feel comfortable" as advertised! :( After using the gym for the last few days and seeing a significant number of PT's working out with clients, I am guessing that these aggressive "discovery" sessions work. My experiences so far in the scheduled classes has been great and the facilities themselves are great so this uncomfortable experience is not enough to chase us away ... Ben and I went together for a workout session just to explore what was available. Ben was in much better spirits about joining after this, feeling more optimistic about its possibilities.

This is what our experience was like from our perspective - Mr. "I'm Blunt" Fitness Coach probably has a different point of view (side note: why is it that people who brag about being blunt, like this coach did with me, believe that this alone is a good trait? They excuse their rudeness by claiming it's "just" being "honest." Well, I can be "blunt" and "frank," too, when necessary, but not without its mandatory partners, "compassion" and "tact"). The fact is, Ben should and will look into hiring a personal trainer in the next month to help him with his specific needs; this is a very good idea and something that will likely benefit him. However, pushing 48 sessions all at once on him was the wrong approach. Instead, introducing Ben to the benefits of a PT through an initial 12- session block and then taking it from there is the route we are going to pursue instead.

As for me, it was written right there in my "discovery" session notes that I have successfully worked out before on my own, that my current motivation level is high thanks to running, and that I am open to hiring a PT six months from now after working on my own, with the intention of working toward a higher level of fitness ...

However, there is one thing from this session that I will grasp onto tightly and view as a motivator - the fitness coach's genuine comment (as in, he really did not sound or come across as trying to kiss my butt) that, given my lean body mass and the loss of my current excessive body fat %age, I have the potential of becoming a kickass runner ... Amen, brother, amen!

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