Body & Mind Transformation With Interval Training

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Body And Mind Transformation With Interval Training

Hello again, my friends!

Caitlin here!

As promised, I will be eventually divulging every aspect of my body and mind transformation.  However, I have to start somewhere, so I will begin by telling you about how interval training revved up my metabolism and helped kick start my stalled weight loss along my journey.

Body And Mind Transformation With Interval Training

As you all know, I lost 80lbs doing low carb and exercising.  When I was initially starting out on my journey I lost a ton of weight simply by doing low carb alone.  I would occasionally go on walks, but other than that my exercise plan was practically non-existent. However, around forty or so pounds into my weight loss I hit a plateau.  It was soooo frustrating! No matter how diligent I was about my diet, I just couldn’t lose any more weight.  After awhile I finally expressed my struggles to my dad (a primary care physician, who, by the way is the one who recommended and currently lives a low carb vegetarian life-style as well!).  Dad is a Mr. Fixit, and he began researching and researching and came upon, you guessed it, interval running!  And, according to his research, interval running has been proven to be particularly effective for women. Bingo!

Caitlin with dad in 2014 june(Me and my daddy, June 2014)

 ‘The Run Hater’

Let me preface my explanation of my process with the little known fact that I HATED running. As a child I had exercise-induced asthma, and after an unfortunate and embarrassing wheezing episode in elementary school, I was convinced that running was not, and would not ever be for me.  However, I had come so far in my weight loss at this point that I was willing to do whatever it would take to get the ball rolling again.

Around this time I was enrolled in a memory and learning psychology class at Salem College (woo-hoo I was back in school!). My professor was not only a brilliant developmental psychologist, but he also was enthralled with our ability as humans to train others and ourselves with the use of positive reinforcement and classical conditioning.  Our biggest project of that semester was to train ourselves to do something by using these tools. I decided that this was a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, and train myself to be an awesome interval runner.  I knew that if I was held accountable for my increased improvement by this school project, I would be much more likely to stick to it.  And now I am now OBSESSED with running.

caitlin running shoes

(My highly worn-in, adizero, minimalist running shoes. I LOVE these.)

Okay, perhaps I am getting a little ahead of myself. You all probably want to know the details of what interval running entails and how my project turned out.

My Interval Running.

When you are doing interval running, the basic idea is the run AS FAST as you can for a brief period (let’s call this a “sprint”), followed by a cool down period of walking, followed by running as fast as you can (beginning of the Matrix fast), followed by a cool down period of walking, followed by running as fast…well you get the idea.

There are tons of different suggestions for how to do interval running out there, and recommendations for the duration of each sprint can vary dramatically. So, I simply decided to do what was most comfortable for me.  I decided that I would sprint for 10 seconds each time (in all actuality I counted to 20 as fast as I could, which ended up being what I believe was around 10 seconds).  Then I would walk until I literally had caught my breath. Sometimes this took longer than other times. But, I always allowed my heart to stop racing, and my breath to slow.  During these interval running sessions I would always strap my phone to my arm, set an alarm at the beginning for twenty minutes, and simply do as many sprint/walks as I could during this amount of time.

The Reward

I tooled around with ideas about how to incorporate better interval sessions into my project, and I decided that the number of sprints that I was able to do within a given twenty minute session would show increased ability. I would count each sprint accomplished throughout the session and then document it along with how I felt that day (for personal use).   The only thing left was incentive.  Other than a smoking body, hehe, I needed to come up with a “reward” that fell in temporal contiguity with the ending of a given session where I outperformed the session prior.  Ultimately I decided the best possible reward would be music.  I am obsessed with downloading music, so, for the duration of the project I allowed myself to only purchase a song from iTunes immediately following the twenty-minute alarm from a interval session IF, and only if, I had succeeded in increasing the number of sprints in that session from the session before.

How did it all turn out? I lost another thirty pounds in that semester alone!  My professor even called me out during my presentation about how much weight I had lost! Embarrassing? Maybe a little. But any of the embarrassment I felt was way over shadowed by my accomplishment.

After this project I caught the running bug. Today I combine interval running and distance running.  I even ran my first half marathon last year, and have ambitions to eventually do a full marathon!  But, that’s a story for another day.

caitlin with fiance David

(Me and my loving and supportive fiancé, David)

Until next time,

Safe travels, my friends,

Caitlin

Caitlin shared her Body And Mind Transformation With Intervals, Why don’t you also share your transformation stories here?

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