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The Bullhorn, Issue #045 -- Monthly Motivator for December 2009
December 15, 2009

Just the right push to succeed!


Rest: Good or Bad?

For the northern hemisphere …this is what I like to call the hibernation season. Daylight hours are few…the weather is cold…and the gravitational pull of my pillow seems harder to overcome each night (although it’s power is often overcome by the ‘pull’ of those endless plates of Christmas cookies in the kitchen?!). All that being said, it’s a hard season to keep up with a fitness routine.

So what can we do? First – don’t be overly hard on yourself. A little rest is not the end of the world. If you’re in this for the long haul (which we all should be)…a hiatus now and again shouldn’t derail us completely. Just plan the rest days and keep tabs. For example, look ahead at your calendar and see where those holiday parties fall and plan your meals accordingly. Look at the weather and plan a few sleep-in mornings. Rest feels great when it’s a break from your hard work. In fact, your body may need some rest to rebuild from strenuous workouts. Did you run a marathon this fall? A few weeks of easy workouts may be just what your aching legs need after the last 26 weeks of training!

But the problem with “hibernation season” is that it’s hard to find that push to get you through the winter and not wallow in a slowing routine of less exercise and more eating. This is where you need a goal…a plan…some structure to pull you through. This is where the tool below is going to help you keep your focus….


Our Gift to YOU

I finally decided to combine all of my training spreadsheets into a FREE fitness plan that anyone can download and share. It’s loaded with calculators, training schedules and assessment tools to help you set fitness goals, track your milestones, and attain your training and weight loss goals. If you’re looking for a downloadable fitness plan, this is the tool for you.

I had to laugh when running my last marathon and someone asked the crowd of runners what pace equaled a 3:20 marathon…to which about 9 of us shouted out the answer to the exact second. So clearly I’m not the only spreadsheet-keeping, number cruncher out there! For the last several years, I’ve been tracking and calculating all sorts of aspects of my diet, fitness, and running routines. The free fitness plan spreadsheet has all of these calculations and some other cool tools, as well. Here’s a summary:

  • There are 14 tabs or worksheets (navigate from tab-to-tab at the bottom of the screen)
  • The ‘Start Here’ tab records the date and your specifics (height, weight, age, etc… your “starting point”)
  • You’ll then see your BMI, estimated body fat percentage, and the healthy weight range for your height.
  • From this data, the other tabs begin to populate. The work out log starts with that date and enters in your metabolic rate (‘Metabolism 101’ tab).
  • The food log lists some calorie counts of good and bad foods and provides links to find a lot more.
  • The workout log factors in your metabolic rate and, based on your input, calculates your daily calorie and fat burn!
  • There’s a 10-week plan to start running, a 6-week plan for a 5k PR, a ½ marathon & marathon training plan (complete with custom printable pace bands), and calculators to figure out interval paces, VO2 Max, predicted race finish times, and much more. All of these are customized to your data. There’s even a Boston Marathon training plan that’s based on the qualifying time foryour age – which again is complete with a set of pace bands to print and wear on race day!
  • All fields that require input are green. Enter in your data and track your progress!
  • The ‘My Goals’ tab keeps you focused on your weight loss of event training and counts down the time to attain your goal. Some goals take a long time to achieve…this will help you set attainable milestones for the interim to keep your focus.
  • There are 3 file formats in the download folder: Excel 2007, Excel 1997-2003, and OpenDocument.

    I hope that the free fitness plan is a useful tool to you helps you attain your goal. Feel free to share it and send me your feedback. I’ll incorporate any suggestions into future versions. Best of luck!

    Click here to download your FREE fitness plan


    Product of the Month:
    The Garmin Forerunner 405


    Garmin 405

    The Garmin Forerunner 405 is a great idea for any walker, runner, or biker on your Christmas list....especially now that they've come down in price! During the marathon last month, I had to laugh at all the beeps and chirps from the Forerunners as we hit each mile marker...at the precise location! They are amazingly accurate and have proven to be an invaluable training tool for me.

    From their interval features, the auto-lap function, and the ability to go back to the computer and look at pace, HR, and your travel path on Google Earth. The 405 automatically sends the workout data to the PC wirelessly when I get within 10-20 feet of the computer...very cool.

    If this gadget sounds like something that you may want to look into - Read the full Garmin 405 Product Review here. You can also find this watch, product reviews, and other great gift ideas on the Gift for Runners page. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!


    Exercise of the Month:
    The Mighty Push-Up


    Push-ups are one of the most convenient and effective exercises that you can add to your daily exercise routine. Push-ups are a great chest and arm workout without the need for weights. In this exercise you are pushing approximately 3/4 of your total body weight with each repetition. For a 150-pound person, this is equivalent to bench-pressing approximately 115 pounds.

    To do a proper push-up, lower your body so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor, as pictured above. Do the exercise slowly for maximum benefit. To concentrate more on your triceps and inner pectoral muscles, place your hands 8-10 inches apart. To work the outer part of your chest, place your hands 24+ inches apart, or slightly more than your shoulder-width. As with any exercise, do the amount of repetitions you can comfortably do without taking your muscles to exhaustion. You can gradually increase the repetitions, sets, and frequency over time. This favorite “punishment exercise” is a great addition to any workout and will give you some noticeable muscle changes in a fairly short period of time.


    Sound Off!

    If you have any feedback (positive or negative), success stories to share, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and we take all feedback, suggestions...and yes, even criticism very seriously. We’ll use this information to improve our newsletter and The Fitness Motivator site to help you and others like you attain your fitness goals.

    Sincerely,
    Mike
    www.the-fitness-motivator.com
    Encouragement to Succeed!

    P.S. - Please feel free to forward this to a friend!

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