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 Post subject: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:30 pm 
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My friend wants to run with me every morning (weekdays, I assume), and I think that's a great idea, so I agreed. Today was our first day, and I guess I just didn't realize how out of shape she is. I mean, I'm not in amazing shape, but I have sporadically exercised over the winter/spring, so I've got a basic level of fitness between...beginner and intermediate? I mean, I can run a mile without stopping, but not much further than that. So my friend can only run something like 100 feet without stopping. We spent most of our time walking (and she really didn't walk that fast, either), and our whole workout took almost 2 hours, and we went about 5 miles. Now, I usually go a much shorter distance, but run most of it. I run until I feel like I can't run anymore, and then I walk until I catch my breath, and then I run again. But I wasn't anywhere near running out of steam at the points she was.

Basically, I don't feel like I got enough cardio during this workout. I understand that she will improve, eventually, and that soon (hopefully) we'll be running at the same pace. But until that happens (or if it doesn't), how do I get my workout in without either hurting her feelings, pushing her too hard, or working out again after we're done?

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:40 pm 
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she's probably feeling the same way. I doubt she wants to just walk for two hours. Maybe you can just tell her you'd prefer to run a mile for your workout and she'll understand. or you can suggest doing yoga together a few days a week and then separate cardio workouts. I wouldn't want to exercise with someone who was at much higher level than me.

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:41 pm 
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Why can't you keep working out after you're done? I mean, if it's just not something that you have time for or desire to do you'll just have to do your own thing and hope it doesn't hurt her feelings. When I run with my boyfriend he can run a lot faster than me so he'll just turn to me and say "I'm going to keep going and we'll meet up at x place, ok?" and it's not a problem because I'd rather go at my pace too.

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:51 pm 
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You could also run/walk with wrist and ankle weights or a backpack on. I say this, but I would probably want to just do a normal run at my own pace like you.

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Fee wrote:
Why can't you keep working out after you're done? I mean, if it's just not something that you have time for or desire to do you'll just have to do your own thing and hope it doesn't hurt her feelings. When I run with my boyfriend he can run a lot faster than me so he'll just turn to me and say "I'm going to keep going and we'll meet up at x place, ok?" and it's not a problem because I'd rather go at my pace too.


I just don't have the extra time when we're finished. If it's going to take us 2 hours to go 5 miles, then it's midmorning and I need to get on with my day! I thought about just seeing if she'd be cool with us going at our own pace and then meeting up, but I think that for her the motivation to exercise at all comes with having someone right there with her. I personally prefer to work out alone, but she's my best friend, so I'm trying to work something out. Ankle weights might not be a bad idea, but I can't afford to buy any right now. I might give it a week and then see what we both think. I hate to bow out on the very first day.

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:03 pm 
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What about running with your friend some days and running by yourself on the other days?

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:11 pm 
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What about joining a super cheap gym like Planet Fitness so you can work out together but go at your own pace on the treadmill or elliptical or whatever? I mean, I know that costs money and you don't get to work out outside, but if it's worth it to you to be her workout buddy it might be a solution.

Or - what about only working out one day a week together but setting weekly goals and talk them over after your workout at a coffees shop or something? That way she's still being held accountable and getting support from you, but you're free to do your own workout the majority of the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:24 pm 
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I would recommend starting off on a program like Couch to 5K. It's slow, and easy, but it ramps up relatively quickly. It's best if you can follow the schedule by running three times a week, but I've done it on shorter timelines because I get back into running condition pretty easily. The events themselves take no more than 30 minutes for the first few weeks, and not much longer once you get into the longer distances. This way your friend will be able to keep up and build strength, and you'll have enough time afterwards to get another run in before an hour is up. At some point, the two of you will be pretty close in capabilities and then you'll both be getting something out of the workout. When my friend (non-runner then) and I did this for the first time, I wasn't getting much out of the early weeks, but there's a point where you go from alternating walking and running to just running two miles straight, and I think it kicked both of our asparagi equally. After that, we were pretty much suffering an equal amount after every run.

Going on a two hour long five mile walk interrupted by short runs sounds absolutely dreadful for everyone involved.


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:33 pm 
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I would recommend Couch to 5k too, I think the combination of having the workout say how long to run for is also good motivation - it's how I got started running. You really do build endurance fairly quickly!


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:50 pm 
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C25K is really smart because you'll see her catch up to you pretty quickly. i'm another satisfied customer too.

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:30 pm 
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We talked about C25K during the walk! Maybe I can convince her to do that. I mean, I would like to get into better running shape as well, so it would benefit us both in the end. As for now, I think she is really only going to commit to doing this 3 times a week or so, so I'll just do my regular runs on the other days, with a rest day or two during the weekend. A gym membership is absolutely out of the question, I've researched it in my area and the absolute cheapest ones are $40-50/month, and I am on a 'food, fuel, and bills only' budget. Thanks for the advice about C25K, though, I'll definitely look into that.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:30 pm 
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side note: I wouldn't recommend ankle weights. They can change your gait quite a bit and might cause injury.


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 8:22 pm 
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I was also going to say -- ankle weights can wreck your knees. If you want to weight down, use a weight vest. Or put rocks in your pockets. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:49 pm 
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C25K is a great idea. Otherwise maybe go harder on your own some days and treat the workouts with your friend as easy or active recovery days.


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:54 pm 
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Another vote for C25K. It's a really great program and she'll be running 20 minutes straight by week 5. So, if the intervals drive you crazy in the beginning, at least they won't last too long.


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 9:28 am 
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I downloaded a C25K app and suggested to her that we try that. At first she agreed, but then backpedaled. She said she tried it last year and gave up. I said she wouldn't give up this time because we'd be doing it together and I would encourage her. Then she said she did it years ago with success, but that she was younger and fitter then. I was like, 'But that's what it's designed for! Hence...the couch part.' She's going to do it with me, but seems hesitant. I just don't understand working out if you're...not really...going to work out? I mean, I guess walking 5 miles is a workout, but not cardio, and it takes forever and is boring and makes my back hurt. I'd much rather get it over with in a 30 minute burst, 3 days a week. We'll see how this C25K thing goes with her. If she's still bisqueing by the end of next week, I'm going to continue with it and will just have to tell her that we're just not compatible workout buddies.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Yeah, if the C25K business doesn't work out then just let it go. Boyfriend and I tried to start running together but it was a disaster because I can run for much longer than he can, but he's tall and I'm stupidly short with stumpy legs so he goes faster (during the part where he's actually running). These days we only run together on the treadmills in the free work gym- it's not worth the hassle and no one actually enjoys it otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:02 am 
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Today we walked a bunch and I asked if she wanted to run at all and she said she didn't, so I asked her if she would mind if I ran a lap and then met up with her. She seemed ok with it, but she always wants to walk down this one stretch of the trail that goes on for 3 miles, and it's like, dude, if we're not running, I don't have time for that shiitake! Starting C25K on Monday. We'll see how it goes.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:14 am 
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Its funny that she wants you to motivate her to work out, but instead of you motivating her, she is now demotivating you :) It sounds like she'd be a great hiking buddy, but she isn't the best work out buddy for you. Its totally nice of you to want to do C25k with her, but if that doesn't work and since you have some time off work now, maybe you can ask her if she wants to be hike buddies and go on a nice hike 2x a week instead?

I think there was a "Friends" episode like this. Rachel and Monica wanted to go running but were embarrassed by Phoebe, so they pretended not to be running any more and she caught them. So if you fake an injury or pretend not to be working out, then learn from "Friends" and don't get caught :) Or if you do, have a humorous resolution where you run around like a chicken and all is forgiven. <-------------not helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:49 am 
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Yeah. She isn't really demotivating me, she's just wasting my workout time, but I get what you mean. Good idea about asking her to go on hikes instead. I definitely can't lie, no matter what I do, because we both live right by where we work out, and would still be going at the same time of day. My one hope would be that since she can barely see (major eye problems), then I might be able to run right by without her noticing (I kid, I kid, I would never do that).

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 4:59 pm 
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There's only so much you can do to motivate someone who doesn't want to get motivated. And it sounds like she doesn't really want to work out. (No judgment here... it took me a year to get motivated to start C25K!)


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 7:14 pm 
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Yeah, it sounds like she wants to walk and chat. I would spend time with her for that, but I wouldn't count it as my "workout"; I'd count it as social time. And eat an extra sandwich for good measure.

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 7:48 pm 
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I would start inviting her? I know you are already going together but just text her saying that you are going for a one mile run in the morning and is she interested in going. That way you aren't ditching her and she can either say yes or no to that workout?


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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:32 pm 
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That is a super-good idea! I love the idea of texting her in the morning and saying "this is what I am doing, if you want to come along" rather than making you responsible for motivating her and adjusting to her speed.

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 Post subject: Re: Workout buddy on a different fitness level.
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 2:48 pm 
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We did our first C25K workout this morning and it went really well! It was just hard enough for her, and although I could have jogged for longer intervals, I did like the intervals in general. I think that once we get to week 3, we'll be on about the same level if her stamina improves.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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