I saw this set of plank variation that my friend posted on Facebook. It seemed much easier than the Ab Ripper video I had downloaded before, and it only required 4 minutes of workout a day. So I decided to try it out.
Here's the link (It's in Chinese): http://www.funfarmer.com/object_article.aspx?id=12147&ref=m
On the page you will find 8 different plank variations helpfully demonstrated in gif form. You are supposed to do 20 secs of each, with 10 secs of rest in between. I just do 10 of each, since counting seconds is just too much work.
I can't do 2 of the variations. Side plank is just too much for me. I was never able to do it in yoga class, and doing it on the hard floor at home was just too much. And I also skipped the last one; my hand/leg coordination was just not up to par.
So to make up for those I did some crunches and bicycle kicks after the plank sets. And the next day I really felt something. My stomach muscles were really sore. I hadn't felt it before with my crunches. So I guess it is working. Next time I will pull out my yoga mat and do it properly.
I was supposed to go to yoga class, but I then promised a friend that I would go play badminton with her. I was going to run before that, but I indulged myself with a footlong Subway sandwich and just couldn't move afterwards. I almost didn't make to badminton either.
I sucked. Rather, my friend is super good. Both technically and endurance-wise. I seem to have forgotten everything I learned. But in reality I know all the theories but just can't apply them properly. I did sweat quite profusely and afterwards couldn't move my legs for the entire rest of the night. It was nothing like running. It was weird. And it was hard on my legs and shins. No wonder I got shin splint playing badminton in college. I think I will go play again at some point, but compared with everything else I'm doing right now my enthusiasm for badminton at the moment is not very high.
Friday: Yoga Class
My other friend said she would go with me to yoga but at the last minute her experiment failed epically and she couldn't make it. But our lab manager, who also went, was sweet enough to save me a spot in the back in a very full class (the undergrads are back). The class went very well. I sweated A LOT. But I wasn't as tired afterwards so I guess all the running really helped my endurance. It was a good workout that really opened up my whole body. It was also my last class of the 10-class pass I had bought, which means I have to cough up another $115 for another pass, which I'm trying to hold out for as long as possible. With the running and my 5K goal I think I'm going to cut back from yoga to maybe once a week, but at some point I would still need to buy another pass or I might not be going at all. I'm good at not keeping up with things like this, so I have to be careful.
I got my Nike+ sensor in the mail on Friday, but coincidently I left my iPod in the lab so I couldn't go to the gym to try it out on. And although my sensor had arrived, it would be another two week until my sensor pouch to come. Since I don't own a pair of Nike+ Ready shoes I would have to attach the sensor to my shoes by some other means. And since my sensor pouch still hasn't left the seller, I had to Macgyver up some way to keep my sensor securely attached to the shoe. In the end I managed to concoct something out of my Minion duct tape and a piece cut from a plastic bag, and managed to tape the sensor on my shoe without making it look too conspicuous.
The sensor worked great in that my iTouch was able to pick it up without too much hackling. I logged in two workouts that day, one for walking from the lab to the gym, and one for running on the treadmill. The sensor is pretty accurate on the treadmill; I still calibrated it afterwards but it was only about 0.03 miles off from the actual distance. The walk outside, however, was more off I think. It said that the distance from my lab to the gym was 0.9 mi, which I thought was quite a bit of exaggeration (I thought it was only like 0.7mi or something), but I don't know the exact distance so I didn't calibrate it. I will worry about that after a real run.
Woke up early to run, but ran into some hiccups. I made the mistake of calling my mom, who was trying to reach me yesterday, right after my warm up stretch. It turned into a 30min phone call. And when I got to the gym the touch screen of the treadmill I was on was horribly non-responsive and I lost a lot of energy trying to get it to work (it didn't) while running. My endurance was terrible; I was out of breath, my legs were tired, and I just couldn't keep running. I resorted to walking after about 8 minutes, 7min earlier than my goal time. I was on a 30-min timed workout, so for the reminder of the time I alternated between 3min walks and 2min runs, and managed to finish the entire workout with a 2-mile distance. Which, I guess, wasn't that horrible in the end, and my Nike+ activity graph looked kind of cool.
I like Nike+ so far because the sensor is simple to work with. I like that my app has timed workouts, and that every 5 minutes it tells you the time. For me it was a nice motivation. And I like the website that keeps track of everything. The graphs are nice, and I get to connect with my running friends to see how everyone else is doing. Here's my progress for the past two days: