When I graduated high school and stopped participating in organized sports, I realized I didn’t actually know how to work out. There’s something nice about being told exactly how to work out every day for six days a week. In determining my own workout schedule, I’ve tried a few different things over the years, depending on what I was interested in at the time, and what facilities I had available to me.
In my first year in college, I found distance running, so I did that for a while, eventually running two halfs and a marathon. I trained using the Hal Higdon plans, which had come highly recommended to me by more experienced runners. During this time I ran almost exclusively.
I ran a marathon in the fall of 2009 and a half the following spring, and by that point, I was ready for a change. I started climbing in my second year of distance running, but only got to the gym about once every two weeks. I climbed around 5.8 or 5.9, but mostly on vertical terrain.
In the summer of 2010, I got a fabulous book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women, and started exercising every morning in the gym in the basement of my office building. I lifted three days a week and dicked around in the gym doing whatever–cardio, random machines, abs, sprints in the parking lot–on the off days. Sometimes I ran on the weekends, but not very often.
I climbed outside for the first time in Fall 2010, while I was spending 4 months living in Peru. I discovered the thrill of lead climbing and the fun of spending a day outside on real rock, and never looked back. Since then, climbing has been an integral part of my exercise schedule. I spent about a year climbing almost exclusively, with a goal of climbing three days a week.
I like to joke that I lift on my rest days from climbing and climb on my rest days from lifting. In a good week, it’s pretty close to reality. I have access to enough steady climbing partners that I can train in the gym 3 times a week if my schedule allows. I spent Jan-March training for a trip to the Red River Gorge, which I will depart for in exactly 12 hours! I’m feeling strong and quite psyched, despite a generally stressful week with not a lot of sleep.
The ultimate goal is to keep training through March to May, when I’ll depart for a 3 month climbing trip all across the country. Life, and my schedule, will change once again.