My Fitness Problem.

I have a problem with fitness.

Or maybe fitness has a problem with me.

I know, I know. I workout quite a lot when my pain levels are low.

I don’t mean that I don’t enjoy working out – I do. I just have quite a big problem with my fitness capabilities: my stamina.

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For instance, let me show you last week’s workouts:

Monday – Rest day. I was pretty drained from my weekend with Alice.
Tuesday – 1hr 30 of Pilates.
Wednesday – Level 1 of 30 Day Shred.
Thursday – 10 mins HIIT workout + 30 mins Upper-body strength workout.
Friday – Was going to be 40 mins at the gym but I woke up really sore and as I had to get the train that afternoon it wasn’t really possible.

Doesn’t look too bad right?

I mean, ignoring Friday which didn’t go to plan, I would say that wasn’t bad and actually pretty damn good for someone with Fibromyalgia! But the problem is that I am really struggling at the gym or when doing any other form of cardio.

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The thing is, none of my workouts really help me build up my stamina and the issue with my situation is that often my pain prevents me from staying on any of the cardio machines (or cycling) for very long. Obviously because of this I never get a chance to really build up my stamina. Back before all of my problems started developing I used to dance every weekend and was pretty with walking and cycling, as things got progressively worse I had to stop being so active and my stamina has never really recovered. I’m trying to build it back up but it really isn’t easy!

Not to mention that when I’m going through a particularly ‘low’ patch with high levels of pain and fatigue I just can’t find the energy to do much exercise, if any. So obviously this has a big negative impact on my stamina and endurance…

Basically I’m in a bit of a conundrum!

Aaaand this is where you, my lovely readers, come in :-)

I know a lot of you are serious fitness buffs and I want your advice. How on earth can I build up my stamina levels with all of my restrictions??

…..

In other news I have had a really lovely time with Tom this weekend. Today was our last day, I’m back on the train tomorrow morning for a 3-hour trip and then straight to a drama seminar!

I love being here, it’s great to get away from the ‘bubble’ that is my university, it’s a beautiful place, and Tom never fails to make me happy.

It’s bittersweet really.

I hope you all had a great first day back at school/uni/work!

Advice? Suggestions? Anecdotes of personal experience?
Also, any exciting happenings this week?

19 comments

  1. I think that 30 day shred then HIIT+upper body is a recipe for being sore! I’m no expert, but personally I think lower intensity workouts may be more beneficial, because you could probably do more. So like 4x20min steady state workouts in a week would probably be better than 1 HIIT. And then once you are doing those comfortably you could just keep increasing the levels etc until you’re doing 20minutes but harder sessions.How long can you stay on the machines for and how often can you lift? Building stamina is HARD. And it sucks. Can you swim? Could you maybe take a dance class again, how about zumba or something? Sorry for all the questions! I’ve subscribed to this comment so I’ll wait and see what your reply is and then see if I can elaborate a little more xxx

    1. Thank you so much for the in-depth reply Leigh! I did those two because I’m actually trying to shift a little bit of weight (uni is literally a calorie trap right??) but I do think you’re probably right! It’s just so frustrating to have to constantly do low intensity workouts. Dance classes and Zumba would kind of be a bit too difficult for me because of the impact, I’d constantly have to modify things. I think swimming is a good idea, the only stroke I can really do is backstroke because everything else hurts my hips too much. (Obviously I couldn’t do rowing like you :-P) <3

      1. Ahh okay chick, I wasn’t sure really what you can and can’t do. I think I kind of got myself mixed up, I meant like more steady state cardio than low-intensity, that would get you out of breath and sweating but not make you exhausted and really sore the next day so you could do it again. Uni is a nightmare, it’s so hard to eat cheaply and lose weight/maintain weight/not live on cheese and chips. Have you changed your food or anything? If you ever want me to have a look at a food diary or have some questions send me an e-mail, it’s really good practice for me and if I don’t know I can look it up in a text book or something! Lol don’t take up rowing anyway, it’s like i’ve started a rowing degree and my actual degree is a hobby, eek xxxx

    2. I think building the cardio steadily is a good idea, from next week that’s what I’m planning on doing :-) It is so difficult isn’t it! Although I should be better for the next 6 weeks because I’m giving up ALL junk for Lent! (see my most recent post) Thank you lovely! xxx

  2. I’m not a fitness buff but I am impressed by the type of workouts you are doing in spite of some of the challenges you face. That is both motivating and inspirational. That’s great that you are reaching for more out of your health and fitness. Don’t lose site of the fact that you are doing some challenging workouts that probably puts you in the top 5% of the population. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m definitely not a fitness expert, but I’m interested to read others’ advice. Leigh might be right that lower intensity workouts might be more beneficial for you. Building stamina definitely takes time and I know that you’ve gone back to the gym fairly recently, so maybe you need to give it some more time and build up very gradually.
    Good luck xxx

    1. I totally agree with this–lower intensity may be your best bet. I just gotta say a huge good for you for working out so amazingly despite your challenges, you rock!! :)

  4. I think the other commenters are spot on, I’m also no expert but if your looking to build endurance then I would try steady state cardio rather than HIIT and just build it up slowly, even if your just increasing the amount of time your working out my a minute each week! It will slowly build. You could even take a leaf from Brendan Brazier who suggests (for runners but I don’t see why this can’t be applied to your exercise) of taking a ‘set back’ week so that every 4 weeks you have a week when you reduce your workouts to give your body a break before coming back and building it up again. As others have said, just doing what your doing shows great strength and determination!

    1. I think you (and everyone else!) are right about the steady cardio probably being easier to build up! It’s so difficult trying to balance building up stamina with weight loss :-P I like that tip from Brendan Brazier, thank you Laura!

  5. I think your stamina looks good from your workouts, but obviously you see an issue so I;ll try to give you some suggestions! Have you tried building it up? I mean it may be low now, but you could be getting impatient and not actually working to build it up.. by doing that you should do 10 mins solid running 3x a week for a couple weeks… then do 15, 20 etc… the tis how you can actually BUILD up stamina. If you have already tried that.. they look at some other factors.. are you getting enough iron ? (that can hinder performance). how about your thyroid? drinking enough water? are you fuelling enough for your workouts (in terms of carbs)… are you getting vitamins in? even the smallest of deficiencies can really effect how well you can perform and last in workouts. hope these suggestions help!

    1. I think I am definitely getting impatient :-P I think that building up slowly adding 5 mins on to my cycles and elliptical workouts each week is a good idea – thanks! I probably do need to take a look at my fueling before and after, I know who to call on if I need advice :-)

  6. stamina??? go longer, go slower :) seriously. can run very far, switch it up with walks to get you there. Start to hurt??? slow it way down and do an extra 1/4 mile. start slow and SLOWLY add onto your cardio. Before you know it you’ll be building it up ;)

    and I love your new side pic. I need a new one with out sunglasses ;) lol

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