After last week's nine mile training run, I had a little ankle tendonitis flair up. It's happened before unfortunately or rather fortunately because I've been there, done that and learned what home-care helps ease the pain and how to adjust my workouts accordingly. With my next half marathon coming up in less than two weeks I didn't want to take time off from the gym completely. So this week I adapted. I changed my workout routine to meet the challenges my ankle had been facing while still allowing me to get in workouts that would help maintain my cardio endurance come race day.
Monday and Tuesday I did BODYCOMBAT and BODYATTACK respectively. Those classes sound sound intense and high impact (and they can be) which is the exact opposite of what I need. After all, I'm trying to avoid adding fuel to the fire that is ankle tendonitis by doing less jumping, tucking, bouncing and quick lateral movements. All the things that are often done in both classes. So, here's the secret...you can modify any of these 'high impact' classes to be 'low impact' and make them work for you. As fast and intense as ATTACK is, for each time the instructor called to run, I marched. Called to squat jump, I did a static squat. Called to shuffle, I step tapped. There is a modification for everything.
When I ask others to join me for ATTACK their first response is often "Oh, no way...I don't like to jump" or "It's too hard, there's now way I can do that." So what if the people to the front, back and side of you are tuck jumping higher than you can raise your leg. You do you. Adapt the class to fit your needs. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks about how you're modifying. I promise you that they don't care and you will still get an amazing workout by taking out the impact.
Another example of low impact, high intensity workouts...cycling. I turned to spin class for the remainder of the week's cardio because I knew that the bike would provide my ankle a little relief from any of the weight bearing cardio I did earlier in the week. Cycling is more of a low impact workout but trust me, it is not easy. Wednesday's cycling class was SPRINT which is essentially a HIIT workout using the bike as a tool for interval training. You are doing high intensity work but because of the bike, it's lower impact. Thursday's class RPM was peak interval training using the bike to work your legs by racing, hill climbing and flat riding; all lower impact but hard as hell.
Moral of the story: low impact does not mean an easier workout. Just because you take out the impact does not mean you're taking out the effort.
I'm grateful that my ankle was feeling a lot better at this start of this week with virtually no pain but I didn't want to risk it flaring up again so I adapted as mentioned. I probably could have done COMBAT and ATTACK as instructed but I eased off and have no regrets. I made the classes work for me. Spin class was an excellent way to end the week feeling like I had gone all out but by taking the weight bearing pressure of my feet, it gave me a little extra time to recover.
I'm looking forward to continuing this lower intensity workout routine into next week in preparation for my sixth half marathon a week from Saturday. I'll be doing a lot of stretching, yoga, flow and perhaps a little cycling as I make my final preparations for race day.
How were your workouts this week? Try anything new or push yourself a little harder than usual? Keep working towards your limits and get out of your comfort zone every now and then to achieve your greatest results.