So many new things to try … so little time. Yesterday, during my morning run, I started thinking about my exercise regimen for this year and about the new activities I’d like to try. Variety seems to really help me stay in the groove, so I want to mix it up a bit. I’ve had a lot of great ideas the past few months, but thinking about when to fit the ideas in to my schedule has been somewhat overwhelming. There are parts of my old schedule that I really enjoy and don’t want to give up, which unfortunately limits the time available for new things.

I don’t want to give up running. I typically run for 45 minutes on Monday and Wednesday, and for 1 hour on Fridays. I usually run in the mornings before work, and I really enjoy it. It’s kind of therapeutic (it hasn’t always been that way, but that’s another story). I’m pretty much maxed out on the distances I want to go. I’m not interested in training a marathon, but I would like to increase my speed, and maybe start running some 5K or 10K races. There is a local running club that has a group run on Sunday mornings, so I think I’m going to readjust my running schedule to 45 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday, with a long run on Sunday with the club.

I recently became acquainted with a group of guys that practice a Chinese martial art called Yin Style Baguazhang. I met with them a few times and really liked it. It’s a small group that is very focused on improving their skills. They don’t do it solely for the exercise, but I noticed that these guys seem to be pretty fit. It definitely gets your heart pumping and sweat glands working, and believe me, your muscles feel it the next day. No huffing and puffing like with your typical cardio class, though. Most of the exercise is isometric. Some of the exercises they showed me look really simple, but they are hard! Your body just screams “stop doing this!”, but you have to keep going. It’s all about discipline and training your body’s responses.

I don’t see any fun in torturing myself, but no pain, no gain, right? I think this could be good for my body and mind, but this is also something I can’t look at as just exercise. It is a real commitment. To see any improvement, I’ll need to practice (almost) daily. This will have to become the priority over my other training activities. Am I ready to make that commitment? Will Baguazhang burn enough calories and improve my fitness level enough on its own if need be? These are the things I’ve been debating with myself for the past few weeks. Time is the big issue.

I also enjoy going to pilates classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights with my wife.

I also want to start swimming & working out with free weights.

Something is going to have to go by the wayside. Looks like it may have to be the swimming.

Here is the plan I’ve come up with for the weeks when I’m home:
Sunday – AM long run (10K?), then work out at the gym (free weights) if there is time
Monday – 1.5 hr of Baguazhang practice in the morning
Tuesday – 30 minutes Baguazhang and 45 minute run in the morning, Pilates class at night
Wednesday – 1.5 hr of Baguazhang practice in the morning
Thursday – 30 minutes Baguazhan and 45 minute run in the morning, Pilates class at night (optional)
Friday – Free weights at the gym in the morning
Saturday – 1.5 hr of Baguazhang in the morning, then some other activity with Sarah as time allows

Of course, all of the above is subject to life getting in the way. I travel half the time, so I’ll just do what I can on the road. I’m going to have to do the best I can and not stress out about it.