Training in the off season

I ended race season in March with my tenth half marathon in Sarasota. Since then, I have taken a much needed break from a rigorous running schedule, which has allowed me to try some new workouts and classes to stay in shape. I’ve been utilizing our YMCA membership a lot more and I have really enjoyed the wide variety of workouts.


HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and I take the class at the Y before work. Depending on the day, it’s a good mix of cardio and strength training. It is indeed high intensity and very fast paced. The class is about 45 minutes and our instructor has been known to call certain exercises “30 seconds of pain”. On other days our 30 second “breaks” between exercises were actually 30 seconds of various types of planks. Ouch. After class, I feel like I got a really good workout and I am usually pretty sore the following days.


PiYo is a mix of pilates and yoga and is done on the yoga mat, barefoot. In the past, I have felt that yoga wasn’t a good workout because it didn’t get my heart rate up, but once I started doing piyo, I felt very different. It is hard work!! The class is about 50 minutes of continuous movement and strength training. My heart rate definitely is up during the class and I love that she does a nice, yoga-like cool down with us. I really wish I could go to this class every week, but I’ll settle for a couple times a month.



Spin or spinning is simply indoor cycling. If you want a class that definitely gets your heart rate up, spin it is! I have been to spin classes on and off since we moved to Florida. Thanks to my Little 500 days, I still have my padded shorts that come in handy for this class. If you’ve never done a class, I highly recommend it, but I also know that it’s not for everyone. I definitely go as often as possible.


When there is no class to go to, I’ve been getting on the elliptical at the Y. It’s great because I can watch TV while I am working out, which seems silly, but it’s just a nice break from reality where I don’t have to focus on anything for 30 minutes. It’s even better when there is an episode of Friends on. Aside from cardio, I have also been doing a little bit of weight training… and by little, I mean very little. I would love to have a personal trainer to tell me exactly what to do since I just go in there and wing it. Over the next year or so, I would love to work on getting stronger, so we’ll see how it goes!

Race season is quickly approaching and our training schedule begins in a few short weeks, so my mileage is going to start increasing a lot! I’ve enjoyed mixing up my workouts this summer, but I am also ready to start racing again…if only it would get cooler here!

What are your favorite non-running workouts?

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