MANday Week 5 An Insidious Form of TorturePosted: May 25, 2012
You start on your belly, watching the clock, then push up until your back is straight and your body is braced stiff as a board – or a plank. Only your toes, elbows and forearms touch the floor.
In ten seconds a tremor ripples through your body.
When you breathe your core bounces.
The second hand moves painfully slowly. At thirty seconds you wonder how long you can continue. When I first started I could only hold a plank thirty seconds. Now I know I can do better. I flex my abs. Tighten my quads. Keep myself straight.
At one minute pain grows in my lower back and I straighten up. The second hand starts down and I get a twinge of optimism. I’m not thinking about quitting yet. That’s a very good sign.
At about 1:30 the pain starts in my upper abs, near my chest. It radiates lower and down around my sides. This is where the real workout begins for me. My triceps start to fatigue as the second hand starts it upward turn.
At 2:00 I realize it’s much better when I haven’t run yet that day. Normally I’m dying to quit at two minutes, but today I let the second hand spin fifteen seconds more.
I collapse. 2:15 is a new record. Like running, watching the clock is key to my planking. Today I probably could have gone longer. If my record was 2:15 I could have made 2:20 or maybe longer. But there is always tomorrow.
You may wonder why anyone would do this. I don’t like doing planks, but they are a great exercise packed into a short time. Perfect for a busy guy who always has an office floor ready to transform into a workout room. Another great thing about planks is that they take almost no space. Anywhere you can lie down, you can plank.
I hope you are planking along with me and sharing in the torture – I mean fun.
If you are looking for support, check-in with me each week and visit plankaday on facebook and twitter!
For those of you new to running like I am, the weather is getting warmer. It really helps to run early in the day before the sun heats things up and to drink lots of water. That’s next on my agenda. Time to break out the shorts and hit the road.
Stay hydrated. Keep moving. Live well.