Friday, February 7, 2014

02/07/2014 PM Workout

Whenever I ride the bike as a secondary workout, it doesn't bother me at all.  Knowing that I already got a satisfying run in this morning, when I got on the bike for a speed session, I was good with it.  It went well and I felt pretty strong for the duration considering I ran 5 miles this morning.

I rode the bike once again at high speed, around 22-24 MPH, with no tension at all.  It was a 30 minute workout.  

Of much greater importance tonight, the Olympics are starting.  Turn it on, watch it all, and support the United States!!

02/07/2014 AM Workout

Today I am recovered from the shoveling marathon.  Yesterday was a rest day completely for me.  I only did a short 10 minute walk yesterday to get the blood moving and promote some blood flow towards recovery.

I just finished a 4 mile progression run with a 1 mile cool down.  By progression I mean that for the first 4 miles I got progressively faster, then ended with a cool down.  The times of each mile were as follows:

Mile 1-- 8:25
Mile 2-- 7:42
Mile 3-- 7:22
Mile 4-- 7:14
Mile 5-- 8:24

At this point, I can tell when I up the pace or lower it.  Since I have not been back solid into running for a solid stretch, I cannot set a pace yet.  Once I build up my base more and get the feel of different paces again, I will be able to do this type of a run with goal mile times.  All I knew today was that I was going faster each time, I didn't know how much faster.

Getting 5 miles in today felt good.  Doing it in the form of 130 laps in my gym was less than ideal.  However, if I want to run, I have to take what I can get sometimes.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

02/05/2014 PM Workout

Too cold for the treadmill again.  It did tease me and turn on for about 15 seconds before shutting off and going unresponsive.  

I did a 30 minute bike session between 22-24 MPH.  I am growing tired of the bike a bit.  Somebody please shoot me!

Why won't this F-ing shovel break?!?!?

As I was about 10 minutes into my afternoon shoveling escapade, (round two for the day) it hit me.  Why won't this F-ing shovel break?  I spent the next 20-30 minutes shoveling and thinking, trying to will it, my shovel falling apart in pieces.  The ironic part is, at some point over the last storm or two, it cracked on the face of it.

It's like someone is toying with me.  This cracked shovel, holding strong through multiple snow storms now!  Countless hours of shoveling.  However many hundreds of pounds of snow I have picked up and launched somewhere, be it my yard, the front edge, the deck, etc.  Still, it holds together and keeps on tiring me out.

I don't get it.  Any other item I have owned seems to break quite regularly.  Why not this F-ing shovel!  By the time I was done, I decided it is now a mission to see how long I can go with my F-ing cracked shovel before I have to buy another one.

Bring on the snow!!!

This isn't mine, but I feel a bond with its owner!

02/05/2014 AM Workout

I woke up sore this morning in all the corresponding places to my workout yesterday.  I also woke up to a day off due to snow and the task of cleaning out about 6 inches of snow and a 1/4-1/2 inch of ice on top.  

It to me about 45 minutes to clear the heart attack snow at the end of the driveway and the sidewalk by hand, as well as some of the driveway.  In order to really make the shovel work for me, I alternated hands on the shovel every 20 throws.  It also helped pass the time too.  

After the shoveling, I spent the next hour or so with the snowblower finishing the driveway and clearing out the neighbor's driveway across the road.  Even the snowblower presents a good upper body workout with this amount of snow and ice so I am spent.  

Time to make a fort under the table with the kids!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

02/04/2014 Evening Workout

Screwed by the temperature!  My treadmill is frozen again. So, I hit the stationary bike for my second workout today.  I kept it at 45 minutes and held the speed from 20-24 MPH.  I always bring a book and it really passes the time.

One of the biggest issues with stationary bikes that most people are not aware of is the unnecessary knee strain that can come from improper seat height.  When you are sitting on the bike, extend one foot/pedal to the lowest point.  At its lowest point, your knee should have a slight bend to it.  If the seat is too high, the knee will be straight at the bottom and it will extend your knee too much.  If the seat is too low, the knee will stay in a bent position and put too much stress on the joint.

I personally feel that adding tension is not a good idea at all.  I feel it is an unnatural way of riding and it stresses the joint.  A better option to simulate climbing is to elevate the front of the bike about 8-10 inches on a simple wooden platform or board setup.  Make sure it's safe please, but it is better for you that the tension wheel, trust me.

02/04/2014 PM Workout

This afternoon's workout went well.  I have a limited amount of time at lunch on Tuesday, so its a perfect chance to get in a HIIT workout.  I warmed up with a 5 minute jog first.

I then completed 4 sets of the following workout.  The exercises are done for 30 seconds at a time and there is no rest between.  After a full set of the exercises, there is a 1 minute rest before starting a new round.  

1.  Mountain climbers
2.  Squats
3.  One leg dips
4.  Bird dogs
5.  Split squats
6.  Side lunges
7.  Stagger push ups
8.  Side planks

A full set and the one minute break takes 5 minutes total.  I did a 5 minute warm up jog, 4 sets of the circuit, and a 6 minute jog immediately upon finishing the last set.  My full workout lasted 30 minutes total.  

This is a really productive workout in such a short amount of time.  Especially for a runner like me, this is great because my main goal is my running.  These types of workouts burn fat and make me more lean and tone, working a lot of muscles that are not used in running.

Watch this video to learn how to do the bird dog, my favorite lower back exercise.

When you want to quit, say this to yourself:

"A lot of people run a race to see who's fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.

--Steve Prefontaine

Monday, February 3, 2014

02/03/2014 PM Workout

Tonight I gave the treadmill a rest and did a 45 minute high speed, no resistance session on the stationary bike.  I had to be averaging about 20 MPH for the duration and I felt good for most of the time.

After a couple days in a row of running and a long day of shoveling, snow blowing, and playing outside in the snow, I did end up feeling spent at the end.  It was good to be done.

I feel like I am getting in a nice rhythm with my fitness now.  It only takes me a few days to a week to feel like I am getting where I want to be.  Over the course of the next few days, I am looking to get in a few runs and a strong HIIT (definition here) workout or two.

Unfortunately, it also appears I am going to get in some more snow shoveling workouts as well.  Two more storms are predicted for this week.  Yeah!

02/03/2014 AM Winter Workout

I am growing tired of this winter and the snow.  As a morning workout today, I put the snowblower on hold and grabbed the shovel for a good 30 minute upper body workout.  Shoveling always proves to be a good workout for the arms, chest, shoulders, obliques, core, etc.  It is great for the body when done right.

I stress that if you do go this route for a little workout, make sure you don't overdo how much snow you load up on the shovel and be careful of your back.  It is easy to get too much snow and/or hurt your back overdoing it.  That is part of the reason why I did only 30 minutes and then switched to the snowblower.  I do not want to injure my back.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

02/02/2014 PM Workout

Today's workout was a treadmill session.  I started with a warmup of 10 minutes at a comfortable jog pace.  I then ran a 3 mile tempo run at 7:20/mile pace.  Total tempo run was 22:00.  I then finished the workout with a 10 minute cool down, again at a comfortable jog.  I kept the treadmill at 3% incline for the duration of the 42 minutes and ran approximately 5.3-5.4 miles.  For those not familiar, it is widely recommended that when running on a treadmill, you should increase the incline to around 1.5%-2.0% to combat the unnatural motion of the treadmill.  I rarely go lower than 2.5% incline simply for the challenge.  

I am pretty happy with the run.  I felt like I could have gone another 2-3 miles at the 7:20/mile pace.  Tempo runs are a key workout for just about any race distance above 5k.  The ability to hold a higher pace for a prolonged run is the basis for extending aerobic fitness.  Over the next few weeks/months, I will extend the distance and drop the pace of my tempo runs.