Friday, February 28, 2014

What are you thinking about during your run?

If you are like me, running is when you think of all the things you need to think about.  I think about and plan just about all of my lessons for my classes during my runs or biking sessions.  I also tend to pick apart all my previous races and plan how I want all my future races to go.  I choose, re choose, and choose again the different races I want to do.  I also will set up a full day's menu during a run sometimes or plan out a week's worth of meals if it is a longer run.  I do have to focus on the run sometimes though.

If the workout calls for it, I am completely in the run itself.  Watching the clock, my pacing, where I have gotten to by a certain time,  all these are mitigating factors during certain workouts.  

This goes back to my run yesterday.  It is important to vary what you are doing for a run and what you want out of it.  The basic 45 minute run I do where I lace up, go, and think about what I want to do that afternoon is as important to me and my family as the timed tempo run that I nail splits within a 5 second range for 5 miles consecutively.  

Unless you are an elite runner, mix up what you do and what you want, even if you are in the middle of a training plan/program with a very specific goal.  It will help the well rounded you.

I run this way and have for a couple years now.  Last November, I ran my first marathon on a repeated mile course (not an ideal situation for a strong time) and finished in 3:28:43.  I am pretty proud to say that was my time and I utilize a wide range of paces, intensities, and types of workouts in my running life.  I am a lot less structured that most people.  A month and a half before that I ran my first half marathon on a very hilly course and ran a 1:34 without a watch or mile markers, totally by feel.  I will tell you there were a lot of triathletes on the course that day with their Garmin watches on and I enjoyed sipping my Gatorade while watching them finish.  

I am not bragging here, because lots of people are faster than me, but I will say, something works that I am doing and I really feel it is my wide range of paces and intensities.  If you keep it fresh, training ruts, boredom, and bad days are easier to move past.

Try it.  List some different things you are going to try for one 2 week training cycle and give it a go.  Do a couple easy jogs with no watch, do a tempo run, a long run,  do some mile repeats fast with significant breaks in between, and hill repeats.  See how the stretch of time felt?  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

02/27/2014 AM Run

I just finished up an hour long jog.  Although I did it as a million laps around the gym, it felt great.  Other than knowing I went for an hour, I have no other data.  I didn't count laps so I have no idea how long I ran distance wise and consequently, I cannot figure out my pace.  I simply ran a comfortable pace.  

At the end of the hour, I did speed up and run the last 5 minutes at a quicker pace.  I did this simply for fun.  It feels good to run fast and I love finishing quickly.  It makes me feel good about my fitness and there are research based articles that show finishing fast, negative splitting, etc. all have cardiovascular benefits.  

I suggest every person that runs should drop the watch once in awhile and run for comfort.  I personally used to hate doing it, but now I feel like it removes the stress I sometimes get about holding paces and what not.  I can get past that stuff and just have fun running for that day.  Plus its harder to have a bad day if you aren't paying attention to time! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 2 of Rest

Today is my second day of complete rest.  Yesterday I was pretty much spent from head to toe.  I was tired and lethargic.  I'm not talking like lethargic like I am chronically ill or anything, just beat from a lot of working out.  I took yesterday off and decided today wouldn't be a bad idea.

In addition to my high speed stationary bike sessions, I really think these random day or two day stretches that I take off completely are very important to me staying pretty much injury free for years.  It's important for the body to have time to rest.  Whenever you train hard for a race or just a significant stretch of time, your body begins to suffer.  

It is ok for you to take a day or two off.  Nothing is going to happen.  It's not like your training is going to fall off dramatically from this.  Even some elite athletes take a day here and there to clear the mind and body.  All elite athletes take a couple weeks off at the end of a season.  

In fact, research shows that it takes weeks for a fit individual to begin to lose any significant level of cardiovascular fitness or strength.  A day or two is good for you.  

I also like to pair these breaks with crappy weather when I can.  Its a cold stretch right now, so double bonus.  I would probably have suffered through the lethargic feeling for at least a simple jog if it was a good weather day.

Do you take a day when you don't feel good?

Monday, February 24, 2014

02/24/2014 Evening Workout

Tonight, workout 2 for the day was a simple 30 minute bike ride.  I felt good on the bike even though I worked out earlier and comfortably kept a pace of 22-24 MPH.

Tomorrow I plan on a jump rope workout and possibly the treadmill at night if the temp stays up for me.

On a side note, while on the bike tonight I started a new book that looks to be a good one.  It's called, "Command and Control."  The subject is nuclear weapons, near disasters on U.S. soil, and the illusion of safety in America.  It's by Eric Schlosser, check it out.

02/24/2014 PM Workout

I just ran through a modified version of the 300 Workout.  This is the workout that gained popularity when members of the movie 300, including Gerard Butler, used it during training for fight scene physique.  I modified the version for me as a safe alternative since I am old and unsupervised during it.

The original is done in as few sets as possible as follows:

25 Pull ups
50 Deadlifts, 135 lbs.
50 Push ups
50 Box jumps
50 Floor Wipers
50 Single arm cleans
25 Pull ups

My modified version, which still kicked my ass was:

25 Pull ups
50 Dead lifts, 90 lbs.
50 Push ups
50 Box jumps
50 Floor Wipers
50 Single arm cleans
25 Push ups

The workout is killer and it took me 26 minutes.  Every part of my body is shaking right now.  If you need explanations of the exercises and/or want to see demonstrations, go to the following website:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

02/23/2014 PM Run

Well, it's 55 degrees here and I just got in a great run.  It was my standard 6.24 mile run, out and back with a lot of hills.  I felt good, but a little tired from so many days working out in a row.  However, my time didn't really reflect being tired so I am pleased.  

I averaged 8:04/mile for the run and totaled 49:56 completely.  I am sure if I was picky and eliminated all the patches of ice I carefully ran on and over, I would have been even lower.  Overall, it was a great workout.  I focused a lot on the uphill section on the way back.  During mile 5, it is almost all uphill.  I focused constantly on a good arm swing and it really helped me maintain a strong pace.  Mile 6 is a lot of downhill and I like this because it helps me have a fast finish after tiring my legs in mile 5.  

This week coming up I will be back at school and hope to vary my workouts tremendously with running, jump rope, and some HIIT workouts.  I do not think the weather is going to cooperate this week so I will have to take what I can get.