Archive for the ‘Back’ Category

Hello,

Hard work. Determination. Haven’t been my calling cards(at least not preferred – would much rather think things through and execute), but this week was all about it. Doing … in spite of …

 

Last week’s recap:

Sunday: Rest

*Good.

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

*Fighting still with the bench press. Moving up on other major lifts.

Tuesday: 8x200m w/6 min rest

*Positive. Struggled with this one before the trip to California. Fast last two reps.

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 lower weight)

*Easy work.

Thursday: 8x400m w/3 min rest

*”The Miracle” (read below)

Friday: Weights (5×15 lowest weight)

*Overdid it slightly on the squats and deadlifts with too much weight. Good work though.

Saturday: 8x800m w/90 sec rest

*Not a great day. Not sure if it was the weights or being in the morning. Will try eating breakfast first next week.

 

“The Miracle”: Thursday’s Run

Setting: 3 hours sleep. Long day at work. Mostly with me being irritable. Did not alter nutrition to include more carbs to fuel the workout. Got to the gym late after a long conversation with my Grandmother after work. One more nasty protein shake and 1-mile warmup at 6:15 pace to begin a workout that I haven’t completed at this speed this year. 8x400m  (456m to be exact) @ 4:40-ish mile pace with 3 minute rest.

I hated Rep 1. I was sure I was going to quit after Rep 2. But despite not feeling well, I kept running. Hard. By rep 5, I could see that people on my indoor track in the gym were noticing. What’s this guy’s problem? Maybe that’s just me talking. All I can remember is looking up at the white gym lights in the ceiling and gasping for air after every rep. A good rep, when the split read 1:20 or 1:21 on my watch, usually meant relief. The times were so important, on the last four reps. Any failure – 1:23 or above – probably would have broken my spirit.

When I’m that tired, there’s no strategizing. No working on this form or that step or whatever. Just going…almost unconsciously. To top it off, I closed with another 6:15-mile as a cool down. Probably the best workout that I’ve had in the last two years, given the circumstances. Just hope that it pays off soon.

 

Emphasis from Last Week: Sleep, Protein

Sleep was an up and down thing…no pun intended. Struggled for most of the week, see the note on “The Miracle” above. But pulled it together later.

Protein and nutrition worked to an extent. The good news is that my diet was executed to plan. I ate the SAME THING from Monday to Saturday. 1800 calories. Same meals. Same time. Same water consumption. Same protein shakes before and after the workout. A little disappointed that after Wednesday that the scale really didn’t reflect my effort. There were moments when I was staring at a bag of chips, or sitting next to the phone thinking, “Call that pizza guy.” But I didn’t do it. The question: “How much do you want it?” seemed to be enough to move me along. As long as I was able to provide an affirmative answer. Plus, the more moments I had where I sacrificed, the less I wanted those moments to be in vain.

That said, if I don’t see some improvement this coming week, I’ll have to adjust my food plan again. One more week.

 

Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/4 min rest

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 less weight)

Thursday: 8×400 w/ 2 min rest

Friday: (5×15 even less weight)

Saturday: 8×800 w/ 1 min rest

 

*Trying. So hard. At everything. Willing to keep making adjustments, but just once, I want to see the effort pay off.

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 8.48.06 AM

 

See you next Sunday!

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Hello,

Been a couple weeks. Both busy and lazy, but still advancing on the running front:

 

Two Weeks Ago:

*In short: Good workout on Monday and and a tough interval session on Tuesday before heading out to California for a visit. Didn’t get much done otherwise. 😦

 

Last week’s recap:

Sunday: Rest

*Never fails.

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

*Still struggling with this day for some reason on the bench press. Otherwise, dominant.

Tuesday: 3 miles

*Tough run. The kind of day you have when you haven’t run in two weeks. Got through it.

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 lower weight)

*Whoa. Powered through it again.

Thursday: 4 miles

*Felt a lot better than Tuesday. Had a guy behind me on the track pushing me at the end. Just for fun.

Friday: Weights (5×15 lowest weight)

*Improvement. Couldn’t get through this workout two weeks ago.

Saturday: 5 miles

*No socks. No watch. No problem. Used the analog clock in the gym to keep pace. Sub-7:00 pace.

 

Emphasis: Sleep, Protein

Warmer weather is making it tempting to resume morning runs again, but I’m going to go with what got me to this point. Weights, intervals and eating well. So….no new tricks this week. Commit. Eat well. Train hard. Recover. Objectively going to shoot for 8 hours sleep and 120g of protein a day. I just want to see how I feel at the end of the week.

 

Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/6 min rest

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 less weight)

Thursday: 8×400 w/ 3 min rest

Friday: (5×15 even less weight)

Saturday: 8×800 w/ 90 sec rest

 

*Closing time. Month 4. Four weeks to go. The fourth quarter. How much I want to win? Identified a race in Columbus that I want to run next month. Strength is good. Knees are healthy. Morning HR is looking OK. Let’s do this.

 

 

See you next Sunday!

Hello,

Tough week running, but I’m happy to have survived. Same old stuff in the gym, keeping up with the weights and intervals pattern. Boring, but effective. I think.

Last week’s recap:

Sunday: Rest

*Always a good day.

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

*Back up to a respectable number on the bench. Handled squats, rows and deadlifts with ease.

Tuesday: 8x200m w/4 min rest

*Hard work. Not really picking up speed, but matched last week’s speed only with 2 min less rest.

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 lower weight)

*Cut weight by 50% and lifted well.

Thursday: 8x400m w/2 min rest

*Proud of this one. I didn’t even want to run.

Friday: Weights (5×15 lowest weight)

*Ah, soreness there you are.

Saturday: 8x800m w/1 min rest

*Miracle. Wanted to quit after four. Hamstrings were sore, but powered through it.

 

Patience

Improving involves a lot of high-effort work with low-immediate return. No gratification most of the time. My plan this Spring is no different than the ones before in that regard. What’s new is that the focus will be on gaining strength, losing unnecessary weight and improving speed endurance. In short, weights, portion control and intervals. Still, progress comes so slow, and it’s disheartening. To drop a pound in a week, it takes 7 days, 21 meals, on-point, with few mistakes outside of those meals. To gain speed-endurance, it takes getting to the track and completing an interval workout either faster, longer or with less rest than before.  To get stronger, it takes lifting a slightly heavier weight every week. Progress from week to week can be measured in seconds and pounds – with numbers less than five – most of the time. It’s hard to be patient with that kind of progress, especially when the mistakes (pizza nights, missing workouts) sets me that far back. Efficiency helps, but until someone comes up with a way that eating McDonald’s and sitting in bed makes people into four-minute milers, it’s going to take some discomfort and waiting.

Such a long way to goooo…

 

Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/2 min rest

Wednesday: Pushups, Situps, Squats

Thursday: Fitness Blender

Friday: Pushups, Situps, Squats

Saturday: Fitness Blender

*Welp…traveling to California this week, so I’m going to have to be creative.Using YouTube videos of a husband and wife duo for the cardio days. Tried one when I got snowed in earlier this year. Surprisingly difficult. I couldn’t keep pace. Eager to try it again. On weights days, I’ll probably just hit 5 sets to failure on the pushups, sit-ups and squats, and call it a day. Not perfect. Maybe not even the best I could do. But it’s what’s going to happen.

See you next Sunday!

 

Howdy,

Starting to see a few other posters come out from underneath the snow and start their training blogs again. Nice to know I’m not alone. Me. Me. Me. So ok, there are people on the streets now running. It’s beautiful. Poor souls thinking 30 degrees is a paradise. I won’t hate. Weather’s supposed to get a little warmer in Indy this week (up to the 60s).  Probably consider packing in some morning miles once it warms up some more. Otherwise, things are progressing nicely as they are.

 

Last week’s recap:

Sunday: Rest

*Never difficult to rest, is it? Not for me. Good day.

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

*Still dragging on the bench press, other lifting increasing on schedule.

Tuesday: 8x200m w/6 min rest

*Bam! Great work in the gym. If I could do this without the rest, I’d be in Rio in 2016.

Wednesday: Weights (Stability exercises)

*Fun new workout on the Bosu ball. Lots lot of leg quivering.

Thursday: 8x400m w/3 min rest

*Another terrific speed workout. Stayed late at the gym for this one.

Friday: Weights (Stability)

*Useless. One-legged stands and stuff. I’ll never do it again. Back to regular weights next week.

Saturday: 8x800m w/1 min, 30 sec rest

*First one of these I’ve completed this year. Fourth attempt and a good one.

 

Fiber

Welp…what to eat. Been a struggle trying to nail down the nutritional side of things for a while, but that won’t stop me from trying. Latest gimmick…increase the amount of fiber in my diet. Read online somewhere that we should take in 14g of fiber daily for every 1,000 calories consumed. Same link says 38g is suitable for adults.  I’m going with 50g. Why? Because I gotta know. The whole premise is more fiber, more fullness, better portion control. Plus, the fibery foods are the good stuff (oats, beans, certain pastas), better fuel. Just don’t stand behind me this week.

 

Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/4 min rest

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 less weight)

Thursday: 8x400m w/ 2 min rest

Friday: Weights (5×15 lowest weight)

Saturday: 8x800m w/1 min rest

*Same times as last week – running. Just going to cut that rest time down and challenge myself. As far as weights, I’ll pattern it after running. Up the reps, drop the rest and lower the resistance (intensity) throughout the week. Intensity. That reminds me…

 

"The further on the edge, the hotter the intensity."

“The further on the edge, the hotter the intensity.”

 

That’s relevant somehow.

See you next Sunday!

Howdy,

Been a while since the last post, which coincided with a move to Indianapolis. The move, I don’t know if anyone would have guessed, has been a strain on outdoor exercise over the past four months. Adjustments had to be made. Disappointments overcome. A recap:

1) Low Mileage Wins

With temps ranging from the negatives to all the way up to the high teens, Indianapolis hasn’t been much fun for any runners, I’d imagine – particularly in the morning. Nonetheless, I still see some brave souls out there in the afternoon pushing through the elements. Ice and wind are the biggest obstacles. RunnerRich had none of that. After cherry-picking research that supported a speed and power based plan, I began in late January. The basic pattern alternates between weight lifting and interval workout days with a rest day on Sunday. Where? An indoor track near my job. The results so far? In the same condition was I in last August (sub-19:00-ish) with a similar resting morning heart rate (sub-50 bpm). The real key pushing forward will be continuing to improve size-to-strength ratio. That is, controlling my diet to stay smaller (no 50-mile weeks to help out anymore) and improving overall strength and stability in the gym.

2) Disappointments: Mileage, Knees

Did I mention I started the latest plan in late January? What was happening before then? A pile of F.A.I.L. Began in November with a plan that put me on the road about 10-12 hours a week – trying to build an aerobic base and give myself a great excuse to eat whatever I wanted. It took about two weeks before pain in the right knee and right foot derailed the high mileage train. Lingering pain in both knees in fact, kept me on the sidelines sporadically up until late January. Likely lost about 2-3 weeks in that span altogether. In all honesty though, if the knee pain didn’t stop the outdoors running, the cold would have – or at least I would have let the cold break it up. Probably not a smart plan on my part. Since then, weights have helped me to build strength in my legs gradually, and I’m having fewer problems with pain.

3) Sprint, Speed, Stamina

I don’t have a running workout that I don’t enjoy right now (i.e. running has been great). Mondays are fast: 8x200m indoors. Wednesdays and Fridays are not as fast: 8x400m and 8x800m. My initial concern was that speed would burn me out quickly, but I’m finding that by not running at all on consecutive days, I can recover pretty well. One of the greatest feelings last month was completing an 8x200m workout on consecutive weeks while moving from 4 minutes to 2 minutes rest. Long story short, the fast stuff is making the longer stuff feel easy. Looking forward to continuing the pattern in March, though I’m anticipating some schedule breaks due to travel.

Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/6 min rest

Wednesday: Weights (Stability exercises)

Thursday: 8x400m w/3 min rest

Friday: Weights (Stability)

Saturday: 8x800m w/1 min, 30 sec rest

*Note I have some pace times in mind, but generally, I like to surprise myself out there these days. Go by feel and stay consistent.

See you next Sunday!