Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Training Notes

A little late on this post but I wrapped up a good week last week so I thought I would share some training notes.

First and possibly most importantly I have been lucky enough to find some training partners with my strength and core work. The first couple of weeks it was just me and one other person but now I have convinced (notice the word con in convinced?) two others to join us. Now 4 may even become 5, not bad for meeting up at 5:20am 3 days a week. The core workouts have been lasting about an hour, depending on how much slacking between exercises we do. I have been trying to change things up a bit every couple of weeks to keep us challenged, here is our current workout.

Each exercise is done for one full minute unless otherwise noted, we go through two rounds of this series.

  1. Forward weighted lunges - alternating legs
  2. Reverse weighted lunges - alternating legs
  3. Squats - with a couple of 5-10 second holds and at time some jumps.
  4. Flutter kicks
  5. V- ups (30 reps)
  6. Russian Twists
  7. Push ups (good form until you can't do any more)
  8. Full Body Crunches (30 reps)
  9. Push ups (yes again, and at least half what you did the first time)
  10. Bicycle crunches
  11. Plank
  12. Side Plank
  13. Side Plank
  14. Oblique Crunch
  15. Oblique Crunch
  16. Plank with leg lifts (10 count on each leg) x 4
  17. Bridge on the ball (hip thrusts)
  18. Bridge on the ball (rolling ball towards and away)
  19. Ball lifts with ankles (30 reps)
  20. Crunches on the ball
The great thing about our group is that we are each stronger in some areas than others and can push each other when things get tough. I have already noticed that my running endurance and posture have improved since I started consistently doing this for the last 3 weeks.

I was also able put in some solid miles last week. Although I was only able to run 3 times I still managed to finish the week up with just over 37 miles including 11 on  Saturday and 13 on Sunday. 

I have been practicing a run / walk strategy for the ultra, I think it will be good. Also working on getting my nutrition dialed in. This weekend I tried a PowerBar as fuel for each run. I had the cookies and cream and the peanut butter flavors, they are both pretty decent and pack over 200 calories per bar. 

Speaking of nutrition, I just received my order of the new Strawberry-Vanilla Hammer Perpetuem. Can't wait to give it a try!
Perpetuem has worked well for me in the past

That's about the extent of things for now. On my Sunday run I had the pleasure of scaring up 9 turkeys and 2 deer. I have been very blessed with the places I have been able to run. You may be tired of looking at these but I love running through this area and continue to explore new areas.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Found a New Trail

I have to admit, I had a pretty awesome run on Wednesday afternoon. My goal was to go out for some ultra run/walk practice. My plan was to run for 9 minutes and then walk for 1 minute. This started out ok but once I got going I switched it up to walking up the hills and running the remainder. I happened to take a new route for this run, I wanted to check out a different entrance to a wildlife area that I had run previously.

This is a view of the road that leads 
to the entrance of the preserve. 
It's about a mile to the entrance.

This is the beginning of the trail.

Not far into the trail I had the pleasure of this view. 
Beautiful and humbling!

This section was very secluded
and it still looks like fall. It 
was almost like running through
a tunnel.

This is a small stream that I crossed.
Once I got close to the stream I
saw 7-8 deer running away.
They were all in the open area
in front of the trees ahead.

Once I crossed the stream and
made it up into the clearing, this
is the path I climbed.

Here is a look back to the clearing from the hill.

I followed the trail for about 2.5 miles
before I turned around and headed back.
Coming down the last road to our home
this was the view that I was rewarded with.
The sky was beautiful!

Since this blog is about running....

I ended finished the run with 13.1 miles at just over a 10 minute pace. Not bad in my opinion for walking up the hills and slugging through a couple muddy streams. 

A couple of training notes:
  • Nutrition - I had a 20oz bottle of Gatorade and two gels with me. I drank most of the Gatorade and had one gel at about 1 hour into the run. At 1:43 I remember getting a little light headed (low blood sugar), so I took the second gel and felt better soon after.
  • Run / Walk combo - Once I got over the mental hurdle of what it was doing to my pace, I began to enjoy this. It was really easy on my body, I was not sore or wiped out after this run or even the next day. I felt like I could have gone another 13 if I had the time and the food to do so.
  • Trail Running - I love the variety and softness of the trail! It is much easier on my body than running on the road. Even after 13+ miles my plantar faciitis was very minimal.

I hope you learned something and enjoyed the pictures!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Review

I had a bit of a rough patch at the end of last year and the first couple of weeks this year, but I think I have turned it around. I have had some good runs and today was the 18th day of my streak. I have really tried to play it smart and not pile on a bunch of crazy miles to injure myself. My plantar fasciitis is still giving me some mild pains but lots of stretching throughout the day and especially after the run really has helped it significantly.

The weather has been incredible here for January, I think it has been in most places. Here is a shot of my run last Sunday.
Picture perfect day, 40 degrees and no wind!

Along with my 18 day streak I have been practicing the my 100ups before each run. I truly believe that this has helped improve my form, I do not do them barefoot...maybe I should be.

My store has partnered with the local gym and we are putting on a "Healthy Lifestyle Course". Part of the course is keeping a food log. I didn't do so well at logging my food the first week, but then I downloaded the app from www.myfitnesspal.com . It's easy to use, you just input what you eat, so far I haven't found anything that wasn't in the "food library", input any exercise that you do and it keeps track of calories and nutrients for you. It's a nice tool, here is a screen shot for what I have eaten so far today. Looks like I shouldn't have eaten that Wendy's breakfast sandwich this morning! I would like to lose about 7 - 8 lbs to get back to racing weight, but more importantly I want to be eating healthier.

As a wrap up...my miles have been good lately. In spite of a rough start to the month, I finished up running 115 miles for the month. Here is what my streak looks like. As you can see below, nothing crazy on any one day and the days where I only have 2 or 3 miles are pretty much my rest days.

I feel like I have a good base established now so the plan is to move on to some longer runs and add in some strength training. I would really like to keep the streak going for at least 30 days but I won't be so stubborn as to risk injury.

What has your longest running streak been?

Do you or have you ever used a food log?