Week 13: workouts

Strength training

Last week I mentioned that I’ve been unhappy with my lifting routine lately.  Well, this week I decided to combine my strength days with some extra recovery work, namely a low-resistance spin session and lots of stretching.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of this week I spent 20 minutes on the spinner to help my legs recover from running the day before.  I kept the resistance low and the rpm between 90 and 100.  Afterwards I spent at least twenty minutes stretching out, focusing on my hips which gave me trouble last Sunday and on my calves which always feel tight after a run.  It felt great to warm up a bit and stretch out before my lifting routine – I think it’s what I’ve been missing.

Running intervals


Tuesday and Thursday were interval runs.  On Tuesday, Adam and I were back on the treadmills at the gym.  We did the usual 8 minute jog and drills as a warm up.  The workout: 5:00 on and 2:15 off:

  • 7.0 mph  (8:35 min/mile)
  • 7.1 mph  (8:27 min/mile)
  • 7.2 mph  (8:20 min/mile)
  • 7.3 mph  (8:13 min/mile)
  • 7.4 mph  (8:06 min/mile)
  • 7.5 mph  (7:59 min/mile)

During the easy part, though, I was walking at 3.5 mph.  Below is an image showing my heart rate during this workout (click to see large version).  You can see that my heart rate dropped quite a bit (down to 120 bpm) which is way too low for my tastes.  It puts too much stress on my body when I make such a large jump in intensity from slow to fast.  My peak heart rate was 182 bpm and I was pushing it by that point.  Overall, I was very happy with this workout, even if it wasn’t perfect.tue-hr

On Thursday I was on my own since Adam was home with a mild cold.  For once I was going to do intervals based on distance rather than time.  Usually, Adam runs by distance and I match his time.  This workout:  0.75 miles on and 0.25 miles off.

  • 7.0 mph  (8:35 min/mile)
  • 7.4 mph  (8:06 min/mile)
  • 7.4 mph  (8:06 min/mile)

The time was about 6 minutes on and 3 minutes off.  Instead of walking between sets I decided to keep my heart rate up with a jog at 5 mph.  You can see from my heart rate below that this workout was spot on.  During the slow parts my heart rate went back down to a comfortable level (matching where I was for the warm up) and it steadily climbed during the hard parts.  This was a hard workout, without a doubt, but I was proud of myself for having done it on my own.


Saturday fun on the bike and in the pool

On Saturday I went on an impromptu bike ride in the beautiful weather.  Adam had just returned home from a 90k bike and was preparing for a 20k run (all part of training for a half-Iron distance triathlon).  I could tell he was hurting and could use the extra company, so I volunteered to ride along with him during the run.  It was a good opportunity to take a break from work and enjoy the sunshine.  It was also my first time on the roads aside from the short commute to and from work each day.  I wouldn’t consider that ride a workout, but being out on the roads was certainly good practice for the future.

After all that cycling and running, Adam graciously agreed to join me at the pool for my first swim in many years (since gym in the ninth grade).  I just wanted to test the waters, get the lay of the land, and have Adam critique my technique.  We were only there for twenty minutes or so, but it was enough time for a few uncomfortable laps.  They weren’t really as bad as I thought they would be – I just need to get used to the water in my ears, nose, and mouth.  Also, my technique was surprisingly good, according to Adam.  There are some small things I need to work on, but it’s mostly just building up endurance and becoming comfortable with the breathing.  Having proper goggles and a swim cap (a first for me) definitely helped.

Easter long run

Sunday is now my long run day – to coincide with the group runs at Boston Street – so Adam and I took a break from Easter festivities for a 10k run.  My legs felt like rocks for the first half and the weather was dreary – cold and a little drizzle.  Needless to say, it would have been tough doing this one on my own.  I decided to just buckle down and make the best of it.  When all was said and done, we had run 10k in 1:02 (9:56 min/mile) which I’m very happy about considering I felt very slow.  At the end I even had enough left in me to run the last 400m at 7:48 min/mile pace (which floored Adam).  I certainly could have pushed harder/faster on this run, but I’m in no rush and I certainly don’t want to risk injury.  I’m just here to enjoy the journey.  Now, for a recovery week!