Posted in Injury, Rehabilitation, Training

Training Nov 19-25

This was not a good week for me to pick to start reporting since my plans needed to revolve around traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. This meant driving to Virginia on Wednesday and spending time with family until it was time to travel home on Friday. But, nonetheless, it was better to spend the time with my family rather than worrying about missing workouts. There will be plenty of time to make up for the missed workouts, but, you can’t make up missed family time.

Even with two days out for the holiday, I was still able to get five workouts in for the week. This isn’t too hard when your long workout for the week is just over 1 hour. That makes it pretty easy to make time in the day for a workout.

What was good about the week was that I was able to stay fairly true to my goal of easy aerobic workouts. The big column in the chart below represents the time in Zone 2 – what I am defining as my easy, aerobic pace and was where I was 54% of my time. The next bar is slightly higher in intensity and encompassed about 18% of my time. And in reality most of the time in Zone 3 was probably close to the Zone 2/3 border.

Training Nov 19-25

So what did my training look like for the week?

On Sunday, I thought I would start off with a fitness test – 30 minutes on the Concept 2 erg, shooting for max distance. I ended up at 7338 meters. The workout also included about 10 minutes of warm up. Cool down consisted of lying on the ground, gasping for breath. This workout was what gave me time in the two highest intensity zones in the chart above. My average HR for the effort was 167 and my max HR was 178, not bad for someone who’s measured max HR is 187.

Monday was 50 minutes on the elliptical trainer. I did intervals of 1 minute above threshold and 7 easy minutes.

Tuesday was an easy run. I went for 3 miles which was above the 2 miles I had planned, but my foot felt good so I added in some extra distance. The run was slow 9:28 pace but my HR stayed in the desired zone. This was a big win.

Wednesday and Thursday were off days, which was a good thing. My foot was a bit achy from the run on Tuesday.

Friday was another easy paced run, 2.5 miles at a 9:33 pace and once again I kept my HR spot on in the aerobic zone.

Saturday was an indoor aerobic circuit day of the elliptical trainer, inclined treadmill and erg. I did 2 circuits through with 10/10/12 minutes on each. I kept my HR low until the final time on the erg and then I let in creep up into Zone 4. All in all it was a great workout.

So I had a successful week of training. During the upcoming week, I am going to add a little bit to the duration of my workouts while keeping the overall intensity low. For the week I had 210 minutes of training, including 5.5 miles of running, So for this week, I will bump this up to 230 minutes and about 6 or 6.5 miles of running. Slow and steady will win this race.

 

Posted in DIY Obstacles, Gear reviews, Training

DIY Obstacles aka creating a home made OCR rig – Updated

Quite a while ago I added a post about how I created a home made OCR rig, DIY Obstacles aka creating a home made OCR rig. In the year since I added that post, I have updated the home made rig to be something far easier to use and much more convenient.

Instead of having to lug my things over to our local fitness center, now I can just attach them to the bottom of my kitchen deck. To do this I used 3 1/2 eye-bolts and pre-drilled holes into the bottom of the deck rafters and then I screwed in the eye-bolts. All of the attachments now can be added or removed with quick release clips. This is much move convenient than before.

I also make is much easier to do simple grip work since I can now do this at my house.

This made a huge difference this year in my ability to get across grip strength obstacles like the Ape-hanger at Palmerton.

Posted in Life lessons, Musings, Rehabilitation, Training

Training Plan

I am embarking on a new training plan to see how it works for me. The plan will be based on a statistically insignificant number of participants me (n=1).

The theory that I am following is based on a couple of premises:

  • I need a bigger aerobic engine;
  • I spend too much training time in the “Grey zone” to hard to be easy and too hard to be easy; and
  • When I incorporate strength work into my routines, i.e. OCR specific elements like heavy carries, pull-ups, and burpees, I over tax my body. Then it takes too long to recover for my next workout.

What does this look and feel like in real life? I am not really sure since I have never been able to follow a plan like this before. I always fall back into the theory of if a little is good, than more is better. While, I know in intellectually that this is not true, for some reason I always fall short on my ability to follow through on this.

So that is why I need to have this public experiment on myself. Maybe this will be what keeps me on the proper path as I move forward this year. So instead of trying to do the same thing and getting the same results I am going to try something different. Instead of my training being done in my own little world, I am going to let the world see what I am doing and see if this can keep me accountable. So with that said, I intend to guide my training in a couple of ways which will be new to me.

First, I intend to have my workouts planned for the week so I don’t have to figure out what to do on a given day, I will know exactly what the day entails. The workouts will be based on what I get from Yancy Camp, but in fairness to Yancy and his amazing program, I won’t be posting my exact workouts, but only a generalized version of the workout for the day. I plan to publish my workout plan for the week on Sunday and then a wrap up for the week the following Saturday. Or these may eventually morph into one posting

Second, every morning when i wake up; when I am done with my workouts for the day; and and when I am done with my training for the week,  I will ask myself a couple of critical questions.

  • How do I feel?
  • Do I feel beaten up to the point where I can’t workout?
  • Am I recovering well day-to-day or am I struggling to keep going?
  • How do I feel at the end of the week?

I will also be doing something else new, tracking my heart rate variability to see if that quantitative measure in addition to the qualitative measures gives me a better insight into my performance.

For a change I intend to track these answers and attempt to determine a correlation between how the data tracks and and how well my workouts go.

Anyone who wants to join me on this journey is welcome to follow.

Posted in Injury, Rehabilitation, Training

Training Begins: Oct 30 – Nov 5

Week 1 is in the books and even though it wasn’t perfect it wasn’t a bad start either.

The chart below shows my training time for the week broken out into HR Zones.

 

Chart

My goal was to keep 75% of my efforts in my aerobic zone (TrainingPeaks Zone 2).  For me, this is between 132-143 bpm, based on a max HR of 185 and a resting HR 45. As I did these “workouts”, that range seemed VERY, VERY low and at times it was hard not to bump up into zone 3 or even higher. I kept asking myself:

“Are these really even workouts?”

It felt like I was out for a leisurely stroll on what ever piece of equipment I was using  This was especially true while I was out on my bike.

When I did the math for the week I came out to 180 total minutes broken down to:

  • Zone 1 – 27 minutes – 15%
  • Zone 2 – 93 minutes – 51%
  • Zone 3 – 37 minutes – 20%
  • Zone 4 – 20 minutes – 11%
  • Zone 5 – 5 minutes – 3%

Numbers which are not far off my goals. The main thing to do are bump up some of the Zone 1 to Zone 2 and scale most of the Zone 4 down to Zone 2. I will see how that goes in week 2.

But, my two takeaways from the week are:

  • My foot feels great: and
  • I am not sore even though it was my first training in six weeks.

I plan to continue with the non-impact exercises for the next couple of weeks and then begin to gradually reintroduce running to my program either the last week of November or the first week of December depending on how impatient I become to start running again. Then as I progress through December I hope to be back to a level where I can run an easy 5k by the middle of January. That seems like such a low goal, but at this point by goal is to aim low and succeed, rather than aim high and injure myself.

But in the end, it just feels nice to be active again.

Posted in Injury, Life lessons, Musings, Rehabilitation, Training

Back to Training

While recovering and now as I prepare to get back to training, I have been listening to a several interesting fitness podcasts.  The Natural Running Network podcast by Richard Diaz, the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast and the Obstacle Order podcast. I am reading Ben’s Beyond Training book as well. What I have been trying to figure out is how to get back to training and how to train smartly so I don’t hurt myself, yet again. I really think staying healthy is a worthy goal.

A couple of days ago, I got a notification letting me know a new article was published on one of my favorite running blogs Relentless Forward Commotion. The post was about the value of heart rate zone training. As I read the post, I kept saying a few of things to myself:

  • I know that;
  • That makes sense;
  • Why can’t I do what is best for me?
  • Should I try to change my way of training?

Continue reading “Back to Training”