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.
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.
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.
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”
Last night was the end of an era. (I hope). That is my boot and I think it is apparent that my foot is not in it.
At the end of the day, I removed the boot and put it into the closet. If all goes well, it will never again see the light of day.
I wish I could say that I ‘m not apprehensive about what it is going to happen now that I have removed the boot and can walk normally for the first time in five weeks. But, it is my nature is to be concerned. Continue reading “The End of an Era”
As I sit and wait (literally and figuratively) for my foot to heal, the free time has given me the ability to look at my situation and spend some time in what I hope to be positive reflection.
The first thing that I need to admit to myself, is that I am enjoying the down time. Yes, as weird as this may sound, I am liking the time away from working out. After several years of training and competing the break is relaxing, both mentally and physically. Continue reading “Reflection on an injury”