Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Now my feet won't touch the ground

So often I have trouble making the first step, but once I do I have such a good run or workout I can't understand why it was so difficult making that initial step. Today was one of those days that I exceeded my expectations every time I made the first step.

I'm reminded of a story I read about a high school girl who made a goal during her summer XC training to at least run a 1/4 mile to the end of her road each day and pet the neighbor's horse. If she didn't feel like running anymore she could always go home but at least she would make the effort to see the horse. She never went home after meeting her equine friend and continued to run further.

Today was a triathlon of cardio training with a bout of weights thrown in as well. My initial goal was to get 30 minutes of elliptical in but I got to 45 minutes. I wanted to test my leg with some uphill running on the treadmill so I attempted to get one mile in, but ended up with 2.5. Finally I hopped onto the stationary bike for 2 miles of biking to fulfill my NCC biking goal but got 4.5 in before having to get off to work. Total cardio time was 1:15 with HR around 140 (a little lower on bike).

I was pleased with how the leg felt running uphill as it didn't stress the hamstring like flat running does. I came across uphill treadmill work by accident a few years ago when I had a more significant hamstring problem. Today I had the treadmill set at 10% grade and the speed at 5.3 MPH. I've found that I can get the same cardio workout by manipulating the grade/speed and not put the same stress on my legs while still getting the specific effect of running. Jack Daniels has a formula for equating grade/speed to flat speed. But the most simple is just using HR.

Over the past few years I've used uphill treadmill for warmup/warmdown to get the running in but take the pounding off the legs. A typical session will start at 15% grade and 4-4.5 MPH depending on fitness. Every minute or two I will drop the grade 1% and increase speed .3-.4 MPH while watching HR. Sometimes I'll drop grade 1.5% and raise speed .4-.5 MPH. The main thing is keeping the HR at whatever level you need for easy run pace. For me that is 140 BPM give or take.

Tomorrow I start a new strength routine with Skinny Raven's in house personal trainer, Laura Gorsuch, who is on her personal road to Boston. I'm looking forward to getting out of my strength training rut and having someone else to push me. Unfortunately, Laura is way stronger than me so I will also be developing my humility at the same time I'm doing strength. However, today's quote reminds me that I'm not competing against Laura but myself.

Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves - to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today - Stewart B Johnson
Mission accomplished for today.


Jole said...

yeah! Good for you!! Thanks for the idea of manipulating the treadmill! Sometimes the flat is just boring!!! I like a little change in grade.
Humility??? Wait till you get to the pool on Friday!!! haha! Just kidding :) Humility was actually me skiing last night and getting pointers from a friend- I am a tiny ounce better technique wise though....

Kelrock said...

Keep me posted on your new strength ideas!