Across the Years Training Weeks 12 and 13 Recap
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So I signed up for my first 24 Hour foot race and detailed my high level training plan and my nutrition plan.

So now I will detail my training from Weeks 12 and 13

acroos the years calendar week 12

week 13 calendar

I missed posting last Sunday on Weeks 12 Recap (but I got up my Leibster Award post on that Saturday) but feel like I do have a good amount of info to share this post that hopefully makes up for it 🙂

  • The biggest news (and I know I have written this same thing a couple of times over the past few months) is that I am running again! Yay. Utterly perfect weather to start doing it again (45 – 50 degrees) too. The reason that I am able to has a lot to do with the Graston that I got done on my calves a few weeks ago (that I detail below). As I had written in a previous post, I am going to be making most of my runs “race specific” by training them run/walk just like my race will be. I determined a great routine is 1/3 mile run, 1/6 mile walk, 1/3 mile run and then 1/6 mile walk. This way the walking still has a chance to allow me to recharge, but doesn’t have as much of an impact on my overall pace. Let’s hope this running thing continues!
  • I wrote about thinking of using paper clips to help me remember how many rounds of stair climbing I had done (as I am doing it) and I tried it out.. and it works great!

paperclips-on-shorts

I decided before hand the number of rounds up (in this case 12 because I wanted to get 50 total floors done and I was doing a 4 floor side of the building) and attached that many paper clips to the bottom of my shirt. I actually used three different paper clips so as to kind of break up the workout into three sections. It did make it a bit easier mentally that way. Then when I got to the final floor (before taking the elevator down) I pulled off a paper clip and put it on a ledge near the elevator. This way when I reached the top I always knew how many I had just completed! It worked really great except the specific shirt that I had on had a little bit of an overlapping edge at the bottom and so sometimes the clips would get a bit caught as I was taking them off. Not a big deal and you wouldn’t have to deal with that on most shirts. I think the bottom of the shirt where I had it is the best place for them. One thing that I thought might happen is that I would kind of feel them there bouncing or something, but I didn’t feel anything at all. I think you could also put them on a wrist band or on the brim of your hat. I think they might get a bit annoying on the collar of your shirt. I really think this is a fun and easy way to remember any sort of interval training where you don’t (or can’t easily) remember how many intervals you have done. Good for those 10X800m or 8X1 mile runs. It is nice to not have to have question yourself as to if you just did 5 or 6 🙂 I will definitely be using this technique for my stair climbing training!

stairclimbing-elelevator

  • So after my last recap, I was thinking about something… I hadn’t been doing strictly “aerobic training” for about a month (because of the right foot and its disallowing me from running) but I wondered if I was getting any sort of reasonable aerobic work from the workouts that I was doing. I was pretty certain that they weren’t equivalent to an 8 mile Tempo run, but were they providing a moderate lower intensity aerobic benefit (while of course strengthening my muscles)? Well I found it is having more of a lower intensity aerobic impact than I thought and that is a great feeling. So I wore my Garmin 610 and my heart rate monitor to my workouts to see what was happening:

On Thursday, October 3rd I did my normal workout and

hr-two

There was definitely some serious spikes (obviously when I was doing the movements) and overall for the entire 1:21 I was at 127 bpm which is good because I am planning on my race HR to average between 130 – 140 (for as long as I can hold it that low.. it will naturally get higher as the evening goes on but the longer I can hold it in that range the better).

Then on Sunday, October 6th I did my longer weekend workout and it was

hr-one

It was higher overall and had higher max HR (that was in the beginning when I was doing the conventional deadlifts.. the more muscles you use the more blood is necessary.. it barely got below 150 bpm even while resting in between sets!). Looking at the chart, the overall would have been in the low 130’s had I not screwed around a bit when I was done and forgot to turn off the monitoring. So 2:20 at 129 bpm overall is good.

Then I ran on the morning of Wednesday, October 9th and it was

hr-four

So not much higher than my gym workouts overall and with significantly lower max. Interesting and cool that I really had been working my heart in a way that will have benefits for my race even though I wasn’t running (and all of the extra training that I will continue to do now that I am running will have extra low intensity aerobic benefits).

Then that same night I went to the gym and decided to see if I could bump my overall HR up a bit by reducing the time in between sets. I took a max of 30 seconds rest in between each set and only enough time in between exercises to find and set up the exercise.

hr-three

It had an impact and that is great! I may continue to try and reduce the time in between my sets to have this added benefit. There are workouts when I won’t (it definitely makes it tougher) and it does have somewhat of an impact on your strength, but when I do I am training my heart as well as my muscles. I recognize that it isn’t steady state fast pace running HR’s but I am not training for a 10K.

Then on Friday I went for another 4 mile run and

hr-five

for some reason it was overall higher even though it was a very similar workout.

Then on Saturday night, I did a serious stair climbing workout. Doing 60 total floors and taking only the amount of rest in between climbs that it took to take the elevator down to the starting floor each time. It was a 4 floor climb and it is kind of cool to see the regularity with which my heart rate went down and then up and how the intervals slowly but progressively had a higher start and finish heart rate. That is interval training! I hope to do close to 100 floors before the race, but 60 solid floors was a great workout… my quads were overflowing with blood on the last few rounds and it only took me almost exactly 30 minutes. My legs felt near the end like they will probably feel late into this race, so the more frequently I can push them into that territory and the longer I can go before they feel like that in the coming weeks.. I think the better off I will be.

hr-seven

Then this morning, I did glutes, abs, delts and biceps and my HR went as so. Another good gym workout from a HR perspective because it averaged in the low 130s. I have no way to explain how it somehow jumped into the 190’s except it was simply an error.. or I was about to have a heart attack.. but I think it was just an error because I felt fine 🙂

hr-six

  • So based off of my chiropractors recommendation to try and attack my foot issue from a different angle, I went to my myo-fascial release massage therapist to see if he couldn’t help open up my calves and plantar fascia to help me start running again. I saw him on October 3rd after work and it had a significant impact. Myo fascial release massage is not “fun and relaxing” massage.. it is therapeutic and generally not particularly pleasant. The idea behind it (which I very much believe in) is to loosen up the fascia around the muscles so that the muscles can flow more freely unrestricted. Getting the fascia to loosen up though requires some serious massage and it isn’t the most pleasant thing… and when he finds specific knots and adhesions he uses these torture devices called Graston tools (many are metal but his are these hard plastic)

graston-tools

He literally digs into your muscle and scrapes back and forth over the adhesion to break it up. I have to be honest when I say it can be horrificly painful.. and in this particular instance it was horrifically painful. I asked him to stop mid way through so that I could catch my breath.. wow it hurt in a way that not many things do. I have had Graston done on other parts of my body over the years and the first time I had it done was on my back. I knew that my back was tight and he wanted to use the tools to loosen it up and it was in the top 3 most painful experiences I have ever had. My back bruised up seriously from it for 4-5 days, but it worked. On Thursday, he found a couple of adhesions in my right calf and worked them thoroughly. One of the areas was where the gastroc meets the soleus.. they were slightly adhered together and apparently this isn’t that uncommon. Well that night and the next couple of days my calf was bruised up. It hurt to the touch. He told me not to run on it for 72 hours and I didn’t. It worked though, I had much better movement throughout the calf and am now able to run. So it was worth it. I believe that my calf got tightened up from the original injury I got over the summer at the Track Series and I hadn’t worked through that yet. I am going to see him (and will have him work on my whole body) two more times before the race.

cocogo-bottle

and I must say I really like the bottle a lot! It is my first Polar Bottle and I really like it! It is very comfortable to hold, attractive and does keep the liquid colder a lot longer than a regular bottle. Plus I like the little strap. Very cool. The Cocogo drink itself seems fine. It tastes pretty good (I received the Raspberry flavor) and I like the fact that it is high in B-Vitamins (especially B-12). They are very important. But I am disappointed that it doesn’t have more Potassium than it has since it is based off of Coconut Water. The reason why I bring a good amount of Coconut water to my ultras is because of the cramp reducing effect from the really high levels of potassium in it, and Cocogo doesn’t have very high levels so to me it’s value is limited. So there is my short little review 🙂

So onto last week:

Tuesday the 1st: For some reason I woke up at 1am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep so somehow I had a good if short workout but was utterly destroyed, light headed and felt like a zombie.

I did 6 sets on the Cybex Squat Leg Press ending with 630X12 and 720X5 my strongest yet.

4 sets for Abs

9 light sets for Chest

Wednesday the 2nd: At night after work (got up too late this morning) at a different Golds gym and felt phenomenal.

I actually wanted to try and finish yesterdays Chest workout so I did 13 more sets (but Tuesdays was pressing and todays was all pulling.. either pec deck or cable crossovers). I felt really great.

16 sets for Traps (getting to the heaviest dumbbells that they had using the 150’sX8)

6 sets for Forearms/Grips doing standing wrist curls and weight plate levering

Thursday the 3rd: 5 sets for Glutes (doing the entire rack on the Life Fitness Glute Press for the first time at 200lbs)

19 sets for Delts (hitting 145X4 for seated behind the neck presses which was cool)

9 sets for Biceps hitting 60’s for Seated Hammer Curls which felt reasonably strong

Sunday the 6th: 7 sets of COnventional Deadlifts hitting 345X5 and 365X3 which felt good but I slightly strained my left glute a bit. It was sore to the touch that night but seemed to be pretty much 100% 48 hours… it was strange and haven’t really experienced anything like it before from any sport. I haven’t had a chance to ask my chiropractor about it yet (but will next week). I can pinpoint exactly where it was so perhaps he can tell me what he thought happened.

23 sets for Lats

8 sets for Triceps and left because of concern over my glute

Wednesday the 9th: 4 miles of run/walking! I’m back to running again. so cool. I think pretty much all of my running will be in the run/walk style that I will be using at the race. I do 1/3 mile running, 1/6 mile walking, 1/3 mile running then 1/6 mile walking 11:40 pace overall. Was happy with it.

Then at night I hit the gym and intentionally only took 30 seconds in between sets to see how high I could get my overall Heart Rate. It was a great tough workout. I decided to go higher rep and lower weight this week as I just felt like my body needed it.
I did 5 lighter sets of the Cybex Squat Leg Press

5 sets for Abs/Obliques

18 sets for Chest

13 sets for Traps (going pretty heavy on the Smith Machine Front Shrugs at 360X8)

4 sets for Forearms/Grip with Standing Wrist Curls

Friday the 11th: I ran again! I did 4 miles run/walk at 11:14 pace overall (I ran the last half mile instead of walking the last 1/6) Felt a bit harder and my overall heart rate was higher for some reason (but still generally low) but it was good!

Saturday the 12th: For some reason really wanted to get in a solid stair climbing workout at 6:00pm at night.. probably a combination of I hadn’t stairclimbed this week and I also felt this compulsion to get in a workout because I am less than 3 months out (and I had run the day before so wasn’t going to run). It turned out to be one of my best ever and the HR results (shown above) showed it to be a very solid 30 minute workout. I did 60 total floors doing the 4 floor stairwell and only resting in between as long as it took to get back down to the starting floor. I was happy and my legs were seriously worked.

Sunday the 13th: Thought about running in the morning then directly going to the gym.. but after the stairclimbing the day before decided that the gym alone was enough. I plan on running tomorrow and trying to get in a run almost every other day so the fact that I only got in two runs this week is fine. I did get in 2 runs and feel good and that is the main thing.

I did 7 sets for Glutes and was happy about being able to do forward lunges again. I couldn’t do them while my calf was messed up because you need to be able to lever your calf to do them. This was another great indication that I am basically mended. I also did my heaviest side lunges yet at 115lbs.. they were tough but such a great overall exercise. My HR was high while doing both versions of lunges!

I did 5 sets for Abs/Obliques

19 sets for Delts.. sticking with the higher reps and lower weight approach for a little while only going up to a pair of 60lb dumbbells seated for reps.

12 sets for Biceps using significantly light weight as my right biceps is not 100% after the really heavy hammer curls last week. Getting the blood into them was helpful I think and they should be 100% soon.

3 sets of Ironmind Gripper Holds for Time. These were fun and a nice change from doing reps. I also got approached by another gym goer that apparently had a lot of experience and strength in grip strength and bending and had a really interesting variation on using the grippers that I will talk about in a future post. He may be extremely strong on them and I am bringing in my arsenal for next Sunday to see what he can do.

Best of luck in your training,

Chris

10 thoughts on “Across the Years Training Weeks 12 and 13 Recap

  1. sami

    As I’ve been training for my marathon I’ve been doing a little walking during my long runs. Not much, just enough to give my legs a rest and to re-set myself 🙂

    Reply
    1. Chris M Post author

      It is a very valuable technique to allow us to go farther easier. As I am proving with using my HR monitor, your HR still stays up pretty significantly during the walking breaks so it is not like you aren’t still getting aerobi training.

      Reply
    1. Chris M Post author

      Thanks Meghan! I’m giving it my best shot and hoping for the best. Typing this at 4:30am about to go for a run so I am continuing to be able to and that is a good feeling 🙂
      I really like the polar bottle. I couldn’t use it to run with but its great for taking with me when out.

      Reply
  2. Natalie

    Great idea with the paperclips!

    Aren’t painful massages the best/worst? My husband doesn’t get the hurts good concept, but I figure no pain, no gain.

    Reply
    1. Chris M Post author

      Thanks Natalie!
      Yes there just came a point where I was getting frustrated forgetting how many times I had gone up the stairwell and I wanted to think of an easy way to help with that.. so I happened to be in the supply room at work and saw the paper clips and wondered if they would work… and they did.
      Yes I am not a fan of pain without purpose, but sometimes (especially if you are trying to fix an issue) you have to have someone get in there really deep and scrape away… but damn can it be absolutely brutal!

      Reply
    1. Chris M Post author

      Thanks Jill,

      I am lucky in that I really love the gym and stair climbing, so it never feels like a chore (the getting out of bed at 4:00am can sometimes). If I had to do other forms of cross training that I didn’t really like it would be very challenging mentally to be consistent with them. It would just feel like work. Finding effective and efficient cross training that you at least somewhat enjoy is a journey no doubt. But I believe doing more than just running is essential.

      Reply

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