Monday, February 29, 2016

Training Log: 2/22 - 2/28 (Rest Week)

I generally train on a four-week cycle, three working weeks and a rest week.  Last week was a Rest Week, and it came off of a very hard Week 3 in which I put in a super-intense session of yoga, swimming, and Mossa Group Power endurance weight training on Saturday, followed by a 6.5-mile long, slow distance run on Sunday.  That combination flattened me, and even with the Rest Week, it took me until Thursday to start feeling like myself again.

There's a line between working and over-working, and I think I went over that line two weeks ago.  It's good to have time to recover, but the sheer amount of recovery required this week was a little frightening.  I did eventually put in a good run, but it wasn't until Sunday, and up to then, I'd felt like hamburger.
Swim, Bike, Run
My weeks typically look like this:
  • Monday: Off
  • Tuesday: Weights with Hannah
  • Wednesday: Lunchtime run
  • Thursday: Swim
  • Friday: Lunchtime run
  • Saturday: Yoga / swim / weights
  • Sunday: Long, slow distance run
Add in three or four commute rides, and it's not a bad plan.  For my Rest Week, though, I changed it up a bit, taking out about half of my normal routine:
  • Monday: Off
  • Tuesday: Weights with Hannah
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Lunchtime run
  • Saturday: Yoga / swim / weights
  • Sunday: Tempo run
I was lucky that I didn't have to ride my commute a lot, which let me rest when I was supposed to be resting.

My goal this week was to put in somewhere between 60 and 70 points.  With that in mind, I cut my mid-week swim and only hit the pool once, on Saturday morning.  It wasn't the world's hardest swim, but I managed to hold it together.  That's about the best that can be said for it.

5 x 100 @ 1:30 easy
200 kick
6 x 50 @ :45, breathing every 3rd
 -- focus on taking long, balanced strokes

Main Set
2 x 300 @ 4:15
3 x 200 pull @ 2:50

100 warm down

2300 yard; no big deal.  I should mention that I'd planned to close out the workout with 6 x 100 @ 1:25 but skipped it.  Like I said, I was tired all week, and as you'll see, that worked out fine points-wise.  Plus it left me with energy for the weight room afterwards.

Swimming Total: 1 x swims (2300); 23 pts

Two commute rides.  The ride on Monday, coming off my long run, was not fun.  Then it rained for two days, so that by the time I hit the bike again on Thursday, I'd had two days away from aerobic training, and a full day off.

Thursday's ride was better.  It's getting lighter and a bit warmer, and that makes riding much more fun.

Cycling Total: 2 x commute rides (21.4 miles) 21.4 pts

As I've said before, I've been run-focused lately.  This week was no different.  I took Friday off, so I could teach "A Brief History of World War II on the Western Front" to the sixth graders at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, and when I got home I did some yoga and ran.  Wound up going four miles easy, thinking that would be my long run for the week.

As a would-be history teacher Friday morning.  You probably can't see it, but I'm
wearing my ring, a Class of '95 crest on my collar, and a USMA tie-tack.
But Sunday was glorious.  As we were driving home from church, I realized that if I put in something like 4.5-miles that afternoon, I would hit not only 75% of my run mileage from the previous week but also 75% of my aerobic point-total as well.  You typically want Rest Weeks to be about 75% of working weeks, so I decided to do exactly that.

Awesome run.  Running along the beach in full sunlight after an easy week put a major spring in my step.  I took the first two miles at 8:50 and accelerated gently.  I had a stiff wind in my face the whole way out, so when I turned, it felt like I had taken off a backback.  My splits dropped to 8:15/mile, and I felt as strong as I've felt in years.

Post-run selfie down by Short Beach in Stratford.
Ultimately this is how I want my half-marathon to go--easy and controlled on the way out, then accelerating strongly in the last half.  I could've held that 8:15/mile pace for another half-hour at least.  Afterwards, I felt great.  Endorphins, baby!

Running Total: 2 x runs (4, 4.5); 34.0 pts

Aerobic Total: 78.4 pts

That works out to be almost exactly 70% of the 115 points I put in last week.  Not too shabby.

I should note that I maybe ran a little hard Sunday afternoon.  It took awhile, but the piano finally fell in on me later that day, and I woke up a bit sore.  That wasn't the plan for a Rest Week, but it doesn't change what was still a glorious run.

Hannah and I lifted together on Tuesday, but she ditched me on Saturday.  That probably worked out for the best--at least in terms of my personal schedule--but as a father and would-be coach, I think I should have pushed a little harder to have her accompany me.

Tuesday: Warm-Up
Arm Circles
3 x Sunrise Salutes
General Stretching

Tuesday: Main Sets
4 x DB Bench Press / Tuck-Ups
3 x DB Chest Flies / Lower Back Extensions
3 x Triceps Press / Triceps Extensions

Once again, Tuesday went quick.  Hannah wanted to work chest and triceps ("We always do back and shoulders"), so we did that.  However, we always seem run late, so we never have quite as much time as I would like.

Saturday was a different day.  I always do super-sets, but without Hannah, I did super-sets of three rather than two.  I also pushed way harder than I would ever allow Hannah to push in the weight room, but I doubt that her presence would have kept me from working hard.  Finally, it is perhaps worth noting that I did maybe 20-minutes of yoga before I hit the water, swam, and then lifted weights.  That was good because it meant that when I hit the weight room, I was already fully warmed up.

4 x Barbell Hangs / Reverse Grip Barbell Rows / Goblet Squats
4 x DB Military Press / Reverse Flies / Sit-Ups (25)
4 x Cable Rows / Plank-Twists / Single-Leg Squats
4 x Standing Curls

The theory here, such as it is, has us working isolated muscle groups on Tuesdays--in an attempt to make the best use of our limited time--while we try to put in a full-body workout on Saturdays.  We rotate emphasis during the week, but we try to hit legs and core every time.  The super-sets allow us to work opposing muscle groups quickly, cutting down on rest, which is good because we're ultimately training for endurance events rather than power.

I'm running better, and Hannah is much improved in her dance and gymnastics.  I'm also using a lot more Ben-Gay, but what can you do?  We're doing the best we can with the time we have.

Looking Forward
I'm a little tired today coming off of Sunday's run, which is not exactly what I had in mind.  However, this is a new week, and the start of a new workout cycle.  It also promises to be insanely busy.

We'll see how that goes.

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