Sunday, January 17, 2010

Spring Training

This week started my spring training.  Right now I'm not training for anything specific other than general stress relief and overall fitness.  My work and school schedule made it really difficult last year to do much more.

I've been running for a little over two years now, but I'm still a solid back-of-the-pack runner. I haven't improved much.  I still run around 12:45 min/mi for 5ks and 14ish min/mi for 10 miles or half marathons.  I started with a lot of run/walking and now can run nonstop for over an hour.  The little gains are what improving as a back-of-the-pack runner is all about.

And making my Nike+ Mini do the electric slide. Isn't she cute?! Nike+ is a great way to have fun while geeking out on stats.  I'm trying to make it past 1000 miles this year.  Any iPod or iPhone runners should use this app!  And let me know your Nike+ ID so that I can finally have friends on there!

One of my favorite workouts came from a Runner's World article. I run a majority of the time on treadmills and I live in a relatively flat city.  So the Indoor Hills workout (#3) is my go-to hill interval workout.  I think this workout is what got me to improve my fitness enough to get a 4 minute PR (personal record) and be able to tackle New Hampshire hills.  My previous PR was 3:17:09 at the 2008 Rock'N'Roll San Antonio.  I then got a 3:13:10 when I ran the 2009 CHaD Half Marathon with Beth in New Hampshire.  Actually, I was pacing her most of the way and could have probably gone faster, but it definitely was one of the best running experiences I've ever had.  New Hampshire is a really beautiful place to run!

"Hill training is almost as effective in building aerobic power as track interval training," says [Chris] Phelan. "And it's far more effective in building strength."

The hill workout could easily be modified for other machines, I think, but I've never tried it.  I go pretty slow and the workout kicks my butt every time, but I feel like I have accomplished something afterward.  It was really rewarding to be able to speed up the workout over the course of a few months.  Before the CHaD Half Marathon I think I got it up to 4.5mph, but this week I couldn't even make it through the workout at 4.0 mph. 

Even with the difficult run, I felt awesome after I was finished.  Sweaty and tired, but awesome.  And I felt the same after yesterday's long (5 mile) run.  I seem to forget when I have a busy day or week or month how much my body likes to be worked. 

My body also loves to lift weights.  I was filling out hours in my final semester at Texas Tech and took a weight lifting class.  I looked the best of my life at that point.  I have two weight lifting days in my spring training plan which will be following the New Rules of Lifting for Women workouts. I started this program before, but ended up so sore after the workouts that I could barely move the next day.  So far this past week has been rewarding without the awkward post-workout movement.

I think I'm going to try to run a full marathon at the Rock'N'Roll Las Vegas at the beginning of December. I've heard great things about the race and it's a location I can convince my entourage to follow me to.  And it's Vegas, Baby!  I hope everything I'm trying to cram into 2010 cooperates and I can finally do a full marathon!


Amanda said...

You're doing so much better than I ever could. I've never been able to jog very fast at all, even at the height of fitness. I don't land on my feet correctly or use my hips correctly or something.

Ann said...

But you're doing well too with your elliptical work! Everyone needs to find something that works for them. Just doing something, like walking the dog, is an accomplishment!