Showing posts with label strength. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strength. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I need a change but I don't want to tri

Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

My friend and colleague KWL participated in a sprint triathlon on Sunday and placed in the top 20% of finishers. He's training for an Olympic length triathlon that's happening in September and is being coached through a corporate program. KWL is already a strong cyclist and a naturally fast runner. Unbelievably, he only learned to swim in the last two years, but he's doing well in competition.

KWL said that I should do a triathlon but I quickly dismissed the idea because I'm a mediocre cyclist and a slow swimmer. Laughably, running would be my strongest sport of the three. I'll admit that I'm at a low point in terms of competitive motivation for running and a triathlon might be a way to restore my spirit. I'm just not that interested in swimming and biking.

I have been thinking about adding some strength training to my routine because it would probably contribute to better running performance. After looking at a full length mirror in the hotel fitness center last week, I was shocked by how skinny my legs have gotten. The muscle tone is there, but the muscle mass is missing. A little focus on building some bulk may provide a lift, both physically and mentally.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I'm 40% short of "good"

With an emphasis on "hard"
Today's workout (core and strength training): 20 minutes

I'm being tortured again by the beautiful weather. Just going outside to put up a new clock in the pool area has me itching to go out for a run. It's sunny, 64° with 54% humidity today. Maybe I'll allow myself a very easy bike ride later.

This morning I ran through my standard set of core exercises and added some other elements. I never feel like I work hard enough after completing a core session even though I add more repetitions than what's specified in my instructions. I started reading the current issue of TrailRunner magazine and saw an article about improving your strength-to-weight ratio. The article includes a chart that lists the amount of push-ups that a person should be able to do based on their gender and age.

The ideal core strength-to-weight ratio (CSSWR) is 4 (or below) with 4+ to 8 categorized as "adequate." I missed the ideal by quite a bit and while I got close to doing 20 push-ups I'm still about 40% short of being "good." I'm guessing that these categories are based on tuned, not recreational, athletes like me. But I like a challenge and now that I have a benchmark I'll see how well I progress against this index.

Tomorrow I'm running the NHP 8K for the third consecutive year and I go into it feeling relatively ready. I'm planning on wearing the Hattori's for the first time in a race and that will be interesting. In terms of performance I'm hoping that I'll beat my prior time but I'll be happy just as long as I enjoy the experience.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I may be weak but I'm slow!

Up until yesterday I was feeling very good about my state of conditioning. I was chatting with a work colleague who I hadn't seen for a few weeks and he asked me if I'd lost weight. I didn't know how to respond to that question. Yes, I did lose weight when I restarted running back in 2008. Forty pounds in fact, all due to lower calorie consumption and more activity. More recently, after battling severe pneumonia, I lost another five pounds. My recovery is now complete and my weight is back to mid-December levels so I was puzzled by his question. The next thing he said floored me, "You look kind of...weak." Weak? I really didn't know how to respond to that. Then I thought about it and realized that it's probably true. While my running gives me stamina, I'm not doing all that much to build strength. A year ago I was mixing up my workouts and including core exercises and some upper body conditioning. In the time that I've returned to daily exercise I've been focused solely on running. Even my elliptical sessions have been more about speed than effort. I decided that it's time to stop ignoring my core and upper body.

Although my wife and I have accumulated a closet full of hand weights I'm loathe to use them. I find weight lifting to be mind numbingly boring. I've been thinking about getting one of those stretch band systems that attach to a doornob and provide a variety of ways to exercise muscle groups. It's low tech but it works, as do sit-ups and push ups. This morning I chose the elliptical but cranked up the resistance as high as I could handle. It felt good and it was good preparation for my trail race. The benefits that come from moving the unit's upper poles is questionable but it's better than doing nothing. I'm going to put some more attention to strength building and I'm hoping to gain about five pounds through upper body muscle development. I suspect that strengthening my core will also lead to better running performance.

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