Showing posts with label weight lifting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight lifting. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Good pain and bad pain

Here's a recap of my running since last Thursday:

Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 0 miles
Sunday: 0 miles
Monday: 0 miles
Tuesday: 0 miles

Despite that, I'm extremely sore all the way from my hamstring to my upper arms. I'm fine with the upper body soreness because it's the result of exercise. I decided to act on my new resolution to add strength training to my routine and did a 45 minute workout on Sunday. Don't be impressed. I used two 10 lb. hand weights and barely broke a sweat.

I didn't want to overdo it, because the last time I worked with weights, I ended up straining my back. The fact that a light workout has resulted in so much soreness tells me that I need to spend much more time on upper body training. All the same, it's nice knowing that this discomfort is due to effort, not injury.

The soreness I'm feeling in my glutes and hamstring is not making me very happy. I've always coped with minor injuries by taking a few days off from running. A short rest usually had me back on the road within a week. The pain I felt during last week's Hangover Run wasn't debilitating, but it was a clear signal that I needed a lot more recovery time.

It's been five days since my last run and I think I'm going to take a sixth day off tomorrow. The pain has dulled, but a quick jog down the hall tells me more mending time is needed. I'll probably try an elliptical session on Thursday morning to gauge my progress. Depending on that result, I'll either plan for a Friday morning run or make an appointment with an orthopedist.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Upper body ignorance is no longer bliss

Getting pumped
Today's workout (light upper body): 25 minutes

Mondays are typically my rest day and I had no intention of running this morning. I felt some energy and that inspired me to try a little upper body work. I've read many articles about the benefits of strength training, not only to improve running performance, but also for the way it helps maintain bone density. Many runners ignore their upper body thinking that it's all about their legs. But there has to be a reason why Usain Bolt has arms that would make most gym rats envious.

In terms of upper body development, I'm about as far opposite to Mr. Bolt as one can get. I'm not without muscle or (surprisingly) definition, but I have much room for improvement. That improvement did not come today, but it was a start. Instead of counting reps, I selected something distracting on the TV and did bicep curls with alternating arms (8 lb. each arm) for 10 minutes. I followed that with 10 minutes of reverse curls and finished with some isometric exercises.

It wasn't a lot of weight and my workout was hardly difficult, but I did break a sweat. After ignoring my arms and wrists for so long, I wasn't about to injure myself by over-training. If I can do this workout once a week, I'll bet I'll see some results, after a while. I know that arm speed relates directly to cadence, and if stronger arms will lead to more steps per minute, sign me up.

We'll be in Montauk for a few days and I'm hoping to get some runs in near the water. Fast running with an ocean view. Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All exercise but running is boring

A big reason I like to run is the feeling of travel and progress. You start here, go there and if you're fortunate you'll see interesting things along the way. Eventually you'll come back feeling like something good has just happened. This travel and visual stimulation are lacking on the treadmill although some may argue that an HDTV can be a good substitute for the great outdoors. To me it's still work and I always have this nagging sense that I'm cheating with the treadmill because the tread helps move you along in a way that roads or trails do not.

The elliptical is a nice alternative and I am a fan but I also view it as a form of work. While the idea of it is great, it's just a machine built for repetition. Nothing stimulating about that. The end justifies the means but the means are a bit boring, HDTV or not. Some of my running friends are taking to their bikes for the summer and I'm starting to think about doing that as well but my bike needs a serious tune up or replacement. In the meantime my non-running choices are limited.

This morning I decided to give my legs a rest and instead did some work on my much neglected upper body. This, like the treadmill and the elliptical, is a tedious process. I worked with two 10 lb. free weights and did lots of repetitions, isolating different muscles each time. I spent about 25 minutes on this activity and built a good sweat (though nothing like what a get from a run). I have no idea if it did any good but I was happy that I gave my legs a break and still did a workout. All the same I'd rather be running.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Low impact, high diversity

I've been taking it fairly easy over the past few days. A real rest day on Friday, a normal long run on Saturday (5 miles) and a shorter run on Sunday (2.5 miles) made a little more challenging via trails and mud. I do think there's something to resting but I also think it's important to get my heart rate up every day to maintain a good level of conditioning. This weekend I found mixing up the workout to be a good way to isolate muscles and give them a rest while staying true to my daily routine.

I felt as though yesterday's trail run provided a greater than average effort-to-distance ratio, meaning that I worked harder than usual to reach my distance. All the same I felt like I should have gone longer so later in the day, when my wife went upstairs to do the elliptical, I joined her by doing about 20 minutes of core and 15 minutes working my arms with free weights.

Keeping in mind that I had already exercised in the morning I didn't push too hard but I finished feeling energized and satisfied that I made some gains. This morning I continued the low impact routine with 15 minutes of elliptical set to medium resistance. The rest of the week will be more intense but I wanted to give myself a break for a few days. Tomorrow I'll be running in a 4K training session and I'm sure I'll appreciate the rest I've taken.

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