FORGING IRON | WEEK 12

Only got six training sessions in this week, so I felt like a slacker. The running is improving, but with the Chicago Marathon less than two months away, I need to try to accelerate that improvement without injuring myself.

MONDAY

Strength - Upper Body

Monday Gunday.

No? Okay fine.

I worked upper body with David today, and this time we attacked specific weaknesses of my physique, namely upper chest and biceps. 

Superset 1

Bench press: 4 sets x 8 reps

Push-Ups: 4 sets x 5 reps

Superset 2

Incline bench press: 4 sets x 8 reps

Incline Cable Row: 4 sets x 5 reps

Superset 3

Hammer curl: 4 sets x 8 reps

Spider curl: 4 sets x 8 reps

David also set the weights on the chest portions at a point where I would be barely able to finish the last couple reps. I can already tell I will have another couple days of upper body soreness, and I'm so excited for that.

TUESDAY

Running

This morning called for a tempo run, and again I was aiming for 9:00/mi. I ended up averaging 9:06/mi which is pretty close, but I wasn't as consistent as I would have liked. I ended up having to take a few walking breaks when my breathing became too labored, otherwise I would have easily hit my goal (and then some).

I have been refreshing my running technique by watching some videos by Sage Canaday, and they are great. Very simple tips that seem obvious, but being reminded of them really helps when I am struggling on a run. For example, in one of his videos on running form, he talks about how smaller, faster strides help to alleviate the strain on the lungs and knees because you're not working quite as hard. Then in another video he talks about breathing deeply from the stomach rather than the chest. This is all stuff I had already learned, but it's been so long since I trained for a long distance run that I had forgotten some things.

If you like or are even interested in running, then I highly recommend his videos.

WEDNESDAY

Running

Second consecutive day of running, and I felt good. Today was another Fartlek run, which in case you forgot, just means that I alternated between sprinting and jogging for about 6 miles.

One interesting thing that happened was when I checked my Strava data following the run, I had averaged 9:06/mi, which was the exact same pace that I had for the last two runs. At least I'm consistent?

I probably started my warm-up too fast, averaging under 8:00/mi for the first couple miles before I started the sprint intervals. I doubt taking the beginning slower would have had any major impact on my stamina during sprinting or my overall pace, but who knows. It's clear that I really need to learn how to control myself better, and not let my music or adrenaline make me do things in training that will hurt me later on.

Still, it was a good run, and I have a session with my swim coach scheduled for this evening.

Swimming

Have I mentioned just how much I hate Florida summers? At this point it's not about the heat, that just comes with being in Florida in general. It's the storms.

Today's session went like this:

  1. Driving to meet my coach: Sky is clear
  2. Get to the pool and get in the water: Sky is clear
  3. Swim one lap: Thunder close by, pool gets closed

This is just seriously inconvenient.

THURSDAY

Took this morning off because of a doctor's appointment, and then evening plans. It kind of sucks sometimes when life gets in the way of training, even if it's social life. It makes me feel less productive.

FRIDAY

Strength Training - Lower Body

The lower body session got pushed back a few days, so today was a double-header of legs and core work.

Jahmale started off the session with a superset of walking barbell lunges and dumbbell jump squats. I was basically done halfway through the FIRST superset, that's how brutal it was. But I made it through the first part, and on to the second superset of jumping lunges and leg extensions. I had to take a few breaks during this second series, because holy shit it was difficult. Not because of any pain, but just the feeling that my legs would give out from exhaustion at any minute. We finished up with hanging leg extensions and one-legged bosu ball squats, then a final burnout on the treadmill with resistance.

I only get 3 hours of rest before I get punished by Deano...

Strength Training - Core

I probably should have taken a little more time between workouts, but whatever, I managed to make it through somehow.

Deano must really like to see me suffer, because she programmed the same exercises that I struggled with last week again this week. Which meant I started off the session with a crazy trio of decline weighted crunches, leg lifts, and barbell ab rollouts. This first group of exercises alone took me 30 minutes to complete 3 rounds. Just brutal.

On the bright side, I'm starting to notice some definition in my abs, which can be credited both to Deano's sadistic sense of humor and to me cutting out a lot of the carbs from my diet.

I'm so, so exhausted.

SATURDAY

Took today off from training due to an event at the gym followed by a few hours at the beach. I need to run so badly, I'm actually missing it. Is that weird?

SUNDAY

Running

I planned on doing 10 miles today, but the "feels like" temperature was around 105 when I left for my run, so I cut it a little short. Plus I have yet to find a good running route that I can access from my apartment. All of the roads that I have taken so far either end due to unfinished or non-existent construction.

Anyways, I still felt like I got a good run in today. I was going for a tempo run, aiming to keep my pace around 9:00/mi. I didn't do well maintaining my pace, averaging around 8:30/mi for the first 3 miles before slowing down to around 10:30/mi for the next 4 miles. Overall I completed 7.3 miles and averaged 9:54/mi. Not happy at all about that, especially since I need to be at 8:30/mi to hit my marathon goal of 3:45:00. The heat was bad, yes, but I need to be able to overcome that obstacle and do better.

I'll try it again tomorrow. 

WEEK 12 SUMMARY

6 workouts this week made me feel like a slacker, I need to pick it up. I didn't even swim or bike this week. I have the Chicago Marathon coming up in less than 2 months, followed by another triathlon a couple months after that. My physique is also not where I want it to be yet, which means I need to increase everything: running, swimming, cycling, and lifting.