Friday, February 01, 2008

Base Baby!

I have been concentrating strictly on base building workouts since I got over being sick earlier in January. That means no track or spin/turbo workouts, and not letting my HR get above ~160. My past 3 weeks have basically looked like this:

Mon: Weights in afternoon, then at night, Bike 1 hour on the trainer, keep HR @ 150
Tues: 1 hour yoga at lunch, then at night, 45-60 min run outside, keep HR
Wed: Same as Monday
Thurs: Same as Tuesday
Fri: off
Sat: ~2 hour bike
Sun: 60-75 min run

This week, progress started to show.

I did a lunch time bike ride, averaged 18.7mph with an avg HR of 152 for nearly 27 miles. My two runs this week have me averaging a 9:25 pace, while keeping the HR @ 150.

Now, granted these workouts are performed in 60 degree or lower temperatures, and I know temperature is a factor for me when trying to keep the HR in a respectable range, so that is helping.

In comparison to last year, my base pace for running was in the high 10min/mile range, and for biking, it was somewhere along 15-16mph.

I know a few things that have helped the running specifically are:
  1. Off season for me is exactly that - OFF season; let the body recover
  2. Diet/Weight loss. I am down 10-15lbs from last summer
  3. Strengthening the hip flexors (through weights/machines)
  4. Stretching almost every day - specifically in the hips & groin area
Let's face it, running is a weight baring exercise, so decreasing weight, strengthening the muscles that lift your leg, and keeping those muscles loose so they can contract more has started to pay dividends. I am toying with the idea of trying to go 40 minutes in a 10K this summer (PR is currently 43:50), so I need to keep it up.

Now, let's hope I can replicate that in the water, whenever I get back in the pool or ocean! I try to avoid the pool like the plague, since following a black line in chlorine water ranks a few spots below running on the dreadmill. I really enjoy ocean swimming, but haven't been able to find many others who are willing to swim in the mid 50 degree water. I feel that my Biking and Running are starting to come around, and that the swimming will start to compliment it. I guess its time to sack up, and take the plunge!

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