Monday, October 24, 2011

It'll Be Just Like Starting Over

A horrible thing has happened last Saturday. I found myself waking up at close to my regular Work Day alarm clock time.

I'm not a morning person, so realizing I can't get back to sleep at 4:30 AM is disconcerting. Since I have a 6-hour commitment to the personal trainer cert class on Saturdays, I had no time to nap in the afternoon which is my usual schedule.

Remembering my commitment to my virtual running buddy, Ben from Becoming Timberman, I decided to get in a run.

At 6 AM I checked in at and found out that it was 47 degrees. Looking outside, I noticed that it was still pitch dark out there - not even a glimmer of a sun-brightening horizon to be seen. Yes,, I believe you when you say it's cloudy, but it's also DARK. It was an easy decision to hit the treadmill instead of the road.

I opened my workout spreadsheet (yes, old habits die hard and I still plot out everything on a spreadsheet) and checked my runs since I got back from Texas in September... ummm... there were *cough* three multiple entries. All *cough* three*cough* runs were on the treadmill for 47 minutes to fit in a 5K. The last entry was October 1st. Okay, maybe 3 weeks off is stretching that recovery theory. All were at 4.1 MPH, which is mostly a brisk walk and let's keep it at a level 1% grade... did you know that 0 - .5% grade is actually slightly downhill? I read it on the internet so it must be true.

I decided to start out where I,  started out, adding in a 5 minute warm-up and stretch in the front. I noticed that at 4.1 MPH, I can sort of jog so I started doing a jogging pyramid. I would jog for 10 seconds and rest for the remainder of the minute, next minute, 15 seconds and rest, 20 and rest and so on until I reached 35 seconds. Then I went back to 30, 25, until I got back to 10 seconds. Since I haven't been doing any running, this seemed like an easy way to get in that aerobic base mileage and it also made the time go by faster.

Mixed Bag
I wish I could say that I did the pyramid four times and was done but alas, at about 25 minutes in, I felt a serious tightness in my Achilles tendon. This is nothing new but it always feels scary. Not wanting to bag the workout or my tendon, I started walking, dropped my speed down to 3.5 MPH and raised the grade to 4%. This lowered the impact on my leg and was just steep enough to get in a good stretch to loosen it while keeping my heart rate from going too low.

At 36 minutes in, I went back to 4.0 MPH at 1% and did one more jogging pyramid. Then I walked it out to the end, finishing the 5K in 48 minutes and averaged 73% of my maximum heart rate.

That was definitely not as fun as taking a nap.


  1. It might not have been as much fun as taking a nap, but it's certainly a lot more constructive. Hopefully next time you get to run at a time when you can nap after, because a post workout nap is VERY constructive and feels extra good!

    I haven't been going for as long, but I have been doing them more regularly. I did 30 minutes each of the past 2 days doing 1:30/3:30 jog walk splits. I'm pretty happy with the progress, and I realized how much I can enjoy it even if it's taking me longer than I want to finish. My next 5k is this weekend, so it will be interesting to see how I feel once I get past that first 30 minutes.

  2. @Ben - I am all over the post workout sleep recovery theory. I just wish there was a pre-workout nap "warm-up" that I could legitimately add in.
    I've been following your run progress and I'll bet you're going to do great. After all, you still have the Rev3 training in your back pocket that you can pull out. Best of luck!

  3. Christine was evaluated for her scoliosis in September and rather than surgery, she was prescribed a Forteo shot once a month and weight bearing excerises. She started the exercises this week so I have been tagging along with her to the gym.

    I found a copy of Joe Friel's "The Cyclist's Training Bible" and plan on following his "strength" workouts. Started this week.

    Next week, I start workouts on the computrainer.

    Goal: To place higher than 3rd place in the March Steam N Wheels "old geezer category".

    So continue writing about your winter season gym workouts to keep me motivated. One of these days I may even get on the treadmill if 0-.5% is downhill.

  4. @Roy and Christine
    Is Christine doing strength training? I've heard about people having to inject themselves daily with Forteo shot so here's hoping this therapy nips her scoliosis in the bud.

    I picked up Friel's Triathlete's Training Bible used on Amazon a few years ago. In it, he describes a Master's schedule that includes prescribes more recovery than the below 40 age groupers. Does his cyclist bible say the same?