Category Archives: Conditioning

Non-Marathon Marathon Training

 

Well it’s hard to believe that it’s been over a month since my last post but I’ll catch you up. My wife has signed up for her first full marathon so guess who gets to tag along? I guess you can say I’m officially in week 7 of my “non-marathon” marathon training schedule. She’s doing a 4 day a week training schedule which is 18 weeks in length and to date I’ve run them all with her. Not knowing what my limits are physically and mentally will soon become a reality in the upcoming weeks. I’m enjoying the exercise and freedom it’s given me to eat whatever I want but I really could do without the running portion. To date the longest distance I’ve put in with her is 12 miles and I totally didn’t think I could do it. I was also recently matched with a match in the “I Run 4 Michael” group and it’s made the longer distances physically and mentally rewarding. I share my miles and workouts with my buddy Alex and he’s there to give me that extra push every time I feel I can’t continue.

DQ dd

sweaty

I’ve also had to cut back on the gym activity as my right shoulder has been really irritated and I’m not quite sure why. While I wasn’t doing extremely heavy weights, I do have that competitive nature within where I’m always trying to one up myself. Over the last month I’ve tried to nurse it but with no luck so I’m off to see the doctor to get it all checked out. The thoughts of downtime and missing out on the gym are why I’ve been a tad bit stubborn and kept from going. Several people remind me on a daily basis I need to go so I’ve set an appointment with my regular orthopedist but I hope I can get in to see the sports medicine doctor that I really want to see.

 

shoulder

What’s the most extreme run you’ve ever done or trained for? Are you as stubborn as I am when it comes to injuries and going to the doctor?

Back at the gym weeks # 4 and 5

Weeks # 4 and 5 had to be the most challenging for me as we were in the middle of a major project at work which required over time and worked some weird hours. This has taken away from my blog time as well as some other projects that I’ve started and will become reality soon. Taking into consideration all these factors, I was able to successfully maintain my gym routine and still manage to keep within the same weight.

 

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Week # 4 included my workout rituals but threw a curve ball at me diet wise. Instead of packing my lunch and snacks we’d generally go out for lunch which was a major test and I failed. My diet consisted of everything I shouldn’t have had and the scale reflected that. Week # 4 brought me a 3lb gain and it wasn’t from the working out. My eating out contributed to that and I totally take responsibility for that. The stress and weird hours affected me mentally and I immediately turned to my comfort food as we all do in times of stress. While the workouts were as strong as they ever have been I found my moments of weakness with my sweets ultimately won and I was left to face the consequences of my actions.

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Week #5 turned out to be an awesome week as my workouts continued to be just as strong as the previous week and it was showing in my gains. I was able to make considerable gains on the amount of weight I was doing and the fatigue from those increased weights were not apparent. This did leave me wondering if I had sold myself short when I initially setup my workout. Another surprise week #5 brought me was a present which I received when I went to that evil scale. Thru gaining control of my diet and a little bit of sweat in the gym I was able to counteract my damaging actions of the previous week within .4lbs which I’ll gladly take any day. This made me smile and was reminder of how we as individuals control our destiny and are ultimately responsible for our progress. Yes it’s easy to blame many other things but I’ve come to realize it doesn’t do any good so take ownership of those moments of weakness and learn from them.

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Running continues to be part of my workouts and I’m running 6 days a week. The days I workout I’ll start with a moderate run on the treadmill which is the equivalent of a ½ mile at a fairly aggressive pace. My days outside the gym include running with the wife 3 days a week. Our runs during the week are generally around 3.2 miles and we’re usually out around 5:30am to beat that Florida heat. Sunday’s are the longer ones which we generally run a minimum of 4 miles (it all depends on her training schedule as she’s training for her first full marathon in November). Her training will allow me to push myself to the limit and test just how far I can take my running and survive. One thing I do want to mention and this should be everyone’s focus whether running, biking, paintball or any other activities is HYDRATION. Please remember to hydrate and I’m not talking about grabbing a water to take with you as you head out the door. In order to truly hydrate I generally start at least 24 hours before, but then again I’m drinking more water these days and less soda.

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What’s been your worst week ever? How did you recover from falling off the wagon?

Back at the Gym Weeks # 2 and 3

 

I just realized I’m a week behind as I’ll be starting into Week 4 and have yet to go through Weeks 2 and 3. Week 2 brought me the usual growing pains of getting back into the gym that most people would experience. Every day at 4:00am the clock goes off and I struggle to get up and out the door to head into the gym. When I arrive I’m the only one there so I totally enjoy that as there is no fighting over machines and can workout at my own pace.

Week 2 brought my first hurdle of getting back into the gym which was timing. I could feel myself slipping and wanting to sleep past my 4:00 am alarm and just say forget it, but I didn’t cave and managed to roll out of bed (as hard as that was). Once I arrive at the gym and walk thru the door a switch seems to flip and mentally nothing else exists. I’ll throw on my headphones and nothing else seems to matter. The next thing I know it’s time to stretch and go home to prep for another day at work.

My one saving grace comes on Tuesdays and Thursdays as I can sleep in until about 5:30 because those are my running days (3.11 miles to be exact). I’m usually bitching and complaining that I’m sore and don’t feel like it but once I hit the pavement I’m fine and usually find my pace pretty quick. While my running days aren’t really for time I’m always finding myself wanting to improve on my previous time.

Week 3 seemed to light a fire and I deviated from my workout schedule as far as weight I had determined. I bumped everything up even though I should have waited a few more weeks to max out again and adjust my weights. Part of me thinks this was a bad thing but my other half wonders if I tanked my first week intentionally to keep the weights lower (which wouldn’t surprise me at all). Honestly it wouldn’t be the first time I had done it and I feel guilty about it every time I do it. The past week also had me rethinking my workout schedule as far as what body parts I’ve been working out and on what days. I sat here all day Sunday plotting and planning what changes if any I can do and how it will affect me, but I’ve decided to wait a few more weeks so I can gauge my results and see what I need to adjust. I’ve been happy with my results so far as I haven’t lost much weight but I’ve noticed changes in my body which I’m fine with.

My hardest body part to deal with are my abs. No matter what I do or how hard I work them they are slowly changing but not fast enough for me. If I had to choose one body part I hate working out I’d definitely go with the abs. While it doesn’t take a lot to work them out when I do it seems like I’m spending hours on them (when it’s really only minutes).

What challenges do you have when working out? Which body part do you hate working out the most?

Back at the gym week #1

It’s been a few weeks so I thought I’d give you a quick update on how it’s going. My struggle to get back in the gym has been going on awhile and my excuse has always been that I didn’t have a workout planned. Approximately 30 days ago I started to devise a plan which when the wife looked at it thought I was crazy. I was going from not working out to a 5 day routine which incorporated 3 days of running 3.11 miles each day which has proven to be interesting. I will say I have yet to make the 5 days in the gym as the early morning runs conflict and I’ve thought about cutting out 30 minutes of my workout to allow for the Tuesday/Thursday runs. The one problem I have is Tuesday morning is leg day so it wouldn’t be too smart on my part to do a full leg workout then go run 3.11 miles.

I won’t bore you with all the details of my workout as every person/body is different and what works for me may not work for you. My workouts focus on a different body part each day as this will allow me to spend more time focusing on isolating the muscle while performing proper technique. My time spent per session averages about 2 hours and seems to fly by as the only time I could seem to squeeze the time in is 4:00am. Many people tell me I’m crazy for getting up that early to go but it fits into my schedule and I’d rather go at 4:00am than not go at all. The best part of going that early is the gym is empty so I don’t have to fight for any of the equipment.

gym

 

The running regiment has me running about 5:30 in the morning with the wife and accomplishes a few things. First it allows her to get out and do her running which she loves to go early and get it done, but safety is always an issue as you never know what crazy people are out that early in the am. Secondly it’s my additional cardio I need to train for my first race challenge race I have coming up in 2015. I’ve done 5k’s, 8k’s and 10k’s but have never run any hack to back so I’ve signed up for my first challenge race in 2015, the Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor. The challenge race is a 10K race which when I complete I will hit the starting line to get ready to kick off the 2nd race which will be a 5k. Total mileage between the 2 races will be 9.33 miles and it’ll be interesting to see how my body handles this.

Route

 

splits

Overall I haven’t seen much change on the scale but I’ve seen changes in the way my clothes fit and just generally feel better all around. One thing I’m really interested is I’m within 5 lbs. of my weight I last hit as a plateau and spent several months trying to break that. I’m not ashamed to say that my plateau weight has been 215 and I’m ultimately trying to get do about 190 lbs. Everything I’ve read tells me my ideal weight is about 160 to 170 and I feel I’d look like anorexic and sick if I did hit that weight so I’m sticking with the 190lbs. These next few weeks will be interesting as I continue to tweak my workout/schedule so I can continue to make it work.

How hard was it for you to get back in the gym after being out for a while? How often do you modify your workouts?

These past few weeks

 

So as many have noticed I’ve been MIA over the past few weeks on the blog front as I’ve been trying to balance life and all the day-to-day drama that seems to come with it these days. I’ve recently looked in the mirror and have decided I don’t like what I see and I’m the only one that can change that. Since my last post I’ve started to get back into a workout regimen which includes running 3 days a week to help improve my overall health and physique. I’ll be updating my journey thru my blog so stay tuned and you can join me on my journey to a happier/healthier me. Many have asked where I’ve been hiding over the past month so I thought I’d address that. Works been super crazy and we have major projects in the works which is going to tie up most of my free time over the next few months, but I’m trying to create my habits now so when the time comes I’ll be used to it and won’t fall off track.

Fitness:

While I’ve been saying for a while now, I’m going back to the gym. I’ve finally been able to motivate myself and got back in there. I’ve been fighting it for a while and have no one to blame but myself and I’ve finally accepted responsibility and taken on the task at hand. Anyone who knows me will agree that I never do anything half-assed, I’m either 100% committed or I just don’t bother. This holds true with every aspect of my life from my blog, fitness or even pursuing my goal of playing a single season of tournament ball. My biggest problem with the gym was timing and I could never seem to find the time so I’ve decided to start my day a tad bit earlier and going at 4am. I‘ve had people tell me I’m nuts for going that early but you have to go when it fits into your schedule and that’s what seems to work for me. I will tell you day one was a bitch as I fought with every ounce of my being, but once I walked through those doors I realized I had missed the gym and it felt right being there. Another piece of the puzzle was my workout as I’ve always been very “structured” in the past when it came to working out. I can’t just walk into the gym and say “Oh I’m doing legs today” and go from there so I had to write out my daily workouts before I went as well. I broke my workouts into 5 days and could have very easily done 3 but I chose to spend more time devoted to working out and my overall performance in the gym.

Along with working out I’ve committed to running 3 days a week with the wife. Anybody who knows her will tell you she loves to run and that I really need to as part of my conditioning. The 3 days a week I’m running I’ve committed to running a 5k (3.11 miles) or better in preparation for my challenge race in 2015. I’ve done 5k’s, 8k’s and 10k’s but I’ve signed up for the Best Damn Race Challenge in 2015 which is a 10k race and once I complete that I’ll line back up and run a 5k. I know it sounds crazy, but I know I can do it. Sometimes I just let the lazy come out and it consumes me to the point where I give in and let it win.

 

gym

Paintball:

There hasn’t been much to really report on this front these days as I’ve been too busy to go play (as sad as that sounds). I finally did get a chance to go back out a few weeks ago to knock off some of the rust from not being out for a bit. Some of the guys from the old team were there and it made for a fun time with them and all the others who came out and enjoyed the nice weather. I’m not going to lie, I seemed to slide right back into my groove after a few games and it felt great being out there. Even though we’re going into the hotter months I’m planning on going out more (I just have to remember to properly hydrate and monitor myself on those days). My future plans are to travel to more local fields to find others who share my passion for paintball and grow my contacts. I’m also planning several trips to a few different fields for larger games which I’ve missed in the years past. I’m looking forward to going to LCP in Georgia and meeting up with some of the people I chat with but haven’t got to put a face with the name yet as well as Wayne’s World.

 

paintball

Food:

While the wife is doing Weight Watchers and that translates into healthy eating for me, I still have my sweet tooth and addiction to sweets to try and conquer. I’m trying to curb those urges but it’s hard as I tend to gravitate towards the sweets when I’m stressed which has been a lot lately but I’m getting better. My sweet tooth still exists but I’m learning to control it but sometimes it still wins. The next few weeks of working out and watching the foods I eat will tell the true story. My true tests will be the day to day temptations that come to me… whether it be someone bringing in free food at work or the thought of ice cold $1 beers at a baseball game I just need to remember I’m accountable for my own actions and I can only blame myself if I overindulge.

 

cookies

 

Beer

What have you been up to the past few weeks? What do you turn to when you’re stressed or having a bad day?

Couch to 5K Week 8 Wrap Up

Sorry for the delay but week 8 is officially in the books and wow what a week it was. In addition to my Couch to 5K training the wife is doing some half marathon training which has gotten me some extra time in. While I’ve had my routine runs according to the app there has also been a Sunday morning addition to the routine. The wife’s training has brought her 6, 7 and even 8 mile runs on Sundays but I’m unable to complete those so I’ve been riding along. I feel as if the additional training on the bike has helped a bit with my endurance and overall performance.

Days 1 and 2 brought me 28 minutes of run time, which I’m happy to report I was able to run about 25 of it. I did have to stop a few times to take a quick water break but overall I ran a majority of it. Day 3 on the other hand brought me 30 minutes of running of which I was able to run approximately 28 of the 30. I once again did have to stop a few times, but this was for a water break and to catch a quick breath or two.

Overall I’ve been really happy with the Couch to 5K program so far and I have one workout left. My last workout I must do in order to complete my Couch to 5K program is run a 5k. I’ll be doing that this week as well as trying to establish a regular running schedule. I feel the regular schedule will help me maintain and improve on the 8 week training I’ve done so far as well help my cardio progress so I can see changes in my performance on the paintball field.

How far along are you with your training? How do you hope this training will help you?

Couch to 5K Week 7 Wrap Up

Week 7 of the Couch to 5K is officially in the books but coming to you a week late. The previous week was chaotic between having to go to Orlando for work 3 days and also FLBlogCon, which just totally blew my schedule. I’m happy to report I’m back on track and finished out the week on a positive note. The weekly training which consisted of 5 minute warm ups, 25 minutes of running and then a 5 minute cool down is what week 7 had in store for me. I almost missed day 3 training due to helping a friend move and meeting another for dinner, I would have never made it. I had decided that I’d do my training later in the evening. Two pitchers of beer, chips and salsa, plus boneless honey BBQ wings over fries happened and I was wondering “how the hell am I going to run after all this”. The wife told me I was crazy for attempting this but I did squeeze in day 3 after all this and I must say I was actually surprised. Though I didn’t intend on running after our night out I’ve decided it needed to be done and I needed to hold myself accountable for my training. After all, I was the one who chose to indulge as I had so I needed to hold myself accountable for my training and carry on.

treadmill

Have you ever had your schedule thrown off by work and how did you make it up? Would you ever attempt to run after a night of indulging?

Couch to 5K Week 6 Wrap Up

Week #6 is done and in the books and I’m feeling even stronger than the previous weeks. Day 1 brought forth the traditional run/walk intervals that I’ve been used to so it was business as usual. The training session for the day ended up being 34 minutes. No real surprises for me but on Day 1 my training felt really strong.

 

Week 6 Day 1 34:00 minutes

5 minute warm up

5 minute jog

3 minute walk

8 minute jog

3 minute walk

5 minute walk

5 minute cool down

Day 2 brought a small change in the fact that I had 2 separate 10 minute running intervals which I completed successfully without any issues. This training session for the day ended up being 33 minutes which pretty my falls into line with most of the other training sessions so far in this program.

 

Week 6 Day 2 33:00 minutes

5 minute warm up

10 minute run

3 minute walk

10 minute run

5 minute cool down

 

Day 3 brought the ultimate surprise and a bit of foul language. See, I completed the initial 5 minute warm up and then I hear the prompt “begin running” which I promptly looked down and saw 22 minutes. I’m not going to lie but once again I blurted out obscenities for the house to hear. I thought to myself 22 minutes…. Is that even possible? I started running and running but by minute 10 I was feeling like I wanted to give in, but I didn’t. I then found myself in a zone where it felt like time didn’t exist for a bit. The next thing I know I heard those words that made my ears perk up and put a smile on my face. What words are those, you ask? Those magical words “1 minute left” came thru my headphones. I pushed thru and finally heard the prompt saying to start my cool down walk. I remember thinking to myself “I made it” although I seriously had my doubts but I did manage to survive the 22 minute run.

 

Week 6 Day3 32:00 minutes

5 minute warm up

22 minute run

5 minute cool down

What part of your training has ever made you doubt yourself and your training? How did you respond and what were your results?

Couch to 5K Week 4 Wrap Up

With week 4 of my Couch to 5K program coming to an end, I’ve officially passed the halfway mark and I’m well on my way to meeting my goal of running a full 5k. The training time for week 4 consisted of 31:30 training sessions of which approximately 16 minutes of that time was spent running. The additional running time doesn’t seem to have affected me and I’m starting to feel pretty confident about being to accomplish this goal. Below I’ve listed out the intervals for week 4 of the training program and it was definitely a chore but I’ve managed to work my way through it.

5 minute warm up

3 minute run

90 second walk

5 minute run

2.5 minute walk

3 minute run

90 second walk

5 minute run

5 minute Cool Down

I’ve started to notice little differences in activities I do. Activities that used to be hard for me based on their physical nature are now becoming easier. My endurance for running during my paintball scrimmages seems to be growing and the fatigue seems to be less of an issue at the end of the day.

bridge

How has your training helped with any activities you do? Have you noticed any changes in your endurance levels?

Couch to 5K Catch Up

For those who have been following my progress on the Couch to 5K, I’m a few days behind so I’ll do a wrap up of the past few days. Last week I was able to complete Week 2 Days 2 and 3 which obviously were an exact mirror of Day 1. I did change the experience a bit by doing one day outside and the other inside on the treadmill. I’ll have to admit even with as miserable it is out in the afternoon I still preferred to be outdoors. The heat was a tad bit unbearable but still worth it in the end over the treadmill. Treadmill training seems to have a negative effect on me; yes, it’s convenient but definitely not the same as being outdoors. Day 2 and 3 workouts were the same but I could tell a definite difference with indoor training vs. outdoors. The indoor training, while convenient, lacked the mental stimulation that you get from outdoors. The heat, humidity and over all change of scenery is what I require to keep me motivated.

Week 3 Day 1 did bring some changes as I’m starting to run/walk in longer intervals and it definitely feels a bit different but in a good way. I’ve noticed on my running portions that I’m able to pace myself and not feel any winding or fatigue from the increased intervals. The one thing I’m sure of is I’m definitely seeing the progress and I’m confident I’ll make my goal of running my first full 5K.

bridge

sunday run

What type of training have you done in the past to train for any events? How did it help you prepare?