Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to get better at running...without running.

I've been brainstorming this post for a couple weeks.  As you reach the halfway point of your Cleveland Marathon training.  The body can have a tendency to break down.  Running can be rough on the body.  People at SportsMed Hospitals often joke that their facilities are funded by runners.  I want to share how I fight against injuries.  I do that through cross training.

I'm a big fan of cross training and I think it goes a long way towards making me a better runner.  In 2013 I have been swimming, biking, and running.  Below are two samples you can implement in your training.  It will still provide a benefit to your fitness/running while saving your legs from the stress of running.

Before you go into a I hate swimming panic (trust me, i've been there before).  It can help you improve as a runner.  I would like to suggest doing kick drills.  These will help promote hip strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Take a kick board (most gyms will have these for everyone to use).  Start off at one end and stretch out in a plank position.  You'll want to kick with you hips.  It's not easy, but kick the whole length (25 yards).  Take a 30 second or so rest and then do the same back.  Repeat this for 30 minutes.

I started incorporating these kick drills in October 2012 and it improved my running a lot.  I could feel the benefits of strong hips when running hills.  I think you'll enjoy this workout as a change of pace from running.

It's not secret that I am a diehard cyclist.  I've ran some of my best races in the Fall.  Why?  because of my cycling throughout the summer.  Like swimming, cycling can improve your fitness level without the stress on the body from running.  During the offseason, I like to train with intervals.  If you haven't interval trained.  Give it a try.  Hard intervals during the offseason are like storing cans of whoop ass that you can use during the race season to inflict pain on those who try to keep up with you.

There's two ways to train on a bike.  Obviously, if you have one.  Then I suggest riding it.  No bike??  No problem, take a spin class.

A sample beginner's workout would be:  Start with an easy spin of 10 minutes.  This is easy and you should be able to carry on a conversation if needed.  Once you are warmed up.  Try doing 60 seconds of speed bursts.  When you do these, increase the tension and increase your cadence to 90-100 RPM.  If you're new to riding, take a 60 second break between intervals.  If not, take a 20 second break.  It is up to you if you want to take the tension off during the rest period.  Do these for another 20-30 minutes.  Then do a 10 minute cool down.  If you take a spin class, they will incorporate intervals into their class.

These are just two examples of many ways to cross train.  I'm a big believer in cross training and its benefits to your training program.  I hope these ideas help.  I think incorporating these into you program will not only benefit your running, but keep you from injury as well.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 2 of training

Another week is in the books.  This week was pretty similar as the week before.  Except for my post swim run on Tuesday was increased from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.  The weather continues to not cooperate with my training as Friday was my only outdoor ride.  It wasn't a lot of fun with wind chills in the 30's, but I had no other choice.  My swimming went pretty decent this week.  I got some good tips from Westlake's swim coach and I swam a personal best of 3,000 yards during Sunday's masters class.  On Saturday I did the St. Malachi 5 miler in less than favorable conditions.  Overall, it was a decent week of training.  I'm starting to get antsy to train outside regularly.  My first big race is rapidly approaching and I'm still pretty far away from my race weight.

This coming week will be fairly similar.  Unfortunately, the weather will be similar too and I may not get out on the bike.  I'm looking forward to Saturday as I will be heading to Columbus for a  Retul 3D bike fitting on my TRI bike.

Monday:  20 mile ride. 

Tuesday:  1 hour swim / 45 minute run.
Wednesday:  10 mile ride.

Thursday:  1 hour swim / 30 minute run
Friday:  15 mile ride

Saturday:  St. Malachi 5 miler

Sunday:  90 minute swim 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week 1 of training.

This week kicked off my 27 week training program for Revolution 3's half ironman at Cedar Point.  For those of you not familiar with long course triathlons.  Its a 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bike and then a 13.1 mile half marathon.  So, i'll be pretty busy over the next few months preparing for this event.  Of which, i'm using the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 10K event as training race.

Overall, things went pretty good this week.  I learned that doing a 30 minute run after an hour swim is absolutely no fun.  Those were probably the 2 hardest workouts of this week.  I'm still having issues staying high in the water on my swim, but I am thinking its because i'm not keeping my head down.  The hardest part of swimming is trying to do so many things correctly that its easy to focus on one or two things and let other things slack.  Its easy to pick up some bad habits.  We were pretty luck this weekend and finally had some warm temps.  I was lucky enough to get all my runs and rides in outside this weekend.  I'm really pleased with me bike speed this early in the year.  I was able to hold 25 mph on my road bike through several flat areas, but I am slacking on my climbing.  I'm still carrying my winter weight and need to get down to my race weight.  I'll be focusing more on diet this week.  I need to cut back on my eating out.

This coming week will be pretty similar as last week and I will bump my training time from 9 1/2 hours to 9:45.  Plus, I will be running the St. Malachi 5 miler on Saturday.  So, if you are there.  Make sure to say hi!

Monday:  1 hour swim / 30 minute run.

Tuesday:  25 mile ride.

Wednesday:  1 hour swim / 30 minute run

Thursday:  25 mile ride

Friday:  4 mile run

Saturday:  1 hour run / 1 hour ride

Sunday:  90 minute swim / 30 minute ride