Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring, A New Beginning, & Some Goals

Well, it's been far too long since I posted here. But I am going to try to reinvigorate this little ol' exer-blog as Spring comes again. For one thing, I have planned a few events that require some training. So the blog as a kind of public record of my training activity is warranted again.

Even though I haven't posted regularly, I have been exercising without much interruption all Winter. I continued to attend my Friday morning spin class at Tina Brookhouse's fitness studio. And I recently added a second class on Monday mornings: Boot Camp. The format is about 1/3 cycling, 1/3 running, and 1/3 core strength. The latter is a weakness area, to say the least. Both classes meet at 6:00 a.m., and it's been a nice way to bookend the work week so far.

I've also continued to ride at home and run; except when I was sick, I would usually manage 3 workouts a week. But for some reason I stopped writing them all down.

So now I'm back to writing them down! Last week I got four workouts in, the two classes + two outdoor rides. This week I hope to do five workouts, including a couple of runs. Some running is important for me now because I have agreed to do a 5k with a couple of friends of mine. It will be their first experience racing, and both are using the race to motivate them a bit. I am happy to participate and looking forward to the event too, which is a well known and well organized race called the Dexter - Ann-Arbor Run on May 31st. One of my friends is following the Cool Running's Couch to 5k training plan.

I'm not yet committed to an actual training schedule for that race. I know I don't have to do much at this point to be able to do the 5k, and I'm not sure how I want to participate - do I want to pace my friends? or do it at my own pace? not sure. Cool Running's Intermediate 5k plan isn't a bad one, though, if I go with the latter. I would, of course, make some modifications because I don't really care about being a competitive 5k racer.

We're 10 weeks out now, so I'd have to start at week 2. They schedule 6 runs a week - I wouldn't do more than 3 runs and three bikes (or classes) and wouldn't feel bad about doing 4 bikes and 2 runs in any given week. This far out, they are concentrating on base fitness, so it's intermediate distance (3-4 miles) runs at Tempo, one long run per week (long is, like, 6 or 7 miles) and one interval workout (Fartlek early on, timed intervals later). They add one extra speedwork session in the last three weeks , and they recommend substituting a long run for an actual 5k race too. Not bad. I would always look to swap the Tempo work for biking workouts, but keep the intervals and long runs. This will let me enjoy preparing for the race without having to worry too much about running-related pain.

I'll post more about some other upcoming things I have planned too. I'll be doing the Tour de Cure event again this year, for example, and I have two bike trips to hilly places planned this season to start gearing up to ride the big mountains in 2010.