Weekly Workouts: 8/6-8/12

Last week’s workouts were kind of all over the place, so hopefully this week will go as planned. Still trying to figure out the best way to get in both cross and strength training. Should I pair them together? What do you think?

Here’s what’s on my plate this week:

Monday, August 6

XT and/or P90X Back & Biceps

Tuesday, August 7

4 x 800 (4:37)

Wednesday, August 8

XT and/or P90X Chest / Shoulders / Tri

Thursday, August 9

5 mile tempo, 3 @ 10:03

Friday, August 10

Rest 

Saturday, August 11

12 mile run

Sunday, August 12

Rest

Weekly Workouts: 7/30-8/5

Here we go … Philly Marathon Training, week one!

Monday, July 30

P90X Back / Biceps / Abs RPM

Tuesday, July 31

3 x 1600m @ 9:29   2.5 mile run

Wednesday, August 1

P90X Chest / Shoulders / Triceps / Abs

Thursday, August 2

4 mile tempo, 2 @ 10:03 4 miles @ 10:35 overall

Friday, August 3

Rest 

Saturday, August 4 

10 mile run

Sunday, August 5

Rest 10 mile run

Weekly Workouts: 7/23-7/29

Well, this is it: the last week of freedom before Philly Marathon training “officially” begins! Hoping to keep the intensity moderate, as to launch into Week 1 fired up and ready to go.

Monday, July 23

P90X Back / Biceps / Abs

 

 

Tuesday, July 24

 

4 mile run

 

Wednesday, July 25

 

P90X Chest / Shoulders / Triceps / Abs

 

Thursday, July 26

 

4 mile run

 

Friday, July 27

 

Rest

 

Saturday, July 28

 

8 mile run

 

Sunday, July 29

Rest

Impromptu Speedwork

Last night we had P90X Chest / Shoulders / Triceps / Abs on deck.

P90X Disc 9 - Chest Shoulders Triceps

This workout was NO EFFING JOKE. Recovery week caused my strength to take a serious hit. Two weeks ago when I did side tri-rises I cranked out 25 the first round, 30 the second. Last night I barely eeked out 15. Don’t even get me started on one-arm or two-twitch speed pushups. My arms were TOAST halfway through!

I also had that issue of the missed run to deal with. Very rarely do I run back-to-back days because my shin splints almost always make an unwelcomed appearance.  Brad and I made a pact early on that if we completely missed/skipped a workout, we would forfeit our cheat meal for the week. Soooo, I moved our run from Tuesday to Wednesday night.

After P90X, Brad’s calves were super tight and despite telling me he’d be fine on the run, I was nervous he’d get injured.  I decided to fly solo for the miles and left him at home with the P90X Stretch DVD to loosen up his hard-as-rocks calves. It was dark by the time I left the house so rather than run outside, it was time to hit the hamster wheel.

Initially the game plan was to do 2 miles, slow and steady. When with Brad {completely new to running} we use 3:1 intervals. Which is fine, but ideally I’d like to run without any breaks at all. So that was my ultimate goal.

After a ten minute warmup, I bumped the speed up to 5.4. It was a comfortable, easy pace to maintain. Exactly what I wanted.

As I neared the 8oom mark, I had a brilliant idea: I could do speedwork! I kept the speed & recovery paces slower than I’d usually use since I’m running again tonight, but it still felt great to let the legs {slowly} fly!

  • 800m @ 5.4
  • 400m @ 6.0
  • 400m @ 5.4
  • 400m @ 6.0
  • 400m @ 5.4
  • 400m @ 6.0
  • 400m @ 7.0

Once it hit 2 miles, I slowed the treadmill to 4.0 and upped the incline to 4.0. Two miles, done and done, hit my goal.

Except…

I still felt like I could go a little further. Run a little longer. Fly a little faster. So at 2.25, I continued running:

  • 400m @ 4.0
  • 400m @ 6.0
  • 400m @ 5.4
  • 400m @ 7.0

Finished with 3 miles in 32:55. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t just go for three from the get-go – overall pace would have definitely been better. BUT! Technically I shouldn’t have even been running at all yesterday, let alone speedwork, so I’ll take it.

After a half mile cooldown walk, I left the gym just before 10pm. Not sure I’ve ever been at the gym that late – can’t say I minded it though! Had my choice of treadmill (with Big Bang Theory on repeat), the AC was pumping, and it was nice to let the treadmill do the work for me pace-wise.

Where do you prefer to do your speedwork: treadmill or track?

Running & P90X

The thing about P90X is it doesn’t leave much time for running. Obviously this struck a chord with me. Originally the plan was to use the program to recover from the burnout that resulted in a DNF in New Jersey and get myself in shape before Philly training started. However, three weeks in I found myself craving a run. We had been following up every workout with a mile walk. I began adding spurts of running to the walk but still felt it wasn’t enough.

This is the plan we’re currently following:

If there was a workout I wanted to skip, it would be plyometrics. Don’t get me wrong – I love plyo. My heart rate skyrockets only a few minutes in and stays high until the workout is through. It’s tough, but a great workout where you really feel the burn. But plyo seemed like the perfect workout to swap out for a run. Once Tuesday rolled around, I did 25 minutes of fartleks and then came home to do the final 25 minutes of plyo (Brad had started it while I was running). The next week Brad skipped plyo also and we went for a 3 mile run. Then we moved yoga from Thursday to later in the week and ran 3 miles that day instead.

I like the idea of running twice during the week but I’m still curious if the intensity is as high as plyo. Most of the time my heart rate is pretty high, which I attribute to the 90+ degree temperatures we run in. Once marathon training officially starts (July 31st!!), Tuesday speedwork and Thursday tempos will kick in – aka my ass will be kicked on a weekly basis. But for now I’m thinking of keeping plyo and yoga where they are, and adding runs to the Monday & Wednesday workouts. And I’m also thinking of adding spin to Tuesday & Thursday mornings. Is four days of cardio / double workouts too much? Should I do just running, or just spinning – not both?

On Tuesday we came across a suggested training plan from Beachbody for those looking to incorporate running into their P90X regimen:

Block 1 (Weeks 1 through 3)

  • Day 1: Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X
  • Day 2: Plyometrics
  • Day 3: Shoulders & Arms and Ab Ripper X
  • Day 4: Yoga X
  • Day 5: Legs & Back and Ab Ripper X
  • Day 6: Kenpo X
  • Day 7: Rest or easy aerobic hike and/or X Stretch

Note: No running in the first block is by design. For aerobic work, keep your heart rate way below threshold.

Recovery/Transition Week

  • Day 1: Core Synergistics
  • Day 2: Plyometrics
  • Day 3: Yoga X
  • Day 4: Legs & Back
  • Day 5: Core Synergistics
  • Day 6: Long aerobic hike or easy run and X Stretch or Yoga X
  • Day 7: Rest or easy aerobic hike and/or X Stretch

Note: Not a traditional recovery week. An endurance athlete tends to have a different base and should be stressed differently. While the intensity of the first month should be high, the volume is low compared to how much many people run.

Block 2 (Weeks 5 through 7)

  • Day 1: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Ab Ripper X, and easy run
  • Day 2: Plyometrics
  • Day 3: Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X, and easy run
  • Day 4: Yoga X
  • Day 5: Legs & Back and Ab Ripper X
  • Day 6: Long run and X Stretch
  • Day 7: Rest or easy aerobic hike and/or X Stretch

Note: The easy runs should be aerobic. The longer run can have some amount of tempo intervals, but should still be considered base mileage.

Recovery/Transition Week

  • Day 1: Core Synergistics
  • Day 2: Easy run and X Stretch
  • Day 3: Yoga X
  • Day 4: Easy run and X Stretch
  • Day 5: Core Synergistics
  • Day 6: Long aerobic hike or easy run and X Stretch or Yoga X
  • Day 7: Rest or easy aerobic hike and/or X Stretch

Note: This should feel like a true recovery week.

Block 3 (Weeks 9 and 11)

  • Day 1: Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X, and run workout
  • Day 2: Plyometrics and recovery run
  • Day 3: Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X, and run workout
  • Day 4: Yoga X
  • Day 5: Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X, and recovery run
  • Day 6: Run workout and X Stretch
  • Day 7: Rest and/or X Stretch

Block 3 (Weeks 10 and 12)

  • Day 1: Core Synergistics and run workout
  • Day 2: Cardio X and run workout
  • Day 3: Ab Ripper X and run workout
  • Day 4: Yoga X and run workout
  • Day 5: Legs & Back and Ab Ripper X
  • Day 6: Run workout and X Stretch
  • Day 7: Rest or easy aerobic hike and/or X Stretch

Note: “Run workout” denotes whatever your coach or your own running dictates. It doesn’t necessarily mean a hard running workout. “Easy run” means subthreshold throughout. This should be followed with a true recovery period of yoga, stretching, and easy runs. Follow this with a rigorous running training block that ends with enough time so you can taper off for your event—usually 2 weeks.

Soooo… there’s another option. I’ll have to think about it.

Decisions, decisions.

The Anti-P90X Meal Plan

The week before we started P90X I paged through the Nutrition Plan. It listed your meals and snacks for each day, along with recipes for each meal. Very detailed, very helpful. For someone who works from home or is a stay at home mom, this plan would probably work out well. However, when you have an hour commute in the morning, ninety-minute commute in the afternoon and a significant other who leaves the house an hour before you do – it makes cooking three meals a day a little difficult.

We did quite a bit of brainstorming and deciding what would be the best way to make the plan work for us and not against us.  By the time I get home from work it’s 6:30pm. Tack on about 90 minutes to two hours (workout + cooldown walk) on to that, and we’re already at 8-8:30pm. It’s LATE. There’s no way I’d want to spend time in the kitchen cooking dinner, let alone eat dinner that late. We go to bed between 9:30 and 10 (4:45am comes really fast!) so stuffing our faces that close to bed time just isn’t ideal.

In the end it came down to us having our biggest meal of the day at lunch time. We’d each be responsible for our own breakfasts and snacks. Lunch was planned out the weekend before so there was never a question. Dinner is a protein shake. Necessary for proper post-workout recovery, but not too heavy to head to bed soon after drinking it. If it was a particularly hard workout or we’re still hungry afterwards, we have a salad with grilled chicken. Yeah, it might not work for everyone – but it works for us.

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As I mentioned yesterday, I spend most of the morning and early afternoon on Sundays in the kitchen cooking up our food for the week. I portion out meals into containers so they are grab-and-go when we’re leaving for work in the morning. Last week we had Turkey Meatballs in Pomodoro Sauce with Garden Delight Pasta, Stuffed Bruschetta Turkey Burgers, Whole Wheat Couscous with Garlic & Herb Feta and Grape Tomatoes, Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, and Zucchini Bread. I also made a low-fat ranch from scratch to use for salads. It was a busy day, but it beats eating Lean Cuisines for lunch and starving the rest of the afternoon. I’d rather make the breakroom jealous of my lunch as opposed to wondering what exactly is in that frozen lunch that makes it edible until 2014.

I had to make a clean break from coffee, for now at least. Drinking coffee causes me to skip breakfast because it fills me up. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so the java had to go. I drank unsweetened iced tea the first couple days to wean myself off the caffeine and it hasn’t bothered me since. Oddly enough, since I stopped drinking coffee I quit my mindless snacking throughout the day. I blame it on the Sweet n Low.

Another huge (HUGE!) step was reducing the amount of sugar in our diet. We purged our pantry of every item which had more than 6g of sugar per serving (with the exception of protein bars). Um, holy shit – there is so much sugar in EVERYTHING! That was an eye-opener. I think Brad lost 5 boxes of cereal in the process, although I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Frosted Mini-Wheats? Ahem. I’ve been using Xagave both for baking and in my hot/iced tea.

Last but not least, we allow ourselves one cheat meal. Notice I didn’t say cheat DAY. No need to throw caution to the wind for the entire day. On Sunday we have our choice of splurging on breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’ve gotta say, this has been an incredible help through the past couple weeks. You don’t feel like you’re being deprived because you know if there’s something you’re craving, you can have it on Sunday.

The whole process has been a bit of an adjustment, but it’s all for the best. I think this works out better for us than counting points or calories. I’d rather work on portion size and quality of food than try to survive on Lean Pockets because they have the right amount of calories. What it comes down to is: you want to lose weight? Stop eating crap! So that’s what we’re doing.

Back on track

A couple months ago Brad and I decided that after our wounds healed from the Spartan Sprint we would allow P90X to kick our ass for, well, 90 days starting May 28th.

p90x

Days of picking up Sonic on the way home or ordering a pizza for dinner are over. Our eating habits have been completely revamped. Saturday mornings are now spent meal planning and making a detailed grocery list.

all out of

The combination of list-making and shopping only the perimeter of the store allows us to knock our grocery shopping out in less than 30 minutes, even on a busy Saturday morning.

groceries

Sunday mornings are spent cooking for the week, which allows me to avoid picking up a single pot or pan on a weekday. (HUGE fan of this!)

I’ll get into meal planning in another post, but for now here’s what’s set to come out of my kitchen today:

It’s a bit of work for a Sunday morning, but you know what? If it grants me a cooking-free week, I will gladly slave away in the kitchen for a few hours on the last day of the weekend with the CMT Top 20 Countdown blaring in the background. Also, our one cheat meal for the week is on Sunday so after I’m done playing chef I am rewarded with a crisp glass of wine and someone else cooking for me.

Last week our cheat meal was at the Alamo Drafthouse while seeing Snow White & the Huntsmen. Delicious food was consumed, including fried pickles, fresh baked-to-order chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream, and multiple adult beverages. Cheat meal, INDEED!

Snow White and the Huntsman

Alamo Drafthouse

PBR - Prosecco

Todays destination?

Brick House Tavern and Tap

And I have my heart set on some delicious carbs:

Brick House Pretzels