Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Countdown Begins: Day 1 of Training

Initially, I'll be blogging a day behind my training.  This will give me a bit of an opportunity to fully recap the day and toss in links & images.  I'll be using this space to talk up things I'm using and, since today starts my training program, I'll introduce you to the running plan I'm using.

I happened upon the FIRST training plan last spring and it seemed perfectly suited for me.  Peer-reviewed science, real-life, real-person experimental analysis, and proven results on 3 days per week of running.  As someone who doesn't particularly like running and certainly doesn't want to give up gym time to pound the pavement, this was perfect!

The gist of the plan is that you follow an anal-retentive plan of pace & distance for 3 runs per week.  One interval run (borderline sprints on a 400m track or treadmill), one tempo run (mid-distance run at a pretty rapid pace), and one distance run that's slower than your actual race pace.  You never run on back-to-back days.  On at least two of the non-run days, you cross-train (swim, bike/spin, row, etc.) at something that doesn't involve hammering your legs into the ground.  My plan is to go 3+3 and have one weekend day for rest/recovery.

For my first "real" day on the plan (Monday), I did a cross-training session.  I am fortunate to have an awesome gym (Synergy Fitness) in my office building that has two banks of treadmills, a spinning studio, brand new Nautilus equipment, tons of free weights (including kettlebells!), and some exhausting lunch time group fitness classes.  Monday's class is called LIFT! and it's loosely based on the "Body Pump" program, combining cardio with weights/resistance.

The instructor (Matt Hallas) has been on a rip lately with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).  This involves 45 minutes of constant exercise (no planned breaks in the action).  Monday's class kicked it up a notch by adding weight to the program (40 - 60 lbs for most exercises), thus proving that you can work every major muscle group in your body to fatigue in 45 minutes.  The session ran through legs, back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, core/abs, with cardio in between.  I'm still not entirely sure if the cardio was a break from the weight or the weight was a break from the cardio!   The phrase, "The pain you feel is just weakness leaving your body," was uttered at least once (any idea who originally came up with that one?).  When I repeat that phrase to one of my 19 mos old twin girls after taking a light tumble to the floor, they don't seem to find it quite as motivational.

My last unsegued brain-dropping (which will lead to future posts) for the day is diet.  I use MyFitnessPal and will post my diet virtually every week day.  I try to eat 3000 - 3100 HEALTHY Kcal per day, and I'll likely be bumping that up to compensate for the mileage I'll be logging.  Monday was a pretty typical day except that I forgot about a few things until after I'd already finished up for the day.  So I over-shot my goal.

2011-FEB-07 Diet Log courtesy of

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