Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Training recap week #30

Monday - Long run (2 hours) on the mountain. I felt the pain in my knee come back when I ran the downhill parts. The taping helps but it does not completely rectify the problem. I did this run without my orthodics and found I was pretty steady and comfortable. It was a gorgeous day and there were many people out enjoying the weather. We have not been very lucky with the weather so far this summer and it seems like when it is nice, there is an exodus from the downtown buildings to the out-of-doors. I can't imagine what it would be like to be deprived of the sun for weeks on end...

Tuesday - It's time I come clean. I have been secretly working out in my basement with Maya for the past 6 weeks. Who is Maya you ask? and what is she doing in my basement? Maya is the avatar personal trainer in Ubisoft's My Fitness Coach. She has been teaching me some aerobic and yoga moves. Can you believe it? Me....doing aerobics? Yes....not in public, though. Not now, and probably not ever, but I have been using this Wii game to complement my running and cross-training. Maya has analysed my fitness and determined I need to work on my upper body strength. She has custom designed workout routines for me that incorporate a warmup, targetted exercises, and a cool down in the duration and frequency of my choosing. Most of the time I choose among flexibility, core, yoga, or strength training as the focus of my workouts. I find it very cool to actually see her doing the moves, asking for my feedback, and also introducing complexity and diffuculty as I get better at it. Contrary to DVD workouts, this is fully customizable so there is a lot of variety and it stays interesting - I always wonder what is coming next...Anyway, I am getting better at the yoga and aerobic moves and I seem to be progressing according to Maya's fitness test results (not sure if it's attributed to this or the embedded circuit training) but it adds variety to my routine which is always a good thing!

Wednesday I did my Q2 training which was the same as the week before. Thursday I worked out with Maya and Friday I did my hill training on the mountain. It seems the weather has been very cooporative for Friday runs so I have greatly enjoyed them thus far.

Saturday morning I did my Q1 training. I was out the door at 6 am and ready for my hybrid hard/long run this week. I taped my knee felt well rested. After my 2 mile warmup, I noticed my tape job started to loosen. I had forgotten to apply the adhesive spray beforehand so my sweat was making the tape lose its adhesion. By the end of my first 10-minute interval at threshold pace, it was no longer sticking at all on the anterior part of my knee. The second interval came fast and then I had one hour of easy pace running left. My knee felt strange a few times and I had to do exagerated movements to get the kinks out on more than one occasion. I also took one-minute walk breaks a couple of times. That seemed to do the trick. For the last kilometer I did some strides on the uphills and then I did 10 x10-second hill sprints on the steep incline near my house. I finished off with some strides and stretched once I got home.

On Sunday, I took a 2-hour walk with my daughters in the double jogger in the trails of Hudson. The storms of the last couple of weeks really did a lot of damage to our network. The flash floods even washed out one of the bridges. I hope it gets repaired soon because that is one of the routes I planned for the Harrier race in the fall.

Total weekly mileage : 53 km

Monday, July 13, 2009

Training recap week #29

Well I can safely say that my threshold intervals during my long run on Sunday were at the appropriate pace. I am feeling the lactate acid in my hamstrings today (Monday)! Rather than run, I did 30 minutes of stationary bike and stretched today. Tuesday, I had my appointment for a gait analysis. Funny thing, it appears my stride is more balanced and natural without my orthodic. I will experiment running without one to see if the pain in the knee remains...

I also found some stretches for my calves using the PNF technique. Seeing as I am still sore 2 days after my Q1 training, I will try these as well.

On Wednesday, I tried the PNF stretches a few times throughout the day. It really seems to get a deep stetch so I will continue this for sure. I did my Q2 training today as well - without my orthotic. I started out with a simple progressive warmup and I felt great. After ten minutes I did my first of 4 intervals of .75 miles at Interval pace (I should be running at 6:12 but I was content with 6:19). I felt smooth and was able to maintain my Pose form. By the end of each interval, I was ready for my 4-minute recovery, though.

Thursday, I did some embedded circuit training and Pose drills and Friday I ran the mountain to get my hill training in for the week.

I didn't run on the weekend. I was ready to go on Saturday morning and realized I didn't have my knee support nor the tape. I figured it would not be a good idea to run without it just yet so I did a 45 minute cross-training session instead comprised of stretching and free weights. I took advantage of the extra time to complete chores around the house and play with my kids.

Total weekly mileage: 31 km

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Training recap week #28

Monday I did some embedded circuit training and upped a few of the weights from the previous week. I did pose exercises to keep my heart rate up in between sets. Tuesday was my Q2 intervals: I couldn't do the prescribed 6 x 4 min. hard with 3 min. recoveries in between and still maintain the Pose technique. I set the treadmill at just slower than threshold pace and couldn't do more than 2 complete intervals . The third and fourth, I could only do quarter-mile intervals so for the fifth I brought the speed down a notch to just a bit slower than race pace and managed to do the entire 4 minute interval.

Wednesday I did some embedded circuit training and warmed up by an easy 2 mile run. Thursday, I had my doctor's appointment to diagnose my knee and to learn the taping technique from my physiotherapist. The doc confirmed it was an overuse condition but referred me to a specialist for a gait analysis. On Friday, I tried out the taping and ran the mountain. I enjoyed my hill training segments and the taping worked great - it is much less restrictive than the neoprene support. Another advantage of the Pose technique : as I ran the trails, I was more sure-footed landing on the balls of my feet versus my heels. I have rolled my ankle on more than one occasion in the past and landing on the ball makes the likelihood of that happening very slim. I landed on a rut and found a footing rather easily - had I landed there with my heel, I know I would have rolled it.

On Sunday I did my Q1 training (2 mi Easy, 6x 6min. T-pace with one-minute recoveries, 6 mi Easy). I felt good the entire 13 mi run but again, I could not manage to run as fast as my planned T-pace and still keep the Pose method (although I covered the distance in just over 2 hours, so I am getting faster and my heart rate only peaked at 84% of max during the intervals). I was doing the intervals at about 8 min/mi. and I finished up with seven strides on the way home. Afterward, I did 15 minutes of yoga to stretch out and did some AIS stretches on my hamstrings.

Total weekly mileage : 43.5 km