(Cross-) Training for Tough Mudder – Week 3

This week has brought a whole load of new challenges, which I am taking as a good thing. I hurt my knee, and determined not to follow down my usual path which normally leads to 6-12 months off running, I decided that I should formulate a plan of action that involved cross-training, icing, myofascial release, and rest. I wrote about how hard the rest was, and indeed, that was the main challenge. The next challenge was to actually cross-train and do shorter ‘running’ activities where permitted. I hate the cardio machines (elliptical / bike), I hate the dreaded track at UAB (it is a great indoor track, but running around that like a hamster in a wheel when I am used to being out and about in AL? Nay thank you), and I hate ‘shorter’ workouts – I like to feel pushed and tired. It was also hard to keep eating a full diet when not working so hard (I need all these calories? Really? Who knows? But you need the whole grains to repair, and the fatty acids for anti-inflammatory, and the fruit / veg for the vitamins and fiber etc otherwise you won’t be back in finest form. Sigh). It’s a lot: designing a training regime that I won’t enjoy that much, and sticking to it, and not overdoing it, and not panicking at all the training advice I read online etc. So, I did what I did when I found I was unable to follow my own eating advice, and was 25lbs heavier: handed it over to someone else.

Amy Layne of course! My DAMY health diet plan comes with a workout plan, which I was semi-following. I decided just to follow it completely, for at least one week, and complete that, and only that. No more, no less, no excuses. As I was planning my exercise diary for the week, I realised that I was shuffling the days and workouts around to fit my life (meetings, social events etc), and I realised that while this may generally be a good tactic for getting exercise and training done, it is not what I do with my diet. I stick to that, and fit my life around it while in a weight loss phase. I don’t ‘shuffle meals around’ or move timings on the basis that ‘it all evens out’ – I eat what DAMY plans when it plans and feel good. So perhaps just for a week, I should prioritize my exercise / training like that. I don’t know – I don’t do it now, so maybe I will learn something.

That being said, it is not that easy to follow someone else’s exercise plan, especially when it doesn’t feel like *enough*. I thought about how I was going to get over that mental barrier, and decided I would get over it with the same advice I give people when they have to get over the mental barrier of starting a new plan that feel too much: I tell them to

(1) Plan, and write it down

~Well, that is easy enough

(2) Make space in their diary

~Well, I am doing the opposite, making sure my diary is too full to run for 1.5 hours a day (it helps that work is beyond busy at the moment)

(3) Make goals

~See below 🙂

(4) Focus on the changes in their body every time they complete a session: how good they feel, how they are toning up / bulking up / slimming down / doing more (whatever they delineated as part of 3)

~Similar, but I am focusing on different changes: on how rested I feel, on how quickly my knee stopped hurting, on how powerful my legs feel when they are not tired for running most days

(5) Think long term, think about the long term changes and don’t sweat the fact that they seem slow in coming. Focus on enjoying the journey

~Same deal. Don’t stress about a drop in fitness (which shouldn’t happen anyway) when I purposely left a long time between starting training and my race. Don’t sweat about slowing down weight loss when there was plenty of time to reach my 15 lb goal. Enjoy feeling rested and energized (in a different way to how exercise energizes me).

So…. long story short, this was supposed to be my training:

Thursday:  45 min kickboxing

Friday – am: Timed 5K. Goal: Speed Pm: 20 minutes weights (DAMY workout)

Saturday – light hiking

Sunday – 6 mile run. Goal: Endurance

Monday: am: 4 miles HIIT. Pm: Weights (20 min DAMY workout)

Tues: More rest.

Weds: am: 4 mile jog; 4 mile HIIT Pm: Weights (DAMY leg work out)

It became this:

Thursday:  45 min kickboxing – DONE

Friday – am: Timed 5K. Goal: Speed Pm: 20 minutes weights (DAMY workout) – DONE

Saturday – light hiking – DONE

Sunday – 6 mile run. Goal: Endurance – DONE

Monday: am: 4 miles HIIT. Pm: Weights (20 min DAMY workout) – CHANGED: Pm: weights and DAMY HIIT on the bike

Tues: More rest. – DONE. Hated it most of all the workouts 🙂

Weds: am: 4 mile jog; 4 mile HIIT Pm: Weights (DAMY leg work out) – CHANGED: DAMY HIIT, 20 mins of track (with 5 mins warm up cool & down), weights.

Next week looks a little different, as it is day-by-day exactly as DAMY ask! It goes like this:

Thursday:  DAMY weights A, 45 min kickboxing

Friday – DAMY HIIT on the track (yuck)

Saturday – Steady state (5K, running for Diabetes) and DAMY weights B

Sunday – REST (double yuck)

Monday: Steady state cardio (5K run if knees OK, dreaded elliptical if not) + weights (workout C)

Tues: DAMY interval training with bodyweight exercises

Weds: REST

My goals are:

-To just do it and not stress about it.

-To not sneak in a ‘extra quick jog, shush no one will know’ while I am returning after resting my knee. 🙂

-To complete the (very boring) myofascial release three times this week.

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One thought on “(Cross-) Training for Tough Mudder – Week 3

  1. Pingback: Wish me luck on a new quest for a healthier lifestyle | A Scientist's Life

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