Strength exercises and struggles with any form of cross-training

I talk with a lot of fellow gym rats at work and, with the exception of a few runners, running is generally viewed as some form of punishment. Runners can even get a t-shirt or bumper sticker to reinforce this notion.

To me, running "easy" is like a walk in the park. Even running long slow distances is rewarding, in the same way that getting so wrapped up in an exciting work project that you forget to eat lunch is rewarding. There is something about the slow, steady effort and the moderate intensity persistence that's required that is its own reward.

On the other hand, I have entire categories on this blog called "i hate cycling" and "not fond of elliptical". (The truth is, the intensity of my feelings about elliptical are an extreme understatement.) To be fair to the objects of my distaste, those feelings are born from attempts to get aerobic exercise while injured and are as much an expression of frustration as anything.

Okay, it's not just frustration.

I've hit speed bumps in the 2 years since, but I'm still more faithful to running on a bad day than any other form of exercise on a good day. During injury, I usually can keep focus on strength training or cycling, just to have something to do. All other times, I get complacent, lazy, don't have time, etc...

I also cannot quantify the benefits of any of these other exercises. With running, I have races, and I even have a pretty good handle on food/weight/mileage balance.

Since wrapping up physical therapy, I've dropped back from 3 days/week of strength training to averaging about 1 day.

I've decided to slightly up the intensity and shorten the duration in the hopes of getting more strength training per week as a result. My intent is to get enough intensity to make the workout feel worthwhile, but not take so much time to make it hard to schedule into my day.  As a result, I'm looking at fixing reps at 30 / 1 set per exercise, and have added 5 lb. ankle weights or dumbbells where I could.  Before, I would add an extra rep per session, and occasionally reset back to an easier level.  I'm really hoping consistency will help raise my "mental stake" in keeping the strength exercises going.

Example Log:

8:00 PM : 00:08:47

 

  • 30 pushups on dumbbells
  • 30 L side leg raises
  • 30 R side leg raises
  • 30 L inside leg raises
  • 30 R inside leg raises
  • 30 Leg Raises, each leg
  • 30 Hip/Knee Flex alt leg
  • 30 Alt Leg Supine on Ball
  • 30 Hip Bird Dog on ball
  • 30 20 lb curls, each arm
  • 10 wall squats +5 lb dumbbells

Running streak? Day 2. #twit2fit

2.5 miles in 24'15".

Ok, so I've been cleared to run, but last vacation last week brought about a number of factors that made it hard to actually do so.  It really pained me to be at the beach (Gulf Shores) and not be able to run from Gulf Shores into Escambia County, FL and back.

Seriously.

That's horribly painful.

Also, the beach was littered with Portuguese Man o' War--a 2-3 feet wide swath for miles of beach, and red flags (no swimming) were flying all week.

Anyway, I'm going to try running consistently, moderately slowly (although everything seems fast right now), and increasing my mileage by about 3 1/2 miles per week until I get close to 40 mpw.  I'm definitely not in any condition to run more than 3 miles per day more than a couple of days in a row.  Hopefully, a couple of weeks of build-up will get some of my muscle memory back.

Back to the weight room today, also:

MACHINE Sets Reps Weight "Total Weight"
Seated Chest 4 11 175 7700
Butterfly 4 10 100 4000
Lat Pull 4 11 100 4400
Dips 4 11 135 5940
Dips 2 11 175 3850
Tricep Extension 2 22 60 2640
Leg Curl 4 11 115 5060
Leg Extension 4 11 115 5060
38650

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

MACHINE Sets Reps Weight "Total Weight"
Seated Chest 3 13 175 6825
Butterfly 3 13 85 3315
Lat Pull 3 17 70 3570
Dips 3 17 130 6630
Crunches 3 17 100 5100
Tricep Extension 3 17 60 3060
Leg Curl 3 14 100 4200
Leg Extension 3 14 100 4200
36900

36,130 lb machine workout

I also did partial leg presses 1x20 @ 100 lbs (have to take it easy on the hip joint still)

MACHINE Sets Reps Weight "Total Weight"
Seated Chest 3 12 175 6300
Butterfly 3 12 85 3060
Lat Pull 3 17 70 3570
Dips 3 16 130 6240
Crunches 3 17 100 5100
Tricep Extension 3 17 60 3060
Bicep 0 17 30 0
Leg Curl 3 13 100 3900
Leg Extension 3 13 100 3900
Row 2 10 50 1000
36130

20,000 "pounds" in 20 minutes attempt #twit2fit

I tried to do something to keep the weight lifting interesting and limit the amount of time spent doing it...  10 "tons" in 20 minutes, based on weight on machine X reps.  The workout took 25 minutes, but I did 15 "tons" instead of 10.

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

MACHINE Sets Reps Weight "Total Weight"
Seated Chest 3 10 175 5250
Butterfly 3 10 85 2550
Lat Pull 3 15 70 3150
Dips 1 20 100 2000
Dips 2 20 115 4600
Crunches 3 15 100 4500
Tricep 3 15 60 2700
Bicep 1 15 30 450
Leg Curl 3 10 100 3000
Leg Extension 3 10 100 3000
31200

I accidentally did too many pushups

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

Pushups 7x39, 1x38, 311 total (5 too many...  oh well).  13,364 since 12/28/2008.
Bicep Curls (each arm)  9x11, 1x7 - 20 lbs., 106 total. 615 since 2/14/2009.

AROM hip/knee flx supine 3×10
AROM lumbar rotn supine 20x
AROM lumbar alt arm/leg (hip bird dog) w/ball 3×10
AROM lumbar alt leg supine on ball 3×10
Hip Extension 3×15
Squats 3×10
2x piriformis round robin stretches
3x hamstring stretch supine
1x prone quad stretch
Adduction Stretch 3x
Right Leg Raises 3x20
Left Leg Raises 3x20
Inside Left Leg Raises 3x20
Inside Right Leg Raises 3x20

The more I strength, the more I stretch

I had a very broken up workout tonight, 4 hours in total--the only portion that I did in a solid stretch was the pushups + curls, in about 40 minutes combined.

Strength only:

Pushups 10x28, 1x23, 303 total. 13,053 since 12/28/2008 - 38 minutes, or one pushup every 7+ seconds.
Bicep Curls (each arm) 8x12, 1x9 - 20 lbs., 105 total. 615 since 2/14/2009. 37 minutes,or one pair of curl every 21+ seconds.

Stability, strength, and stretching:
AROM hip/knee flx supine 3×10
AROM lumbar rotn supine 20x
AROM lumbar alt arm/leg (hip bird dog) w/ball 3×10
AROM lumbar alt leg supine on ball 3×10
Hip Extension 3×15
Squats 3×10
3x piriformis round robin stretches
3x hamstring stretch supine
3x prone quad stretch
http://www.fitness-training-at-home.com/glute-stretches.html (#2) 3x
Adduction Stretch 3x

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

Strength or Stretching or Fish Oil Works #twit2fit

Magically, I think I can walk at a normal pace again.  As you can see below, I'm doing just about every strengthening and stretching exercise under the sun to try and recover (the AROM ones are physical therapy prescribed--Active Range of Motion).  I've been doing weights and other strengthening just to keep a decent metabolism rate going.  And, of course, I'm taking fish oil for some reason--supposedly it helps with inflammation and heart health (probably in the same way as aspirin does--it thins the blood).

RunningAHEAD - Strings_n_88keys's log: View Workout.

Pushups 10x30, 300 total.  12,750 since 12/28/2008.
Bicep Curls (each arm)  8x13- 20 lbs., 104 total. 510 since 2/14/2009.
AROM hip/knee flx supine 3x10
AROM lumbar rotn supine 20
AROM lumbar alt arm/leg (hip bird dog) w/ball  3x10
AROM lumbar alt leg supine on ball 3x10
Hip Extension 3x15
Squats 3x10
3x piriformis round robin stretches
3x hamstring stretch supine
2x prone quad stretch
http://www.fitness-training-at-home.com/glute-stretches.html (#2) 2x
Adduction Stretch 2x