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