This is a guest post written by my husband.
With a new year upon us – it’s time to look back at what once was and look forward to what will come. Will it be a new year new you? Last year, brought many positive gains, but also left some areas of improvement within my fitness plans. As 2018 is now underway, I have outlined several changes that I think it would improve my overall running abilities and performance.
I have run the 5-miler distance for several years now, including the Bay Days in July and Celebrate Westlake in September. My goal is to get closer to running a 40:00 minute 5-miler. Another local Cleveland, Ohio 5-miler option is the Cleveland 8K, which Holly ran last year in May, and is just under 5-miles.
New Year New You
My Fitness Life
I try to do the best I can to maintain a regular fitness program through the week given time constraints and priorities to other areas of life (work and family mainly). My current program is focused on running and weight conditioning.
I find that that the time of the year largely affects how this is balanced. During the warmer months, typically April through October, I will favor more running than weight lifting. The opposite is true for the colder months.
I have been running consistently for the past decade. Up until finishing graduate school, my primary workout regiment was weight lifting and rock climbing. Upon graduation, running came back into focus because, at the time, I did not have access to a rock wall.
During the cold months I usually try to hit the gym three times a week. Earlier last year, I had sat down with the gym’s trainer to create a more flexible program.
After some discussion about my short and long term goals, the trainer recommended I should create and try a supersets program. Supersets are combinations of exercises performed consecutively with no rest in between the sets.
They can be performed on the same muscle group, or different muscle groups, depending on your goals and preferences. Supersets allow me to move quickly from one exercise to another exercise without taking a break for rest in between the two exercises.
Referring to the table below, the superset program is divided into three workouts. For example, one day I will focus on chest and back. On another day I will focus on legs, lower and upper back; and core.
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My overall goal for my new year new you weight lifting program is to be in better shape for running. During each workout I will only do three routines per set so that I do not fatigue my muscles for running. For each workout I switch it up so I am not doing the same exercises over and over. I am also always open to adding new superset routines to my list.
Working Out in the New Year
The one staple in my fitness life is the weather. This is true for many who live in inclement climates or have a four seasons year such as here in Ohio. If it is warm outside (usually a temperature 55 degrees or higher) – I will run outside. If it is the dead of winter you will find me in the gym either lifting weights or running on treadmill.
The only drawback I find with running on the treadmill is that I am stationary in one spot. It is hard to get adjusted to this style of running when I have been outside all summer. However, I have a few tips to make treadmill running easier:
- When I am running the treadmill, I usually play a podcast, so I am not fumbling around on my phone.
- I find it is also good to have podcast on hand to get adjusted to treadmill running.
- Focusing on speed and duration is great during treadmill workouts for building stamina.
- I do this, rather than going for distance, as distance will come in time.
Coming from running in the great outdoors, to the less than scenic indoors is an adjustment. The great thing though is that thinking about summer and visualizing my route that I take during outdoor runs helps me to push through.
Once I’m back outside my program will change back to my 8K training regiment, the Hal Higdon 8K Intermediate Training Plan. When running in the summer, I have a 5-mile loop that I stick to that offers four possible routes (5-miles, 4-miles, 2.5-miles and 1.2-miles). I have come to be very fond of this route because of running it so many times.
In addition to using this training program, I also utilize a Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch to track the pace and distance for all of my outdoor runs.
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New Year New Workouts
Every March or April is the time I venture out to buy new running shoes. My wife and I took a break from running for the majority of 2015 heading into 2016 because of the birth of our daughter. I had always worn the Asics GT-2000.
Compared to other running shoes I have tried, I prefer the Asics the most. The cushioning and stability make for a smooth run, especially when going over uneven terrain or runs extending past a 5-mile distance.
In the early spring of 2017, before the weather warmed up, I went to Fleet Feet Sports for a new pair of kicks. The store associate recommended that I try the Adidas Supernova Sequence 9. From what the employee told me, they were the same as the Asics GT-2000 in terms of stability and cushioning. I was sold.
However, as I got into my outdoor running season – the shoes left a lot to be desired. The cushioning was not really there especially later into the running season. In terms of stability, sometimes I felt I was running with two left feet. This spring, I will once again shop for new running shoes.
Bringing it Together in Balance
Currently I am working on putting together a better training program that will allow for more weight lifting while running outside. The table below illustrates the new program. Monday, Thurdsay and Saturday will be designated as gym days.
On gym days, I will do a treadmill workout or just run outside and finish with a superset (refer back to table above) for that day. Tuesday and Wednesday will strictly be run days. Friday will be an option day – either rest, a light run or catch up day for weight training. Sunday will be a rest day.
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Typically races are on Saturday mornings. On race days, I will defer my weight training to Sunday and do a light program. This should help with my long term goals on getting faster. Last summer, I ran two 5-mile races between 42:00 and 43:30 minutes.
This summer, I would like to get to or below the 40:00 minute threshold. With consistency and being mindful to time management I have no doubt I will get there. It’s time for a new year new you.
What are your running goals this year?