"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Piece of Work

Running is work, Plymetrics are work, and strength training is work. Put all three together, and that's a piece of something! I started my day yesterday at 5:00AM running 5 miles. I did 3 miles at a 7:38 pace, and completed the last 2 miles with .5 mile interval speed work. I don't know if the air wasn't flowing at Lifetime, or if I was just working up a storm, but I looked like I took a shower when I finished!

I had some time to clean up and run to the bathroom before I started Bootcamp at 6:00AM at Lifetime. This is the beginning of my second week in the Bootcamp class and I am LOVING it! We have moved into the power phase of training, which comprises mostly plyometrics and power movements. That means lots of running, lots of jumping, lots of hopping, and skipping. Sounds like schoolgirl moves--but don't knock it until you try it. I understand the bootcamp slogan now, "You don't do bootcamp, you survive it." When that hour was up, my body was done. I had a nice 8 hour recovery at work, before I received more madness!

One of my business clients got me in touch with the manager at Discover Strength, a personal training company in Plymouth. Yes, I'm a personal trainer, and train clients weekly; however, any trainer who likes to work hard will confess they love when another trainer gives them a beating. It's easy to pound a client to the ground, but it's difficult to hold yourself to those same intense standards. It can be done, but I find it enjoyable when I have someone else pushing me beyond what I thought I'd be able to do. Their philosophy of training is far different from what I typically do. Not that one way is better than the other, just very different. There personal training sessions only last 30 minutes (which was long enough!), and do not involve ANY cardio. When I train I like to do circuits where I keep my heart rate going between zones. I often go for lower weight and higher reps, to keep my cardio endurance challenging, even as I'm strength training. I go for this approach because I am a distance runner, and the cardio piece is crucial to me. But I also recognize that strictly strength training is beneficial to distance runners as it helps build lean muscles, and prevent injury. So as I walked into the doors of Discover Strength I had no idea what the session held for me. I only did 10 exercises. And I only did one set of each exercise. And I only did about 6-8 reps of any given exercise, if I even made it to 6!! They really focus on muscle failure. So oftentimes I would be eccentrically contracting my muscles for 2 seconds, isometrically holding for 1-2 seconds, and concentrically contracting my muscles for 10 seconds. I performed each rep to failure (i.e. until my arms or legs gave out)--hence the ABSOLUTE need for a trainer.

I left the studio with every muscle shaking. I waited a couple minutes in my car before I decided to drive. My body was completely exhausted, and I loved it! Even this morning as I'm typing this, I feel every body part I worked-Chest, Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders, Hamstrings, Calves, Glutes, Abs. I am aware of each muscle. Between running, plyometric bootcamp, and strength training, yesterday was a beautiful piece of work!!!

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