posted on May 10, 2019
It’s finally spring, which means I’m running again!
I honestly couldn’t be happier that:
The weather is finally nice enough for a fair-weather runner like me
My knees and hips are holding up despite my injury history (soccer, bad lifting when I first started)
I was getting some yoga classes in over the winter, but now I feel reinvigorated in creating a new training schedule and plan.
I absolutely hated running when I played soccer. It was a punishment, something I did because my coaches made me. I struggled to get a few miles of a straight run in because it felt “pointless.” I could run for 90 minutes in a game or two hours in scrimmages no problem because there was a purpose behind it, but couldn’t translate that to a 5k. Now that I’m older, I’ve put that mindset behind me and have found running to be truly cathartic. It’s not a true meditation at all, but it does give me a unique space to think and let my thoughts run wild (pun 1000% intended) in a constructive way. Plus, I get to enjoy even more of what Pittsburgh’s North Side has to offer on the river trail!
Adding more intense cardio back into my training schedule means rethinking how I structure my weeks and even my individual strength workouts. I’m still strength training ~5 workouts per week, utilizing 5/3/1 for my squat/bench/deadlift/overhead press (I really care about having nice shoulders, what can I say?), with an additional day focused on pull-ups and some bodybuilding. I’m also now running up to 5x per week, including a lot of what are often referred to as “junk miles.” This is very different from how I’ve done it in the past, where I’d keep running to no more than three times per week, sometimes even down to two.
Why the change? I’m not giving weight training the same priority I did in the past. My goals in lifting right now are still simply to regain some size and some minor strength gains (to see if I can gain back or at the very least maintain my strength while working on my health). So that means I can be a little more liberal with running, which helps keep me feeling mentally sharp (and sane).
My basic layout looks like this:
|Mid Run||Row/Run||Ski/Row||Short Run||Elliptical||Long Run|
The other big change is what my assistance work contains. Lower body days are more heavily focused on building my core and posterior chain, ie the glutes, hamstrings, and back, plus a lot more single-leg work. I’m using different variations on the typical back squat that are still very taxing but require less straight weight and therefore a little less strain on my knees and quads. I’ve included one of my favorite supersets here – a weighted single-leg squat to the box (at parallel), right into a single-leg Romanian deadlift.
I’m still taking a full lifting deload every 4th week, and still get to move some heavy weight! As I’m writing this, I benched 5 singles at 165, and I’m looking forward to pulling around 325 on Friday! It takes some balance but it feels gooooood to be back!