Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Is Just That

I didn't work out yesterday, instead deciding to honor my body and let it rest. This morning I wanted to get up and run then ride, then go to acupuncture, and end my day by teaching yoga. Well at least I got up. I was up by 9 AM. Then I went back to bed and didn't get up again until after noon sometime when the phone rang.

This meant I had to adjust my plans. So I canceled my acupuncture appointment and went for a run. I'm really liking running lately and I'm learning a great deal about my body and how it is affected by what I'm eating. For instance I'm noticing I recover much faster from the soreness that can accumulate from daily or hard runs if I have more leafy green vegetables in my diet. I don't know why that is but over the holidays I noticed a great deal of soreness from running that went away when I stopped eating holiday food and went back to my normal diet which includes lots of fresh juices and salads which are full of leafy green veggies.

Ever since I discovered this I've been more willing to run and push some limits knowing my body would recover from the physical demands of running more frequently and faster. Today started out fairly easy with about a 10 min warmup which then ramped up in intensity for two steady state 7 min sets with a moderate 5 min recovery in between. I had planned 3 of the 7 min sets but because of my late start, I had to cut it short. But I felt awesome for the whole run and finished with a lot left in the tank.

What I have been really working on is some of the same stuff I use in my Yoga practice and that is looking at the activity of running as a system of ideal muscle recruitment. So just like in Yoga poses when you come to your limits and you have to find a way to explore that edge and come to terms with it, I have been looking at my running in much the same way which is why I find I am not doing as much Long Slow Distance as I have in the past. Now I'm doing parts of my runs at easy to moderate pace and adding some speed where I can stay as relaxed and as efficient as possible. The whole time I am engaged in the act of finding spots of tension and relaxing while attempting to keep my speed as high as possible. This has added a whole new dimension to the process of my running and so far keeps each workout fresh. I plan on keeping this up for the next 6 weeks until I move into mid March when I want to start some track work.

The other workout for the days was a bike ride on the trainer. It wasn't supposed to be a trainer day, but given my "late" start, I had to just put some time on the bike when and where I could. This is one area of my training that I am going to have to spend a great deal of time addressing this year. So I think this week I will just work at getting time on the saddle in while I start to design a plan to address the black hole that has become my cycling ability. I think I'm going to start with addressing the obvious loss of leg strength. That should yield some gains in running speed as well, so I think the time will be worth it. As for the endurance side of the equation I'm going to have to make long bike rides a priority. I'm hoping once I get used to working during the day this will be less and less of an issue and I'll find both the time and energy to make it happen.

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