Fitness Program 2.0
So, as commented, the fitness plan has been revised due to the marathon training. A primary goal of the program is to avoid injury, since I have little room for error. The pure strength training program has been put on hold for the most part, as have miscellaneous challenges and sub-goals. For now, the week looks like:
|Sunday||Run + Cross-Train Cardio|
|Monday||Cross-Train Cardio + Weights|
|Wednesday||Run + Cross-Train Cardio|
|Friday||Run + Weights|
Initially, I am starting with with Couch-2-5K. All of the marathon training programs I have perused start you around 3 miles a run, and since 5k is 3 1/8 miles it segues pretty nicely. I currently am doing that Sun/Wed/Fri. I do need to start getting some outdoor time in as treadmill is no substitute for ground. (Which requires I read up on how not to freeze in winter weather and get sick – another thing I’d like to avoid).
Additionally, in this phase, I am currently doing cross-training cardio work on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays, primarily because the running is stretching the muscles, but not so much the cardio or calories. The Arc Trainer is out for now. What I have read is cross-training should be on exercises that don’t stress the muscles the same way, specifically excluding stairmasters (ellipticals are less clearly noted either way). They tend to recommend biking and swimming, things I will look into in later on. So for now, mostly elliptical, but I am also experimenting with the stationary bike.
In either case, the post-run sessions on Sun and Wed are less intense than previously, in resistance level and sometimes on time period. I am primarily basing both on how I feel coming off the treadmill and making sure the session will not prevent the next running session. So previously I would do 30 minutes of hills at level 12 (1/2 max) on the elliptical, now I will cut it back to level 10 and maybe only 20 or 25 minutes depending on how the legs feel.
On Mondays and Fridays, I add weight sessions instead of a 2nd cardio session. I am starting with pull-up/chin-ups on a strength basis, as I was so close (20 lbs) to not needing assistance. Having put so many other goals on hold for the marathon, I refuse to give this one up.
After that I do 30-40 minutes of light weights. The goal is to hit the whole body especially areas less well-trained by the running but important for running performance (shoulders/core) or injury (knees/quads). Doing 3 sets of 8-12 reps with 30 second rests at weights that do not induce failure. I do as many machines as 30 – 40 minutes and gym crowd allows, alternating body parts as much as possible. Many runners avoid weights at all costs so there was limited information out there. The most comprehensive online write up I found was here.
When the running starts to feel sufficiently challenging cardio/calorie wise, I will likely drop any extra cardio unless directed by the program I pick and add more weight sessions.
1) I have skimmed the Verstegen Core Performance Endurance book which is also about strength training for distance runners/cyclers. His regime is designed to be gym-free and mostly uses your body or limited gym-in-a-bag style gear. I am definitely looking to include some of his pre-run elastic stretches in, but since I am at the gym right now, less prone to using his exact regime. Perhaps I will gin up the weight machine equivalents. When I am doing more outdoor running, I may also incorporate it more directly.
2) I have 3 beginner marathon programs to choose from – Galloway, Higdon, and University of Northern Iowa. The C25k guys also have some marathon training programs. Higdon/NI are 18 week programs, Galloway a 30 week program, similar but different. I’ll need to decide in January which one to do after Couch 2 5K and how I will bridge from 5k to their starts (i.e. what will I do for about 20 weeks if I do Higdon after finishing 5k).