Thursday, December 01, 2011

Halfway through the off-season Run Training Block

Hello Everyone!

I hope all of you have had a great week!  Also I hope everyone's Thanksgiving holiday was amazing, for those of you who observe that holiday.  I was pretty happy with my food intake for this holiday, and did not feel the need to complete two-a-day workouts or anything to get back down to pre-Turkey day weight.

So I will confess.  I made it all of a week before my body/mind felt the need to work out again.  I know that you SAY you will take a few weeks off... and you SAY that you are going to blow off the whole off season after completing a late-year IM...  However, that following Saturday (or Sunday, I will have to go back and look at my training log), an eerie thought crept into my brain.

"(voice in my head)Hey Andy!  You know what would be a good idea?"
"No. What would be a good idea?  Eating Zaxby's and watching football?"
"Wow.  Good call on the Zaxby's, but not that is not what I was thinking."
"OK then, what gives?"
"I feel like running today."
"You what!?!?  We just completed a 140.6 mile race not a week ago, and did an easy short recovery jog on Tuesday, and you want to RUN?!?!"
"OK then, lemme go find my shoes.  We'll knock out 4 miles or so, but let's not get crazy."

Awesomeness is what happened that day.  Working out with no agenda.  Running just for the hell of it.  And then the next day, then the next, and the day after that.  A few more days, and then I decided to take some days off.  Not because I needed it, not because my legs needed recovery, but solely because I wanted to take the time off.  I had a wedding to attend, we had our annual Friends-giving party at the house, I had to get some yard work done so that the entire yard did not look like one big leaf pile.  It is the off-season, I can do as I please ;)

Then Thanksgiving week I really got back into the swing of things.  Short runs, a long run, tempo runs, intervals, the whole shebang.  Got another 4 days in and then took a day off.  Then I just finished up today with my next 4 days and tomorrow is gonna be a day off.  I will still do something tomorrow (spin class, hot yoga, etc) but no agenda.

The other day, I decided I had enough runs in the last couple of weeks that I was going to make this an official run training block.  Look at me, trying to make my own training plan and stuff!  The cool thing about it, is that there is no structure!  You may think, training block with no structure?  How is that possible.  Well I have some goals, where I want my long runs to be, interval workouts, tempo goals, but I am not gonna push the envelope and say this needs to be done this day, in this way, at this time, for this effort.  Looking at the next two weeks (approximately), I will get in another 12 days of running and 3 off days.

After that, I am gonna taper back just a bit so I can start working in some bike work and I would like to plan to make either January or February a Bike Focused Training Block.  Swimming I am gonna start back with next week and just make it two days a week for now, just so that I am doing it.  Sure it is my worst discipline, but I feel as if I still have enough room to improve on the bike and the run to focus on that for now.  Yes, yes, I am probably in some way just ignoring what really needs to be focused on, the swim, but this is my off-season, and I want to be happy and have fun!  If that means skimping on the swim during the winter, then so be it!

Back to running.  Last night I went to West Stride and saw Wil.  We had a pretty good conversation and he hooked me up with a few pairs of shoes.  I want to take a moment out to thank Wil and Genie for everything they have done with regards to West Stride.  I remember when that store opened, Genie was my bank customer at the time, and I was really excited for her.  The store has done really well over the past few years and made a name for itself in the Atlanta area.  I have made sure that I buy my shoes and most of my other running-specific accessories from them.  If you live in the Atlanta area, you should definitely go visit them next time you are in need of a new pair of running shoes, apparel, or even want to head out on a group run.

I know that there have been advances in technology and there are a few things that I would like to at least try on, but in the end, I have learned my lesson the hard way.  "Don't fix it if it ain't broke!"  So these are my TWO new pairs of shoes.

The pair on the left are the Asics GT-2170's (2012 model) and the pair on the right are going to be my winter pair of Asics GT-2160's (2011 model)  I began breaking in the 2160's today so I will most likely have a gear report for them in the next few weeks.  I don't plan on wearing the 2170's right now, however, since they are the current year model and I know that some people may already own them, I will go ahead and break those in as well and try to get a report out on those by the beginning of the year.

Asics needs to love me ;)  My shoe review for them is one of the highest viewed posts on my blog ever, I would probably say top 5 if I go look at this point (saved my place to go look..........).  Oh, it is by FAR the MOST VIEWED POST since Blogger began tracking stats a couple years ago.  My blog has been around since 2006 and I think they began tracking stats around 2009-2010.  And I am going to be posting 2 new shoe reviews for them within about a month!  Asics, you need to get on it, I have been a loyal user since your GT-2120's in 2007, and my last shoe review is the MOST VIEWED POST on my blog! Lol :D

For all you racers in the Southern Hemisphere, I am sure you are really amped about the race season being underway.  I hope you have some really great races lined up, and I can't wait to hear about them.

I have been getting caught up on blogs this week, but it is slow because I like to read about everyone, rather then focusing on a few people.  No worries, I will get to everyone who is on my reading list.

Have a great weekend!


Born To Endure said...

I hear you, reading blogs in the a.m. had become my new addiction.

Christi said...

I love the way you are tackling your off-season. Great approach!

Carolina John said...

Nice! I had a tough time getting back into it, but it was more about recovery than anything else. Mentally I still haven't gotten used to not running over lunch every day.

I got in several good slow recovery pace runs without issue. A few bike rides went ok too. Then I tried to run fast, and my lungs blew up like they did the day after IMFL. That was the strangest thing. The first time I got back in the pool I discovered that my joints still needed more recovery time, my ankles really felt bad. How can swimming mess up your ankles? strange too. Last night's swim still had some strange ankle pain, but I pushed the speed pretty good and the distance (2800 yards hard IM sets) and today I can barely lift my arms. You have been warned.

Andy said...

My neck has finally healed from getting rubbed raw by my wetsuit on the swim. And yes I used lots of Body Glide.

I think the hardest thing right now is attempting to transition to a faster pace focusing on 10-15K distances. My body is so used to the long and aerobic effort it is having to re-learn if that makes sense

Wes said...

back to organized workouts already? showoff... yea, I bought Dee Dee's Newtons at that store. I liked it!

I want to transition to my Vibrams. Let's not wait until Spring to get together, huh?

Andy said...

Agreed! What do you have going on the next couple weeks? Before the 21st of December? I will be back after the 27th as well for New Year's

Caratunk Girl said...

So funny - I like to read everyone too and end up getting SO FAR behind on blogs!! :)

Glad to see the training is going well, I hope your off season gives you a nice ramp for 2012!

Rachel said...

I have the opposite problem--I take a week break, and it turns into a month! I wish I had more of the opposite problem!

Andy said...

Rachel... After my hamstring injury in January and then studying for my next CPA exam, I have fallen off the map. I rode by tri bike for 20 min yesterday (for the first time since IMFL) and it HURT...

karen nelson said...

I love those new pair of sports shoes,especially the neon ones. The shoe reviews are indeed interesting and informative.

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Eleuterio Ignacio said...

There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself to slim, however it is important that your chosen fitness routine is enjoyable and not a chore. You will find that if you can participate in an exercise routine that is actually fun, you will generally forget about the weight loss process which in turn will lead to a greater chance of long term success.

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