Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pre-Marathon Strength Training: Week 1 Workout Log

Last week was the first week of the strength training schedule I put together. So far, so good!

Monday: 20 minutes intervals (with 5 mins w/u and 5 mins c/d) + lower body lifting routine.

I could definitely tell that I'd lost some strength after not lifting for a month. I was struggling a bit with a 45 pound bar, when I had worked my way up to 55-60 lbs (depending on number of reps) prior to taking some time off. Boooo. Hopefully it'll come back fairly quickly with consistent strength over the next two months.

I did 20 minutes of 1 minute on, 1 minute off intervals on the treadmill. I probably took the intervals a bit slow because I wasn't sure what my legs were capable of. Ended up with 3.41 miles in 30 minutes. The goal is to run a further distance for each kind of intervals (1 minute versus 30 seconds) each time (and I ran 3.50 miles last night, so I'm hitting that goal so far!).

Tuesday: 20 minutes one-on-one basketball with Sourabh + chest/back lifting routine.

I was so sore from Monday's lifting routine, but that's the nice thing about a body split: you can do back to back lifting days even if you're sore. Again, I could really see how my strength had fallen off based on the numbers I was lifting, which wasn't fun. It's a reminder that just running isn't sufficient!

Finished the workout by playing some one-on-one with Sourabh for 20 minutes. He's been playing a lot of basketball, so I tried defending him a bit. I have no basketball skills but I run, so I can defend decently, and it was a fun way to get in my cardio.

Wednesday: 4 easy miles on the treadmill.

I was so into the book Americanah that I chose to run on the treadmill, just so I could keep reading this book. It's so good, you guys. Please do yourselves a favor and go download it to your Kindle/iPad or pick it up from a store.

Thursday: Off.

I was still quite sore from Monday's lower body workout, so opted to give myself a rest day before I did another lower body lifting routine.

Friday: 20 minutes intervals (with 5 mins w/u and 5 mins c/d) + lower body lifting routine.

Friday nights at the gym are awesome, you guys. It's totally empty, which is my favorite. I swear I don't hate people, but let's be honest, does anyone like to have people around while they work out? The worst is when I'm doing weighted hip lifts. I really would prefer not to have sweaty dudes around when I'm doing anything that remotely resembles thrusting.

I did 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, and ended up with 3.57 miles and a gallon of sweat. Banged out three sets of the lower body and core exercises then concluded the evening by eating sushi with Sourabh at our (current) favorite sushi place in Orange County, Angotei.

Saturday: 20 minutes on-on-one basketball with Sourabh + biceps/triceps lifting routine.

I had fun playing basketball as cardio on Tuesday so decided to do that again. This time before lifting weights, since the previous time I'd shoot and the basketball would fall a good foot short since my shoulders were just absolutely shot.

Nothing exciting to note about the biceps/triceps routine -- I've lost strength, like I mentioned, but hopefully I'll see it come back.

Sourabh and I went on a walk with Mason in the afternoon at Shady Canyon, and I discovered a great incline for hill repeats come marathon training.

We also saw Spy Saturday morning (matinee pricing FTW!), which I loved. It had some very sly commentary on how women undermine ourselves in the workplace, while also being hilarious (without resorting to "haha large lady fell down" jokes).

Sunday: 105 minute restorative yoga class + 45 minutes swimming.

I wanted to be cautious not to overdo it, given that my legs had been so "off" for a few weeks prior, so I scrapped the long run for last week. Instead, I went to a yoga class and did 45 minutes of "swimming" on Sunday. If you're wondering why it's in quotes, it's because I'm an awful swimmer, and it was really more splashing around and trying to get from one end of the pool to the other. But it was a lot of fun and I hope to get better, and hopefully use swimming as a cross-training tool during marathon training. I loved the exhausted feeling I had post-swim.

Please note, the yoga class was supposed to be 75 minutes. Yes, the instructor ran a full 30 minutes over. It was a good restorative class, but the instructor didn't announce that he runs over at the beginning, and Sourabh and I had brunch reservations that we nearly missed. (We went to Social in Costa Mesa, which was SO GOOD.)

I'll probably hit up the class again because it was just the right balance of stretching and relaxation, but now I know not to plan on brunch before noon...

Both the swimming and the basketball playing are part of my effort to keep up my cardio without burning out on running prior to marathon training. No matter how much you love running, I think it's impossible to get all the way through a training cycle without a bit of run fatigue. Especially because I'll be doing a longer training cycle to compensate for any work craziness, I want to be sure I enter marathon training psyched to run and in good shape.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm hoping to stay close to 20ish miles per week generally, but given that it was my first week back to strength training, and that I'd put them a bit through the wringer, I wanted to play it safe this past week.


  1. Woohoo for basketball! Sometimes during the season, I'll shoot around or play one-on-one--and it *definitely* counts as cardio. I'd be winded after playing for 20 minutes, yet I can swim, bike, and run for way longer. So crazy! And once you figure out the breathing/technique part of swimming, you'll be cruising in no time.

    1. It's crazy how quickly it gets you huffing and puffing -- I attribute it to the HIIT element of the fast breaks. And I might be texting you right now to ask for some tips on the whole breathing aspect...

  2. That trail looks perfect for running, and that is the kind of trail I need so desperately here in LA! That June strength calendar is great; I'm not a member of a gym and don't have access to weights, but I definitely need to start doing body weight strengthening exercises. I know it makes a big difference in injury prevention!

    1. I feel lucky to have access to so many trails here in OC! I just haven't been running them recently haha. Summer/fall goal is to get VERY familiar with the trail network here!

  3. I love swimming (swam competitively growing up) and it makes me sad that unless I want to pay for yet ANOTHER gym membership (I belong to 2 and do classpass already) I don't have the opportunity really.

    I also love Fridays at the gym, and generally any "off" time. I love being able to set up circuits and use as many weights as I want without feeling like a hog :)

    1. I've never had easy access to a pool before so I'm excited to have this! Off time is the best at the gym. You can set up your own space and just pound out a workout. I love it!