Thursday, October 22, 2009

P90X and Marathon Training

In one word....DRAINING

I've found myself working out until 1:30am once. This past Tuesday, I did phase 2 chest, shoulders and tri's (by far the toughest workout) and immediately followed that with 5.5 miles with a Tabata set.

Luckily, I have only just over a week remaining. I'm in day 24 of P90X now. Supposed to have a rest week, but decided to push that back to next week to accommodate my taper schedule. I figure I can suffer for one more week. Work is also starting to calm down, thank God. I think I'm starting to see some light.

Tonight, it's back, biceps and abs, which I'll probably start at about 11pm. Why so late? Because first league basketball game started tonight. We lost. I stunk it up. Got home at about 8. Took a nap. Had dinner. Rest. Workout.

I guess that about sums up what I've been up to the last few weeks. Work. Workout. Recover whenever I can squeeze in the time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

P90X Day 14 - Chest & Back + Interval Workout

Haven't written in the last few days because I've been out and about at a friends place and road tripping. But that doesn't mean that I skipped my workouts. As a matter of fact, I was able to squeeze in 20+ miles and the kenpo workout on Sunday. The kenpo video turned out to be quite beneficial to loosen up stiff joints and muscles from the long run.

Today's was the third time doing the chest & back routine. And I was definitely happily surprised at the results. Here's my chart for this workout:

I tried to keep the first round same or slightly better than the previous week's numbers. Then go all out in the second round. I was able to almost double some second round numbers. Huge improvement. I remember the first week, I could barely do two diamond push-ups. This week I did 9! It's exciting to see the progress :-)

Also did a treadmill interval workout today. I'd forgotten how much more interesting it is to do interval workouts on a treadmill. Inverted ladders - 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minute repeats at increasing speeds with rest periods at about half the interval. Covered about 6.75 miles for the workout during lunch.

Friday, October 9, 2009

P90X Day 9 - Shoulders, Arms, Ab Ripper

It's definitely the lack of carbs that had me bonking.

Continued with my carb lifestyle today and I felt great. Lots of energy to last throughout the day and my workouts. Ran the same route today as I did Tuesday at probably a faster pace and I didn't feel anywhere near as heavy-legged or winded.

Also was able to put a good effort into the P90X workout tonight. Comparing my numbers to the first time I did shoulders and arms, I think I slacked off too much the first time I did it. Needed to make up for the lack of effort.

After 9 days, I'm not sure if there are any results yet. What I am proud of though is that I haven't had any dessert since I started the program. :-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

P90X Day 8 - Plyometrics

This second week of P90X isn't nearly as hard as the first week. It may be because I didn't have a fit test where every exercise was to failure. Or it could be because I'm more familiar with the workouts now. One hour a day is pretty standard anyhow. I tried to do tonight's plyometrics video with more gusto than the first week so I could get my heart rate a little higher. I'm pretty sure I did because my quads were on fire. Frankly, I probably could have or should have gone for a run afterwards, but I'm doing two workouts again tomorrow so I took it easy.

Going back to yesterday's post, I made sure I ate more today. Had waffles and a peanut butter banana shake for breakfast. Some mixed nuts late morning. Fried chicken, potatoes and mac and cheese for lunch. Smoked almonds in the afternoon. Turkey burger and pasta for dinner. And finally an energy bar and a glass of milk late evening. I think that tips me over 3000, which is about right :-)

Why I've Been Bonking - P90X Day 8

This past weekend's long run and a couple of subsequent runs have set me back mentally in my marathon training. I don't recall struggling so much in a long run. Looking back, the things that changed were:
  • P90X routine
  • P90X diet
  • head cold
Of all those things, I'm guessing that the diet has affected my running the most. I've done weeks where I've had 2-3 2x/day workouts, but never changed the diet. I've always relied on calorie dense foods for the energy (read brownies, pastries, muffins, etc). I've agreed to cut that source of energy from my diet for 90 days but I have not replaced the calories. I've satisfied my hunger with a banana or a handful of almonds, but I'm not getting the calories. A banana is about 100 calories while pastries can run 5x-6x that. So starting tomorrow, I'm going to eat more. What a delightful problem.

The P90X workout today was a repeat of the chest and back workout. Last week, this workout absolutely kicked my butt. This time, it wasn't so bad. I was able to do a couple of extra reps for most of the sets. I also paced myself better, going moderate on the first half and maxing out in the second half. The workout flew by tonight, which was a nice change.

Also ran some 6.5+ miles today during lunch. This is my high mileage week before the taper, so I have to make sure to get the miles in as well. And tomorrow is plyometrics. Might be a pretty rough week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

P90X Day 6 - Kenpo X

Decided to do the Kenpo X workout tonight following an easy 3.65 mile run. The video itself wasn't too difficult. It was actually kind of fun in an exercise video kind of way, and that's coming from a guy that dislikes exercise videos. The workout is a series of kicks, punches and stretches, with the most painful part being the squat positions.

Tomorrow is a rest day for P90X. Nice. I'm planning on an easy run tomorrow with a Tabata set just to get my speed going again. It's 5 wks to the marathon. Time has indeed flown.

P90X Day 5 - Legs & Back

I was definitely fearful heading into today's legs and back session. I had a difficult nearly 17 miles long run this morning, and the P90X workouts can be demanding. Thank goodness it wasn't all legs.

As it turns out, the workout wasn't that bad. The nice thing about P90X is the instructor's insistence on "try your best, forget the rest." I gave what I could and surprised myself that I was able to last through the workouts. I probably could have worked out a little harder by going lower on lots of lunges, but I think I earned some slack from the morning run.

The back portion of the exercises included several sets of pull-ups. By the time I was done, I checked my log sheet and saw that I completed 89 pull-ups in various grips and widths. Just one off the most I've ever done in a workout session. I'm pretty sure I'll be surpassing that eventually. I paced myself better in this session as well. Wanted to make sure I had a decent amount of reps for the second round.

The legs and back were followed by another 15 mins of the ab ripper set. I still can't complete the whole thing without taking a break, but I feel I did better this time than the first couple of times.

So after only five days, I have to say that I'm impressed with the program thus far. It can be as easy as you want with minimal results, or hard as you want for better results. I'll be choosing the latter as often as I can. What I've appreciated most thus far is that the program has put me on a better diet regimen. No sweets for 5 days! :-) I'd forgotten how much better I feel without dirty energy.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

P90X Day 4 - Yoga

Sweat. Something I've never experienced doing yoga. Granted that's not saying much since I've done yoga maybe two other times, but I can honestly understand now why yogi's say yoga is a great workout. I enjoyed the yoga session enough that I'm looking forward to repeating it again. I feel more flexible, balanced and for whatever reason, a little more peaceful.

Not looking forward to tomorrow's workout. Have to do legs and back for P90X and do a long run (maybe 20 miles) in the morning. And because of that, I'm off to bed.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September mileage


How about some props for low mileage training? Just over 5 weeks to go for the marathon and I have not yet done a 20+ miler or a 40+ mile week. By comparison, last year I averaged over ~50 miles/week from July to mid-October. I'm really enjoying this. With the marathon approaching though, I wonder if I can really stick to my "just have fun" goal and really forget about the time. It didn't happen at the Queens Half. I had fun, but my run was motivated by time. Same thing at the Continental Mile. Fun, but time motivated even though I was sick. In both races, I performed better than I expected. Maybe the same thing can happen at NYC?

Anyways, below is my September mileage:

P90X Day 3 - Shoulders, Arms, Ab Ripper

It's not every day that I'll wake up early to do a video. But that's what this P90x commitment is about. Knowing that I had to squeeze in a run today, I got up earlier than usual to finish the shoulders, arms and ab ripper workouts.

The workout itself was probably my favorite so far. Maybe it's because I didn't over exert myself. Or maybe it was because I was doing something different with every exercise instead of being in a squat position for nearly an hour. The hardest exercise was the side push-up. Lie on your right side and push up your torso with your left hand and vice versa. It's not so easy when it's one of the last exercises and the arms are wasted.

I can't overstate how this program has flipped a switch on my diet. I really don't crave sweets as much. I'm not dying for ice cream and chocolate. Rather, I've been wanting clean energy. Consequently, I feel "cleaner." I don't know how to quantify that, but it certainly feels nice.

87 days to go. :-)