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Friday, May 15, 2009

STS Week 11 in Review

Eleven weeks!  That's some crazy stuff.

This week, I started Mesocycle 3.  The focus of this month is strength, which is awesome because I could use some.  For upper body, the workouts were grouped with chest and back together and biceps, triceps and shoulders together.  We're using very heavy weights - 80%+ of 1 Rep max - so, there were big breaks between sets.  This worked for me because I started using a combination of wrist weights and weighted gloves in order to get EXACTLY the weight I need for each exercise.  This also meant it took forever to switch my weights between sets, so I was never sitting still.  

For lower body, there was a choice between "Squat Rack Legs" and "Plyo Legs."  I chose plyo legs.  The biggest reason for this is that I don't have a squat rack, so obviously I'll pick the plyo option.  However, the plyo legs option was also designed to increase speed and power - specifically to help runners to run faster.  And, well, that sounds right up my alley, now doesn't it?

Plyo legs was TOUGH.  It seemed a lot more like a cardio workout than a weights workout.  It alternated between a weights exercise (lunges, squats, and the like), and a plyometric exercise such as jumping on the step, airborne jacks, lateral jumps...  and on and on.  These are basically the same "blast" exercises that I either do half-assed or fast forward through during videos like Boot Camp and IMAX2.  I really did them this time, though, and they kicked my ass pretty hard.

Check out the video.  The turning jump things at about 4:15 are the ones that really got me.  Everything on that whole video looks easier than it is in real life.  Anyway, here's hoping that it helps me run faster and better!  As an added bonus, I ran the Fleet Feet Baltimore course (3.78 miles) on Saturday in 51 minutes with my group (not as fast as I could have gone, I was going long run pace) and then ran the same course again on Tuesday night with friend Natalie (who is faster than me) and completed it in 45 minutes.  I was near death and couldn't speak for a lot of the run, but I was totally psyched at my pace.  Here's to running faster in order to run faster!

I've still been contemplating what to do after this mesocycle is through, and I decided to start STS over again in July, only doing legs as long as I feel that it's not impacting my running.  By September, I'll be up to 17 miles and will probably need to back off of legs and move into a more "maintenance mode" to keep up my strength gains in the lower body, without pushing too hard.  I really don't want to overtrain my lower body.  Between the end of mesocycle 3 (which ends mid-June) and when I'll start mesocycle 1 again in mid-July, I'll be working on a lot of cardio (running and swimming, specifically, I don't see myself doing too much step aerobics at the moment).  I'm going to do some weight training, but it will be circuit workouts and also getting my 1 Rep Max together for my next round of STS.  I'm excited to see how much I've improved over the last 3 months.  I know one thing - I am lifting heavier weights than I'd ever imagined lifting.

My book that I ordered for swimming finally arrived.  It's called "Total Immersion" and contains a lot of drills that should help me become a better swimmer.  I plan to read the whole thing in order to fully grasp the concepts, then take the information out to the pool next weekend when our membership starts.  Here's hoping for good weather!  There is a DVD also, which was available via Netflix (yay!).  I started watching it Wednesday night, and while it's really boring and the author could have done better by using a model to demonstrate the moves rather than doing them himself, I think it has a lot of great informatin that will help me to become a better swimmer.

A final note:  Earlier in the week, I wrote about my phantom pain.  Well, thus far this week,  between running (two short runs) and plyo legs, no pain.  Perhaps it actually went away during my rest period, but then I thought it had returned after doing so much step aerobics?  Let's hope.

1 comment:

V- said...

Wow...I watched that link. That is a mega-monster workout! Omigod! This was the first Cathe clip I've watched and I sat here gaping at it for the entire 7 1/2 minutes! Yeah, I do lower body weight exercises at the gym (lunges and squats mostly) but never anything like that! My hats off to you for making it through that workout.

I'll have to try some of those moves at the gym (I'll be much whimpier about it than those folks in the video). I see where doing plyo drills will be useful for my training. But, like you, I want to be careful about overtraining the legs (and avoid adversely effecting running strength and speed). Striking a good balance is key.

Here, here to running faster to get faster! :)

I'm happy the phantom pain is gone (or at least disappeared for awhile). Keep us posted there. V-

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