Tag Archives: endurance

Building Up Endurance (or Shocking Myself)

This week of workouts started out pretty normally, but it ended with an accomplishment that shocked me so much that I’m still not totally believing it. But I know that the accomplishment was all because of the hard work that I’ve been doing over the past few months.

My Monday workout was an endurance day where we didn’t switch between blocks. There were 3 blocks on the treadmill and each block started with a 3 minute push pace. I know I can run for 3 minutes, but since I didn’t want to overdo things I did my 1 minute intervals for all of them. I’m not sure why I’m so scared to run for 3 minutes at a time when I have done it before, but I’m sure it has to do with the lack of confidence I have in myself while running. I’ve been running since the end of May last year, but I still don’t feel like a runner. I’m hoping that I can build confidence running soon, but I know I also have to be patient with myself. With the rest of those 3 treadmill blocks, I did 1 minute intervals for the 2 minute push paces and I ran all of the all out paces.

On the floor for that workout, I did some squats with arm rows using 15 pounds (which is pretty heavy for me). I also did some plank work on my toes which is still a newish thing for me. My right knee has been bugging me so being on my toes is a necessity. But it’s not easy to do plank work on your toes after doing them on my knees for so long. I also used 20 pounds weights for my standing tricep work (again, heavy weights for me). And we had 300 meter sprint rows to end the workout. I did those in 1:07 and 1:04 which isn’t too bad for me considering this was at the end of the workout.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day and we didn’t switch between blocks. It was technically a run/row, but it wasn’t a run/row in a traditional sense. We had 5 different blocks that were guided by the coach and we transitioned between the treadmill and the rower for each one (3 run blocks and 2 row blocks). All of the run segments were short and I ran for all the push and all out paces. I was still walking during my base, but now looking back at it I might have been able to run the entire time. And for the rower, we had 100, 150, and 200 meter sprints with jump squats between each sprint.

On the floor, we didn’t really focus on one specific area and did more of an all over workout. We had arms, legs, squats, abs, and the ab roller. I tried to do heavier weights for most of the work but I wasn’t able to lift the heavier ones like I had the day before. And we ended the floor work with a 3 minute row (while the cardio side was in their last treadmill block). Also, on Wednesday’s workout I had a friend in class with me for her first class! It’s been a while since I had a friend with me who had never been to Orangetheory before, and I was trying to help her out with following the pattern of class. It wasn’t the easiest first class to go to, but she did amazing!

Friday’s workout was an endurance day. And this was the workout that shocked the hell out of me! We didn’t switch between blocks because it was a distance challenge day. It was a 10.5 minute challenge which we had done about a month ago. The month before, I pretty much did 1 minute intervals and I think I did amazing with my distance. But instead of focusing on distance like I normally do (and try to beat my previous distance), I decided to see how long I could run for.

Since I started running back in May last year, I’ve been trying to build up my running endurance. But I’ve been struggling with it lately and I’ve been scared that I hit a wall in my progress. I haven’t really run for more than 3.5 minutes before (basically when I run for .25 miles), so this was a perfect chance to test things. Going into the challenge, I thought maybe I could run for 5 minutes and then take a little walking break before running again. But I also am stubborn as can be and I thought that maybe I could run for the entire thing.

Despite this being 3 times longer than the longest time I’ve ever run, I wasn’t going to hold back in this attempt. I knew that I’d have a second 10.5 minute distance challenge after this one, but I focused on the first one when I was the most prepared and least tired. And there were plenty of times during those 10.5 minutes that I thought that maybe I should stop and go back to my intervals. But all of that talk was mental and not physical. I was surprised that my body wasn’t hurting more, but I was also keeping my speed pretty slow at 4.5mph. And in the end, I ran for 10.5 minutes without taking a walking break, jumping the rails, or stopping in any way.

Even typing that I ran for that entire time, I still can’t believe that I did it. I thought that I was so stuck at running for 3 minutes or under, but all that talk was in my head and I really was able to overcome that and prove to myself that I could do it. This wasn’t my furthest distance and it is tough to be ok with that since I am competitive with myself. But focusing on endurance is different from speed and it’s time for me to do endurance.

In the second attempt, I tried to run for the entire 10.5 minutes again but I was pretty tired. I had to take a couple of breaks where I jumped the rails to catch my breath or pop my hip. And because I’m stubborn and competitive for the last 30 seconds of the second attempt I increased the speed a lot just so I could beat my original distance.

After doing those runs, I was pretty tired but also so energized by the fact that I did something that I didn’t believe I could do. I was on cloud nine during the floor and didn’t focus too much and didn’t get as many rounds done as I would have liked. We focused a lot on arms so I was using slightly lighter weights. In the second floor block, we had a 500 meter row (which I did in 2:12 and I’m very happy about that) and ab work. But to me, the highlight of that workout was the running.

Now that I know I have much more endurance than I knew, I’m thinking hard about how I want to do my cardio in the workouts now. I know I probably can’t run for the entire cardio time (which can be up to 30 minutes), but maybe I can start with running for my base pace and then going down to walking when I need to. During the next mile challenge, I don’t want to go for a PR anymore but instead want to see if I can run a mile without walking. I haven’t done that since I was a kid.

I didn’t consider myself a runner when I started this past week of workouts, but I have to say that by the end of the week I think I finally am starting to think of myself as a runner and someone who can just be a runner (instead of a run/walker) one day. I don’t know if I will ever run an entire 5K race, but then again a week ago I didn’t think I could run for .5 miles and I did that on Friday. This past week has given me a lot to think about and reevaluate and I am hopeful that my progress will continue, just not in the way I imagined it would.

Extra Running Time (or Figuring Out What I Can Do)

This past week of workouts at Orangetheory were pretty great for me. I’ve been getting ready for Hell Week (I just booked all my Hell Week classes so I can get the shirt for completing it) and I’m starting to trust that my body can handle more than I think it can. My progress is still slower than I thought it would be, but I’m seeing improvements that keep me happy. I also think this past week of workouts went well because I only did 3 workouts (and skipped my run/walk training that I do on my own) so I had more energy. But just because I did fewer workouts doesn’t mean that I was slacking on things.

Monday was a power workout day. We had a bunch of really short blocks so we never were doing something for that long. Each block was only 4.5 minutes long and on the treadmill it was going by really quickly. I ended up running for 2 minutes at a time for each of the treadmill blocks that we had. 2 minutes still feels tough to me, but I’m able to do it more and more often on the treadmill so I’m feeling pretty great. I figure the more that I do 2 minute runs, the better the 1 minute ones will feel during my next race.

After doing about 20 minutes on the treadmill, we switched over to the floor where again we had super short blocks. We were only doing the sets for the same 4.5 minutes so I didn’t get too tired of any strength exercise. The focus was on arms but we also had a bunch of lunges to get through. And after that, we had about 10 minutes left in class so we did a quick partner workout.

It was basically a run/row where one partner was on the treadmill and the other was on the rower for 1.5 minutes. The treadmill was a push pace for a minute followed by a 30 second all out. I did run for the entire thing, but I wasn’t pushing my speed up too much for the all out time since I was pretty tired at the end of the workout. On the rower, we rowed for 1.5 minutes and we were supposed to not reset the rower between switching. But I think my partner kept resetting the rower because at the end of 4 blocks of this it showed we rowed 400 meters (which is what is usually done in about 1.5 minutes).

Wednesday was an endurance run/row day. I’m not a huge fan of endurance days, but I love run/row days so I was feeling pretty ok going into the workout. The run/row was one of the tougher ones I can remember. Each of the run segments was .5 miles. Since I do the run/walk instead of just running or just walking, I try to split the difference between the run distance and the walk distance (which is half of the run distance). So I settled on doing .37 miles for each of the treadmill segments.

For each time I did the .37 miles, I ran for 2 minutes and then walked for 1 minute. I finished it with running for whatever distance I had left, which usually ended up being a little longer than 2 minutes. I probably could have increased my speed to that I could have gotten that done a bit faster, but since I’m focusing so much on running for 2 minutes at a time, I didn’t want to work on speed at the same time. It ended up being  pretty great pace for me and I was tired but feeling good after each treadmill part.

For the rower, we had a 600 meter row each time. The first time, it was just 600 meters straight and the second time it was split up a bit so we had a break on the rower in the middle. There were 4 rounds we were supposed to get through, but I had a bit of a delay on the rower because the foot straps weren’t working and I had to find a different rower to work on. So I made it to the 3 treadmill part and felt ok with that.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was pretty normal where we had a set number of reps to do for each exercise and we did as many rounds as possible. But the second block was insane! We had exercised to do, but instead of having a set number of reps, we had to do each thing for 1 minute and was told when we could move on. It got tough because I didn’t always know how much longer was left in the minute and I didn’t want to burn myself out. We had 2 rounds of each exercise for that minute and with a lot of exercises being squats I was feeling it when we were done.

My last workout of the week was on Friday which was another power day. We didn’t switch between blocks and while it was a power day, it really felt more like an endurance day. Each of the treadmill blocks had the same format: a push pace, 1 minute at base pace, and a 30 second all out pace. After each block, we had a minute to walk and recover. But those push paces started out at 3 minutes and then they got shortened by 30 seconds each time. For the pushes from 3 minutes down to 2.5 minutes, I ran for 2 minutes of that time. And for all of the ones 2 minutes and under I ran for the entire thing. I did run my all outs at a pretty fast speed (the best one was 6.3 miles an hour), but that was because it was short and I had some base pace walking before it.

The floor work was split into 2 blocks. The first one had a pretty good variety of things we had to do. Some things were using the TRX straps like triceps work, some things were body weight like squats, and we got to use the ab dolly to do some knee tucks and push ups. It was one of my favorite floor blocks that we’ve had in a while since the variety was really great and the way it was set up I didn’t have any muscle group feeling too tired from exercise to exercise. The second floor block was a mix of squat work using the medicine ball and rowing and we were running between the floor and the rowers the entire time.

I’m shocked that I was able to do 2 minutes of running for each of my workouts this past week. I think that I’m finally in a better spot to keep working on my endurance in my running and might try to push things a bit more in the next few weeks. I still think that for my next race, doing 1 minute intervals will be the best option for me. But like I said, the better my running endurance is by race day the easier those intervals will feel for me. This week of workouts will be the last week before Hell Week (which will go through the last 2 weeks of this month) so I better make sure I’m ready!

Building My Endurance (or Lots Of Running)

I’ve been trying to focus my running at Orangetheory a bit more than I have before. When I started to run, I was just so excited that I could do it that I was going crazy with everything! I wanted to be able to run 5 minutes and I wanted to get faster and faster. I haven’t experienced burnout (thank goodness!), but I’ve been noticing my progress has been stagnant and I realized that my scattered focus could be part of the problem.

So for this past week of workouts, I really wanted to focus on my endurance. I know I need to build endurance in order to do my next 5K as a run/walk. I don’t necessarily need to be able to run for a long time in a single stretch, but doing longer stretches means the shorter ones I’ll be doing during the race will be easer. Building endurance isn’t easy, but I think I did a pretty great job this week working on it!

Monday’s workout was an endurance one that switched between blocks so I could push a bit harder with my running. We had some pretty long push paces and I decided to run a bit longer with them. When the push paces were 2 minutes or more, I ran for 2 minutes (double my usual 1 minute run time). It wasn’t easy to run for 2 minutes at a time a few times, but I’m glad I did it to prove that I could. The second treadmill block had shorter push paces, but since I had come from the floor I was a bit tired and I went with my usual 1 minute run time.

Usually switch days are easier on me since I get a break from the treadmill, but Monday wasn’t like that. The floor work was pretty tough on me and we had endurance rows to do. Both blocks had 800 meter rows and I’m happy that I could do them without stopping. But I know that pushing myself that much did affect how my second treadmill block and second floor block went. I wasn’t going as hard after the halfway mark, but since I was pushing myself in the beginning my second half was really just like a normal workout for me.

Wednesday was a strength day, so I wasn’t able to do as much running. I really am not really to work on hill running, and I have to be ok with that for now. Whenever we had flat road work, I did run to make up for it. We had a 1 minute push and a 2 minute push on a flat treadmill so I ran for those. And I decided to do the all out at 3% as a run which confirmed it for me that I’m not ready for hills as a runner yet. The floor work was a bit easier for me (I love strength days on the floor) and I was able to do some nice heavy weights. We also had a 2 minute sprint row which was nice compared to the endurance row from Monday.

Friday was a run/row day that had some hill work, but I decided to just go for the regular run/row format using my run/walk work. The run parts were a bit long, but I decided to go for 90 second runs and 1 minute walks which is a bit different compared to normal. It wasn’t easy to do it for the distances we had to go, but it proved to me that I could do it and I know that this will be helping my endurance so much. Because I was focused so much on the treadmill work and doing my distances, I didn’t make it that far down the run/row plan. But it felt so good doing a longer run segment that it didn’t bother me at all.

The big thing that bugged me on Friday (and I’m aware this is stupid) is that I wore new pants to the workout. They are the same pants that I usually buy, but I think they changed how they are stitched or the fabric because they felt way too tight. A lot of the work on the floor was abs that day, and wearing tight pants didn’t help at all. I was struggling and my form was looking sloppy. I hate to blame the pants, but I know that they caused that problem.

And I finally did a 4th workout in the week! I made it to a Saturday workout for the first time in a while! I knew I needed to do this and I’m so glad that I did. And this workout ended up being the perfect way for me to end my workout week. It was another endurance day, and this time we had distance challenges in it. All of the blocks were 10.5 minutes long and we had 2 treadmill blocks back to back (so no switching).

The first treadmill block was supposed to be 3 minutes at a push pace followed by 1 minute of walking. I didn’t want to run for 3 minutes (nor do I think I can do that more than once or twice), so I did the 90 seconds of running followed by 1 minute of walking for the entire block. In the end, I did a little less running so I could end with the all out as a run (I needed a walking break before the all out). At the end of the block, I noticed I was close to .75 miles and I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to it.

Fortunately, the second treadmill block was a distance challenge for 10.5 minutes! So I did the same pattern as I did before, but I bumped up my speed for my running segments. Going faster was pretty tough since I was tired and I’ve been doing almost all my running lately at 4.5 miles an hour, but in the end it totally paid off.

distance-challenge

I’m pretty proud of myself for what I was able to do and I felt amazing after not only reaching a goal that I set for myself but passed it!

After all that awesome running, I wasn’t going to let the floor work get me down. We had endurance rows (1,000 and 500 meters) and I managed to do both of them without stopping and being under the time that I wanted to be done in. Most of the rest of the work that day was lower body stuff like squats and calf raises, but there was also some ab work so I got a bit of a rest on the floor.

Considering it’s been a while since I’ve had a 4 workout week, I’m so happy with how well this past week went for me. It wasn’t easy, but I made it through. My race is coming up soon and I’ve been a bit concerned on how my progress has been going. But this past week proved to me that I’m doing better than I believed I was doing!

More Running! (or Gaining Endurance)

This past week of workouts really made me happy. My biggest issue lately has been my endurance. I can do some running, but I question how much I can really do in a row. I still feel like I get tired easily and I know that if it is my plan to run/walk my next 5K race, I have to get stronger and gain more endurance.

I did do another non-Orangetheory run this week and for that run I went for 20 minutes, so I did prove to myself that I have a bit more endurance than before. But that was toward the end of my week so I think that my Orangetheory workout really helped to make that run/walk as great as it was for me.

Monday’s workout was a power day. I think power days are my favorites because they are designed as close to what a regular run/walk feels to me. They tend to be a lot of all out runs with walking in between. And this workout wasn’t that different. We had 10 all out runs in the class. I ran for each of them, and while I wasn’t doing my fastest speed I was still happy that I ran for those 10 minutes. We also had a 2 minute push pace, and even though I know I can run for 2 minutes I didn’t want to push myself too much so I ran for 1 minute and then walked for the other. That felt comfortable but challenging so I think I made the right decision with that.

On the floor on Monday, we had sprint rows for each block. The sprint rows were  100 meters, 150 meters, and 200 meters so they were always under 1 minute on the rower. In between the rows we had mainly upper body work (which was nice after all the running). I was pushing myself again with the 20 pound weights and even used a light weight for the weighted sit-ups instead of doing them without a weight. I didn’t want to feel so tired that I was in pain later that day (since I went to Universal), but I did find a great balance between going hard in the workout and not overdoing it.

Wednesday was an endurance day. Ironically, even though my endurance is what I need to work on, endurance days aren’t my best run/walk days. We have very long push pace segments that I can’t always run in full. I want to push myself, but I don’t want to go so hard that I can’t finish the treadmill workout. I tried to keep things the same as usual. For the long push paces, I ran for a minute and then walked the rest. For the all outs, I ran the entire thing (several times at 6 miles an hour). We had a progressive push which basically means that you bump your speed up every minute, but since it was longer than I knew I could run I did it as a power walker with increasing my incline each minute. And since we didn’t switch between blocks, I got a pretty great distance on the treadmill when we were ready to switch to the floor.

treadmill

It used to be a goal for me to get to 1.75 miles during the treadmill segment when we don’t switch between blocks. Now I’d love to see it if I could make it to 2 miles within those 30 minutes. I know that at my current average mile speed it’s possible, so I’m glad I have that goal to strive for now.

My last workout of the week was on Friday (I need to get some 4 workout weeks in, but I’m struggling to find the weekend time for that). It was another power day but this time we did switch between blocks. It was a smaller class than usual, but that meant that we all worked as one group which is a nice change of pace. Again, we had 10 all outs to do between all 3 treadmill blocks. I ran all of those and I tried to be at 6 miles an hour for each (sometimes I could only do 5.5 miles an hour). A friend of mine who usually isn’t in class with me was there on Friday and he started to yell at me that I should go faster. So for one of the all outs I managed to be at 6.3 miles an hour.

We also had some longer push paces during the treadmill and I stuck with my 1 minute run/1 minute walk for that. When I started to run again, I set a lot of goals for myself about how long I could run at a time. The quarter mile one is the longest I’ve done so far. By now, I really thought I could run for 5 minutes non-stop. And honestly, if I tried and had no other running to do I could very possibly do it. But I’m realizing that being able to run/walk for a long period of time is more important to me right now than running without walking breaks. It’s tough to let go of some goals that I’ve set for myself, but I think I’ll be doing a lot of reevaluation after my next race and seeing what happens then.

The Friday floor work reminded me a lot of Monday. Again we had sprint rows for 2 of the floor blocks. And almost all of the floor work was body weight stuff like lunges, burpees, and ab work. It’s nice to do body weight stuff since I can always do those at home (I don’t own weights at my house yet). And for our 3rd floor block we had a 4.5 minute core blast. This included plank jacks, palms to elbows (which I really hate) and static ab work. My abs were so tired by the end of the core blast and I was happy that I made it through the class without a ton of modifications.

This month is quickly coming to an end and I’m realizing that I’m probably not going to make it to as many workouts as I was hoping to. There are some chances to do 4 workouts weeks this week and next depending on how things go (and doing those may eliminate the runs I’ve been doing on my own). My weekends are getting really busy now and that doesn’t allow for the workouts to be added in like I want. But I know that even if I’m going 3 times a week, that’s so much better than I’ve done any time before Orangetheory so I can’t be too upset with myself.