Tag Archives: treadmill

Getting Back To Normal Workouts (or Balancing Hard Work And Taking It Easy)

After Peak Performance Week, I was pretty tired from all the hard work. I knew I’d still be doing my 3 workouts for the week, but I didn’t feel like I needed to push myself as hard as I had the week before. Having a recovery day (or a recovery week) is a totally normal thing to do. But I usually am so competitive with myself that I don’t want to do that. But this week, I knew that I needed to. So I tried to find a good balance between working really hard and taking the recovery I needed.

Monday was a power day that didn’t switch between blocks. But even though we didn’t switch between blocks it almost flew like we did because the first 3 blocks were only 4 minutes each. For those short blocks, I was able to run all the pushes that were 2 minutes or under and all of the all out paces. We had a 3 minute push pace followed by a 1 minute all out. I did run for 2 minutes and then took a quick 1 minute walk break before running my all out. The last block on the treadmill was 7 minutes which was a mix of push and all out paces. I tried to follow the paces perfectly (only walking during walking or base paces). And by doing that, I ended up doing 3 minutes of running at the end which felt pretty good for me!

The floor work that day was a similar pattern with 3 short blocks and 1 long one. Each of the short blocks was 2 different things we had to do and I was able to get through 2 rounds most of the time. And for the longer block, we mainly did squats followed by rowing. I didn’t take it too easy while on the floor since the blocks were so short. I was using 20 pound weights for my squats and 25 pounds for the deadlifts we had to do. Even in my recovery weeks, I’m finding that sometimes I can use heavier weights (especially doing lower body work), so I’m glad I still did that.

Wednesday was an endurance day, but fortunately we did switch between blocks. For the treadmill blocks, on the first one I ran for 2 minutes, walked for 1, and ran for 2 again. I was really happy to see that I felt fine doing that but then after that first block my body decided that it was done. I was feeling pretty light-headed (I didn’t have the best food day before my workout) and was dealing with a bit of pain all over. So for all the other blocks, I ended up walking even during the all out paces. I ended up keeping my speeds and inclines lower than I normally do on a walking day because of all the issues I was having. But I was trying to keep focusing on remembering that this was now a recovery day and that was ok.

On the floor, I used some medium to heavy weights when we had our squat work. In the last floor block, we also had a 400 meter row which I did get done in under 2 minutes. But the light-headedness and pain were affecting me on the floor too and I was taking quite a few breaks. I thought that the toughness of the workout was just because of my personal issues, but after class everyone else seemed to agree that for some reason it was an exceptionally hard class. That did make me feel a bit better about all the struggles I was having in class.

Friday’s class was a power day without switching. I was still dealing with a bit of pain (all the rain we’ve been getting in LA makes my hips hurt so much), but fortunately my workout didn’t suffer too much from the pain. All of the blocks we had were 5 minutes or under and that was helpful. We had a lot of all out paces (I think it might have been 8 or 9 of them, but I lost count). We had 1 minute pushes to all outs, 90 second pushes to all outs, and 2 minute pushes to all outs. And I managed to run all of it. I did walk during the base paces and walking recoveries, but it felt really good to run as much as I did. I still want to push my running more, and I feel like this workout was a good way to do it.

The floor was similar with the short blocks. We had a lot of squat work, a lot of ab work with the ab roller, and I even attempted doing knee tucks on the ab roller on my toes instead of my knees for the first time (that only lasted for 2 knee tucks, but it was the first time I ever did that!). But one of the floor blocks was all rowing for 5 minutes. We had base, push, and all out paces on the rower; but basically it was rowing constantly for 5 minutes. I know I could have done better than I did, but I think I didn’t do too shabby.

For this being a bit of a recovery week and a bit of a challenge week, I think I found a great mix. I listened to my body when I needed to and adjusted when necessary instead of trying to overcome the issues. Hopefully this will be a pattern that I’ll be able to continue doing for a long time!

Going Big During Peak Performance Week (or A Week Of PRs)

This past week was Peak Performance Week at Orangetheory and it went really well for me! Peak Performance Week is something that I do look forward to each time it happens. It’s a great way to prove to myself that I’m making progress and since I’m so competitive with myself I can get some of that energy out. My original plan was to only do 3 workouts, but I decided to go for it and do 4 workouts during the week (which meant doing 3 workouts in a row) because I really wanted to see what I could do.

Monday’s challenge was the 500 meter row challenge. I don’t have as crazy of goals with the rower as I do with the treadmill, but I still set goals for myself and want to do better than I’ve ever done. So with 500 meters, I set a goal of being able to do it in under 2 minutes. I started on the treadmill but we only warmed up while the first group was on the rowers. When they were done, it was our turn to row (this way, we weren’t too tired before doing the row). Even though 500 meters isn’t really a sprint for me, I knew that I could just go really hard and hopefully it would only be about 2 minutes of effort. So I did just that, and when I got to 500 meters, I was pretty excited to see my time!

1:55.9! Totally under my goal time and that’s all that I could have asked for! After doing the challenge, we had the rest of the workout. On the treadmill, I ended up walking for it all because I went so hard on the rower. For the longer push paces, I did my inclines between 6-8% and the shorter push paces at 10-12%. But walking was fine with me since I was tired and I knew I’d have more running during the week. And when I was on the floor, I stuck with slightly lighter weights for my lunges. We also had some strap work and ab work plus some short rows (which I took easy).

Tuesday’s workout was the one I wasn’t sure I’d be doing, but when the challenge for that workout was announced I knew I had to go. It was the 24 minute run for distance. I hadn’t done that one since I started running, so I wanted to see what I could do. I had a goal in mind to go .5 miles further this time than I did the last time but I mainly just wanted to do my intervals as long as I could. I was doing 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. I mainly ran at 5 mph and walked at 3.5 mph and was doing pretty good with that speed with my intervals. At the end, I did a few rounds of 1 minute of running/1 minute of walking and tried to bump my speed up. I really wanted to make it to the distance goal I had (which would have been 1.896 miles), and I was close but just missed it.

Even though I didn’t make that distance goal, I’m so happy that I went as far as I did and that I did so well with my intervals. I hadn’t done the 2 minutes of running intervals for that length of time before so it was really great to realize that I could do it!

After the 24 minute distance run, I had 2 blocks on the floor. Each of those block started with a 300 meter row and we did some arms and squats after that. And then after those blocks, we had a 3 minute core blast on the floor that ended with a one minute plank hold and I was able to hold it for about 45 seconds. That’s not my best plank hold, but considering all the other work that I did that day I’m very happy with it.

Wednesday’s workout was a floor rep challenge day. Since it was my 3rd workout in a row, I knew it would need to be a bit of a recovery day. I tried to run at the beginning of the workout and realized that my legs were pretty dead so it ended up being a walk day for me. We did switch between blocks and there were 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor. The treadmill was nothing spectacular for me since I was so tired, plus I knew I would be working really hard on the floor.

For the floor rep challenge, we got to do it twice and add up the reps from both attempts. We had 4 minutes and did 1 move each minute. We were doing squats, push ups, pull ups on the straps, and sit ups). I tried so hard to go each minute without stopping, but it wasn’t easy. I think for me, the easiest ones were the push ups and sit ups but none of them were too horrible for me. On my first attempt, I did 124 reps between all the moves and on the second attempt I did 110 reps. I think that that’s not too shabby considering how hard those 4 minutes were without a break. I would have loved to have done more reps the second try, but that wasn’t in the cards for me.

And Friday was the day I was stressing out about all week: the mile challenge. I think that I judge myself by the mile challenge more than I do with any other treadmill challenge. And since I recently had a major PR with my mile, I was worried that I couldn’t beat that. I know that I don’t need to PR every time I do the mile challenge, but that’s what I want to do. I knew that I went really hard with that last PR and I spent time this past week trying to figure out what I would need to do in order to PR again.

This time, I tried to stick with 2 minutes running/1 minute walking intervals. I had it figured out that I would only need to do that 4 times to get my mile done so it helped with getting my head in the right space. I started with doing as long as I could at 6 mph for my running time. I averaged going that for just over a minute and then I ran at 5.8 mph to finish out the 2 minutes. I did my walking at 3.8 mph, which is faster than I would have liked, but I knew I needed to keep my speed up. That plan worked fine for the first 3 rounds and then my stomach started to cramp up. I went back to 1 minute intervals and increased my speed even more. When I knew I had .1 miles left on my mile, I sprinted and kept increasing my speed. I knew it was going to be close to 11:48 (my previous PR) and I just wanted to get at least 1 second off of my time. And it made me feel so amazing that I did that.

It wasn’t a pretty mile for me. It was so difficult and I’ve realized that I need to figure out a new game plan for the next time I do a mile challenge since I can’t just keep increasing my speed. Hopefully I’ll have some time to figure it out before the next challenge, but for now I’m just happy that I got another PR.

We had a pretty low-key floor block while the other half of class did their mile challenge and then we all joined together to do a partner workout for the rest of class. One of us was on the floor and the other was on the rower. The rower person set the pace and had to do a 900, 600, or 300 meter row. While the partner was on the rower, the person on the floor had lunges, mountain climbers, ab work, and roll outs. We would repeat the floor work until our partner tagged us out.

I was pretty happy that we didn’t have to go back onto the treadmill. My right hip was really sore after my mile. It wasn’t my normal type of pain which is sharp and feels like an electric shock. This was more of a dull annoying pain and I didn’t want to push myself too much. I did take it easy on the floor since I wasn’t controlling the pace, but when I was on the rower I did my best to go as quickly as I could so I could tag out my partner. We each ended up doing 2 rounds on the rower so at least we were pretty equal with our work.

This Peak Performance Week was totally a win for me. While I didn’t meet every goal that I set for myself, I had a PR with everything. And those goals I set were pretty ambitious and I didn’t know if I could do every single one I set for myself. So to do 3 out of 4 isn’t too bad. Plus, I did 4 workouts in a week and 3 workouts in a row so that makes the week even more difficult! All of those things combined helped to make this week more amazing than I could have imagined!

New Year New Challenges (or Getting Ready For Peak Performance)

My first week of workouts for 2017 got off to a pretty great start! My first workout of the new year was on New Year’s Day and then I was ready for a regular full week of workouts. It was a 3 workout week since I had done 3 workouts over the weekend, but that worked out pretty perfectly for me. Monday and Friday were big challenge classes so it was nice to have those as my week’s bookends. Coming up this week is Peak Performance Week, so I considered these workouts my training to get ready for that.

Monday’s class was supposed to be a recovery day for me. It was my 3rd workout in a row and I knew I was exhausted. I had no expectations to do anything too crazy and was just happy that I was in class and doing something. Then I found out that we were going to have 3 distance challenges on the treadmill that day. We had 3 treadmill blocks and each was split in 2. For the first half of each block, I walked because I was still trying to take things a bit easy.

But for the second half of each block, we had a 3 minute distance challenge. I know I can run for 3 minutes at a time, but it is not easy for me. But when there is a challenge announced, I get very competitive with myself and need to push myself more than I think I can do. So for each of those challenges, I ran the entire time and I was so happy to see that I was able to increase my distance each time.

After doing all 3 of those 3 minute challenges, I was pretty tired but of course on the floor we had another challenge after that. The floor block started with a 2017 meter row (because of the new year) and that is the farthest row I’ve ever done outside of Hell Week. It wasn’t easy, but I’m very proud that I was able to do that row without having to stop for any breaks. I managed to get it done in 9:23, which is pretty good time too!

Wednesday’s workout was a power day. We had 3 treadmill blocks and all of those blocks started with a 90 second push pace which I was able to run for all the blocks. Then the first block was all 1 minute intervals, the second block was 45 second intervals, and the last block was all 30 second intervals. I ran for all the push paces and all outs and that included the back to back push to all out with the 1 minute intervals (so I ran for 2 minutes that time). And I ended my workout with doing the 30 second all out at 7mph.

Once I moved to the floor, the first block was pretty heavy with squats. We had shoulder work and burpees plus I did push ups on the straps. The second block was more core focused with plank work like mountain climbers and plank shoulder taps (I do those instead of palms to elbows because I can’t keep my hips stable enough yet). We also had to do some sprint rows in the second block and I was able to do 300 meters in 1:09 and 250 meters in :52 which are both pretty good times for me.

And the biggest challenge day ended up being on Friday which was an endurance day. I knew we had to do a 10.5 minute distance challenge because some of my friends posted about that on social media. So I was prepared to do that when I arrived at class. I started with 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking but about half way through I had to switch to 1 minute intervals. I was trying to keep my speed up, but I was dealing with being a bit congested that day so I had to try to keep things easy enough at the same time. After I completed it, I was so happy with the distance I got. And then I found out that we were doing another 10.5 minute distance challenge.

Normally when I know that we have multiple challenges in a class, I go a bit easier on the first round so I wouldn’t be too tired for the second one. But I did go all out on the first round and my second challenge suffered a bit. I did 1 minute intervals for the entire time, but I pushed my speed up a bit more for the run and the walk. And at the end I was bumping up my speed more and more hoping that I could get a better distance than the first attempt. I ended at 7mph at the end, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat my original 10.5 minute challenge.

I’m so competitive with myself and it was tough to not beat myself with back to back challenges. I almost always (or have always) beat myself when I do back to back challenges and it was not easy to accept that I couldn’t do it this time. But I also have to be really proud of the distance I went when you combine them. I did 1.618 miles in 21 minutes. That’s amazing!

After the treadmill, we headed to the floor where we had 4 short blocks. 2 of those blocks were leg and plank work. I had lunges in each of those blocks and we also had plank work like mountain climbers and Spiderman planks. But the other 2 blocks were on the rower where we had 3 minute distance challenges. This time, I was prepared to do 2 different rowing challenges so I was able to pace myself better. And I’m very happy with both of my distances, but even more happy that I was able to do better the second time!

With Peak Performance Week this week, I’m still debating which classes I want to go to. I know I’ll be there for the mile challenge, but I’m torn about adding a 4th class (which would also make it 3 classes in a row) to do the 24 minute distance challenge on the treadmill. I’d love to push myself to do it, but I also don’t want to overdo things. But no matter what, I’m so happy I had challenges last week to get me ready to have a full week of challenges this week!

Holiday Workouts (or Hills, Hills, and More Hills)

This past week of workouts were really great for me. I had some pain issues, but I was able to push through them most of the time and make the most of each workout. I knew going into this week that I was recovering from a week (and weekend) where I had gone out for a lot of dinners that were splurges. And I knew that on Christmas I’d be getting Chinese food and I wanted to work out in preparation for that.

Monday’s workout was a strength day where we switched between blocks. I knew that I would be doing a lot of walking that day, but I also made it my intention to try to push myself on my inclines and walking speed. And I had extra motivation to do so because JZ, who used to be my Wednesday coach, was on the treadmill next to me! I did run when we had flat road push and all out paces (where were all a minute or under). But when the pushes were on inclines I stuck with walking. I did bump up my walking speed a little bit and my inclines were between 6-10%. I think I might have been able to do a bit better, but for some reason I held back.

For our floor blocks, we did have some rowing. It was a 200 meter row, which is a sprint, and I was able to get those done pretty quickly. We also had some squats and back work that involved weights plus some rowing moves on the straps. We finished that workout with a 5 minute core blast and I thought I’d be fine doing them. But once we started, my stomach started cramping a bit. The sit-ups were tough but I was able to modify things and just do crunches when I couldn’t do what we were supposed to do. And when we had the 1 minute plank hold, I tried to stay up as long as possible, but only made it about 30 seconds before I had to take a break.

Wednesday’s workout was endurance, strength, and power and it was also a run/row. This was a pretty fun run/row for me. The first round was .5 miles if you were a runner and .25 if you were a power walker, so I did .375 with 2 minutes of running and a walking break. Then I had a 100 meter row which was nice and fast. Then it was a .35 mile run at 3% incline and I did .25 miles at that incline with 1 minute interval. Then it was a 250 meter row. Then the incline got tough and I did a .15 mile run at 5% incline. I wanted to do the entire thing as a run, but I was too tired so I did my 1 minute intervals instead. Then a 400 meter row on the rower. I finished the run/row with a .15 mile run at 3% with 1 minute intervals. It was a tough run/row, but it felt really awesome when I finished it!

On the floor, we had a good mix of upper and lower body work. We had some squats with weights and I was able to use 20lbs for those. Then for the shoulder work, I was using 15lbs. The rest of the floor work wasn’t with weights. We had ab work, bicep curls on the straps (I feel like it has been a while since I’ve had to do those!), rowing on the straps, and plank jacks. It was a really good workout and I was pretty happy with all the work I did that day especially since on Monday I didn’t run for any of the incline work.

Friday was another strength day. I’m not sure how I got so many days with inclines on the treadmill but I did. I’m not a huge fan of running on inclines, but I took this as a sign that I was meant to work on them. We had some push paces at 2 and 4% and I ran all of those. When we had higher inclines, I walked for those. We had 2 sets of 3 minute hill climbs and I walked those entire climbs at 6, 8, and 10% inclines. And all of our all out paces were at 2% inclines and I did run for all of those, but I did it at a slightly slower speed than normal. Overall, I was totally happy with my running at inclines that day.

For the floor work that day, I did struggle. My right arm was bugging me (I think I might have slept on it funny) so I had to use lighter weights than I would have liked to. The weights felt too easy, but when I used the heavier ones I could barely lift them. It was a weird feeling, but I just had to go with the lighter weights and be ok with them. The very last floor block was actually a rowing block for 6 minutes. My stomach was having some really bad cramps while on the rower so I was taking breaks pretty often.

Even though my Friday class ended on a slightly negative note because of the rowing, I still had a smile on my face during class. That’s because my Friday coach, Bruce, was wearing the Santa hat I got him 2 years prior. He’s worn that for the workout or two before Christmas each year and it does make me really happy that he does that.

And since I wanted to get ready for my Chinese food on Christmas, I did a workout on Christmas Eve as well! This workout was a 3G workout and it was the workout where you pull assignments out of stockings to find out what you have to do on the treadmill, rower, and floor.

I started on the treadmill for that workout. My first card said I had to do a 45 second push pace at 4% incline followed by a 30 second all out pace at a flat road for 4 rounds. I was able to run for all of it and did a walking recovery between each round. The next card I pulled was to do .24 miles, 1 minute of walking, and then another .24 miles. I did it as 1 minute intervals and I didn’t get through all of that but I got through most of it with my intervals.

Next, I was on the rower and I pulled a card that said do to 240 meters, a 20 second recovery, and then another 120 meters. That was for 3 rounds and it went pretty well considering how much I struggled with my rowing the day before. The next card I pulled was to do a 2400 meter row. I knew that there was no way I could get that done in the time that I had left, so I just focused on rowing for the rest of the block the best that I could.

My last block was on the floor and for that we either were going to pull a card that said we had to do the coal moves (which were the tough ones) or the present moves (which were still hard but easier). I ended up pulling the present card, but I had to do 24 reps of each move which made it seem harder than the coal ones would have been! The moves I had to do were single arm snatches (I did that with a 20lb weight), full squat shoulder presses (15lb weights for that), squats, tricep push-ups, and full sit ups. I just made it to the end of my second round when time was called. We finished with a 3 minute core blast and while there are still some ab moves that are very tough on me, I managed to do most of it without modifications.

Like I said before, since I know I’m not going to make it to my workout goal for 2016, I’m focusing on the intensity of each workout I have left this year. Even though some things weren’t as tough as I know I could have done, I think I did a pretty good job with my 4 workouts this week! I’ve only got 3 more workouts left in 2016 before I start my 2017 workouts. I know that I’m going to push myself as much as I can this week to end on the best note possible!

A Not-So-Easy Easy Week (Making Sure I Challenge Myself)

After a week of tough workouts the week before, I figured I go a bit easier on myself. That did happen in the sense that I only did 3 workouts this week, but each of those workouts were ones where I pushed myself to go more than before so I guess I still couldn’t let myself off the hook.

Monday’s workout had endurance, strength, and power in it and we didn’t switch between blocks. During endurance on the treadmill, I did my 1 minute intervals during the 3 minute push. But for the 2 minute and 90 second pushes, I ran for the entire time. I’m getting more comfortable again with running those longer times and I’m working on figuring out what types of intervals I’d like to set as a goal for my next 5k race. I’m still testing things out, but I’m feeling like I can do better than 1 minute intervals.

I was thinking about my next 5k race while doing the strength work on the treadmill as well. I know that my next race will have hills in it and I really need to start training for running on hills. While I did walk for the higher inclines between 6-9%, I did do a 1 minute run at 2% incline. I know that’s not a lot, but it’s a start. For the power block, we had 1 minute pushes followed by 1 minute at base, so that’s pretty easy for me to do with my intervals. And we finished with a 1 minute all out pace where I pushed it and ran at 6.5 mph. That was not easy to maintain for a minute, but I enjoyed doing it.

For our floor work that day, we had a lot of focus on arm work. I ended up using some lighter weights than I would have liked to, but for some reason my body wasn’t feeling it with the weight work. We also had some single leg squats using the straps. Since I was able to do the single leg deadlifts while holding on the week before, I really thought I could do the single leg squats too. I really tried, but I had to stop and just do regular squats instead. I don’t know if single leg squats will ever be possible for me, but I do need to keep testing myself to see if that day is the day I can do them.

Wednesday was a strength day and I took that as a sign that it was meant for me to keep testing out running on inclines again. I was able to run for all the pushes between 2-4% incline. I’m not sure what the hills are in the 5k race, but I know they are more than 4%. I’m hoping to find out what the inclines are so I can use that as a guide to keep training with my running up inclines. I want to set up that race to be my best one on that course. Even though most of the running was at an incline (and I walked anything higher than 4%), there were some flat road moments too. I was able to run for a minute at 5.5 mph and for 30 seconds at 6.5 mph.

Floor work that day had each block starting with a 400 meter row. I ended up getting faster each time I did it which is pretty crazy. But all of my times were fast to me (the slowest was 1:48) and I felt pretty exhausted going into the rest of the floor work. The rest of the floor was more focus on arms (shoulder presses, tricep work, strap work) and that was good since my legs were tired from rowing.

Friday’s class threw me for a loop. It is normally a regular 2 group class, but for some reason this day it ended up being a 3 group class (like I had on Thanksgiving). It was an endurance day and I started on the treadmill. We had an 8.5 minute distance challenge. I thought for some reason we were doing it twice, so while I did push myself on it I knew I could have done better. My intervals were 2 minutes of running and then 1 minute of walking. I ended it with a 2.5 minute run. I am happy with my distance, but I’m so curious how much farther I could have gone if I really went crazy with my speeds.

treadmill-work

Next I was on the rower. To start, we did 100 meter sprints and the goal was to do it in as few strokes as possible. I did manage to get my stroke count down from 16 to 13, but I could never do better than 13. Next on the rower was a 800 meter distance challenge. I went a lot faster than I thought I could so I ended up needing some time to catch my breath. We had to hold a squat after that row and then try to do 800 meters again (I only made it about 300 meters the second time).

Finally on the floor, we had a ton of plank work. We had plank punches and plank leg lifts which were both challenging and I ended up having to do some modifications. We also had some lunges and sit-ups to round out things.

I’m glad that even when I’m not challenging myself with how many workouts I’m doing in a week, I’m still able to challenge myself in each class. I’m no longer trying to hit my workout goal for the year (it’s not going to happen and I’m ok with that now), but I’m still trying to find things that make me feel like I’m ending this year so much stronger than I was when I set that workout goal. If my workouts were easy, it probably would have been easy to hit that goal. Since I’m not doing that, I do need my rest days.

Only a few more weeks of workouts for 2016 to go!

Making Progress (or Preparing For My Thanksgiving Workout)

This past week of workouts were really great! I’m not sure what happened, but I was able to do things better/faster/stronger and I wasn’t necessarily trying for that. I know that part of it might be that I’m getting ready for my workout with my family on Thanksgiving. My dad and I are pretty competitive with that. I know he will always do better than me on the treadmill (although he hasn’t seen me run yet), but I want to do better on the rower and lift heavier weights. And I think this week really got me ready for that.

Monday was a strength day. I was able to run during the flat road push pace during the treadmill time (it was for a minute). But since the treadmill time was very focused on hills (as strength days are), I mainly power walked. I did try to do my inclines at the recommended incline or higher. We had a lot of 2 minute hill segments and I was usually keeping the treadmill at 8-12% incline. The inclines are finally getting easier for me (they got really tough after I tore my calf and I don’t know why it took so long to get easier) so I’m testing the higher inclines again during strength days. I’m glad that things seem to be getting better and I think I can start to challenge myself on strength days again.

For the floor on Monday, it was mainly arm work. But we had rowing to do for each of the 3 blocks. The first block was 600 meters, the second block was 500 meters, and the last block was 400 meters. The average time I seem to get is about 30 seconds for every 100 meters (which is what beginners are supposed to do). When I tore my calf, rowing got tough but that didn’t last too long. But then when I got my stomach bug/gallbladder issue, it got tough again to row. My stomach didn’t like being compressed like that. It hasn’t been easy rowing lately, but I figured this was a good day as any to challenge myself. And I really went hard. I managed to do my 600 meters in 2:35 (instead of my usual 3 minutes), the 500 meters in 2:03 (instead of 2:30) and 400 meters in 1:31 (instead of 2 minutes). Some of those are the best rowing times I’ve done for those distances and it was at the end of the workout so I felt really great that I could still accomplish something that awesome when I was that tired.

I had to skip my Wednesday workout (more on that tomorrow), so I went on Thursday instead. And I honestly think that Thursday was one of the toughest days I’ve had ever at Orangetheory (several other people I know agreed with me on that). It was worse than the Hell Week workouts! It was an endurance day, but it wasn’t a normal workout day. All of the blocks were 6.5 minutes long. We started with the treadmill for a block. I was able to run the 90 second and under push and all out paces completely. For the 2 or 3 minute pushes, I ran for 1 minute and walked for a minute.

After that block, the treadmills headed over to the rower. We had 2 different 3 minute distance sprints. Inspired by my awesome rowing on Monday, I decided to see what I could really do with these sprints. Normally for 3 minutes, I would get just about 600 meters done. And rowing for 3 minutes straight isn’t easy, so I can’t push myself as much as I can with the sprints. But after completing the 2 distance challenges, I was pretty darn impressed with myself!

rowing-challenge

I’m very happy that I was close to 700 meters both times! And I got my further distance on the second sprint, which most people couldn’t do. That was nice. After the rowing, we headed back to the treadmill for another block of work.

When we got to the floor, it was a lot of hamstring work which is always tough for me. Most of that work is too tough on my hips, so I have to do modifications. It’s not bad, but it does sometimes frustrate me because I really do want to do what everyone else is doing. After one block on the floor, we headed up to the treadmill and had a treadmill block in the middle of our floor work. That treadmill block included a 3 minute push, so I did my 1 minute intervals with it. And we finished up with another floor block. I was so exhausted after that workout, but it was a good exhaustion.

Going back on Friday after that tough Thursday workout wasn’t fun. But fortunately for me, it was another strength day so I mainly was walking on the treadmill. Again, I ran the push and all out paces that were on flat inclines (30 seconds to 1 minute), but everything else was walking on inclines. This time, the inclines were a little bit lower (usually between 6-12%) but I was increasing my speed a bit more to compensate for the lower incline.

The floor work was a lot of focus on shoulders. I was doing my shoulder press at squat fly with 15 pound weights. I know that in the past I’ve done shoulder presses with 20 pounds, but I must have slept funny the night before because my right shoulder was bugging me. I didn’t want to push it too much and risk an injury, so I went a bit easier. But I was able to use the 20 pound weight for my triceps work (one day, I know I’ll have buff arms!). We also had some rowing to do while on the floor. During the first floor block, we had a 500 meter row. And with the second block we had a 350 and 300 meter row. I didn’t do any super spectacular row work that day, but considering what I had done earlier in the week, I was just happy to be able to do what I normally do.

And I managed to do a 4th workout this past week too! I’ve realized that there’s a good chance I won’t make it to my workout goal this year (at my last count, I’ll be 4 workouts short and I’m seeing if I can add them in somewhere). So I’m trying to get in as many workouts as I can to be as close as I can get to the goal. I worked out on Sunday (which is something I rarely do) and it was a pretty great workout. It was an endurance, strength, and power workout; but it wasn’t done in the normal order that I’m used to. It’s normally in the order it’s is described, but this time it was strength, power, and endurance.

For the strength block, we started with a 2 minute push pace on a flat incline, so I did that and ran for the entire thing. Running for 2 minutes isn’t easy, but I’m glad I did it. For all the incline work, I was at 8% incline and bumped up my speed a bit more with my power walking, But the final part of the strength block was a 1 minute all out pace at 4% incline. Since 4% is considered “flat road incline” for power walking, I’m pretty comfortable at that incline. So I decided to do my all out as a run with the incline. I really felt the incline in my legs, but it wasn’t unbearable.

The power block was pretty short with push paces to all out paces that were less than 2 minutes total. So I was able to run all of that and I even bumped up my all out pace a bit and finished that block running at 6mph. And the endurance block was tough as always. For the 3 minute push pace, I did my usual 1 minute intervals. But we had a 2 minute push toward the end of the workout and I figured since I ran a 2 minute push at the beginning I’d like to try to bookend the treadmill time with another 2 minute run. This was a bit harder than the first 2 minute push (I was tired by this point), but I’m really glad I did it.

For the floor work, we had a pretty good mix of things. We had some hip/leg work, some back work, some core, and some rowing. The blocks were going much faster than they normally feel and I was pretty happy with all my work on the floor. I did struggle with one of the ab things because my hips weren’t feeling up to it, so I just did regular full sit ups instead and that seemed like a good substitute to me.

I’ve got one more workout (this morning) before I head to Thanksgiving and have my family workout. But I think I’m in significantly better shape this year than I was last year and I’m in a great spot to be able to battle with my dad during the workout.

A Powerful Workout Week (or Feeling Amazing Again)

After such a successful 5K race, I had a feeling this week of workouts would be great. And I was right! This past week, I felt stronger, more powerful, and more like an athlete than I have in a long time. I scheduled myself for a 4 workout week and I’m glad I did that. I need to get back into the groove of a 4th workout and this was a great week to do it since I was still feeling amazing from the race.

Monday’s workout was a power run/row day. I was feeling a bit odd on Monday because before my workout was when I had my appointment with the surgeon and found out I had a tumor. But I didn’t let that odd feeling stop me. If anything, I kept thinking that if I could do my 5K as quickly as I could with this tumor inside of me, then anything is possible! For the run part of the run/row, I stuck with my run 1 minute/walk 1 minute for the longer segments which were .3 miles. Anything that was .15 miles or under was run in full (usually I could do those in 2 minutes or under). The rows were all sprints of either 300 or 150 meters, so I was moving back and forth between the rower and treadmill quite a bit.

For the floor work that day, we had a bunch of short blocks. Each of the blocks only had 2 things in it so I was feeling tired a bit quicker than usual. But I think that was more a mental thing than a physical thing. For those short floor blocks, we had things like squats and lunges plus some upper body stuff. My legs were feeling a bit shaky after the run/row, but nothing too bad and I felt like I was doing my workout exactly how I wanted to do it.

Wednesday’s workout was an endurance day. We did have a couple of 3 minute push pace segments, and I stuck with my 1 minute run/1 minute walk plan. I do need to start figuring out what my plan with my run/walk training will be. I’m not sure if I want to increase the run time or decrease the walk time. I might have to play around with it a bit to figure out what will work best for me. Even though we had some long push paces, we also had some normal length all outs. And for some of those all outs, I was able to go 6 mph which is very fast for me but doable if I don’t do it too much.

We had a decent amount of row work to do that day as well. One block included a 600 meter row. I was able to get it done in under 3 minutes so I was pretty happy. We also had a 3 minute row challenge and that was a bit tougher because I pushed myself too much at the beginning and was feeling some burnout before we got 2 minutes in. Besides the row work, the floor was focused on arm work. We had a lot of work on the straps and then had some ab work in between which almost felt like a break from the strap work.

Friday was another power run/row day. This time, for the run segments I did 90 seconds of running and 1 minute of walking. It was tough to run for 90 seconds at a time since I’m so used to 1 minute, but it was good to push myself. It also makes the run segments go by faster when I run longer (or faster) so I use that as motivation. All the row segments were either 250 meter rows or a 1 minute sprint. Again, like on Monday, I did a lot of switching back and forth between the treadmill and the rower.

On the floor, we had some arm and squat work where we used weights and I was using the 20 pound ones. And we had a lot of plank work and I was able to hold my planks longer and with better form than I have in a really long time. The entire floor time, I felt more powerful than I had in a while and was really happy with how things were working for me that day. For some reason, the workout just came together really well and it flowed really nicely. It was a feeling I don’t know if I’ve ever had before and it was a really nice confidence boost.

My final workout of the week was on Saturday. I thought about going on the bike for that workout, but I decided to just keep going and doing the treadmill again. It ended up being a workout that had endurance, strength, and power and we were switching between the treadmill and the floor between each block. For the treadmill, for most of the time I stuck with running 1 minute and walking 1 minute. I was able to keep this up for the endurance block and for when we had longer segments on the power block. But for the power block, a lot of stuff was 30 seconds at a time so I just ran the full thing. For the strength block, I stuck with walking the entire time since it was hills. I did some higher inclines, but since it was at the end of the workout I wasn’t as powerful as I was earlier in the workout.

For the floor work, we had a nice mix of stuff. For the endurance floor work, we had some arm work where I could use 20 pound weights plus lunges where I was using 2 15 pound weights. During the power block, we did timed lunges, mountain climbers, and plank work. And during the strength block there was some lower and upper body strap work followed by leg lifts while in a plank (which aren’t easy for my hips but it’s getting better).

I’ve got a relatively normal workout week coming up this week, but the next week will be Thanksgiving week so things will be a bit mixed up for me. But I will be going to my Thanksgiving morning workout in La Jolla with my family and I’m so excited about it! Plus, this year for the Thanksgiving workout there will be 7 of us going! I’ve got to train really hard this week so I’m in the best shape possible for my workout with my family (my dad is already talking about how he will be kicking my butt in the workout)!

Getting Back To Normal (or Finishing Hell Week and Race Prep)

This past week of workouts was a 3 workout week, but I didn’t go easy on myself at all! My week started with the end of Hell Week and then my last 2 workouts were very focused on getting ready for my 5K. I was feeling pretty much completely normal, so I saw no need to try to take it easy and decided to go all out on the 3 workouts that I had.

Monday was the end of Hell Week and it was a Trick or Treat 3G workout. That meant that on each part of the workout (treadmill, floor, rower) we pulled a card from a plastic pumpkin and it told us what to do. There were some good cards (the treats) and some cards that were really tough instructions (the tricks).

I got to start on the treadmill and first pulled a Treat card. I had to do 30 second push paces, 30 second all out paces, and 30 second walking recovery for 3 rounds. I was running for both the push and all out paces, but I was keeping my speed the same since the walking time was less than I’m used to. I got through that card pretty quickly and then went over to pull my next treadmill card. It was another Treat card that said I had to do 1 minute push paces, 1 minute all outs, and 30 second walking recoveries. I did walk the push paces at 8% incline, but ran much faster for my all out pace than I did for the first card. I only made it 2 rounds before the time was done and I headed over to the floor.

My first card on the floor was a Trick card. I had to start with 31 burpees before moving on to the workout plan. Those 31 burpees were not easy at all and I had to take breaks after 4 or 5, but I did manage to get through it and was able to move on to the rest of the floor work. It was a good mix of upper and lower body work and I had to do pushups, ab work, and lunges. Just as I was finishing up all the work, it was time to switch over to the rower for the end of the workout.

On the rower, I pulled another Trick card. It was to for 3100 meters and we only had about 13 minutes left in class for the day. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to get my full 3100 meters in, so I decided to just try for the best and see what I could do. I did have to take breaks every so often because I was so exhausted from all the other hard work that day, but I managed to get just about 2200 meters done before class was done.

And after completing my 5th Hell Week class, I was officially a Hell Week Survivor and earned my shirt!

hell-week

Wednesday we were back to normal workouts, but they weren’t easy! That day was a strength day so I ended up doing quite a bit of walking. We had a lot of higher hill work and most of my walking was done at 10-14% incline. We did have a few things at a flat incline so I was able to run for those, but a majority of my work was walking at an incline. We also had a mini run/row assignment that day. I ran .15 miles (which took me about 2 minutes) and then rowed 300 meters. I didn’t make it through that many rounds of the run/row, but it felt good to get that running practice in.

When we got to the floor, I was able to work a lot harder than normal and it felt really great! We did have some ab work which wasn’t so great for me (I’m still occasionally feeling weird pressure in my stomach when I do sit-ups or crunches) but the rest of the work was either at the level I was at before or better. I was able to do squats and lunges with better form (and less stability issues) and was doing my arm work at 15 pounds. And when we did pullovers, there were no 20 pound weights for me to use so I had to use the 25 pound ones. It was a struggle to use the heavier weights, but I was able to get through the sets and realized that my strength didn’t get worse with my time taking it easy.

My last workout of the week was on Thursday (I didn’t work out on Friday since I had the race on Saturday morning). It was a power day and that made me so happy. Power days are usually my best days to work on my running and I needed that confidence boost before race day. Most of the time, we had a lot of the same stuff on the treadmill. It was push pace to all outs and usually they were 45 second intervals. So that was 90 seconds of running and then we’d usually have a minute to walk to recover. This was a more intense interval than what I do when I work on my running on my own, so this was a great way to build some extra endurance for the race. And once we were done on the treadmill, I realized that I had reached a workout goal. For a while, I have wanted to get to 2 miles during the treadmill time in a workout. That would mean I was close to 15 minute miles during class. So it was great to see this screen when I was done.

2-miles-otf

On the floor, we had a bunch of upper body work. I was doing chest presses and we had lunges that had weighted twists (I really felt that in my shoulders). And to finish the workout, we had a short rowing block. It was a similar pattern to the treadmill where we had 45 seconds intense rowing and then 30 seconds to recover. And after that workout, I felt as ready as I could be for my race on Saturday.

This ended up being a great week of workouts for me. I gained a lot of confidence I lost after being sick and finally was feeling more like myself and able to do my best on my race. I’ll write about the race tomorrow, but if you follow me on social media, I think you know how it went!

Being Hard On Myself (or Pushing Myself To Not Be Sick)

Even though I was starting to feel better this past week, I was still feeling some of the effects of the cold I caught. The only thing really bothering me was feeling congested, and I really wanted to get over that. Since I wasn’t feeling too sick, I pushed myself pretty hard in my workouts and sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn’t.

Monday’s workout was the one where I was feeling the sickest, but it was still so much better than how I was feeling before. Mornings are also the toughest time for me feeling congested. I knew it was going to be a hard workout but I had to try my best and see what I could do.

It was an endurance day, which is always a tough one for me. When we had 2 minute pushes, I ran for 1 minute of it. When we had a 90 second push, I ran the entire thing. It wasn’t easy at all and I had some trouble catching my breath at times, but I got it done. And since we didn’t switch between blocks, I managed to do a decent distance on the treadmill between my running and walking.

monday

I was so exhausted after the treadmill, but I knew I had to get through the floor work too. We had 350 meter rows to do and they felt really long to me. 350 isn’t usually too tough for me, but they felt more like 1,000 meters after being so tired. The rest of the floor work was arm focused and we had core work during each block. The core work was plank focused and because of my congestion I was really struggling. I had to take a bunch of breaks with my planks, but I was just glad to get through the workout after being so horribly sick the few days before.

Wednesday’s workout was a real interesting one. It was another endurance day and we started with a 10 minute block. My 10 minutes on the treadmill went better than I could have expected. We had to do 2 minute push paces twice and I was able to run for the entire 2 minutes each time. We also had a 90 second push that I ran and a 1 minute push to all out that I ran. That was more running than I usually do, but it felt really good and I didn’t feel too sick at that point.

We then had a 10 minute block on the floor that was arm focused before we switched to doing a partner run/row for the remainder of the class. One person was on the rower and rowed until they were tagged. The other person had some floor work to do like pushups, side planks, and weight work and then went over to the treadmill. The treadmill segments ranged from .2 miles to .1 miles. I wanted to run for all of them, but I had overdone it a bit during that first 10 minutes so I ran for 1 minute and then walked the rest of finish the distance. Then the treadmill person tagged the rower person and they switched.

When I was on the rower, I usually spent about 4.5 minutes on it and I was rowing almost the entire time. I did take a bit of a break before rowing each time to drink some water because I didn’t want to do that when the switch was depending on me being fast. I didn’t want my partner to have to wait for me so I only took breaks when I was on the rower. We got through a bunch of rounds of the run/row and at the end of the class I was feeling a little light-headed but much less congested than I had earlier that day.

Friday was another endurance day (I guess I lucked out with all the endurance days I had this past week). There were 2 long blocks on the treadmill and we had some really long push paces. I pretty much stuck with running for 1 minute and walking the rest. The exception was the 3 minute push pace where I ran for the first minute, walked the second, and ran the third. I was feeling a bit more congested that day so I was keeping my running a bit slower. I didn’t want to try to up my speed and I really did just want to focus on my endurance.

I’ve had my new goal of being able to do 2 miles in class when we don’t switch between blocks, and I thought my distance on Monday was pretty incredible. But after doing the warm-up and both blocks, I got super close to my goal but not quite there.

friday

I have a feeling that soon I’ll be at that 2 mile mark in class and that’s going to be an awesome day!

The floor was one really long block, which really did test my endurance. We had rowing to do before each set followed by a series of strength moves. Each round we added more strength moves on so the rounds got longer and longer. The one strength move we had to do every round was doing ground to press, which I’m usually great at. But again, the congestion caught up with me and I struggled. I ended up not making it through 4 of the 5 rounds we were supposed to try to get through. I know if I didn’t have to keep taking breaks to catch my breath I could have done it. And it’s tough not to push myself to do more. But I know that this cold might still take another week or so to completely get over so I’m working on my patience.

This week of workouts will hopefully continue on the great momentum I build this past week. My schedule will be a bit off since I have to miss my workout today because I’m out-of-town (more on that soon), but I’ll still get in my 3 workouts for the week. And I’ve realized that I need to start getting a 4th workout in again more often, so I’m seeing if I can fit in 4 this week. If I can’t do it this week, I know I’ll be doing it soon.

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.