From Strength To Strength

It’s 3 weeks since I declared my off season goals and I’m progressing nicely and feeling great.

Goal 1: Run to heart rate not pace

I’m really surprised how easily I’ve been able to stop worrying about pace.  I know that I’ll need to consider pace more when I’m back working specifically on a goal race time but that’s for later!

To take my mind off pace I’ve been experimenting with the 80:20 principle – you spend 80% of your running time at a low heart rate which works on your base endurance and then allows you to smash the other 20% of your run time at a high, above threshold heart rate with good quality.

My Tuesday night runs fit nicely with a low heart rate workout while I support others to get running.  Sunday’s are the natural home of the  Long Slow Run; something I learned during marathon training really need to be slow to reap the benefit. Sensibly, that leaves Thursday club night for my threshold work out – it’s all too tempting to go faster when there are faster runners around so why not grab the benefit.

This week I managed 187 minutes of running over three runs: 47 at 131bpm on Tuesday, 39 at 180bpm on Thursday and 101 at 152bpm today.  That works out as 21% at a threshold rate so not too bad.

Goal 2: Read The Chimp Paradox

Despite my membership to the slow readers club, I’ve found time to get myself 8 out of 18 chapters through this very interesting book.  I’m already thinking about certain situations in a different way and feel like it’s helping.

Goal 3: Two strength sessions a week

This goal is less about the short term activities but more about helping to form a longer term habit of supplementing runs with strength work.

I’ve set myself an easy-to-remember body weight circuit that gives the arms, core and legs a decent workout.

  • 10 full depth squats
  • 10 scissor leg lifts (on each side)
  • 10 press ups
  • 10 superman reaches (on each side)
  • 10 calf raises (on each side)
  • “Bobby Hundreds” (our name for the pilates exercise “Hundreds” – find out why here)

On Wednesday evening I completed my Bobby Hundreds 100 with an addition of 30 crunches before doing one set of the 5 exercises.  In hindsight, I should have done two sets – I recovered quickly from the first set.

Historically I’ve always used my skill of procrastination to avoid strength work.  Now, I’m trying to prove that there is always time to squeeze some strength work into your day.

A case in point was Saturday evening where I managed to grab enough time to run through 2 sets of the exercises and completed my Bobby Hundreds with 40 additional crunches too.

Goal 4: Set myself a 10k Training Plan

Three weeks since setting the 4 goals, I’ve got three of them now ticking over so I can switch my attention to the fourth and final goal.  I need to drop a note to my coach with some of my thoughts and see what she thinks.

In other news, I’m looking forward to heading to New York in a week’s time for a holiday with my wife and two friends.  As well as the sightseeing and delicious food, I’m looking forward to getting a few Stateside runs in too!  Hopefully they’ll provide some interesting inspiration for future blogs.


One thought on “From Strength To Strength”

  1. This is such a good idea- I need to set myself monthly/quarterly goals. I’m also a member of the slow readers club- I just don’t prioritize it like I should! I’m reading Freakonomics which I highly recommend. How long did it take you to get used to heart rate training? I wanna give it a go but tbh I’m soooo impatient and I know I wouldnt be able to cope with running that slowly!

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