Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Miraculously, I have the electronic display on my treadmill working for the first time in several months. I didn't care how fast or for how far I was going in previous months, but if I am going to get some speed back I have to start paying more attention to those tedious details. So I got out my little tool box, took off the back of the treadmill control panel and fiddled around with the wires. Something must have jiggled just right, because I now have an electronic display. Just in time for today's workout.

Fartlek to me just means doing some fast paced running without any pre-set plan. Today found me doing an easy 3 mile warm up on the treadmill followed by .1 miles at 6:30 pace, .2 at 6:30, .3 at 7:00, .1 at 6:00, .3 at7:00, .2 at 6:30, and .3 at 6:30. 1.5 miles total of "fast" paced running. I have to remind myself that this wasn't bad for my first speed workout in several years. I have run the entire marathon distance at 7 minute pace in the past and today I found myself having to work to hold that pace for 0.3 miles. Yikes! Oh well, I just have to keep moving forward.

I followed the run with an uphill hike at full incline at as fast a pace as I could walk without breaking into a jog or falling off the back. I did these uphill treadmill hikes regularly through last winter in preparation for Massanutten and it seemed to help. The difference is that last winter I had to do all my uphills on my toes due to ankle, achilles, and foot injuries which made it impossible for me to get my heels down on the ground when there was even the slightest incline. I am happy to say, I can now roll off my heels in a normal gait. I credit my recovery to Barbara Sorrell for recommending the Graston technique. Check out the link on the right side panel.

I do upper body and core strengthening twice a week and this morning was one of those days. My workout is pretty basic, 3 sets of 15 of each of the following at as heavy a weight as I can lift while keeping good form... rows, curls, tricept curls, butterflies, and chest presses. Then I do crunches, obliques, reverse crunches, and side crunches with the stability ball. I have been doing this same kind of workout for many years. I'm still looking for that six-pack stomach, haven't found it yet. I feel like my legs are worked hard enough with all the walking, running, biking, and hiking I do. Some would argue that lower body strengthening with weights would help my running. I might look into it some day.

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