Last month was definitely crazy as we closed out the school year and moved back into our house. There was just so much to do between home and work that training was almost nonexistent for me. Bonus that my incredible wife was doing her sixth Ironman® in Lake Placid. That meant getting all the logistics ready for travel and for equipment and supporting her over those critical final weeks.
Background: For those of you who might not know / remember, I stopped running in February due to some quad and hip pain. After many visits and multiple MRIs, we decided that Physical Therapy was the way to go.
I was beyond not doing my exercises -- I was blatantly getting worse. But now that we are through to the other side I have started to carve out a basic schedule for myself. Talking with my physical therapist we feel like it's time that I gradually start a "Return to Running" program.
After several sessions on the incredible Alter G treadmill, it's clear that I can't keep driving into the city just to run on this device. It kills my schedule and I'm not so injured that I'm unable to run. So this is where I'm at:
The (Not) Run
I'm running every other day for roughly 15 minutes. During that time I'm doing a run walk protocol where I will run for 20 to 30 seconds and then walk for a minute. The goal is to gradually increase the time spent running so that I am soon running 15 minutes.
When I told my neighbor of the plan, he told me to hold on while he got his running shoes because this is the only time he could actually run. :-) It's a humble restart, but it's the best way to go. This way I don't do any unnecessary damage to my body and I can easily monitor how I progress.
Express on the days that I'm not running, I'm our riding my road bike. I am roughly in my fourth week of consistent riding. That means between three and five rides a week depending on the schedule.
I have been riding tempo during the week and, if I can get out on the weekends, with friends a much easier pace. Many of my friends are training for this weekend's Pan Mass challenge. This is an incredible event fundraiser. You can check it out online here.
I have watched each week as my power has slowly come around. At the same time my heart rate has also dropped. Is a very easy to see indication that I'm getting some basic fitness back. In fact, yesterday's ride was like one of the old days with numbers reminiscent of previous fitness.
I have not been anywhere near a pool. I have zero desire to swim right now and it doesn't help that camp schedule means extremely limited hours. It's on my radar, but it's not a priority right now.
Strength and Flexibility
Continued rehab – this is going to be a journey for me in terms of getting back up to some level of athletic health. A huge part of that is continuing the strength and flexibility work that my physical therapist originally prescribed. In true Coach Rich fashion, I have created a spreadsheet to track myself. I have set some goals for total reps as well as individual key exercise reps for each month. I have yet to come up with some kind of complementary reward structure, but I think just being able to get out and train without discomfort Is a reward in and of itself.
The big outlier is body composition. Pun intended. Until recently, I simply have not been burning enough calories. Even just eating baseline food was adding weight and it shows.
While my watts my look good on the bike, that's mostly because I'm trying to get my big old but over the top of each hill. I am going to start making an effort to eat a little more cleanly as we head into the Fall.
I also need to be better about eating more consistently. I have found that a regular training schedule encourages me to eat on a certain timeline. I either need to eat before work out or I need to eat afterwards because I'm hungry. But without that training stimulus my much more flexible in my calories and are more likely to make poor choices.
As an example of poor choices I mean sitting down at 9 o'clock at night and eating a crap ton of M&Ms which apparently is a new staple food in my diet. Any tips or advice you have on that would be greatly appreciated.
As always thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement. I love following your workouts and progress as it reminds me of what it will mean to be healthy once again.
Talk to you guys next month!
~ Coach P