Feb 15, 2018

Dave's Spring MIT 2016 - Week 6

Another week of increased mileage has come and gone. Rather than recap each day's workout, I'll go with the highlights:

Track Tuesday kinda sorta didn't happen. There was a miscommunication between BGSU (where we run track nights) and our MIT leadership. In lieu, some people ran the workout outside at Fallen Timbers.

For Tempo Thursday, we had a strong and mighty turnout with A Flock of Runners. Afterwards, we had beer and food at Beer Barrel. I finally ate the meatball salad. It was sloppy and delicious.

The Saturday long run was great. Fourteen miles nice and easy. Some in The Flock like to run ahead of us coaches. And then they have to wait for us and they get antsy about stiffening up. Stay behind the coaches, Flock. Take it easy.


And now it's Thursday of the following week. It's like, 50 degrees outside. That means that I get to wear shorts to run outside! Yass. Yass yass yass.

I'm on the mend from a cold that bitch-slapped me on Sunday evening. I attribute my body's ability to quickly evict said cold to a diet rich in minerals and nutrients and devoid of gluten and dairy. And lots of water. One day I had no coffee. That was sad.

Feb 9, 2018

I tried Orangetheory

Here's my disclaimer: If I'm going to commit to a physical fitness pursuit, I have to be into it. I tried Pure Barre on a whim and with a lot of reluctance. I enjoyed my first class. Before the end of my first month, I saw and felt results. Two years later, I continue to see and feel improvement. I'm still into it.

Orangetheory Fitness opened here in Perrysburg I think at some point in January. They offer a first class free, so when a friend invited me to join her for the 6:15 AM class today, I was like, "Okay, yep. I'll try that."

I arrived around 5:50 AM today to do paperwork and become acquainted with the studio. The nice chick behind the desk welcomed me and we did all of that stuff together. She introduced me to my jacked instructor/coach/trainer, John, who briefed me on the equipment and what to expect for the workout. The desk chick snapped on my chest strap heart rate monitor just as the clock struck 6:15.

John started our group on the workout: various intervals on a rower and the treadmill. Per John's commands over the span of 20 minutes, we started at "base pace," progressed to "push," and were to finish at "all-out," respectively 7.5, 9, and 11 miles per hour. I determined those speeds based on my heart rate displayed on the scoreboard-like screen above all of our treadmills. Like, I actually started "base pace" at 6.8, but I was in the blue zone so I bumped it up until I hit green. Even at push pace, when most of the others were in their orange zones, I was still hanging out in the green. I wanted to see my rectangle on the screen turn orange so I cranked it up to 10 to no avail. Their treadmills max out at 12, but my legs don't turn over like that and I sure as heck didn't want to bite it on a treadmill.

On the rower, John said my form was good and he seemed pleased that I was over 200 watts. My rower and treadmill performance didn't disappoint me, but I was a tid bit frustrated that I was running significantly faster than most if not all of the others, yet I was hanging out in the green. I guess it's a win for me and my heart fitness. Right? Right.

After the cardio stuff, we moved along to strength, weights, and dynamic movements--squats, TRX, burpees, yadda yadda. I didn't check my color on the scoreboard at all during this segment. The outstanding early-2000s throwback music made me happy. The work itself was a smidge boring. Like, I'd like a little more motivation from my instructor/coach/trainer. There was one thing that I absolutely did not like. At one point with weights, I went down from 10 pounds in each hand to eight. I swapped to maintain good form. John commented about it, which I perceived to be snark, so I upped to 12s. I still had okay form, but like, WTF? Anyone can pick up too much weight and take the work out of the target muscle group. Maybe I just don't get it. But you know what? It turned me off.

The 60ish-minute workout concluded on treadmills. John gave the option for a rower, which I chose because my lower right calf was feeling tight and not right, likely because I was running 9, 10, and 11 miles per hour on the treadmill. John asked me why I was on the rower. I explained that I didn't want to risk injury. I'm not sure if he accepted my answer or was annoyed, but whatevs.

My sad OTF results.
As a group, we stretched while John read a script of upcoming themed classes and challenges for clients. And then everyone strutted to their coats and out the door they went. John kindly chatted with me for about five minutes about my workout. He explained that if I provide them with my actual heart rate zones, that I'd likely spend a lot more time in the orange. That made me a little less skeptical about Orangetheory and John did a good job of repairing any negative vibes I had about it before I walked out the door.

Then the nice desk chick struck again.

Clipboard and pen in hand, she asked how my workout was and then asked if I'd like information about their packages. My immediate response was, "No, thanks." Then I realized, Oh, shit, this is part of her job. Okay, I'll humor her. So dudette slides the clipboard in my direction and points at the various options and prices, then asks which one I'd like. "You want me to decide now? I'm not going to do that." She seemed confused. I imagine most people aren't so forward about it.

I can't imagine I'll ever pay for a package at Orangetheory. My running + Pure Barre routine excessively satisfies me mentally and physically and I will not cut out any of those workouts to infuse Orangetheory. And, in reference to my disclaimer, I wasn't into the workout. I get my cardio on the pavement, at the track, and heck, even in Pure Empower classes. And I get my strength in Pure Barre classes which, just like Orangetheory, are different every time. Nevertheless, I'm glad that I tried Orangetheory. And I bet that I'll try it at least one more time.

How has your Orangetheory experience been? What do you like and dislike? If you haven't tried Orangetheory, what are your strength and/or cross-training routines?

Feb 4, 2018

Dave's Spring MIT 2018 - Week Five

Another week of training is done. Way to go, guys! Here's what we did:

M: 6 miles (easy)
T: 5x1000 (threshold)
W: 5 miles (easy)
Th: 7 miles (2-6 at race pace)
F: Rest
Sa: 12 (easy)
Su: Rest

The long run was fun. And exceptionally paced by Joe. We committed to The Flock that long runs will be at a 9:30 pace and Joe's Garmin data shows an average of 9:28 for the 12 miles.

Why so slow, you may ask? Because that's the plan. I like rules and I'm a team-player, and so if the training philosophy is to run this particular volume of weekly miles including the long run at an easy pace of 30 to 60 seconds slower than race pace, then by golly, sign me up.

I didn't always feel this way, though. Truth be told, it still isn't my preferred style of training. BUT I get it. The first time I coached MIT, back in 2016, I begrudgingly ran 16 weeks of long runs at a 9:30 pace at our absolute fastest. For four months, I pretended that I believed in the plan as to not undermine our leadership at Dave's. And then on race day, it somehow all worked out. Heck, I even ran a PR. And then another PR a month later. So like, it works.

Trust the training!