Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wrapping Up the Year + 3 Days

The end of the year has wrapped up well for training as I am building mileage for my spring races. I am registered for two half marathons, a training series (including a 3-miler, 6-miler, and a 10-miler) and a 10-K race through the first weekend in May. I am registered for another half in October.

This past Sunday I ran 5-miles for my long run and Monday I was back in the gym for lifting and a little cardio before getting ready for our NYE celebration. I took a rest day on New Year’s Day and was back at it on Wednesday with a 2-mile run and a spin class.

I’ve been consistent with lifting these past couple months and more recently I’ve been doing a lot of upper body work as well as the training routine I mentioned prior which I wanted to outline now. I know…I missed my Christmas deadline on the description.

Here’s the training. I do 3 sets of 8 reps with little to no rest between exercises or between sets. There are three groups of exercises. I complete each group as a mini-circuit. So I perform each exercise in the group in order for eight reps then go back and do them again…then again. Then I move on to the next group.

  • Group One: 3 sets of 8 reps
    • Weighted Burpees w/push-ups (with dumbbells)
    • Dumbbell bicep curl to overhead press
    • Goblet Squat
    • Two-Arm Overhead Tricep Extension
    • Reverse Lunge & Bicep Curl
  • Group Two: 3 sets of 8 reps
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raise
    • Dumbbell Front Raise
    • Upright Row
  • Group Three: 3 sets of 8 reps
    • Plank Punch Out
    • Plank Pulse
    • Plank Pike

I usually add on a bit more core work at the end including clam shells, bridge, leg raises, and some PT work for glutes. If you go through at a steady pace with little to no rest as I described then believe me you will get a decent anaerobic workout.

Give that workout a try! It’s a killer!

Happy Training,

Brian

Still on Course

It’s amazing how work can get in the way of a good blog post…or even a bad blog post. It’s also amazing how a month and four days can go by in a flash. That being said, I’m still on track and being consistent in my training.

I’ve settled into a rhythm of MWF with a 2 mile run followed by a 45 minute spin class for two of those days. On Wednesdays I lift for 30 minutes before spin. This schedule seems to be working for me as far as consistency.

In the past month I’ve had to tweak the schedule a bit for a work trip, another trip to New Orleans for a fun weekend, holiday gatherings, and some dissertation work, but otherwise the MWF schedule is on point for my needs and keeps me well rested to be effective at work and to hit it hard for the workouts.

This morning I did try a new circuit workout with dumbbells, albeit off schedule. I found the circuit on men’s health…I’m always trying new workouts. I have to say that I like it and I am confident that 1) I will be sore tomorrow. 2) Spin class will be less fun tomorrow as a result. and 3) I’m going to figure out a way to do this circuit twice per week possibly replacing my usual Wednesday lifting time and then perhaps adding a day. It took me 50 minutes to complete the entire session, which is a full body workout, plus 20 minutes of walking. I walked before and after the circuit of which I did three sets today. My muscles are shaking and my core is done so I know it’s a good workout…plus I was sucking air a couple times too which is always a good indicator.

I’ll get into the specifics of the circuit on the next post…maybe even before Xmas!

Happy Training,

Brian

 

The Consistency Experiment – Midweek Check-in

Monday I was still feeling wiped out from the previous week’s vacation, travel back home (13-hour drive), and the weekend plus I had 120 emails waiting for me in my work inbox (I deleted the “junk” while on PTO) so I decided to sleep in Monday morning and focused Day 1 of the week on my diet. I have two personal mantras that I live by in regards to diet and exercise.

  1. “Numbers don’t lie.”
  2. “You can’t outrun your fork.”

With the help of myFitnessPal I track calories through the day (it’s a good habit to track caloric intake). On Monday I successfully had a calorie deficit when I went to sleep that night with little exercise for the day save for walking my dogs. That being said, I still took in ~1,640 kcals and had zero hunger through Day 1. Add that to being well rested and I’ll call that a success for Monday!

Tuesday I kicked in the new training schedule with a full-body lifting session plus 30 minutes on the elliptical. I again focused on my diet and came in around 1,535 for the day. This is actually a little low for caloric intake considering I burned 343 kcals on the elliptical alone, but my protein needs were met, I hydrated well, and again I had almost no hunger cravings until I was about ready for bed at 9:00pm. I resisted the craving, had a glass of water, brushed my teeth, and went to sleep a short time later.

Today, Wednesday, I hit the gym again and walked a bit before running a little over a mile on the treadmill. After the treadmill I did some core training and focused on glutes as well. I finished with a 45-minute spin class which ended up being closer to 37-minutes due to a broken clip on the spin bike pedal.

I will admit that it was a bit of a challenge getting out of bed this morning, but I prevailed against that voice in my head that was adamant that I needed to go back to sleep…he can be a jerk sometimes. My diet is going well for the day so far. Two small meals are finished already and I have lunch planned as well. I’m having leftovers from last night…baked chicken with red and Klondike potatoes from our garden, and a bit of broccoli. I’ll probably add some applesauce as well to up the calories a little.

I’ll check-in again before the weekend and probably weigh-in as well. When I am honest with myself and look at the numbers, cause numbers don’t lie, then I see gains and losses as I should much more often than when I fudge the numbers or ignore them.

Happy Training,

Brian

 

TCE Day 3

Today is brought to you by the letter P and the number 4.

P = protein and I had 4 smaller meals today including a protein shake (EAS chocolate Shred). Smoked salmon on a bit of sourdough was breakfast…and it was glorious!

As I taper toward my half marathon this Saturday I took a day of rest today except for a short walk with my pups and a mild stretch. Tomorrow I will most likely have an easy run to keep my legs loosened up.

I just learned that the low for this Saturday is 35 degrees. Considering my disdain for all weather that isn’t distinctly of a summer-esque nature, all I have to say is…yay.

Happy Training,

Brian

THE CONSISTENCY EXPERIMENT: DAY 2

Day 2. So far so good. Also, I realized that typing

THE CONSISTENCY EXPERIMENT: DAY #

is kinda long so I may start typing TCE: Day #  instead. As an added bonus I’m going to tick off a lot of people searching for content on Trichloroethylene which has an abbreviation of (drum roll)…TCE. Why is that a bonus?  I can be snarky at times or so I’ve heard. Oh well…

In keeping with healthy habits I got my flu shot today. I also lifted weights for full body including chest, back, legs, calves, biceps, triceps, and core. I ended the session running a mile at an 8:34 pace.

I am 3.5 days away from my next half marathon so I’ll be tapering a bit on Thursday and Friday with light workouts, more stretching, and extra sleep!

Happy Training,

Brian

The Consistency Experiment: Day 1

Yesterday I turned 42. Yay me. What better time to start a new health experiment than on Day 1 of my 43rd year.

The longer I train myself and train others the more I am convinced that our habits have the greatest impact on our health and fitness including our ability to manage our weight, our level of flexibility, our endurance, our sports performance, and really our overall wellbeing.

I look at habits as what we consistently do either each day or just on a regular basis. We have exercise habits, eating habits, sleep habits, relationship habits, thought habits, and so on.

So today I embark on a more intentional long-term plan focused on healthy habits. Consistency will be key on this journey. I rededicated myself starting this morning with an easy 5K run followed by a 45-minute spin class. Once I was at my desk this morning I sat by my sun lamp for a bit which has been helping me sleep better at night (sleep health).

I hope to share parts of my journey here as a part of my healthy habit of regular journaling.

Here’s a to a good 43rd trip around the sun.

Happy Training,

Brian

Barely enough time, but just enough.

Screenshot 2014-06-08 10.56.03

This past week on Thursday my alarm went off at 4:30am as usual and I felt like a freight train had hit me. You know when you are in that really deep sleep and when you awaken it feels like gravity is at a x3?  Yeah, it felt like that. This wasn’t surprising as I had hit Spin Class on Monday and Wednesday, lifted weights the past 7 days straight and had been back to the elliptical machine earlier in the week as well. So I made a game time call and decided it was best to get the extra 2 hours of sleep for recovery.

Of course that meant I still needed to do my workout at lunch and Thursday was a busy day at work. My lifting schedule called for chest and quads. I only had about 30 minutes including travel time. So I changed, hit the decline chest press machine for 4 sets of 10 then switched to the leg extension machine for 4 sets of 10. I still had a few minutes left so I hit one more set on the decline machine then switched back to the leg extension for a 5th set. I took minimal rest between sets (30-60 seconds) to up the intensity of the workout.

So, in the wake of having an excuse to skip a workout I instead shortened it greatly and upped the intensity to make up for the lower volume. By the way, I could feel a twinge of lactic acid soreness in my quads the next day so the work completed was enough to get the job done.

Note that I had been going non-stop on training for over a week. These sleep-ins don’t happen often, but it’s fine when they do as long as you have a back-up plan. In this case I suggest listening to your body. Just make sure your body isn’t telling you to sleep in and skip the workout three days a week.

I had just enough time to get something in which turned out to be just enough. In this I stayed consistent with my training.

Happy Training!

Brian

Back to Work

It’s been some time since I’ve written a blog post. Up until a few weeks ago I was sidelined with a foot injury. Thanks to my physical therapist and eight weeks of PT homework I am now back to racing. I ran the Run for World Water 5K on 8/26 and ran the St. Vincent Cancer Challenge 6-miler on 9/16.

It’s been fun to be back to running and I am getting excited as I will be healthier than I was last year at this time for my legacy race, The Purdue Boilermaker Half Marathon, coming up on October 14.

Of course, after running my legacy race what is one to do? I know! I’m GOING TO DISNEY…LAND!!!

Bibs – 2017 Marine Corps Marathon

Since 2013 I have been involved with a charity, Do Away with SMA (DAWS), whose mission is to end Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Click the link to learn more about DAWS and SMA.

Recently, DAWS Do Away with SMA became an official charity partner of the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon!

DAWS is both proud and honored to have been named an official charity partner of the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon!!!

There are only 35 of 40 bibs remaining for this incredible marathon journey…and we are sure that runners will snatch these remaining entries up FAST!!!!

If you would like to support DAWS to find a cure for SMA please consider running the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon under the DAWS running team!

We appreciate your support!

Activity Challenge Check-In

How’s everyone doing on their 2017 activity challenge? My challenge is going well so I wanted to do a check in of where I am in staying active in 2017.

screenshot-2017-02-25-07-32-02

I lift weights 3-4 days per week and have been consistent with this since January 1 except for one week when I was sick. For the illness I took a full five days rest from the gym, slept 8+ hours each night, and came back feeling great!

I break down my lifting into 1-2 major muscle groups each session.  I’ve had to rearrange my schedule a bit, but as of the last two weeks, here is my training schedule:

  • Monday: Rest – I get 8-9 hours of sleep 10:00pm to 6:30-7:00am
  • Tuesday morning: Back & Chest + light cardio (20-30 minutes)
  • Wednesday morning: Leg Day + light cardio (20-30 minutes)
  • Thursday morning: Moderate cardio for longer duration (70-90 min)
  • Friday morning: Shoulders + stretching + 45 min Spin Class (intense)
  • Saturday morning: 45 min Spin Class (intense)
  • Sunday morning: Stretching + 60 min Spin Class (intense) or monthly massage

My lifting sessions right now are focused on muscular strength versus muscular endurance so I’m completing 4 sets of 5 repetitions for each lift and my strength has increased quite a bit. My lifting sessions take 30-40 minutes.

I was happy to hoist 250 lbs. on the leg press, 170 for leg extension, 110 for lying leg curls, and I’m about to max out the stack on the seated dips machine lifting 190 lbs. All of these are for reps versus a one rep maximum which would be higher. It’s nice to see my off season work paying off in much needed strength gains.

I keep track of everything on MyFitnessPal.com to keep myself accountable. Tracking diet and exercise is key to making positive changes and helps you stay motivated. Plus, it helps you form the training and dietary habits you need to stay on track after you reach a goal.

You’ll notice that this runner isn’t running right now and that is by design. I won’t do any running until after the July 4th holiday. With the temperatures breaking for the warmer these last couple weeks I do get out for walks in the evening and across my lunch hour I many times will walk for 45-60 minutes depending on how easy it is to eat lunch at my desk.

That’s it for me!  How’s your activity challenge going for 2017? If you haven’t been able to get started then start today!

Always Training,
Brian