Friday, September 11, 2009

6 down (almost), 50 to go...

With my last strength session for this week done, I figured it's time to put up what I've done so far on here.

I'm halfway through the strength cycle using the Stronglifts 5x5 program and a sandbag instead of a barbell (although I had to use a barbell when I was at home on 09/07 & 09/09 since the sandbag is at the office).

So far, so good. Typically, I use to lift no more than 15-20 lbs dumbbells in my past strength training routines. I wouldn't be able to lift anything heavier and I was doing isolating work. My numbers so far using sandbags and the 5x5 method:

Squat: 130 lbs (Bear Hug, Zercher, and Back Squat)
Bench Press, Military Press, and Power Clean: 80 lbs
Deadlift: 170 lbs

I have to admit though that the days that I used the barbell at home when I was on vacation was easier compared to the sandbag, probably due to the distribution of weight being so different.

Running wise, my volume is relatively low (practically 10+ miles per week for the first 4 weeks, past week was 16 miles) as well as the intensity for some of them. Although my runs for the first three weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays were CFE-based Stamina Runs and Intervals. I've been able to run on most days, with only one unplanned rest day, one rehab day (ankle seemed really twitchy and needed some TLC, massage, & Trigger Point Therapy @ home), and one 10 miler that went haywire and ended up being a 7.5 mile distance in futility. Thankfully, this is a strength-focused period and the running endurance that I'm rebuilding in the process is just gravy. Although I have to say, my ground speed is improving compared to what I was moving at before (sub-11 minute miles for tempo runs, sub-8 minute miles for speedwork, sub-13 minute miles for easy and long runs currently)...but I still have a very long road ahead of me if I want to recapture my easy/long pace of 9 minute miles, my tempo pace at 7:30's, and my speedwork at 6:00's.

As I said in my past post, I gained some weight yet my physique has changed to look more muscular and dense. Although muscular is good, the extra weight isn't and I need to work better at getting lighter. And getting lighter will require more nutritional scrutiny on my part. However, every single person that I've read up on that has been on Starting Strength and StrongLifts has gained mass. Comes with the territory I guess.

Six weeks down after tomorrow's 12 miler. Six weeks to go to finish off the cycle and 50 weeks till the next Cascade Crest 100. Onward!

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