Learning Curve (W2 of base building)

Week two is over and done with. I made a few missteps in the middle of the week but fully recovered by week’s end. That’s 2 down and 10 more to go. Here is the breakdown of W2.

Monday: warm-up run and lift

One of these things...

Top: chest press/Bottom: not chest press

The 20-minute warm-up run went well. Then came the 40 minutes of lifting, and my first lesson of the week. Chest presses are actually not that hard…when you’re using the chest press machine. The overhead press machine looks almost identical, and is of course located right next to the chest press machine, hence last week’s difficulty and my (misplaced) loathing of all things chest press. Now that I am using the correct machine, chest presses are actually kind of fun. But I still hate those damn back extensions. I managed to do 20, got off, and promptly kicked it. Stupid back extension bench machine thingy.

Tuesday: swim

I was happy to have the bump up in time for the swim. In 30 minutes, I was to swim 12 x 50 with 20 second rests in between. Even with the rests, I still wouldn’t need 30 minutes to swim 600 yards. I ended up doing exactly double that, and I felt energized for the rest of the day.

Wednesday: warm-up bike and lift

photo 1-16

One of these things is not like the other.

I decided to do my training after work instead of in the morning. I rode a spin bike instead of a stationary bike since that feels a little more authentic to me. After the 20-minute warm-up, it was time to lift. I felt comfortable with the strength exercises now that I’ve done them three times. The gym was busy, so I had to do things a little out of order. I finished doing 3 x 20 reps on the rowing machine then headed over to my friend the chest-press machine. I also may have given the overhead press machine a steely glare, but that’s neither here nor there. In between sets, I happened to look across the way to a woman who was seated on a small bench. She was pulling handles towards her rib cage via weights hooked up to a pulley system. Hmm, I pondered. That almost looks like…and that’s when it dawned on me. The prescribed “seated row” was not intended for a rowing machine, which I have since discovered is more for cardio and not strength. No, the seated row is an actual strength exercise involving weights. Duh! I wasn’t going to head over there in a super crowded gym and explore how to do said rows, but I vowed to look into it next week.

Thursday: day off

This was supposed to be a swim day, but once again I bumped my rest day. All rest days are scheduled for Friday, but you see, I got my hair colored on Tuesday, and you’re not supposed to wash it for a couple of days, and the chlorine…blah, blah, blah. I know it’s a girly excuse, but hey – I’m a girl, and hair color isn’t cheap!

Friday: physical therapy strength training 

I was still avoiding the chlorine due to my hair color, but I didn’t want to take another day off. I decided to revisit some of my old faithfuls from physical therapy. In truth, I was light-weight panicking that I hadn’t done those exercise in weeks, so Friday afforded the perfect opportunity for them. I went through the entire gambit with astonishing ease. Nothing was challenging, and the next morning I wasn’t the least bit sore. It would seem that I’ve surpassed body-weight exercises, which I think is a good thing. I’ll still continue to do some of the moves, but now that I’ve incorporated weight training, some are just plain obsolete. I think Stephen, my PT, would be so proud. My hip is all grown up! (sniff, sniff)

Saturday: run

This wasn’t just a run; it was the longest run I’ve done in forever! The workout called for 45 minutes with a negative split. The most time I’ve spent running to date is 30 minutes, so I was a little hesitant jumping up by 15 minutes. I decided to use the first 5 minutes as a warm-up, walking at 4.0 mph. I then ran 20 minutes at 5.2 mph and the second 20 minutes at 5.6 mph. I “sprinted” the last minute at 6.0 mph. It was a great run. I wasn’t in any pain or discomfort for the duration. I stretched out briefly, got cleaned up, and headed off with my husband for a Valentine’s Day treat: a couples massage! Yup, Saturday was pretty boss.

Sunday: bike

Today’s workout was a Fartlek [insert childish giggle here]. I peddled to IronMan 2, and sprinted every time he got into a scuffle of some kind. It wasn’t as fun as riding on the open road, but it was a close second. I forgot how awesome that movie is.

W2 Planned Duration: 4:45

W2 Completed Duration: 5:03

I may have botched the middle of the week a little bit for a seemingly silly reason, but I got back on track during the weekend. I plan to incorporate some of my physical therapy exercises into my routine during strength training days, and I will learn how to do a real seated row. I also don’t have a hair appointment for another 9 weeks, so I should be all set for my swims for the remainder of the plan. 

photo-50I’m still quite happy with this workout plan. Though I don’t see any significant physical difference yet, I realize that it has only been a week. I feel great, and I’m excited for what’s in store. The next phase of this training is to make some dietary changes. It’s not in the plan that Bernhardt put together, but exercise isn’t going to cut it alone. I bought a recipe book called Racing Weight Cookbook by Matt Fitzgerald and Georgie Fear. The recipes look and sound delicious, and the book was highly rated on Amazon. I’ll let you know my thoughts on the meals as I make them. Happy training!

*Thanks to cybexintl.comoxygenmag.com, and mrtreadmill.com.au, the sites from which I took the pictures.

**Mom, I know you like the blonde hair better, but I promise this will grow on you.

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