2/28/08

Ramping up speed.

After spending about a month at the new pace and watching my heart rate, next week I'm going to rev up the speed another notch. I think I could have gone a little faster yesterday but am playing it safe.

Now for stretching after the speedwork: Pigeon pose is one of my favorites. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana >>

2/26/08

Pedestal Routine for Core Strength

Yesterday's program recommended a comfy 3 mile run of 65-75% of maximum heart rate, which (for me) is not over 144bpm. I had a hard time finding that pace and ended up doing 83%. Afterwards I tried the pedestal routine below. You get a total workout just trying to keep good form and balance. You may recognize the plank pose from yoga, which in itself, is harder than it looks.

This Pedestal Routine is part of the General Strength routines presented in "Building a Better Running: Building from the Ground Up". This routine is a great example of exercises that target all three dimensions of the core. For more videos visit RunningDVDs.com


Update: After trying out the pedestal routine, I have a new name for it: Planks of Doom. Be warned.

2/20/08

10k Training

I've started doing Hal Higdon's 10k Training Program in preparation for the DSE Runners Embarcadero 10k. Hal is also an artist who makes interesting paintings. It's been a few weeks into the speedwork and my pace time is slowly and steadily decreasing. Imagine that.

2/17/08

Yoga for Cross-Training - The Magic Five

Doing Bikram Yoga has been an excellent cross-training activity that incorporates deep stretching and strength-building, and meditation. Although there is a hurdle to begin which I call The Magic Five. It took me five classes to acclimate and start really enjoying it.

1. First Class - got sick with a cold for a week
2. Second Class - had to leave halfway through the class due to heat exhaustion
3. Third Class - had to sit out the second set of most postures
4. Fourth Class - could survive all postures, but collapsed with no energy after class
5. Fifth Class - got into the postures and had energy after class

It gets even better...The last class I was able to feel all the muscle tension working it's way out of my body and completely disappearing after the final half spinal twist pose.

Bikram recommends for beginners to start by going 60 consecutive days in a row. Even though my schedule is more like once a week, I am still seeing small improvements in my postures and in my core strength.

Here is something I am trying off the mat because I ride my bike alot (another cross-training activity):

Bike Yoga: Whenever stopped at the red-light or intersection, try to balance on one leg as in tree-pose, engaging the leg muscles. Alternate legs for symmetry.

Yoga has what is known as “Tree pose” where you stand on one foot, the various balance poses really challenge muscle stabilizers!
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Hello World

I started this blog to share and keep track of my running: information, progress, cross-training, health and nutrition info and things learned along the way. I have the pleasure of living in the San Francisco Bay Area where there are miles of scenic routes to traverse. I've only been running seriously for about 10 months, and my plan is to run not walk towards my 40s with a strong body, thumping heart and open mind.

I just got this idea one day that I wanted to try to do a marathon (ok, the idea came after the idea to do a 5k, 7k, 10k, half-marathon...) so I will keep track of this experiment here.

I'm inspired by the quote "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step". I look forward to celebrating once I've logged that mile 1,000.

Update: almost 10 years later, I've logged over 10,000 miles, have completed over a dozen marathons, an ultra, several triathlons including a half-iron, several century rides, some brevets and 8 Alcatraz crossings! I feel better than ever! I have learned so much about how to take care of my health and have discovered the advantages of cross-training which has kept me injury-free. Achieving my fitness goals and spending time out on nature trails and in the water has improved my health, quality of life and given me immense energy, peace of mind and joyfulness. Keeping a blog helps me focus on my goals, track my progress and remember where I've been. Group training has helped me share this joy with others.

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May in Pictures

May is a long haul with all the events: Bike to Work Day , the BoMF Gala , the Alcatraz Classic, the art auction I was in for HH , and fina...