Sunday, October 30, 2011

Training - Changing It Up

You might have noticed that I haven't mentioned running much lately. It's not because I'm not running. It's just because I've had to cut back a little. It's the end of the racing calendar (or at least my racing calendar) for the year. And I can't say I'm sorry.

It's been a tough running year for me. I've had too many health issues for my liking - two bouts of the flu/cold and sinusitis that lasted for 8 weeks and then there's the on-going hip injury. But I still managed 3 half marathons, a 10k and two 5k races plus, on average 50k training per week. I've missed more hill sessions than I've been to but sometimes that's the way things go.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about my running. I was so keen to build up again this year and try to re-claim some speed but I only seem to be getting slower so I've had to re-adjust my thinking. So after having a long chat with my EP son and Coach Chris, I have a new plan for this next year.

Firstly I'm putting some strength training into my exercise program. Sam's given me a program that I'm doing twice a week which will continue to strengthen my dodgy hip but will build up my leg strength. I'm doing more squats, squat jumps, hopping up stairs and core work. The session takes about an hour and he's aiming to build up to more plyometric work.

I'm not fooling myself that I'll get faster from this but I'm hoping I'll build up a little more muscle because that's what we tend to lose as we age. I've done a food audit - not like the one the dietitian did at the beginning of the year where she didn't ask about quantities. I've actually looked at the amounts I eat and found that I was averaging between 20-30g of protein per day. I was having enough calories but they were mostly in the form of carbs. Everything I've read (thank you Dr Google) has suggested that I need upwards of 50g a day and that's just for an average inactive person. So I've revamped my diet a little. I'm having protein powder with my cereal and a decent serve of protein at lunch then my usual dinner (which was where I got most of my protein from before). At least now I know that my muscles will have what they need to get stronger.

The reason I decided to change things up was because I was looking at some running photos. This one is from about 4 years ago.

And the next was two years ago when I finally had to admit that all was not well. My sister remarked that I looked wasted and when I compared it to the first pic I kinda had to agree. I'd lost a lot of muscle mass especially in my legs. It may be a little late but I'm going to try to build it back up.

I'll just be running three days a week for the next month or so and then, hopefully it'll be back to four. I'm excited about my new regime. It's going to be an interesting year.


  1. I love your positive attitude! It's not like you're having to give anything up. You are actually regaining some health and energy, I love that idea! I remember when I only ran three days a week and those were some very nice runs because I was never tired!
    Rejuvinate and enjoy!
    By the way, thanks for your lovely comment on my situation. I did whine a while but it wasn't fun so I've tried to move on.

  2. Great motivation Char! Seems that those running drills are good to improve your strenght.
    I'm trying to run three times a week too.

  3. It does look like your body composition changed some between those two pictures - and you're right about losing muscle as we age, so your new program sounds like a very good idea!
    I only run three times a week most weeks - I've found that any more than that is too much for my body.

  4. It's always good to make changes with training every so often. Good luck with it. I have to say though, you look great in both pictures, and the second one is a great shot with you smiling and the bridge in the background.

  5. I don't think it's ever too late to work on increasing your strength and muscle mass. Your bones will thank you too!

  6. I'm cutting back my running as I build in the swimming this winter. I hope it helps with speed and injury.

  7. I've noticed muscle loss in my non-running hiatus, too, and it's so hard to get back as we get older, but you can do it. Your changes are great ones and I think you will really notice positive changes for you physically...and mentally!

  8. Sorry about your bad year. Sounds like you have a good plan going forward. BTW, I tend to run at the gym so that it's convenient to lift weights afterwards. I found leg and core weight training prevents injury.

  9. I think you look great in both pictures!! And I think this sounds like a smart plan...muscle building and decreasing running for a bit. Oh, and thanks to you I'm about to go get some chocolate at 10 at night...your cupcake picture in the post above has literally made my mouth water.

  10. The changes that seem to come with age are tough ones. Sounds like you've got a great plan in place to challenge and rebuild your body. Here's to new beginnings!

  11. 2 wonderful pictures! You look strong and fast. Both deserve "the first page" as we use to say.
    The changes help to run better and avoid injures, I like your attitude.


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