One on One with a Personal Trainer... Priceless!

Today I showed up for my Cardio workout and was pleasantly surprised to find that I was the only person in my TEAM who showed up! I say 'pleasantly' because this turned out to be an awesome opportunity. Meghan, the PT instructor for the class -- and a marathoner -- basically worked with me one-on-one for the entire 50 minutes! The best workout ever!

It turns out that she trained for her marathons with Chicago Endurance Sports and knows Coach Jenny! How cool is that! She told me a lot about their program, making my desire to train with them even greater now. She very excited that I plan to run a half marathon next summer and the full Chicago Marathon in 2013. Her support is a boost to my enthusiasm!

We discussed my running and fitness goals, what I have done so far, and most importantly, how to incorporate my TEAM Cardio workouts with my running practice time so that I can continue to prepare for the next 5K race while not overtraining. She also worked with me on my running form, heart rate zones, etc. For the remaining weeks of the TEAM Weight Loss program, she is going to alter my routine to include more jogging/running so that I can keep working on reaching a maintainable 3:2 run-walk interval for my May 22nd 5K race. (My last 5K was done in a 2:3 interval)

Because the TEAM program is scheduled for three days a week, I was concerned about how to fit in my running time into my week (I do strength training two days a week). So she figured if I do more jogging/running during the cardio program, then I can reserve Saturdays for my outdoor runs (weather permitting).

So my plan between now and May 22nd is to incorporate running into my TEAM cardio program three times a week and then work on 3:2 interval runs outdoors on my Saturdays. So this Saturday, I will do 3:2 intervals for 2 miles. Then the next two Saturdays, I will run the intervals for a distance of 2.5 miles. That will take me to May 14. After that, it will be a 'taper' week leading up to May 22nd.

My goal: to run that race at least 2-3 minutes faster than the 42:41 time I clocked last weekend. I feel good about that goal and I am going to reach it!


This week: Cardio and Strength Training

I felt pretty good after the run, but on Sunday, I had some discomfort just below my right knee. I have had this before but only when I run on concrete. My trainer says I should ice it and get a Patella Knee Strap and that should help support that tendon. What is weird is that I only have this problem with my right leg. At least the twinge is pretty much gone now.

Coming off the 5K, I decided I should take it easy for a few days -- 1 day per mile -- and do stuff other than running, so it is back to my cardio program and weightlifting this week. Up and at 'em at 5AM! Yeah, on weekdays I do my workouts really early in the morning before work (because by the end of the day, I am either too tired or have other commitments with church work or family). It took me the whole month of January to get used to this new schedule.

TEAM Weight Loss (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
I went to my TEAM Weight Loss class at 6AM, where I get to walk on the treadmill for 55 minutes (usually at a 3.2 speed) at differing inclines (from 2 to 15) while also utilizing hand weights and resistance bands at various intervals. It is a solid cardio workout that keeps my heart rate between zones 2-4 throughout. By the time it was over, I clocked 2.6 miles and almost 700 calories burned. I enjoyed a nice FastFuel protein smoothie with banana and peanut butter afterwards!

Strength Training (Tuesday and Thursday)
Today I got to work with Jordan, my Personal Trainer. We focused on legs/lower back and shoulders this morning. It felt good to use other muscles today -- lots of squats, leg extensions, shoulder lifts, calf flexes, back crunches, etc. Three full circuits in an hour. I will probably feel it around 2pm this afternoon! Lol

On a side note...

I got a "Congrats" tweet from Coach Jenny Hadfield this morning. She runs Chicago Endurance Sports in downtown Chicago and co-wrote the running book I am using "Running for Mortals". That brought a smile to my face!

I also decided to join the Chicago Area Runners Association. I figured it would be a good way to connect with a community of runners for advice, support, and maybe find a few folks I could run with. It is more fun to run with people who are around your same level or a bit better (so you get challenged). And I get a subscription to Runners World in the deal, which is nice.