Monday, November 29, 2010

P90X ~ Week 6 ~ Toughest One So Far

Thanksgiving week was one tough week.  Mostly due to the fact that the schedule and routine as I had it going could not be followed.

Did manage to get all the P90X workouts, minus one.  Did manage to get a run in; Thanksgiving Morning.  Also managed to get an extra day of rest.  I think I really needed that.   Also managed to get an unscheduled swim in on Friday.  This was also very much needed.

And speaking of the Thanksgiving Run, it was by far the best run I've ever had.  5 miles in 41:59, an 8:23 pace.  A PR by almost three minutes.  This has been the biggest improvement I've seen since starting P90X!

I'm excited and anxious to get started with week seven.  Half way through this week, I will hit the half way point of the program.

Monday, November 22, 2010

P90X ~ Week 5 ~ YES, I'm Still Doing This!

One of the most surprising things about the P90X program is how many people doubt others' ability or resolve to stick to it.

Most everyone I talk to, besides those that know me well enough to know better and those that follow me closely on Facebook or DailyMile want to know if  "I'm still doing P90X".

I have talked to several folks that have started but did not finish.  Most find a way to stop somewhere around week two or three.  I'm not sure I understand why.

I didn't jump into this without first doing the research.  I knew exactly what kind of commitment was required, both physical and mental.  Not to mention the time; it takes a lot of time!

So, how's it going?  I'm not sure I can see much of a physical change.  I have not developed any "guns" and a "six pack" still long ways away, but this was and is not my goal. I cannot afford to put on muscle mass, for if I did, I would have to carry that with me when swimming, cycling and running.

I feel stronger, leaner, tighter.  I can do more push ups, pull ups and more reps with heavier weights.  But the biggest, most noticeable change is that I can run longer, smoother and more efficient.  This I have enjoyed!

I am having some trouble with my diet.  I have never been one to count calories, much less protein or carb grams, but I understand how important this is, so I have recruited the help of my brother to come up with easy to fix, well balanced meals.  If you have any suggestions please send them my way.  Keep in mind that I cannot eat shell fish...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

P90X Week 4 and Nashville Half Marathon Review

First things first.  I have finished week four of P90X!  They call this a transition week but I think it's also known as a recovery week.  Since adjustments were made to include triathlon based workouts, I did not have any strength sets this week; did not lift a weight at all.

I must say that I am getting the hang of Plyometrics.  I can see how this particular set will help me as a triathlete.  The stretching is also fast becoming a favorite one.  Did Core Synergistics twice this week and my gut was sore, still sore.  Good stuff.

So as of today, I'm a third of the way home!

This coming week I shall start Block Two.

On Saturday, my long run came in the form of The Nashville  Half Marathon, which brings me to the second topic of this post.

I understand that this race, as many others is a fundraiser event.  That being said it is important to understand that the safety of runners has to come first.  Second, it is important to understand that if an event is to grow, it must provide runners with reasons to come back and bring others.  I think this event fell short of that.

I thought the course was a hard course, very hilly.  Of course I understand that this is a matter that could be of great debate.  Other than the area in and around Metro Center, the course was full of rolling hills, some were tough, specially the one that waited for you coming out of Metro Center.  This hill took from me everything I had left.

The water situation was deplorable.  Not enough water stations.  Period.  First station was around mile 2.5 then again not till 5.5 or 6... way to far between them.  I have made a decision that from now on, I will carry my fuel belt with me to all events, regardless of distance.

Porta Potties was another issue.  Just a few set up at the start/finish, didn't count them but there couldn't have been more than ten.  Huge lines pre race, didn't count the people in line, but there must have been 200 or more.  Only one, that I saw on the course, somewhere around mile 6 or 7.

Not sure what the idea was behind the finisher's lanyards in lieu of medals but overheard many say how disappointed they were, specially those that were doing their first half marathon.  I guess it was a money saving issue.

I hope that organizers read and listen to reviews posted throughout the Internet.  Take things into consideration and ensure future participants that these issues have been addressed.  I for one will have to think twice about doing this one again.

So how did I do?  My Garmin showed 2:04:45 and 13.25 miles.  I am happy with the results.  Secretly, I had a goal of under two hours, but I'll take what I got!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

P90X ~ Week 3

Yes, that's right.  Week 3 is behind me.  Now I'm preparing for a "transition week".  Not sure what to expect but I'm ready, so "Bring It"!

I have talked in detail about the progress seen over the past three weeks.  It is beyond anything I could have expected, but what I'm most excited about is the fact that I have barely scraped the surface of the program.

Beyond my expectations not because I doubted the program, but because I'm was not sure if I was going to be able to stick to this regimen past a week or two.  The further I get into it, the more determined I get to get to the finish... an beyond.

I'm not particularly a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination, nor are my intentions to be one.  Improvement I want to see, yes.  But speed is not what I'm looking for.  So to take off 26sec/mile of identical runs just one week apart is pretty awesome.  At least for me it is.

And that's what happened last week.  Sunday's seven mile run was 9:55min/mile whereas one week ago it was 10:36min/mile!  This I had read, would happen but I was a bit skeptical about claims of fast progress.  I am slowly beginning to understand the power of P90X!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

P90X ~ Week 2

It has been said that it takes two weeks to create a habit.  If that's the case then a new habit I have created, or at least I hope I have.

Last week I touched on the fact that I'm not an early riser.  This week I'm here to inform you that I am well on my way to conquering this for each day this week it got easier than the day before.

I had planned to do week two just as I had done week one and following the plan outlined in the P90X schedule.  However, after receiving instructions for my swim, bike and run workouts from my coach, I knew that something would have to change.

I researched on the Internet how others in my situation were handling this.  It is important for a triathlete to keep his base during the off season, so getting in the water, on the bike and hitting the pavement for a run or two is something that must be done.  I came across an article that talked about the "P90X Hybrid" program/schedule for triathletes.

In a nutshell, it incorporates basic tri training with P90X, replacing cardio workouts with swim, rides and runs.

This is what what my week looked like:

Mon:  Chest and Back & Ab Ripper X (am)
           Spin (pm)
Tue:  Plyometrics (am)
         Swim (pm)
Wed:  Shoulders and Arms (am)
          Ab Ripper X (pm)
Thu:  X Stretch (am)
         Spin (pm)
Fri:  Legs and Back (am)
Sat:  Run ~ 7 miles
Sun:  Rest

The strength portion on the workouts seems to be improving everyday.  It feels a lot easier to do more reps, so much so that for a couple of sets I had to increase the weight used.

The pull up is where I've seen the most progress.  On Friday during the Legs and Back workout, there are four different pull up routines, two sets each.  From last week's workout to this week's there was an improvement of two to four extra pull ups.

I was a bit timid about the run on Saturday for I was not sure how the knees and legs would feel after two full weeks of P90X.  Much to my surprise and delight they felt great and as it turns out, it was one of the most enjoyable runs I've had in a while.  It just felt good.

This coming week is another week of identical sessions.  I am looking forward to more improvements.