Friday, March 1, 2013

Spring Fitness

It's no lie, I've been in a little bit of a fitness rut. After completing Asylum 2, I had planned a couple of week rest and then was hoping to move into my Tough Mudder training. Sadly the date and location got moved (I'm still trying to sort our getting into the New England Mudder in August), and I had to push back training.

Over the past few weeks I did some random workouts from all the Insanity and Asylum programs, but I had no focus. Good news though -- I now have two things to focus on.

1. I got new running shoes (!) and have to train for the Greater Hartford 1/4 Marathon on March 30.

2. I'm going to be starting a new exercise program, Les Mills Combat.

First thing first. Yes, I got new shoes. I've been training in my Nike Free Run+ sneakers (the original models) since before my half marathon. I absolutely love these shoes. Unfortunately, the newer models of the Nike Free are just not wide enough for my feet. I made a trip to my local running store and explained my problem.

They didn't have a lot of minimalist shoes, which is what the Frees are and what I'm used to running in. (My other sneakers for running at the gym are a pair New Balance Minimus road sneakers.) However, the man at the running store thought I'd be pretty happy in a lightweight neutral sneaker.

We discussed sizing a lot. I usually wear a 6.5 dress shoe and a 7 running shoe. He suggested a 7.5 sneaker, which actually helped with the width a lot. He put me in a pair of Nike Air Pegasus+ sneakers.

They are definitely different from what I used to. Fortunately, the man at the running store said I could try a couple of runs on the treadmill with the sneakers and bring them back if they don't workout.

I've done one treadmill run with the sneakers so far. The sneakers have quite a bit more underfoot than I'm used to. However, they are quite flexible and allow my foot to have some nice articulation. They are also very light. I do feel like they have a bit of a bounce in them, which I'm not completely sold on. I'm not sure if this is just because I'm not used to it and I need to get accustomed to a new feeling neutral sneaker or if I will find this annoying over time.

I'm also trying to figure out if the 7.5 feels okay or slightly too big. It seems to fit... I guess, but again, it's not what I'm used to. I'm trying, basically, to decide if these are great sneakers, and I'm just being neurotic about them or if they are really not for me. I did have some pretty sore quads after my first run with them on Wednesday, but I've had that before with new sneakers. I plan to do one more run today and then make my determination.

Once I have things ironed out with the sneakers, I plan to start increasing my mileage to prepare for the run late this month. I've mostly been running three miles at a time, so I have to get my mileage up there over the next three weeks. I'm planning on using a plan from Jeff Galloway to increase my distance. The first few weeks should get me to where I need to be for race day. I'm just running this race for fun -- not for a goal -- so this should be perfect.

The other thing I'm very excited about is a new fitness program that Seth is getting me for my birthday, Les Mills Combat. It's from the same company that I got the Insanity, Asylum, and TurboFire workout programs from.

Les Mills Combat is a fast paced boxing/kickboxing and martial arts. The program also includes some HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. There are seven DVDs in all.

The workouts are mostly in the 30 minutes to 45 minutes range, with one full hour workout and the program lasts for 60 days. This will be perfect as it will keep me busy until the time when I now have to start training for the Tough Mudder.

Les Mills Combat hasn't arrived yet, but it should soon. When I got the e-mail telling me the program has shipped, they included a link to the 30 minute Basic Training DVD that shows you the forms for the six boxing and martial arts that will be used in the program.

I viewed the training video earlier this week and found it to be a help. It was slow paced, so not a workout per say, but more of an introduction to form. The moves we learned were taken from karate, taekwondo, boxing, kickboxing, capoeira, and jiu jitsu. I was fairly familiar with the taekwondo, boxing, and kickboxing moves, but the capoeira and jiu jitsu moves were very new to me. I'm super excited to try this program when it comes in the mail early next week. I'll do a more complete write-up about the workouts as I try them soon!

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