First things first! Please note the new Team Boomer ChipIn widget to the right. Just makes you want to donate, yes? I've also added some different background to the page. Every blog out there is white...and while I do like the Minima template, something had to change for this training cycle.
As part of my new training program, I am implementing a core-training component. The excel file my sister sent me for the running schedule...WITH the running schedule... (for? with? Me fail English? Unpossible!) ...anyway, the running schedule calls for cross-training. I intend to actually DO some crosstraining, namely bicycling to work on nice days, but getting core exercises done is easier - can happen in any weather at any time, with almost zero equipment.
Not that the core exercises are in fact easy - they're not. The article I pulled them from, in Runner's World magazine, warns that the beginner will not be good at this at first and that there will actually be pain. Having done one workout, I can say the article is right - I'm no good at these. And I will be sore tomorrow. But I can tell right away these core exercises are going to work and will really pay off.
While the article describes nine different exercises, they are split into two different kinds of workouts and two different phases. For the next four weeks, I'm in the Basic workout, phase 1 - static holds, going for endurance and strength, rather than a great deal of coordination.
These first two exercises kicked my ass. The three plank positions, especially, had me quivering and (after a mere 30 seconds) curled up on the floor gasping for breath. The birddog isn't so bad, actually, but higher reps will make these tougher.
The Swiss Hip Extension is confusing and hard to perform. This will take practice - and it requires a non-slip surface, so I ended up using my bed. My yoga mat I use for situps and foam rolling isn't actually nonslip; a poor choice in hindsight. I think once I get a real bed ordered and put in place, I'll get a coordinating rug, too, and that will give me a nonskid surface. In the meantime, I just did this one on top of my matress.
The back extension is the one that clearly showed me to be a girlie-man. Hans or Frans I am not. While I could meet the beginner levels of the other exercises, I only made it 25 seconds on the back extension.
Besides these four exercises, I am going to be more firm with myself about my other necessary exercises and just turn it all into a 3x/week workout.
You'll notice the standard physical rehab exercises for runner's knee. I can do these; I have ankle weights. I have a foam roller. I know which stretches I need to concentrate on. Also notice the time-honored big 3: pushups, pullups, situps. I know Derek Rose is grunting towards meeting the Marine Grade A standard in these exercises and I, too, will see how far I can push it. I have to admit I'm not too proud of those numbers right now.
Finally, there remains the question: will I stick with the program? Work gets in the way; something I've complained about before. Fortunately, the core exercises can be broken up throughout the day and I can even do a few at work.