Mason Twist Madness

Today, just now… I did all 50 mason twists. All of them…without stopping. Seriously. That’s amazing to me. Not impressed? You try it. Pfft.

P90X Week 1 in the bag

Well, I am one week into P90X. Although I played with the program before, this is the first time I have done the whole thing. Last year I tried just doing the strength training aspect without the cardio but the Tri-training got in the way. The one good thing is that I have a reference from which to base my fitness level.

Based on the couple of posts I managed to put up on my first attempt at P90X, this time around things are a bit easier. I can actually see a day when I will be able to do the entire ab workout, as opposed to the last time I tried this. The Yoga was a bit easier, the legs and back X is waaaay easier. I couldn’t even start to do the one legged wall squats before, this time I did them all the way through. It feels nice to be going into the program with a good level of fitness. I’m hoping this turns out great results on the other side, but we’ll see. I plan to post before and after photos…which…makes me nervous but hopefully keeps me on the straight and narrow.

Oh, one other benefit of my last few months of training, I know that my body can push through pain, so I can push myself more than I used to. Pain is proof! Proof of hard work; proof that the results are coming; proof that I’m alive and kicking.

Everything hurts

Thanks P90X, thank you very much. Now if you’ll excuse my I’ll be whimpering in the corner.

The post season

So, the recovery break is over, and now it’s time to get busy once more. I am still not starting any running regime, I’m not ready for that yet. Yesterday, however, I started P90X in earnest.

The goal is to get fit and stronger over the off season. I will do the full P90X program, including the meal plan, and I will continue to do some limited tri training. I plan on doing spin and swim once a week, and I will run twice a week on the treadmill at work. I also plan on doing some lateral slide work to help with my IT band issues. More on that later.

Yesterday was Chest and Back X and I have to say, it hurt. Interestingly, the Ab Ripper X workout wasn’t as hard as I remember it being. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t do all of the reps for all of the exercises, but for the first time, I did do all the reps for some of them, and I did much better overall. It actually seems doable now which is not what I thought before. Seems like my core strength has improved through my running! Nice!

The hardest part of the program for me is the nutrition, I’m not very regimented on when to eat and what to eat. It’s going to take a week or two to figure it all out. But I’m looking forward to it.

Week in review

Last Thursday I had a group swim session for the triathlon training group at the Y.  The instructor told me that I was wasting energy lifting my right arm up.  Everything that I had heard until then was that I should be lifting the elbow high on recovery.  This swim coach had some very unorthodox ideas about swimming, but he was also pretty pragmatic.  He feels that swimming for a triathlon is all about energy conservation.  That is something that makes a lot of sense to me.  I gave it a try and it felt really good.

I focused on pushing my arm out in front of me to lengthen my stroke, and I focused on pulling from this longer position.  It was the end of the night for me, so I didn’t get to try it for more than just a lap or so.  I was anxious to try it again during my next swim session.

On Saturday I did the P90X chest and back workout.  I am really enjoying these workouts.  It is a dead basic but killer workout.  I have really been pushing myself lately and I can really notice a difference in the max reps and weight.

On Sunday I had my spin class.  It was tough but doable.  I did about 16 miles and felt pretty good.  I met my wife at the pool and tried my new stroke.  It felt like I was moving pretty slow, but at the same time it felt much more comfortable.  I timed a lap and it worked out to about 1 minute.  That wasn’t as fast as I had been swimming before, but it wasn’t that much slower either.  After a few warm up laps I decided to go for 11.  I noticed right away that I wasn’t as winded when I got to the end of a length or a lap.  I didn’t need much time to catch my breath.  I kept plugging away at it and eventually I finished the 11 laps.  I checked that time and it took me exactly 13:30 to do the 11 laps.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had shaved 3 minutes off of my best time ever!  I wasn’t even that tired.  I can’t tell if it was my new stroke or just an increase in fitness.  I actually had enough gas in the tank to sprint the last length, it felt great.  This despite the fact that I was sore from a killer chest and back workout the night before.  And, to top things off, when I got out of the pool my legs were fresh as daisies.  Note to self, find something more masculine to compare yourself to going forward.  Things are looking up, if not linguistically, at least athletically.

On Monday I did the P90X arms and shoulder workout.  That is a really great workout too.  I love how it makes my muscles burn and my arms feel tight right after the workout.  I know that I’m going to be feeling it for days.

I am ramping up for this weekend’s big race.  I’m really excited to bring it on Sunday.  My goal for the week is to get another swim workout in and do the P90X Yoga and stretch DVD’s just to get myself nice and loose.  After this Tri my wife and I are going to put together some training plans.  I would like to start working on my running.  I would really like to do a half marathon this year, but I know I can’t do that without some focused, and planned training.  I have been researching training techniques for some time and I plan to post some of the information that I’ve learned just to keep it all in one place.

Weekend Review

This weekend was supposed to be our 5K race, the Cupid Run, however that was canceled mid-week so we ended up with a downer for the weekend.  We were really looking forward to our first real race.  We decided to register for theO’Hartford 5K which really seems like it is going to be a lot of fun.

All I did on Saturday was my P90X workout.  It was Chest and Back and it was a bear.  Really tough workout for me.  Of course that was capped off by Ab Ripper FU.  I can’t believe how tough that ab workout is.  I can’t even imagine a day when I will be able to make it all the way through.  I did a bit better than last time, but that doesn’t say much.  Needless to say, my whole upper body was sore the next day.

Sunday morning I did spin.  I used my HR monitor and calculated a burn of 560 calories over 50 minutes.  I think my legs were still burning a little from the P90X leg and back workout earlier in the week.  It was a really great workout.

After spin we went to the pool and did laps.  I started right out of the gate to try to get some laps in.  Before my wife even got to the pool from the locker room I had finished 4 laps in a row and felt good.  I tooled around a little more trying to help my wife with her form (like the blind leading the blind) and wrapped up the day with an attepmt to max out my laps.  My goal was to go for as many laps as I could before needing to stop.  I had cycles where I felt I couldn’t go any longer, but then I would get a rhythm and I would feel perfectly fine.  I got all the way to 6 laps and then I notice a couple of people trying to find a lane.  I stopped to let them in, but I think I could have squeaked out another lap or two.  I did the 6 laps in about 7:22.  That’s about 1:14 a lap. That isn’t quite at my goal of 1 minute per lap or better, but I have until May to get to that.  My early laps are all sub 1 minute, so I know I am slowing down as I get tired.

The first thing to go for me now is my arms and shoulders.  They just start getting fatigued.  That is a big difference from my last race where my legs nearly fell off and I couldn’t keep my heart rate and breath regulated.  I’m wondering too if the P90X chest and back workout isn’t causing some of the fatigue.  As silly as it sounds, I will probably taper before the next tri, at least by not doing the chest and back workout on the Saturday before the race.

Tonight I did the P90X arms and shoulders workout.  My arms and shoulders are really mad at me about it.  I gave it all I had and I don’t think I have ever felt my triceps as sore as they are right now.  Tomorrow will be another swim session, it won’t be pretty if my shoulders and arms feel anything like they feel right now.  Ouch!

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