Thursday, January 12, 2012

Taking it to the next level...Base Maintenance

     Strength training as a primary disciple ended on Dec 26th which was the start of the week that reestablished my standard run base. I didn't quite achieve all the results that I had set out for during the Nov 13th-Dec 25th time period, but I'm not overly disappointed either. As always my primary goal was just to lead an active and healthy life and I certainly did that as documented in my 2 part (Vitals & Mileage) "By The Numbers" posts.

     Breaking it down further, the Nov 13th-Dec 25th time period was focused on 2 things, marathon recovery and strength training. Marathon recovery essentially meant 1 week of not running followed by 5 weeks of gradually increasing speed and mileage back to a standard level. (Which for me is an 18 mile week consisting of a 4 miler, a 6 miler and an 8 miler. Ideally the 4 miler paces in the 6's, the 6 miler paces in the 7's and the 8 miler paces in the 8's.) These goals were achieved relatively effortlessly.

     My strength training goals during this period were to achieve intermediate strength standards in 5 key power lifts and that didn't go quite as well. I had concerns about the safety of the Power Clean, so I abandoned that lift. With the Bench Press and Military Press I did meet or exceed intermediate standards, but with  the Squats and Deadlift I only made it into Novice territory. I'm not disappointed. I don't lift for sport, but rather just to promote healthy muscle and reduce the risk of injury for my other activities.

     My current training cycle is called Base Maintenance and it lasts from Dec 26th to Feb 13th. During this phase of training my goals are just to maintain what I got with running, focus high intensity efforts on mid range (20-25 miles) cycling workouts on the Blue Ridge Parkway and to plateau my twice weekly lifting routine. I am going to tweak my lifting routine just a bit to include Deadlifts, but Squats and Military Presses are out. I'll be throwing in the occasional swim also just to keep my water skills from getting rusty.

     Feb 13th marks the start of a 10 week training schedule for the Blue Ridge Half Marathon and the next 3 races in the RNUTS races all fall within that schedule too, so while I won't be specifically timing my athletic peaks around the trail races, I do expect to be increasing in running potential during that training phase and peaking on the day of the Blue Ridge Half.


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