I will be competing in the Spartan Ultra Beast on April 29 in New Jersey, which is where I would like to have my first peak performance of the season (the other will be OCRWC). In 2016 I got my first DNF at the Ultra Beast in Owl’s head after post-concussion syndrome kept me from training, and I do not want a repeat.
I am still not officially cleared for full exertion and impact, but my athletic therapist has given me the okay to test the waters, since I have a personal training background. I have to monitor my symptoms and heart rate during activity and just play it smart so I don’t have another relapse.
I set up a beginner marathon running program in RunKeeper, just to give me some foundation as I start training again. I have never loved running and in the past have never stuck out an entire running training program. Running is my weak game, so I have to really focus on it this year.
But because I still have to keep things low impact right now, running 30km in my first week back to training is not wise. My program only started on Monday (January 9) with a 6.4km easy pace run. Since I’ve put almost NO mileage in for actual running in months, I knew that was too much to handle.
I gave myself a 30 minute window to run in, while carefully monitoring my heart rate. I got to 3.33 km in 30 minutes and felt pretty good about how my heart rate responded, but my head was starting to pound slightly so I moved onto the spin bike to finish out the rest of my mileage.
Wednesday was my next run day, and again I gave myself the 30 minute window. This time I ran 3.44 km and again finished out the mileage on the spin bike.
This week I have another 6.4 km easy run on Friday followed by a 12.9 km run on Saturday that is supposed to be a steady pace of 6:31/km to 6:50/km. On Friday I will start on the treadmill again for the 30 minute window and try to beat my previous distance.
There’s no way I can run the steady pace expected of me for Saturday’s run, nor run that mileage yet, so I will be using the spin bike for that workout.
My goal over the next few weeks is to greatly improve the distance I can run in 30 minutes, so that eventually I am not relying on the bike for the shorter distance runs. I will stick to the bike for the Saturday long runs. I will also be incorporating the rowing machine, stair master and walking on incline (maybe while holding a sandbag!) for low impact until I am ready to full out run.
Since I am using the treadmill right now and doing my runs in the gym, I have been doing some grip work and upper body work after my runs. Walking a few laps of the gym while holding 25lbs plates in pinch grip, walking a few laps of the gym while doing farmer carries with kettlebells, unassisted dips (I can string 7 in a row right now), close grip pull-ups (4 in a row right now), wide grip pull-ups (2 in a row right now) and doing frenchies (dead hang to chin up and hold, lower to 90 degrees and hold, lower to dead hang and hold, raise back to 90 degrees and hold, raise back up to chin up and hold).
Because I spent the last year starting my business and nursing an injury, I sat A LOT and neglected my mobility big time. Stretching and working on my mobility is also part of my 2017 goals, so I will be incorporating hot yoga into my schedule at least once a week for the remainder of January (and most likely onward).
Once I get into a better routine of working out again, and know that my body (and most importantly, my brain!) can handle this month of exercise, I will be adding some more OCR-specific strength training in February and picking up the intensity.
My next appointment with the Sports Medicine Doctor at the concussion clinic is not until February 16, so I don’t want to get too crazy with my workouts before then.