Stop The Presses! Back-to-Back Runs!

Saturday – HIIT/Tabata training at the YMCA in Randolph NJ                                                 Sunday – 8 miles easy on Appalachian Trail                                                                          Monday – 6 miles on local road loop                                                                                              Tuesday – Recumbent bike Tabata intervals + elliptical                                                           Wednesday – 6 miles on local road loop                                                                                       Thursday – 5 x “mile” (5:00) intervals in HydroWorx pool

Had fun last weekend at the YMCA in Randolph NJ.  The ‘Y’ there has installed 3 HydroWorx X80 portable treadmills in one of their former lap pools to offer their members the ability to get some underwater training.  HydroWorx was filming some sessions with the ‘Y’ members, and asked if I would join them to demonstrate some of the stuff I have been tinkered with over the years.  Since they have helped me out a ton I was happy to drive over there and help the ‘Y’ members play with their new toys.  Turned out to be a pretty fun time, got to work with two folks who were great guinea pigs for the interval training we filmed.  Will have to see if I can track down the video, I haven’t seen it myself as of yet…

Melissa Grosenstein, Marcello Pedalino, and yours truly with the X80s at the YMCA in Randolph

Melissa Grosenstein is a triathlete who works in the aquatics department at the Y, and Marcello Pedalino was just a glutton for punishment (in addition to being our photographer).  Both were game for whatever I threw at them, and not only were they up for the task but were also quite photogenic to boot – they will surely take some viewer’s eyes off of the “coach”, which is probably a good thing for all concerned.  Thanks to both of those ‘guys’ and everyone else involved in the fun afternoon…

Big news of the week is 3 runs in the past 5 days.  Hit the trail on Sunday for 8 miles, then a back-to-back run the following day locally.  Felt pretty good aerobically as I had to work to keep the pace from getting out of hand (and suffer a repeat of two weeks ago), but legs were still feeling it the following day.  Testimony to the sad state of affairs when I am applauding myself for running two days in a row, but I probably haven’t done that since Thanksgiving.  Baby steps….

Didn’t want to get all “crazy” and go for a mighty 3-day streak on Tuesday, so I hit my YMCA during kid swim practice and did a quick set of “Tabata” intervals on a recumbent bicycle.  The HydroWorx guys have been playing with this type of training in their pools, and have been back and forth with me to get my opinion on the protocol.  I’ve tried it about 3 times now – a far cry from a true scientific sampling but enough to know it’s about the most concentrated effort I think I have done in a long time – including racing 800’s and miles.  Without getting into the weeds (google it for the full description), it essentially is a full workout packed into a mere 4 minutes of hell.   8×20 seconds max effort with 10 seconds rest (active or not, doesn’t really matter – its 10 seconds, will feel like about 3….) in between each interval.  That’s 30 seconds per interval, 8 times.  4 minutes, what could be easier?  In playing with this, I’ve found the recumbent bike to be the most effective device to get the best burn – very easy to set a difficult resistance level and still attain max effort RPMs.  With a 10-15 minute warmup, and any cool down you can handle (you are going to want to go in the corner and weep afterwards, but I advise at least a minute or two…), it makes for a pretty decent workout.  Probably the equivalent of sprinting up the stairs at Mile High Stadium with an offensive lineman on your back, skipping every other step.  Going to try to continue to work this in to my routine, makes for a good workout in a hotel when I am stuck in the fitness room.   We are also working on developing a way to get this type of workout done in the pool, and have been playing with a lot of bounding to try to duplicate the high intensity effort level.  More to come on this for sure….

Back out on the streets on Wednesday for 6 more, then to the pool this afternoon.  Good interval session out at the HydroWorx center, ended up getting in 5×5:00 with 3 minutes active rest in between.  Felt good to turn the legs over a bit, intervals have been way too few and far between the past 4 months.  With a 20 minute warmup and 15 minute cool down, great 75 minute workout.  Sooner or later I have to get over to the high school track and assess the damage with an outdoor session on the oval.  I am very curious (afraid) to see where I currently stand…

Bad news of the week was I sent my regrets to Tom Hartshorne for this weekend’s mile race up at Cornell.  As much as I wanted to run up there, it just didn’t make sense.  Even after I realized this fact I was still planning on going, but a voice of reason finally said “live to fight another day” so I made the call after weeks of waffling.  Not getting in any races hurt my cause a ton, and I just didn’t feel ready to let it rip.  With the field that will be assembled at the Hartshorne Mile it isn’t exactly a good race to ‘see where you stand’.  It essentially would have been a glorified “fun run”, and that wasn’t worth taking 2 days off from work to play track and miss my kid’s swim meets.  This week is shaping up to be a good one training-wise, so I am looking forward to busting out the spikes next weekend and making my 2012 ‘debut’ up at Penn State.  Which reminds me, I better enter early….

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About Nick Berra

I am a 45 year old masters runner from Central Pennsylvania. I have been participating primarily in track events since turning 40 in 2009. This season has produced marks that I have not run in several years, I believe primarily due to starting a strength and flexibility program here at Elite Athletic Performance - I've felt stronger and faster than I have in a long time. That, coupled with lots of underwater running, has kept me healthy and fit - at this age those are things I no longer take for granted... I run USATF events with a team out of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. They are a great group who have played a big part in making the sport enjoyable for me again. I also run local races for HydroWorx Track Club, supported by HydroWorx here in Harrisburg PA. Their underwater treadmills and training center has proved to be a crucial part of my training, rehabilitation, and recovery programs. I set personal records in the 800m (1:56.06) in 2010 and in the 1500m (4:02:63) and mile (4:23.48) in 2011. Despite the fact that I am not getting any younger, I nearly PR'ed recently and set the M45 indoor world record in the 800 meters at the New Balance Armory in New York City. I ran 1:56.10, besting the 9 year old record by less than a second. I feel like there are still more big things to come... I am married and have two daughters. I am an assistant XC coach at my alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School here in Mechanicsburg PA. I am also a 1991 graduate of the US Naval Academy, currently working as a pilot for FedEx after serving 10 years on active duty flying in the Navy. Beat Army! Beat Army!
This entry was posted in Aquatic Fitness, Hartshorne Mile, HydroWorx Exercise Pool, Interval Training, Running, Training for Runs, Uncategorized, Underwater Treadmill, Water Running, YMCA and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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