weekly workout reflection

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Weekly Workout Reflection for Sunday, January 22nd to Saturday, January 28th

My goals for this past week were:

  • Increase my back squat weight by 5 pounds on Monday (75 pounds), Wednesday (80 pounds), and Friday (85 pounds). This is a big goal for me; the key to accomplishing this goal is to be mentally tough.
  • Increase my intensity in strength training workouts by quickly moving from one exercise to the next; longer rest periods will be taken in between “circuits,” not in between exercises within circuits. To ensure quickly moving from one exercise to the next, I will need to plan my circuits before I begin them.
  • I am planning to combine my short, continuous run with hills this week. Last week, I incorporated 4, .25 mile hills into my run. This week, my goal is to incorporate 5, .25 mile hills into my run, and to follow this routine for hills: 3% incline, 4% incline, 5% incline, 5% incline, 6% incline.
On Sunday, which was my first workout day of this past week,  I accomplished one of my goals: I am planning to combine my short, continuous run with hills this week. Last week, I incorporated 4, .25 mile hills into my run. This week, my goal is to incorporate 5, .25 mile hills into my run, and to follow this routine for hills: 3% incline, 4% incline, 5% incline, 5% incline, 6% incline. It felt awesome to meet one of my workout goals right-off-the-bat on Sunday and begin the week on a positive note, but it was tough. My legs–not necessarily my lungs–were feelin’ the burn on the incline intervals. As I approached my fifth and final incline interval, I battled with myself about sticking to my goal. “I could do 5% incline for half of the interval, and then finish with 5.5% incline, or I could do 5.5% incline for half of the interval, and then finish with my goal incline of 6%.” But, my cross country training encouraged me to stick to my goal and push through the fifth incline interval at 6%. At cross country practice, I always found the strength to push through the pain and finish strong; just because I was running on the treadmill and not at practice did not mean my work ethic should slack. One of my favorite blog authors, Kristin of Iowa Girl Eats, has said, “Pain is temporary. Accomplishment is forever!” She is right; the incline intervals were painful, but at the end of my workout, although I felt wiped-out, my pain was gone, and only feelings of accomplishment remained.
In addition to Sunday’s run, Tuesday’s Long Run and Thursday’s Short, Continuous Run (+ Speed) also evoked feelings of accomplishment when completed. Before pressing “Quick Start” on the treadmill to begin my Long Run, I asked myself for 3.5 miles; I wanted to run this distance because I increased the distance of my Short, Continuous Run to 3 miles, and my Long Run should be longer that my Short, Continuous Run. I completed 3.5 miles, plus almost an additional mile: 4.40 miles. For the first half of my Long Run, I could not fall into a rhythm, physically or mentally. When I reached ~2.40 miles, I spontaneously decided to set the treadmill speed to 7.0–no more frequently changing speeds–, and I changed my goal of completing 3.5 miles to completing more than 3.5 miles. My goal distance was not determined; I simply wanted to continue running. I kept my focus straight ahead, and although the second half of my run was challenging, I was finally in a physical and mental rhythm. At the completion of my run, I was spent, but I was also ecstatic about my accomplishment. I partially met my first goal of this past week, which was to: Increase my back squat weight by 5 pounds on Monday (75 pounds), Wednesday (80 pounds), and Friday (85 pounds). I only increased my back squat weight to 75 pounds, and I lifted with this weight on all Strength Days. I am not too disappointed to not have met his goal, for I know my body (and mind) can handle 75 pounds, and next week, I will be ready to tackle 80 pounds. I believe I met my second goal of this past week, which was to: Increase my intensity in strength training workouts by quickly moving from one exercise to the next; longer rest periods will be taken in between “circuits,” not in between exercises within circuits. To ensure quickly moving from one exercise to the next, I will need to plan my circuits before I begin them. Because there are so many student-athletes participating in the strength training sessions at my school, waiting at points throughout a strength training workout is inevitable. However, I made a conscious effort on both Wednesday and Friday (and Monday, when I completed a partial strength training workout at the gym) to increase my intensity throughout my workout; I put my full effort into completing each and every exercise.
My goal for the coming week:
  • Run outside! I have been completing my running workouts on the treadmill because of the cold weather and icy conditions–I do not want to risk an injury! However, I am becoming too comfortable with running on the treadmill, and it is time for me to run outside again.
Check out my Workout Log for details on all of this past week’s workouts!
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