February Gut Check

Its nearing the end of February, so its time to post a progress report. Its not that anyone *really* cares, but it is good motivation and keeps me honest.

I am in the middle of Base 3 which, for those not familiar, is Joe Friel’s term for that last of three phases of building a foundation of fitness before moving on to more and bigger blocks of serious sport-specific training.

The base of my fitness is strength training both in the gym and on the mat. In the gym its lots of squats both barbell squats and those blasted Bulgarian squats. Thanks to my brother for turning me on to those. I hate them but do they ever work. The squats and the upper body work to help balance out the strength and body mechanics have caused me to put a little weight on but that’s ok I think. I think my bride likes it.

On the mat its lots of flexibility and core work, including Turkish Get Ups. Weird name, great exercise. Check them out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vhJza-2xiI

The running has come around for the first time since, well ever. I am not ashamed to say I am up to 2.5 miles at a stretch which is a huge landmark for me. My goal is 3, and maybe 5 at some point. We’ll see.

I have been doing my best to wear out the spin bike I bought last fall. My workouts have been spectacular so far, and I’ve safely made it past my usual Valentine’s Day plateau and crash. I’ve added a lot more force work and am just now starting to dabble in a bit of threshold work.

Comparing this winter’s training to even my best past year’s training is encouraging. This year the work has been much more productive and the results measurable in increased recovery and  tolerable workload.

The only factor that really concerns me is my weight which is higher than I want. I am not carrying much adipose tissue so I (hope) its at least mostly muscle. My clothes fit fine and my waist is smaller than in year’s past so I take that as a good sign.

The plan is still to race the four hour marathons until May and June when its time for the State Championships, the Maskenthine race, and Ponca. Since Ponca isn’t the SC I may go back to marathon for that too.

All in all, its been a good winter. The next hurdle is taking all this perceived fitness outside and seeing how it rates against my riding buddies.

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