Fartlek and Squat:The Tuesday Duo

Crissy Field in San FranciscoFollowing this running plan and this weightlifting plan, today was about 4 miles on the road followed by squats, lunges and toe raises.

The running plan called for a mile warm-up, then 2 miles of fartlek runs followed by 1 mile "warmdown". I thought about the made-up word "warmdown" throughout my whole run. Funny how some words strike you funny and get stuck in your head, like a glob of peanut butter when there's no milk in sight.

I've done sprints and interval training in the past but never really integrated fartleks, and it was pretty fun. I did them informally (as advised), just picking a start point and end point for each interval and picking up my pace in between.

It was nice.

I have to admit: I do occasionally get irritated with all the tourists on their rented bikes stopping in the running/walking lane. There's 2 whole lanes dedicated for bikers, and if you're going to stop, why don't you just go over on the grass?

But alas, they're tourists and they're just soaking in the sights. I can't get too ruffled about it, you know?

Weight lifting went well. Honestly, I think I picked it back up just in time. On the very first day, during deadlifts, my right knee popped as I squatted down to lift the bar. Even before I did my first rep. I took that as a sign that I was dangerously close to having something go funky with my knee, since I've only been running (abusing it) and haven't been cross-training (protecting it).

Squats, along with bench, were my bread-and-butter lifts in high school. As a youngin' I was diagnosed with Osgood-Schaltter disease, which basically is knee funkiness due to growth spurts. To rehab my doctor had me do 100 bodyweight squats every day. Once I got to high school, my quads and legs were pretty well developed—almost Flintstonian—so doing heavy freeweight squats came easily to me.
(A funny aside: I ripped the backside seam of 2—count 'em, 2—gym shorts in the weight room doing squats. It made for quick dashes back to the locker room.)
(Another funny aside: my quads and glutes were developed to the point that I needed tailored pants for homecoming and prom, since my waist was much smaller compared to my leg muscles. Ah the good old days... *sigh*)

Today I didn't go heavy; it was mostly about remembering correct form and doing the motions right. Just 3 sets going from 0 to 45 to 95 pounds.

The backward-forward lunges recommended by JeeForce really seem to do the trick, and I did 3 sets of 5 on each leg.

Toe raises on the leg press machine, some abs on the ball and then a lot of stretches. Then home for a protein shake.

Good stuff.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's upper body workout, although the pull-ups are going to be pretty...humiliating. In time, in time.

Photo courtesy of Luca & Vita on Flickr

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