A few weeks ago I vacationed in Florida with my parents, and I ran a couple of times on the beach. This is huge for my overall exercise plans. In summer of 2008 when I had physical therapy for my ACL injury they suggested that I did not run. They suggested that running could aggravate the injury and that I should permanently find other modes of exercise. Since last June I’ve been skating fine on my knee but abided the advice on not running.
Also since June I’ve been going to gym semi regularly. For aerobic exercise I started with the stationary bike and progressed to the elliptical machine. Because of this and light lifting I’m in decent shape, probably the best shape I’ve been in for seven years, but I haven’t reached my potential for being in shape and skating. I think incorporating running into my gym routine will help me get as lean and mean as I need to be to rip.
I have a history with running, and am glad I can plan to start doing moderate distance running. I ran track my junior year of high school, and my eldest sister was a serious runner, so I took it up relatively young. In my late teens and early twenties I gained a lot weight from adjusting to the medications I had to take. My peak weight was a little over 200 with no muscle, just a huge belly on me, and that was 1998 or so. Shortly after I graduated from college I started running seriously. Very quickly, within a year, my weight got down to 150 and stayed there for a couple of years. I skated some around that time, and my pop (height of tricks) was much better than in 1998 when I skated more. I think to skate better a light weight is ideal. If someone skates all the time, everyday, they would improve without anything else. But since I can only skate twice a week at best I need to cross train on days that I can’t skate. Back in 2000 I lost my unnatural weight gain so quickly with running that I am convinced that running is superior aerobic exercise. It would make me lighter and my legs stronger, which can’t hurt my skating.
Running on the beach a few weeks ago was difficult. I was breathing hard and afterwards my legs were incredibly sore. But I felt like I exercised. Sometimes at the gym recently I would finish a half hour on the stationary bike or elliptical without sweating at all. It seemed too easy. Since I’ve been back to NYC I’ve been to the gym twice and I ran on the treadmill. By the end of the half hour I was breathing hard, and it took effort to complete the time. Today it’s a blizzard, so I feel fortunate that I was able to skate Friday and Sunday but I felt I skated well, so perhaps I’m getting stronger already. Hopefully I can get into a routine of going to the gym four to five times a week, and I’ll be ready by May.
Other than running on the treadmill instead of other aerobic exercise, the overall structure of my workout routine and goals will stay the same. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about long distance running with joints and injuries, especially when people get older. So I’ll run only medium distance. In the lab rat environment of the gym, I’m going to stick with a half hour of running on the treadmill. When I get comfortable with that, I will simply keep increasing the speed until the point that I’ll be going full speed for that time. By summer or fall maybe a few times a week I could run outside. I’m a five minute bus ride to Forest Park. Along with the skate park I’m sure there are trails there. Trail running by fall seems a good goal, but I don’t want to run on concrete. I think that is why my running spurts in NYC have been short, because sidewalks are tough to run on. Even if I get to do trail runs I would keep the runs under an hour, marathons are no longer a goal of mine.
My light lifting will stay exactly the same with two muscle groups a day out of six muscle groups. That way I could do lifting for multiple days in a row and each muscle group would only be worked once or perhaps twice a week. Eventually I would change up the exercises and add some variety, but now I’m just working on doing the basics while slowly increasing the weight.
I’m excited about getting in better shape and progressing at skating this year. Outside of work this gives me purpose, and is tens times better than spending hours on a bar stool in fake conversation wasting money and brain cells. I’m used being active now, and today I’m landlocked because of this blizzard, and it feels odd to just hang out.
In other news I’m reading Delillo’s Underworld and might make ramen noodles in the foreseeable future.