The November Fitness Review

So, November was the first month I really wanted to stick to a written training plan. Ultimately, that training plan, while not very ambitious, was something of a stretch goal. I didn’t get it done but did do more than I would have without it.

Successes

I’m counting the fact that I still try to get my plank workout in each day as a success. It doesn’t always happen (happened early today, I’ve learned that I’m more disciplined in the morning) but it happens more often than not. And, as an extra plus, my back, shoulder and arm pain is much improved, if not yet eliminated.

My foot hurts less severely and less often. I’m chalking that up to the foot exercises and will continue them.

The realization that running form matters. While out on what should have been a hard run, I decided to focus more on form than intensity, because my food had been acting up. I was surprised that it was just as effective — as measured by speed — as focusing on intensity would have been, but not quite as mentally draining. (Focusing on actually doing something seems easier than just trying to push myself.)

Failures

For a variety of lame reasons, I only hit my three-times-a-week goal twice in November. And, that was evident in the fact that I slowed down for the first time ever in my monthly 5k for time. It was 28:38 this month, as opposed to 24:37 in October.

Summary

It’s ridiculous to think I’ll get a lot of exercise in in December. December is the month that I spend the rest of the year trying to work off. Still, the experiment was good enough that my next step will be making a plan for December. At least, for the time up to the holidays.

November Training Plan

So, here’s a thing I’ve been doing: I’ve been running 5k for time as my weekly hard run for the last several months. And the times have been improving. As in, I’m running at speeds I’d never run at before. (I’d do so much better at the APFT than I did back when I had to do it!)

Check out the October run time:

october5k

The November plan:

For core fitness, I’m starting simply by trying to expand my current plank-a-day workout to a 5m plank workout every day. I discovered that in this lifehack article (fun fact: all the photos are of women in revealing workout clothes… but when it comes time to teach you something, of course, there’s a man in the video)

Because I have had foot pain, I thought another good place to start was by resolving to do three of these activities each day (I might revise that down to two).

Lastly, as I’ve had a ‘function’ for my Tuesday runs (traditionally, they’ve been my hard runs — see this month’s planned hard runs below) I’ve decided to make Thursday my ‘goofy’ run, which is to say, I’m going to try and run while stopping intermittently to do other exercises. (Like this one, which I don’t think I could do in good conscience in my apartment.)

Here are the four Tuesday hard runs I have planned.

Hard runs:

  • Intervals: Max interval at 23:00 5k pace (4:36/km)
  • Mile repeats: Pace 4:36/km
  • Intervals: Max interval at 22:00 5k pace (4:24/km)
  • November 5k for time

I’ve really only resolved to try this monthly training plan thing this and next month. And this month is really mostly about experimenting with habit-forming. We’ll see how it goes.