January 23, 2018

Mind Numbing Workouts

Ron Saetermoe

Are you bored of your workouts? Do you dread doing the same thing day after day? Are you looking for ways to spice your workouts up a bit? If so, you’re not alone.

Some athletes have no problem doing the same workouts over and over again – I think they find it comforting in a way. That’s great: to each his own. But for the rest of us we like to mix it up a bit.

Now, I’m the first to admit that my swim workouts can be quite boring. The only thing that breaks up the monotony is the pain, and the fact that I’m afraid of losing track of what lap I’m on. You see, when I lose track I go back to the lap number I remember – never forward.

So what can you do, and are there any benefits of mixing things up? Currently, I ride on my CompuTrainer five times a week. That’s a lot but I’m really trying to improve my cycling and my run off the bike. So here’s what I do:

Monday: Recovery ride on the CT including very light watts building to 60% of max.
Tuesday: Speed workout on the CT including high cadence (up to 120) and heavy watts building up to 90% of max.
Thursday: Power workout on the CT including low cadence (down to 40) and heavy watts building up to 90% of max.
Saturday: Long road ride (frequently with friends) and short or long transition run afterwards.
Sunday: Easy ride on CT including very light watts building to 60% of max and long run.

This regimen seems to break things up enough for me not to go totally mind numb.

In order to keep the runs interesting I change up the distance, intensity, interval length and rest interval length. Yesterday, for example, I was feeling spontaneous so I left the house without a specific plan other than my total distance.

I normally warm up for about 15 minutes with a slow pace before I do any real intensity. That may seem like a lot but you should remember that I’m 54! After that I decided to do 10 accelerations of 30 seconds with 30 seconds easy running in-between. That takes me up to 25 minutes. I ran easy for an additional five minutes so I was halfway home.

Then I decided to do decreasing intervals with decreasing rest between. I started with a five minute interval with 2:00 slow running, then a four minute interval with 1:30 slow running, three minutes/1:00, two minutes/0:30.

So that was my workout yesterday. No particular reason, just felt like it. It was great and I didn’t feel the least bit bored by it.


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