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 Post subject: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:59 pm
Posts: 15
Hello, I wanted to get some feedback and tips on what I have been doing so far. But first let me give a brief back ground.

I am 24 years old (25 in July) and weigh about 183 at the moment (about 6' 1"). I started working out again about a month ago. Before that, I haven't gone to the fitness center or worked out in quite a while. At the start of the year I was hovering right around the 200 lb mark and decided that I needed to make some changes since i had a little more fat than I'd like and was getting to the point where I would have to go up the next size in shirts (to an XL) and jeans (to about a 34ish from a 32). So as of the other day I have lost about 17 lbs since the beginning of the year. I also wanted to get back into racing this year doing hare scramble races (2 hrs long). So my main motives are to loose some weight (shoot for 175 lbs) and fat, get in shape, and develop a plan that will help me improve my endurance in racing. I will be doing my first Hare scramble race April 22...so pretty much in 2 weeks.

Over the course of the past month of getting back into working out, I started at 2 days a week and now I am at 3 days a week as of a couple of weeks ago. I have not done any weight training so far, which will be my next step here soon.

I basically start out with stretching and then do some mixed walking and jogging. It's been since HS since I have been able to run a mile without stopping, so that is another goal I have...while eventually working myself up to being able to do a 5k later on this year (another personal goal). As far as running goes, I have been having issues with shin splints. It could be attributed to a variety of factors such as being out of shape and not conditioned, and shoes. I got some new running shoes this week and have been able to notice an improvement as far as shin splints. As of this past Wednesday, I can run 4 laps nonstop (6 laps = 1 mile) in about 4 mins and 52 seconds.

After I do some mixed walking jogging (total 20-30 mins worth), I switch over to the stationary bikes.When I first started out, I was doing 20 minutes worth with just sporadic rpm/cadence. After my workout Wednesday night, I am at 50 mins (with a 5 min cooldown period afterwards) while maintaining a HR of between 155 and 160 bpm and cadence of around 105 rpm. At this HR I am able to breathe out of my nose. I am thinking about sticking with the HR range mentioned above for a few weeks while increasing my duration (for a total of 1 hour? not including cooldown period) to establish a base, then eventually doing some intervals.

I had purchased a Timex Heart Rate monitor watch (with hear rate sensor strap) earlier this past week and have been implementing it into my training starting this past tuesday. I do not know my max heart rate yet (although I reached a max of 190 bpm while running today, not max effort) and my resting heart rate is around 58-62 bpm. I will work on determining a more accurate resting heart rate in the next few days.

As mentioned above, I am working out 3 nights a week (usually monday, weds, and thurs, depending on school work or anything else going on). Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays I am not able to go to the fitness center since I am away from campus (where the Fit. is). So I usually use those as my rest/ride days. I will probably start going monday through thursday within the next week or two. I have not gotten to the point where I dread working out or overtrained, in fact I look forward to it each workout day. I have remained consistent and committed to working out after a month or so of working out, which I haven't been able to do since my high school days...barely..

I have purchased the following books and hope to learn some stuff that will help me improve my fitness and endurance: (1) Total Heart Rate Training by Joe Friel, (2) The Time-Crunched Cyclist by Chris Carmichael, and (3) The Mountain Biker's Training Bible by Joe Friel. I would eventually like to get back into mountain biking for cross-training after I am finished with my Master's degree in August so I think the books mentioned above will offer good info all around.

So with all of the above info, can anyone offer feedback on where I am at now and possibly provide tips on what I should be doing next?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:50 pm
Posts: 93
There are many areas involved in your question. I will address a few of them and perhaps others will address others....

It takes about 6-8 weeks to make physiological changes in your body. With yor race being next week your physical condition is pretty much set for that race. Without designing a program for you, in general I would say focus on cardio (cardiovascular endurance) and muscular endurance for now. Doing intervals during your cardio sessions will improve your cardio endurance more quickly, along with training different energy systems.

For muscular endurance do higher reps, lower weight during the racing season. Higher weights and building a better base of muscle is better done in the off season.

Read my articles, what to eat on race day, what to drink on race day and about sugar. Nutrition and nutrient timing are the things that will make the biggest difference for you between now and the time it takes for those physiological changes to take place.

Regarding shin splints, increasing mileage too quickly can contribute to shin splints as well as shoes. You didn't mention what brand shoes you purchased but New Balance and Asics are highly recommended.

Three days per week is bare minimum for working out. You can do calisthenics on those days you can't make it to the gym. That would be great for developing upper body muscular endurance.

Honestly, I wouldn't get too caught up in numbers at this point. Increasing your workout time and making sure you are doing the best you can for yourself nutritionally are where I feel your focus should be at this point.

_________________
Kim Wathen M.S.
Exercise Physiologist/Dietitian/Personal Trainer
kim@fitnessandfuel.com


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 Post subject: Re: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:59 pm
Posts: 15
Thank you Kim for your response.

As far as intervals go, I was looking to start that soon. How should I go about doing them (in terms of heart rates and durations)? How would an inverse triangle type interval session work (i.e. shorter intervals in the early part of the cardio session, then increasing the duration of the increased intensity interval as the workout goes on; so for example, 2 mins, 4 mins, 6 mins, etc.)?

Now that I will essentially be in the In-season period, what should I do for the cardio? Keep doing intervals? There are only about 2 races a month, so about every other weekend.

I will read through the articles you mentioned. I know my diet could definitely use a little bit of improvement.

As for the shoes, I was using New Balance before, and the new ones I bought are the New Balance Minimus shoes. I like them a lot and have noticed an improvement in being able to run further and not having issues as bad with the shin splints. As recommended by New Balance, I am starting out easy with these shoes.

I could do 4 days working out at the gym, but they would all be consecutive (mon-thurs). I have actually thought about doing that, but wasn't sure if that would be advisable in terms of using Tuesday as a rest day or possibly facing over-training. Granted, I am new at trying to establish a regimen, but If you feel that I should be ok with 4 consecutive days of working out, then I will give it a try. I will also start incorporating some calisthenics.


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 Post subject: Re: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:50 pm
Posts: 93
I think the 4 days will be fine. Just make sure your nutrition and sleeping are good osl that you are able to recover efficiently.

The New Balance shoes were a great choice. I'm glad they are working out for you. You don't necessarily need a recovery drink unless you are working out very intensely or working out for over an hour. A mixed meal with cards and protein will work. If you don't have quick access to a meal for recovery, there are several recovery formulas on the market. If you would like more information on those please contact me by phone.

I would need more information about your racing to develop an interval plan for you but for now you can do what's called "Fartlek".....this means "speed play", so it's just random intervals of whatever form of cardio you choose.

I know there are training plans and articles on the site that would help you. I will ask Tim if he can write a post to let you know where they are on the site.

_________________
Kim Wathen M.S.
Exercise Physiologist/Dietitian/Personal Trainer
kim@fitnessandfuel.com


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 Post subject: Re: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:59 pm
Posts: 15
Thanks again Kim for your reply.

I think 4 consecutive dedicated workout days should work out also. I will start that next week. Hopefully I can establish a better regimen than I have now by then.

I am glad the new shoes are working out well too. I am having to adjust to the shoes a little in terms of running form, but it seems to be working out so far. I think by next week sometime, I should be able to reach my goal of running a complete mile without stopping.

I currently don't use a recovery drink. I basically just drink water during and after workouts. I am working on increasing my water intake again. I was consuming around 100+/- oz of water a day for a while and then started slacking. So I am going to try and get back up to that point at the bare minimum to ensure I stay healthy and hydrated. I have not given recovery meals any thought to be honest. After a good workout, I am usually not hungry at all.

What information in particular would you need in particular regarding my racing? As for the Fartlek, are the intensities, durations, and timing all random during the particular mode of cardio (in my case the stationary bike)?

There are definitely a lot of good articles on the site, I am just trying to find time to go through all of them and condense all of the information. I am looking forward to Tim's response also.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:54 am
Posts: 142
MX&SX Racer,
Great job on your weight loss and increased fitness! Here are a couple of things to think about:
1. Regarding your running, strive to run off road as much as possible. It is easier on your body and will make you incredibly strong. If you would like some run workouts to change up your training
schedule, feel free to drop me an email at robb3@earthlink.net.
2. As a general rule of thumb, consume half of your body weight in cold filtered water each day in ounces (with you at approximately 180/2 = 90 ounces a day). You now need to determine your sweat
rate to ensure that you are consuming enough fluids for optimum performance. Feel free to email me at robb3@earthlink.net and I will send you a copy of our Sweat Calculator.
3. Now that you have established a baseline of fitness, you will want to determine your specific heart rate training zones to maximize your training efforts. The key to being a well rounded racer is
developing all of the energy systems (from aerobic to lactate threshold) so that your body is not shell shocked on race day. If you would like a copy of our Heart Rate Spreadsheet, feel free to email
me at robb3@earthlink.net. This will ensure that you are developing the "weak" systems in your existing program.
4. Recovery calories. You want to consume some high quality protein and carbohydrates within 20 minutes of completing a workout or race. The key here is to take advantage of a the "glycogen
synthase enzyme" activity that is highly active. This enzyme will help you replenish depleted sugar within the muscles and your liver. The protein will provide your body the building blocks (i.e.
amino acids) to rebuild the torn down tissue associated with your exercise. Ideally you are looking for a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates and protein. Strive to consume real food - for example apple
and organic almond butter verses something that comes out of a can or jug. I can send you some snack and meal suggestions if you are interested.

If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please post back here at RacerX VT and we will get right back at you!
-Robb Beams/MotoE


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 Post subject: Re: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:59 pm
Posts: 15
Thanks Robb for your reply! I sent you an email to take advantage of your offer on the training info you mentioned in your post.

1. I currently run on a concrete track at the fitness center at my university. I believe the outdoor track at the stadium is the rubberized material found on some tracks. So I will probably switch to that soon. As far as running technique/stride goes, what should I be doing to improve my form?

2. Looks like I am doing pretty good on my water intake then. I have been drinking three 32oz nalgene bottles of water a day all this week so far.

3. Tonight (Thursday) will be my last workout for this week, so I will shoot for doing my Lactate Threshold test on monday. That should give me about 3 days to take it easy and rest. Based off of my cardio workouts so far, I am assuming my lactate threshold is going to be around 170 bpm, give or take. I will know for sure once I conduct my test.

4. I will work on improving my meal intake after my workouts. Since I work out in the evenings, I am usually eating dinner about an hour after working out. I would definitely like some recommendations on snack and meal suggestions!


Last edited by MXandSXracer21 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:54 am
Posts: 142
Please check your email, I sent you the requested file. Please keep us updated here on RacerX VT!
-Robb Beams/MotoE


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 Post subject: Re: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:50 pm
Posts: 93
Thanks Robb :-). There is a lot of research showing a 4:1 ratio works well for recovery also. Drinks like Endurox R4 base their ingredients on that information. I wouldn't get overly concerned about those numbers quite yet so long as you are getting a recovery meal or drink soon after you workout.

The most important thing at this point are consistency and feeling recovered for your next workout. Chocolate milk is another option if dairy doesn't upset your stomach. The idea is to consume more complex carbs and some protein prior to and more simple carbs with protein post workout.

Keep up the awesome work!!

_________________
Kim Wathen M.S.
Exercise Physiologist/Dietitian/Personal Trainer
kim@fitnessandfuel.com


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 Post subject: Re: Cardio Fitness Plan
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:59 pm
Posts: 15
So, I didn't get to race this past weekend since some important stuff came up that I had to take care of. So the next HS race on my schedule likely will be June 10th. There is another one on May 6th, but I more than likely will not be going to it due to having to go to a wedding.

So, with that being said. I have about a month and a half before the next race. With this extra time, what type of cardio routine would be recommended? I have still been doing the stationary bike for about 45 mins while maintaining an average around 165 bpm, with a resistance of 4 (on a bike with a resistance range ranging from 1-9).

As far as running, I will probably start running outside on the outdoor track at my university to start getting somewhat acclimated to the heat (I live in TN...it gets pretty hot and humid). The stadium also has stairs, so I may run the stairs from time to time.


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