Some days just leave you drained and dragging by six o’clock. The kids will always eat mac ‘n cheese or nuggets, but you are left staring into the cabinets wondering if saltines and hummus can qualify as dinner. This is when you need a back pocket recipe. A recipe that requires little thought, little effort and little time, but yields something you know you like and will leave you satisfied. One of my back pocket recipes is okonomiyaki. The most difficult part of the recipe is the pronunciation.
I drove into Boston on Sunday morning to attend Race-Mania, which has become the unofficial kickoff to the endurance season in the Northeast. It might not be spring yet, but you can at least sniff it. Time to start cleaning gear and firming up those race plans for the year. No better way to kick-start flagging motivation or find an inspiring race or new piece of gear than an expo dedicated to all things endurance racing.
Training for endurance sports can often be a lonely pursuit, even if you’re on a team or have a coach, so it’s always nice to emerge from the training bubble and mix and mingle with other people that think about run cadence, single versus double leg power meters or what flavor of gel is best at mile fourteen of your run. You are not crazy. You are not alone. You are just an endurance athlete.
As a Dad, with a full-time day job, in addition to blogging, 60 minutes is usually the absolute max I can spare for a workout and still make a dent in my daily to-do list. In order to get the most fitness return for my time, I lean heavily on VO2 max intervals across biking, cycling and swimming to get me as ready as possible for my races. And this strategy can work really well in boosting strength and fitness, but you need to be careful as there is a dark side to leaning too heavily on interval training.
This lingering cold is petering out like a weak storm front drifting out to sea. Still there but slowly weakening. It didn’t hold me back in any workouts. The actual weather, on the other hand, is just gross. We are now in that month long wet, cold, sloppy, slushy transition into New England spring. It’s not pleasant, no one likes it and we just hope it doesn’t last too far into April. I mostly spent the week indoors wishing I lived somewhere else or could just fast forward through March….Some notes on the rest of the week.
It was a gray, unsettled, sometimes wet Saturday here. In other words, spring in New England! But it wasn’t freezing. And we weren’t over scheduled for what felt like the first time in a month. We had the usual dance class for Cecilia (recital costumes arrived today! – very exciting in the life of an 7 year old dancer), a trip to Costco (free lunch of samples for the kids!) and then some science fair prep (nothing like some Saturday homework).
I’m comfortable saying it now. I’m not a gym person. I know strength training is important for an endurance athlete or runner, but getting in the gym and lifting weights is at the absolute bottom of my list of training activities.
In the last year, I’ve found HIIT workouts to be helpful by mixing in the cardio with the weights, but even then I struggle to get myself to the gym to lift. My preference to improve strength and speed is to actually do it by running and the best way I know to do that is to run hills. That’s what I did yesterday.