Monday, September 25, 2006

I've been keeping Yoshi the corgi's training diary for about 2 and a half years but I don't seem to actively keep up with other entries at all. I was missing a place to just put random observations so here we are.

For a while I was keeping a training diary which helped a lot when I was working with a trainer doing some mountaineering training for Shasta. I'll put that here also.

Recently I joined Bladium (that's a gym) to use their treadmills to learn to run again and to use their rock wall. I've always struggled with being able to run very far and it's never stopped bugging me. One of my remaining MS symptoms is that my right foot will drag after running about a mile so I have a big incentive to work on it (right hamstring is weak). MS research is growing by leaps and bounds so I need to stay healthy as if they find a way to put it in permanent remission then the more healthy I am, the less recovery I have to go through.

The rockwall is decent though the routes are relatively hard for a gym that has it just as a supplemental thing, but I can always modify the routes (by including some of the off route hand/foot holds) in my climb.

Anyway a couple of weeks ago I started treadmill running and then I could run a mile and then my foot would start dragging and I would then walk another quarter or so. I was setting the treadmill to go 4.0 mph but that seems a little fast for me. Fortunately with the treadmill you can set the speed very preciously, so last week I set it for 3.7 (which is for most people a fast walk but I can jog at that speed.) That seemed to do it! I was able to run 1.25 miles and my heart rate stayed in the 145-150 bpm range. Any faster and it would go up to 160 and I would hit muscle failure and have to walk a little. This has always been a problem for me when running outside. I wasn't able to go slow enough to maintain a steady pace. With the treadmill I can enforce the speed I go and today I was able to make it 1.5 miles (and then walked another 1/2 mile. HR was still 145-150. Hooray. I started at 3.7 mph and then bumped it to 3.8 (3.7 was too slow this time) and then much later took it to 4.0.

This week I'll stick with 1.5 miles of running and see how well I do. Maybe next week I can move up to 1.75 and the next week 2.0. The cool thing is that I seemed to have found a pace I can maintain, the limiting factor now is my hamstring strength so on non-running days I should do some strengthening exercises for it.

The other major advantage of the treadmill is that there is something to hang on to if your balance gets iffy. This is a huge confidence builder for me as when outside I often feel like I'm just about to take a header so as a result I get less exercise as I walk more if I'm worried about my footing.

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