Last Saturday was officially my longest run so far. I kept with the idea of keeping my heart rate down and I ended up going 20 miles. The interesting thing was I did not want to stop! If it wasn’t for time constraints I would have most likely just kept going. After several hours of running errands and meeting up with some friends I figured I would sleep like a log all night. At 2:30 I woke up and couldn’t sleep. After trying to fall back to sleep for an hour I decided I would go back out and run again. I hit another 8.75 and walked about a mile and a half. I finished my week and started my second week strong! I woke up the next day excited to run. This had never happened before, not like this. I have felt the NEED for a run to get some stress out, or for training purposes, but suddenly I just wanted to run!
Throughout the weekend I started having a crazy idea, one that would be bigger than anything I had ever attempted. It would involve over 350 miles of running, and I figured I could do it all in a weeks time! This was no small feat.
Sunday afternoon I went for a hike in some local woods and the idea persisted. I talked about the thoughts I had about it, what I would need for equipment and support, and what I needed for training. My thoughts only swelled that night when I watched the documentary “Running the Sahara”. I had learned about it just a few days prior but it had Charlie Engle in it. I had met Charlie a few times through Spartan Race briefly, and messaged with him a few times on social media. Even though he wasn’t a close friend, the personal connection pushed me to watch this film. After the film was over my mind was filled with all sorts of mental notes and even more questions. I figured I would try to reach out to Charlie and see if he had any tips for me. I did not have any real expectations, but hoped for a little guidance or at least to be pointed in the right direction.
It wasn’t noon yet and I had been working and wondering when and how I would run that afternoon. My desire to run was stronger than it ever had been. I sent a message to Charlie and put it slightly out of mind, not expecting him to message me back right away. Then I saw his response. Things began to move quickly as we texted back and forth. By the time I was done telling him my idea and my limited experience he told me that he wasn’t a “coach” but he would be happy to help coach me! Charlie Engle, the guy that ran across the Sahara, the United States, countless adventure races, dozens of ultra races including the infamous Bad Water was going to help me and coach me. Almost instantly he put me in touch with his friend Chris Roman who had ran the exact trail that I was planning 10 years earlier. Suddenly I was a buzz! This idea was forming fast and becoming more of a plan than just a far fetched idea.
Now I not only wanted to run, but I needed to. I needed to start my training. I asked Charlie about my biggest issue with training. Being a single parent I have very limited time to go out for runs, especially long runs. It is really not cool to leave a 5 year old alone for several hours while I am out running. What could I do? I had a stationary bike and I could run in place, which I had done a few times before for various challenges, but I wasn’t sure about if it really counted as training. Turns out Charlie has done this before and suggested to switch between running in place and the bike to break up the monotony of what both can bring. That night I decided I would run in place while waiting for things like my laundry to finish, cooking dinner, and doing various things around the house. I could have gone outside for a run, but I wouldn’t had been able to get the various choirs around the house. 2 hours later I logged a little over 11 miles of just running in my living room. I was astonished by this accomplishment and again had that feeling that I could do more.
My training cycle is still not entirely complete. I know that I need to take some rest days and I also know that my schedule is not the exact same every week. It is hard to make Sundays my “long run” day every week when my daughter is with me every other Sunday and I also have her half the rest of the week. Through in all of the upcoming holidays and driving that I need to do having a scripted regimen would be tough. This week I decided that I would just push myself and see how far I could go in a week. I ended up crushing my goal of 40 miles and actually hit 52 even just running. Add in hiking and walking and I hit over 62. I was really excited and because I was taking it easy on my runs every time I finished I felt like I could do more!
The lesson I have taken from this week is having a specific goal and something to train for makes a huge difference. Yes, running 50 miles is a great goal and I had a specific time frame to do this, but I wasn’t pushing myself as far as I could with this. Now that I have a much larger goal, one that encompasses the 50 mile run goal, I am pushing myself farther than I ever though imaginable! Training no longer is a struggle but a desire. I have attached my goal to a much larger purpose that will hopefully help a few people and now I do not want to let anyone down. Ever step has a purpose and brings excitement to me to achieve.
I know I have been fairly vague about my goal in this post, but that is primarily due to the fact that I am not going to post the specifics about it until a few things are in place. Once I have these things in place however I will announce it to the world and I hope that many of you will follow along.
If training has become a bore to you, or you find yourself going through the motions a bit, set a specific goal that scares you! Something you are not positive you can do, but you know there is a chance! Then start chasing that goal HARD!
With Thanksgiving this week, training will be difficult a bit, but I know that I will do what I can. I also need to create a 14 day training schedule for myself to make sure I am hitting my running goals as well as strength training, stretching, and rest. Part of my training for this week will be research! It is a good thing I love research. Comment below and let me know what you are doing this week for training and share your goals. I want to try to hit higher numbers with my running this week as well as push the strength training a bit more. Feel free to follow me on Strava, Instagram, and Facebook and have a happy Turkey Day. Get out and run off some of those extra calories!
Originally my mission started out to run an Ironman which is something I have not done and know would be an incredible challenge. But as I started gearing up for the training portion I just wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t as excited by it as I thought I would be. This was disappointing and obviously took a mental toll on the preparations for my training. At the same time however I started (and finished) a few books that talked about ultra endurance! One focused solely on running (Born to Run) and the other was focused on double Ironman’s, or more (Finding Ultra). Either way, these both got me really excited about the idea of running a double marathon and a 100 mile run! This might sound crazy, but the idea of running from Syracuse New York to Buffalo New York (173 miles) was more attractive to me than running an Ironman. So I started looking into training for ultra endurance and scratched together a plan quickly.
The three days leading up to my planned Day 1 training were not easy. I was participating in the Spartan World Trifecta Championship Virtual. A 5k, 10k, and 21k with body weight workouts in place of the obstacles over the course of three days. This would have me run more in three days than I have before by itself, but when my watched died at the 11 mile mark of my first attempt of the 21k, I surpassed just about every weekly total I had logged in about 48 hours. Over 30 miles on my feet I thought I was going to be hurting, but I wanted more! This was great motivation for my ultra prep. I felt great and wanted more.
One of the problems I faced was finding time to run safely. With the sun going down at 530 in the evening and being pitch black by 6:15, my only option was to run in the dark… on roads… with a headlamp. Not ideal, but I have done worse.
I was also planning on conditioning my body and heart rate, so my runs were to be at 130bpm which is much slower than my normal pace. I would do this for the majority of my runs throughout the week and mix in a few speed days where I could let myself fly at least once if not twice a week. This way I could still work on my speed but also condition myself for the long haul I was trying to prep for.
Things were going well on my first run. It was a struggle, but I was patient and kept my heart rate down and felt great. I was moving at about a 10 minute/mile pace, which is about 2 minutes slower than I am use to for my daily runs of 3-5 miles, but I kept thinking to myself that I could run like this all night! I was even upset that I did not have enough time to go for a long run of 10 or more miles that night because I had to meet up with some people in about an hour. Then it happened!
My sole of my left foot was practically vertical even though I was standing upright. The pain shot through my body instantly and I was screaming before I hit the ground. My foot caught the edge of the newly paved road that rose about 6 inches up above the ground with no curb. I rolled my ankle and thought I had broken it. I stood on my right leg for a minute and gauged the oncoming traffic to ensure they were not going to hit me and assessed the injury. Within a few moments I realized it wasn’t broken but still could barely put weight on it. I attempted to use my headlamp to flash down a passing sheriff, but he did not see me. Suddenly I was alone in the pitch black dark on the wrong side of a blind turn without the ability to jump out of the way if a car was coming too fast!
After a few minutes the immediate pain subsided and I was able to walk. Knowing that I had a few miles to go I decided to just take it easy. After a few steps though I was not in any pain. Knowing my pace was slow I figured I could run at my slower pace again. For the next 2 miles I ran at my 10 minute pace keeping my heart rate in check and feeling pretty good. I knew I was pushing my luck, but I wanted to run and felt pretty good! By the time I finished the 2 miles back to my home I was feeling so good that I figured I would hit at least 4 miles on the day, still falling short of my 5 mile easy run plan, so I continued. This is not advisable obviously and I knew it would be a potentially bad move, but onward I went until I saw a few guys working out in their garage. After a quick stop to chat I took a few steps and realized just how bad of an idea running had become.
Walking the remaining distance home I made a few phone calls and talked to a friend about what had happened. She insisted I get it checked out, but as usual I just wanted to get home, ice it and go about my night. The pain was fairly incredible until the ibuprofen kicked in and allowed me to sleep a little. The real pain however was knowing that I was going to need to take at least a day off. That would be two days this week, during an amazing streak of beautiful weather that I would need to be off my ankle (second day I get to be home all day with my daughter since neither of us have school). I was antsy and felt like I could scream!
Over the course of the rest of this week (finishing up my week on Friday for the purpose of this post) I took it pretty easy. I really only had one opportunity to run, but the circumstances were similar to the night I wrecked my ankle and I won’t lie, I was nervous about it. I knew though that I needed to keep working. I spent some time getting back into strength training, but differently than I am use to. Rather than seeing how heavy I could go, my new mission is endurance so I wanted to see how long I could go. This meant I needed to drop weight significantly, but in a way that would still build muscle as well as endurance.
I grabbed my trusty “HydroRuck” sack and filled it with about 40 pounds of water and started taking it to work with me. I used it to occasionally bust out a set of 10-20 ruck swings (kettlebell swings with a ruck sack) or if I was standing at my desk I would do 10 single leg calve raises holding the ruck sack on the same side (next week I will start doing opposite side to help with balance and core). My thought behind all of this was to get my body use to being strained throughout the course of the day, not just for the time period of a workout. Since what I am planning on trying will take me 8 hours or more (8 hours for a double marathon to start) I need to be able to abuse my body for an extended period of time. The only downfall with this tactic is that it is difficult to time how long I am actually working out!
Today I started making a log of every body weight movement I do that is specifically meant to help me prepare. My upper body will be getting minimal work throughout the week since my focus will be on core and lower body strength, but I always need to incorporate some upper body into my workout. That is my goal at least. The general plan for right now is what I have laid out below. This is only my working idea over the first 3 weeks. I do this because I know things will happen and I will need to adjust.
As you can see this is an overview of what I want to do. Each week I will set up my weight training to be a little different than the last week, but I do not want to lift heavy. The heavier I am the slower and more energy I will need for the runs. So I need to strengthen for endurance, light weight with a lot of reps (100 or more). I also do not schedule my runs because my schedule is so chaotic. I set weekly goals and I will make sure to match them by the end of the week. This week with my ankle will mean long runs on both Saturday and Sunday to ensure I hit my mark. For clients, I like to be more specific, but I like to make things random or change them up frequently. Today for instance I was planning on lunges but changed in the middle of the workout to goblet squats with my ruck sack. This keeps my mind engaged a bit more from what I have experienced, rather than a scripted workout. If you do not know enough, or have enough equipment however, make sure your coach is scripting out your workouts in detail! This will be essential for your success.
After completing my first week I have fallen short on two of my three goals. The running and biking. I have until Sunday to get the miles in, which running wise I am fairly confident I can do without going too far past my prescribed pace and distance, but hitting the bike for my prescribed time may not happen.
I am also finding the challenges of running in the cold and dark more of a struggle than I thought. I knew I wouldn’t want to do this, but when I had the opportunity this morning I deferred to weight training rather than running. I did think about my ankle and wanted to make sure I was rested and healed before tomorrow, but deep down I know that I just wanted to stay warm! These are things I will have to get over.
I am also struggling to stay on the bike for longer than 30 minutes. I am going to try again tonight and find something to watch while I ride, but indoor bike riding is just so damn boring. This will be essential for me though for the endurance piece as well as quality cross training.
Strength training was not as much of a challenge this week, primarily because it is what I really enjoy. It did get “boring” compared to what I am use to however because of the lighter weights, but that is why I try to change it up a bit. All in all, it was a struggle this week but that is because I am changing my norm. I knew this would happen and am ready to adjust and do what I need to in order to hit my goals. It is only going to get harder from here so I need to push myself if I want to make this idea a reality. I also need to remember that this is not about time/pace! It is about distance. If I can break through these mental barriers I have things will go a lot smoother for me and I will find my success.
As for my diet, I plan to stay on my usual intake of food which focuses on a lot of natural/whole foods with my twice a week cheats (donut on Friday and pizza on Sunday). I do not want to change too much because I will need the fuel for the increased work load. I also know that my current diet has allowed me to maintain my weight and body fat percentage. If I increase the number of calories I am burning throughout the week but maintain my current intake of calories then I will shed a few pounds which will be key for distance running.
My final reflection of week 1 is that I need to track things better! The amount of time I am putting in workouts as well as runs and biking. I also need to track my calories to make sure their is an increase from previous weeks/months. Finally, even though I like to keep my strength training a surprise at times, I need to know what is working and what is not so I need to track my body fat percentage, water density and overall weight as well. These will be things that I put together over the weekend to allow myself to see trends based off of my workouts and runs. Since I am doing the ill-advised and going at something massive without utilizing a coach (as I usually do) I need to approach this as a scientific experiment and track data like I never have before! This will require even more time that I really do not have, but the question usually comes down to how badly do I want to achieve my goal?
I hope this has given you an idea of how to create a rough plan for your training purposes. Remember, if you are new to this you should always consult your doctor first, then talk to a trainer or a coach and create a solid plan! If you have any questions, or would like me to take a look at your plan for free or schedule a free consultation please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as I can! If I do not hear from you, good luck on your goals and I look forward to writing about week 2 of my training!
If you have followed me for any period of time, you know that I am HUGE on SMART goals. Specific Measureable Attainable Relevant and Timely. Since I preach this so often I want to set a new goal for the OCR Librarian! By the end of 2021 I want to help 5,000 people achieve their fitness goals! This seems like a lot, but between my blog, social media accounts, various races that I manage and work with, and training programs these numbers will add up quickly! 2020 has not been the year for great things, but I know many of us plan to make 2021 the best year of our lives! It is time for me to do the same!
My challenge for you! Make a SMART goal for yourself for 2021 and post it in the comment section below, tag @ocrlibrarian315 on Facebook or Instagram, email me at email@example.com, post it on your own or share it with one other person. No matter what, set a goal and then start working towards it every day! I look forward to seeing the goals and what you all are capable of!
There is way too much out there about diets and what everyone “needs” to know! To top this off I am no dietician by any extent. Personally I know basics and what I like/what makes me feel good throughout my days and while working out and does not have adverse effects on my body. Getting to this place was a lot of trial and error, frustration and pain but I am here today and I will share with you the basics of what I know and hope that you can glean from this some information that will help you.
First off there is simple math you need to know to figure out how much food you should be eating if you want to either gain or lose weight. This is all about calories. To gain weight you need a caloric surplus, to lose weight you need a caloric deficit. It really is that simple. I am not going to get too in depth with calories in food versus drinks, or empty calories, but just knowing this much is true will help you.
In order to determine how many calories you are burning in a day you need to know your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This is the minimum amount of calories your body needs for essential functions such as breathing. Another way to look at it is the amount of calories you would burn in a day if you did NOTHING but lay in your bed! To figure this out I could lay out the math for you (really I would just copy and paste it) or you can click here and put your information into the BMR Calculator which we all know is much easier to do! BMR Calculator.
Now that you know the number of calories you burn in a day doing nothing, you can use this to estimate how many calories you burn throughout your day. Again you could do a lot of math, measure your heart rate which is fairly time consuming, or you can rely on the various trackers and apps that are out there. These are fairly accurate, but remember these are estimates so do not go off of them religiously! Also these usually only track your “active calories” and not your inactive (BMR number) so your numbers for intake could be substantially off! To play it safe I typically use this site to estimate your daily numbers. It seems to be fairly close to what I measure my “very active” days, but I also have to remember that my very active days are sometimes much more active than most. So keep this as an estimate!
Once you have your daily estimate, now you need to figure out if you want to gain or lose weight. I normally follow a 20% rule. Either 20% more for a gain or less for a cut. This is important because if you over eat on a gain you will gain too much too quickly and it will be more fat mass than muscle. If you cut too much you will lose more muscle than you should. Neither will have positive effects on performance or how your body looks.
This is usually where people really focus on macros. For a long time the only macro I focused on during all of these numbers was protein, consuming .8 grams per pound of body weight on a cut and 1-1.2 grams per pound for a bulk. This is usually what is recommended, but there are so many other factors to take into consideration.
If this is the path you want to take, and have the mental capacity as well as discipline I would suggest you reach out to a nutritionist or dietician for some more detailed and personalized advice. For the purpose of this particular post I mention all of this because as you can tell it is tedious, time consuming, and borderline obsessive! This is NOT NEEDED to live a normal and healthy life. Science is needed to achieve your peak performance and I encourage everyone to keep these basic ideas in mind, but know that things can be much simpler if you just want to be generally healthy.
Today my diet consists of a lot of fruits, veggies, and yes even meat! I eat pretty much what I want and am able to stay in decent shape, the difference is I have created a life where most of the garbage that I use to ingest is gone. I stay away from sugary drinks always! I cannot tell you the last time I had a pop (soda for all my non-Buffalo people), my coffee is always black, and I really do not eat candy except a few pieces of dark chocolate once a week. I will allow myself to have a pizza with my daughter once a week with my daughter, and eat pasta occasionally. The pasta is whole wheat normally, so is any bread that I buy. I get most of my carbs from fruits and vegetables as well as proteins. There are many foods out there low in calories and high in protein that are also just refreshing (such as the cold kiwi I ate for breakfast this morning).
The rules I try to go by are simple. I avoid processed foods whenever I can and try to eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible. Meats I eat only 2-3 times per week and try to keep it as lean cuts, chicken or fish, I do not have anything with added sugar, and the fact that I don’t drink alcohol keeps away a lot of excess carbs and empty calories that many other people put into their body. This, plus my training has kept my body bouncing between 11 and 12% body fat for the better part of 2 years now and I feel great! From a guy that use to suck down a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper daily while on a strict fried food diet and smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day I have been transformed into a guy that runs over 30 miles this past weekend and can’t wait to get back out and hit the roads and trails again today!
The fact is if you can start by making small changes and turn your diet into your lifestyle it will become much easier for you to stick with it and get consistent results! Start by cutting out sugary foods and drinks, then maybe get away from the microwavable foods. Before you know it you will be craving some cold and refreshing fruit rather than a Gatorade after a workout and your plate will be a lot greener than it ever has been, even with the bloody piece of steak on it! No matter what, find a way to eat foods you enjoy and make you feel good and your life will change drastically!
Next week we put it all together when I create a one month training plan for myself to show you what I do and the reasons why I have certain things put into place. Until then, experiment with your food and search for the healthier options rather than the crap!
This all started with just a casual conversation between myself, a colleague from another school, and a number of boys we both either teach or taught at one time or another. We were running one of our nightly “check-ins” with our boys and the topic of training came up. “Yo… I’m doing 100 pushups a day… I have stopped doing anything else and I love it! You wouldn’t believe how it’s leaning me out bro” said my colleague. I discussed the science and logic of his statement to the boys so they understood how a pushup can and will effect their core muscles, but that was it. There was no challenge laid down or competition put to me. Just that brief conversation. Then I thought “what would happen if all I did was pushups?” This then turned into bodyweight workouts all together. As usual I did some research and found out many benefits and a few disadvantages to the pushup idea.
The first few days were tough! I could do 20 in a row no problem, 30 if I really pushed myself, but if I tried to do another set or even 2 I was struggling. I struggled so much that the I ended up not doing any pushups for a few days that first week (missed 2). Determined though, I was going to at least average 100 pushups per day for the month, so I dropped down to 10 per set and started banging them out randomly throughout the day. By the end of that first week I noticed my shoulders hurting as well as my wrists. Every muscle in my arms was sore and aching and I wasn’t really all that sure that I was going to follow through on this mission of mine. Everyday I woke up I struggled with the idea but continued to push. I ended the first 7 days with 730 pushups hitting my mark with a little extra.
I would love to tell you that week 2 was smooth sailing, but I would be lying. I was SORE but determined! I wanted to make sure I hit at minimum of my number from the week before. Day 1 of my second week I fell short of my mark with only 80. Day 2 I was so sore I didn’t do any! This meant trouble for me if I was going to hit my goal but thankfully I have a very competitive nature! The next two days I did more pushups than I ever thought I would do in a day and doubling up on my 100 per day goal. I was still sore, but I was feeling it. I related it to the feeling you get at the gym after your first few weeks of lifting. You almost enjoy and embrace the sore muscles because it means you are getting a solid workout in. The second day of my push I was feeling it so much I threw in over 150 body weight squats. Something was clicking and for the first time in a while I was excited to see how far I could push myself with this.
It was around this time I decided to up my reps per set from 10 to 15. It was a subtle change, but it was increasing my overall load and quantity. It also made more sense. Now I was pushing to see how many I could do in a day and I was excited to do them. I finished off the week strong hitting over 100 every day. Somedays by a lot and some by a little, but each day I was making sure I did more than my goal. I finished with 950 pushups in week 2 bringing my total to 1,680.
Waking up on Monday’s I check my weight and body fat percentage. Some Monday's (especially when training) I will take a picture to note any change in my appearance due to my training. The Monday that started week 3 though I was really excited! I noticed a substantial change in my body. My mid-section was slimming down and my arms looked great. Now I was hooked! I wanted to crush my new PR from the previous week of 950 and I wanted to see just what pushups could really do for me.
Like the week before I had 2 days over 200 and another I ended at 190, but I started noticing a pain in my wrist that was sticking with me throughout the course of the day and not just when doing my pushups. I bite through the pain and kept pushing myself and by day 6 of week 3 I had already achieved 960 total for the week! I went to bed that night confident in my abilities. With a busy day and a lot of driving ahead of me to finish off week 3 I knew that I would have to squeeze in my pushups in the morning and evening, but with already eclipsing my goal for the week everything I did was just a cherry on top! Then I woke up…
My wrist was in so much pain that I couldn’t move it without wincing. I had built my daughters new bunk bed the night before and had struggled with the pain, but figured it would subside. Instead it intensified. I hoped that it would dissipate a bit before our 2 plus our venture to see my parents and I could get a few quick sets in, but it didn’t take long to determine that pushups in the morning were not in the cards!
I wrapped my wrist up the best I could, popped a few ibuprofen and set off on our ride. I hoped that by the time we got home that night I would be ok enough to get at least a few sets in. Disregarding the fact that it would be 10 hours until I got to that point, 4 and a half of which would be on the mind numbing drive across New York known as the I-90, I was fairly confident in my determination.
The entire day was spent stretching and pushing my thumb to try to get rid of the pain, but nothing I did was helping. All day long I felt like I had one hand, which makes a trip to Niagara Falls quite difficult with a 4 year old running around and then getting tired out. Carrying my princess became a painful reminder that I had pushed myself more than normal. I knew this could be an issue, but I had my mind set and disregarded warnings I found online.
By the time we got home there was no doubt in my mind, I was not going to do a single pushup that day. I was disappointed that I was unable to achieve a “perfect week” 3 weeks into this self challenge, but somewhat satisfied that I beat my goal from last week. But then the little voice in my head creeped in… “Did you really BEAT last week? 10 pushups? That’s what you call beating last week?” I know logically that a win is a win and it takes small victories sometimes to add up to massive successes, but man I was beating myself up. Week 4 needed to be better!
Week 3 ended with 960 pushups brining my total to 2,640. It dawned on me that I was well over my pace to do 100 pushups a day for a month and the thought of taking it easy had dawned on me, but I soon shattered that idea! Day 1 I took it easy and squeezed in 100 with my wrist still wrapped. It was hurting a little, but not debilitating like it had the day before. I made a determination that I was shooting for 1,000 pushups for the week this week and nothing was going to stop me, and day 2 of week 4 proved me right!
Before I left for work on day 2 I had already busted out 100 pushups. I told myself that every time I left my chair at work I would do a set (10-15) before I sat back down. This was a nice thought, but man it is difficult with how many times I am up and moving in my day. I will say however I did do this whenever I did not have something else immediately pressing. I also pulled off a solid chunk when I got home that night, even getting out of bed a few times after my daughter went down to get another few sets in. I finished the day with a new daily PR at 340 pushups in a single day! I was stoked. My wrist wasn’t hurting and I was ready for day 3 of the week to see what I could accomplish.
At this point I want to take a moment to mention something about the “diet” I am on, or rather that I am not. Currently in my training and my life I am not counting calories or macros. I am not really avoiding carbs or even some “bad foods”. I have created a lifestyle that does not involve much junk at all if I am being honest. My daughter often jokes with me that “Mommy has the best candy and daddy has the best fruits”. I also did not change anything in my diet really while doing this challenge. I still ate a lot of seeds, veggies and fruit. I do not shy away from meats, but do not eat them every day, and have had several styles of pizza throughout the month (If I do not eat a different pizza on game day my Buffalo Bills might not win). This will change next month as my training will change, but for October it was just eating what I wanted, when I wanted. I am just happy that I wanted healthier type stuff.
For those that know me, I usually run quite a bit. This was not the case for the month of October. I actually ran substantially less! Instead of my typical 30-40 miles per week like I was doing over the summer I was running between 10 and 15 throughout the month. So the only reason for any changes in my body and appearance that have taken place throughout the month of October is directly due to the fact of simply doing pushups! Towards the end of the month I noticed the impact this would have and my legs felt much weaker when I would try to do my longer runs, fortunately I did not lose much speed!
I would end my final week of pushups averaging 165 per day. Towards the end of the week I began getting a sharper pain in my left shoulder and figured I should slow it down a bit. I would only do my minimum of 100 per day for the final 3 days rather than pushing myself to destroy the previous week. I would boast my biggest week however and put up 1,155 pushups total for the week making it my strongest week yet!
What I Have Learned
The thought of doing 100 pushups a day for an entire month is a bit hard to grasp in the front end. Sure it seems doable, but when you have not been doing pushups regularly the first few days are tough! Much like many other endurance style activities or longer duration challenges, this was as much mental as it was physical. I do have to admit, I did not do pushups every day! As I stated above there were days of injury and life that prevented me from accomplishing this goal, but finishing the month with 3,795 total pushups I made sure to average the 100 per day and accomplish my mission.
The effects on the body were impressive! As you can see from the pictures I have added in this post, doing only pushups with minimal cardio has really leaned me down! It was not just the arms, but my midsection that had the biggest change. I can only say this has to be from the plank style pose of the pushup form. Knowing that doing all these pushups every day has had an impact on my shoulder I will not be continuing with them every day, but I will continue to plank every day now since that will not have an impact on my shoulder (no rotation in any way) and still help me to keep my midsection where it is if not improve it!
Since I have always wanted to be the more lean and muscular type rather than the guy with massive muscles, I am quickly becoming an advocate more so of body weight workouts. As soon as this blog is posted I will be working on the designs for my new training regimen that involves more running, biking, and yes body weight strength training! It is undeniable that this was effective with no real change to my diet. When I take my training more seriously and focus more on my dietary needs I can’t imagine what will happen. I will make sure to track my stats a bit more closely for the month of November and what types of workouts I am doing and fill you all in once the month is over!
I have had a few struggles with injury as I have stated. Mainly my shoulder and wrist. This is because of repetition and repetition only. This is why you rarely see anyone (never anyone serious) doing only one workout everyday, or the same routine everyday at the gym. As much fun as I had with this I will encourage anyone that is doing this to at least alternate days and maybe do 100 pushups and 100 squats. This way you are spreading the love to multiple parts of your body and hopefully avoiding the injuries associated with repetition.
I hope you all enjoyed this experiment and the lessons I have learned. Stay tuned next week for the next part in my series “Finding the Right Training Program” where I will be focusing on diet. Until then, keep pushing yourself!