As you may or may not know, I am running my first Half-Marathon on April 25th. I made a plan for myself to start basic training a month ago, and then to really get into it at the beginning of this month.
Therefore, it being the first week of February and all, I am starting my FOR REALZ training for the race. Yes, that is the technical term
Here is the 12 week training plan I created for myself. (Click on it to view larger)
My plan is to do short runs and strength 3x a week, Cross-Train 2x a week, do 1 long run a week and rest 1 day a week. This schedule is by no means set in stone. I may decide to rest 2 days out of the week sometimes, or not do strength one day or switch around my runs and cross-training. But I will try to stick with it as best I can.
As you can see above, I already filled in my cross-training activity for Monday – A 45 minute spin class.
Yesterday, however, instead of my 3m run + strength I gave myself a little fitness test. I saw it in Body and Soul Magazine, and thought I would Asses How Fit I Am and then see how I do each subsequent month until the Half Marathon.
- For three minutes, step on and off a 1-foot-high bench (or a similarly sized stair or sturdy box) at a steady pace. - When the three minutes are up, sit down and immediately take your pulse for one minute. - Compare your heart-rate results with the results below.
Age: 18-25 – Good: Less than 85; Average: 109-117; Poor: 127-138 Age: 26-35 – Good: Less than 88; Average: 112-119; Poor: 127-138 Age: 36-45 – Good: Less than 90; Average: 111-118; Poor: 130-140 Age: 46-55+ – Good: Less than 94; Average: 116-120; Poor: 130-145
I scored 110. Which for my age is Average. I am sure this will improve as my running increases.
2. Arm Strength
-Start in a modified push-up position (aka Girl Push-ups): Get down on all fours with hands just outside shoulder width and slightly in front of your shoulders. Align your knees directly with your hips. Keep your abdomen tight and your spine straight - Lower body until elbows are at a 90-degree angle and your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Return to start position. - Keep going until you reach muscle exhaustion. - Compare your results with those in the chart below.
Age: 18-25 -Good: More than 35; Average: 11-20; Poor: 2-5 Age: 26-35 – Good: More than 36; Average: 12-22; Poor: 2-6 Age: 36-45 – Good: More than 37; Average: 10-21; Poor: 1-4 Age: 46-55+ – Good: More than 31; Average: 8-17; Poor: 1-3
I did 31. For my age I am between Good and Average. Not bad, but I want to work on my arm strength to try and get up to 35 or more!
3. Core Strength
- Get into the plank position and hold 60 seconds. - Then, still in plank, lift your right arm off the floor, hold 15 seconds, then return to start position. Repeat with your left arm. - Lift your right leg off the floor, hold 15 seconds, then return to start position. Repeat with your left leg. - Lift your left leg and right arm off the floor, hold 15 seconds, then return to start position. Repeat with your right leg and left arm; return to start position. Hold for 30 seconds.
Results: If you can complete the test, you have good or excellent core strength.
This was very difficult for me, but I managed to complete it. Holding a plank with one arm is not easy! I hope to improve on my core strength and find this exercise much easier in a month!
- If you need to, warm up with a few minutes of cardio. - Sit with legs extended, feet slightly apart. - Place one hand on the other, then slowly reach forward. - Hold the stretch a couple of seconds, then use a ruler to measure how far you’ve reached beyond the base of your feet. If you didn’t reach your feet, use a negative measurement to mark the distance between your stopping point and the base of your feet. - Compare your results to the description below.
Results: Good job if you reached 4.5 inches. Anything from 0.5 inch to 4 inches is average, and if you were in the negative ranges (especially below -3), keep trying.
I reached 5.5 inches. Flexibility has never been an issue for me. As a former ballerina and gymnast I am quite flexible, and probably always will be. That said, there is always room for improvement! During my training I plan to stretch frequently to keep my flexibility or increase it.
*If you have any questions on improving your flexibility please let me know!*
******* What improvements on your fitness would you like to make?