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Dopey Challenge Training - Week Eight

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We’re already up to week eight of Hal Higdon’s Dopey Challenge training program and it’s time to drop the distance. You will notice that the longest run this week is ten miles which is a significant drop from last week’s 16 miler on Sunday. These step-back weeks are as important to the training program as the distance weeks as they allow your body to more easily adjust to increases in the weekly mileage by giving your body a chance to rest and to heal from all the long hours on the road. Generally you will see step-back weeks drop mileage around 25% or so from the previous week which should provide a nice breather in prep for next week when we jump back in with a seven mile / seventeen mile weekend.

You will also note week eight is a cross-training week. This is not an excuse to take an easy workout day but is a chance to take a break from the road and allow your body to heal from the hard pounding of running. When considering cross-training, Runner’s World offers up these four tips to keep in mind:

• Choose workouts that are closest to running in terms of muscles used and aerobic systems taxed. Good options include elliptical trainers, cross-country ski machines, stationary bikes, and water running.

• When cross-training, keep your heart rate at or above 70 percent of your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) most of the time. In other words, you should be working hard and sweating a lot.

• Check your morning heart rate regularly. An elevated morning heart rate is a sign of over-training, which can occur if you add too much cross-training too soon.

• Combine cross-training with running to maximize running fitness with lower actual mileage. You can substitute 25 to 30 percent of your weekly "mileage" with cross-training.

Personally, I’m planning on enjoying my second week working in my home office and hope to hit the local roads as well as the Barre3 Studio this week. Still dealing with a really messed up right knee from the fall two weeks ago in Atlanta but I'll just keep working around it. I will, however, be celebrating a milestone on Sunday when I return from a quick trip to Anaheim over the weekend. With this trip I will be earning my one millionth flight mile on Alaska Airlines. Yup. 1,000,000 actual flight miles. After fifteen years and a lot of time on airplanes, I’ve finally reached my goal!

Here’s to continuing the journey to Dopey and to a successful training week. Happy Halloween everyone!

Training Week Eight

Monday October 28th – rest / Barre3

Tuesday October 29th – 4 miles / Upper-body strength training

Wednesday October 30th – 7 miles

Thursday October 31st – 4 miles / Lower-body strength training

Friday November 1st – rest

Saturday November 2nd – 10 miles / Chest, Back, and Core training

Sunday November 3rd – X-train

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