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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Plyos in the Park

Last week I met up with Aly from Triple Threat Racing for a plyometric workout.  I met her at her house for some backyard patio torture! Her patio surface is as she describes the perfect height for plyometric exercises.  The goal of meeting up with her was to learn the proper form and technique for the exercises so that when she puts them into my training plan I'll know what to do!

Today my schedule called for this type of workout.  I packed my gym bag with a couple of options this morning with the intention to do the workout after work.  Over the weekend I had scouted out locations for where I could do a plyometric workout.  You need a sturdy surface that is about knee height (or slightly higher) off the ground.  I found that one of our parks off the downtown square has a retaining wall that is the perfect height.  And for an added bonus the playground has a squishy rubber deck that feels much softer than concrete or even the ground.  

I headed out at lunch to run an errand and the sunlight inspired me to go ahead and get the workout done early.  Lucky again for me is that the Downtown Activity Center is centrally located between my office and the errand I was running so I just zipped over there and got changed.  As I was getting ready I made a discovery that could have been a fatal error for my workout plan.  I forgot to pack socks! I solved this momentary crisis by stopping at my car for money and then changing my warm-up run route to go past the local cycling shop Phat Tire.  I quickly picked out a pair of socks, put them on, and then got back to my warm-up.

I arrived at the park and was relieved that there weren't any kids around to make me feel guilty for borrowing their play space.  I began the workout and enjoyed the cool temps and warm sunlight.  It was a perfect Fall day even though the temps were cold.

It didn't take long for the workout to have me working up a sweat.  The most challenging part of the workout came when it was time for Side to Side Push Offs.  This picture shows me doing them at Aly's house using a bucket for the center surface.
Photo courtesy of Aly at @TripTRacing

I had to do some creative thinking since I didn't have a bucket! I found a platform on the playground that was a triangle that had a narrow enough spot to work.  It wasn't as high as the bucket but the intention was the same.

The workout ended with tuck jumps.  Last week I struggled to do the tuck jumps and stay in place.  I moved around tons doing them...not very far but I was definitely not landing in the same spot each time.  Today I was able to focus on the grid playground surface and keep myself in the same box for each set.  I tried to control my cheerleader arms on the tuck jumps but the photo is proof I had them up in the air!

I was surprised that I had worked up such a sweat in the cold air and wasn't really prepared for that.  I returned to the activity center and for some reason didn't take in any toiletries or hair products.  I got re-dressed in my work clothes and when I got to the car I was grossed out at how sweaty my hair line was.  I towel dried it as best I could with a towel from my swim bag and then kept the windows down slightly for the return drive to work.  It eventually dried but my hair was pretty flat and lifeless the rest of the day.  I had a hairdryer with me in the car but again I don't know why I didn't think to take that bag into the activity center.

I anticipate I'll repeat this workout and process in the future and will learn from this mistake.  Hair dryer and flat iron will be part of my locker room gear!

Have you tried plyometric workouts?  Aly tells me that they'll make me stronger and I'm giving it a whirl.  It's definitely a change from just a run workout or the boot camp workouts I have done in the past.


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