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I Resolve to Do Cardio (2/4)

A newfound commitment to logging miles also requires recovery methods.

Athletes know accountability matters. Committing to a specific plan and regularly assessing progress is crucial to success. But all too often, goals go rogue in January, falling under the category of lofty often unrealistic New Year’s resolutions that end up unmet. That’s why we introduced the antidote: The Resolution Diaries. Each week we follow three Equinox trainers on their personal journeys through the first 30 days of resolution season. They pen both progress and pitfalls in working toward change in a meaningful way.

Get to know all the participants here.

The pro: Matt Berenc, CSCS, director of education at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute

Week two update: “Despite starting the year sick, I am still on track to meet my primary goal of getting in three-mile runs three times per week. But I had a new challenge to manage: traveling to New York for the week and dealing with the cold weather. I planned to get my runs done on the treadmill after work. This offered the opportunity to more closely control my pace and work in some intervals by adjusting my speed every quarter mile. Incorporating some speed work will help toward my secondary goal of lowering my average pace.

The first treadmill run on Monday was just as tough, if not more so, than my outdoor runs at home. Being on a treadmill places a different stress on your body. Outside, I have to propel myself forward whereas on a moving belt, my goal is to keep up. It also resulted in being sore in a couple new areas like my quads and the glute medius (side of the hip) the next day.

As a result, I decided to focus on my recovery and regeneration on Tuesday. I continued with targeted ankle mobility drills using the foam roller. Since coming into this resolution, managing my ankle mobility was key to the health of my left knee. Along with that, I added a full-body 20-minute active stretch and stability routine to help keep the areas stressed by running mobile. This included things like hip external rotation stretches (similar to pigeon pose in yoga) and crawling patterns.

Committing to a regen-focused day prepped me for my run on Wednesday, which ended up being the first time I actually felt good. My stride seemed to be a little smoother and I didn’t feel as pushed even though I was going at the same, and sometimes faster, speed.

Even though my focus is on running for the month, a big part of the process is recognizing that running doesn’t happen in isolation. If I want to be successful it requires that I manage my schedule to be more forgiving when it changes and incorporate recovery strategies when otherwise I might have tried to fit in a training session. The result of Wednesday feeling good is a great example of the payoff.

Looking ahead, the biggest challenge will be fitting in the runs with my work schedule and not losing time with my son Sawyer and my wife Esme since I have been gone all week. To be successful, I’ll work on my schedule to try to get in some runs during the day at lunch so I can spend my evenings with my family and potentially sneak in some recovery at night given how much it helped this week. It will be a challenge, but I know I can keep on track. I am interested to see how a week of treadmill running will have impacted my outdoor runs, too.”

More Resolution Diaries: I Resolve to Cook More and I Resolve to Train Less