Friday, November 7, 2014

Running Free - PHX10K Half

Since I've been following the Maffetone Method, where I've been running at or below my maximum heart rate (MHR) of 132 bpm as prescribed, its been a few weeks since I've been able to let it rip. Having been eying the weather late in the week, I knew conditions were going to be near perfect, 60°, 40% humidity and partly cloudy, for the 7 am start.  
The day started off well as I got up and out with plenty of time to make the 45 minute drive into the city, park and get loose. Always a bonus.

After a light warm-up of lunges I took an easy 1.3 mile shakeout run through downtown. Feeling great in the ideal conditions I new that all systems were go and I had no reason not to challenge my 1:39:12 PR. As I settled in about 15 deep from the line, the 1:30 pacer got right in front of me and I entertained the the thought of keeping up since that is my ultimate 13.1 goal and the course is relatively flat with the last 5 being a slight downhill.

When the gun sounded and the race began, thoughts of keeping up with the pacer quickly ended. A 6:50 pace was much too fast and I stuck to my plan of turning 7:30's. Keeping my pace in check at the start is getting easier as runners go past me but I still have the urge to go with them. Experience tells me that if I stick to the plan, it won't be too long before they burn out and I see them again.

The first 3 miles is a bit of an out and back through the high-rises so it wasn't until I made the turn north that I realized there was a bit of a crossing headwind out of the NW that we'd be contending for the next 5 miles until we hit the turnaround at mile 8.

As the miles progressed, I had nothing to concern myself with other than maintaining my 7:25ish pace (although my Garmin was a bit off as I was getting mile notifications about .1 before I hit the markers so my pace was actually a tad slower) and keeping with an easy 2:3 breathing rate.

After passing the 6 mile mark, I noticed footsteps behind me and after a few tenths realized I was being used as a wind-block. Soon the other runner pulled beside me and we chatted for a mile or so.

This was a new experience for me since I have never had a runner with the same pace around me during a race and had a chance to talk. My new bud's name was Derek and like me he had the goal of a sub-1:40 race too.

For the time were running together, we discussed the beautiful weather, past and present races as well as running in general. Although it was a pleasant distraction, I noticed I had slowed down off my pace and also had lost the focus on my breathing so I began to increase my speed. This change in pace was a little too much for my new friend so we parted ways just before we reached the turnaround. I would later see that he came in well below his goal and finished in the low 1:38's.

Well done Derek!

As I hit the turn down Central the wind was now to my back, I was feeling strong and with the last 5 being pretty much downhill, it was go time. The race was really going quite well, almost too well, but that was soon to change. I began to notice a slight irritation on my left foot at the base if my toes and knew a blister was forming.

Oddly, I only seem to get blisters during races even though I feel like I take every precaution. I later found out via some post-race research that blisters are more likely to be caused by internal forces.


While I tried to put this out of my mind as I hit mile 10, I shifted into another gear. It was now down to a 5K and that's where the race really begins.

The best way I have found to finish strong is to try to catch and pass the runner in front of me. Once I catch him or her, it's on to the next. This not only provides me with some added motivation but it also serves to distract me from any issues like the one that is growing in my shoe. Unfortunately, I began to feel more discomfort which caused me to alter my form and throw off my mechanics. As I hit the last little hill with 2 miles to go, the mental game had begun. I was just me and BBW an I was determined this was not going to be his day.

The great thing about experience is that even the bad ones can be beneficial and can be great tools down the road. Wanting to ease up as my legs began to feel the effects of the pace I was keeping, I only had to remind myself that by coasting at the end of a previous 5K when fatigue set in, that I missed a top 3 in my AG by less than 5 seconds and lost out on a pretty cool prize. I knew there was going to be no AG award on this day but there was going to be no slowing down either, blister or not.

I was in the home stretch now, determined to stay strong as I made the final turn to the finish line. With a burst of speed in the last 25 yards, I crossed the line as the clock turned 1:37:50. Knowing that I had started off a little deep, I knew I had a fresh PR to be proud of. I would soon learn that the new 13.1 time for me to beat will be 1:37:45.

Post-race, after grabbing a water and banana, I wanted to head over to the Run3rd5K booth where I thought some local tweeps would be holding down the fort.

I turned out to be correct and got to meet local runners Kris and Mindy. Not only are they great people but as it turns out, they are good friends of the president of the company I work for. After hanging with them for a few at the Run3rd5K booth, I began my trek home, medal and PR in hand.

So, what did I learn from this race?

For one, I found I still have some work to do before my next half in January and a long way to go before I tackle my first full in February. More important however, I have confirmation that the Maffetone Method works. Looking over the data, I see that my pace was a 7 seconds/mile slower compared to the 10K I ran 3 weeks prior but my average HR was 8 bpm lower. However it needs to be taken into consideration that a pace/distance calculator adjusts that 7:20 10K pace to be 7:45 for a half which is well above the 7:28 I finished with.

This shows me that you can get faster by running slow which supports the fact that I am making progress and with only the possibility of one more race in 2014, I need to stay the course and keep with what is working.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Funeral For A Friend - A Tribute To Chuck Taylor

It's been too long and I know I have been promising an update with my progress with the Maffetone Method but that is gong to wait. Instead something different is taking up my day and wrote this instead.

Sitting on a plane feeling empty and sad, grieving the loss of our dear Chuck Taylor.

Charles Diablo No Honey Lucifer Norris Taylor came into our clan in May of 2009 joining the Kittah Army along with big brother and commander Cortez as well as big sister Chica and little big sister Crowe Thunder Cloud.

Just a litte ball of black fur with big eyes and a bigger sense of adventure, he was a welcome addition.

As he grew into a bigger ball of fur we found that he not only had boundless energy and loved to play fetch but a had sweet side as well with a face that almost had human qualities.

He could at times be a handful and tormented Crowe as he outgrew her but he was still a loveable and gentle little man with a sensitive side.

When new brother Cassidy came along they formed a tight bond, becoming inseparable. When shenanigans were occurring, where there was one, the other wasn't far behind. The Doom Brothers were quite the pair.

Young Charles did have a habit of eating things he shouldn't which sent him to the vet a couple of times but he bounced back, strong and energetic as ever.

When he became lethargic and was vomiting on Saturday we waited a day as recommended to see if it was something that would pass. By Sunday he seemed a bit better in the morning and had no fever so we thought he was going to be fine.

As the evening came he started to turn and developed a slight fever so we took him to the vet. After a round of xrays and tests with nothing serious found, he was rehydrated and came home.

Again on Monday and even Tuesday morning he appeared to be improving but that was just our little debil being brave.

By the time my wife got him from work in the afternoon, she could see he wasn't well and took him to the vet where I met up with them. After consulting with the vet we agreed to more xrays and tests.

We said goodbye to our brave little man and promised we would be back to bring him home.

Sadly, this was a promise we couldn't keep.

While we were waiting for a call back I went for a run to clear my head only to come home as the vet called.

The news was not good. Chuck had serious kidney issues along with a change to his stomach and intestines which would at minimum require exploratory surgery. Separate, he had a fighting chance but together the prognosis was not good and we had a decision to make.

We could either go forward, at a great expense and no guaranty of success where even if he did pull through, he would be in serious pain and with a not so good quality of life. Then there was that dreaded choice.

It was probably the toughest decision we ever had to make but we had to do what was best.

Goodbyes are the hardest thing and we were left alone with our poor boy to say farewell after we went over the options again with the vet; hoping.

We were heartbroken. He tried to be strong but we could tell he was suffering even with the painkillers he was on. After about a 10 minute eternity with him on my lap, we kissed him goodbye and let the vet give him a sedative which was followed by a final shot.

As our young man passed we were crushed. 5 and a half years was not long enough to have with him but we needed to press on.

So after packing and getting a few hours sleep followed by a short run before I headed off to the airport, here I am to pen this tribute to Chuck as I grieve at 30,000 feet.

Godspeed little man, we miss you dearly.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kickstart My Heart

Lately I have been getting slower, much slower. Most of this I had attributed to the hot summer we have been having here in the desert with a smattering being that I've been weighing in at more than 10 pounds heaver than I would like to be. As the weather has started to cool, I have not seen any improvement in my runs which are actually becoming more of a chore.

Some of this could be from overt training but I don't think I've ramped up too much and had cut back on the added XT I was doing in the morning. I've been good about getting to bed early and eating right but something still isn't working.

A couple weeks back on the Kinetic Revolution website, James posted a video with Mark Allen discussing the importance of building an aerobic base through heart rate training. [For those of you who don't know, Mark Allen is a 6-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion]. Having heard a lot mentions about HR training on the interwebz and having just purchased a Garmin watch with HR strap, I enlisted Google to tell me more.

I'll tell you right now that there is tons of info about HR training but for the most part all roads lead back to Dr Phil Maffetone who is not only one of the pioneers in this training method (known as the Maffetone Method) but also coached Mark Allen and may other elite athletes.

On finding out about this I also discovered that Dr Maffetone had many books on the subject and has just recently published a new book, 1:59: The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon Is Within Reach—Here’s How It Will Go Down, and What It Can Teach All Runners about Training and Racing, which is a great instruction to his method and how any runner can get faster.

So armed with this new knowledge I hit the road. 

Now, conventional wisdom to determining one's HR zones is to subtract one's age from 220 but with the Maffetone Method you use the 180 Formula which starts with a much lower base rate of 180 as Dr Maffetone explains.
As I began lecturing and writing more about endurance training, it was difficult to explain the details of all this information on assessment without some simple and specific guidelines. The idea of a formula that would be accurate for an individual and result in a very similar or identical heart rate as my manual assessments seemed ideal. While the 220 Formula was commonly used, the number I found to be ideal in my assessment was often very different from the 220 Formula; it was usually significantly lower. In addition, it was becoming evident that athletes who used the 220 Formula for a daily training heart rate showed poor gait, increased muscle imbalance, and other problems following a workout at that heart rate, and that these athletes were more often over trained.

Over time, I began piecing together a mathematical formula, taking the optimal heart rates in athletes who had previously been assessed as a guide. Instead of 220 minus the chronological age multiplied by some percentage, I used 180 minus a person’s chronological age, which is then adjusted to reflect their physiological age as indicated by fitness and health factors.

By comparing the new 180 Formula with my relatively lengthy process of one-on-one evaluations, it became clear that this new formula matched very well—in other words, my tedious assessment of an athlete and the 180 Formula resulted in a number that was the same or very close in most cases.
Using his formula I need to maintain 127 bpm or lower (180-48-5) which it turns out is nothing more than a slow jog given my aerobic base (or lack of). Where I had previously been doing my long runs in the 9:30-10:30 range, albeit struggling toward the end, I was starting in the mid 11's and got up to 13.

Yes it was much slow than I'm used to but the splits were right on. In the initial phase of training each successive mile should be slower as the amount of effort required increase as the run progresses. Typically a runner will push harder to maintain pace which in turn raises HR but with the Maffetone Method pace is not a factor. You do need to check your ego at the door. (Last mile is faster because I always want to finish strong and kick the last half mile).

Here's the thing, there was no bonk or hurt. I was actually set for 9 today but felt really good and it was a beautiful morning so I decided to add a couple more.

Being all in to this method, with the exception of the races I have coming up, I've revamped my training to only consist of MHR sessions. It will actually mean some extra miles since I'm substituting an additional run day for a cardio day but they will be slow, easy miles.

As counter-intuitive as it seems, by running slower and conditioning my body to burn the abundant fat stores that we all have, I will get faster while still maintaining the lower HR to do so. At least that's the plan.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

In The Light

I was so saddened to read that a young runner was killed in our town the other morning.
SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. - A teenage jogger was fatally injured when he was struck by a vehicle while jogging in the direction of traffic on an unlit road in San Tan Valley.

The Pinal County Sheriff's office says 16-year-old Apache Junction High School student Jared Paul O'Dane was wearing dark clothing, and wearing earbuds and probably didn't see or hear the vehicle him from behind about an hour before dawn Tuesday morning.
Out here in the boonies of the Southeast Valley, there are very few streetlights or sidewalks, even in the housing communities. The road where this young man was killed is a semi-main road but it is still farmland with no lights and a gravel shoulder. I run these type of roads all the time and am astounded by how many people I have encountered running the same way as Jared; dark clothing, running with traffic and wearing earbuds. In fact a few were startled as I passed by them, as lit up as I am, because they were so not aware of their surroundings. 

I really don't understand the reasoning behind the lack of lights and reflective gear on my fellow runners. It can't be a time thing because how long does it take to put on a vest or lights? I can't be a matter of cost because you can get reflective gear/lights relatively cheap. In fact my Run-Bright lights (see sidebar) are only $29.95 shipped. Plenty of shoes are reflective, my Skora Phase are and if you want to go really low budget, you can get reflective bands or a cheap flashlight for a few dollars. Honestly, if funds are that tight for you, I'll send you a free Run-Bright for the cost of shipping.

So please my fellow runners, be safe and be seen when you are on the road. Also run against traffic so you can see what's coming up on you.

If you want to make a donation to help out Jared's family with the expenses, they have set up a gofundme page Rest in Paradise.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Going In The Right Direction

I can't believe August is over; the month has just flown by.

As we roll into September, I'm getting excited for cooler temps and most of all, race season. My plan is for 5 races with the first being a 5K next Saturday, the 9/11 Heroes Run to benefit the Travis Manion Foundation, and all systems are go. I've been hard at it the last 3 months with 313 miles logged and trust in my training. PR or no PR I'm going to give it my best.

I really consider myself fortunate to live and run in AZ. Granted it's hot but if you run early in the morning or late in the afternoon, the heat is bearable. The plus is that it's pretty much proven that training in the higher temps has physiological benefits once the cooler weather comes; what doesn't kill you makes you faster.

I hope you all have remained injury free in your summer training and are ready for the fall race season as well. There are PR's and medals to be had out there, go get them.

Also, don't forget that the days are getting shorter and you want to see and be seen. Just because you can see the oncoming traffic, that doesn't mean they can see you. Click on the sidebar to get your own RUN-BRIGHT lights and reflective belt. It is a front and rear lamp worn around the waist that allows you to see your foot-fall while giving you 360 degree visibility.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Don't Stop Believin'

It's hard to believe that it's been a a year since I began taking my training seriously to where I was actually following a plan, logging over 1000 miles since last August. While it hasn't always gone well, one thing I can tell you is that I've learned a lot.

#1 lesson is to not try to do too much too soon or try to make up for missed miles. I bet you can tell by looking at this chart beginning with June 2013 that I did just that.

And this doesn't even begin to tell the whole story since I missed many runs in November and December but racked up miles on long runs. In January I was limited to one run a week due to injury and February was a washout due to injury and an unplanned travel.

In March I began the current training cycle and things have gone much better. Granted I've done a bit more than the recommended 10% increase but I've remained injury free, save for a blister that cost me some miles in July. Nice smooth curve since.

I have to tell you, it's all one big learning experience.

Last year I would be absolutely freaking out with my results lately; you see, I'm getting slower. That's right, my times have actually been getting worse as the cycle progresses. The reason why I'm not fretting this is that along with evening running and TapOut XT on non-run nights I'm also doing XT in the morning as well. This started with 10 Minute Trainer and the ante has been upped to Focus T25 for the last 2 weeks.

It's also been HOT. There is only so hard you can push when it is close to 100 and/or the sun is beating down on you. For the most part it is still 100+ at 6:30pm when I do my Tuesday and Thursday runs and even though it isn't quite to 90 when I run on the weekend, the sun just beats down on you and with monsoon season we see humidity anywhere from 50-70% which is extremely high for these desert climes.

Probably the biggest reason for the decrease in speed is that the missus and I have cut way back on our carb intake. While this is a great way to burn fat and get down to my desired running weight, it doesn't provide the right amount of fuel. The process to train the body to burn fat effectively, especially for long runs takes time but time is what I have right now.

It is said that we don't know what we don't know but this is my plan, I believe in it and I'm sticking to it. My sole focus is to run a sub 1:30:00 half in November and know that I am going in the right direction. March-April-May were about preperation, June-July-August are about laying down a strong foundation and then it is time to really let it rip as race season begins in September.

With exactly 90 days until my goal race, I wont stop believin'.

Friday, July 18, 2014

I'm In Love With My Car

I've been in a quandary lately.

My car, a 2007 Chrysler Crossfire, is approaching 85K miles at which time the extended warranty runs out, needs 2 tires and a new Sirius unit.  It wouldn't be too bad but I still have 2 years on the note and since all the mechanical parts are Mercedes-Benz, they are let's just say, pricey.

If this was just any old grocery getter, I'd trade it in in a heartbeat but the Crossfire is a special car. In all, there were less than 4000 base Roadsters made during the 4 year run and underneath the Chrysler badging and sheetmetal lives a nimble Mercedes drivetrain.

This Crossfire is is quick, sporty and a definite head-turner. It is the perfect car for AZ where I can drive with the top down from basically March to November with only a few interruptions during monsoon season. I've even had plenty of occasions to go topless while the rest of the country was freezing their jingle balls off.

My heart is telling me to hang on because rare usually means collectible in the car world and it is just a joy to drive. On the other hand my head is telling me to move on because in the end it's just transportation and they were a flop when they came on the scene.

I'm leaning toward keeping it and by the time it's paid off, I can garage it in favor of an Elio for my daily drive.

Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Ran

Yes, 2 posts in 2 days for me is a unheard of but here it is.

Yesterday I had to cut my training short and not do 5x800 after my 5 mile run due to a blister I developed last weekend. As I posted afterward, I let this get in my head and considered taking a week off to let it heal completely. Well, before I went to bed I decided that I was going to give it a shot and see if I could get in at least a few miles before it flared up again.

Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

When the alarm went off and I rolled out of bed at 6:30, BBW was not at all happy. "It's gonna hurt" he chirped, "It's gonna suck", "It'll be a waste of time", "It's too hot out", blah, blah, blah. That may be true; after all by the time it hit 7:30 and I was ready to roll, it was already 88 degrees with a heat index of 90. This run was happening whether BBW liked it or not and if I only got in a mile, so be it.

Plan was to stay on my normal 10 mile route since there are plenty of ways to cut it short should the need arise. I felt great over the first 3 miles and guessed I would have felt something by then. So far so good.

I was really surprised when I got going after a break at mile 6 and still nothing. Ok maybe not nothing but I couldn't tell if it was real or in my head. With the choice if doing 2 more or 4 more I chose 4.

Screw you BBW, no win for you today.

The last 4 miles were pretty uneventful except for being hot. After I finished, I checked the Weather Bug app on my phone and the temp was up to 98 with a heat index of 100. At least the humidity had dropped. I may have been nearly 5 minutes slower than the same loop last week but I consider this run a success.

Looks like I'll keep on schedule this week but will still probably deviate and do the 5K on Saturday instead of 5 miles.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pressing My Way

Well it's happened, 4+ months into training and I've had my first bit of a setback. Nothing serious, it's only a blister, most likely from being too aggressive on my new Fit's right out of the box, but it is a setback none the less.

Unfortunately, it's sometimes the little things that can cause a tipping point. Between the heat, struggle with diet, some tough runs, a week of going through a mind-numbing spreadsheet in work and now this, I allowed ol' BBW to get in my head. Part of it is that I get bored easily and with my next race 8 weeks away, a 5K, I'm having trouble focusing. It doesn't help that I run solo all the time either and at times that makes it hard to find the extra gear.

I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm better off doing XT for the next week instead of running to let my foot heal but that will only compound this mini-funk. So here's the thing, do I change it up and run a 5K next weekend or do I stick with the schedule and do 5 miles. Regardless of what I choose, 5x800 are happening afterwards.

The benefit of running the race is that it will be a good gauge of where I am at the mid-point of my current 3 month cycle, get me out with other runners in a competitive environment (yes I know we run against ourselves but who's kidding who, it's much easier to go just a little harder when you have someone in front of you) and shake me out of the rut.

On the downside, a poor showing would do nothing for my psyche so running the race could potentially back-fire.

Truth is, this may just be the spark I need. I have yet to not PR at any race distance since I got back into running 2 years ago this month (holy crap has it been that long) and I don't intend to start now. Nothing like a little challenge to get the competitive juices flowing.

This reminds me, I also need to pull out my Kindle and reread The Champion's Mind to further help me get my poop in a group.

BBW needs to get knocked down a peg and this might do the trick.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Learning To Fly And Skora Phase Review

I can't believe that June is almost over; it feels like it just began.

Training is still coming along well in the new cycle and I wound up logging just shy of 85 miles with only 1 missed run this month due to a business trip, so overall I'll take it. I'm still unable to hit my goal times but with temps in the high 90's that is to be expected. The great thing about training in the high temps is, as I learned last year, that it pays enormous dividends come the fall races when it is cooler.

Rome wasn't built in a day and the same can be said for speed and endurance.

Last year I didn't start any serious training until August and made the mistake of ramping up mileage way too fast. Because of this I was constantly hurting, missing runs and completely burnt out come January. This year on the other hand, I began training in March but have slowly increased mileage and have incorporated regular recovery periods as well as getting better about diet and sleep. As a result I've had no injuries and feel fresh; big surprise.

As we have all learned, we don't know what we don't know and since we are all different, it takes time to figure out what works best for us when it comes to training. I'll never know it all but I've learned some things that don't work and that's a start.

One addition I have made to my training it using more than one pair of shoes. Since March, I have been rotating between the Skora Phase on speed days and the Newton Distance S for long or recovery days. Now this was my 2nd pair of Newton's and while they are a great shoe that helped me transition to a mid-foot strike, they are no longer for me. Sorry Newton.

The Skora Phase is just a terrific shoe.

The first thing you will notice about it is that they have asymmetrical lacing (the laces go off to the side) and don't have a tongue, it's just an extension of the material. If for no other reason at all, this was what intrigued me about Skoras. Having suffered from the dreaded top of foot pain (extensor tendinitis) that many runners experience and limited my training, I was so relieved to be able to tie my shoes tight and not have to deal with the irritation of conventional laces no matter which method I used.
There are other reasons to love the Phase as well. They are light, flexible and have zero drop (no difference in height from heal to toe) making them an extremely fast shoe. They also give incredible feel for the road with only 11mm (including insole) between your feet and the ground. That's less than half an inch for us Americans.

The only downside I have found with them is that because of the low stack height, my feet started to hurt when I tried them out on a long run and got to around 6 miles.

With 100 miles on my current pair, they seem to wear quite well.

I have to give credit to Skora for great customer service as well. The first pair of Phases that I received had a defect in them to which Skora promptly took care of. Thanks Skora!

Now I definitely wouldn't recommend the Phase, or any other Skora shoe, to a runner who hasn't properly transitioned to a zero drop shoe. Going straight to these from a more conventional shoe would result in nothing but calf and achilles pain which would not only take you out of action for some time but leave you with a poor impression of not just Skoras but any other minimalist shoe too.

I'm so sold on Skora that I will be going to their new Fit for my distance shoe. At only an ounce heavier but with 5mm more padding, I am looking forward to be able to #RunReal full time and will be certain to get up a review once I log some miles on them.

Thanks for reading and I hope your training is going well too.

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this review and purchase all my shoes myself. I have however recently been accepted into Skora's affiliate program and receive compensation for orders placed through the link on the Skora sidebar.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Slow An' Easy

Two weeks into June and the new training cycle is in full swing. Getting the work in as planned but my times aren't where I want them to be. Truth be told, this is more likely to be a function of the heat rather than my fitness. With temps between 98 and 102 for my Tuesday and Thursday night runs as well as temps on Saturday and Sunday mornings hitting the mid-90's, I'm thinking this is the case.

The one thing that I have learned is that a man has got to know his limitations. In the past I would have obsessed over my lack of speed and probably contemplated adding more miles which would ultimately led to fatigue, injury and down time.

The smarter, wiser me knows not to go there. Patience is a virtue and the speed will come; I just need to stick to the plan.

I also want to do some experimenting with hydration on long runs. Plain water just doesn't cut it and Nuun seems to make me bloated and gassy so I'm trying to come up with something on my own. I began by trying creamed coconut in water and that seemed to work well. Now I've come up with a concoction of creamed coconut, local raw honey and sea salt in mixed in water. Along with ENERGYbits, I'm hoping this will be fuel enough.

Now you may be wondering why I don't just buy coconut water, coconut milk or just some sports drink but have you ever looked at the ingredients? I haven't gone full bore health-food nut but I am making the effort to go natural whenever possible and those are just chock full of additives and preservatives.

Besides, I'm a tinkerer.

As you can see, I'm just plugging along but with a few tenths shy of 50 miles in at the mid-point of the month, I've already logged more than the 42 in all of June last year and I'm feeling really good.

How is your summer training coming along?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hot Fun In The Summertime

Things are definitely heating up in the desert and with my spring races behind me it's time to work on speed, endurance and more speed. Did I mentions speed-work too?

With the goal of running a sub-1:30:00 half I need to get a lot faster so I've set up an ambitious plan plan over the next 3 month.

As the saying goes, "you don't know what you don't know" but the more I train the more I learn about my my strengths and weaknesses as well as what I am capable of without injuring myself.

I love summer training too. Last year I noticed that the gains made during the dog-days get amplified once the weather starts to cool. Just need to remember to stay hydrated!

So here it is kids, my plan for the next 3 months. I'll take it easy this week with only a couple of recovery runs to keep loose. I've been going pretty hard since March and need a bit of a rest. Also, we plan on fasting this week as our diet has been terrible the last week + and a detox is much needed.

If you are really interested in what some of my shorthand means, the times in parentheses are per mile paces except for the 800's which is the goal time per. 2x4's are the intervals that I do; 0.2 miles at a moderate pace with 0.4 miles at about 90%. When I'm done, I feel like I've been hit with a 2x4. The AM sessions are from Tony Horton's 10 Minute Trainer and the PM sessions are from TapoutXT I & II with Mike Karpenko.

Let me know what you think, I'd appreciate any input. This is quite similar to what I've been doing for the past 3 months, just an increase in mileage at a faster pace.