Monday, August 26, 2013

Netflix Movie Monday

This week, I'm going with a movie I already wrote about, Dredd.  But I discussed it when it was on DVD and now it's on Netflix.  Plus, this lets me get to bed about twenty minutes earlier.  Win-win!

August 19th-25th Training

Monday: 3.2 miles (7:23). Planned on 8ish but felt really drained; 5.6 miles (7:18)

Tuesday: 4.6 miles (6:40); 10.6 miles (6:52)

Wednesday: 8 miles (6:49). Planned on a light workout but felt really weak; 8.8 miles with 8x100y strides and 6 miles of .15 on/.35 off. Averaged 6:21 for the six miles with the fast portions ranging from 3:50-4:28 pace and 4:11 average.  Had to slow down on a couple of the fast portions. On one of them, I was quickly sneaking up on a girl on the greenway. I figured it would freak her out if I flew by her at a little over 4:00 pace, especially since she had on headphones, it was pretty secluded and it was getting dark, so I put on the brakes a bit for the last 10s or so.  On another one, I had to jump on the side of the road a few times because of an oncoming car, and the side of the road was made up of small, sharp gravel so the strides were more of a tap-dance than run.  But overall, I was really pleased with this workout because I wasn't expecting much. Felt in control the whole time.

Thursday: 5.5 miles (7:06); Skipped second run.  Super busy day and I only had time to either do my planned 9.6 mile route or mow the lawn.  Unfortunately, I mowed the lawn. Thanks HOA.

Friday: 8 miles (6:57); 9.2 mile bombed workout.  The plan was to run the four mile loop at around 5:05 average and then do a few hills.  Hit the first mile in a rusty feeling 5:01 and went through the second in 5:05.  Normally, I find my sweet spot in the second mile of a tempo run, but it was quickly becoming progressively worse.  My legs were dead, I had trouble breathing and after a bug flew in my eye at 2.10 miles, I called it a workout.  Normally I'm frustrated when I stop a workout but I was pissed about this one and through a fit more worthy for Curb Your Enthusiasm than Seinfeld.

Saturday: 9.6 miles (6:41); 5.5 miles (7:32)

Sunday: 18.3 miles with 12 miles long fast run.  Did 3x4 mile loop and was hoping to maybe average in the high 5:30s.  Ended up at 5:38 average with splits of 22:36, 22:20, 22:08 with a .13 hard finish at the end of the 3rd loop to finish up at 12.  First loop felt a little rusty, second loop was pretty easy and on the third loop, I tried to stay strong on the uphills. Decent session I guess with temps in the low-mid 70s and dew point in the mid-upper 60s.. Since the Station Camp vs. Beech game was coming on ESPN2, there were people already tailgating at 7:00am.  I was wearing my shortest pair of shorts and never once get mocked, despite running past tons of high schoolers, several times. Guess my street cred is going up; Skipped second run. Was planning on 3.4 but got a bad headache later in the day. Dehydration I guess.

Week Total= 96.9 miles.  Overall, another garbage week, thanks to the lingering virus I had.  Looking back, I should have slowed my Friday pace to 5:10s because of my sickness and the heat. But in my mind, 5:10 pace sounded so slow and since I would love to run my next marathon at 5:05-5:10 pace, I felt 5:05 was on the slow end.  But what I really should have done was an easier progression run on Friday and then if I felt better on Sunday, done a fast finish long run or something.  At least Sunday's session went well and in another two weeks, I'll try to add another four mile loop.

This week is going to be another tough week, time-wise. If Mary doesn't have the baby by Wednesday, she's getting induced.  I'll be at the hospital for a couple of days, but I should be able to sneak out a couple times a day for some runs.

Right now, I feel like I'm a little behind schedule. According to my plan, I should have had two really hard weeks the past two weeks, rather than two bad ones.  I think I'll have to extend my speed phase at least a week, if not two because I don't think I'll be where I want in six weeks.  Guess I just have to hang on and find out.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Netflix Movie Monday

The Boondock Saints is one of my favorite action movies of all-time. Sure, it doesn't have an in-depth plot or Oscar worthy acting. But it's full of action and is the perfect popcorn movie.  The fancy critics on only gave it 20% but the people have spoken and listed it at 90%.  I find that my movie picks usually fall more in line with the user reviews opposed to the critics.


The Boondock Saints is a vigilante film about a pair of fraternal twins.  They seem to be normal Irish lads who have a lot of pride for their home and family.  The get into trouble with some Russian mob guys and end up having to defend themselves and dispose of the punks.  While laying low, the press and publc go on to praise them which makes them feel they were meant to continue their vigilante spree. Their mission is to rid Boston of all its scum and they do their best Batman and Robin impersonation, minus the money, gadgets and butler.  Their bloody crime spree is investigated by quirky FBI agent, Paul Smecker (William Dafoe). The brothers do their best to stay two steps ahead as Smecker gets closer to them after every kill.

Boondock Saints is a fun watch and should be required for every male before he gets his man card. It has action, gunfights and Irish pubs.

August 12th-18th Training

Monday: 7 miles (7:07); 8.3 miles (7:18)

Tuesday: 6 miles (7:28); 10 miles with drills, 8xfootball field strides, 4xhill blasts

Wednesday: 7 miles (7:03); 5.9 miles with stopped workout.  Was planning on heading to the ghetto soccer fields (bumpy with high grass) to do some drills, strides and 12-15x1:00 on/off.  The field was flooded in a lot of spots, so I was headed to SCHS track to run some 400s. They were cutting the football fields, so I did strides back and forth on the track.  Since the idiot landscapers parked their cars on the track, I was going to do the 400s in lane four.  The first car was parked in lanes 1-3 and after making it to the second truck, it was parked in lanes 4-6 (six lane track) so I had to swerve into the inner lanes.  I took that as the track gods telling me to get off the track.  I was going to finish it as a minute on/off on Bison Way but 30s into it, my legs were shot.  I cooled down just under 8:00 pace, so I took that as a sign that my body was pretty tired.  I'll try something tomorrow.

Thursday: 10.6 miles with a bombed workout. Plan was a 10x3:00 on/1:00 off, hopefully averaging under 5:00 pace.  The goal was to ease into it and push the final three a little bit.  That's exactly what happened, but I only did six and stayed the same pace.  Towards the middle of the workout, I wasn't able to recover very well and quickly got out of breath on the intervals.  Since Monday, I've felt like allergies are starting to big me or that I'm getting sick; No second run. Starting to get super congested and feeling run-down.

Friday: .40 miles (7:39). Yes, I'm counting this. I'm supposed to run ten miles with Connor Kamm this afternoon and I felt pretty weak, so I ended it; No second run Felt too weak to run so I decided to eat Mexican with Connor instead of running with him. No complaints.

Saturday: No running. Felt like crap all-day.

Sunday: No running.  Felt like crap again.  I wanted to run but I had to granny walk between the free sample tables at Sam's, so I knew I wouldn't be ready for a granny jog.

Week Total: 55.2 miles. Bummer. I was hoping for the session of "minutes" with a four mile tempo run, combined with a couple .3 mile hill repeats at the end and a long run with 12 miles of it at 5:30ish pace. I was also on pace to run over 500 miles in a month, which I've never done before.  Hopefully I'll progress back to normal training by the second half of the week. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Next Phase of Training...

With my base training phase finished, it's time to begin my least favorite phase of my marathon training: the speed training. Well, I was supposed to begin it this week, but I caught some virus from one of the kids at school (probably one of the kindergarteners with their fresh batch of germs) so my plans have been briefly curtailed.  And since I'm on the couch instead of on the roads, I figure I can post about it.

During the speed phase, I try to get reasonably fit at nearly all events from the 5k to the marathon, with a little more focus on the half-marathon and down.  By reasonably fit, I mean getting to about 95% of my best potential in each individual event (I just made that up, I don't know if it's really 95%).  I guess you could say being the Jack of all trades and master of none. All I will lack to be close to100% fit in an individual event is a few weeks of event-specific training.  I like to build my speed first because it makes marathon pace feel easier when I start the marathon-specific cycle and it seems to work very well for me.  Besides, what's the point of doing a lot of fast, intense work when you are a few weeks away from a long, patient race? The training will look a bit scattered as I do all sorts of workouts and throw all kinds of different stimulus at myself, hoping I adapt in the desired way. Mileage wise, I'd like to hover around 115 a week and will probably get in the traditional weekly long run, alternating an easy long run with a faster one and two fast workouts a week.
Except in this phase of training

While each individual training phase has the same big goal, I add new things, take out some things and build my training in what I feel is the best way to not only being prepared for the marathon distance at the end of it, but being prepared for the marathon distance with a big focus on the exepected conditions of the course.  Too many people focus too much on the distance without putting a lot of focus on what they will experience on the course on race day.  The California International Marathon presents some different problems than the Houston Marathon did, so I will dial in on that in my training.

If I were training for a flat marathon, I would do a lot of workouts that enable me to get a fast maximum speed, namely a good bit of track workouts and faster running on flat ground.  For you Hendersonville folks, that means my faster long runs on New Hope Rd-Long Hollow Pike-Happy Hollow Rd. and interval workouts and fartlek sessions back and forth on Lower Station Camp from the high school to the stop sign past the quarry.

I view the CIM course as somewhat of a milder version of the Boston course.  It has a net downhill but with some uphill climbs.  It's frequently advertised as a super-fast course, so a lot of people go there to run, well, super-fast. So they go out hard with visions of fast times in their heads and with a rolling first half, they end up beating their legs up and struggling home. I've heard from a lot of people that it's a much tougher course than they expected. I feel that it can be a really-fast course, if you run it correctly but has a smaller margin of error than a flat course. Long rant over.

While I don't think I'll have to focus a large chunk of my training on downhill running, like I will with Boston, I still have to give that training aspect some respect.  Rather than doing a lot of structured track workouts, I'm going to do a lot of fartleks over rolling terrain to get a feel for the changes in rhythm and also to strengthen the muscles I'll use on the hills.  And instead of doing my faster long runs on super flat ground, I'll switch it to slightly rolling terrain.  If I'm not super-lazy on the strength work (like I have been), I'll slow down the eccentric contraction on squats, which I feel will better prepare me for the eccentric contractions you experience during downhill running.  I will also experiment with some uphill tempos, and then may add some downhill finish tempos as well. Uphill finish tempos are common in Renato Canova's and Brad Hudson's programs and they are something I've always wanted to try.

But since my training will be pretty scattered, it's hard to post a predicted schedule.  Race wise, I may (but probably won't) do an all-out 5k next week.  Four weeks from now, I'm lacing up the spikes and racing my second cross country race in two years (and third in ten years).  A week after that, I'm doing a marathon with a big elevation drop (over 1,000ft. I believe) and hoping to keep it under control.  Three weeks after that, I'm racing a rolling half to most likely close out my speed phase.  Since I have a busy racing schedule, I'm not going to have as many intense, grinding workouts.  But then again, I don't think those are too important anyway.

I'm hoping to end the cycle in sub 64:00 half-marathon shape and will end it once I feel like I have the necessary speed or am starting to stagnate in my progression.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Netflix Movie Monday

A while ago (too lazy to look up when), I chose Troll 2 as my pick of the week.  It is probably one of the worst movies ever but in a good way.  It makes Sharknado look like The Shawshank Redemption.  But it's still a movie that holds a special place in my heart and I will one day share with my children and they will go onto to share it with their children as well.

Netflix now has a documentary about Troll 2 called Best Worst Movie.  It's directed by Michael Stephenson, who starred as Joshua in the movie.  The movie goes behind the scenes of how the movie was made, how some of the actors in the film are doing today and investigates the cult phenomenon it has become. If you haven't seen Troll 2 yet, you won't find it on Netflix instant anymore, so you'll have to turn to other methods, matey. But even without seeing the movie first, the documentary is a fun and entertaining watch about what is known as the best worst movie of all time.

August 5th-11th Training

Monday: 4.6 miles (6:49); 10.1 miles (7:04)

Tuesday: 7.5 miles (6:43); 9.9 miles with 4x.31 mile uphill with jogdown recovery and 4x.31 mile downhill with jogup recovery.  Trying to be non-lazy on workout days now and did a full set of drills for probably the fifth time since college and then 8x120y strides on the football field. Wanted to run this at around 5k intensity, which wouldn't be too tough, especially with the long recovery jog.  Just wanted to get a feel for some faster running.  The hill wasn't much of a hill and only rose 35-40 feet in the .31 miles.  At first I started at some median thing and it felt a little longer than I wanted (.36 miles). I then switched the starting point to where the road turned to a lighter shade of gray. I don't know why, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.  Each uphill felt better than the prior one and I ran them in 1:44 (longer hill), 1:30, 1:27, 1:27.  The first two downhills felt relaxed and the last couple were a little tough, especially since I pushed from the flower bed to the finish on the last one (about 10s long and again, it seemed like a good idea at the time).  Times on those were 1:18, 1:17, 1:18, 1:16.  Since CIM has a  net drop, I figure I need to slowly get used to pounding the downhills. Not a bad way to spend your 32nd birthday.

Wednesday: 10.6 miles (6:13).  Super muggy.  The first time this summer I felt like I had to push through the air. Ran this quicker than normal but with two easy days in a row, I'm experimenting with running the first one closer to my long run pace; 7 miles (6:52)

Thursday: 10.2 miles (6:39); 4.8 miles (6:59).  Super rushed run and felt like crap. As soon as I got home, I had less than 45 minutes to change into my running clothes, run, get a shower and head out the door.

Friday: 10.2 miles with a bailed workout.  The plan was a mile warm-up and 10-11 miles around 5:35ish average.  Ended up stopping after five faster miles with a 5:39 average. The temp was over 80 with a dew point in the mid 70s and I was soaked with sweat after the first mile.  I probably should have run this closer to 5:45 pace because I doubt I could run 5:30 pace for a marathon right now in this weather (I've been calling my marathon pace 5:20).  Also had less than five hours of sleep because of the Matt and Kim concert and I could probably think of more excuses if I tried; 2 mile gait analysis.  Yes, I'm counting this; 3.8 miles (7:20ish).  Was going to run longer but felt like crap.

Saturday: 9.6 miles (7:13); 5.8 miles with drills, 8x120y strides, 5x60m sprints

Sunday: 22.4 miles (6:29). Ran two loops of the 11.2 which has over 1500 ft. of elevation gain and loss on each loop.  Ran the first loop at 6:48 pace with Daniel Simpkins and Andrew Kellum.  I felt really good on the first one and didn't have any issues with the hills, even though there are three killer ones.  The second loop I was solo and picked it up a bit and ran it at 6:10 pace.  I felt really good, even though the temp and d.p. were both over 70 and it was probably the best I've felt on a long run this summer.  I was feeling like a gangster for running this route twice in a row but then I ran into Meredith Smith and Theresa Saupe who were also running it twice (and they also have 10 and 19 years on me. Tough ladies. Then I remembered that John Ramsay sometimes runs it three times.

Week Total: 118.9 miles.  I was shooting for at least 120 but Friday was a few miles less than planned. At one point in the week, I was over 120 for a seven day period, so I'll take that.  I feel like my endurance is good and after spending the past week or two slowly moving to faster stuff, I may try some more traditional workouts now. I was happy with the long run since those hills normally jack me up and steal my soul.  I ran the same route exactly a year prior and this year, I ran a faster pace, even though I was at the tail end of a speed phase and somewhat fit at this point last year. Plus it was mid 60s with a 55 dew point last year. I'll probably do one of my workouts on the grass and mix in a little bit of easy grass running as well.  I hate running on grass and like to pound the 'crete but I don't want to get whooped by the college kids next month in the Commodore Classic cross country race. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Dirty Dozen

While delaying the start of my morning run, I was browsing around Runnng Times I read an article written by Pete Magill (ran 15:03 at the age of 50) called The Dirty Dozen.  In this article, he writes about 12 very common mistakes runners of all ages and abilities make.  You can find the whole article here but I'll go through them, post the mistakes and state my experience/thoughts on them. Sometimes self-reflection is the best form of learning

1. Start too fast: This will hurt you in shorter races, kill you in longer races and destroy you in the marathon (on my imaginary rating scale, kill isn't as bad as destroyed. Would you rather be killed by something or absolutely destroyed?)  When I was coaching high school, I would tell my kids that they can either run the second half of a race as hungry lions or dying gazelles.  The later stages of a race is painful enough.  Being in a lot of pain while constantly being passed will steal your racing soul.  If I'm going to be dying, I'd rather pass a few people in the process.  Nearly every world record in the distance events was set by running negative splits (the second half being run faster than the first), so relax in the beginning, find your rhythm in the middle and THEN go for scalps at the end.

2. Make all runs medium runs: I see this flaw used the most by newer and lower mileage runners.  Rather than hitting up a variety of paces, nearly every run is the same pace, regardless if it's a short run, longer run or race. Yeah, they may build some race-specific fitness, but they don't recover well, can't get their mileage high enough and more often than not, fail to hit their racing goals.  The most efficient way to train, regardless of speed or experience is one that sprinkles in a variety of paces nearly all year long.  Marathoners need 5k pace workouts, to match their long, glycogen-depleting runs and 5k runners need the long, mentally-tiring tempo runs to go along with their down-and-dirty speed work.  If you're at a point where your daily and long runs aren't that far off your marathon pace, lower the speed a bit and increase the volume.

3. Neglect Speed: Wow, this is a nice follow-up to #2.  I think this applies much more to older runners than the young, fast bucks (on another note, the rapper, Young Buck lived a few miles away from me and on the same street as two runners I know. After the IRS came down on him, he left behind all this sweet stuff, including this two concrete lions on his porch that I really had my eye on. Unfortunately, they were confiscated.) But yeah, don't neglect speed.  For the marthoners, being fast a few months out from your goal marathon will help you develop your aerobic engine and make the transition to marathon pace feel easier.  In college, I would never do anything "fast" until the racing season started. Once I started speedwork, I would get beat up really quickly, followed by an early peak, which usually proceeded injury. Now, I stay somewhat fast nearly all year, and do a lot more speedwork as a marathoner than I did as a 5k guy. But I think one of the biggest benefits to speedwork isn't physical, but mental.  Running fast and hard HURTS.  I find the speedwork pain makes you learn to hurt more in races and makes you mentally tougher and racing mean.  Sometimes newer runners get used to #2 on this list and never get out of their comfort zone.  With newer runners I coach, I usually give them a little more speedwork earlier onthan I typically give the more experienced ones to teach them to hurt and more importantly, that they can run FAST when they grit their teeth and make themselves.

4. Recover Inadequately: This is a killer for a lot of people here.  If you can't recover, you can't adapt to all of your hard training and get faster.  I've always compared not recovering well as someone who doesn't sleep very much.  Yeah, you'll accomplish more in a 20 hour day than a 16 hour one but eventually, you'll crash later and accomplish less in the long run.  It's sort of like a terrible example of the tortoise and the hare.  I can't count the number of times I've heard an elite athlete reflect on their career and state they wish they would have taken their easier days easier.  Other than workouts and long runs, I will typically run my easier runs around 6:50 pace.  Sometimes I go faster (but very rarely faster than 6:30) and sometimes go north of 7:00.  My shorter runs of the day have a much larger range and are usually anywhere from 7:00-7:45 pace.  In college, when my training log was an unpublished book titled "Overtraining for Dummies", I would run my easier runs closer to 6:00.  But I will admit that I found that with lower mileage, and lower intensity (when just starting training after resuming a break usually), my easy runs pace really speeds up because I'm more "day-to-day fresh". But this only lasts a while and disappears when I ramp up my training.   I think elite marathoner, Camille Herron said it best when she stated that she can tell she's getting in shape and training hard when her easy days become SLOWER (that's my ghetto version paraphrase). So for the 90% of people who are probably guilty of this, slow down your easy days a bit, speed up your hard days a bit and race more than a bit faster.

5.  Overtrain: Man, these mistakes really build-upon each other! As mentioned earlier, I was a poster-child for this while in college.  I ran workouts in college that I probably couldn't touch now and as a result, I usually raced times that I don't touch now (because I'm faster).  I don't need to write much here because I believe this is connected to #4 quite a bit.  But I will state that if you want to see how fast and how far you can go, you have to train harder and as a result, sometimes overtrain.  If you want to take it to the edge, sometimes you fall off.  It's just part of the game.  But rather than shoot for the cliched "110%" shoot for 95-100.  You'll be waiting for those overly optimistic people at the finish line.

6. Indulge in all you can eat workouts:  I try to stay away from all-you-can-eat places because I feel like I have to eat, well, all I can.  If I pay $5 for a pizza buffet and only eat two plates worth of pizza, I'm paying $2.50 a plate.  But if I eat five plates, then I'm only paying a $1 per plate....much better deal!  In college, I frequently also dined on all you can eat workouts.  Workout times weren't times, they were bare minimums and I tried to leave everything on the track (or the rice fields).  If I had 4x1 mile in 4:50, I would try and crack all under 4:40.  The worst were the fast, intense workouts at mile pace or faster.  I found that I could recover really quickly between reps and be ready to hammer again.  So instead of getting wobbly legs towards the end of a 12x300m session, I was already feeling the pain by eight and continued to slam on the gas.  Workouts weren't workouts, but a series of intense races.  And at the time, I talked about overacing was bad but I was doing it 2-3 times a week.  Go figure.  Now, I run nearly all of my workouts in a progressive fashion.  I ease into the first few reps, find my sweet-spot and finish strongly but always keeping the reigns on.  I very rarely go "all-out" in workouts and based of my results, I'm having much more success with it.  That's not to mean you shouldn't see what you can throw down from time-to-time, but the goal should be to hit your times/goals/distances while remaining strong and confident.  Save the racing for races.  If you're always pushing the edge, you'll eventually fall off.

7. Refuse to adjust workouts: This is a really tricky one, especially if you have a coach or are following a training plan from a book, etc.   I used to never drop out of workouts and now, I do it every once in a while.  Some may look at it as giving up or punking out, but over the years, I've really learned how to read my body and know what it needs.  If I can't accomplish the goal of the workout or have already achieved it, I stop.  If I feel like it's within reach and I haven't reached the stimulus I want yet, I speed up or extend it.  When studying the theories of Arthur Lydiard, I used to think it was crazy that he suggested you not give a set number of reps for track workouts.  He felt you should watch your athlete run and call the workout when you see fit.  The concrete-sequential side of me had a lot of problems with that, but now, I know it's the best way.  If you're feeling a too rundown and you have a hard workout scheduled, get a good warm-up in and see how you feel.  Many times, you'll end up breaking the cobwebs and are able to surprise yourself.  But if it just isn't happening, go for an easy run with some strides and try again the next day.  If you are dying in the workout, there's nothing wrong with slowing down the pace or shortening the interval. And if it's windy, hot, humid, etc, you definitely need to adjust the pace.

8. Search for the Perfect Workout: Spoiler alert, it doesn't exist.  The article talks about how some runners will take the workouts of several coaches and combinig into a hybrid program.  Frankly, the doesn't work.  It's like taking all of your favorite foods in the kitchen, combining them into a blender and expecting it to come out tasting better than a Zaxbys birthday cake shake.  As much as I want chocolate cheerios, sweet onion Triscuits, raw honey and hamburgers to make a delcious smoothie, it's just not going to happen.  No one good workout makes you a good runner, it's the cummlative total of all of them.

9. Become running fundamentalists: As someone said (I think), "if you want the same results, do the same thing."  Once you adapt to them, the workouts you used to do no longer create the same stimulus. Sure, a six mile tempo run at 5:20 pace used to be pretty tough and helped you break 70 mnutes for the half, but if you're a 68:00 guy now, a tempo run at 5:20 pace isn't going to help you very much anymore.  It's important to always add something new: more reps at a certain pace, keeping the same distance but speeding it up, etc.  When I started my "comeback" about 4.5 years ago, I was very patient with things.  As I became more fit, I slowly sprinkled in some new things.  Now, I'm at a point where I can train pretty much in my "ideal" fashion.  Yeah, I thought longer runs at 95% of marathon pace was a good workout three years ago, but I knew I wasn't ready for it.  Make new changes over time as you adapt to your current stuff.  And just because something doesn't work once, it doesn't mean it won't work the second or third time.

10. Delay Injury Prevention Plans:  I need to look in the mirror here.  This is one of the things I know I should do but have trouble finding motivation to do it.  All of my injuries happen on my right side, most likely due to a weak gluteus medius.  I push less weight with that leg and I can't do a one-legged squat on it without having my knee buckle inward.  It also is the result of my overpronation on that foot.  In the lower body, a weakness somewhere can cause an injury somewhere else down the kinetic chain.  If you have obvious muscle balances, you need to fix them.  If you aren't sure, seek out a knowledgeable PT who does muscle testing or get a real gait analysis done (having someone in your local running store watch you run doesn't count).  I have an analysis scheduled for Friday afternoon, so I'll be interested to see what is found.  But preventing injury isn't always about  strength training.  Make sure you recover well in between hard sessions, ease into increased stress slowly and don't be afraid to back off when its needed. But back to muscle stuff. Check out Jay Johnson's page for some excellent running-specific strength training, especially the lunge matrix and Myrtle Routine.

11. Train at Goal Pace: I see this one a lot and it usually results in overtraining and crushed dreams and egos.  As much as you want to be or think you are a certain speed, you're not at that level until you get there. A 1:20 half-marathoner who trains like a 1:15 guy may run 1:25 on race and then is scratching his head (or hers) wondering what happened. And just because you have run a certain time in the past doesn't mean you can run that time now.  Fresh out of college guys are kings of this.  They may have been able to do tempo runs at 5:20 pace in college when they were running 90-100 miles a week but a year out of college, life happens, they become busy and lose a lot of fitness.  But there they are trying to run 5:20 pace for tempo runs and wondering why they are having so much trouble.  Run at your current level, let the fitness come to you and don't force things.

12. Race Stupidly.  You've trained for months for your goal race.  You've put in the miles, the hard workouts, went to bed early and have your weight where it needs to be.  All of those things took countless hours of mental and physical work.  And when race day comes, rather than executing how you trained and visualized, you pee it down the train and race like an idiot.  Stick to what you know, what you practiced and what you've prepared for.  That means going into the race well rested, getting consistent, good sleep the nights leading up to it and following a warm-up routine that you are comfortable with and is effective.  There's no magic in race day.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Netflix Movie Monday

For you people left in the Stone Age, who haven't seen Breaking Bad, you're missing out on the best current show on TV (sorry Game of Thrones, you're #2 in my books). Normally Netflix is really slow about updating its shows, but they just recently added the first half of season five of Breaking Bad, which lets you catch up to the current season, until the second half (and final of the series) starts this Sunday.

Breaking Bad is about overly qualified high school chemistry teacher, Walter White.  He's a really boring guy and lives a really boring life. Life becomes much worse for him when he gets diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.  He has a son with cerebral palsy and wants to make sure his family has enough money to live a good life when he passes on.  Rather than plug away on a teacher's salary (it's really not that bad if you manage your money well), he decides there's much more money in the drug game. He ends up recruiting one of his slacker ex-students, Jesse Pinkman, to join him in his new found trade.  Walt becomes the cook and Jesse finds the street contacts.

At first they are super dysfunctional, but they slowly work their way up the ladder.  I don't want to post any spoilers, but the transformation of Walt from dorky high school teacher to dark drug lord, is one of my favorite parts of the show.
Season 1
Season 5


So start your Breaking Bad binge so you can catch up with the current season and see how the show finishes up, starting August 11th.

July 29th-August 4th Training

Monday: 8.2 miles (7:03); 6.3 miles (7:13)

Tuesday: 10.9 miles (6:49); 4.6 miles (7:16)

Wednesday: 9.6 miles with 12x.15 miles fast stride, .35 miles jog.  This was really glorified strides.  I ran these on a constant rolling route, and had the bad timing of having most of the fast portions on an uphill.  Maybe it was good timing for down the road, who knows; 6.8 miles (7:13)

Thursday: 9.6 miles (6:39); 5.4 miles (6:57)

Friday: 10.7 miles with 9 mile progression.  Goal was 3 miles each in 18:30, 17:15, 16:00.  Ran 18:01 (6:09, 5:56, 5:56), 16:54 (5:40, 5:39, 5:35), 15:59 (5:22, 5:20, 5:17).  Finally finished this without punking out in the last section. First three were "eh", second three were super easy and the last was somewhat tough  The entire first mile of that portion was down a road with a little headwind but with 8:00am traffic and a 50mph speed limit blowing wind in my face most of the time.  I started breathing a little bit hard over the last 1km or so but was able to get it done.  Rusty, but I'm slowly getting there; 6.8 miles (6:57)

Saturday: 9 miles (6:41); 6 miles (7:12)

Sunday: 20.1 miles (6:17). Misery index was around 145, so I was soaked.  Was rolling sub 6:10 a few miles in and then started getting a little dehydrated about 10 miles in, and took a short water stop after the end of the 10.7 mile loop.  Headed out on the Boomer Route and struggled big time on the first hill on Jones Rd. and absolutely crawled up the first hill on Saundersville. Normally I run pretty big negative splits on long runs and close out my last two miles sub 6:00 but today, they were closer to a 6:30 average.  The only fast movement was when I jumped in the air like someone who stepped on a land mine when I thought a dragon fly on the road was a big tarantula.  Luckily I didn't see that piece of tire that I always think is a cottonmouth.  3 miles (7:33)

Week Total=117 miles. Good week overall.  I feel like I'm slowly getting some fitness back and am recovering pretty quickly.  Next week, I'll shoot for 120ish and hopefully will be ready for some structured speed workouts in a couple more weeks.