Wednesday, January 31, 2007

1/31/2007 Medium Recovery Run & Endurance Spinning

Medium Recovery Run

I decided to do my medium recovery run on the hamster wheel today. Mostly it was because I wanted to catch a spinning class after the run thereby fulfilling my brick training day, and partly because I was being a sissy and didn't want to run or ride in the cold. It's all good. In the interest of time I did the run first. It took about 42 minutes to do the 5 miles. I planted myself at an 8 minute pace and threw in 3 hill climbs with a 7% grade. I maintained the 8 minute/mile pace for the 1/4 mile hills.

I was using my heart rate monitor, but it was doing some funky things. One minute it would be reading what seemed like a normal heart rate for my exertion. It would suddenly drop out to below 100 or jump to over 200. Needless to say, the heart rate info was useless.

Endurance Spinning

I finished up my run just in time to cruise on down to a spinning class. It was kind of a boring endurance class with stretches of 8 to 10 minutes of varying levels of tension. As boring as these endurance sessions can be I try to stay focused and visualizing the road and the race courses of the duathlons. If I can stay focused and visualize the courses I think it will give me an advantage when I actually get out there. That is what the cycling portion of the triathlon/duathlon race is endurance. I'm not going to win a race in this section. I'm not doing any sprints to the finish, but if I can get through it with a descent time and plenty of gas left in my legs for the run. Well, that would just be fantastic. It was 60 minutes of endurance spinning.

1/30/2007 Short Recovery Run

It was just cooooold today, but that wasn't going to keep me from getting out to do my short recovery run. After I dropped my little girl off at school I zipped over to Central Park to use the walking/jogging path. I only passed one other person foolish enough to be out on such a frigid day. The temperature said 20 degrees, but it felt like it was in the low teens with the wind whipping across the park. I kept the pace slow and did the 3.5 mile loop in 30 minutes.

I had a dream last night that I ran the Flying Pig in 3 hours and 39 minutes. I can only remember being at the end of the race and looking at my watch as my friend Chad ran up to me to ask how I did. I was extremely excited with the finish. Is this a glimpse into the future? I guess time will tell.

Monday, January 29, 2007

1/29/2007 Strength Training

There is nothing particularly interesting to report here. After my long run yesterday it felt good to do some strength to warm up and stretch out tight muscles. I really felt very good though and didn't notice any pain or soreness until I started to stretch and work.

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit:
2 sets bicep curls 20 lbs. = 75 seconds each (about 15 reps)
2 sets shoulder press 20 lbs. = 75 seconds each (about 15 reps)
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts.
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Clamshell Crunches with 10 lb. ball = 2x25

1/28/2007 Long Run

30 degrees doesn't sound so bad especially considering the conditions that mountain climbers regularly endure in the book I'm reading No Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs. Reading about temperatures and conditions that will cause you frostbite on exposed skin within minutes really puts things in perspective. How could I not go out on my long run just because of a little cold and snow. Some extra layers and Phedippidations on the iPod to keep my mind off the cold, and I was good to go.

The only thing I didn't think about was visibility. If I decide to do some snow running again I'll have to be prepared with some sort of glasses to keep the snow out of my eyes. It was more of an annoyance than anything, but it could've been more than annoyance if I didn't see some ice and busted my ass.

Distance: 11 miles
Avg. HR: 144
Max HR: 170
Total Time: 1:37.05
Pace: 8:49 min/mile

The pace was a little faster than I had intended, but I felt very comfortable the whole time. I tried to keep my heart rate down, but I was in a heightened state with the snow, and the fear of slipping. I still felt relatively relaxed and good with the pace.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

1/27/2007 Brick

Now that we are in the midst of a true winter season the days that it reaches above freezing are fewer, and those above freezing that coincide with my days off are rare. When I saw the thermometer say 40 degrees F there was very little that was going to keep me from getting out for a ride and a run. Unlike last year where I barely did any brick training at all I'm trying to start my brick training early and doing it regularly until the season starts. I want to get my body acclimated to that feeling of jumping off the bike and starting the run. I think that might have been part of my cramping problem last year.

Even though I was doing double duty I still wanted to keep the intensity pretty low. I didn't push it to hard on the bike, and with my computer not working I only had feeling to guide me. I kept a fairly brisk cadence and the tension low. The only time I really broke a sweat was going up the hill on Benton Rd. I still maintained a high cadence up the hill and geared down.

Since it was only scheduled as a short recovery run day I kept the run relatively brief and easy. I jogged at a very slow pace to start out until the legs loosened up and then stretched it out a bit, but still kept it slow.

1:08.34 Bike 17 mile
1:40 transition
23:00 Run 2.5 mile

Friday, January 26, 2007

1/25/2007 Strength, Core & Spinning


Elliptical = 8 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit:
2 sets bicep curls 20 lbs. = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press 20 lbs. = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts.
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.

Core Class

We did something a little different during the 30 minute core class today. Using a 10 lb. dumb bell we did some side bends, pulled across the chest, and what sparkpeople calls a banana. After ditching the weight we did some work with a medicine ball and a bosu. It felt particularly good after a tough and stressful day at work.

Interval Spinning

It was my favorite class Interval Spinning today. The class was broken down into fairly large intervals. We did a couple of 5 minute intervals with moderate resistance. I tried to maintain a heart rate in the mid 150's. We went on to do a 10 minute standing at a higher heart rate. After a recovery we did another 10 minute interval set. It was 2 minutes sub-threshold, 3 minutes standing high heart rate and then repeat bringing the heart rate down to sub-threshold, and then standing for 3 minutes picking the heart rate back up. We finished out with a recovery. I must have missed something because it was a packed 70 minute workout.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

1/24/2007 Medium Recovery Run with Hills!

I had a few choices for getting in my run today. I could: A. get up at 5 am after getting to bed 4 hours prior at 1 am because I worked late. By doing that I could run outside in the dark. B. eat lunch early and squeeze in my run in to my 45 minute lunch. It would be a little shorter run, but I wouldn't have to get up as early or miss spending time with my family in the evening. C. run after work and not get home until close to 8 pm.

I may be crazy, but I'm not so crazy that I'm going to give up all my sleep and family time for some running. B was the only sane choice, and it turned out to be a really good choice. In addition to saving on some sleep time and undo stress on my marriage (She's already extremely understanding and supportive of my activities, why push it?) I got a chance to rediscover some great running around my work in a neighborhood I used to live. It's a great little urban neighborhood with lots of hills for these runs that require hills.

It was a shorter run than the schedule called for, so I had to make it count. I set a pace that felt like a good medium pace and just tried to keep it over the course of the run which covered 3 good size hills to climb and many smaller climbs and descents. It was a great run and energy boost in the middle of the day. It is something I will definitely be taking advantage of in the future.

It was a 4 mile route that took 32 minutes with an 8 minute pace.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

1/23/2007 Strength & Short Recovery Run

Strength Training

I was feeling a bit sore this morning from the long run yesterday. The strength training felt pretty good in getting my muscles warmed up and stretched out. I can really see where these particular exercises are beneficial to cyclists and runners. A couple of areas that are the most sore, around my knees and hips, are targets for strength. muy good.

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit:
2 sets bicep curls 20 lbs. = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press 20 lbs. = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts.
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Clamshell Crunches with 10 lb. ball = 2x25

Short Recovery Run

While I was at the gym I decided to do my short recovery run on the hamster wheel (treadmill). I felt a little stiff and sore in all the right places from Monday's long run. Actually, I don't know if I even mentioned why I moved my long run to Monday in my last post. The short answer is I felt like crap on Sunday. I decided to push the long run to Monday and get in an extra rest day. In hindsight it was the right decision. I felt much better on Monday and even though I was stiff on Tuesday's workout I wasn't in any real pain. Listening to my body and resting when my body tells me to is going to be key in not getting hurt.

I kept about a 9 minute pace for 3 miles for a total of 27 minutes. I kept an eye on my heart rate and it stayed in the mid to high 130's during the run.

1/22/2007 Long Run

After some consideration regarding the lactate threshold I've come to a couple of conclusions. The first is that there is little to know chance that I'll get the professional testing done in the near future if ever. The second is that just knowing this information was a wakeup call. I went back and re-examined the training plan that I pulled from the Flying Pig Marathon with fresh eyes. It does say to run the long runs at about a 1-2 minute slower pace than you plan on running the marathon. I decided to take this into consideration for my long run this week.

I decided to go hamster-style on the treadmill today. It's cold and there is still a lot of ice on the roads and sidewalks. The gym is available so I am taking advantage. I was concerned that it would be really boring. It really wasn't so bad. I had my iPod with a new episode of Phedippidations for an hour, and then some music to pick up the last 30 minutes. Running on the treadmill gave me the opportunity to park the pace at a 9:13 pace to see how I felt at that pace and what my heart rate would do at that pace.

I felt very good at that pace. My breathing was very easy, and my heart rate stayed in the 130's. Judging by that I think I have a good pace that is probably sub-lactate threshold. It is about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes below my goal pace, so it fulfills all the criteria for a good long run pace. When I get back out on the road I'll try to hold it to 130's to low 140's for long runs from now on.

I couldn't keep it down the whole time. Running at a slower pace the whole time was kind of boring so I kicked on the last mile up to a 7:15 pace. It was nice to know that after 9 miles I had plenty of gas left to kick it. More evidence that the 9 minute pace is a good long run pace.

Total Time: 1:30.00
Avg hr: 137
Peak hr: 165
Min hr: 107
Total Cal 1163
9:13 Pace Miles
7:15 Pace - Last Mile

Sunday, January 21, 2007

1/20/2007 Short Recovery Run & Early Assessment

Saturday I put on my training schedule a brick day with some cycling and a short recovery run. I've made this schedule knowing that I have to be flexible about things, and sometimes I just can't do all that I hope. This is one of those days. I ended up working early; it was quite cold, and I just feel kind of wiped out. The combinations of excuses lead me to doing only the recovery run. It is what it is, and I'm not going to feel bad about missing a workout, because it was during this run that I began to re-think my marathon training.

Before I get into that let's knock out the stats for this particular run. I made an effort to run sloooow. The goal was to keep my heart rate in the 130's, which I did. I ran for 30 minutes for a total of 2.6 miles. It was fairly cold in the mid 30's and sunny. I ran on the Lunken Airport path, so it was a nice flat easy recovery run. It was just what I needed.

I was listening to Simply Stu the other day, and he was talking to a trainer about lactate threshold. More specifically what caught my attention was that they were talking about intensity levels of longer workouts for endurance athletes. It's interesting information, and something that I need to explore further. The short of it is that I am running to fast with too high of a heart rate on my recovery and long runs. I need to be slowing down to get below my lactate threshold. It is going to be the key to building my endurance for the marathon. It is something I need read more about. More to come...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Running Form Analysis 8

Some more words of wisdom from Bob Roncker of Bob Roncker's Running Spot. If you'd like to read all the entries go here. You can also check out the always excellent podcast Phedippidations Episode #79 for some great tips on running hills.


The running form descriptions mentioned earlier generally have to do with running on level ground. With slight variations we handle hills a little differently.

Aspects of Up Hill Running

Going uphill is sprinting in disguise. You can get fatigued quite quickly due to fighting gravity. Let the hill be your ally, but also exercise a bit of caution.

· Swing your arms a bit more vigorously. This raises your center of gravity and lifts you up.

· Listen to your breathing patterns. You do not want to be completely out of breath. Think like a person riding a multi-speed bicycle up a steep incline. Change gears to maintain the same effort, not the same speed.

· Your will probably be landing a little more up on your forefoot.

· Lifting heavy quadriceps (thigh) muscles is tiring. Maintain a crisp rhythm with short fast steps.

· Keep your head up and lean a bit forward.

· Be positive when it comes to hills. Imagine yourself rolling over the hill - almost as if it isn't there.

· Concentrate on keeping your upper body relaxed, while you let your legs do the work.

· As you crest each hill, focus on running all the way over the top until your reach the flat, and pick up your regular running rhythm again.

Aspects of Down Hill Running

This can be your secret weapon. Now, take advantage of gravity to go faster. However, going downhill can be more stressful on the quads and knee joints.

· The best way to run downhill is to lean (at the ankles) into it, to the point that you feel you're about to fall on your face. Be like the ski jumper. Maintain a straight tall posture.

· Your legs will begin turning over faster as you use short, quick strides. If you find yourself getting out of control, raise your elbows to the side. This is similar to a tightrope walker who holds a pole for balance. I call this the Wings. You might want to practice your downhill running on a soft gentle slope at first until you become proficient and comfortable with the feeling.

· Try keeping your foot strike below your center of gravity. This reduces shock to the body. On training runs you may wish to use short mincing steps as you weave back and forth while descending - as if you are a skier doing the slalom event. I call this the Snake. This technique can be much less stressful on your joints.

Those of you just beginning hill workouts will likely find hills a struggle at first, but, before long, hills become more of a friendly challenge than a mortal enemy. The more you run hills, the more you'll find yourself adjusting to them automatically and your stride shifting to "hill mode" without any thought or effort.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

1/18/2006 Goal Pace Run, Strength, Core & Spinning

Goal Pace Run -Early in the morning

Due to a ridiculously early morning it was a treadmill run this morning. The schedule called for a 5 mile goal pace run, but I was running short on time. I did the best I could and managed to get 5.25 miles in total. I did a one mile warm up to get the blood flowing and loosened up after yesterdays epic running/hill climbing extravaganza. I followed that up with a 4 mile run at my goal pace. The question I am faced with is: what is my goal pace? I know that I want to do a sub-4 hour marathon, which I am fairly certain I can do with the training. It would be really cool to run a Boston qualifying time on my first outing. Probable? Maybe not. Possible? I think so. I think I can, I think I can. Okay, let's go for it.

Strength - Later that day

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit:
2 sets bicep curls 20 lbs. = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press 20 lbs. = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = width of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts.
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.

Core Class - Seriously more gluts?

There was a sub for the core class today. While she explained that since it was a core class we would be working everything except the limbs, apparently she meant we would be working gluts, and more gluts, a few more gluts, and then some abs at the end. Holy crap, my gluts were hurting. After so many running, cycling, and strength workouts this week I really needed some abs, and core work, but not really gluts. During this class I really began to think that I was running out of steam and needed to call it a day. Did I call it a day? Of course not! It was on to...

Strength Spinning and some Easy Spinning

During spinning I really just did myself in. Freaking strength spinning?!? I should have checked the schedule before class, but I went in unaware. My legs were already pretty burned, so I made it through about 30 minutes of strength and I was done. I couldn't keep up the heavy resistance, and quite frankly didn't really want to or need to. I backed it off to a light resistance and spun out the rest of the class. I still got in 60 minutes of spinning, which was good enough for me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

1/17/2007 Medium Recovery Run & Cycling

Medium Recovery Run with Bonus Intervals

My medium recovery run was at Central Park on their lovely walking/jogging path. It's so nice to get off the road on to a path that even has some varying terrain. A few small hills and dips to keep it interesting. Plus I had the added excitement of ice! yikes. It was in the high 20's and there was some fairly large ice patches, so I had to stay on my toes to avoid an unfortunate slip. Since I'm going to be doing some races before the flying pig I'm starting on some speed training now. I'll be doing 400's for a while until the marathon plan ramps it up to 800's. On this particular day I ran 4 - 1.25 mile laps with a 1.1 mile path to and from the parking lot. During the laps I picked up the pace for some 90 second intervals instead of 400's since I was on the path and there weren't any 1/4 mile markers. The total run was a 51:36 min run at 7.2 miles / 7:10 pace with 4x 90 sec intervals.

I ran my heart rate monitor throughout my run and bike. Here is the breakdown:

Avg HR: 138
Peak HR: 174
Min HR: 57
Total Cal: 2,225
Rcl 1: 30:08 Avg HR: 149 (Run)
Rcl 2: 13:35 Avg HR: 159 (Run)
Rcl 3: 7:53 Avg HR: 168 (Run)
Rcl 4: 19:17 Avg HR: 116 (Transition)
Rcl 5: 2:07.35 Avg HR: 137 (Cycling)

19 minute transition, what? This wasn't a true transition like I'd shoot for during a duathlon or triathlon. Did I mention that it was freezing that day? Well after the run I was nice and warmed up to be sure, but I was also nice and sweaty. I stripped down to just my base layer of tights and compression shirt and layered up again with my cycling clothes. I layered up with 3 layers on the legs, 3 layers on top, my lobster claw gloves and a thick balaclava type head cover (not really made for cycling, but with the drawstrings it worked pretty well) under my helmet.

Cycling: Hills, Hills, and Hills

As I was riding into the first of 5 climbs I was going to take on "Evil Twins" was sprayed on to the road. Oh how fitting, as it marked the beginning of two consecutive long climbs with the downhill in between and about 50 feet of road before you start the second climb. They are truly evil...and my favorite hill training partners. I probably won't be able to ride them a lot since they are in Northern Kentucky, about a 40 minute drive from my house, but I will use them when I can.

So I did the evil twins going out with a downhill after the second twin, and rode a few miles down the road in the river valley that follow the hills. Then I turned around and tackled the trip back which were 3 more hills! The evil triplets, quintuplets? It's not as catchy as the evil twins.

2007 Odo: 84.3
Dist: 25.33 miles
Time: 1:55.38
Avg: 13.1 mph
Max: 36.5 mph

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

1/16/2006 Short Recovery Run & Dog Jog

It was a nice brisk 34 degrees with some flurries. I bundled up a bit more with the compression shirt zip up pull over, jacket, long running pants, headband that covers ears. I was a little tired from working late, so I was glad it was a short recovery run day. I get the little boost of energy that I almost always get from a good run without the exertion of a longer, faster run. I win. I ran my usual srr route at 29 min (3.3 mile / 8:47 pace).

After my srr I took Gracie out for a dog jog. I've been slipping on that lately and now that the winter has finally started to rear its ugly head it will be important to get her out for exercise. We did a 1.3 mile out and back run through Meghan's Run with many stops to sniff items and watch the deer run.

Running Form Analysis 7


I hope that the ideas mentioned here concerning controlling upper body sway and posture make sense. They are extremely important. Our body, like the crew on a boat, is most efficient when everything is working in unison. Now, let’s look at what we can do when we begin running, hopefully with less effort.

You hear this term - the Center of Gravity (COG). It is the balancing point at which all the body planes meet – just below the navel and in front of the sacrum. When your foot strikes, you want it to be below, not in front of, your center of gravity. If your foot lands in front of your COG, it acts like a brake. More stress is put on your legs and joints.

Visualization - Imagine you’re running downhill all the time. You are taking advantage of gravity. Let gravity be your ally. Lean forward with the slope of the hill.

Some Keys to Running with Less Effort

Stay Tall. Try to maintain a straight line between your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.

Lean forward - at the ankles, not the waist. Remember the image of the ski jumper? Core stability and strength helps to maintain this position. Hold the lean a little bit at first. As you become comfortable doing this, gradually increase the distance and time.

As you lean, gravity pulls you forward. During a stride your heels come up and the shin area often attains a height parallel to the ground. The non-supporting (float) leg will go back and then come forward to keep up with your forward fall. Your feet will come down underneath, rather than in front of you.

Don’t worry about your speed at first. However, you may sense that you go a bit faster with a little lean.

Experiment: You may even wish to test this hypothesis over a given distance. Run to a particular point using the form that comes most natural. Time it. Then repeat the process with a little bit of a lean. Does the time change?

If you’re like many runners, you propel yourself forward (and upward) by pushing with your legs. You’re driving with your quads and then finishing off your stride by pushing off with your toes.

Experiment: Concentrate on lifting your legs at the heels instead of using your quads.

The amount of energy it takes to lift the weight of your lower leg is considerably less than pushing and lifting your entire body weight up into the air. Energy expenditure is directly proportional to how much you go up and down. If you can minimize up and down movement, you can lower your energy expenditure. The more you lean forward when you run, the more it adds a horizontal component to your energy usage. Like the wheel, we want as much of our movement to be horizontal, not vertical.

Foot Strike

Ideally, your foot should never land in front of that imaginary point (center of gravity). If it does, you are likely overstriding — adding a force in the opposite direction — which means that you are putting on the brakes. Runners are more often guilty of taking too long of strides rather than too short. The footfall should be quiet. You should be able to sneak up behind someone. If there is slapping, this is often a sign that you are overstriding.

We seek a smooth transition between strides rather than bouncing from one to the other. This reduces the impact to your knees.

Typically, the faster the tempo, the further forward on your foot you will strike. Using some of these techniques may result in more of a mid-foot strike than was common. Most of us land exclusively on our heels, but don’t be alarmed if some changes gradually take place.

A short stride length is the equivalent of a low gear. Let your runs begin with a shorter stride. Gradually, the stride lengthens as your muscles get warmed up and looser. When you hit your cruising speed, your stride will be the right length. When you run, focus on keeping your arms and your legs comfortably bent at mid-swing. Think of the pendulum concept.

Running with less effort is about relaxing muscles, opening tight joints, and using gravity to do the work. Up to this point you have been given a lot of ideas to think about. Practice one component at a time and become familiar with it. Then try to do two at a time. Then, try three, and so on. Remember, have fun learning some of these new concepts.

We have had enough for today.


Monday, January 15, 2007

1/15/2006 Strength & Solo Spinning

Strength Training

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit:
2 sets bicep curls 25 lbs. = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press 20 lbs. = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = length of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.

Solo Spinning

As the weather continues to be rainy and gross outside I was forced to the gym again for some spinning. Without the benefit of a spinning class I decided to do a little solo spinning. I didn't have any particular workout in mind. I just wanted to spin some miles since there was no outside riding this weekend. It was a solid 50 minute effort with some intervals using the "ladder" method that I learned last week. I started at a 2 minute interval bringing my heart rate up to 160 with a flat road resistance, then worked down at 30 second intervals to a 30 second interval and then back up to another two minute interval.

After a few minutes of easy spinning is did 3 one minute sets of single leg spinning with each leg. With a nice easy 15 minute warm-up and a few minutes to cool down I called it a day. I did have some twinges of pain in my right knee which concerns me a little, so I'll have to keep an eye on that.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

1/14/2006 Long Run

Such a rainy, rainy weekend. I ended up skipping my planned bicycle outing yesterday. That turned out to be a really good thing, because that would've been my eighth straight workout day with no rest days. It's good way to run myself into some early burnout.

It was 50 degrees F when I walked out the door and raining steadily. I knew I wasn't going to make it to the gym today to run there, and there was no way I was skipping my long run. I dressed pretty lightly in shorts a long sleeved compression shirt and a short sleeve shirt over top and took those first steps out into the rain. I made the mistake of over dressing the last time I ran in the rain and ended up being miserable and stiff from running in cold heavily soaked pants. After getting used to the initial shock of the cold rain drops it wasn't so bad. About halfway through the run the rain let up to a slight drizzle and since there was no wind to speak of it was very comfortable and the showering kept me cool for the run.

I was very comfortable during the run, and even though I was scheduled for 8 miles I went a little over for a 9.7 mile run.

Distance: 9.7 miles
Time: 1:21.39
Avg HR: 154
Peak HR: 169
Min HR: 105
Total Cal: 1292

Friday, January 12, 2007

1/12/2006 Short Recovery Run

It was a short recovery run day that I just didn't feel like doing at all, but I got my butt out the door and pushed through the short run, and as most runs go what started out as a run I didn't want to do ended feeling pretty good. So let's chalk up the info and move it along.

Time: 28:23
3.3 mile
8:36 pace

1/11/2006 Strength, Core & Spinning

As much as I enjoyed my time off. Now that I have a focus to my training I'm enjoying my workouts even more. I'm very much a goal oriented person. Without the goals I start to get bored and lose focus and quit. But here we are day 2 of marathon training, and I'm feeling good and getting stronger.

Elliptical = 20 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = length of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.

Core Class

During the 25 minutes of core class it involved a lot of the legs being lifted up over the head, and it is still tough. I feel like the blood is draining out of my legs. I don't think it's a strength issue, but if I remember to ask I will next time.


60 minutes of intervals. Not really into it at all during class and felt tired from a tough week at work, but still managed to get through the class. The intervals were heart rate targeted. I was ranging from 160-170 during intervals and dropping to 120-130 during recovery. Down and up the ladder starting at 2 minutes and working down in 30 second intervals, back up the ladder in 30 second intervals. Even though I wasn't into it mentally, but felt proud for finishing afterwards.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

1/10/2006 Medium Recovery Run

It was a medium recovery run day, and I could not begin to drag myself out of bed at 6:30 am to do the run before work. I think I have a pretty good excuse since I didn't get off work until midnight and in bed at 1 am. It just wasn't happening. I was able to get out for an evening run after work. It was time for a change of scenery, so I went to the Lunken Airport to run on the path. It was a nice change of pace from my usual routes, and very cool to run as the sun was setting around the landing strips. It was a nice evening at about 35 degrees F at sunset and clear. The nice flat course made for easy running.

It felt good to get out and run after a long day of desk jockeying. I started out feeling a little stiff and cold so I did a split at 2.5 miles, because I was curious how much I was feeling would effect my run. Apparently not much as my first 2.5 miles clocked in at 19:46 and my second 2.5 came in around 20:58. I think I was a little late in stopping the second 2.5. By the time I reached the end of the run it was dark, so I couldn't see the mile markings on the path. It's all good, as I was just happy to see that I had an even split and a steady run. The totals were: 46:01 for a total of 5.75 miles at a 8 min./mile. I was hoping to get some other stats about heart rate, but I was having trouble getting a steady reading.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

1/09/2007 Short Recovery Run

Sweet, sweet short recovery run....I fully expected to look out the window to see mounds and mounds of the white stuff. That's all I heard yesterday was about how it was supposed to snow last night. As it often happens in Ohio, no snow. Actually, it was not a bad morning run. I left shortly before 8 am as the sun was coming up with about 38 degrees and a little cloudy. There were a few tiny flakes floating around here and there as I was running, but nothing that would even constitute flurries.

I had a very easy run up and down our road and through Meghan's Run. It was a 3.3 mile run that took 29:29 putting me at about a 9:15 pace. The challenge at the beginning is going to be pacing myself and not overdoing it on the SRR days. I know the harder stuff is coming once I start intervals and hill work. If I push it now and try to ramp up my weekly mileage to quickly I'm guessing it could lead to injuries. I've got to keep that in mind....I want to be fast, but no injuries is even more important.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Running Form Analysis 6

Brought to you, and me, by Bob Roncker of Bob Roncker's Running Spot. For more running form analysis posts click here.


I hope you are noticing some differences by now. Let’s return to something that was asked of your prior to our first meeting, balancing on one leg.

Balance on One Leg

Why should we consider this? Running is a series of hops from one leg to the other. We are dealing with milliseconds, but if the time between strides is slightly shortened because of better balance or strength of the legs, the running cycle will be more efficient.

The one leg balance exercise is a good test for structural stability and neuromuscular control.

It accomplishes a couple of things. First, it reduces the time spent on each foot; thus reducing the muscle usage. And second, since the time spent on the ground is lessened, the time between foot strikes is reduced and you are running faster or easier.

Exercise – You can do this many times during the day. Balance for one minute on the right foot. As this becomes easier, move up eventually to three minutes. Then start doing it on an uneven surface, i.e. a pillow. Once you can do it for three minutes on this surface start ove again at one minute, but now do it with the eyes closed.

Forward Lean

This is what can separate your form from the masses. Let gravity pull you forward. Using your legs to push yourself forward takes much energy. Relax, bend your knees, and lean forward at the ankles (a position that requires strong core muscles) rather than the waist, which can stress the knees and hurt your back.

Impeccable posture

You should still “run tall,” keeping your body erect and straight. Strive to maintain the posture described in earlier follow-ups.

Visualization - Let your imagination take you away. Pretend you’re a ski jumper gracefully lifting off the jump ramp. You are extending yourself out over the tips of your skis, body fully extended. Your body is straight as you bend at the ankles.

Exercise - Falling to wall

Face a wall about 6” away. Stand tall. Now, without changing any part of your posture, allow yourself to fall forward by merely relaxing your ankles. Don’t tilt your head forward or bend at the waist. Just hold your hands in front of your body with your elbows bent and stop yourself with your hands so that you don’t bump your nose. Do this repeatedly until you can comfortably fall forward with your posture remaining intact. Remember to lean from your ankles. While doing this exercise, try to familiarize yourself with the feeling of gravity pulling you forward because that’s what you want to feel when you’re out there on the road. If it helps you, I prefer the word “falling” to describe my lean while I’m running.

Visualization - Imagine you’re running downhill all the time.

Assignment – Time yourself over a short distance running with your familiar style. Next, trying to use the same effort, cover the same distance as you lean a bit. How do the times compare?

Center of Gravity (The balancing point at which all the body planes meet) – just below the navel and in front of the sacrum. This is a very key point. In the next follow-up letter we shall see that you do not want your foot to strike in front of your center of gravity.

Play around with leaning. Just a little at first. Get accustomed to the feeling. The more you lean, the faster you go. Having a strong set of core muscles can be very helpful. You need them to stabilize your posture, much like what happened when I tried to lift someone with and without the E3 grips.

1/08/2007 Strength Training

As much as I enjoyed my time off. Now that I have a focus to my training I'm enjoying my workouts even more. I'm very much a goal oriented person. Without the goals I start to get bored and lose focus and quit. But here we are day 2 of marathon training, and I'm feeling good and getting stronger.

Elliptical = 10 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = length of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
2 sets of 25 clamshell crunches w/6 lb. ball (couldn't find an 8 lb. medicine ball)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

1/07/2007 Marathon Training Day 1 - Long Run!

So it begins....a little over 4 months of training that will lead up to my first marathon. It seems a little daunting when I look at the schedule over the next 4 months. I'm going to keep the schedule up in the sidebar, and try to update it as I go along to show the progress of what I've done versus the training schedule I set up. I snagged the schedule from the Flying Pig website and made a few adjustments to it, to add in some cycling, strength training, and the other races that I will be competing in over the course of training. Since this is my first, I'll be using this schedule as a tool and a guide that I will probably making changes too and tweaking along the way. This will be a good tool and learning experience for future marathons. When I look at the schedule it looks like a ridiculous amount of work, but I'm hoping to find a good balance between cycling, running, and cross training that will keep me from injuring myself or over training on the runs.

The first day of training was a long run. It called for a 7 mile run, but I underestimated my route and ended up running a little over 8 miles. So does that mean I run another 8 next week or should I bump it up? Maybe I'll go 8.5 next week and make the first 3 weeks a little more gradual and then really start to ramp up after that. Sounds good to me.

Avg HR: 162
Peak HR: 174
Min HR: 138
Total Cal: 1057
Time: 1:06.13

It was about 38 degrees F when I went out the door and overcast. It was really nice weather for running. I wore my long running pants, long sleeve Pearl Izumi under shirt, and my cycling thin jacket. I could've done without the jacket, but it's bright orange, so I like to wear it while running on the roads, and it gives the added bonus of some protection if it did start raining. I wouldn't want to soak Dwight (my shuffle) in the rain. That would royally suck. I got lucky anyway and the rain held out.

The first step has officially been taken.

1/06/2007 Cycling

7 am and 53 degrees F outside? Are you kidding me? I had to take advantage of this weather before it starts raining, and you could feel it in the air. The rain was coming. It wasn't a matter of if, but when it would start. I headed out for a short loop around Rt. 222 and Benton Rd. as quickly as I could; mounting the front and rear lights before taking off to combat the dreary half dark morning. Despite the warmth I layered up a bit with long sleeves, long tights and a jacket. If it did start raining, the jacket would protect me from the seeping cold of the rain water a little.

It felt good to be back on the road with my aerobars secured back on the bike, so I can start getting used to the aero position again. Only about 3 months until my first Duathlon in March. It's amazing how quickly the winter has slipped by, although it's only January and worse weather has got to be on its way at some point. For this day though I would simply enjoy the ride.

Dist: 17 miles
Avg: 15.69 mph
Max: 35 mph
Time: 1:05:05
Odo: 2,009 miles

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Running Form Analysis 5

Some more good advice from Bob Roncker...

Good Posture = Good Physical Balance

One goes with the other.

A healthy neck supports your head, keeping it aligned with the rest of the spine in a proper, balanced posture. The neck has a slight natural curve, which sits on top of the two curves in the middle and lower back. Correct posture maintains all three curves and prevents undue stress and strain by distributing body weight evenly. Actually, when your back is balanced, it is self-supporting and requires little help from your back muscles.

What Does Good Posture Look Like? Good posture is being Tall. The body is straight, but not robotic! The appearance is relaxed as the ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles align in one straight line. If you hung an imaginary plumb line from the earlobe, the line would hang straight through the middle of the anklebone.

Some of you stood next to the wall as the laser light showed how aligned you were. Do you recall any differences as you made adjustments?

Another thing to try is to stand next to a wall with your heels touching the wall. Have your butt and upper back (shoulder level) in contact with the wall. Does that feel comfortable? Where is your head?

Good posture means there is musculoskeletal balance. This balance helps to protect the joints in the spine from excessive stress. It also guards against injury and possible deformity.

Position of Pelvis is Key

If there is forward rotation of the pelvis, you may experience the following:

Extension of the spine into a sway-back position

Increased internal rotation of the thighs

Secondary lowering of the longitudinal arch

Relative lessening of the ability to flex the hips in relation to the ground (remember the exercise of lifting your knees when tall and then when bent forward? – see below)


Friday, January 05, 2007

1/04/2007 Core & Spinning

Core Class

I was running a little late to core class so I only got in 20 minutes of the 30 minute class, dumb traffic. I guess 20 minutes is better than zero minutes. The class is a little different than the class was last year: new instructor, new workouts. Last winter I called it core class, but the official title was abs blast, and that is exactly what it concentrated on working. Now the focus is on all the core muscles so I feel like we're working a wider range of muscles. In a sense it makes the class a little easier, since there are more muscles being worked, spreading the pain around a little more. It's still a tough class.

Endurance Spinning

60 minutes of endurance spinning is like 3 hours of outdoor riding on a flat road with nothing no scenery. booooring. Well it can be boring if you don't break it up into manageable segments. That is the beauty of having a spinning instructor. It's her job to do the planning. 10 minutes of warm up moderate resistance spinning, 10 minutes of small "hills", 10 minutes of silent meditation spinning, 10 minutes of alternating left & right leg spinning...before you know it you're at 60 minutes and pushing another 10 minutes for a solid 70 minute endurance class.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Running Form Analysis 4

The Law of the Pendulum

“The speed at which a pendulum swings depends on the length of the pendulum, not on the amount of weight at the bottom.”

Exercise – Count and compare the # of times your right hand comes forward in 15 seconds (fist to chest height and back to hip). Swing both arms as fast as you can. Do this first with straight arms. Then, repeat the same exercise with bent arms.

Notice how much less effort it takes to swing bent arms. What was the difference in the count?

Exercise – Now, stand on one leg and slowly swing the other straight leg forward and back. Take a few swings and then stop. Do it again. Swing the same leg faster (still keep it straight). Did you notice an increase in effort? You should. That’s because it takes muscle to make your “pendulum” swing faster than it wants to. Your quads pull your leg forward and your glutes (butt muscles) pull it back, and so on. Now, compare how it feels swinging your leg with a bent knee.

Lesson to learn - To get your “pendulums” to swing faster and easier, just bend your legs at the knees and your arms at the elbow. As you run, one way to make the pendulum shorter is to focus on lifting your heels.

Hands and wrists

I want you to try something with your hands and wrists. Tension begins in the hands. Notice the difference in your forearms when you try these three positions.

Exercise -

1. Clench your fist tightly

2. Hold out hand. Straighten fingers

3. Loose fist (Thumb on index fingers, fingers lightly clenched, palm turned slightly up, wrist firm but not tight, and hand in line with forearms.)

Did you notice a lessening of tension with each succeeding exercise? We want our muscles to be relaxed when we run. You’ll be more efficient and less fatigued if you keep your muscles relaxed.

One important thing, avoid limp wrists. Your arms just don’t help you as much with limp wrists. Keep your wrists firm and in line with your forearms.

Using some of these techniques enables your arms, wrists, and hands to help you to better RUN ON your feet. Remember the effects of the E3 grip demonstration. I was able to lift someone because their joints were engaged and this in turn helped create a slightly longer stride.

That’s enough for today.


1/03/2007 Brick Training

Long Ride up Little Miami Bike Trail. It was a fairly cold day, especially at the beginning of the ride in the morning. It was probably around 40 degrees at the beginning of the ride, but with the promise of a warmer day coming I stayed fairly light on the clothing: wool socks, shoe covers, long tights, long under shirt, short sleeve jersey, and arm warmers layered over top to strip off if it got too warm. I also had my running gloves on with my cycling gloves over top for strip off layering. As far as head gear, just my helmet and a headband that covers the ears. I was cold at the beginning of the ride, but knew that I'd warm up.

What I didn't count on was the fact that the bike trail was mostly shaded by the surrounding trees and hillsides along the river. The occasional cold wind also didn't help things out. All in all, it was still a great ride. It's January 3rd it's above freezing and sunny. I really can't ask for much more than that.

Dist: 41.2 miles
Avg: 15.6 mph
Max: 21.1 mph
Time: 2:38.23

...and as if the 40 miles that finished up with some numb toes and some shivers wasn't enough I decided to turn the session into a brick session. I didn't do nearly enough of this last year: a total of 3 times?!! yikes. Well now that I have a great fitness base I don't have an excuse to not take it up a notch this year and work the brick workouts over. Maybe it will help with my cramping issues that I had last year during some of the races.

I took my time after the ride changing my shoes and racking my bike on the car. I wasn't really planning on doing the running at all until after being off the bike fore a few minutes and starting to feel my toes and eating an orange. It brought a surge of energy back into my body so I threw on my cycling jacket and took off running down the path. I ran about 2 1/2 miles for the run. It was just enough to feel that initial stiffness of starting after the ride and loosening up as the run went on. I forgot to start my chrono at the beginning of the run so my timing isn't exact, but it took about 17:05 to do the run. I clocked in one mile at 7:44 min/mile, which isn't bad at all. I'm going to work this in as a regular part of my regiment as I ramp up into marathon/spring training starting this weekend. If I can figure out how to do it I'll post my training schedule here or on an attached google page like my links page and results page.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

1/02/2007 Strength & Solo Interval Spinning

Strength Training

I think I'm going to set up a new strength training plan soon. This workout is way past its prime. I've been doing it for over a year now, and it needs to be changed or at least modified in some way. There are a couple of things that I'm doing differently. For the walking lunges I'm still doing the lat raises at 2 sets of 12, but instead of doing the width of the basketball court I've been doing the length. I've also tried to work in some balancing drills. Which consists basically of standing on each leg for 3 minutes. I haven't been very good about doing this regularly like I should, but I'm working on it.

Elliptical = 15 minutes on Fat Burning
JC Bands Lunges with rows, Grey Bands - 15 each side.
Wall sit w/20 lb. wts.
2 sets bicep curls = 75 seconds each
2 sets shoulder press = 75 seconds each
Walking lunges = length of court/back doing lat raises with 15lb. wts
Hip adductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
Hip abductor = 2 sets/12 reps 105 lbs.
2 sets of 25 clamshell crunches w/8 lb. ball

Solo Interval Spinning

Today was all about intervals for spinning. I wanted to work on some speed work, and I also wanted to break the 60 minutes down into manageable segments so I wouldn't get bored. It worked out very well as I followed the following plan:

10 minute warm-up
10 minute of 1 minute interval heart rate 85 - 90%
15 minute - 90 second 1 leg drill 3 each leg with 30 second interval
5 minute easy spin
14 minute - 2 minute interval heart rate 85 - 90%
6 minute cool down
Total: 60 minute spinning

When it came to resistance I didn't do anything major. I kept it at flat road feel to slight up grade. I just wanted to work on speed and keeping up my cadence.