Training Update

April 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

Just a quick update on my last two weeks of training.

Two weeks ago was supposed to be my last week of “Phase II” training. But because I struggled the week before, I decided to extend Phase II an extra week.

The third week of Phase II and the bonus fourth week of Phase II both went well. The hill workouts went well and I did 3 miles of tempo (the max I’m allowed) in the bonus week.

One thing I did those two weeks is drop my mileage the last couple weeks–I’ve made some of the easy days completing “off” days trying to give my Achilles some extra rest and they are feeling better.

I’ve now shifted to Phase III training, where the primary workout is Interval training, the secondary is Threshold (Tempo) and tertiary is Marathon Pace training.

I completed my first Interval workout on Monday with 5 x 400 in 1:40 (200 recovery in 1:40). I was a bit anxious over this workout because I haven’t hit the track in a couple of years and didn’t know how my old legs would respond. A bit surprisingly, the 400s came kinda easy–I ended averaging 1:33 with a range of 1:29-1:34. That was encouraging.

Tomorrow I’ll do another tempo workout–3 miles at 7:15 pace. And on Sunday, I’m running the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon . I’m hoping to run about 1:40 but am not overly concerned with my time–I’m using more as an exploratory opportunity than a target race.

That leads me into a topic that’s been rolling around in my mind for a while–the contents of my blog. I consider my blog a pretty boring read, it is mostly training reports. I don’t put a high priority on my blog–my work, family, running, and relaxing all are higher priorities. The blog occasionally gets some attention. When I do give it attention, the easiest and quickest thing to write about is the training.

But it is myopic view of my running and what it means to me. While I know what workout I am running each day and do concentrate on the hard parts, most of my running time is spent taking a mental break. My training schedule provides a structure for my overall runs but I kinda of do them on mental cruise control.

So there is a big disconnect between what I write about on my blog and what I think about while I run. I bring this up for a couple of reasons. First, I have been working on starting a podcast for a couple of months. I think that a podcast, especially one that I record as I run might better reflect my running and be more interesting. However, similar to the blog, I’m struggling to find time to create it (along with numerous technical problems). I’m not sure if I will ever actually get it going.

Secondly, I’ve been listening to some running podcasts and one, The Ruminative Runner, has struck a nerve. Just enjoy Norm’s perspective. We’ve exchanged a few emails and comments. In a recent episode Norm mentioned one of my comments and this blog, he also described my blog as being focused on training (poor paraphrasing) and that’s probably a good summary. But it isn’t really what I want my blog to be. I want it to be more qualitative than quantitative. I want it to be more revealing than rational, to be more right-brain than left.

So right now, I’m debating what to do with this blog. Maybe my limited writing time could be better utilized in some other way because right now, I don’t really like this blog.


Tracking mileage with DAYTUM

January 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

I came across DAYTUM, an online tool that allows you to track things and display graphs/charts showing your progress.  While not especially designed for running or exercising, it does work for a very basic tracking system for those.  You could embed the graphs into a webpage or, I believe, on your iProduct desktop, if you wanted to–to embed into a wordpress blog, you need a plug-in that does not offer as a an option on their free site.

I was especially interested in this because one of the last projects at my last job was to project manage the development of an application that did basically this, albeit at a higher level of sophistication.

DAYTUM is free, wasn’t too bad to set up–might fill someone’s need sometime.


2011 Goals

January 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

Now that another year is upon us, time for some goal setting.  Some of these are redundant, some are challenging but all, I think, are obtainable.

  • 1,000 miles
  • Never fall behind 3 miles/day.
  • No 0 weeks
  • Serious X-training twice a week–Yoga, stretching, biking, or plyometrics.
  • Volunteer at at least one race.
  • Dramatic increase in the number of quality miles run.  My fastest mile in 2010 was 6:25, which was 48 seconds faster than the fastest mile I had run up to that point last year.  Overall, I ran 1 sub-6:30 mile, 6 sub-7:00 miles, 32 sub-7:30 miles, and 132 sub-8:00 miles.
  • Sub-20:00 5k.
  • Sub-1:30:00 Half Marathon.
  • Run consecutive 6:52 miles, pure & average.  (2010 streak was 1/3.1)
  • Do my first dual-event event.
  • Possibly do a relay–Ragnar or a Mojo Loco?

Possible Race Schedule (BOLD are Races I Am Targeting):

The race schedule will be a work-in-progress but right now, the two half marathons and 15K in the spring are going to be my core races, with Bjorklund being my target race.


2010 Totals

December 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

I ran 576.25 miles in 2010, my highest mileage since 2007 (845) at an average pace of 8:20.  The second half of the year, I totaled 416.75 miles.  My goal every year is to log at least 1,000 miles–not a huge number but a total I have only accomplished four times in my 27 years of running.

I raced seven times–once in March (6 miles, 46:25, 7:43 pace), once in August (5k, 21:08, 6:47), and five CC races–the Salomon Autumn Trail Series (4 times, 3.6 miles, 25:08 best, 7:02), and one race in the Life Time Fitness Trail Series (4.9 miles, 36:05, 7:21).

Overall, I am basically satisfied with my running–I switched jobs, moved 200 miles–I did the move myself, moving everything first to a storage unit then to our new home–and inherited a 50 minute+ commute so the fact I was able to run semi-consistently the second half of the year.  There is room for improvement but life is a balancing act.


December Totals

December 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

I survived December without completely collapsing–I ended up taking 10 days off from the 21st through the 30th.   I totaled 51.75 (51.84) miles. The sad part is I had a week off during that time but sometimes free time is the hardest time to get around to a run.

Due to weather, my pace has deteriorated horribly–an average of 8:45.  Snowbanks, ice, blizzards, hail all conspired to make running fast an infrequent event–only 2 miles faster than 7:30 and five miles between 7:30 and 7:59.  y long run was 8 miles in 1:10:04 at 8:46 pace.  I struggled through one run of 6.5 miles largely on a snow-covered bike trail at 10:22 pace.

Winter in Wisconsin, and now Minnesota, is mostly about doing your time and building strength.  I’m looking forward to a thaw.


November Totals

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

As expected, my mileage dipped in November.  Weather, childrens’ activities and holidays start interfering.  Plus my own lack of gumption as the long, dark tea-time of the soles approach.  During the workweek, my only option for running is from work.  It is dark when I get there and dark when I get home.

I did run 60.9 miles at an average pace of 8:08.  That average pace benefited from decent weather/footing for most of the month, although I did have my first snow run albeit with good traction.  No races that included slow warm-up miles helped.  The only super slow mileage would be 0.25 I did at 12:42 pace with my 5-year-old.


October Totals

November 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

October has been a month of transition for me–I finished the Salomon Autumn Trail Series mid-month and have not scheduled any other races although I may try to sneak something in.

My final race in that series was a stinker–I had been sick the two days before it and would not have run it if I did not have a streak of running all previous 7 editions of it.  I found out later that dental problems cause my illness–a good chunk of one tooth had broken off.  Not sure how I did not notice.  Once I got a filling, I felt better.

The fear with no races planned is that I will find it too easy to let up.  So I’m pretty satisfied with my monthly mileage of 84.6 miles at an average pace of 8:23.  That falls to 77.3 miles at 8:09 pace if I throw out warm-ups and a walk-jog I did with a fellow runner I bumped into during a Sunday long run.

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