Archive for the 'Training' Category

Two days off and then a slow one …

Ran six miles up in Maine.  Cold and beautiful.  My hamstring was still pretty tight … I’ve been stretching a bit and hope to just run some easy miles this week, stretch, do some yoga, and get a message.  All things I need to do more regularly if I hope to get back into any semblance of racing shape.

Sunday running …

Sunday is usually the day that people put in their long runs (I’ve switched my long run day to Monday, but sort of miss the camaraderie of the long Sunday run).  It certainly looked like it today.   I saw many people out their appearing to put in distance.  I often, however, don’t really think that people are running as far as they seem to be running.  When I see people running with those drink belts, it makes me think that they are putting in a 20 miler.  But, I look at them again and there is no way from their form or appearance that they are running so long.  Do people really need to drink gatorade for a five or six or even ten mile run?  I never drink on runs under 14 miles.  I’ve never really felt the urge (unless it is a particularly hot day during the summer).  So, what gives with the running belts and drinking gatorade for runs obviously under 10 miles?  Has the gatorade/marathon marketing machine convinced everyone to hydrate on even short runs?  Kinda silly.

Anyway, put in 8.8 miles at just under 8:00 minute pace.  I left my heart rate monitor at our summer home, so I can’t say what the heart rate was.  I do, however, think that I need to do some higher heart rate running.  My guess is that I was in the 143-147 range today.  Felt good and worked on being more of a forefoot striker.

Ended up with 59 miles for the week.  Not bad.  I feel pretty good.

It’s been a while …

Hmm … Has it really been nearly two years since my last post?  Hard to believe; visions of blogging grandeur fell by the wayside.

Well, I am still running and have had some ups and downs.  Ran Boston 2010 on not nearly enough training.  I was hoping, based on my lame training, to luck into a sub 3:31 and qualify for the next two years.  I was on pace but choked the last two miles.  I ended up at 3:32:03 and promised myself “No more Bostons.”  I really hate that race.  Too many people and the course just beats me up.

An upside from my lame training though, was that on the one 20+ mile run I did manage before Boston, I hooked up with a group of runners on the Charles River bike paths at about mile 18 of that run and now I run with them about once a week.  It is nice to have some company and conversation.  We call ourselves the Boston River Rats.  A good group of people and we have about 20 who will run the Hyannis Half Marathon.

I am trying to push myself to run faster and race more often this year.  I have set a goal of one race a month … since I don’t plan on doing a marathon anytime soon, I need some goal to keep my going.  My next race is a Thanksgiving Day 5k.  I run it every year and have managed to win my age group every year.  Let’s see if this year holds true to form.

With that in mind, I’ve started to do some intervals on the track to get myself into a little better short racing shape.  In my first race (my one in October) in a while, I ran a 5k two weeks ago – not particularly fast (20:22) – and would like to run under 20:00 at this Thanksgiving race.  There are some guys in my age group running mid 18:00s and I’d like to be competitive with them.  The only way to get to that level is to race more and do some interval work on the track (and keep the mileage up).  Can my body handle it?

I have found that racing and track work do take a pretty good toll on my body.  My achilles was, and still is, sore after this most recent 5k and after yesterday’s track work (8 x 400 at 87, 86, 87, 86, 85, 85, 86, 85 – the goal going in was to run 90s so I was happy with how that went).  As usual, I am not stretching enough.  Gotta get better with that.   But, maybe the more frequent racing and track work will force my body to adapt and get stronger.  I hope that is how it works out.

Today was an easy 7.2 in 1:02:28.  Achilles sore and body stiff from yesterday … crawled along my route but by the end the Achiles was feeling a bit looser.

Last medium long run …

before Boston.

10.3/1:23:28/8:04 pace/144 HR Avg

This run felt very smooth and easy.  I feel, with seven days until Boston, pretty good physically and mentally.  The rest of this week is short easy mileage with a six mile run on Wednesday that will include 2 miles at MP.

I will keep up the stretching to make sure the hamstrings continue to improve, but as of right now things seem to be shaping up well.

I have not decided how much I will watch of the woman’s trials this weekend.   I want to keep off my feet before the race, so I may limit how long I watch the race.  It is a pretty exciting running weekend in Boston though and having the woman’s trials is a big deal.  There was a nice article on Joan Benoit Samuelson in the NYTimes this weekend.  She is quite the role model.  I hope to be able to do what she is doing at 50 – sub 2:50.  I have convinced myself that once Boston is over I will try to slowly increase my mileage to 70 to 80 miles per week in an effort to break 3 hours.  I think if I do more stretching and increase the mileage gradually, my body can handle it.  I am also sure, if I drop 10 more pounds that will help.

Anyway, the weather for the week looks beautiful.  With any luck next Monday will dawn in the low 50s with no wind.  Here’s to hoping.

The start of some easy running …

I took yesterday off and today’s run was an easy 5 miler – I added on 6 strides at the end to make it close to six miles.  The pace was around 8:15 with a HR in the high 130s. My legs feel pretty good but not fantastic.  I hope by the end of the week they feel ready to roll.

Yesterday I found this site that allows you to download a Boston Marathon excel file.  The cool thing about it is that it adjusts the pace for each mile based on the difficulty of that mile.  So, for example the first mile is downhill.  Someone who wanted to run 7:20 pace would find that the chart told them that a 7:03 first mile would be the equivalent effort for that mile.  It also calculates pacing based on how you want to run the race – slow start or fast start; no fade or some fade at the end.  Here is the link.

Last medium long run …

Sunday was my last medium long run until Boston – a 13 miler in 1:46:49.

The run started off well enough.  I felt strong and easy running just under 8:00 pace for the first 3 miles and then about 8:05 pace up to mile 7.  It was a raw day and when I crossed over the Arsenal Street Bridge to head back toward Boston, the wind picked up and things felt much colder.  My pace slipped to 8:25 per mile at 143 HR and I also just started to feel more weary.  Things went fine, but I didn’t feel as strong as I expected at the end of this run; perhaps my body is still recovering from the 800s on Friday.  The last five miles was a section of a run where you think “I hope this is not how I feel during Boston.”

The rest of the day, my legs were sore and I just felt kinda worn down.  We stayed out late on Saturday night at a friend’s house and I did not get to bed until about 12:30 – way past my normal bedtime.  If you couple that with the 6 x 800s I did on Friday, it makes some sense that I might not feel particularly strong.  I keep recognizing here in this blog that I don’t recover very quickly from hard workouts, but I still think, when I am about to start a run, that “Oh, this is two days after my hardworkout, I should feel strong and be recovered from that.”  When, in reality it seems to take 3-4 days before I recover from a harder workout.

Overall, I ran 60 miles this week, in part because I ran my 20 miler on Tuesday.  Next week should be a mid 40s week.  With any luck my body will feel a lot better next Sunday.  One more quick track workout midweek and just easy miles the rest of the time.  I plan on a 10-11 miler on Sunday to end the week and then a really easy week before the marathon.

The taper …

I did a little research this morning and decided on this schedule taper.  It is  based on a post in Running Times by Pete Pfitzinger, but it has been modified a bit by me.

Week 1: 80% volume – 45-48 miles

4/2 Weds 4 miles
4/3 Thurs 5 miles
4/4 Fri
Turnover workout 20 minutes warmup; stretch, 10-15 controlled sprints (about 100 meters) on a track; 10-12 minutes easy running
4/5 Sat 5 mile temp run or tuneup race (10 mile race pace) (8 miles total)
4/6 Sun 15 mile easy run

Week 2: 60% volume – 34-36 miles

4/7 Mon Off
4/8 Tues 5 miles easy
4/9 Weds 5 miles easy
4/10 Thurs Interval workout (6 x 800 in 3:05-3:10)
4/11 Fri 5 miles easy
4/12 Sat 5 miles easy
4/13 Sun 11 miles easy

Week 3: 33% volume – 20 miles

4/14 Mon Off
4/15 Tues 4 miles easy
4/16 Weds 10-15 minute warmup, 2 miles MP, 15 minute cooldown
4/17 Thurs 4 miles easy
4/18 Fri 4 miles easy
4/19 Sat 4 miles easy
4/20 Sun 2 miles easy

So, following the schedule, I ran 4 easy miles at 8:36 pace – HR was in the low 130s. I am still a bit stiff from yesterday’s long run, but feeling pretty good. Any thoughts on the taper?


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What I am reading:

Again to Carthage, Robert L. Parker

Music I am listening to:

LCD Soundsystem, This Happens Gorillaz, Plastic Beach