Friday, August 31, 2012

Training For Star City: Week 2

Training For Star City
Week 2 of 13

     Sun: Progressive Hill Repeats: (0 miles) Skipped this Sunday morning training run in lieu of having raced on Saturday night at the Radical Runabout 5k 

     Mon: Tempo: (4 miles): Not a strong 4 miler at all, 7:33 pace. My first run after a race is usually a weak one, so I'm not surprised.

     Tues: Recovery: (4 miles): Finally got out to the Stewarts Knob trail to give my Vibrams their first shot at technical trails. I'm calling it a recovery run, but it was more of a trail scoot. Can't be too cautious when trying something new.

     Wed: Intervals: (4 miles): Hit 6 of 8 targets and the 2 that I missed were off by more than last week. Will have to keep an open mind about the possibility that running 5 days a week is not a good strategy for me right now, but I will let next weeks results be the deciding factor in that.

     Fri: Long: (8 miles): Skipped the planned cycling and just did a straight 8 on the treadmill. Split the strategy for this run in two with the first 4 being progressive starting at 8 mph and increasing the speed by .1 every 1/2 mile, then at the 4 mile point I dropped it back to 8 mph and ran the last 4 regressive dropping the speed .1 mph every 1/2 mile. All in all it was a good training run with good numbers. I did have to work for it a little harder than I would have liked though.

Monday, August 27, 2012

100th blog post special!

     To commemorate my 100th blog post I decided to use an extra large font and type the "100th Blog Post!". Then I decided to go back and add a "before" and "after" close up head shot. Frequently we see "before" and "after" pics when someone is trying to sell you something.

I am not doing that.

     My only hope is that sedentary people will consider this post and think about being more active. My high intensity cardio routines are not for everyone, but just being active with anything at easy and comfortable paces can be very beneficial.

Me. 2008.
100th Blog Post!
Me. 2012.
The results are conclusive. My lifestyle has caused me to not only stop aging, but I am in fact getting younger!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

2012 Radical Runabout 5k

Radical Runabout 5k
Sprint Obstacle Course

1st place Age Group Vibrams!
     The greatest obstacle I encountered on this sprint obstacle course were the two words "I can't". My "grand" strategy for the summer of 2012 was to avoid competitive foot travel events where the dominate strategy would be to "just run the course as fast as possible". Instead I planned out a race schedule of triathlons and obstacle courses and over the course of the summer, so far, I have only managed quick glimpses of the podium from a distance and no PR's.

My daughter and biggest motivator!
     Approaching the starting line of this evenings obstacle course I had to make a last minute decision...go for it and find out what I can do in Vibrams or play it safe and not risk an injury while I'm training for the Star City 1/2 marathon in November. My participation in this event was a given since I want to encourage these types of community activities for active minded folks, but I never worked it into my training schedule so my strategy was unclear even as I approached the starting line.
Hangin' wit mah Peeps!

     One of my New Years goals was to focus more on fun and less on high intensity performances. With respect to that goal I decided to forgo rest and keep up my regularly scheduled training with 16.4 miles of cycling this morning, then, in addition, I decided to wear my Vibrams instead of my trail running shoes knowing that they would make me slower. A nice casual low intensity caloric expenditure with family and friends would certainly have been in order...

     Arriving at the scene, however, I slowly began to accept the truth of the matter. This was no ordinary ensemble of race participants and spectators..., no...these people (at least my wife and daughter anyways) had taken time out of there schedule to see something inspiring. America needs hope and change right now...the kind of hope that can only be attained by seeing someone give it all they got despite the odds...the kind of change that lets people know "The podium is there and changing your speeds to faster paces will put you on it".

     Yes, I went for it. Like a bat out of hell. Up and down steep banks, rolling barrels, over cable spools, under nets, over tires, over hay bales, carrying leaking buckets of water to fill other buckets that aren't leaking, etc, etc, etc...Not for me..., no...I did it for them...
It was nice to get another 1st place Age Group medal.
Final Results: 2012-time 26:53, pace: 9:07/M , Place 9/171 overall, 1/22 in my age group, 9/79 among men
Garmin Data


Friday, August 24, 2012

Training for Star City-Week 1

 Training for Star City
Week 1 of 13

     Sun: Progressive Hill Repeats: (5.37 miles) This is a .53-.55 mile loop around my neighborhood. I start out at a 12 minute mile and slowly increase my pace each lap by 30 seconds per mile for 10 laps, ending at a 7:30 pace. This is a fairly easy workout starting out at an easy warm up effort and slowly increasing to moderate efforts. I nailed all my target paces today, and will be looking to start and finish at faster paces of :30/mile beginning with week 5, then again at week 9. The heart rate spike for each lap occurs during the steep hill climb of approx 120' over a .15 mile stretch from the bottom to the top of Timberline Dr., ensuring that even the easiest laps have a challenging segment requiring a high intensity push.

     Mon: Tempo: (4 miles) PR time for this route is 28:15 set on 3-31-11. I went out with the intention of beating it, but came up a few seconds short with a 28:34. I have one more chance next Monday and then I progress my Tempo run to 6 miles. On a more positive note, my 4 mile tempo run during week 1 of training for the Blue Ridge Half back in February was a 29:24, too soon to say, but that could be the start of a trend. HERE is Garmin data comparing Today-vs-1st week of training for BRH 2012-vs-course PR.

     Tues: Recovery: (4miles) Just kickin' it around in my Vibrams as the middle part of a 6-4-6 brick. Focus was on form (fore foot striking) and comfort. Pace stayed consistent in the 12's, but there was no need to push it on a recovery day. Notice how low my heart rate stayed.

     Wed: Intervals: (4 miles) Target paces were 6's for the sprint segments and 8's for the recoveries. I exceeded the target on the 4th segment and missed it on the 6th and 7th by just a hair. Had I slowed down a little for my 1st downhill sprint, then I probably would have hit all the targets. Interval day is about running economy as much as it is about short speed bursts.

     Fri: Long: (8 miles) 6-8 brick. Pace was in the mid 8's just a little slower than I wanted, but ok for this early in the training cycle.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

2012 Fab 5k

2012 Fab 5k

 Time and distance, being little more than abstract constructs designed to serve as arbitrary standards for performance based reviews...Faithy and I decided to participate in this mornings Fab 5k with our only goal being to finish the course.
Garmin Data HERE

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Star City 1/2 Training Schedule

     I usually train for a 1/2 marathon with a 10 week plan, but this year is shaping up differently with me doing a 1/2 marathon this fall instead of a full marathon. I had trained for the full Richmond Marathon with a 16 week plan starting in late July in years past, but here it is mid August and with the daughter heading back to school next week it seemed like a good time to get a little jump start and come up with a dedicated plan.

     So here is my 13 week plan aimed at targeting a peak performance at the Star City Half Marathon on Nov 17th. The biggest experiment here is me running 5 days per week instead of the 4 that I usually train with. The Sunday progressive run and the Tuesday recovery run will be very low intensity, so I don't anticipate any problems. If things should become "uncomfortable", I will drop the Sunday progressive and make the necessary adjustments.

     Saturdays will be flexible with most being a 20 mile bike ride followed by a break and then some lifting, but I also have a few races built in. I will be doing short distances on the bike on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday so if I can't get the Saturday long ride in then I'll just use it for rest or family time.

Update 10-10-12

     I'm having to update my training schedule for the Star City Half Marathon because there have been changes to my work schedule and my recreational life. As for work, I have replaced Fri/Sat off with Tues/Wed, so I need to do my long runs on my day off. As for my recreational life...I have found that now that I have no triathlons on the calendar, that I am enjoying taking a break from cross training with the swim and bike. My original plan was partially dependent on cycling miles to induce fatigue prior to running my long and recovery runs. I'm just not motivated to invest the time on the bike right now, so I'm reworking the training schedule to reflect higher run mileage. With the "big" race still 5 weeks out, I'm confident I have time to adapt to the additional stresses that will be encountered with the higher mileage.
   Update 10-15-12

     I'm thinking I may have called it wrong on my last update 5 days ago. I've had some encouraging runs and some discouraging runs throughout this training cycle, and while I do like to see a plan through to the finish, I believe I can now safely call it that the 5 day a week running schedule simply does not work for me. I'm going to fall back to what I refer to as my default schedule, which is 3 runs per week consisting of a tempo, an interval, and a long. I'll still use the target mileage in the chart above, so I won't make a new chart and I'll substitute the races for other workouts.