Sunday, December 23, 2012

Can I Run 5K Under 6 Minutes Per Mile?

One of the first barriers I recall as a beginning runner was the 5 minute mile.  Since then, average pace for any distance has always been in the back of my head. Once I broke 5 minutes for one mile, the target became 10 minutes for 2 miles (10:10 was the closest I ever got in high school). Now, some 35 years later, my focus is to run under 6 min for just 3.1 miles.  Yesterday, I failed again, averaging 6:11 (19:03). 

I feel like I can run that pace for a 10K (I did run 39 min in October- 6:17 pace), so why what do I need to do if I want to run faster?   My workouts tell me that I am pretty fit, but if I want to run under 6 min pace, clearly I have to include more time actually running under 6- that means shorter, more intense intervals with longer recovery.  In addition, I plan to do what I can to add a little strength with Hindu Squats and maybe hills/stairs (I live on the 10th floor- why take the elevator?) 

When all fails, I take a peek at the Runner's World Age Graded Calculator.  My age graded time for a 19:03 5K is  a decent but not great 15:27.  The calculator says an 18:30 is good for a 15:01, slightly faster than my all time PR.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How Many Intervals Are Enough?

It's been 4 days since the 3 mile workout, and the almost nothing 2 mile jog in ice yesterday has me set up for another hard day. The goal is to run an interval workout at sub 6 min miles, so I picked 800s with just a short 60 sec rest. It went as follows:

3:02, 2:55, 2:55, 2:53, 2:48, 2:49.

This was the 5 lap track, and I definitely felt a drop in pace on the two wide curves. I liked the progressive drop in time,but I had the feeling another sub 2:50 might not happen. I am always torn, do I go for 8 or shut in down BEFORE the pace begins to drop? There is always a reason to stop early, and mine was the long run I have planned for tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Can You be Fit and Slow?

This morning I ran 3 miles on the 5 lap track at 6:02 pace. I've been mixing some indoor mile, 800, and 400 intervals, so felt it was time to see where I'm at. Eight degrees out with no wind, I ran 18:06 for 3 miles. Not great, but not bad for me either. With the exception of the 10 x 440 yds I did last week in 89-90 sec, my indoor intervals on the tight 10 lap track have been slower than 6 min mile pace. Looking back, I should not expect to run any faster.

Here is what I now know. I am getting pretty strong- with help I am confident that I could have hung on for another mile with minimal slow down (I sort of talked myself out of it- easy to do when you run at race pace alone), however dipping much under 6 minutes for just one mile might be a challenge. Call it forced periodization, but winter is a time for building strength and endurance, not speed. Fit, but slow. Runners from the Midwest know all about it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tylenol After a Marathon- Does it Help or Hurt?

泰諾林 Participants treated with acetaminophen extended release (ER) reported a significantly greater decrease in the primary endpoint of average change from baseline in muscle soreness on the day of the marathon (day 1) than did placebo. In addition, the adjusted mean average interference with sleep was significantly lower for acetaminophen ER than for placebo. -A Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial of Acetaminophen Extended Release for Treatment of Post-marathon Muscle Soreness.

BUT WAIT! Read this comprehensive review by Jonathan Savage on the NEGATIVE impact of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories on post run recovery and healing.

MY COMMENT: Let nature take it's course after a marathon, have a few beers, and forego the tylenol.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dehydration Does Not Necessarily Lead to Heat Stroke

This runner more than likely is suffering from dehydration- not heat stroke. Note it's raining and spectators are wearing jackets- it's cold.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Calisthenics May Make You a Better Runner!

These data demonstrate that although improvements in cardiovascular fitness are induced by both endurance and extremely low volume interval-style training, whole-body aerobic–resistance training imparted addition benefit in the form of improved skeletal muscle endurance. -Extremely low volume, whole-body aerobic–resistance training improves aerobic fitness and muscular endurance in females IMG_1172 They used burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and squat thrusts (aren't burpees and squat thrusts the same exercise?)

Lee Saxby- Barefoot Running Coach

Very enlightening interview with Lee Saxby, who gives some practical advice to improve your running.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saunas May Improve 5K Time!

Sauna
We conclude that 3wk of post-exercise sauna bathing produced a worthwhile enhancement of endurance running performance, probably by increasing blood volume.- results of a study that involved runners spending an average of 31 min in a sauna following a run on 12 occasions over 3 weeks. The test was a 15 min run to exhausion at 5K pace. Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners

Spending time in a sauna is not the ideal way to acclimatize for hot weather running, but according to this small study it may benefit peformance. I'm headed to Phuket on Thanksgiving day and  running a 6K on Sunday, so between now and then I will hit the sauna a few times. Looks like it as long as I stay hydrated, it can't hurt.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Coaches: How to Make Your Kids Run Faster!

 The introduction of a female observer caused a significant decrease in RPE (Ratings of Perceived Exertion) , whereas the introduction of a male observer caused a significant increase in RPE compared to the control trial.  -Observer effects on the rating of perceived exertion and affect during exercise in recreationally active males.
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders - Part XIII MY COMMENT: Imagine lowering perceived exertion with no additional training!  The problem is, how do you take advantage of women spectators without it having the same effect on your competitiors.  Somebody needs to take a look at the effect of having them cheering individual names. 

I am also curious if how they dress makes a difference, if men observers would have the same effect on women runners, and if a lower perceived exertion actually translates to faster times.       

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Race a Mile Every Day and Get Faster!

I actually did this approach starting in 2004... I traveled to New Zealand and spent some time in a small village doing some missionary work... having a track background I would train in the village and wanted to start something new, a revolution. My results were so astounding, I really didn't need to spread the word. Besides, everyone is different and what I did may not work for you. What did I do? I decided for a year, every morning early before the sun was to rise... I would jog 800m and then do some basic drills and stretches. Then I ran 1 mile all out (I have to finish) I'm not sprinting the damn 100m's I'm running all out to where my quarters are pushing my limits. I would cool down 800m and stretch... I did this 7 days a week... my recovery was much needed sleep and eating healthy... extremely healthy. I ran a 5:07 in highschool track... but starting this plan I was around 5:55 due to being out of shape... but after a year of this plan. I ran a 4:28 mile. Isn't this awesome? Running is not that complicated... people like to separate themselves in their workout plans, this gives individualism in a small aspect of life... which all life includes individualism. The basics of running: run your body into shape, run your body into the ground, train your body like a machiene, go all out.

Interesting thread at letsrun.com from a guy pledging to run an all out mile until he drops!  This was one of the more interesting posts.  Read more: http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=4825465&page=3#ixzz27yWpWCHg.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Low Carb for Runners?

The results were spectacular. After five months, he lost 15kg, was at his lowest weight in 30 years and was running faster than he had in 20 years. -Tim Noakes discussing his new low carb diet.

Carbohydrates have always been a staple food for runners, but According to Noakes, he's all but eliminated the following from his diet (from Runners World New Zealand):

Sugar
Bread
Rice
Pasta
Potatoes
Porridge
Breakfast cereals
Some high energy fruits like bananas
Cakes and sweets and other desserts
Artificial sweetners and products containing these products

Noakes is careful to explain that he believes a low carb approach helps him control a condition called carbohydrate resistance (CR- his body does not metabolize carbohydrates properly leading to higher body fat) so may not apply to everyone.

Remember, this is an observation by one individual, not a research study.  Food for thought though.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Get Leaner with Whole Grains!

Our study shows a dose-dependent relationship between whole-grain intake and plasma AR and confirms the previously observed inverse relationship between whole-grain intake and BMI using an independent biomarker of whole-grain wheat intake. MY COMMENTS: For whatever reason, it appears that fiber intake is inversely related to body mass index, but we already knew that! It's a good reminder though. whole-grain bread rolls

Another World Record for Whitlock!

1:38:59 HALF MARATHON AT AGE 81! - runnersworld.com Whitlock, who doesn’t stretch or do yoga, generally runs solo and cuts the heels off his running shoes, pays no mind to his diet and aims to run every day for three hours to train. “I don’t measure my pace or anything like that. I just try and run conservatively and not pound my knees MY COMMENT: Somebody needs to get this guy into a Laboratory and study him. We not see another like him for a long time. Ed-Whitlock-01

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Frutarian Diet May Improve Your Running!

Tropical Fruits - Original Oil Painting I ran my first marathon when I was 18 years old. I ran it in 2:52 and qualified for the Boston Marathon, where I ran a 2:47. For literally the next 10 years I could never run faster than a 2:45 marathon. No matter what my training, I had completely plateaued in my performance. I adopted the Frutarian diet in early January 2008. In late February, I ran the Napa Valley Marathon in 2:34.07, finishing second overall. I have subsequently run 8 marathons under 2:40 in the last 28 months (since 1/08), with my current best time of 2:30.59 (5:45 per mile) in the 2009 Palm Beach Marathon, placing 2nd overall. I’ve lowered my half marathon to 1:10 and my 10k to 32 minutes. Before adopting Fruitarian diet, my best half marathon time was 1:17. -The Frutarian.com MY COMMENT: I am going to eat more fruit, but not giving up beer and the occasional steak.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Skechers GOBionic!

SKECHERS USA, Inc. (SKX), a global innovator of performance footwear, today announced that the new zero-drop Skechers GObionic ultra-minimal running line has been named “Editor’s Pick” in the October 2012 issue of Runner’s World UK. The accompanying review notes that “Testers loved everything about it, especially the flexibility, responsiveness, low weight and perceived springy feel.” MY COMMENT: I love my Skechers Goruns!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jump or Skip to Improve Your Running

if you could reduce the contact time of the foot on the ground on each step by 15/1000 of a second, you can make an eight minute improvement on a marathon... and you can do that so easily by exercises like jumping and skipping -running coach Guy Ogden in The science of running fast Jump

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget!

I took a long walk with Sumo today after work and reflecting on the brave acts of these American heroes on board United Airlines Flight 93. I won this plaque on Sept 11, 2004, and will never forget what they did in 2001.

How Young is Too Young?

Shelby was 3 years old when she joined the Camp Humphreys Youth Running Club. Now 4, today she became the latest and the youngest member of the 50 Mile Club. You think she is too young, then you can be the one to tell her.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Deep Water Running Takes Practice

Deep-water running maximal heart rate and oxygen consumption values have been consistently shown to be lower than those found during treadmill running. However, recent evidence reveals that there is less of a difference between these maximal values relative to treadmill running and DWR with increased DWR experience. MY COMMENT: The bottome line, if you use deep water running to supplement your training or as a substitute while injured, you'll improve the more you practice, as will the quality of your workout. Source: Deep-water running: a practical review of the literature with an emphasis on biomechanics Dilshan & Charles Langeveldt

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Energy Drinks Improve Cardiac Function- At Rest

Taken together these results show that energy drinks enhance contractions of both the left and right ventricles, thereby delivering a positive effect on myocardial function,” said Dr Cameli. “This could be explained by the inotropic effect of taurine that, as previously demonstrated, stimulates the release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum.” -Heart function improved by energy drinks, says new study MY COMMENT: It remains to be seen what the effects of long-term use are and of course what happens during physical activity. Monster Energy

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ice Baths May be Counterproductive!

So it makes sense that if we're doing all this muscle training, and getting this damage and inflammatory response, [that] if we knocked it out right afterward with icing, anti-inflammatories or what have you, that we're decreasing the stimulus the body gets, and it's not going to adapt as much as it would if we just left it alone," -elite distance coach Steve Magness commenting on why post workout ice baths routinely used by world class distance runners, may not be a good idea. -Running Times Ice Bath Knees

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shame on You NIKE

Meb Keflezighi“Skechers’ new performance shoes change the way I run for the better. I’ve been a heel strike runner my entire life, but I am now wearing SKECHERS to maximize the efficiency of my foot strike. My shoes are my most essential piece of equipment, and right now SKECHERS has the footwear I need to succeed. I’m excited to be partnering with this groundbreaking company.” - Meb Keflezigi in a 2011 statement after Skechers signed him to endorse their running shoes through August this year. Meb, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, 2009 New York City Marathon champion, 2012 US Olympic Trials champion and 4th place finisher in the 2012 Olympic marathon, was considered washed up by NIKE, who I guess thought he wasn't fast enough or asked for more than he was worth,and decided not re-sign him. Last week I bought a pair of Skechers GoRuns, and after just 2 short runs fell in love with them! GO SKECHERS! As far as NIKE is concerned, go ahead and continue to pay Tiger Woods, and ex-con Michael Vick their millions. I'll continue to support Skechers, and I hope they have the sense to continue to do so.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Is Triclosan Slowing You Down?

Triclosan, an antibacterial chemical widely used in hand soaps and other personal-care products, hinders muscle contractions at a cellular level, slows swimming in fish and reduces muscular strength in mice, -Soap ingredient may impair muscle function, also found in deodorants, mouthwashes, toothpaste, bedding, clothes, carpets, toys and trash bags

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What's the Best Workout Pace?

Having trouble figuring out what pace to do your workouts? Check out runworks.com, a race/ training calculator site that can provide you with optimal pace information for easy runs, marathon pace runs, tempo runs, and intervals. Created by renowned distance coach Jack Daniels, author of Daniels Running Formula, you can download the phone application from iTunes!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Racing Gimmicks Gaining Popularity

Post Color Run 13
Who could have guessed this would catch on? The Color Run offers the opportunity for runners to get splashed with an assortment of colors along the way. Wear white! Zombies! How about a Zombie Run, where you get to wear flags and try to prevent zombies from ripping them off by choosing to negotiate a number of obstacles along the way. Seems like this ghoulish concept is catching on as well. I have to hand it to the folks who come up with these ideas and are able to sell it to major cities- By the way, it will cost you $40 to do a Color Run, and $77 to do a Zombie Run if you register early! Reed Street Productions puts on the Zombie Run and according to annarbor.com, Travis Snyder is founder of the Color Run,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tomato Juice May Boost Exercise Recovery

Small tomato juice

Tomato juice intake suppressed serum concentration of 8-oxodG after extensive physical activity-  Nutrition Journal
DNA is constantly exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS), spontaneously arising during the normal oxygen metabolism. ROS may result in temporary as well as permanent modifications in various cellular components such as lipids, proteins and DNA, which may have deleterious consequences. Demonstrating that a dietary supplementation of antioxidants can reduce oxidative DNA damage may provide evidence for the value of such supplementation in prevention of cancer and age related diseases. Findings: The present study was conducted to address whether tomato juice protects against ROS induced by extensive physical exercise in untrained individuals. As a marker of oxidative stress, serum levels of 8-oxodG were monitored using a modified ELISA. An intervention was performed involving 15 untrained healthy subjects who performed a 20 min physical exercise at 80% of maximum pulse using an ergometer bicycle. Blood samples were taken before and one hour after the exercise. The procedure was repeated after 5 weeks with a daily intake of 150 ml tomato juice and followed by a 5 weeks wash-out period and another 5 weeks with a daily intake of tomato juice. The results indicated that a daily intake of tomato juice, equal to 15 mg lycopene per day, for 5 weeks significantly reduced the serum levels of 8-oxodG after an extensive physical exercise.

Conclusion

These data strongly suggest that tomato juice has a potential antioxidant effect and may reduce the elevated level ROS induced by oxidative stress.

Note:  150 ml is equal to just 5 oz.  Worth a try.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ryan Hall Will Finish Top Ten in London!

Ryan Hall en el Maraton de Boston 2011

We believe it is important to run fast on the track while preparing for a fast marathon - Greg MacMillan MY COMMENT: Good interview with Greg McMillan- unlike Ritzenhein, not afraid or revealing his runners "secrets." His comment agrees with what I've been saying all along about Ryan Hall's lack of racing at shorter distances. It remains to be seen if Hall can pop another good marathon without showing any improvement in his track times.

I posted this in Feb, 2010- and after 2 horrible races leading up to London, I believe Ryan Hall is finally beginning to figure it out.  In this interview with letsrun.com, Hall says "What I've learned recently is the importance of speedwork for me. I've been doing a lot more interval work than I've done for recent marathons. I've realized how important speed is for me. I have had to change my training to prioritize my training to emphasize that."

I've been saying this for a few years now about Hall's approach to marathon training, yet he has continued to hammer out one decent marathon after another.  But if he's looking for something new to boost his fitness besides more rest, he's probably found it.   Let's hope it's not too little too late for Ryan.  From the sound of this, he may be ready for a top 10 finish.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Prefontaine Was a "Neat Freak"- Pat Tyson

I enjoyed this inteview with Pat Tyson, who reflects on what life was like as Steve Prefontaine's roommate. I got to meet Pat at a track meet in Eugene in 2009, who started talking to me like some long lost buddy- even though we'd never met, I think he sensed running as a common bond. Pat is currently head track and cross country coach at Gonzaga. Pre after failing to set a new 10,000m record at the Oregon Twilight II meet at Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon, Apr 26, 1975, Eugene Register-Guard Photo Apr 27, 1975

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Intensity of Exercise Increases Body Temperature- Not Dehydration!

You shouldn’t relate overheating to dehydration. You overheat when you run too fast. That’s the key. You don’t overheat because you become dehydrated. The brain’s too clever. If you’re not going to drink, the brain will slow you down, and that will lower your body temperature, not raise it. So, we’ve got some great studies where we look at people running half marathons, marathons, short ultramarathons, and long ultramarathons. The longer the race, the lower the temperature, because they are running slower - Tim Noakes in Outside Online.

MY COMMENT:  Noakes is stirring up a hornets nest.  I didn't realize 4 of the 6 researchers who published the ACSM Guidelines on Dehydration had ties to Gatorade.  According to Noakes,  "Of the six authors, four – Drs. Maughan, Burke, Eichner and Stachenfeld – have direct and longstanding involvement with Gatorade and the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI), but only three (Drs Maughan, Eichner and Stachenfeld) deemed it necessary to disclose in the Position Stand the existence of that relationship. The two remaining authors – Drs. Sawka and Montain – are employed by the United States Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (USARIEM)"  -sweatscience

Waterlogged! Everything You Think You Know About Dehydration But Don't!

"If fluid loss leads to thirst, why do some of the best competitors finish endurance races in quite advanced states of fluid loss? Time and again, studies, even those by researchers expecting different outcomes, have shown that the runners who are the most dehydrated, as measured by percentage of body weight loss, run the fastest. " - Waterlogged excerpt in Running Times MY COMMENT: Tim Noakes is generally recognized as the leading authority on dehydration and endurance performance. I can't wait to read this new book!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

First 5K in Over a Year!

I'm not even going to bother searching for the last time I did a 5K, but pretty sure it was more than a year ago. Of course when MWR puts on a race, expect anything but an accurate course. This one measured out at 2.8 miles. I was hoping that I could maintain 6 min pace, and that is exactly what I was able to do- finishing up in 16:54. Pretty sure that I could hold that another flat mile, but any hint of an incline and forget it. Using the Runners World Age Graded Calculator, my 85.95% age graded score (AGE GROUP WORLD RECORD/ACTUAL TIME)is about as high as I have ever recorded, predicting a 15:01 (finish time adjusted to that of an open division participant). The good news is that I know I can run faster, and my knee isn't giving me much trouble lately.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Caffeine Helps Muscle Produce More Force

Hot Coffee A new study to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on 30th June has shown that caffeine boosts power in older muscles, suggesting the stimulant could aid elderly people to maintain their strength, reducing the incidence of falls and injuries. For adults in their prime, caffeine helps muscles to produce more force. But as we age, our muscles naturally change and become weaker. -EurekAlert MY COMMENT: Just one more in a line of many caffeine studies that demonstrate performance enhancement.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lauren Fleshman Makes 5K Finals on 10 Miles a Week!

Lauren is probably not going to make the Olympic team, but what she is doing is simply amazing. She ran 15:51 on sprinting 10 miles a week, swimming, and elipical training. Check out the insightful interview on Flotrack with this amazing athlete, along with other great Olympic Trials coverage (Alan Webb just got his butt kicked but cannot wipe the smile off his face- new baby any day!)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reservatrol Improves Endurance

Wine tasting

It's been known for a while now that reservatrol, a compound found in the skin of grapes and other fruits, and yes, red wine, has many health benefits.  Back in 2006, a study published in the journal Cell, reported that reservatrol, the compound found in  "significantly increased their (mice)  aerobic capacity, as evidenced by their increased running time and consumption of oxygen in muscle fibers."

Check out this new study (Resveratrol May Be Natural Exercise Performance Enhancer) that found high levels of the compound improved exercise performance due to changes in skeletal muscle and heart function in rats. 

You can find the abstract here (Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats)

Don't start drinking red wine just yet.  According to one researcher,  Resveratrol does not exist in wine or grapes in a high-enough amount to provide any significant health benefits or problems, the authors explained. Human trials with any relevant findings have used resveratrol doses equivalent to 667 bottles of red wine (1gm of resveratrol).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Do Squats Improve Distance Running?

This is an amazing display of strength, but will it help you run a faster 5K? Probably not, at least according to Peak Performance. ".. if you really want to improve your running, you should really focus on resistance exercises that are more specific to the act of running - such as one-leg squats, high-bench step-ups, and one-leg hops in place." Is this Hobie Call?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

High Intensity Low Volume Training

I am really enjoying the transition from typical 40-50 mile running weeks to low milege, high intensity workouts along with biking and swimming. Below is a summary of my running workouts for the week: ................................................................................. Mon: 19 min for 5K following 8.5 mile bike (6:07/ mile).. Tues: 4 x 800 just under 3 min, 60 sec rest (5:58/ mile).. Thurs: 5:42 mile off 12 mile bike........................................ Fri: 11:18 for 2 miles (5:39/ mile)..................................... Sun: 5K in 18:55 (6:06/ mile)........................................... For the week I had ran about 11 miles in 67 minutes (5 runs, 2.2 miles ave for each), just over 6 min mile pace with a handful of solid bike rides and short high intensity swim workouts. All running workouts but the 11:18 2 mile were done on artificial turf, and I wore my trusty Brooks Mach 9 with the insole replaced by a small, thin heel pad.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Youth Running Club Fun Warm-up - Up Downs!



Always looking for new ideas to keep the kids interested. Here Cody demonstrates the fastest Up Down I've ever seen!

The Spartan Race and Hobie Call

This is one crazy race series and no Hobie did not win the next one. For more on Hobie Call, read this article at Outside Online.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Marathon Crasher- First American Woman to Finish a Marathon!

Marathon Crasher! Merry Lepper sits in a booth inside the restaurant. Her straight brown hair is tied into two pony-tails that encircle her ruddy face like parentheses. She sips hot tea. She pulls out a newspaper article and a cache of photographs from a large envelope and spreads them on the table in front of her. The clipping is almost 50 years old, and the well-creased paper is burnt orange and brittle to the touch. The headline reads "Merry Runner." In the photograph that accompanies the story, Merry is 20 years old. She is jogging in a park in Southern California accompanied by Lyn Carman, her training partner at that time. Merry's blond hair is worn up in a neat bun, and she strides confidently next to Lyn, dark-haired and shorter by a couple of inches. Two of Lyn's children watch from beneath a tree. According to the newsprint, it's December of 1963, and Merry Lepper has just become the first American woman to complete a marathon race. Perhaps, from the perspective of 2012, that doesn't sound like a big deal. Everyone knows someone who has run, or is training for, a marathon. But the current popularity of the marathon hides its ignoble past. From the moment the marathon was created, back in 1896, women were prohibited from entering them. The sexist, all-male officialdom that ruled sports' governing bodies decreed that women's bodies were not built to withstand the rigors of running 26.2 miles – never mind that women's bodies had once birthed those same sanctimonious officials. Put another way: Women could legally vote in presidential elections long before they could officially enter a marathon. Merry Lepper sips her tea and begins to speak softly, conjuring a moment in time when running was both a revolutionary blow against the powers-that-were and a lark to be shared with her pal Lyn: two women in their athletic prime, out for a weekend run on a sun-blanched afternoon almost a half-century ago. Blink, and history will miss you. -exerp MY COMMENT: What a facinating piece of history- only 8 years before I ran my first marathon! First woman to run a U.S. marathon: Culver City, '63

Friday, June 8, 2012

Will Crossfit Help You Run Faster?

CrossFit Coach Dave Werner of CrossFit Seattle, asked what he would do with aspiring half-marathon runners who want to run faster, says he'd have them run three days a week: (1) run intervals at your intended race pace; (2) run shorter intervals at a significantly faster pace; (3) run "long slow distance," a significantly longer distance at a slower pace than you intend for the race. Dave also recommends strength training. For people interested in coming to CrossFit Seattle while training for a long run, he says, "we would lay a foundation of basic strength movements--deadlift, squat, military press, pull-up, push-up or dips. And we would spend some time doing high-power-output intervals, like wallball or kettlebell swings: basic hard work. For most working adults, a three-day-per week running program is pretty effective. If you add to that two or three days of complementary strength and work, that's a great program." -CrossFit Seattle

Saturday, June 2, 2012

5K Training on 11 Miles a Week!

Three days a week, I put on my fastest Nike clothes, lace up my racing flats and head down to the track to sprint. No warm-up jog. Just a few drills and stretches and BOOM! I’m off! When I leave the house, instead of saying “honey, I’m going to go run a 12 miler now,” I say “I’m going sprinting. See you momentarily!” The rest of the time I swim for cardio, which used to be nauseatingly boring but since my knee hurts doing everything else, by force of will I decided to like it. - training diary of 5K Olympic Trials hopeful Lauren Fleshman Lauren Fleshman I can definitely relate- a few months ago I started experiencing knee pain that gradually became chronic. It didn't take long, however, for me to figure out that the pain was not worse following short, high intensity workouts such as 1 or 2 mile tempo runs or intervals. With a June 23 mini triathlon set for June 23, I've been doing lots of short "brick" workouts- bike followed by running, along with every other day short but intense swim workouts. And it seems to be working. Yesterday I ran 11:36 for 2 miles immediately following a 9 mile bike. The day before biked 7 and did 5 x 800m averaging 2:55. As you can imagine, it takes a while to get the running legs going, but these times compare favorably to my normal splits, on no more than 10 miles a week! Next up? I am interested in what I can do for 3 miles on fresh legs. Stay tuned. PS- Knee pain still there, but much improved!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pre Cooling Improves Hot Weather Running

Ice Ledge Confirmation out of Germany that pre-cooling is an effective strategy when racing in warm, humid conditions. "...pre-cooling can effectively enhance endurance performance, particularly in hot environments, whereas sprint exercise is barely affected. In particular, well trained athletes may benefit in a typical competition setting with practical and relevant effects. With respect to feasibility, cold drinks, cooling packs and cooling vests can be regarded as best-practice methods." -Pre-Cooling and Sports Performance: A Meta-Analytical Review

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kashi Beats Cornflakes in Time to Exhausion Test

Kashi Go Lean Crunch This small study suggests an increased time to exhausion on a treadmill following a meal low on the glycemic index scale. "Prior to one exercise test each subject consumed a Low Glycemic meal (LG = 40) consisting of Kashi® GOLEAN Crunch® (Kashi®) and prior to the other exercise test they consumed a High Glycemic meal (HG = 72) consisting of Cornflakes (Kelloggs’ Co.) with low fat milk 45 min before testing." RESULTS: The results showed there was a statistically significant difference between the trials of the High Glycemic (12:05±0.05) and Low glycemic meals (13:57±0.03) in the time to exhaustion (p=.008). THE EFFECTS OF HIGH AND LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX MEALS ON ENDURANCE PERFORMANCE.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong Wins Half Ironman in 3:45! Drinks Coke On the Way!

JP: Did you do something dramatically different or was it some details you fine-tuned that made a big difference?
LA: Well, I think there are two things: the amount of calories you consume, and the type—so either a sports drink, a gel or a piece of solid food. All of those things we considered, and I guess the takeaway for me was to consume a lot less calories than I had been consuming. I was ingesting a massive amount of calories in the other races, just assuming I could handle that, and my gut was turning off completely. And then it’s doing a much better job of hydrating the days and hours before the start of the race. In the other races I took in mostly sports drink water and gels, and [in Florida] I went with sports drink with salt tabs dissolved in the drink, and Honey Stinger Waffles—solid food [on the bike]. On the run I just took Coke and water at the aid stations. I started with two gels and didn’t feel like I needed the energy so just stayed with water and Coke. I wore a regular hat—not a visor—and was taking cups of ice and putting it in my hat and then putting my hat back on, just keeping the ice constantly on my head so that it would melt and drip down, keeping me pretty cool.  triathlon.competitor.com

Lance ran his half marathon in 1:15!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ryan Hall Can't Break 30 Min for 10K

Last weekend Ryan Hall finished 15th in the Healthy Kidney 10K, running a dismal 30:15 seconds. According to Hall, he "just hasn't done the 10K work. My training is very specific to the marathon." From this, my guess is Hall does lots of tempo work at 4:50 pace (2:04:50 for the marathon, under 30 min for 10k), and maybe even Yasso type long intervals. Since he only runs 6 days a week, his weekly mileage is not excessive.

Is he in trouble? Based on past performance, probably not. While a medal in London is doubtful, he shouldn't be embarrassed. Hall has been very consistent for several years now, grinding out one good marathon finish after another, more often than not preceded by sub par races. Would he be a better marathoner if somehow he could run some fast times at shorter races? That is the question many are asking.

Hall has said he talked to lots of people when he decided to go it alone and self-coach, but I wonder if Frank Shorter was one of them. If I were in Hall's shoes, Shorter is the first I would have approached, a guy who before injuries finally took hold, seemed to always be at the top of his game, NO MATTER WHAT THE DISTANCE!   While Shorter is best remembered as a marathoner, he was also ranked in the top 5 in the world four times at 10,000 meters, and once was even ranked 10th in the 5000. 

Here Shorter describes his favorite 2 high intensity interval workouts, four x 3/4 mile, or 10 x 400s run very hard. Here he describes his intervals at "5K pace".

Interesting that Shorter describes 75-90% of his training as "conversational pace"- not anywhere near marathon speed. It wasn't all Long Slow Distance (LSD) training, however. In his book, Olympic Gold, Shorter wrote that when he's fit he'll run the second half of his weekly 20 miler at marathon pace.

I find an interesting contrast between Hall, who says he hasn't run any workouts at 10K pace, and Shorter, who believed his 5K pace interval sessions "were the critical ingredient in my training recipe".   And when Shorter ripped off 10 x 400 in just over 60 seconds at sea level, I don't exactly consider that 5K pace training. He ran hard! 

Shorter ran in the 70s and 80s, and unlike Hall, he never broke 2:10. But Shorter has 2 Olympic medals, not to mention a 5th place in the Olympic 10,000 meters. He could run both distances well, and even turned in many good 3 mile times, something that Hall the marathoner has yet to master, or apparently chooses not to.

Hall has proven time and time again he has the strength to run a good marathon but if he wants to take the next step and seriously go after a medal in London, I believe he has to show some speed at shorter distances.    Shorter's PR in the 10,000 was 27:45, run in 1975, the year before winning the silver in Montreal.  Hall ran an impressive 13:22 for 5K while still in college and 28:07 for 10,000 in 2007. 

I'd seriously consider Hall a threat to win a medal in London if he ever figures out a way to get back to running those times while maintaining his current long distance strength, just as Frank Shorter was able to do.  For now, it doesn't appear that is going to happen. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Omega-3 Supplements May Reduce Inflammation

Omega 3 These findings suggest that omega-3 supplementation decreases soreness, as a marker of inflammation, after eccentric exercise. Subjects performed enough eccentric bicep curls to induce soreness, and those taking 3,000 mg of omega-3 supplement reported 15% less soreness than a previous trial. Arm circumference increased after eccentric exercise in the control trial but not in the omega-3 trial. Similar results are reported here: Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation attenuates inflammatory markers after eccentric exercise in untrained men Finally, this paper Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases Artemis reviews the anti-inflammatory benefits linked to omega-3 fats and other medical conditions including arthritis.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Skechers Delivers

I recently stumbled on this review of Go Bionic by runblogger of the latest minimalist shoe from Skechers.
The bump he mentions feeling with the Go Run (the PX actually had it in stock), kept me from buying that one, so this is looks like a definite upgrade. I have to hand it to Skechers, they have become a player in a very tough market, and their stock (SKX) has been crushing it lately. Go Bionic is due out later this summer.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Knee Pain Exercises-The Peterson Step-up

I've got knee pain, so will be reviewing and posting what exercises I find that could help!

The Key to Muscle Growth is Lifting to Failure, Not the Amount of Weight

According to a new study, if you want to get strong and grow muscle, it's ok to use light weights, but the key is to lift until you can't anymore. This may be important for runners, particularly older ones like myself that want to reverse age-related muscle loss but avoid potential for injury that may occur with heavy lifting. For more information, go to runnersworld or the globe and mail.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Runner's High Like Smoking Dope

According to a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, "humans had shown significantly increased levels of endocannabinoids after running. So had the dogs, suggesting, for the first time, that they, too, experience a runner’s high (The Evolution of Runner's High) smoke? Endocannabinoids are natural compounds within the human body that are essentially identical to medicinal compounds found in cannabis

Saturday, April 21, 2012

UCAN Superstarch

By muting insulin response it allows the body to tap into fat stores, the body's natural and abundant source of energy. MY COMMENT: Jeff Volek , associate professor at the U of Connecticut, a long-time advocate of low-carbohydrate diets, is now on board as Director of Nutrition and Fitness for UCAN (Volek interview on How Men Can Lose Weight While Building Muscle Through Exercise and Smart Nutrition) discusses how to lose fat and build muscle by weight training on a low carbohydrate diet. Six servings of UCAN with a blender bottle sells for $17 at holibirdsports.com, so this is a drink that I would practice using prior to a couple of long runs, then save the rest for your races. The advantage with UCAN is you can take it 60-90 min prior to your workout and maintain blood sugar for a much longer time compared to a maltodextrin-based product. “Amy Yoder Begley’s found that she is able to do a 20-mile run off of 1 ½ packets an hour before. She then saves the second ½ packet as a recovery drink after.”

Monday, April 9, 2012

Long Runs and Iron Absorption

...a spike in inflammatory cytokines occurred right after the runs (so it preceded the spike in hepcidin). And there was a corresponding dip in serum iron levels around nine hours after the run (following the spike in hepcidin). -Can a Hard Workout Block Iron Absorption?

If you take iron, Alex Hutchinson suggests not supplementing in the 6 hours following your long run.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sixth Grader Dashea Rogers: 2:09.44 for 800 meters

Desha Rogers of Plantation Florida has also run 5:00.99 for one mile!

Watch an interview with Desha here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

High School Girl Runs 33:17 for 10K!

Hatton in limelight after super 10K debut
Brilliant run by Calya Hatton, but I really would like to see the quad rehab exercises she was prescribed.  I've been experiencing knee pain for about a month now, so have switched to biking and swimming, along with hitting the gym for quad work. 

According to the article, she worked her quads daily, with what sounds like a low intensity, high repetition workout. 

By the way, Calya's time is an Olympic Trials "B" qualifier, meaning she would get to run if the field doesn't fill up ahead of here with faster times (24 runners).

Monday, April 2, 2012

Does Positive Feedback Enhance Running Performance?

This is important news for all you coaches out there!- Our findings show that enhanced expectancies can have a positive effect on movement efficiency and running experience. They add to the accumulating evidence for the social-cognitive-affective-motor nature of motor performance.

One group (enhanced expectancy) was provided with (fabricated) feedback about the efficiency of their running style every 2 min. A control group was not given feedback. Oxygen consumption decreased in the enhanced expectancy group across measurement times (every 2 min for 10 min), but remained the same in the control group. In addition, performance perceptions changed only in the enhanced expectancy group, indicating a perception of greater ease of running and reduced fatigue when assessed after compared with before running.

source: Enhanced expectancies improve movement efficiency in runners

MY COMMENT: No mention of the level of ability these runners have, however I am inclined to believe this technique might be effective for some runners with world class ability. Anybody who has ever run knows that physical talent and training do not make up 100% of the equation for optimal performance. This particular study only measured running performance at 75% over 10 minutes, but the possibilities are interesting, at least for races up to 2 miles.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Will Knee Extension Strength Improve Your Marathon Time?

In conclusion, we observed that, between kilometres 8 and 40,runners generally demonstrate increased stride length, contact time, peak hip flexion during swing, and peak knee flexion during swing, and decreased running speed, stride frequency, peak knee flexion during support and hip extension during swing. We believe that these changes were due to fatigue. In contradiction to our second hypothesis, the observed kinematics generally changed the same (between kilometres 8 and 40) for the fast and slow runners; however, the fast runners did exhibit a more consistent peak knee flexion during support throughout the race, relative to the slow runners. This may have been related more to the runners’ condition on race day. Runners should focus on resistance training which would be directed toward increases in both muscular strength and endurance of knee extensors. By so doing, peak knee flexion during support should be increased and be able to be maintained longer throughout the marathon

Kinematic changes during a marathon for fast and slow runnersed and be able to be maintained longer throughout the marathon

Kinetic Variables.................8K vs 40K difference
Stride length ..................... 1.3% increase
Contact time.......................13.1% increase
Peak knee flexion during support .. 3.2% decrease
Peak hip extension during swing ...27.9% decrease
Peak knee flexion during swing..... 4.3% increase
Peak hip flexion during swing ..... 7.4% increase

MY COMMENT: Knee extension? Haven't heard of that being recommended for runners in years. Interesting study. Who knew?

Micah True- a.k.a. Caballo Blanko Found Dead

(Reuters) - Ultra-marathon runner Micah True, missing for four days in the rugged wilderness of New Mexico, was found dead on Saturday, police said.

True was introduced to the world by Christopher McDougall in Born to Run as one of the true pioneers of barefoot running.  He went on to found the Cooper Canyon Ultra Marathon to pursue his passion to helping the Tarahumara Indians

  recently posted on facebookIf I were to be remembered for anything at all, I would want that to be that I am/was authentic. No Mas. Run Free!"




Part 2
Part 3

Friday, March 30, 2012

Man on a Mission: Kenyan Running Secrets!

Man on a Mission

Great clip of Emmon Coghlan visit to Kenya gives a glimpse of where all those great runners develop, including  current 800 m world record holder David Rudisha!  I'd love to see this whole documentary.   

Also included in the clip is legendary coach Brother Colm O'Connell. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

High Intensity Workout Progression

I haven't run a competitive race in months, prompting me to incorporate workouts designed to get me ready "just in case" something comes up.   Sure enough, last week I received an email inviting Americans to run the Incheon Marathon- so I decided to enter the 10K.

Five weeks ago I started out with a 2-mile time trial, just to get the feel of warming up and what sort of pace I could maintain.  On two consecutive Saturdays I ran 11:46 and 11:47- but both were very hard and way out of my comfort zone. 

The 3rd week I chose to run 3 miles on turf and turned in an 18:01- slowing down 10 seconds per mile made a HUGE difference.  Next I reverted back to my old stand-by- 800 meter repeats.  Again on turf I was very satisfied averaging 2:57 for 8 with 60 sec recovery 

Finally, yesterday I had hopes of running 4 x 1 mile under 6 min on turf, but the weather  (high winds) did not cooperate.  Fortunately I have the option of using the 10 lap indoor track on Camp Humphreys, so went inside and ran 4 x 1 mile in 5:56, 5:55, 6:00, and 6:02 with 5 min recovery.   This was a great workout, since I estimate each mile is probably 5-6 sec slow due to tight turns. 

Clearly I am in decent shape, but the news is not all good. I've been experiencing knee discomfort for about 2 weeks - giving me trouble during warm-ups and early in workouts.  I think it started following a few sessions on the bike, but now it's becoming a significant issue, even giving me trouble in the pool! Usually this kind of thing clears up on it's own, so hopefully this is no different.    The plan is to see if I can get through this week, then back off. 

Finally, I seem to be struggling more than usual the day following the longer high intensity workouts, a sure sign that I should consider more run recovery days.   It's taking me longer and longer (more than a mile) just to get my legs feeling halfway normal.   Not much fun. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why Faster Intervals May Not Work for Improving 5K Speed

Having decided to work on running faster for shorter distances this spring and summer, I assumed the best course to develop speed would be to run 400 meter repeats at a pace faster than I was accustomed to- eventually I would adapt and race faster. 

After a couple of workouts I had a hunch this approach wasn't optimal, which was confirmed by an article I found by Pete Pfitzinger in Running Times called Lab Report: Essential Ingredients VII.  The article states "well-trained distance runners should progressively increase training intensity to . . . VO2 max," and elite distance runners should include "progressive increases in the volume of training at or near VO2 max." What this means is that the fitter you already are, the closer to your current VO2 max you need to train to further improve your VO2 max."

So what are the best workouts to spike your VO2 max?  According to Pfitzinger,  "Intervals of two to six minutes typically allow runners to accumulate the most time at 95 to 100 percent of VO2 max"  (think 800- 1600 meters).  What about those fast 400s I was trying to boost speed with?  "Training faster than your VO2 max pace does not provide as great a stimulus to increase your VO2 max because lactate builds up rapidly in your muscles and you cannot sustain that intensity for nearly as long."  In other words, they leave you feeling pretty flat.

I believe high intensity workouts need to simulate 5K racing- the closer you get to that level of intensity the better, and I'm not sure that running intervals considerably faster than that works as well as running them right on the pace you are capable of. 

The last 2 weekends I've done 2-mile time trials in 11:46-47, a pace just slightly beyond my reach for maintaining in a 5K.  Today I ran 3 miles in 18:01 and I felt a dramatic difference.  By running slightly slower the first mile (6:01 instead of 5:53), I still felt strong and was able to maintain for 2 more miles.   Keep this up, and I believe that 6 min pace will soon feel easier to maintain and times will eventually drop.

I am planning a 5K in 4 weeks, my first one is probably a year, so these time trials are helping get back into the racing groove.  Stay tuned.  

For dinner.... sushi 50% off at the Commissary!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2 Miles in 11:47

I ran the same time as last week, however there are signs that I am headed in the right direction. 

1.  I ran 7 miles the day before, whereas last week I did not run.

2.  I felt much better the second mile this time, and ran even splits. 

3.  My cool-down felt good.  I sometimes judge a workout by how I feel AFTER- there are days when I don't even bother with a cool-down jog.  That's a sure sign that I am not strong enough or not recovered enough to handle that particular workout. 

The meal was just your basic burger- prep time less than 10 min.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What Are You Eating?

Workouts are important, but let's not forget about the fuel that enables you to perform them.  Here is my dinner last night.   An assortment of stir fried veggies including a small red potato, wild salmon, and a couple of dumplings.   Prep time 10 min. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Run Faster With Lighter Shoes

Yesterday my workout called for something hard- like 800 meter repeats, and I was disappointed to see the weather was not going to cooperate- windy, cold, and light rain. 

Fortunately the Super Gym on Camp Humphreys includes a 10 lap per mile track - the tight turns are less than ideal however this was good enough for me to get in the quality I needed for 800s. 

Warm up took longer than usual, and I was having trouble with my right knee, both the result of biking yesterday.  And I was wearing Asics Gel 1140s for added protection (left foot has also been acting up).  The first 3 with 60 seconds recovery were 3:08, 3:05, 3:04. 

Feeling no foot pain I switched to the light-weight Brooks Launch and ran the last 3 in 2:59, 2:59. 2:57- not bad on this track (my guess is the turns cost me at least 1 sec per lap) but I was definitely done after 6.  I felt immediately that I was more efficiently with the lighter shoes, landing more mid-foot than heel.  My opinion is could increase risk for injury if you are not ready for it, which is why I prefer artificial turf for intervals these days.  

Coincidently, check out this recent article in Runner's World- Barefoot vs Running Shoes: Which is More Efficient?   Researchers found that adding 100 grams per shoe increased oxygen cost of treadmill running by 1%.  They also noted that runners with shoes did better than without, however I would like to see that study repeated on a softer surface.  From personal experience, my intervals on artificial turf are always a little faster without shoes. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekend Workouts- Fast, Then Slow

Saturday I ran 2 miles in 11:46 on turf.  I'm not comfortable at all running at this pace, inclining me to believe I need to go back to what I know works- 800 meter repeats and other long intervals.  I plan to get strong on those, then drop down to the 400s to work on speed and leg turnover. 

Sunday I ran 16 miles in 2 hr 22 on a windy, not so nice day.  I had 3-4 sub 8 min miles around 10-14. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Brooks Mach 13 Spikless Cross Country Running Shoe


Today I ran a 2-mile time trial on turf with an old pair of Brooks Mach 9 Spikeless Cross Country Shoes.   Remove the insole and low and behold that's as close as you can get to a minimalist running shoe.  The Mach 9 feels like it has a slight negative heel drop, encouraging a mid-foot strike.   For $60, I'd like to think this newer Mach 13 version is a good, inexpensive option. 

The Recovery Coach- Matt Dixon

  Recovery, however, shouldn’t be confused with easy. “Recovery is the thing that enables hard training,” Dixon says. If you’re rested and fueled, you can you push yourself to new heights in key workouts and increase fitness.  -The Recovery Approach

This is a good article from Running Times- you can bet that many of us have at one time or another have been carried away by counting weekly miles, or like my weekly sub 7 minute miles. 

Doxon's 4 pillars include endurance, recovery, nutrition, and strength.  You can bet those key workouts he's talking about are brutal.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

4 Mile Tempo Run in 27:00

I tried to run hard today- a little disappointed in how hard I ran and how slow the time was, but I believe my legs were not 100% rested.   I could tell that I really worked  because my legs were trashed the rest of the day, not to mention some soreness on the outside of my left foot.   I've had this before- slight inflammation and swelling- not a bad idea to stay off hard surfaces the next day or two.

Tomorrow will be light, and I hope to run something very hard on Saturday. 

5.5 miles total

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

10 x 400 meter Interval Workout

Today I ran a hard 10 x 400 meters on turf.  These felt considerably faster than my usual long, grinding intervals (I estimate they were 82-83 sec but not 100% sure- I measured the distance 3 times with the GPS and came out about 5 meters different each time).

Distance won't really matter as long as I keep it the same next time to evaluate progress- the goal will be to inch these down to 80- 81 if I can. 

I'll do another time trial of some sort on Friday or Saturday! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

15 Miles in 2 hr 07 min

Good long run today- didn't push the pace but I consider any run for 2 hours or longer regardless of pace a good one. 

It's clear that long runs provide benefits for running well at shorter distances (Why Non Marathoners Still Need Long Runs), but I am also in the camp that believes the opposite also holds true- that short intense workouts make a difference in terms of strength during the latter stages of long runs.  This is particularly true for the over 40 crowd when pure leg speed begins to diminish. 

By the way, I found this result from 2001, when I ran 16:40 for 5K in the Veterans World Championships in Brisbane Australia- my age graded score was 85% , and that's about as fast as I could possibly go at that age- 80 sec laps x 12. 


1 47085 Peters, Ron N M48 AUS 15:36.25 14:09.28 91.65%

2 47171 Faucheur, Pierre M45 FRA 15:38.85 14:31.35 89.33%

3 47077 Krempl, Marijan M46 SLO 15:41.66 14:27.37 89.74%

4 47427 Tchoumakov, Nikolai M48 RUS 15:42.61 14:15.05 91.04%

5 47045 Bowes, Phillip M M45 AUS 15:55.69 14:46.98 87.76%

6 47401 O'Hara, Robert M46 GBR 16:08.74 14:52.31 87.23%

7 47054 Zeuner, Gary T M47 AUS 16:12.16 14:48.66 87.59%

8 47024 Mahar, Ashley P M45 AUS 16:15.10 15:05.00 86.01%

9 47198 McGREGOR, David K M45 NZL 16:16.99 15:06.75 85.84%

10 47321 Santana, Juan Carlos M45 ARG 16:18.72 15:08.36 85.69%

11 47167 Maesano, Mario M47 ITA 16:20.78 14:56.54 86.82%

12 47443 Stuber, Robert M45 SUI 16:22.70 15:12.05 85.35%

13 47070 Pires, Augusto H M49 POR 16:25.22 14:46.80 87.78%

14 47330 Cushman, Thomas R M47 USA 16:31.42 15:06.26 85.89%

15 47075 Golob, Ivan M46 SLO 16:33.21 15:14.85 85.08%

16 47205 Stevens, Gavin R M45 NZL 16:33.36 15:21.94 84.43%

17 47037 Casey, Joe B M45 NZL 16:37.71 15:25.98 84.06%

18 47222 Elger, David H M47 USA 16:40.81 15:14.85 85.09%

19 47319 Lerra, Alberto Agus M48 ARG 16:41.33 15:08.31 85.70%

20 47081 Lyden, Peter A M46 AUS 16:41.95 15:22.90 84.34%

21 47017 Cowley, Greg J M47 AUS 16:41.98 15:15.91 84.99%

22 47318 Velazquez, Juan C M45 ARG 16:52.06 15:39.30 82.87%

 

Pre Run Snack!

This is an example of what I like to eat minutes before a long run in the winter- it's hot, it's loaded with sodium, and supplies an ample amount of carbohydrates.  To see why the sodium is important, check out Adding Salt Before May Improve Running in the Heat and  Is Chicken Noodle Soup Better Than Sports Drink?

11:26 for Two Miles and Age Graded Running Calculators

Yesterday I jogged to the Camp Humphreys track intending to run something very hard but not knowing just what that would be.  When I got there, I decided to get it over with by running a hard 2 mile time trial. 

Unless you are already racing frequently at the 5K distance, I highly recommend something like this at least once a month.  I was a bit surprised how tired my legs felt several hours later, a sure sign that the workout did it's job. 

I ended up running 11:26- basically two back to back 5:43s.   Now what?  This was a 5 lap track and I sense a little slowdown on the curves, so I figure I am in 11:20 shape right now.  If I set a goal to run 11:00, that means I have to develop the speed to be able to run a sub 5:30 mile, sub 2:45 for 800 meters, and 82 sec for 400 meters.  Then I must have the endurance to hold that pace for 11 minutes. 

Looking at the Runners World Age Graded Calculator, a 11:26 predicts me to run a 9:21 if I were 25 yrs old competing in the open division.  It also gives me an 84.5 age graded score (the ratio of the approximate world-record time for your age and gender divided by your actual time).  

I think the table is wrong!  I've reached the 84 age graded score before, but that was running my very best times in great shape, not a last minute solo 2-mile run on a short track by myself.  And I am left to wonder why the chart says I need to run 9:39 to reach 100%?  Something isn't adding up.

This calculator at runbayou.com based on World Masters Association data predicts a 9:30 and 85.3% as a percentage of the top standard for my age.  That makes more sense. 

I also took a peek at the McMillan Running Calculator that predicts times at other distances- and based on my 2-mile I am in 3 hour 57 second marathon shape.  Maybe with a few more long runs I could do that since my last 2 marathons have been 2:59 and 3:01. 

Getting back to training, I'll make it a point to begin working on 400s and try to get those down to 82, along with some 800 meter workouts 2:45 or faster.  I'll have to cut the volume (remember last week I did 16 x 400) to focus on speed, and I certainly need to be well rested before these intense workouts.  To avoid injury, I'll run these on the artificial turf.  And with no races on the calendar, I'll plan some sort of short race simulation time trial  frequently on the weekends. 

In a way, this is a refreshing change from my long-distance racing focus, and I look forward to seeing how fast I can run at 5K and under.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Reverse Interval Ladder Workout

I've always been of the opinion that ladder interval workouts (for example 400 meters, 800, meters, 1600 meters, then back down) were something that coaches invented to justify their salary.  It seemed logical to me that if you wanted to work on speed you ran a straight set of 200s or 400s taking plenty of rest, and if you wanted improve strength/endurance you ran 400s or 800s at a slower pace with less rest. 

Running the shorter distances faster, ladder or reverse ladder intervals offer the option to work on speed and strength in the same workout, but whether or not this translates to a better workout than straight intervals is still up for debate.  The bottom line is which workout most closely simulates your race? 

We've been having the Youth Running Club on Camp Humphreys do reverse ladder workouts, so if I'm going to dish it out then I figure I better give it a try. 

This morning I went to the .2 mile track on Camp Humphreys and started off with 11:52 for 2 miles- I felt surprisingly strong and somewhat smooth for a change.  After a long 5 min recovery I did 1 mile in 5:44, then finished up with an 800 meter in 2:48 (another 5 min recovery). 

Not a bad workout for me, especially coming off 16 x 400s on Sunday, but I still think that straight 7 x 800s in the mid 2:50s with one minute rest would have been just as effective, if not more so.

Why run ladders?  For me, the reverse ladder presented a welcome change from grinding out straight intervals- it's all downhill after that first one is out of the way.  Once in a while every runner in the middle of a hard training cycle needs to break from the norm, and ladders offer a great alternative. 

Check out the Brooks PureFlow

Ranked as Best Buy in March 2012 Runner's World, the Brooks PureFlow!  Check out the review at Runner's World Shoe Lab!  I like the innovation with the laces.   Suggested retail is $90 but this looks like a great shoe for long distance racing/ fast training.

16 x 400 Meters!

This is a workout I never would have attempted in my early running days- but now that I am older I discovered that intervals with short recovery may be more beneficial and actually easier than hard tempo runs. 

I do this on artificial turf just inside of lane one of a 5 lap per mile track, starting on curve number 4 and finishing where you would normally start on a 400 track (measured with a GPS).   After each interval I jog the 100 meters or so back in just under 40 seconds and start again.

Looking back about one year ago (see this workout), the first time I did this my focus was not on the interval time, rather my overall average pace including recovery.  I remember getting those recovery jogs down into the mid 30s brought the average pace down under 6:50 for more than 6 miles.   Today my average was 6:55 for 5 total miles. 

If you are looking for an alternative to long tempo runs or 800 meter repeats, I'd give the 400s a try, starting with 10-12 keeping the pace reasonable (5K effort), checking not only your splits but perhaps more important your average pace (you need a GPS!).