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January 2019 – Good Month

No, I have not dropped off the face of the blogging world, it is just that my Zagg Keyboard to my iPad Pro died and I am waiting for a replacement that is supposed to be here next Monday. I broke down and bought a Brydge Keyboard and while it is another Bluetooth one, from everything I have read, it meets what I want from a keyboard better than anything else on the market.

So while I have been waiting for it to come in, I have taken a bit of a holiday from blogging about my boring running and feeble attempts to keep that half step ahead of the Grim Reaper and just work on making the old bastard chuckle a little more loudly.

My favorite photo in January:

Running

Today is the last day of January and you know something it was a really good month when it came to my running.

Run Total: 167.78

Total Time: 25:19:32

Average Pace: 9:03

Number of Runs: 27 – although 23 of them were on the treadmill.

Walking Miles: 94.30

Total Steps: 654,996

Weight: 157 Start – 154 End, with a low of 152 pounds

Average Waking Heartrate: 52.5

My primary goal this winter is to get through it in one piece, with a good base developed for whatever goals that I decide to pursue when the better weather gets here. So I foresee more treadmill sessions and a bit of a transition time to get used to figuring out my pace versus having the treadmill do it for me.

Which I really think that that is the biggest weakness of treadmill running, you don’t have to work to maintain a certain pace, it does it for you. Then when you head outside your initial ability to sense/maintain the proper paces needs to be recalibrated by the body and the brain.

Training

Training-wise it has been quite a learning curve. I started out by using a modified Maffetone Heart-Rate training method, but at this point in my life I don’t want to wait months or longer to get where I want to be. I have certain goals that I want to achieve sooner than later and using heart-rate training would mean delaying them even longer

While I still use many tenants of the Maffetone method, especially when it comes to easy, recovery runs and lifestyle modifications, it became pretty apparent that I wasn’t a good fit for a full-fledged MAF heart-rate training program right now.

After researching several different methods/programs, I decided to move on to the Hansons Marathon Method, which seems to meet how I think about my run training and provided the guiderails that are closest to how I have attempted my training in the past. I liked the pace-based training, but was worried about the combination of the higher mileage and paces if I would be able to keep up.

Yes, I still have those marathon dreams and I thought using the Hansons Marathon Method  would be a good test run of the program to use it once for a half marathon this spring and started it at week 6, since that seemed about where I was mileage-wise.

I got three weeks into the plan and was just too exhausted to continue training using the marathon method. Life, winter snow removal chores, the mileage, additional walking mileage that Bennie helps with, a bad case of training foreknowledge and primarily training on the treadmill all were factors in my deciding to discontinue using the marathon training program for a spring half marathon.

Being honest, it was just too much for me right now.

However, I liked the plan a lot, enough that I decided to simply start using the half marathon method plan, I had already bought the book. Actually, the plans are not all that much different, but the mileage is more manageable on the treadmill, since it seems that this winter I am spending the majority of my time running on one.

So I have been transitioning to the half marathon method this past week. The biggest thing that I am noticing is that the 1:41:00 goal time and the corresponding SOS training paces are pretty challenging, but doable.

I do need to be challenged, but not over-matched.

Although I do notice that a certain runner is adding in some strides to some of the workouts even though he is not supposed to…I still do like those shorter faster repeats.

Yeah, I think that my running has gone pretty good.

Running Shoes

No monthly revew post would be complete without me talking about running shoes.

New Balance Beacon – Okay my newest favorite running shoes! I started running in them on January 23rd and haven’t really wanted to run in anything else since then. They are light, comfortable and I have been able to run fast (speed and tempo workouts), slow (recovery, easy and even an outside run), all without any issues. So far the Beacons just disappear on my feet and I don’t have to frig fart around trying to get them just right.

The Beacons just have the right combination of cushion, pop and comfort for me, that I forget about my shoes and focus on the running.

adidas Tempo 9 – I am closing in on 300 miles (277) in my Tempo 9s and plan to use them primarily for my outside work. The Boost midsoles are not affected by the colder weather, offer great grip for a road shoe and while they are not as idiot proof (me) as the Beacons are, they are comfortable and do everything that I ask of them.

adidas Adios 3 – They are a comfortable and fast shoe, but when I was doing a lot of faster and longer runs on the treadmill during my SOS workouts, they just didn’t have enough forefoot cushioning for that kind of mileage for me. I would limit them to about 10K and primarily outdoor workouts. Unfortunately, where the mice chewed on them a little is starting to let go and while it doesn’t seem to affect the shoe itself, it is a distraction.

Yeah, I have two more pair of the Tempo 9s in the closet waiting for the first pair to wear out, but it might be a while. Especially, since when it comes right down to it, I prefer the Beacons over anything that I have run in a long time and that is saying something because I loved running in my Tempo 9s and AB3s.

Diet

I am still attempting to cut down on processed foods, gluten, sweets and focus more on “real” foods, including meats and healthy fats. I am not interested in being Vegan again, it didn’t work for me and while I eat a lot of veggies and fruits, I have found that I feel better when I limit the amount of grains and increase the amount of healthier fats and meats.

While I haven’t been perfect about it, I have done better than I thought I would. My weight is better than it has been since I went back to work for UMA back in 2015, so that is a very good thing. As of today, I have lost 9 pounds since December 10th, when I actually started this cleaner eating stuff.

The Reality Is That

This has been one of the better January’s that I have had in a while and is the best monthly mileage total I have had since November 2015. Which surprised me when I went back and looked at my previous totals that it was that long ago.

I really think that moving to the Hansons Half Marathon Method was the correct choice for me and how I do things. Using the Maffetone Method taught me what recovery pace actually felt like and that my previous understanding of it, was way off. It taught me to stuff the ego into bag someplace and just go slower.

Then using the Hansons Marathon Method showed me that running the correct paces in training was more important than always running faster and faster. I know I have been running for how many years (ove 40) and never really learned this lesson until this month. In the past I was using 7.2 mph on the treadmill as my recovery or easy pace, which might have been okay 30 years ago, but not today. Now I know from both Maffetone and Hansons it is much closer to 6.0 mph (10:00 minute pace).

Yeah, I finally got it through my head that to run the paces that I want to run in a race are not always the ones that I have to train at and easy means easy, not comfortable which is often very different. An important lesson to get through my thick head.

I am not going to annoint the Beacons at this point and time, but damn they are a shoe that I enjoy running in. That is saying a lot because I did love the way I was running in the Tempo 9’s, so it give you an idea of how my running is going in them.

Needless to say January has been a good month, now to move on to February and see how many miles I get on the treadmill and the Beacons.

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2 Comments »

  1. nice to see you again! And the stats for January are impressive! Right where you want them for half training. Good job on the weight loss and the better eating. After years of eking by in performance with poor eating and drinking habits, I’m trying a bit more on that front too.

    • Doing better than I thought although the treadmill is getting old 🤪. Backsliding on new eating habits so gotta get back to being good. It is hard to change but gonna do it.

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