Reading and Thinking Keeps Me Out of Trouble – Hopefully

So far in 2019, I have taken my training to higher levels than I have in years. Unfortunately, on the flip side of that, the one thing that the number of years that have passed since I was born have done is – is taken away my ability to hold that high level of training for long periods of time.

In other words I am starting to feel that fuzzy around the edges feeling that tells me it is time to pull in on the reins for a week or two to let the old boy recover a little.

Now thankfully I am not injured and still am smiling, but at the same time when I read this blurb from Mario Faioli’s – The Morning Shakeout while eating breakfast, I found myself nodding my head and going this is exactly how I am feeling.

Screen shot of email from Mario Fraioli “The Morning Shakeout” on 3/19/19

…Sometimes these lessons are profound, other times they’re more practical. And every once in a while, they’re a bit of both. Recently I’ve come to realize that as an athlete, I can only keep the proverbial water running at full blast for 8-12 weeks at a time before I need to dial it back for an extended period to refill the tank. And that is exactly where I’m at right now…

Quite honestly, I have had the water running at full blast since the end of October. I have very consistently been putting in at least 30 mile weeks, which is good mileage for me. When I started doing the Hansons Half Marathon plan that mileage has steadily increased to the 48 miles that I ran last week.

During this time there have not been any cut-back or rest for an aging body, weeks thrown in to consolidate the gains I have made. The intensity and distances have only increased and I am starting to notice maybe it is time for a quick break.

I know, a lot of runners can do a complete 16-24 week training cycle and not worry about it. However, when I look back through my logs, I see that I fall fairly naturally into 4-6 week go hard, then the body requires a cut-back week over the last few years. When I ignore the cut-back week, to keep pushing a training plan, I get the blahs and the aches/pains start to multiply or worse the injury bug starts to visit.

The reality is that

As much as I hate to admit it most of the time, the older I get the closer I have to pay attention to the signals that my body is talking to me about. Yesterday, when I had zero desire to do an easy 6.0 miles and my hip and ankle were grumbling a little more than usual, I decided to take the day off.

Once in a while I can be smahtah.

Then when I read Mario Fraioli’s “The Morning Shakeout” today and looked back at my running log, it kind of tied things all together and made me think about how much and how far I have come since last October.

Even though the Hansons Method is based on accumulated fatigue, there is a point where it accumulates too much and I need to back off, recover and then get back to with a fresher body and mind.

Sometimes, you get so focused on the constant improvement model, that you forget that you have to stop for a bit to take a breather, take stock of where you are, then decide the direction to keep moving.

This is especially true for my running right now. I don’t have any races scheduled and have purposely been using the Hansons Half Marathon Method more as a base building cycle, than a race prep cycle. The last few months have been more to see how things work for me using the Hansons Method than anything else.

So far it has worked well.

However, as a concession to my age, doing the Hansons Plan without a cut-back week or two included into the cycle, probably is not going to let me complete the training plan without burning-out or an injury. Just the way things are.

In other words for me to be successful with the plan, about every 4-5 weeks, I need a cut-back week, to solidify the gains I am making. Which means that this week goes from being planned to being more whatever I feel like doing and then on Sunday re-evaluating how the old body feels, to see if I need an extra week or if I am ready to get back to it.

Oh, I still plan to run and workout, but not at the Hansons Method’s intensity or mileage.

Then I will get back to my Hansons Method Half Marathon base building time. The philosophy fits my personality and how I want to train, but I have to modify it a bit for it to actually work well for me.

You know that damned experiment of one thing.

How about you, do you ever take a cut-back week in the middle of a training cycle, just because you know if you don’t, you will start to have problems?

My Running Outside Winter Guidelines and 10 Treadmill Miles

I am not really all that wimpy, but I put in a set of guidelines for running outside in Winter-like conditions, that I really believe helped me stay healthier than I have been in a long time at the end of a long and tough winter last year.

They worked fairly well last year when I paid attention to what I was doing, so I have a feeling that I will use them again this year.

  • First if there is ice on the road – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Second if it is below 20*F with or without windchills – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Third if it is in the 30’s and raining – run on the treadmill or use the elliptical
  • Fourth if is below 30*F and you are planning on a long run – use the treadmill

If I have any question about the conditions, I take Bennie for a walk and figure out if it is okay to run outside or if moving the workout inside is the correct solution. How he reacts to the conditions out there goes a long ways in my decision making process, plus I get to feel first hand how things really are.

Could I run outside in worse conditions than what I have set as my criteria to move inside?

Sure I have done it in the past without too many issues and every so often I ignore my own criteria, but at this stage of my running life I enjoy running in shorts and t-shirts versus bundling up to get outside.

Treadmilling it

After yesterday’s day off, I wanted to get in a little loner run than usual and the temps/wind chills were in the lower teens at the house (we are usually 5*F colder than Augusta-the official weather for the area). This is below my second criteria, so I headed into Planet Fitness for a treadmill run. Continue reading “My Running Outside Winter Guidelines and 10 Treadmill Miles”

Focus On What YOU Still CAN Do

Bennie asking whatcha talking about?

I was visiting my old work today and had a conversation with a former co-worker. It was a great conversation and we got caught up on several things. However, the part of the conversation that really got me thinking was one part where we talked about some of the things that was stopping this person from getting back to exercising.

At some point I asked “What can you do?”

The person looked at me like I had grown another head, but stopped and chuckled. One of those “ah hah” moments.

I asked if they could you do this or that.

We bantered back and forth a few more times and they told me things they could do. The person started to get pretty excited by the idea of things they could do, while waiting for their operation, versus just sitting and waiting until it happened.

I said you have to block out time for it, when would you do it.

We narrowed it down to after their work day

I then asked if they had made an appointment in their calendar.

They said they had never done that for themself before. The person got all excited and made a recurring appointment for after work Monday through Thursday to start.

The person then started talking about getting their spouse to go with them and sounded pretty excited and upbeat about the whole idea of getting back to the gym and doing things that they could do.

When I left they had a pretty big smile and you could still see the wheels spinning round and round.

Now, I am not patting myself on the back or anything – I simply switched the person’s perception from all the stuff they couldn’t do, to simply look at the stuff they could still do.

However, too many of us (myself included), get so damn caught up in all the negativity around what we can’t do right now, that we forget about all the things we still CAN DO.

So many time when we stop and look at things from the can do perspective, we can do a helluva LOT more than we thought we could.

No it may not always be easy or even painless, but what if you can do it, how would that make you feel?

Stop and think for a minute:

What can you still do?

You might be surprised.

Running Form – Sometimes Things Are Not the Way You Think

I have been reading or re-reading a bunch of books on running lately:

  • Chi Running – Danny Dreyer
  • Natural Running – Danny Abshire
  • Your Best Stride – Jonathan Beverly
  • Master The Art of Running – Malcolm Balk
  • 80/20 Running – Matt Fitzgerald
  • Run – Matt Fitzgerald

Trying to figure out this running thing a bit more and finding out that I like reading them on the iPad than hardcover or on other electronic formats. I think that I have read more books since I started using the iPad than I have in a long time. Oh well, that is a different post, come Harold – get focused back on this running stuff.

Anyways, the other night I was re-reading Master The Art of Running and came across the below:

Which got me to thinking about how much my form has changed since I started using Chi Running back in mid October. It really feels as if I have made a LOT of progress on changing some of how I run.

At least that is what I believed.

Well, today I asked the trainer at Planet Fitness to video me in slow motion to see how much I had actually changed my running style.

I ran at various speeds (6.5 to 9.3 mph and then slowed back down again), because I believed that your form changes as you change speeds. I didn’t try to force things and just let myself run – I figured that would be the best way to see how much of the Chi Running stuff I have incorporated into my running.

  • Align Posture – not really
  • Slight lean – nope
  • Midfoot landing – nope
  • Landing under hips – nope
  • Lifting foot – nope
  • Arms 90* angle – maybe
  • Running everything going forward – nope
  • Cadence 170-180 — 175 spm

Saying that I was shocked at what I saw when I watched the video for the first time would be an understatement. I have watched it several more times since then and each time I can believe how little my running mechanics have changed.

The strange thing is that I felt really good running during this video, nothing hurt, I felt smooth, in control even at the 9.3 mph speed. I thought I was running with a much more of midfoot landing and was leaning into the run. I guess I had a classic case of Faulty Sensory Awareness and wishful thinking that I had actually improved my running form.

I found this old video from 2013 and except that it is not in slow motion, the form is basically identical – no changes. If anything my form now is worse than it was then. Needless to say I am disappointed, but after reading Your Best Stride (before I did the video), I was not as surprised as I would have been before I read that book.

It seems that I have not made a whole helluva lot of progress on improving my stride in over four years.

Well, I don’t have a lot of answers and the video only raises more questions about my running and how I do it.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my stopping running with Bennie was more of the solution than “improving” my running form with the Chi Running program. Which I had a sneaking suspicion might be the case, when I wrote my end of year reflection.

Now to keep moving forward. I have a feeling that Finding Your Best Stride might become the book I refer to more as a reference for improving my running – it seems to be where my body is taking me. Which is okay, after reading and re-reading it again many of the things that the author discusses or recommends makes a great deal of sense to me.

Which means not so much starting over, because Chi Running does a good job of recommending many of the same positive running form features, but more going on slightly different path that better fits who I am and where I am with my running.

It seems that I have a bad case of Faulty Sensory Awareness – oh well that is pretty minor in the overall scheme of things.

In Training vs Just Running

Sometimes we get things confused and in training versus just running is one that usually bites me square in the arse.

DSCN0404.JPG
Harold hanging around in his not training training mode

What do you mean Harold? Aren’t they the same thing?

You get out and pound the pavement a lot.

Errrr not really.

In Training

In my mind when I am in training, it is to accomplish something. You know prepare for a particular race or distance at a certain pace, attempt a PR — you know prepare the old body to accomplish something that it wouldn’t otherwise.

screenshot-docs.google.com 2017-09-15 08-27-47

It includes running certain paces/miles, including structured workouts, then doing more prehab, rehab, eating better, weight training, purposely embracing a higher level of discomfort while running, read a lot of Internet Articles/Blog posts on how to improve your racing and a bunch of tactics to improve the mental side of my running. I guess it comes down to pushing my running outside of that comfortable bubble that I have made for myself.

Just Running

When I am just running (which is what this year has primarily been). I just run. I tend to run at comfortable paces, don’t worry about hitting pace goals, if I have a great day and go faster than usual it is an accident. I half-heartedly do a little prehab, minimal rehab, eat what I want (when I want), don’t read much about running and run comfortably (unless Bennie decides to do a vehicle interval). If I miss a day or two of running (or more), it really doesn’t matter, running is more about relieving stress than beating on the body.

Run Summary 2017-08-20 21-13-45

When I just run – there really is not any planning to the running – just go out the door do what I feel like that day and attempt to get somewhere between 30-40 miles a week in – not that I have been all that successful doing that over the past 3-4 months.

Moving Forward

So maybe it is time for me to get my arse in gear and get back into more of a training mode now that things in New Hampshire are starting to wind down. I know that I am no where near being in racing shape for a 5K or Half marathon, but I do want to do both before the end of the year.

I signed up for the Millinocket Half Marathon in December (early in the year) and there are always a bunch of 5K’s that I can do in the area between now and the end of the year.  Other than the Millinocket Half Marathon, I do not have anything planned or races that I really want to get ready for.

It almost seems as though my piss and vinegar, err motivation has been sucked dry after the long-arse summer.

Lots of Questions

  • Maybe my best bet is to race myself back into shape, with a bunch of 5K’s?
  • Do I train for the half and keep running 5Ks?
  • Am I even all that interested in running a half right now?
  • Do I really want to race/train or keep just running through the rest of the year to get a better base in and then go into training mode in 2018?
  • How about some trail races thrown in, although most of the big ones are done there are still more than a few left to get ready for.

As life slows down a little and I actually can get into a routine that is more conducive to training, it seems that I have to think a little more about where I want my running to go. After all, I “might” have a little more time to “just do it” now that my retirement is a part of the equation.

All I know is that I want to get back to participating in the local running community after dropping off the face of the earth over the summer, well actually the past year.

However, I think I have clarified for me the difference between “in training” and “just running”. Something that I needed to do, because I was really sort of in between the two – training for nothing, but doing more than just running.

I think that is something that a lot of runners need to clarify for themselves and once they do it might surprise them what they are actually doing versus what they thought they were doing.

hmmm a lot to think about and time figure out where I want to go with my running for the rest of the year. Next year will take of itself – I think :-).

Running As Part of the Recovery Processs

img_20130811_101516_364.jpgI was reading Mike’s post on Recover Like the Runner You Actually Are! | Running Around the Bend and left a lengthy comment that pretty much says that I believe that running can be part of the recovery process.

Personally, I do not believe that there are or should be any hard or fast rules when it comes to the recovery process. So I agree with Mike completely in this premise that each race recovery depends on too many factors and individual needs or wants to simply state “do this, if you ran this” type of rules for the recovery process (because it is a process).

Yes, there are generally accepted guidelines that I have and do use to begin the recovery process, but once a runner is into their personal recovery process, those guidelines can and should be modified to meet their individual needs – I know that I do for me.

Continue reading “Running As Part of the Recovery Processs”

Re-Thinking How I Train

After making the difficult decision, not to run in the Marine Corps Marathon, I have a choice:

  1. either wallow in despair or
  2. make it an opportunity to become a better runner.

IMG_20130707_074523_340

Wallowing serves no purpose; I have eaten my Whoopie pie and ice cream, so now I am ready to work on becoming a better runner.

Before I made the decision to not run MCM, I was in the process of reviewing my running to look at why I do things a certain way and if there might be better ways for me to run more consistently. Below is what I have done so far:

  • What are my motivations for running?
  • What I want to achieve as a runner?
  • Which Running Shoe – Post Injury?
  • How Injuries Have Effected my 2013 Goals.
  • Racing Versus Going to a Race

I need to finish this process and that is what this post is about.

Re-Thinking How I Train

This change of plan means the pressure to rush back to training is gone and I have time to put my research, needs, wants and off-the-wall thoughts about running into a training philosophy or framework that I hope works better for me than my previous boom, then break methods of training.

First things First

The first thing that I have to do is finish rehabilitating my present injuries and all the other little aches and pains that have accumulated over the years. In order to do that I am going through physical therapy for my left heel area 2 x a week, which means the PT sessions are not really enough by themselves to resolve the underlying issues that actually caused my most recent injury (besides the part, where I did not listen to my body).

To help resolve these underlying problems, I have been using parts of the Running Injury Recovery Program by Bruce Wilks, in conjunction with my physical therapy sessions and homework, with very good results.

Therefore, I plan to use parts of the next phase of his program in addition to starting to run slowly again according to Budd Coates’ base building schedule in Running on Air – to get me ready to start training again sometime in August.

Yes that is right – August

Does this mean you have suddenly developed patience Harold?

Naw, but it does mean that I know that my Achilles tendon needs more time to heal, before I can get back to full training and that I will take the time I need to do it “mostly” right.

Thinking Back

When I think about when I have enjoyed my running the most and still kept improving, without being injured a lot, it was when I just had a basic plan, a routine that kept things simple, did not overthink what I needed to do and was flexible when life got in the way.

Runlog Week 20 1983 pg1

This didn’t mean that I was not working hard, because I was, but I also was not being pressured or restricted by the parameters of a canned training plan.

Coaching

As much as I might like to have a coach, so I could just focus on running and let them worry about what I am supposed to do. The brutal reality is that financially, it just is not going to happen.

So I will continue to self-coach myself, with all the limitations and pitfalls that it entails.

Butterfly Runner

One thing is that I want to stop is being a butterfly runner, who continuously flits from one training plan, program or framework to another, based on the most recent book, blog post or other resource that I have read or watched, which might be well-intentioned, but usually only serves to muddy the waters more for me than they help.

I know that like many runners out there, I am overloaded and bombarded with so much information about the “right” way to train and run, that more often than not I am dazed and confused about how I should be training and running.

It is time to stop the madness and get back to basics and train to run faster and farther, not just jumping from plan to plan.

Not just another training plan

Notice that I am not saying that I need – yet another training plan.

You know – do x number of miles in y number of minutes to get z number miles by a certain week. They are simply too restrictive to me and do not take into account my strengths and weaknesses, how I am feeling, or what is going on in my life right now.

Since I got the competitive bug last year, I have added a lot of complexity to my training and I know now, that I really do not need that level of complexity as a recreational competitor, because I am not going to be a national or even local class runner, which it seems many of these plans are more geared towards.

I understand the need for progressive variability and proper pacing in a training plan to accomplish goals, but in my experience, keeping things simple and using things that work for you or working on something specific that you need to improve, is better than trying to make something needlessly complicated or attempt to do too much.

Which I believe too many training programs an some coaches attempt to do in an effort to justify their cost or existence.

EFFORT BASED

What kind of training plan, philosophy or framework, do I want to use when I return to full running and training again?

After the reading and research that I have done recently, there are several training methods that piqued my interests, but for various reasons I chose not to use them, some were:

  • Chi Running
  • Heart Rate Monitor based training – tried it I do not like it – I ignore the H/R monitor
  • Running on Air
  • Run Less, Run Better (the 3 day a week plan)
  • High intensity
  • Runner’s World programs
  • Adidas MiCoach

and so many other training plans that are out there in books or on websites.

However, after all the research and reading the training method that seems to align most closely with my personality, experiences and what I want to accomplish is some sort of effort based training method or framework.

MATT FITZGERALD

I have had Matt Fitzgerald’s Brain Training for Runners (see my review here) for a while and as I was doing my research have become more and more intrigued by many of the concepts he writes about in that book.

Then I read the reviews and synopsis, from his newer book RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel, which seemed to be even more in the direction I want to go.

I bought the eBook the other night and just finished reading it.

Yes, I have been working on this post for a week now.

NO GUARANTEE

There is no guarantee that running with an effort based framework or that Matt Fitzgerald’s method are exactly what I am looking for or will even work for me, but the idea trusting myself to know what is best for me with my running, is the direction I want to go.

Which is very different idea from how I have been approaching my training recently, using the canned training programs and attempting to modify them to meet my needs.

WHAT IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE

So what would my effort based training framework look like if I had to start it tomorrow?

Runlog Week 20 1983 pg1

My potential 7 Day running cycle:

  • Day 1 – Base Run*
  • Day 2 – Base Run* on Trails – possibly a second easy run later in training
  • Day 3 – Speed workout – alternating weeks track*** and other forms of speed work or a trail race series run
  • Day 4 – Recovery Run**
  • Day 5 – Base Run* – Trails or Road
  • Day 6 – Long Run with tempo run embedded (Trails or Road)
  • Day 7 – Rest**

*Base run days would also include strength training (yes that includes lifting weights), strides after the 2-4 run and plyometric drills on non-consecutive days.

**Recovery or rest days include mobility and stretching exercises – this includes scheduled and unscheduled.

***Track would include multiple barefoot strides on the football field. My primary track workout would be  6 x 400m, with 400m rest laps, 1.0 mile race pace, 400m rest lap, 1 x 400m race pace, 200m rest, then 600 meter as fast as I can go – to practice having a longer kick.

Every 4th week would be a recovery week.

The runs would get progressively harder over the cycle and I would plan for a recovery week and in between cycles.

CONCESSION TO AGING

In this plan I would only do two high quality days a week, the rest are base or recovery runs. I have found that three quality days of running in a 7-day period is too much for me and when I did this this during my last training cycle I broke down.

Also I have found that weekly track workouts are too much, so I would move them to every other week, with the off-week working on building strength and speed in other ways.

No I don’t like it the changes, but at the same time if I want to keep running consistently, I need to be smart and take into account the changes that are part of the aging process, instead of continuing to beat my head and body into a cement wall over and over again.

The above are concessions to being almost 56 years old – I know that I can’t train like I am 25 (as much as I might want to) and have to take into account that damn aging process that happens to all of us.

What this really means is that I have to think more about how I train and research more about the affects of aging in running, instead of just running blindly down the road.

Other Changes

First – I believe that I am going to change my primary way to measure my running from mileage to time based. This change is huge, since I have always used mileage and pace. I am sure that I will still track miles and pace in my running log, but they will not be my focus.

Second – I am planning to start my week on Sunday instead of my typical Monday start – a minor but substantial difference for me.

Third – I am seriously thinking about switching to a 14 day training cycle like Budd Coates advocates in his book Running on Air, versus the typical 7 day cycle. I haven’t quite decided on this method yet, but I am intrigued by it and doing more research to see if it fits what I want to accomplish.

MORE TRAIL RUNNING

There is also more of a focus on trail running, to help me recover both physically and mentally (I believe that trail running recharges and re-energizes me), it also builds strength and proprioception in different ways than road running does.

Besides I like trail running a lot, I just have not been able to do it as much as I wanted when I was focused on prepping for the MCM.

I LIKE ROUTINE

Believe it or not, I like routine and believe that it helps me run more consistently.

Once I find a routine that works, it helps to keep things simpler, which I believe is the problem with too many training plans, they are overly complex and attempt to have runners do too many different things over the course of a training cycle.

Looking at the above possible 7 day cycle, there is lot variability in the actual courses I could run and the workouts I am looking at doing, so I would not get bored, but I would have a good idea of when and what I would be doing.

I have set courses and workouts that have baselines, to gauge my improvement or use as checkpoints to see what I need to do differently to keep improving.

The best thing about having a routine is that it allows me to focus on my running, instead of whether I am meeting the requirements a canned plan and stressing out when I do not do what the plan’s author says I should be doing to be successful – after all their authors all know more about running than I do…

but they don’t know more about me, than I do.

THE REALITY IS THAT

Sometimes when we take a step back, look at our running objectively and peel away the layers between where we are and what we want to achieve. It can be very surprising what we might find when we do look and what some of the possible solutions might be. Especially, if we are willing to do the research or think a little out of the box.

Runlog Week 20 1983 pg2.jpeg

What I want to achieve it to run consistently and keep improving – even as an old fart!

I know that to do this I need to move away from the attitude of “I have always done it this way” approach and change some things to make me look at my running differently.

EXCITED BY THE POSSIBILITIES

I do know that I am very excited about the possibilities that this different perspective towards my training might provide and hopefully these changes will give me better outcomes than my old boom and then break training style did.

The part that I like most about the changes that I am looking at implementing to my training and running philosophies are that I am taking responsibility for my own training and cannot blame how I do on anyone, but me.

Will I make mistakes – yep, will I be injured again – probably, will I keep running – no doubt about it, but they will be my mistakes and I will learn from them.

I still have a lot to think about and I may not have all the answers, but at least I know more of the right questions to ask and attempt to find those answers.

QUESTION

Since I have some time before I actually start training in August to incorporate some of these training idea, I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the training principles or plans in Matt Fitzgerald’s RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel or know of other resources that I should look at, to learn more about using effort based training.

Also does anyone have any experience with 14 day training cycles versus the typical 7 day one that predominates running right now.

Monday Means Intervals and a Little Extra

My legs are toast – today’s interval workout definitely got my attention!

Why?

I decided that when doing my intervals this morning, I was going to do them using my 5K goal pace of 6:27 (sub 20:00 time goal), instead of the slower current race pace of 7:08. This is a big difference in pace and I knew that it would be a heckuva challenge for me.

I had two reasons for wanting to do it this:

I wanted to test out my new Mizuno Ekidon’s racing flat – that I bought last week.
I need to be able run faster than race pace on the treadmill, because outdoors, I am slower.

My planned workout was 6 x .50 with .25 rest between and 4 x .25 with .2 rest between. So how did I do?

9.5 mph is about a 6:18 pace, so my faster half’s were faster than my goal race pace.

  • 1.0 mile @ 6.6 mph – warm-up
  • 1.0 mile @ 7.3 mph – warm-up
  • 0.50 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 0.25 mile @ 6.6 mph
  • 0.50 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 0.25 mile @ 6.6 mph – 3.5
  • 0.50 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 0.25 mile @ 6.6 mph
  • 0.50 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 0.25 mile @ 6.6 mph – 5.0
  • 0.50 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 0.25 mile @ 6.6 mph
  • 0.50 mile @ 9.5 mph
  • 0.25 mile @ 6.6 mph – 6.5
  • 0.25 mile @ 9.6 mph
  • 0.25 mile @ 6.6 mph – 7.0
  • 0.07 mile @ 9.7 mph
  • 0.13 mile @ 3.3 mph – I had to quickly shut-it down at this point.

I could feel my left hamstring starting to grab a little and the last time when I ran through it, I had to take a couple days off. I damn near dislocated my right shoulder when I was trying to slow down the treadmill to a walk and ended up as a splat spot on the wall, but I got it slowed down and walked a .10 of a mile and when I started to run at 6.6 mph again, there were no problems with the hamstring, so I ran to the 8.0 mile mark.

  • .80 mile @ 6.6 mph

At this point my right foot was bothering pretty good, the sock was either squeezing too tight or I had cinched down the shoe too much, plus it was a needed quick break back to the locker room, if you know what I mean. While in there I adjusted my sock and loosened up the shoe a lot.

I really have to figure out this shoe/sock combination thing with the Ekidon’s and other shoes as well. It just seems that my feet are very fussy about what to wear, with which shoe.

My foot felt a lot better when I got back on the treadmill and I planned to just do a couple more at a fairly slow pace.

  • 0.5 mile @ 6.6 mph – to check out how things felt – fine
  • 1.0 mile @ 7.3 mph
  • 0.5 mile @ 7.6 mph

Then I (yes I admit it) I got a little…well stupid and did pick up the pace again – thinking I could stop if the hammie acted up.

  • .25 mile @ 8.0 mph
  • .25 mile @ 8.6 mph
  • .25 mile @ 9.0 mph
  • .25 mile @ 9.5 mph

Luckily the hamstring felt fine and I had no problems with this last mile, if anything I felt a lot better than I did after those last three half’s and could have ran more, but the Ekidon’s are not a long distance shoe and the right one was still bothering my foot a little, so I didn’t want to push it.

  • .50 mile @ 3.3 mph

I also wore my heart rate monitor today for a change, just to see what my heart rate was at the end of the half mile intervals. I do know that I was definitely sucking wind and my H/R was between 171 and 176 at the end of each of those intervals.

Besides I had done enough. I could feel that my legs were toast and I was definitely tired, but at the same time, I felt that it helped to build my confidence more than a little. This workout showed me that I definitely can run faster than a 7:08 pace for a 5K, which to be honest disappointed me at my last race.

  • Total Miles: 11.0 and .5 cool-down walk

No after I got home from running errands and eating lunch I treated myself to some Yellow Peeps and Green Tea — I figured that I earned them after this workout and no it ain’t healthy, but those Peeps sure did taste good and didn’t last very long! 😉

 

Running Slower – Yes It is an Ego Thing

I am learning that my not liking running slow on my recovery days is more about my ego, than it is whether or not running slow is better for me or not.

I also know it is something that I have to get over!

What brought this up Harold?

I generally like to run outside on my recovery days, but today we are getting that winter storm and it was slippery out – I almost fell 4-5 times while walking Bennie this morning. So I wasn’t going to run outside today, I prefer to stay healthy and whole. It was either going to be a DNR in the log book or if I really got motivated, go to the gym and run on the treadmill before I had to pick up TheWife from work.

I had all but decided to bag it for the day and then suddenly after lunch, I decided “ah what to heck” and figured out that I would go run on the treadmill at 2:00 or so. I was scheduled for an easy 4.0 mile recovery run at a 9:30 or slower pace.

Wow running on a treadmill that is under 6.0 mph was crazy hard! I haven’t run that slow on a ‘mill in years! I had just got going, when this guy gets on the treadmill beside me and cranks his up to 7.5 mph and starts running. Of course this got my competitive side going and and I popped mine up to 8.0 mph, because I “know” I can keep that pace up for a long time on the ‘mill.

About 20 seconds after I did that, I looked at the speed on my treadmill and asked myself “what to hell was I doing? Today is a recovery day, not a day to show off and prove to myself that I can run faster than someone else on a treadmill. Reluctantly, I brought the speed back down to 6.6 mph (about a 9:05 pace) and just kept running at that speed. The guy beside me look at me for a second and just kept running at his pace.

Did it kill me to not compete with the guy beside me – hell no. Common sense told me that doing a race Sunday, a hard Interval Workout yesterday and 2 weeks at over 50 miles per week, says that I need the recovery run more than being over-competitive.

Still it was hard to just maintain that slow pace with this guy beside me going at a speed that I know I can do no problem. Then it got worse, a woman got on the treadmill on the other side and started running a 7.0 mph. As much as I wanted to pick up the pace, I was a good boy – I didn’t touch the speed control and kept it at 6.6 mph.

That was just my ego having a hard day!

Yes running slower is a lot harder to do when people on either side are “challenging” you to go faster. Actually, they probably could care less and don’t even notice you are there – we are all so much in our own little worlds, but I noticed and had to fight the urge to go faster!

Yep there is no doubt about it, not liking running slower when I am around other runners is more about my ego than anything. Today I learned that I can get over it and just do my planned speed without regard to what someone else is running for a pace.

Oh the ego did get in the way just a little. I ran until they were both done their run which meant I ran 5.0 miles instead of 4.0, but if they could go faster, I could run for more time :-). I guess it was a good thing that neither one was doing a long run.

I just have to remember to check my ego at the door, when I need to do easy/slow or recovery runs on the treadmill and stick with the plan or at least close to it. 🙂

Do you check your ego at the door or do you get a “little” competitive, when someone starts running a little faster than you on the treadmill? Or better yet, do you have a story about this “runner” beside you who just had to speed up to keep up with you and you really didn’t care and just barely noticed that the other runner was “racing” with you?

 

Trust Your Training This Spring and Get Some Rest

Definite sign of spring

Hi everyone, doesn’t it feel like this is the winter that will never end for those of us up north! Temps in the 20’s for my long run yesterday and 15F degrees this morning with 1/2 an inch of new snow on the ground when I woke up, really make me want spring to get here faster than it is.

However, when I look at the calendar despite what the weather is doing, the spring racing season is almost upon us. I don’t know about you, but I am really getting excited about the races that I have on my schedule.

Like most you I have done a lot of running over the past few months, preparing for this spring’s racing and running season. You know that winter running thing, where we grit our teeth and either brave the winter weather outside or “enjoy” the treadmill inside. I don’t know about you, but over that time I have accumulated more than a few niggles, aches, pains and am starting to feel pretty tired (both mentally and physically).

 

So today I took an unscheduled day off and didn’t do a scheduled workout in my training plan, I was supposed to do 8.0 miles easy today and changed it mid-week to a zero day – so this is something that has been on my mind for a few days.

I have decided that after tomorrow’s first 5K of the season, I will do a cut-back week and will probably have 2 scheduled days off in a row in it – can you believe it 2 days in a row without running – we will see on that one ;-).. See I am going off-plan already in only my second week, but that is a different story.

What I am doing is listening to what my body needs, instead of just pushing through to meet some artificial training goals.

Whaddya mean – isn’t now the time we need to be really pushing the training to get ready for our April, May and June races?

Yeah but.

To be honest, like many of you I have done a lot of running this winter and I need to recharge my batteries a little, to get ready for the next 3 months and my first big goal race of the year – The Rail Trail Half Marathon on June 23rd.

Really at this point in my training cycle missing a few days here or there or lowering the scheduled mileage a little, to have a cut-back week isn’t going to affect my performance in my upcoming spring races. Actually, taking the time off and letting my body rest a little and heal up some of the small aches and pains that have accumulated, might be much more effective than another speed workout or the extra miles that I would normally do this week or are part of “the plan”.

What is more likely to happen if I go ahead and just kept pushing to meet my scheduled runs and mileage, while feeling like I am, there is much more of a chance of getting injured (my biggest fear), which would do a lot more damage to my spring racing and running, than a few days off or running less miles for a week.

The biggest thing that this rest will affect is my weekly and March’s mileage totals. Which really doesn’t mean anything in the big picture. However, to be honest putting less miles in my running log, is the thing that really bothers me about not running as much this week…silly isn’t it, getting hung up over resting a little and not meeting an artificial mileage total, because of my ego.

The reality is that now is the time that we need to trust our previous training and not worry if we miss a few workouts or lower our mileage for a week, at this point in our race training cycle.

Think about it, most of us have done a lot of hard work over the winter, especially for those of us who do not have an April race taper planned or have plenty of time before those longer races in May and June – isn’t it time to let our bodies do some healing?.

I know it is that time for me – to trust my training and listen to my body.

What do you think?

Originally written by Harold Shaw and published at “A Veteran Runnah” © 2011-2013, All Rights Reserved. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Harold Shaw and A Veteran Runnah” with appropriate and specific directions or links to the original content.

Originally published by Harold L. Shaw at A Veteran Runnah – http://vetrunnah.com