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Running a Marathon is so Much Easier with DVR

Hello all! I’ve had a busy couple of weeks! I always talk about goals and as you might imagine I have several besides losing a couple pounds and running a mile or two here and there.

It seems that a few years from now I will be a doctor. No, not the medical kind. Not too long ago I was accepted into a PhD program for education so I’m a little pumped at the moment and wanted to share! This made me realize that now I have a lot of studying to do in addition to my full-time job, family time, running schedule, volunteer schedule and of course blogging about it all! Whew!

It seems the more I train the more I rely on my DVR, that wonderful piece of equipment that keeps me in touch with all my favorite characters like Greg House, Steven Tyler, and Jillian. It allows me to say goodnight earlier than some 10 year olds so I get the proper amount of rest for the next day’s training. Thank you to whoever invented DVR because that’s one less thing to keep me from being well rested for my next run/workout and it makes running a marathon just a little easier….it makes that .2 at the end just fly by!

My training on Tuesday was a “Pace Run”. What is that you might ask? Well, a pace run for me is when I want to build endurance at a specific pace usually faster than my average race pace but not so fast that I cannot maintain it for some mileage. Right now my half-marathon PR is 02:19:52 and my 5K PR is 27:04.8 so I use these two numbers to help calculate my pace run speed.  Since I’m trying to build endurance at a faster pace so I started at a pace that challenged me, but wasn’t at my best 5K pace and built distance from there. Over the past several weeks I’ve built my distance on a 9:30min/mile pace and I continue to build this out.

The nice thing is that it helps me push harder on interval and tempo runs and it has really made my LSD and easy runs…well easier! Of course, I always warm-up first for .5 to 1 mile before I go up to my target pace. Remember to build up your distance at this faster pace.  It’s not intended for you to “just run faster” and still cover the same distance you would on an LSD run. These runs are not the same. To increase speed that much for your normal distance would invite injury.

I couldn’t read a calendar last week so I have a 10K race THIS Saturday. I’m excited about it since I’ve never raced that distance before! I have a tempo run Wednesday, an easy run Thursday, a 1-2 mile short run Friday. Then, I get to pin on a race bib Saturday morning. My last race bib was at Disney January 9th. Let’s hope I channel some magic from Walt’s gang on Saturday morning for a good PR! I’m guaranteed one since it’s my first 10K!  🙂

Now it’s time to let my DVR do its job and get some rest!

Happy Training!

-Brian

Back to Basics!

Runaway training…..never coming baaack!  Sorry, I was channeling Soul Asylum for a moment.

If you’ve been following me then you know I keep a calorie spreadsheet of everything I eat calorie-wise. Why?

  1. It keeps me honest.
  2. It let’s me know when indulgence has crossed the line into gluttony. (fine line sometimes!)
  3. I’m a nerd like that.
  4. It’s one more way to keep my goals in front of me.
  5. Body Bugs are expensive. (Google it if you don’t know what it is!)
  6. Numbers don’t lie. (See previous post with this title)

Previous Goals:

Being able to say I lost 50 pounds is great! Being able to say I lost 50 pounds last year is still pretty good, but the longer ago I hit that short-term goal the less shiny and brilliant it is….imagine saying, “Yeah, I lost 50 pounds back in 1995.” If you’ve maintained it, great!!!  If you’re like me and you have a longer term goal then it’s time to go Back to Basics!  See how I worked the title of the post in there just now? I’m crafty like that sometimes!

Now before I go on I want to say that I am very proud of my accomplishments. It’s difficult to lose 50 pounds, believe me. Losing 50 pounds wasn’t about starving myself (which doesn’t work) or just cutting out “bad foods”. It was about behavior change and deciding I wasn’t going to live on the Standard American Diet (SAD) anymore. 34% of Americans are obese. I don’t like being a part of that statistic, but last year I was.  Only 1% of Americans will run a full-marathon in their lifetime. Now THAT is a statistic I like to be a part of friends! It took me 13 months to leave one statistic behind me and join the latter. All I’m saying is don’t rest on you laurels for too long. Find a new goal and GO FOR IT!

As usual I have digressed from the subject of my posting.  Now back to the topic at hand!

Back to Basics:

Getting back to basics for me is all about focusing on healthy behaviors like eating well, getting some activity every day like shoveling snow (hopefully no more of that activity for a while!), staying hydrated and finding new ways to train so I don’t burn out.

Some things I’ve been doing on the workout side of my “Back to Basics” program include Spin Class, more body weight exercises (Thanks Tatum…my trainer.), and a variety of different types of runs each week. So for my next few posts I want to discuss some good ol’ training, how I felt about it and how it made me feel the day of and the days that followed.

First, let’s talk about burpees (aka: 4-Counts). You may remember them from high school gym class. I apologize about any flashbacks I may have just caused. Recovered yet? Good, let’s move on.

4-Counts or Burpees...call 'em what you will!

This picture details how to do them (Remember now?). This picture also shows the practitioner (not me) doing a version with a jump at the end. This is optional as it is a fairly difficult exercise without the jump. That being said, if you want to make an overall awesome exercise 10 times better then add the jump after you can do 10 regular ones with good form.

Now for some of the finer points of the exercise such as the do’s & the don’ts so you can stay injury free.

  1. Notice that you start in a standing position & squat straight down with your butt BELOW your chest.
  2. DO NOT bend over at the waist for this exercise as you run the risk of back injury.
  3. From the squat position you thrust your legs straight back again NOT raising your butt up so you’re bent over.
  4. Bring your legs back again so you are once again in the squat position.
  5. Using your legs, stand up OR thrust yourself straight up into the air for the jump version.
  6. Repeat.
  7. Remember, as you get tired you are going to want to just bend over at the waist instead of squatting down. Also, as you fatigue, when getting back up you will be tempted to raise your butt up first and use your back to straighten up. DO NOT DO THIS!  If you physically can’t do the exercise correctly for another rep then you’ve reached your limit for that set of repetitions. It’s okay to push yourself, but be smart about it.
  8. Starting out with 3-6 reps is okay. This IS a difficult exercise! It is also one of the best full-body body weight exercises!

My Experience:

Now let’s talk about my experience with “Burpees”.  Before last week’s training session I hadn’t done a 4-Count since the 90s when I was taking martial arts lessons and working toward earning my Black Belt. At that time my sensei told us that the number of 4-Counts a person could in 30 seconds was a good indicator of their overall fitness. I believed him. He could do almost 30 reps (sans jump) in 30 seconds. This exercise works everything! Try it!

After one set of these things (she made me do the version with the jump) I was sucking wind. In past sessions my trainer has told me that I am one of her best when it comes to keeping up and being able to breathe during the workout…and I was dying!  The thing is that THIS EXERCISE WORKS EVERYTHING so my body was wondering what was going on! Set #2 came and went (more wind sucking). On set #3 I may have started cursing (internally). 🙂

The day after I did 3 sets of 12 reps I felt like I had worked out for the first time in a long time. I had used muscles in ways that I hadn’t in a long time! In other words, I knew I had worked out hard and it felt good! I was a bit sore and there is nothing wrong with that…it was a good soreness from knowing I had accomplished something in my workout! I wasn’t so sore that I couldn’t function mind you.  I still got up at 4am the next day and ran 7 miles.

Variation on Burpees/4-Counts

  1. The first variation you already know. Add a jump at the end. This works the core, quads, hips, glutes, hams, calves, back, chest & arms even more!
  2. The second variation is to turn the 4-Count into a 6-Count. You know how you’re technically in a push-up position after you thrust your legs back? Do 1 push-up since you’re down there anyway!
  3. These two variations are more difficult so add them as you go. Regardless the “good ol’ fashioned version” is pretty awesome!

Next Time:

Next week I plan on discussing different types of runs you can do. Not sure whether I want to write about tempo runs, intervals, something else or multiple types. I’m sure I’ll find inspiration at some point to direct my musings!

Happy Training!

-Brian

My Next Running Adventure(s) 2011 Edition

I have made it to the light at the end of the marathon tunnel and discovered that I want to go find another tunnel!

About 30 seconds after finishing my first marathon I wanted to find another to train for in 2011. Luckily, I didn’t have to look far and I have a couple choices. First, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is November 5th, 2011 and is in my own backyard practically. Second, a friend of mine whom I’m running with in April wants me to return to Kansas for a full marathon in mid-October. I’m not sure if I’m ready for two full marathons just three weeks apart. It’ll be my friend’s first full marathon so that should be fun, but now I just need to decide. I’m leaning toward Kansas City since the prospect of travel is always nice! I can run the Indianapolis Monumental anytime and if the weather repeats here in Indiana like last year it’ll be a cold run in November. Temperatures were dipping into the 20s for the Monumental in 2010. Perhaps that’ll be my 2012 endeavor!?!?!?!

Of course, I can never do anything the easy way so I mapped out a second year of running events with a healthy dose of ambition for a relatively new runner. I think that by the end of this year I won’t be able to claim the “newbie” title anymore…I have too many people hitting me up for advice at this point anyway!

Of course with it being a new year I need new goals!

  1. First, is to not live to run. I did that in 2010 and I want to enjoy my summer more this time around including some easy runs at dusk just for fun.
  2. Last year I lost 50 lbs and that was a good start. I need to drop another 20 to get down to a healthier range. Body fat percentage is still too high so that will be my primary focus.
  3. I want to become a stronger all around athlete rather than “just a runner” although there is nothing wrong with that. I just mean that running won’t be 90% of my exercise like it was in 2010. More like 70%….

As I stated above, once again I have been ambitious in my scheduling just as I was last year. I have a feeling that just like last year I will be adding an event or two along the way. So here it is, my race schedule! What’s your running season look like?

Welcome to Brian’s Insanity v2.011:

  • Walt Disney World Marathon, January 9th (Done)
  • Lawrence, KS Half Marathon, April 17th (Registered)
  • Indianapolis Mini-Marathon, May 7th (Registered)
  • Carmel, IN Half Marathon 6-11-11 (Soon to be Registered)
  • CarmelFest Freedom Run (4.5 mile) 7-2-11 (Perhaps)
  • Kansas City Full-Marathon 10-15-11 (Most Likely)
  • Indianapolis Monumental Marathon 11-5-11 (Perhaps)
  • Drumstick Dash 11-24-11 (Too much fun to miss!)
  • Indianapolis Jingle Bell Run 12-10-11 (Brrr, but yes…)

So once again I would like to  say that you should have goals. I had a great 2010 and I want to have an even better 2011! The reason is I had goals and ticked them off one by one!  Have something to train for out in the future. I always say that training for just another 5 pounds isn’t enough and will only motivate you so far. That’s why I’m considering two marathons within three weeks of each other.  I know I can run a half or a full-marathon…been there, done that. I know that in order to run two full marathons three weeks apart I would have to bring my training to a new level and decrease my body fat percentage over the next 9 months to be able to take on the challenge. I also know that this may be the next step for me to move beyond the 26.2 mile range which would make me an ultra runner. An ultra is defined as any distance race beyond 26.2 miles.  We’ll see if I explore that kind of race down the road, but it’s a thought for the future.

Happy training and have fun!

Brian

Follow me on Twitter  @TheRunningMan23

Vibram Five Fingers

Wow, January has flown by as we rocket into February, 2011! If you’ve been following me you know that I ran my first marathon at Walt Disney World on January 9th! It was so exciting! Now that I’m back from sunny Florida I thought I would devote a blog post to a “new” running craze that’s sweeping the nation, Barefoot Running.

If you are a walker or runner you may have heard about a book called “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. I got a copy for Christmas and read it cover to cover immediately. The book has been touted to have started the recent craze in barefoot running & walking. The book is excellent and I would recommend it to anyone regardless of their activity level. The writing is great and the story which revolves around a lot of good information is superb. Have I said enough? It’s a good book.

Anyway, in the book a runner named “Barefoot Ted” mentions a type of “shoe” he wears for a little extra protection when he is on terrain where he might run into glass, extreme heat or other hazards. He normally runs without any shoes at all.  The “shoes” are called Vibram Five Fingers or VFFs for short.

Not mine, but these are exactly what I bought.

I did my research after reading “Born to Run” and the information/data I found makes sense to me. Of course, I majored in Movement & Sport Science back in college so I can read the ever so exciting research articles and make an informed opinion a bit better than the average person who isn’t used to the science lingo. I don’t work in the Exercise Science Industry now, but the knowledge is still there. I call it “My Hobby Degree”!

Basically, modern day running/walking shoes do a great job of supporting our feet with stability control, extra cushion, etc. Modern day shoes do this so well that the numerous muscles in our feet as well as the tendons and ligaments don’t have to work as hard as our cro-mangnon cousins’ and therefore become weaker since we aren’t using them or using them much less. Use it or lose it, right?

Backing this up is the fact that since the 1960s-70s when athletic shoes started showing up on the scene (Thank you Phil Knight & Coach Bowerman!) you would expect a decrease in the number of running injuries that plague our activities….nope! Zero decrease in running injuries with the modern day running shoe and its plethora of advances across its 30-40 year history. And here’s a kick in the head for you! There is a direct or positive correlation between the cost of a shoe and the occurrence of injury.  That’s right folks…the expensive ones are related to an increase in injuries. This makes sense since the more support the weaker your feet become.

Now, do NOT take my word for it. Go read, research, find your own research articles and build your own opinion. Feel free to look all this up, but at the root is the fact that modern running shoes allow us to heel strike more which not only slows us down, but also delivers a heck of an impact to our ankles, knees, hips and everything else while contributing to many an injury. Chances are if you are a runner then you will have some sort of running related injury in the next 12 months assuming a regular training schedule the most common being overuse injuries like ITBS. (See my earlier posts on my ITBS issues)

Soooo, am I going to throw away my $100 pair of Saucony’s? Absolutely NOT! I bought a pair of VFFs and I am using them as a training tool the same as I would a dumbbell, spin class, tempo run, or heavy bag. Each week as a part of my normal marathon training program I walk, jog and run in my VFFs to help strengthen my lower legs and concentrate on correcting my running form. With my minimal VFF use to date I find that I can’t heal strike comfortably in them…I have to “run right” or run the way I am made to run which is with a forefoot or midfoot strike.

My suggestion is to keep an open mind, check it all out for yourself and if you decide, buy a pair of VFFs and try them out as a part of your regular training plan following all the recommendations that go along with the product first of which is start slooooow and taper from there. 🙂  Personally, I ran a half mile in my VFFs last week and have walked for 20 minutes on a treadmill in them. I’m slowly building up my endurance and lower leg strength. I even wear them to work sometimes (an option not everyone has, but I do)

I plan on running a 5K this summer in my VFFs and I’m excited to see how they feel!

Happy Training!

Brian

Numbers Don’t Lie.

I love food.  A great burger. An awesome cup of coffee. A sweet dessert. A hearty chili. A good dark beer. A succulent filet. A fine fillet o’ fish.  Anyone hungry now? All can find their way into my diet and in moderation can really be enjoyed!  I used to reach for a Snickers, Kit Kat or Hershey’s if I had a sweet tooth craving. Now I reach for 1-2 squares of the darkest chocolate I can find. It takes a lot of discipline not to pig out one day a week until I started keeping a food diary for a while. It’s on the desktop of my work laptop so it’s always staring me in the face. Not only did I keep a food diary, but I kept it on an excel spread sheet broken down by meals and snacks.  So I guess it’s more of a calorie diary than a food diary. Remember, I was 65-75 pounds over weight at the beginning. From writing everything down, I found out that numbers don’t lie.

If the numbers don't add up I don't lose weight
I can tell about how many calories I’ve taken in as well as the work I’ve put in and the pounds I’ve lost at a glance.

Obviously, I needed a change and I made those changes. As of today I am quickly approaching 180 lbs which is a far cry from the 245 lbs at which I started! One of the amazing things I found after starting this food diary was the effects of one meal on my week. Numbers don’t lie. If the little dial on the scales didn’t go down then I could look back at my spreadsheet and know why. I recorded calories burned as well so I really got into it. After a while I even started changing the font color to red for high calorie meals.  This was a visual indicator of what stopped me from being successful in my goal that week.  Now if you’ve read my other posts you know that I plan for holidays and enjoy the foods that go along with them.  I used to work for the Walt Disney Company so I know all about indulgence!  🙂  But aside from the 10-12 weeks a year when it’s okay (for me) to splurge I try to keep on track with a fairly controlled diet which includes all sorts of foods…foods that support my current training goals whether it be for a marathon, dropping 5 pounds, maintaining my current weight, gaining muscle, etc. I found that if I had a meal that was 800 calories for lunch and I burned 500 calories in exercise then a lot of time I was just going to the gym so I could have french fries that day. Totally not worth it for me since the numbers didn’t add up. Why? Because numbers don’t lie. Eventually I had to discipline myself to change my behavior and my perspective on what constituted a meal. I was way out of whack on my perspective of what size a “meal” should be. Did I need an 800-1000 calorie lunch? No, I didn’t. Did I have to have a salad every day? No, I didn’t. I just needed to make different choice and explore my food options a bit more. Recently I hit a weight plateau so I went back to my calorie diary and started keeping track again.  Sure enough, it took me a couple weeks, but the pounds started to come off again.  Bam, down another 5 pounds.  Numbers don’t lie. So the moral of the story is know what you’re eating, how much you’re eating and the consequences of it all. I found there is a fine line between indulgence & gluttony. If you’re not sure where that line is just look at the numbers because numbers don’t lie. Happy Training & Happy Holidays!

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Run!

Hello race fans! Saturday morning was a balmy 39 degrees here in Indianapolis as several hundred people all showed up at the same place to run a 5K known as the Jingle Bell Run!  This event supports the Arthritis Foundation.

My gf and I headed downtown to Conseco Fieldhouse where the event would start and finish.  My gf was the Volunteer Coordinator for this year’s run/walk so we arrived at 6:00am to start getting the volunteers checked-in and sent to their assignments. I was in charge of volunteer t-shirts and lanyards and pretty much at my gf’s beck & call for a few hours.  It was a good time helping get this awesome event underway!

My girlfriend and I at the Volunteer Coordinator table. She was easy to spot with that Christmas tree on her head!

With a 9:00am start, I ventured to the start line around 8:50am.  If you read my blog regularly then you know I ran The Drumstick Dash with a buddy of mine on Thanksgiving and did great!  So for this race I lined up with the 9-min/mile pace peeps and even stepped to the front of the group.  It was chilly, but with Under Armour and gloves it was no big deal. It felt really good being an entire corral closer to the start line than “normal” too! It’s amazing what becomes normal since almost 12 months ago to the day I couldn’t run a single mile and started at a 12 minute/mile pace when I did run.

I flipped on my iPod to a little “Flo Rida: The Club Can’t Handle Me” as the race started.  The first bit of the race was grueling as the wind picked up and the chill crept into everything.  After I rounded the corner off Pennsylvania Street the wind was gone and things improved.  The cold air was a challenge as it always is for me but I felt good as I finished Mile #1.  Mile #2 whipped past in no time and the next thing you know I was crossing Penn again to head toward Monument Circle.  After a quick three blocks or so I was rounding another corner onto Pennsylvania again and could see the finish line.

About that time “How Far We’ve Come” by Matchbox 20 kicked on the headphones and I took off.  I could see the clock had just crossed the 27 minute mark and I really wanted to beat 28 minutes.  As I approached the finish I realized I could potentially beat 00:27:30 so it was a race the last few feet to cross the line before the big three-zero went by.

I always forget about those few seconds between the official clock start and individual time based on crossing the start line.  Official Time ended up being 00:27:04.8 which was good for a new 5K PR! I beat my last 5K time by 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

Next stop, The Disney World Marathon January 9th!

Happy Training!

Almost Taper Time!

I just completed several days of rest over the weekend and I’m looking forward to my final looong long run for my marathon training program coming up this Saturday.  It’s a 20+ miler.  My actual program is for a 26 mile run, but I’ll be happy with anything equal to or over 20 miles.  I’m just going to see how I feel when I get into the upper teens. That morning is also a 5K Jingle Bell Run in Downtown Indianaplois so my long run will be broken up a bit as I first complete my final race of the year and then head over to the gym to finish up later in the day.

I have been struggling these past few weeks to get my training in as I’ve suffered from the common cold, a sore right knee, a sore left glute, finishing up two graduate classes, studied for the GRE to complete my graduate school application, took the GRE exam last Monday, also trying to write two final papers of double digit length (12 pages & 30 pages) all the while attending multiple Thanksgivings (3) and still fitting in “Date Night” so as not to end up sleeping on the couch!  😉

Priorities priorities!  Or balance as my gf would say! Regardless, I am very much ready for the tapering in training that will begin after this weekend! I leave for Florida and the marathon venue (aka DISNEY!) four weeks from today and I couldn’t be happier about it!

After Disney I will have earned some time off from the daily running.  I’ll still keep a bit of running mileage after I recover from my 26.2 mile magical adventure, but cross-training & weight loss will definitely be my prime focus for a while.

My trainer has already told me I have to go to Spin Class with her!  Spinning will be a welcome change I’m sure!  If I don’t fall off the bike…..

Happy Training!

Training during the “Cold Season”

Yes, it’s cold outside here in Indiana as we move into December, but that kind of cold is not what I’m talking about. Over Thanksgiving I was able to spend time with friends and family which means being around a lot of little ones, lilliputians…aka, kids. Ahhhh, they can be so cute in their little holiday sweaters. That is until they sneeze on you.  That was not the case for me though, no! I was the victim of a rhino-viral terrorist attack.  You see the kids LOOKED healthy but hid a dark secret within. As I spoon fed pumpkin pie & chocolatey cake goodness to my GF’s niece & nephew I took a couple bites myself and that is where I made my mistake. Way back in the day I worked fast food and I remember something about transferring germs or something…lesson lost.

So the Saturday after “The Attack” I started to have a little bit of a sore throat. My GF who is way smarter than me let me in on the whole rhino-virus formula of 3 days in, 5 days to stay, 3 days out. So Saturday was Day 2 of the arrival. Lesson RE-learned!

This is a good time to let you in on a secret.  I had childhood asthma. As a matter of fact, as an infant I spent a lot of time in an oxygen tent. This may explain why I’m not a fan of camping to this day. Growing up on a farm my parents barely let me outside as a small child during the harvest season due to the extra amount of crop dust in the air. The asthma contributed to a recurring theme of upper respiratory infections including but not limited to bronchitis on an annual basis until I was well into my teenage years. It was rough, but I survived to run four half-marathons this year. 🙂

So why mention all that? Well, I am very sensitive to any type of upper respiratory issue including the common cold so I tend to take a proactive approach (Big Surprise There!) when I feel a cold coming to visit and that day Mr. Rhino-virus was knocking at my door.

My Plan of Attack when I feel under the weather:

  1. Sleep (9 hours/night if possible, but an extra 90 minutes at least)
  2. OJ (Vitamin C) – Morning, after work and before bed.
  3. Yogurt (Helps the immune system) 1-2 servings/day
  4. …..no training or limited training. I know, I know….horrible to say, right?
  5. Finally, I take Zicam or a generic version of Zicam if it’s a common cold getting me down. Your decision though!

Why no/less training with an illness? Ever had a cold that lasted weeks or seemed to last for weeks? I’ve had that and it’s horrible! A single bout of exercise does effect the immune system.  Immune response drops or is less after a single bout of exercise. Now if you are a regular exerciser  your immune system most likely is stronger than Joe Couch Potato, but the dip in your immune system that you get from a good run may just be enough for that rhino-virus to stick around longer than me at a buffet last year…too long!

During the onset of a cold may be the perfect time for you to get a little extra rest and come back recharged after your exercise hardened superior immune system sends out the hunter-killer drones for ol’ Mr. Rhino.

Happy Training & wash your hands!  🙂

I Feel the Need…The Need for Speed!

I am a fan of The Biggest Loser.  I watch that show every week that it’s on and find it inspiring.  Those people put in a lot of effort and get amazing results.  Now I realize that if I had two professional trainers, a full medical staff including physical therapists and athletic trainers at my disposal while doing nothing but training 5-6 hours a day 7 days a week I could get some amazing results too.  But I’m not writing to minimize what those contestants go thru. They are all amazing and inspirational to a lot of people around the country including me.

What amazes me about The Biggest Loser is the contestants that make it into the finals and run the full marathon before the finale.  They’ve been training for several months by that point, but have not really been training for a marathon.  Add in that many of them are still obese and I am once again amazed and inspired.

So what does The Biggest Loser have to do with “A Need for Speed”?  I remembered one contestant last season, Daris, who not only finished the full marathon, but crushed the time record for the show by running the 26.2 miles in 4 hours & 2 minutes. Seriously!?!? I ran my 20.75 miles in 3 hours & 52 minutes.  So Daris is obviously faster than me. This got me thinking a lot about speed.  I’ve read in articles that running for more than 4 hours is something you don’t want to do on a regular basis.  I know I know….people DO do this all the time, but rest & recovery between sessions is a huge priority for them I’m sure.

My trainer has also been on me about speed work and I’m beginning to see why.  Yes Tatum, sometimes I need you to draw me a picture!  🙂 Suddenly I flash back to high school and all those skinny people wearing their clever track shirts that say, “The faster you run, The quicker you’re done.”  It’s a completely true albeit obvious statement that leads me to the point that I need to cover more ground in less time or speed my butt up! I currently run a 10 minute mile comfortably and my half marathon race pace has been closer to averaging 09:45/mile. The Drumstick Dash taught me that I am capable of a faster pace so now I just need to increase my longevity at that speed.

So if you read my post on “Refocusing” then you’ll recall my running schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Saturday. As a part of this plan Jeff Galloway recommends running during the week at a pace 30 seconds faster than race pace to get out of your comfort zone so for me a pace of 09:20 to 9:30 would be about right for the two 45 minute runs on Monday & Wednesday.  Obviously as this pace becomes more comfortable then I will push the speed up a little. The fastest I’ve ever ran one mile back in college was 8 minutes and I weighed 175 pounds at the time or 15-20 pounds lighter than I do now.

So besides getting into the gym all 7 days a week (or just working out all 7 days) I am also adding in some mile repeats on Saturdays when I’m not doing a super long run & possibly some sprints during the week. Jeff Galloway suggests 1 mile repeats with a 5 minute walk rest between to recover before going again. Remember this plan is for 1st time marathoners not seasoned veterans so there is more recovery.

The pace I’ll run for the single mile will push an 08:50 min/mile pace.  This of course will help my 45 minute runs feel easier and I’ll push faster which will help me push the Saturday repeats faster as well as improve my overall long run time.  Each workout supports the next one and the recovery time between workouts supports them all.

I write all the time about having a “complete & balanced” program.  Everything supports everything else! Nutrition supports recovery and the workouts.  One workout supports another and everything prepares you for the big day when you pin on a race bib. For me, that’s January 9th!

Happy Training!

The Drumstick Dash

Happy Thanksgiving! (For Yesterday)

Thanksgiving morning I ventured out for a 4.5 mile race/fun run with a buddy of mine before scooting up to the dinner table for an awesome turkey dinner prepared by my girlfriend and her sister. BTW, these women can cook and this fact is NOT helping my efforts. Luckily my GF is very supportive of my running habit!

The annual Drumstick Dash takes place in Broad Ripple, Indiana and is a great event that benefits The Wheeler Mission Ministries. Every year, Wheeler provides more than 226,000 nutritious meals to hungry men, women and children.

A little History about “Chasing the Drumstick”:

1,300 people signed up the first year
2,000 the second year…
2,500 the third year …
3,700 the fourth year…
5,010 for the fifth year …
7,022 for the sixth year…
9,250 for the seventh year…

This year…drum role…11,300 pre-registered and believe me they all were there!

Pre-race meal: Cereal, juice and a Gu Pack (why not)

Weather: Rain, rain, rain, a bit of wind, 48 degrees and more rain…like “flood warning” rain…I saw a guy in an arc.

My thoughts: I hope my knee is up for this run since this is the first stress I’ve put on it since the 20+ miler!

As I said before, I ran with a buddy of mine who has also made great strides across the last year to drop weight (60+ lbs) and take up running. We were rockin & rollin on the first two miles at an 8:50 pace!  We registered at a 09:45/mile pace so this was awesome! We should have been one more corral up for the start! We know for next year!

Except for the rain it was a perfect day for running an event like this. We both were soaked thru to the bone by the end of it. My knee felt good and only let me know it was there a few hours afterwards with very mild stiffness which eventually went away…possibly due to the nice chianti we had with Thanksgiving dinner, but it didn’t return.

The official results were as follows!

  1. Time: 00:41:43.2
  2. Pace: 09:16

I know that running with my friend really helped me to not only push myself past the 9min/mile pace for the beginning of the race, but to maintain a good split for the second half. Running with a partner for a race can really help as I led him sometimes and he set pace for me at times too. We may be tackling a half-marathon in May together too!

I couldn’t be happier with the results and I’m looking forward to my final event of the year, The Indianapolis Jingle Bell Run on December 11th, 2010 which supports the Arthritis Foundation.

Happy Holidays and Happy Training!