Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Training Philosophy . . .Ha ha ha ha ah ahahahah

this post is ad-lib, post IPA and upon stumbling upon the following post:
"He Who Has The Most Fun Wins (by Matt Fitzgerald)

There is a very interesting new study I want to tell you about today. It involved a team of amateur cyclists engaged in their normal training and racing over the course of a full season. At the beginning of the study period, researchers brought all of the cyclists into the lab and had them perform a simulated 40K time trial and recorded the details of each subject’s performance. This test was repeated approximately every four weeks over the next 24 weeks. At the beginning of the study period each team member also filled out a questionnaire designed to assess the athlete’s level of enjoyment of his or her training. The questionnaire was administered again at two-week intervals over the next 24 weeks.

Can you see where this is going? The researchers found a strong correlation between enjoyment and performance. . . "

That's an excerpt from a post from this blog.

Running and gunning, i.e., raising the ole blood pressure, is fun. Although humankind might have stumbled upon this correlation while/after being chased by the ole saber-tooth (I see the origin here of high-risk behavior), the chased has certainly gained by participating in frequent bouts of physical exertion.

I might stop right here and say one better be having fun "training" for whatever sort of competition, or the whole affair is doomed. That'll be my conclusion. If one is not actually having fun, but in fact "running from the 'proverbial tiger'" still, yikes. Good luck. We have fun during most work-outs, so we might infer that the endeavor has an overall positive affect on our lives despite a few occasional bad workouts. But the bad might be having more of an affect than we care to believe. How do we avoid the schnoid? Great question. Let me have one more San Diego IPA and I'll get right on it. . .

Okay! Did I say one better be having fun? Okay!

I think the best exercise comes first from a state of consistency. Magill's post about running vs. training is brilliant. I'm discouraged from ever using "training" to characterize my routine again. One has to get out and run, period. Hitting the pavement/trail/track often will make one smarter than reading any book or blog. One just has to be involved, growing, learning. Be consistent. That's the first step.

While one is out and about on a consistent basis, I think a developing awareness of one's PE ranks pretty high on the to do list (Not only am I talking about classic PE, but is one really "feeling" the work-outs, ala the way Randy Jackson might say). Sure, the heart rate monitor makes most endurance athletes' gear bags, but knowing one's body during the work-out should be part of the system for sure. Last year I even slept with my HRM; this year I've kept it at bay. I'm thinking about including it more, especially while reading Joghard, because the data is definitely helpful. But I don't think one needs to use it exclusively. I think of an ultra, which I have yet to run, but my heart (rate) is there and I will have more than one 50k under my belt by Dec. 31st. Puking and muscle cramps might be the biggest concerns. Steep climbs, big descents and volatile weather might be more on the mind than HR. The HRM definitely has its place in the build-up to a specific event, but . . ..then we seemed to have touched on another aspect of training. . .

Goals. People compete/participate in events because those races are fun on some level. So, pick those events that fit one's style. Background plays a big role and so does natural inclination. Does one prefer the track or the trail? Choose and build appropriately (notice I did not say "train").

As for the program, again, so much depends on the background and goals of an athlete, but, again, build appropriately. And that means include a base. What a runner does after that, it's way beyond me, but ease into the schedule: build the aerobic system. The base is based on the goals. I'm still in a base (it's June), but my A races are in Oct. and Dec. (for now). I'm running hard a little here and there (the no HRM approach facilitates this pretty well), but building my aerobic system is a bigger picture approach. Read Joghard for the real goods on that approach.

The second to last point I'll touch on is diversity, which should really help one keep things fun. For a runner, we might be talking about varying run work-outs. The easy runs should be easy. The hard runs hard. So much is written about the error of going too hard on easy days and not hard enough on tough days. For some runners, like me, diversity means doing other types of work-outs, cross-training. But, what are one's goals? Marathoners should just run. I remember reading something about Amby Burfoot's training when he did well. He had a lot of success running aerobically. When he returned to the track, he got slower. It seemed to underscore Maffetone's motto: want speed? Slow down! For the rest of us, mix it up. That may be the best reason to hire a coach.

The last point is fellowship. Blog, join a club, run with a friend. It helps.

Ya know, I had some interesting thoughts on my training philosophy, especially during runs. Maybe I've captured some of them here. The irony was the simplicity of the whole thing. And I'll stick to that.

Have fun. Be consistent. Listen to your body. Create goals. Build (your aerobic engine) toward those specific goals. Embrace diversity. Seek fellowship.

And as for avoiding the schnoid (negativity) in ANY activity, if you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong. So simple. So investigate, seek counsel, make changes. . .find that bliss.

I know. Booooring. I gots to post something!
By the way, the "training" is going pretty well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Last training post.

I'm going to use the Runner's World Training Log I got in the mail. Yahoooooo!
It's just a different forum. It's more mine. I will certainly continue to visit my "bluds" but Recovery Discovery is for something else.

Monday 5/18

30 minute spin
45 minute run
I am fatigued. Tired all day, hungry. I did not really want to workout.
Tomorrow’s big hilly trail run is just what I need.

:45 run

Tuesday 5/19

With some soreness and continued sense of fatigue (I guess that’s what it is),
I jumped on my long trail run. I hit Penasquitos Canyon for the first time in a long time. Thought I’d get in about 1:30 or so. Ended-up doing 1:50 on the dot (weird how so many work-outs end-up on round numbers without really trying, no?) The first 45 minutes was a loop with a big hill. I hit that twice and felt pretty good. By the end of the run I was beat. That’s my longest run in a long time. My knees were sore and I was gast. I took a gel and hit some water at about 1:10. I would guess I climbed between 1500ft and 1800ft. Rolling course with a lot of big hills that reach the rim of the canyon. The trails there are good. With a little more time now, especially on the weekends, this is a good “local” venue.

1:50 run

I’m off tomorrow!

Wednesday 5/20


Thursday 5/21

50 minute hilly run, steady at noon. A little steamy.
30 minute recovery run in the afternoon. Wasn’t going to run due to some dehydration/light-headedness. Took care of that and then the run felt great.
Actually ramped it up at the end, last 5 minutes 7 minute miles.
30 minute spin on stationary.

1:20 run

Friday 5/22
Tuesday 5/26

OFF. I am done with the run only regimen. The weekend was loaded with spring cleaning (gave Father Joe’s a shit load!). Getting organized. No desire to do the runs I’ve been doing for over a year, solo. I go to Tahoe in a week with family to run and hit the road bike with dad and brother in law. Looking at my bikes this weekend in my really clean garage along with by burn-out on the run-only regimen has definitely triggered a change. I hit the bike this weekend with Tom. Change is good. So is ice cold brew.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The End. . . .some thoughts

Between Bolt and Geb, it's safe to say we're in a golden age.
Watching Bolt run, his height, his length, is like watching some kind of running god. Thanks to Magill for the link.

Other than that, today is an off day. I did my long trail yesterday at Rancho Penasquitos Canyon. 1:50 on the dot. 1:50! I was beat. Steady effort, some big hills. Progress!

The web is obviously an insane tool. One can retrieve insane amounts of information (good and bad!). I remember getting involved in triathlon in, like, 2003. Being the sports nut that I am, I naturally followed the big dogs. I looked at the history took a gander at the two sport mags, i.e., familiarized myself with the discourse. Steve Larsen was one of the first "stories" I liked a lot. Rode with Lance, dominated MTB racing and then won, I think, IM Lake Placid. Either way, he went to Kona and finished top 10. Very cool. Then I remember he retired, etc. Today's news that he died is f'ing brutal. I can't believe it. I saw this picture last week on CStoltz's blog (Larsen kicking ass at Xterra, he's on our right).
Working on his speed and down he goes, forever? What? 5 kids. Doing the right thing. Making a living (starting a new business aside from his real estate biz). I have a theory. I've known (of) too many people (including my own mother) who are on top of the world, so to speak, have become complete assests for this god forsaken world . ..and boom, gone. My theory: don't get your shit together. I know that sounds nuts, but I am a little nuts and an event like Larsen's death makes me a little more nuts. My speed work-out tomorrow will be a long MAF run. Go long, stay long. I'm trippin.

This image says it all to me. I found this on LA's twitter page; he says of the pic:

"A msg to cancer, heart attacks, and accidents that rob us of our loved ones."
Thanks, Lance. Rest in peace Steve Larsen and everyone else who left the party way too soon. On that note, go give your loved ones a big hug and kiss; and smile as much as you can, between laughs.


After a slow weekend (5/25), I've decided to make some changes in training and life (nothing drastic, but specific). One of those things is a break from (b)logging my "training" here. It's all jibberish right now.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

5/11 thru 5/17

Monday 5/11

30 min. spin
35 min tready run with lots of mellow incline.

Tuesday 5/12

1:22 9.5 miles with ~1500ft. up. A little hard, but I felt so good. Really controlled things, cruised. Felt good. My Skinfit gear is sick. If you’re not wearing Skinfit gear, you’re a goon. Buy Skinfit now. Do not delay. The marine layer was epic. I ran out to the point and should have repeated the little trail climb, but didn’t. To be continued.

Wednesday 5/13

Off. I wanted to run, but got wise. It’s so easy to be counter-productive. . .

Thursday 5/14

Today was a little “speed day.” My schedule sets up for harder workouts on Tues and Thurs. The Wed. off day makes this a nice mid-week schedule. Tuesday I’ve been doing longer hillier, and the plan is to do a little tempo or interval work on Thursday.

50 minutes (6+ miles) with 1x4min on w/3min recovery and then 3x5 min on w/3 min recovery. My w/u, recovery and c/d were very ez. During the surges I got the turn-over and certainly felt them with a little Madcon, Greyboy Allstars, and System of a Down going, but I wasn’t worked at all afterwards. I guess I didn’t run hard enough, but with six days in a row on the docket, I’ll live with it. I think my “speed work-outs” need to include a little more running (at least an hour), and running a harder. But all in all it’s a good sign. Early season and all. Healthy (knock on wood).

Friday 5/15

50 minute recovery run. Out the door at 5:45. Hitting the road to Arrowhead today, so I knew it was early or not going to happen. Mission accomplished.

Saturday 5/16

At elevation 5500’, I did a 3 mile loop twice that basically went up and down. 6 miles in 51.36 with ~1300ft of climbing. I thought to myself, I should just be running up here since the elevation will do the trick. But no, I had to do hills too. Two big hills.

Sunday 5/17

I had a little of the Sunday blues. . .got up early in Arrowhead, loaded-up and headed home. Didn’t sleep well last night and wasn’t that psyched to run in Arrowhead again this morning because it’s basically just road running and the hills were had yesterday; those kinda worked me. After the first loop, I was having teeny tiny shortness of breath beyond the obvious I’m winded feeling. Like I said, just running would have been great, but I had to do Big Hills too? It was great and the Racer 5 and Chimay tasted that much better.

Because of the blues and the traveling (blues traveler), I got home and then went to the gym and rode the stationary for 1 hour and then had a solid 45 min run. This brick-type work-out might work since I tire the legs some (high/low rpm) and then run. The run had a little incline and I varied the speed, but mostly just an easy “long run.”

1:45 ;-)

A good week. I got in some climbing and a little speedplay. I think today's blues traveler had a little to do with yesterday's run. I haven't run those kind of hills (~mile long 700ft. climbs) in a while. Of course I got to cruise whatever flat I found and that was at ~5,000ft; I felt some fatigue in the body and the mind (the poor sleep didn't help). But the Tuesday run was quality and the Thursday speed day left me feeling a little hungry. Good news. As for today's work-out, I'd like to aspire to a 2+ hour hilly road or mountain bike ride, followed by a 1+ hour run maybe on off weeks. I do need to get in longer 2+ hour runs and eventually 3+ hour runs, but no need to push the work-outs at the expense of my health. It seems to make sense and THAT'S all the research I need.

Things are heatin' up. Stay cool and refreshed!

Friday, May 15, 2009

No Excuses

After a nice and easy 50 min. recovery run this morning (out the door at 5:45am) I just wanted to point-out how manageable and important it is to get in the miles. I was back in the house, coffee already made, my body feeling GREAT, my Friday work-out done, a little travel on the itinerary, ready to go! On a weekend, I could have gotten in another 2 hours and been home by 8:30am. Here's the rub: it's not whether or not someone wants to have to resort to such a schedule; it's that one can not afford not to. Most of us know (and may even take for granted) how essential exercise is to the system. The alternative is a slow acceptance of the inevitable decline that can't wait to participate in one's retirement.

Give the brain a break. Get the blood flowing.
Everyone will appreciate the work.

Monday, May 11, 2009

5/4 thru 5/10

Monday 5/4

45 minute spin

Tuesday 5/5

1:30 trail run with some good climbing. Kind of a breakthrough. I felt a little more worthy than I have. It was hot, but a good breeze to keep temps in check. I have a good route near downtown I can count on now: rolling and up and a ~1k dirt “track,” repeat. Broke out the trail shoes for the first time in a while. Finally.

Wednesday 5/6


Thursday 5/7

1:02 (hey every freakin min. counts!) run with 3x5min on 5min off along the way. With no Garmin/HRM, I’m PE on the status quo and the tempo. It was hot and the run was FLAT. But these runs are key. My little schedule is working for me: variety. A hot relatively hard run along the jetty and around Fiesta island.

Friday 5/8

45 min. spin, fairly committed (~110 rpm) for me.
30 min. run. Felt great. I concluded with some solid incline, mellow pace, but up.

Saturday 5/9

Should have run early as we were going to the desert for Mother’s Day. Because I was so "feeling the pillow" and knew we would have a chance to run later in the desert as Jack would be hanging with Nana, I passed on the early run. Mistake. Finally made it to father-in-law’s taco shop (epic grinds), about 100 degrees: tacos and cerveza. That was around 1:00. Wife and I went back to hotel, checked-in, and I had a sixer of beer in my handy little fridge. Hmmmm. I pulled a genius move. Ran to the base of the mountain, and started up. Climbed about 1000 feet in ¾ of mile. I mean UP! It was rattlesnake paradise, but no sign. So, after about 20 minutes of UP, I turned around and headed back. Running the rocky down, down, down, and Boom – ate shit! My wife actually saw me from the hotel room (this picture is taken from the room and that there rocky mountain is were I went); “I saw your red shorts going along and then you went down.” She’s right. I was dazed. I ate shit! Back to the room for a few more ice cold beers. Slept like a rock.

Sunday 5/10

Knew we were in for a huge brunch buffet, so I hit a run in the morning. Not as long as I wanted, but about 45 minutes of ez run consisting of some pretty good incline repeats on a sandy trail going up the mountain (This pic shows kinda where I went -- that water tank in the distance was pretty much the turn-around). The heat was already on at 7:45am. The run felt good. A little core and then off to the buffet. This was the key for my weekend: I ate smart at the buffet. I did not go nuts and eat 3 insane omelets, a few slaps of beef and a bunch of shrimp followed by two plates of chocolatey mouse-like desserts. Instead, lots of veggies, fruit (even oatmeal) and too much salmon with red onions and capers! Yum. And some bubbly.


So, things continue to get better. I don't feel as old as I did (do not take too much time off once you get "old." Geezerville! I learned my lesson).

The desire to run has returned too. I have to admit, I was fighting some of the runs over the past few weeks, knowing I had to get out there on a consistent basis. Now, I want to run.

Some trends: I'm starting to climb more. The hilly trail run last week was great. Tomorrow (Tuesday 5/12) is another hilly trail run. My treadmill runs have a lot of variety to them, as well. More incline and these feel good. My body is adapting to the stress. Between Trevor and Lucho, I am developing a good running soul (that sounds a little cheesy and brash but those guys are solid, sick athletes and I have learned a lot from both!).

Trend #2: variety. I'm mixing things up. Some hills, some flat with a little tempo, some ez, some spinning on the stationary. This feels right. I'm also needing variety in the runs. I slept-in on Sat. for the afternoon run in the desert because I was dreading another run around the neighborhood, from the house. My weekend work-outs will enable now to drive and launch. I need the variety. And the Wed. off is very nice. Tuesday is big because Wed. is off., followed by big Thurs., ez day and then the weekend. Applause. I'm in a solid polygamous relationship with running.

School is almost out. I have manifesto post coming-up in which I reveal how simple running/training should be. And a preview of the summer. As for a teaser, I'm off to Arrowhead this coming weekend (local mountains, elevation ~5000ft.) and Lake Tahoe in June. My form is building so I should be able to make something of these travels.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

4/27 thru 5/3

Monday 4/27

40 min. run. EZ and a little sore I think from the weekend/week. I’ll survive.

Tuesday 4/28

1:20 trail run. Great run, but the climbing (and not that much) kinda beat me up. Plus I had in the back of my mind that I got the swine flu from one of the 100 or so students I face in the trenches each day.

The stress felt good. I knew Wednesday would be off so I knew I’d be recovering. I am not running with anything but a stop-watch right now. So I don’t know how far I ran, how much climbing, nor my HR. I just kept it steady. I was pretty beat and actually hiked a few of the last steep climbs. I am out of shape but am getting stronger.

The way I was climbing late summer fall on Laguna, Iron Mt., Vegas, etc., gives me plenty of reason to hoist a cold steep IPA after runs like this (after all the food and hydration!).

Wednesday 4/29


Thursday 4/30

1:05 easy and steady. Felt good. Recovery is discovery, ya’ll. Things are starting to go.

Friday 5/1

35 min. steady with about 10 minutes of 100yd. sprints on about 15 sec. rest on grass. I’m thinking about doing a little Tabata every once in a while. This was a lame attempt at that but I still got the turn-over going some.

35min. steady. Total: 1:10

Saturday 5/2

60 min. run, 30 min. spin. Nice and steady. Gassed.

Sunday 5/3

1:20 min run, with some hills. Got a little nauseas on one. I need to start working the hills.

395 minutes of running

A couple of "long runs" and the inclusion of some strides. My "base" is still coming along fine. I included about another 100 minutes of running this week and a couple work-outs that left me pretty wiped. Good.

I need: 1) more long runs 2) longer long runs 3) more grass sprints/strides and definitely 4) more hills!