San Antonio Rock n Roll Half Marathon Race and CIM Final Race Prep Report

November 15, 2010

Yesterday a decent number of Team Rogue members ran the San Antonio Rock n Roll half marathon. This is 3 weeks out from our race, CIM on December 6th. A 1/2 marathon three weeks out seems like a great addition to the training approach for the team, nice way to test the legs out and gauge where our fitness lies. Overall I’m pleased with the run yesterday, a 2:45 marathon at CIM seems achievable … not a for sure thing by any means but something between 2:45 and 2:48 seems like something I could manage given things go well.

Yesterday was a 1/2 marathon PR for me with a time of 1:19:19 (6:03 minutes/mile pace). The plan for the race was to go out at 6:05 for the first 6 miles, then down to 6:00 minute pace for the next 4 miles and then hold on for dear life. My overall time was 13 seconds off the “plan” so not too bad on the day.

6:02, 5:56, 5:59, 6:08, 6:08, 6:11, 6:00, 5:59, 6:02, 6:09, 6:03, 5:59, 5:58, 42

The first five miles were according to plan, after we reached the highest point on the course and were on a nice downhill for some reason I eased off too much and hit a 6:11 mile when it should have been faster. I just didn’t mentally gauge my effort well, something to keep in mind on the downhill’s at CIM. After that it was pretty smooth sailing until mile 10 which was a gradual uphill for most of the mile so the 6:09 mile. Then it was just getting into a rhythm and getting to the finish. I’m happy with where my fitness is, but not sure about breaking 2:45. The final race plan will likely come into place the week of the marathon given all the life things (getting married this weekend) that have to happen before that 🙂

As for the race, the support for Rogue’s was amazing. The number of people screaming “Go Team Rogue”, or “Go Kamran and Asia” was great, it seemed to also come just at the right time. Having Steve there right after mile 12 was nice, he gave me the kick in the ass I needed so I didn’t just get comfortable and take it easy at the finish. Seeing Ruth and John twice was nice, I’ve only been a spectator for this race in the past so appreciate them being out there to support all of us.

It was also great to finish and see Team Rogue Elite, Joe shared the good news about the 1-2-3 finish for the men, 2-3 finish for the women, and a men’s Olympic marathon trials qualifier to boot.  Not too shabby for a days running!

3 weeks till CIM for the Team. Time to sharpen the body and mind.


A little team ridicule and pride for the week

October 17, 2010

A few of guys from our Team Rogue crew decided to run the IBM 10k today, the results were good so a source of pride but the running of the race was a source of ridicule during the week. First the goods on the results and then I’ll go back to the fun we had over the week ridiculing each other.

Larry, Damon, Andrew, Muz, Corey and Jim decided to run IBM today. Before I write any more, all of these yahoo’s (ok maybe the ridiculing isn’t just kept between us) ran the 2nd Race Prep for the team a week ago which consisted of 2 sets of 10 miles at marathon goal pace. This week is supposed to be a “down week”. Larry did great, finishing in 35:19 to win the Masters division at a pace of 5:41 minutes/mile, and with that time put all of us “younger” folks to shame 🙂 Damon, Andrew, Muz and Corey all finished between 36:17 and 36:53 or between 5:50 minutes/mile and 5:56 minutes/mile. Great times that show they’re on track for a good performance at CIM in December. So that’s the “pride” side of this post, now onto the ridicule.

The group enjoys taking jabs at each other, on our runs or by e-mail. I was planning on running IBM but decided against it given the race prep last week. During the week we exchanged a few e-mails about the sanity of racing IBM a week after a tough workout, you know the standard this isn’t your “A race” don’t hurt yourself on this vs. you pansy. I took more days off this week than intended so got the crap I deserved:

“Do I need to set up an intervention so you can get your freaking head screwed on correctly?
A few things I take issue with:

  • Missed the run today.
  • Not running IBM.  Come on, WTF?
  • Skipping the workout on Thurs.

What’s next, an email about adding a Rogue Galloway Program that you will be coaching in the spring?  :-)”
We missed you today K-man.

P.S. All due respect to the Galloway program, it’s just not for me but is a program that has helped many people succeed in running a marathon.

All the jabs back and forth were taken in stride but it is one of those interesting things that we all have to balance in our training. This balance is really based on the individual. Each of us knows what state we’re in mentally and physically and have to make the decision. Don’t get me wrong, if your idea of training for a fall marathon involves entering a race every weekend in Austin … well you’re just plain old crazy if you expect a command performance at your marathon. You can have a lot of fun racing all the time but if your goal is to PR and to really race the marathon you’re just … well nuts to enter too many races. On the other hand a nicely placed race is a great measure for fitness and a good mental and physical tune up for the goal race. Some of us like to race (I’m on the like to train side) so working a race into the schedule is all good (my previous tirade of on racing every weekend being an exception of course). Here’s to the guys that ran IBM today and to this being a good tune up along the way to their goal race.

So great work out there today Team and thanks for keeping me honest with my laissez faire training attitude lately 🙂

SiLabs Austin Marathon Relay Recap

September 26, 2010

This morning was the SiLabs Austin Marathon Relay and a few of us in Team Rogue decided to run it as a mixed division team. Chris had the bright idea on Tuesday I think. To be honest I thought it was a crazy idea. We just ran a race prep last weekend and that was a marathon for me and Asia that marked four up weeks with long runs over 20 miles. I was really looking forward to the recovery week this week and 16 miles on Saturday was a nice and needed change from the 20+ mile slog. But then Chris convinced me, Damon, Asia and Niccole to run the relay today.

Good thing he did convince us, none of us could really hit our expected race paces at the distances we ran today (Damon probably came the closest on his leg) but that was still good enough to win the Mixed Division and have the 3rd fastest overall time for the day. All in all a good day and a job well done representing Team Rogue.

The Team Basking in Some Well Deserved Glory in New Under Armour Uniforms

Defining your long run

September 25, 2010

I was grabbing lunch at work this week and ran into a runner at NI and we were talking about our training (my marathon training and his Ironman training). Somewhere along the way he mentioned long runs and how for his Ironman he isn’t really going to run much farther than 15 miles for his long runs, very different from the three 20+ mile long runs he used to do for marathon training. He made a point about the intent in his training for the Ironman, to survive the distance versus training for speed when focusing solely on the marathon. The risk of the higher mileage with all the additional training he has to do for the Ironman just makes longer runs impractical for him.

His comment about 3 long runs over 20 miles got me thinking about my last two years training with Team Rogue, a program Steve Sisson started at Rogue two summers ago. During my training for the Portland Marathon last year my log shows me running 10 long runs over 20 miles with a good deal at 22 or 24 miles. This season for CIM I should be around 15 long runs over 20 miles. 3 years ago I would have been amazed to run 3 long runs over 20 miles. It’s been interesting how at this point after the two years being on Team Rogue running 20 miles just seems normal, a down or recovery week results in a 16 or 18 mile long run on the weekend. This may sound crazy to others in training groups or designing their own training plans, but the results really have been great for me. It didn’t just happen overnight, it took me a while to realize there were many things I needed to do to train at this intensity.  It’s taken two years to be a this point where I feel like my body can handle it. The strength work, focus on nutrition, regular massages and icing have been essential to get to this point. The amount of discipline it requires to train at the intensity Team Rogue demands can be daunting and I often question just how long I want to keep it going. It’s difficult to think that after CIM this year I may not train with Team Rogue, there are many friends I see every other day that train at this level and just unplugging will be difficult. At least I know there are other training programs at Rogue that aren’t quite as demanding as Team Rogue I can slide into when I need a break and still be part of the community.

Oh did I forget to mention I got engaged last night. Well I did 🙂

Team Rogue – Run with us if you are serious about getting faster

September 6, 2010

This week we exit the base phase of training for the California International Marathon 2010 (CIM). CIM 2008 was the first race for Team Rogue so this two year anniversary race will be telling. The first season we followed what many others in Austin considered a fools errand. I remember the talks of they’re crazy, too much mileage, they’ll all get injured, you name it there was plenty of doubting going around in Austin’s running circles about Steve’s and Rogues new group. What I do no know is you just can’t fake the results. My personal results and those of the great friends I’ve made in the team since the summer of 2008 have proved out the program. CIM 2008 I ran 2:59, Portland 2009 a 2:51 and Boston 2010 a 2:53

There are a number of things that make the program work for me:

  • The first is the team nature of only one or two races around the same time for this whole group. That results in a consistency with training partners and focus that really makes the tough workouts manageable.
  • The program is measured.
    • The base phase has no speed work except some pick-ups, it’s a true aerobic conditioning phase. We all build to a base between 60 and 90 miles a week (some people hit the 100 miles/week range). It’s based on the individual and our lifestyles.  I was amazed to look back at this season, since the beginning of June to this week I’ve run 980 miles compared to 580 in 2008
    • The next phase of hills/strength eases the team into faster turnover while trying to walk the fine line that pushes the body without injury. I have to say that Steve has gotten better and better at this through the seasons.
    • Then we have a 6 week peak phase leading up to the race.
  • It prepares you mentally with 3 to 4 race preps a season are mentally grueling.
    • 4×5 miles at marathon goal pace (MGP) or a 26 mile workout with 10 miles at MGP and 6 miles on the track cutting down each mile from MGP to Half Marathon Goal Pace to 10k pace
    • You may not hit all your times but you will dig deep to survive, your mind will be ready for the demons of the race
  • Race weekend support
    • Steve and the coaches travel with us to the race and tweak race plans
    • They’re out on the course to keep us on track
    • They are there to celebrate afterward

As the Team Rogue “experiment” started proving itself out Rogue worked in the core principles into the regular marathon training programs, with larger aerobic bases and not falling into the cookie cutter track and speed work from day one approach often followed. That’s one thing I really do like about Steve, he’s a habitual “learner” and “experimenter”, knowing there’s more out there to try and not afraid to try it. That was true in the Performance Project, Team Rogue and also makes it’s way into the more standard Rogue training programs (once’s the experiments have been proved out 🙂 When we kicked off Team Rogue in 2008 he was honest with us that he was trying something new, others in Austin would think we’re crazy and we’d all learn along the way. Two years later many of us area still there, running faster then we ever though we’d be able to and enjoying the company of some great runners and friends.

Team Rogue this year has veterns from the first season in 2008 and a lot of new faces, we’re aiming for 2:40 to 4:30 marathons. What makes us all the same is that we’re committed to one of the most challenging marathon training programs Austin has to offer to “recreational runners”, to the 5:30 am runs, to 10 miles being “short runs”, to attending core classes and hitting the gym so our bodies can support the workload Steve’s program demands of us. We’re getting out of the base phase for CIM this week and the 3 month count down to the race is beginning. It’s too late to join us for CIM but the team will be running Boston 2011, if you’re serious about getting faster and not afraid of the commitment … come run with us, we don’t bite 🙂

There is no absolute “right” answer to many training decisions

July 4, 2010

Training and what an individual needs is extremely specific. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate that benefits of being consistent  with a coach and the people you train with. For one thing how you as an individual react to different types of workloads, stress, mental situations isn’t something you can just write down and give to somebody. It takes a while for a coach and you to establish trust and a mutual understanding. There is no “right” answer for all of us, even all of us training for the same race. With Team Rogue for example, we have a general macro that we’re all using for our training but it’s the individual minor tweaks to our training and race plans that we all athletes have a responsibility to figure out. That is the best thing about the weekly “happy office” hours with Steve. Each of us has an opportunity to talk to him about our specific goals and plans and to listen in to what Steve tells everybody else, and moreover how he differs in advice from one person to another. It takes effort to do this so we can perform and reach our potential as individuals. I think it’s worth the effort, otherwise why not just go online and download some generic macro?

This principle of what is “right” applies to our decisions week to week during our training. Do we run easy? Do we run hard? Do we close? Do we take time off when we’re felling sick or do we push through it when we’re off? It’s evident in every group that our personalities tend to drive these decisions, it’s how each of us is wired. About a week and a half ago I started feeling sick and took a couple of days off from running. Then thought I’d try to run 16 miles last Saturday. After 8 miles into it I decided to stop. I could have run 16 but for me the potential gain versus the risk of getting sicker wasn’t worth it. This week was more of the same, ran one day and that was it. That ended with relatively strong and easy 15 miles yesterday and 8 today. Others might have tried to run 4 or 6 miles every day this week. What’s the right thing to do? For me, using the time as a mental and physical break is ideal. I have to balance my work, personal and running lives and if I’m having issues with my health, forcing my runs doesn’t help it and tends to stress me out with everything else. For others knowing they kept running just a bit and pushing through the illness is what they need mentally.

With marathon training consistency and longevity of training seem like the most important things. As long as all your decisions put together let you train for a few years consistently you can be confident you’re doing the “right” thing. So listen to yourself, and your body. Look at your macro and last two years of training and results and see which decisions were “right” or “wrong” for you. Stick with the “right” ones and try something different with the ones you’d question after reflection. See how that goes after the season, reflect, adjust, put your shoes on and keep on running.

We’re going to Sacrameto to race, join us

May 8, 2010

Team Rogue is going back to Sacramento to race CIM (California International Marathon) as a team in December. CIM in 2008 was the first race we ran as part of Team Rogue and it was a great race, lots of Boston Qualifiers and I finally managed to crack the 3 hour barrier. It never entered my mind two years ago that this would happen but this year 8 to 10 of us will be training together with a 2:45 marathon goal.  A couple of people looking at sub 2:40 races and a handful for women that will be trying to qualify for the US Olympic Marathon Trials will also be part of the Team.

The team isn’t all sub 3 hour people, the team will have people in the 4:15 to 2:35 range so everybody is welcome. Many of us have had a great time and built lasting friendships over the last two years and seen some great results. If you’d like to learn more and hopefully decide to train for and race CIM with the team, join us for a run and info session on Saturday May 22nd.

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