First tempo run and beginning to define a goal for Portland

July 16, 2009

Today was the first tempo run for this training season. Steve is easing us into these faster paces in a much more measured manner than last year. The tempo part of the run was 2 sets of 2 Miles, so not a great deal of mileage. Over the next two weeks the length of the sets will increase until I think we’ll be at a longer tempo run by close to the end of the month.

At CIM I managed to run the marathon in 2 hours 59 minutes, putting my marathon pace (MGP) at around 6:50 min/mile. That would be around 6:30 min/mile for a half marathon or tempo. For Portland I’d like to try and be in shape for a 2h 55m marathon, which is a 6:40 MGP and around a 6:20 HMGP. Going into today I wanted to try for a a 6:20 tempo pace.

When we were starting Steve said we’d likely run a little fast so we should be careful. It was a pleasant surprise that the pace really wasn’t a struggle and was relatively relaxed. The first mile was a little fast since we got carried away at the start (I blame Damon and Andrew :). The miles were 6:06, 6:14, 6:15, 5:56. The middle two miles (last of the first set and first of the second set) were comfortable, and that pace seemed sustainable today. The four miles are generally downhill, 80 feet net downhill over the 4 files. I decided to push a little harder on the last mile, not all out but a little beyond comfortable, trying to keep the distance between Damon/Andrew and me about the same as it was at the end of the third mile which is why it was 15 seconds faster than it should have been.

Overall I’m happy with where my fitness is and how my body is holding up so far. I’m not sure what a reasonable, low risk, goal for Portland is on the way to an A race in Boston yet but right now I think somewhere in the 2:52 to 3:00 range … ok 2:52 would not be low risk so 2:55 to 3:00


Some new things to work into the training

July 3, 2009

Working anything new into a training routine can be tricky. Working too many in can be outright dangerous for endurance events like marathons. I have a few things starting up over the next week, some a little riskier than others. I feel comfortable working them in because I think I’ve built a good base and been very careful up to now to get the kinks out of my body. Yesterday I had my massage with Lisa and apart from a minor twinge in my right hamstring my upper legs and lower legs are better than they have in over two years.

So what’s changing:

Crazy Times at Work
Yes this needs to be factored in as well. July is going to be an extremely busy time at work. NI holds it’s annual user conference, NI Week, every year in August. My team is holding some meetings with lead users for features and products we’re developing and also has demo’s for the keynote that previews future products and features. Let’s just say it’ll be a crazy few weeks. Based on how things at work are going I may need to adjust all of the things below as well as my mileage goals. I think Steve refers to this overall balance as “global load”.

Steady State and Tempo Runs
Starting next week we move into the next phase of training with more steady state and tempo runs. Till now we’ve been running Easy and building our base. The added strain from increased speed can be pretty significant. I’ll likely ease into the paces and do it by feel. In theory I should be able to plug in my goal into some calculators and see what I “should” be running at these paces but that doesn’t seem wise. Let’s say I feel like I’m looking for a 2:55 marathon, that would make my tempo or half marathon pace a 6:20 min/mile pace. I’ve been running 7:40 average paces and even one run during the week getting close to 6:20 paces is going to be tough, both from turnover and stress on the muscles in the body. I may be there cardio wise but I’m not sure about if physically my legs and body are ready. I’ll see how I feel on the first run on Thursday and pay close attention to any soreness, making sure I control my paces more based on my physical conditioning and not necessarily on “if I can hold the paces”.

We were doing Strides during our runs on Tuesdays but now with Tuesdays being our medium long runs Steve wants us to get strides in two other days. I think I’ll try for Sunday and Wednesday and see how that goes.

New Strength Training Routine
After working for two months focusing on alignment and balance issues with my body I’ll now be working on some strength work. No crazy weights but one of the weekly workouts will push my body quite a bit. I’ve been doing my heavier gym work on Sundays and Wednesdays till now. Wednesdays may become iffy given Thursday is when we’ll have the faster steady state/tempo pace work so the positioning of my gym work may need to change. I’ll also error initially on the lighter side of the weights and lower number of sets and build up to the normal amount over 3 weeks. There’s no point straining something by going crazy the first week.

Nutrition Plan
New nutrition plan that I need to work in over the next two weeks. This shouldn’t really add any risk of injury, it’s more of a time management challenge. Overall I think being better about planning my meals out will be useful given the increased stress at work. This should help me get each week planned out up front and be able to have the right food ready on days with long work hours and time a the gym. I’ll be trying to cook a little more and in general reduce sugar and fat … but I do need to eat more during a couple of meals than I have been … who doesn’t like to have that problem!?!?

This is the one I’m most uncertain about. I have been meaning to work in some of the drills I used to do into my easier and shorter runs on Mondays but haven’t so far. They do help with my range of motion and running form so I’m hoping to get them in once a week, maybe Mondays since Sunday and Wednesday will be strides. There are videos of the different drills on the Rogue Running  youtube page or you can view them below.

Paying attention to my arms to control my side stitch

November 27, 2008

Met Mike, Ken and Larry for a the Tempo run. 2 mile warm-up, then 4 mile tempo and a mile cool down before soaking at Barton Springs.  It was a little humid today and the tempo run wasn’t as smooth as I would have hoped but overall not bad.


During the warm-up I started feeling my side tighted up so it took some focusing during the run to keep it under control. On today’s run and some recent ones I have noticed that when I’m struggling with my breathing or run I modify my arm movement. I do two things. The first is my shoulders tend to rise up and the second is my arm swing starts to rotate a little more. It’s not a lot of rotation but to keep my side stitch away I have to remember to relax my shoulders and also focus on moving my arms in more of a straight line forwards and backwards. I’ve tried this the last few times and it seems to be working.

The end of the tempo run on the Enfield 4 Mile loop is fast and today I wanted to make sure I kept it well under control, really trying to mentally map it to taking downhills easy at CIM and keeping the pace under control for the first 20 miles. I used the last mile to focus on my form, my foot strike, push off, swing back and forward. Just a few more runs to visualize the different states of the race.

Businesses that are good to runners

September 25, 2008

With all the annoyingness of the Task Force trying to kill races where they can I thought some positivity was in order. There was a recent survey that Rogue did on this and I thought, who are all the businesses that we go to that are runner friendly … I don’t mean running stores or training groups but businesses who’s business really isn’t running.

I started a discussion on on this:

I listed the Starbucks that a few people mentioned on our long runs as well as Russel’s bakery on Hancock. I would probably add Juan in a Million too, they put up with all the smelly runners, have great service and the food comes out quickly and consistently.

I’m wondering what the other places are you’ve come to appreciate for their running friendliness. Share yours on this forum link:

Todays Run
4 Mile Tempo (6:33, 6:25, 6:33, 6:10) – (3:00 marathon pace target today of 6:30)
4×200 (38s per 200) – (Too fast for 5k pace)

Current Wins – Leisure reading, Able to complete workouts with breathing issues, Not Working

Current Losses – Breathing issues during workouts, delay to core work because of back/chest issues

Good week of measured control

September 13, 2008

I’m feeling my way into the push harder on some runs at a 2:55 marathon level instead of 3:00 mode. This week I selected the Rollers on Tuesday as my work at 2:55 level instead of 3:00. I managed that pretty well so am happy with being able to push a little harder than I normally would for a “tempo” pace. The other nice thing has been that 3:00 marathon pace workouts seem to be “comfortable”. “Comfortable” is a loaded word, it’s never really easy running under 7 min pace for me but for the Thursday tempo run and the closing of the last 3 miles on the 17 mile run today I didn’t feel like I was every pushing beyond what I should be feeling for a tempo or marathon pace. So as long as I don’t burn out I think the 3 hour paces are good for me at this point.

The plan for next week on the “pushing it” (2:55 based paces) workouts is to use the progressive pace. Steve had us go out at 10 seconds slower than MGP for the first 2 miles and then wanted to cut each 2 miles down by 10 for the 6 miles that were progressive. Two weeks ago I did this at 3 hour based paces so this week the goal will be to run each of the 2 mile sets 10 seconds per mile faster than last time. The other workout I’ll try and push is the mile all out on the long run Saturday, that will be interesting, going 3 miles, then 1 mile all out on the track and then finishing the 20+ mile workout with the lactic acid built up in the legs.

I need to “break” the metronome a little, it’s very easy for me to get locked into paces by feel and the 2:55 paces are kind of a no mans land I need to get my body used to. Good to have a new challenge and something to work on.

Run Today
17.25 ish miles – 2:14:18
Closed around 6:50 pace

Current Wins – Cross training, job change public to all, reservations for phili half and CIM done

Current Losses – Lack of progress on startup, poor nutrition, downtown task force missing purpose

New plan for progressive/steady run next week

July 23, 2008

I commented last week about looking at how the steady state run goes this week before trying to change things up next week. Up to now I’ve been sticking to the progressive approach and this week and the last two have gone well. Apart from the 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down I’ve consistently been around a 7:40 pace for 2 miles, followed by 2 at 7:20, then 7:00 and then between 6:30 and 6:40. Today my last mile was closer to 6:20 which might be goal pace at some point but not where I am for a half based on my current fitness. Since this has been three straight weeks I’ll try and change things up a little next week. It’ll be interesting since it’ll also be my first week at my 70 mile target.

Next week I’d like to try and ramp up the progressive part of the run earlier and then try and hold a steady state run a little longer, but not that close to half marathon pace … probably closer to marathon pace. So the rough plan for next week will be to do the 1 mile warm-up and then get down to a 7:00 pace after 4 more miles and then try and run the last 4 miles around a 3:00 hour marathon pace. So 6:53 and no faster than 6:40. If that seems to go OK next week then I think gradually increasing the miles done at that pace will be the goal through the rest of this base phase. Of course all this depends on how things are going week to week but at least it gives me something to focus on  about as I’m running during the week and motivation to keep the pace under control on easy runs.

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