Sunday, January 15, 2017

Training Week January 9 to 15, 2017

Monday AM road 4 with Uta, 5 degrees, 30:23 tot. 4
               PM raliegh tavern 10, roads snowy/icy, 1:11:07, dead lifts after 7x6 starting a 115lbs up to 175lbs

Tuesday PM 3 warm up with Uta, drop her off, jog to start of loop, drills, strides, 3 mile tempo on winter street dumbell, 15:33, felt good, 10x 30 second hills focus on form, putting weight in ass/driving knees about 90% effort, 3 mile cool down.

Wednesday PM raliegh tavern 12.1 solo, legs tired after yesterday, 1:21:54

Thursday AM road 4 solo, 30:24
                 PM so warm I got to wear shorts, raliegh tavern 10 solo, first 3 easy, middle 4 I mixed in 20 short sprints, last 3 easy, 1:07:33, 6x6 squats after start at 95lbs up to 135lbs

Friday PM boxford 10 mile, we did a potluck lunch at school and I ate way too much and it made this run pretty unpleasant, 1:11:16

Friday night we puppy sat Anna's new puppy Luca.  As you can see this was very rough on Uta.

Saturday AM road 4 mile with Uta, 25:58 
                PM 3 plus warm up, full drills, couple light strides, 16x200m average 32.0 with slow 200 jog recovery, average 1:15. 3+ cool down, legs bit flat but kept it pretty easy.  Would have liked to be a bit quicker but more important to keep this relaxed and muscular only. 

Sunday AM 3 warm up with Uta, drop her off, jog bit under a half mile out to start, a skip, b skip, a+c skip, fast exchange, side skips (2 types), fast exchange with 3 hops, hopping. 13 mile fundamental tempo, 1:15:31 on rolling course, felt pretty easy.  Coordination started to act up at about 9 miles so I did 3 hop fast exchange for 40 meters or so and felt great from then on.  I actually felt like I could just keep going. 

Summary 95 miles for week, 1 fairly hard workout and 3 nice moderate sessions.  I'm very happy with this week.  I really enjoyed the fundamental tempo and was very happy with how the leg felt after the 3 hop fast exchange.  Time will tell if this helps to get me to stop losing coordination all together so I can race long but in terms of doing a workout like this I'm fine with doing 40 meters of drills every 8 to 10 miles.  Anything to do this quicker long runs.  I absolutely love running easy at a good clip for longer distances. 
  Only downside this week was missing a few morning runs.  I was feeling like I was on the edge of a cold all week and slept in to 5:50am a couple of days to try and stay not sick. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Training January 2 to 8, 2017

Monday AM boxford 10 mile, 1:03:00
               PM road 4, 30:00

Tuesday AM 4.2 with Melissa and Uta, 32:23
               PM in hard cold rain, poor footing, 3 mile warm up, drills, strides, Mona Fartlek- 3.65 miles- about as short as I have ever done.  I was pretty tired and I'm pretty out of shape and it was not nice out there so I wasn't too bothered by that. 1.4 mile cool down, really 1.4 miles of getting freezing trying to get back to the house as I was soaked to the bone and it was about 35 degrees.

Mona rates this fartlek a very un-impressed but at least you got it done. 

Wednesday PM raliegh tavern 10 mile with Uta, 1:09:32, crazy tired even though I skipped the AM run

Thursday PM 3.5 mile warm up with Uta, felt like death warmed over, so I decided to scrap the workout

Friday Off stomach bug

Saturday AM 2 warm up with Melissa and Anna in Boston, drills 6x mile(full miles on 220yd track), at Harvard with 3mins recoveries including drills, started with 4x200, first 3 with Melissa in 39 then one solo in 34.  Miles were 4:59, 5:00.0, 4:58, 4:58, 4:58, 4:58, about a half mile jogging with Melissa and Anna, bit of stretching then 3 miles solo.  
  Working out today was not ideal but I had already missed my Thursday session and I knew I was too weak after yesterday for the 4x2 mile I had scheduled.  Also with our forecast, snow, I knew that this would be my only shot at a workout over the weekend.  I'll obviously switch out the mile repeats on Thursday this week. 

Sunday AM snow removal
             Noon 13 miles, slowly.  First 8 with Melissa and Uta, very slow.  Footing was not great, 1:39:41
             PM bikram yoga, 90mins hot yoga.  It was really nice to be too hot after 2 hours of very cold snow removal and an 1:40 minutes of running in temps that had only come up to about 18 degrees. 

Summary only about 67 miles this week but given how poorly I felt and getting sick I'm not bothered by that at all.  I was very happy to get in two workouts and I was suprised that I was able to do the 6x mile without leaving sort of a tempo/controlled effort.  So given everything I'm pretty happy.  I'm not happy I got sick and I feel run down.  I may just not be fit enough to train like this yet.  I'll get a better sense this week and I'll adjust from there. 
  Hope your training is going well. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Training December 26, 2016 to January 1, 2017

Monday AM raliegh tavern 10 mile, 1:03:36, first two miles with Melissa and Uta, it was 19 degrees but felt warm because there was no wind.
               PM road 4 solo, 28:13

Tuesday AM tempo run with hill repeats. 5k warm up, drills and strides, 3 mile tempo on roads, 15:20, (5:00, 5:14, 5:06) couple drills, 10x30 second hills focus on power and form,only about 90 second efforts, jog down recoveries. 5k cool down
                PM wieght and medball circuits with Anna. Mostly cleans, squats and the like some handstand stuff

Wednesday AM Medium long run, 12.3 miles, 1:22:03, felt heavy took it easy
                    PM 4 miles on road with brother in laws dog who is not quite as good a running partner as Uta, 29:29

Thursday AM at North Andover HS, 3+ warm up, drills, strides, 6xmile on track, no wind at start bit more by end, 3min recoveries with 3 to 4 drills during each recovery, 4:58.8, 4:58.7, 4:58.7, 4:57.8, 4:58.8, 4:57.8, 3+ cool down
                PM no running just snow removal

Friday AM raliegh tavern 10, 1:06:48, first 2.9 miles with Melissa and Uta. squats after 7x6 starting at 75lbs up to 135lbs
            PM road 4 solo, 28:46

Saturday AM boxford 10 mile solo, 1:04:45 bit tired
                PM road 4 with Melissa and Uta, 30:36

Sunday AM 5k warm up, drills, strides, 30 second hard effort, some jogging and more strides, Race Hangover Classic 5k, 1st place 15:25, 4:56, 4:59, 4:56.  From the front. great weather but it was windy.  Wind may have cost me 10 seconds or a bit more but I wasn't strong enough to crack 15 today.  Got a good effort out though. 4 miles cool down with Whirlaway crew.

Summary ~95 miles, two good workouts, one ok race.  Would like to be faster.  I guess that is always true.  I shouldn't really expect more for where I'm at but I still do.  I'll take it however as a starting point.
  I'll do a track 5k in 6 or 7 weeks and hopefully be able to crack 15 by then. I expect if I did some specific work I could get there pretty quick but frankly I'm not in a place to be getting specific.  Time to work general fitness and try to get actual fit not sharp.   I think six to 10 weeks like this and I'll be getting there.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Current Training Plan

  This is an outline of my training schedule for the near future.  Basically until I get really fit or come up with a goal race.  This is a base phase or general fitness schedule.  This is not targeting racing well.  It is targeting improving my overall fitness.  It isn't too different from good half marathon specific training but I'm not doing it with a specific half marathon race in mind though I will likely run the New Bedford Half Marathon in March as well as the Jones 10 mile in February and a 15k in early April.

  This schedule is designed around four main goals.  In no order to return general aerobic fitness, to improve lactic threshold, to improve muscular power and efficiency, and to touch on every major training speed and effort in each two week cycle.  The workouts I selected were selected based on two main criteria.  First did they accomplish the training goal and second they had to work with the training resources and limitations I have currently.  Ie, I need to be able to do them without a track, in a New England winter, and in the dark as 11 out of 13 of my runs each week from early November until March are generally run in the dark.

  I like repeating a similar or even identical micro cycle a few times through a phase of training.  Partially because I can gauge how my body is progressing but also I'm just a very habital person who if I didn't give a damn about performance would probably do the same double every day over the same routes at the same effort. I like what I'm doing to be a bit mindless so I can focus entirely on doing it well.  Or at least that is the excuse I give myself.  

  Without further B.S. here is the schedule

For both week one and two I do an easy morning run, almost always 4 miles because of time constraints, Monday through Saturday.  On Saturday the run maybe done as the afternoon session and it maybe longer.

Week 1

Monday in the afternoon I'll do 10 miles at a steady effort- generally between 6:00 and 7:00 per mile, depending on conditions and how I'm feeling.  This is a fairly hilly run as there are a lot of hills around here.  After the run I'll do either Squats, dead lifts or box jumps.  The run is for recovery and general aerobic fitness, the exercises are for range of motion in my hips, power in my ankles and glutes and to increase strength as a means of increasing efficiency.

Tuesday in the afternoon I'll do a Mona Fartlek ( This is most importantly a bounce threshold or alternation session.  I would actually prefer to do Aussie quarters, ( right now to be able to focus on specific paces but with no indoor track option that isn't happening.  The secondary focus of this session is to touch on a bunch of quicker paces 5k down to perhaps mile.   After this session I'll do either squats, deadlifts, or box jumps.

Wednesday in the afternoon I'll do a medium long run.  Right now that is only 12 miles I'll build it up to 16, I should go up to 18 but frankly 18 miles after work in the dark is a tall order particularly when sandwiched between two workout days. Physiologically this workout is for basic aerobic fitness and there is a time on the feet efficiency training effect for the leg muscles but for me it is much more plainly about building up my ability to run longer without coordination problems.  Finally you guessed it I plan on doing either squats, deadlifts or box jumps after the run.

Thursday in the afternoon, short hill sprints- max effort very short, 10 seconds give or take. I'd prefer to keep with the 100's and the like but without a track that isn't an option and I don't have much for flat areas with good footing so short hills it is.  To be honest as a general rule I like short hills better anyway but right now I want to focus on my form on the flat so I'm sorry to lose that.  These are obviously a muscular exercise though they do also help increase the stroke volume of the heart.  I will start the winter only doing about 10 of these but I'll increase that by 2 or 3 sprints each time.  In the past I have done 30 or more sprints though I doubt I'll get to that many.  It will be key for me to keep good form on these which is a struggle for me on hills but I have been improving so hopefully it will be good practice. squats, deadlifts or box jumps after

Friday 10 miles, same as Monday.

Saturday 4x2 miles at Half marathon pace. with 3min recoveries with drills.  This is for lactate threshold and muscular endurance at speed.  The drills help with the latter and with improving form.

Sunday Long run- I'm around 13/14 miles now will try to push out to 20 to 22.  Long run is for basic aerobic fitness, efficiency and muscular endurance. I may do squats, deadlifts or box jumps after this.

Week 2

Monday same as last week

Tuesday 3 mile tempo, half marathon to marathon pace, 10x30 second hill repeats at a good effort, but not max, focus on form putting weight of stride on glutes and quads. Try not to hunch at shoulders. This is for lactate threshold and muscular power and efficiency.

Wednesday same as last week

Thursday 6 x mile at 10k pace with 2 to 3 mins recovery with drills- bit of threshold, lot of muscular efficiency and muscular endurance.

Friday same as last week

Saturday 20 to 30 x 20 second sprints fartlek style, meaning I'll just put them in on a run where the footing looks good. Full recovery.  This is for muscular efficiency and endurance.  Though it is also good for stroke volume but not as good as the hills.

Sunday fundamental tempo run in the 5:25 to 5:50 per mile range over rolling hills.  Hopefully as the coordination improves I'll be able to increase the volume on these.  This is my single favorite type of workout.  I have since beginning the form work I have been able to to up to 22 miles like this but only on soft surfaces.  So on the road I've been stuck in the 12 to 15 mile range on a good day.  I'm going to start in the 9 mile range and try to build up.  I may play with stopping for drills and continuing on in an attempt to 'teach' the body to hold the form that doesn't lead to coordination issues.  This is for aerobic fitness.  Sessions like this can lead to huge jumps in general aerobic fitness as well as your threshold.  I actually don't know exactly why perhaps it is simply that it is an under trained area or it is that threshold is impacted well by not going over it but by testing it from below.  I can tell you that these workouts changed my life as such for me I simply believe in them as an article of faith.  Also as I mentioned I love doing them.  Running for a long time at a quick pace is to me the single most enjoyable training experience.

Odds and Ends

 In weeks that I race I'll just drop the hard effort from the weekend.  If I race on a Sunday I'll skip the long run as well.  I'm planning a few races over the winter.  A 5k on the 1st.  A 5 mile, a 10 mile and a track 5k in February and a half marathon in March.  Hopefully by that point the winter is coming to an end and I'm getting fit and I'll be able to move onto a new training program with more specific goals. 

2016 in review and Goals for 2017

  2016 in Review

 Well that sucked...  For me, and it seems a lot of people 2016 was a year I would prefer to not remember for very long.  In terms of running and life. I lost my brother and my relationship with my father which has never been all that hot pretty much seems to have ended. I missed most of the years training and racing.  I had some of the slowest annual best I have had since college.  I also ran the slowest 5k I have run since my senior year in high school. I missed the most training I have since my 'injury period' during college when I couldn't seem to run around the block without getting a new injury. 
  All that said I feel optimistic about the future. I am finally back training.  I have rehab my body to the point that I can do things I can't remember ever being able to do before which has me running quickly with a level of relaxation I've never had before.  Now 6 months off from running means my fitness is so poor that even feeling smooth I have no real racing ability. 
  In terms of accomplishing my goals for last year, be they process or outcome for the most part they were failures.  That said the two goals I did accomplish were to run a sub 15 5k race, my 14th straight year with at least one of those, and a sub 25 5mile or 8k race, my 13th straight year.  I do feel like I dodged a bullet getting those two out of the way before my troubles killed the year.

2017 Goals

  Goal 1 as it is every year is finally put the coordination troubles to bed and return to a competitive marathon.  I don't see this happening in the first half of the year but I do see reason for hope that it could happen and I believe I'm on a path that could finally get me running with no problems.

  Second I want to stay focused on really training in a balanced way and not fall into just running.  

  Third  I want to keep up my yoga and other cross training.  These are very hard to fit into my day to day life but I think they are the key to running well as I get older and to fixing the coordination. 

  For outcome goals I want to keep my sub 15 and sub 25 streaks going.  I'm going to race a flat road 5k on the first in hopes of checking that one off the list right away.  It is a pretty tall order given my fitness but I'm fit enough to take a shot at it.   

  Beyond those two goals I want to return to sub 14:20 5k shape, sub 30 road 10k race and sub 1:05 half marathon racing. If I knock off one of each of those I will be super happy.

  I want to return to the Cow Harbor 10k and to the top 10 there. 

  I also have some life goals I would like to check off the list.   Win a big check, you know the photo op kind, I don't care about the amount.  Go 1,2 at a race with Melissa. Win a unique and cool prize. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Training Blog December 19 to 25, 2016

Monday AM road 4 with Melissa and Uta, 32:41 tot. 4
               PM Massage with Anna-
I'm pretty sure Anna approached massage like this overhead lift and is intent on causing maximum pain.

Tuesday AM 4 miles with Melissa and Uta, 32:14 tot. 4
               PM 3.1 miles warm up with Uta, 1/4 mile jog to start after dropping her off, drills, strides, Monaghetti Fartlek, covered 3.85 miles in the 20 minutes. 5:11 pace. Pretty nice to run the same pace as last time but to go for twice the time. 3.2 cool down, squats after 6x6 starting at 75lbs up to 125lbs.

Mona rates this mona a "toughen up buttercup" --- sure it is a step in the right direction but there are no participation awards around here.

Wednesday AM 4 miles road with Uta, 29:09 tot. 4
                    PM Raleigh Tavern 10, 1:07:04, deadlifts after 6x6 starting at 115lbs up to 155lbs tot. 10.1

Thursday AM 4 miles road with Uta, 29:31, light snow tot. 4
                 PM 4 miles and box jumps, supposed to do hill reps but I was foiled by ice, crazy icy and no salt or sand on the roads, 3x10 at 20in, 24in, 30in on the box jumps tot. 4

Friday AM 4 miles with Uta, not as icy, they had salted, but corners were still touch and go tot. 4
            PM Raleigh Tavern 10 mile, 1:07:47, normal Friday night exhaustion, tot. 10.1

Saturday AM cold hard rain, 3.1 mile warm up with Uta, drop her off, change to dry top, 1.2 miles out to course, 4x2 miles on lightly rolling road loop, at tempo effort.  I figured with the tougher course, compared to the rail trail, that I would be hard pressed to run much under 5:20 pace but was pleasantly surprised.  So I did 4 drills, then 2 miles-10:26(5:14/5:11), 2:59 recovery with 4 new drills, 2 miles- 10:18 (5:06/5:11), 3:00 recovery with 4 new drills, 2 miles- 10:16(5:05/5:10), 3:02 recovery with 3 new drills, 2 miles- 10:10(5:03/5:06)  As you can tell from the splits the 2nd mile was a bit tougher, sort of a lolly pop loop and the biggest hill is in the first 600m and last 600m.  I think it is fairly equal both ways but there is a difference between doing it on fresh legs at the start and in the last 1/3rd of the rep. 1.2 cool down 7:58 

PM Christmas Eve festivities

Sunday AM 13 miles on road, bit icy, but the sun was shining and it was a glorious morning, 1:22:19 tot. 13

Summary 82 miles for the week, two good workouts. Fighting the weather a bit but I'm very happy with this week.   Keeping my head up and moving forward. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Training December 12 to 18, 2016

Monday- We landed at Manchester a bit after 4AM after a long string of delays.  Then we had a nice drive home in the snow.  I got to bed at 5:20am and the alarm went off at 6AM and it was off to work.  As such I didn't run.

Tuesday AM I actually did try to get up and run but couldn't do it.
                PM about 4 miles warm up, because I took Uta for a bit over 3 then dropped her at the house, then jogged to start and did drills and strides, 3 mile tempo on winter street in 15:07, (5:04, 10:07) then 10x30 second hills, focus on form so they were only like 90% efforts.  I was shocked that this went that well. 3+ cool down  tot. 12+

Wednesday AM 4 miles road with Uta, 30:13 tot. 4
                     PM road 10.2 with Uta, in 1:05:40, did 6x6 dead lifts starting at 95 up to 145lbs tot. 10.2

Thursday AM 4 miles road with Uta, 30:24 tot. 4
                  PM  ran from School because I had parent conferences so we had a break between the afternoon and evening sessions to go eat.  I used it to workout.  I did 3+ warm up, drills, strides, and a 400m on the track, which was snow covered and turned out to be quite icy in 82 seconds.  I decided that wasn't going to work.  I found a turf soccer field that was basically clear so I did 6x5mins with 3mins recovery with drills during the breaks I ended up covering more than a mile on each rep which was surprising considering how cold/windy it was and how many layers I was wearing. only a mile cool down tot. 11.5

Friday AM road 4 solo, very cold, windchill was -16 and Uta wanted no part of it, 28:31 tot. 4
             PM road 10.2 with Uta, cold 12 degrees, very tired, 1:07:31 tot. 10.2

Saturday body finally broke down a bit from the lack of sleep, I slept 14 hours and had a bit of stomach bug. took the day mostly off except for 2 hours of shoveling.

Sunday AM 11+ easy, first 7 with Uta and Melissa, hips were sore from shoveling, 1:21:35 tot. 11.2
              PM Bikram yoga, 90mins

Summary 67 miles, two very good workouts.  All things considered I couldn't be much happier with this week.  So I didn't do a mona fartlek so no mona rating picks instead I'll just give you a series of cute Uta photos….

Uta wanting to eat a nearby chipmunk

Uta texting

Uta and her buddy polar bear

Uta drinks a hard cider at the end of a long day of being awesome