Friday, July 30, 2010

Hill Sprints

Some quick hits from an interesting article in Running Times by Brad Hudson about hill sprints.

Thanks to the Morning Runner for pointing out this article in her blog, where she also discusses a book called Run Faster by Brad Hudson.

Why do hill sprints?
"Well, these brief, maximal-intensity efforts against gravity offer two key benefits. First, they strengthen all of the running muscles, making you much less injury-prone. They also increase the power and efficiency of your stride, enabling you to cover more ground with each stride with less energy in races. These are significant benefits from a training method that takes little time and is fun to do."

Getting started:
"Your first session, performed after completing an easy run, should consist of just one or two 8-second sprints on a steep gradient of approximately 6 to 8 percent."

Moving forward:
"First, increase the number of 8-second sprints you perform by one or two per session per week. Once you're doing 8 to 10 sprints, you may move to 10-second sprints and a slightly steeper hill. After a few more weeks, you may advance to 12-second sprints on a 10 percent gradient, if you feel the need to increase your stride power."
"Most runners will achieve as much strength and power improvement as they can get by doing 10 to 12 hill sprints of 10 to 12 seconds each, twice a week. Once you have reached this level and have stopped gaining strength and power, you can cut back to one set of six to 10 hill sprints per week. This level of maximal power training will suffice to maintain your gains through the remainder of your training cycle."

Recovery between sets:
"Always allow yourself the opportunity to recover fully between individual sprints within a session. In other words, rest long enough so that you are able to cover just as much distance in the next sprint as you did in the previous one. Simply walking back down the hill you just ran up should do the trick, but if you need more time, take it. Some of the runners I coach like to walk down the first part of the hill backwards. Doing so helps to stretch the Achilles tendons and calves."
"When doing hill sprints, resist the temptation to turn the session into a regular hill workout. As I've explained, hill sprints are solely a muscular-strength workout. Trying to make it "harder" or "more of a workout" by quickly jogging down the hill or otherwise cutting the recovery defeats the purpose of hill sprints, because doing so will reduce the intensity of your sprints."

How to work it into your training schedule:
"This might sound odd, but I recommend scheduling your hill sprints for the day before your hardest sessions, such as a track workout or tempo run. Precede the hill sprints with your normal recovery day easy run, and follow it with a short jog of a mile or less."

Good stuff. Looks like I need to find some hills to work into my Wednesday night recovery runs.

Have a great Friday!

Tonight's tempo; My ipod gorilla shuffle

Tonight's tempo run

My tempo run went pretty well tonight. I kept my pace around 9:20 and my hr right around the middle of zone 4 (about 85% max hr) for a full 20 minutes without a break. So that's a big improvement over my past two attempts at tempo runs.  Overall, this has been a great week of training, so I'm feeling great about my training right now.

About the only eventful thing about tonight's run was yet another close call with a driver that wasn't paying attention. This time it was a guy in a truck turning on to the road I was crossing. He stopped just a couple of feet from me. That's the last time I run at night in a blue shirt - I'm sticking with white, and maybe getting some flashing lights and an air horn.

Looking at my hr chart for tonight's run, the first 10min are my warm-up, 10-30 min is my tempo, and 30-end is my cool-down. My tempo range is between 161 and 171 bpm. (I can pinpoint where my close call with the truck happened - blue circle).

More ipod shuffle stuff

So, this is yet another chapter in my ongoing attempt to get my new ipod shuffle to work with my sweatiness. (see earlier posts here and here to catch up).

So this time I pulled out the big guns: gorilla tape.

Gorilla tape is kind of like duct tape on steroids. It looks alot like duct tape, but it's harder to tear and it has a thicker layer of adhesive than regular duct tape.

I kept the duct tape I applied (described here) earlier. I added the gorilla tape over the ends of the duct tape. The gorilla tape folds over onto itself and around the wire, completely sealing the ends of the duct tape. As I wrote in my last post, the ends of the duct tape weren't sticking very well to the headphone wires, and when subjected to moisture (sweat) the ends of the duct tape started to separate. Also, the edge of the duct tape was sharp and irritating on my neck. The gorilla tape seals the ends of the duct tape, and also adds a slight fold to the sharp edge of the duct tape, pretty much eliminating the irritating edge.

Well, I'm happy to report that the gorilla tape seems to have done the trick. So far I've done a 2-mile easy run and tonight's tempo run with this tape job, and the tape is holding up well. Also, I've had no problems with my ipod malfunctioning. It isn't pretty, but it works (plus, nothing else about me is pretty when I'm running, so it fits in well). So, so far, so good. Saturday's 7 miler should be a good test.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Intervals; More Ipod Shuffle stuff

Tuesday Intevals

Ran intervals tonight. Started with a run up to the high school track, but it was busy with some track practice so I headed over to my alternate spot. It's a nice 1/4 mile stretch of walking paths. The only bad part is that you have to cross a road, so there's always a risk that my interval may be interrupted by a car. Fortunately, the road is not very busy, so it's not usually a problem.

Really happy with my splits tonight: 1:39, 1:44, 1:46, and 1:44. That first one was my first ever sub-100 second 400m training interval! In fact, before tonight my interval workout pr for the 400 was 1:46, so tonight I beat that 3 out of 4 times! Not bad, not bad at all.

Ipod Shuffle, Part II

This is a follow-up to my last post about my attempt to fix my ipod shuffle.

So I've had a couple of runs now with my duct-tape fix. I'm happy to report that the ipod didn't quit on me during either run. But, there is some room for improvement on my "fix."

Two problems: 1 - the edge of the duct tape makes a nice, sharp edge that scrapes across my neck while I run, which is annoying; and 2 - the duct tape is separating from the wire, leaving a gap that could allow moisture to get to the switch.

So, I'm planning to re-do the tape job in a way that eliminates the sharp edge, and find some way to reinforce the area where the tape wraps around the wire. Maybe some better tape...but is there better tape that duct tape?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Trying to fix the ipod shuffle

Several weeks ago my wife got me an ipod shuffle. I was really excited because I thought it would be great for running.

I ran for many years without any music (unless you count the cadence we sang in the Army). When I started running again last December, I would listen to music on my iphone. However, as my runs got longer and I got sweatier, I began to get concerned about the wear and tear on my iphone. So I decided to look for something new.

The ipod shuffle seemed like the perfect choice. Not only was it compact, but I could easily transfer my iphone music to my new ipod using my mac without having to mess with file conversions, new software, etc.

Unfortunately, the ipod shuffle has been a bit of a disappointment. The ipod shuffle is very sensitive to moisture, which makes it a poor choice for running. The problem seems to be with the headphones. The ipod controls are on a switch that is built into the headphone wires. The problems are well-documented across the internet (just try googling something like "ipod shuffle sweat"). Apparently if that switch gets just a bit of moisture, the ipod starts to mess up or just shuts down - which is what's been happening with mine.

The possible fixes range from duct tape to "get a different music player." I decided to try the duct tape solution.

I can't remember where I saw this, or I would gladly give credit. But basically the idea is to cover the switch with duct tape. You have to keep the tape loose enough around the switch so that it can still be pressed and spring back. Other than that, it's pretty straight-forward. Just create a (mostly) water-tight seal around the switch with the duct tape.

I'll give this a try during my run tonight and I'll report back on how it works. I'm hopeful it will do the trick, because the options only get more expensive from here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday long run

Now that I've had a couple of easy Saturdays following my recent 10k race, I'm back to ramping up my Saturday long runs again. Today the schedule called for 6 miles.

I got an early start. I was up by 6am, and running by about 6:30. It was already 80 degrees, and had jumped to 85 by the end of my run.

The run went well. Once again I let my heart rate set the pace, and kept it zone 3 for most of the run. The result was an average heart rate at zone 3.4, average pace 12:22. I felt good at the end of the run - no aches or pains; tired, but not completely exhausted.

Looking forward, next week I'll match my longest run to date of 7 miles, and beyond that I'll start ramping up to new distances. The goal is to get my long runs up to 10 miles before my next 5k in October.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Tempo; Champion shirt give-away

Today's Tempo Run

Ran my tempo in blistering 98 degree heat today. All sun. It was HOT. With that kind of heat, it doesn't take alot of effort (speed) to get the heart rate up.

So today's tempo went like this:
10min warm-up, 10min tempo, 6min rest/easy run, and 10min tempo.

Because of the intense heat, I decided to ignore my pace and let my heart rate dictate my pace, with the goal of trying to keep my hr in zone 4 for the tempo runs. The result is below.

My hr creeped into zone 5 for a bit, probably due to cardiac creep in the heat. The big change from last week is that I increased my break between the two tempo's from 3min to 6min. Last week I couldn't complete the 2nd tempo, but today I finished with no problem. So now the goal is to gradually decrease the break until I can run a straight 20min tempo.

Champion Shirt Give-Away

Being new to the world of blogging, especially running blogs, I been spending alot of time lately surfing the blogosphere looking for interesting running blogs to follow. It seems like there are an endless number of running blogs. So, I've tried to be rather selective about the ones I decide to follow. You can see my list to the right.

One of the blogs I've begun to read regularly is the "Shut Up and Run!" blog. It's a good mix of humor and helpful info. Also - right now is a good time to check it out, because there's a Champion Shirt Give-Away going on.

Roller Coaster

Running feels like a roller coaster. Sometimes I feel like I'm improving, sometimes on a plateau, and sometimes regressing.

For the past month or so, I've feel like I was on a plateau, maybe even regressing. My pace hasn't been improving, and my long runs seem just as difficult, if not more difficult, than they were a few months ago.

I ran my first 10k a couple of weeks ago. I was happy to finish my first 10k. But, I was disappointed with my time because I know I've run that distance faster. For example, I logged a 6 mile run at 11:54min/mi a full 5 weeks before the race - but on race day, I only managed a 12:02 pace, and felt like I was going to collapse at the finish line.

I've looked at my training, my diet, everything trying to figure out why I've been stuck in neutral. I don't know the answer...maybe it's the heat and humidity that have been slowing me down.

But - then there was tonight's awesome run.

For the first time in a while, I feel like I put a new stake in the ground. I saw improvement. And it felt great. I ran a zone 3 aerobic run with a sub-10min pace. I don't know that I've ever done that before. My overall pace was about 9:46. To put that in context, my race pace for my first 5k race back in March was about 9:58...and believe me, I gave it all I had that day!

It's runs like tonight that really make running addicting. Seeing that bit of improvement. Maybe I'm getting better, maybe I'm adapting to the heat, maybe both. Either way, it feels good to see some signs of improvement.

Do you ever feel like you've hit a plateau? How do you deal with it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Poll - the "26.2" sticker

If you drive alot like I do, this is a familiar sticker:

Today I got to thinking about this sticker. I noticed them for sale at a local running shop. I started wondering: what does this sticker actually mean? I know it's a marathon distance, but does it mean the driver is someone who runs alot of marathons? or has actually run at least one marathon? What if someone is in training for one, and decides to post the sticker to let the world know about their goal? sort of like making the world their accountability partner. Taken a step further, what if it's someone that's run for a while, and has the goal of running a marathon some day? I imagine it could mean any of these things. What do you think? Chime in on my poll and let me know.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Random Notes

Just out of curiosity, I was checking out some marathon and half-marathon training schedules on Hal Higdon's website.  I was surprised to see that the longest of the long runs for the marathon was 20 miles, instead of 26 miles or longer. My only training experience so far has been 5k/10k training, and the long runs exceed the race distances. So, I just figured that it was similar for longer distances as well. I could see myself feeling a bit apprehensive on race day if it's my first time to ever run the race distance.

But, anyway I was looking at his half-marathon schedule and I realized that I may be just about ready for something like that. So now I'm thinking maybe I might try a half-marathon early next year.

And for some motivation...
I've got a couple of new running movies coming from Amazon!

"Spirit of the Marathon"

"Ultramarathon Man: 50 Marathons - 50 States - 50 Days"

Can't wait to see these. I've seen some excerpts here and there. I expect these will be some good motivators. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Glitchy Run

Garmin problems, Ipod problems, and spider webs...what a run!

Went out for an easy 30min run Sunday night.  I decided that I would watch my hr and really focus on keeping my hr towards the low end of my aerobic zone, around 150bpm. I set my Garmin hr alerts and hit the road.

A few minutes into my run I check my Garmin, and no hr.  It's just blank where my hr is supposed to be.  I had forgotten to moisten the hr strap :/  I wasn't carrying water, so I tried spitting on it a few times and my hr showed up.  ok. So I start again, trying to pick up my hr, but it stays low.  I pick up my pace - 11, 10:30, 10, 9:30...still, the Garmin keeps alerting me that my pace is too slow.  So, either I got some major overnight improvement in my cardio system, or the Garmin isn't reading my hr correctly.  I decided to ignore the Garmin and just run.

About 15min into the run, my Ipod shuffle starts acting up.  First some static, then it just goes silent.  It's not the battery - it usually warns me about low battery, plus the little light is on.  I don't feel like messing with it, so I just ignore that too...

and then...BAH! big spider web.  It's dark out, so I never see it coming.  I just instantly feel my face, shoulders, and chest covered in web.  Yuck.  Another reason to dislike spiders. That one really picked a bad place to build his mega-web.

So, I get home and the internet is down.  I guess I was just meant to have a low-tech, in-touch-with-nature night last night.


Quick follow-up on the Ipod shuffle problem.  It's one of the new ones with the controls on the headphones. I did some checking and it turns out it's a pretty common problem - something to do with moisture getting into the headphone controls. I found a couple of fixes involving duct tape and saran wrap. Maybe I'll give one of those a try.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Long Run

Well, long for me anyways.

I went for a 5 mile run this morning.  I decided to wear my heart monitor and let my heart rate dictate my pace.  I started out at what felt like a pretty easy pace - about 10:30.  I made it about 2 miles before my Garmin started alerting me to slow down.  I cut my pace back to about 11, then to 11:30, and so on for the rest of the run.  By mile 4.5, I was running so slow that I think I could have been past by walkers.  My pace was about 14 - 14:20.  Overall, my average pace for the run was 12:37. I was really surprised by how slow I needed to go to keep my heart rate in the aerobic training zone.

Here's my heart rate chart for the run:

Zone 3 is my aerobic training zone.  Garmin reported an average heart rate right at 3.5, right in the middle of zone 3.

I feel alot different after this run that I usually feel after my long runs.  I feel like I exercised, but I don't feel as beat down as usual.  I feel pretty good.

I also found that I lost about 2.5lbs of weight during the run.  Time to go drink some water!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Heat and humidity; Training zones

Weather conditions during last night's tempo run:  89 degrees, humidity around 60%.  According to a heat index chart I ran across, that means it felt like 100 degrees. I know intuitively that heat affects running performance, but by how much?

I found a good article that has some info on how hot and humid weather conditions affect a runner. Here's some stats from that article:

  • Temperatures between 60-75°F will increase heart rate (HR) by 2-4 beats per minute
  • Temperatures between 75-90°F will increase heart rate (HR) up to 10 beats per minute   
  • Humidity levels between 50-90% will increase heart rate (HR) up to 10 beats per minute
If this is correct, that means the weather conditions last night could have increased my heart rate by as much as 20bpm. So, how do I adjust for this? 

Another article addresses the question of whether it is better to match the suggested HR (slower than normal pace) or match the suggested pace (with higher than listed HR). The recommendation is to match heart rate, but allow for a slightly higher heart rate that is about 5bpm above target. 

More on training zones:
This article recommends running easy runs at 60-70% max hr (The Energy Efficient or Recovery Zone); long runs at 70-80% (aerobic zone). I've been running both long runs and easy runs in the aerobic zone.  Maybe time for another adjustment there.

Tempo Run Fail...or was it?

Tonight the training schedule called for a Tempo run.  This was my first tempo in a while, and I'm not sure that I was really even doing them correctly in the past.  I'm not experienced enough to go by feel, so I tried to figure out where my pace should be based on my other recent runs.  I decided my tempo pace should probably be around 9min/mile.

So, here was the plan for tonight:
10min warm-up (easy pace); 10min tempo pace; 3min easy run; 10min tempo pace; 5min cool-down (easy pace).

Here's what happened:

The warm-up and first tempo run went well.  I was really feeling challenged by the tempo pace, but hung in there.  The 3min break was okay too.  Then came the second tempo run.  I made it through about 3min of the 10min run before I hit a wall and had to stop (FAIL).  The rest of my workout was a patch-work of runs and walks.  I felt pretty defeated. Maybe I just wasn't mentally ready for the tempo run yet.

then I looked at my heart rate info:

My anaerobic zone is between the green turns out that I actually maintained my heart rate in the anaerobic zone pretty much the entire workout (except for warmup and cooldown) despite the walking/slowing down.  So, maybe not a total fail after all, I guess.  I can see now where I hit the wall - my heart rate had been hitting my redline zone (above 90% max hr) for about 3min.  So it wasn't just a mental thing - I really was pushing myself.

Anyway, I obviously need to back off on my tempo pace a bit.  Garmin reports my average pace for the first tempo split to be about 9:08.  I'll try backing off of that, maybe to about 9:30 or 9:40 next time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Analysis of an Easy Recovery Run

Week 1 of the new training cycle continues.  Before I get into the analysis of tonight's run, here's a quick recap of this first week:
My training week runs Monday through Sunday.  Monday was a rest day.  Tuesday was speed work - 2x200m intervals (click here to see the analysis of the intervals).

Today is Wednesday, and the training schedule called for an easy recovery run intended to help recover from last night's speed work.  This first week, my schedule called for a 2 mile easy run.

The distance for this run will periodically increase between now and my next race (Dallas Komen 5k on Oct. 16).

Tonight, the main goal was to run the 2 miles and see how my pace looks. I basically ran by feel tonight.  The rule of thumb I've read in several places is that I should be able to talk during an easy run. If I can't talk, I'm running too fast.  I wore my Garmin Forerunner 305 and heart-rate monitor so I could collect data on my pace and heart rate during the run.

Ideally, my heart rate should be in an aerobic training zone during an easy run, which is between 70% and 80% of my max heart rate. So, I need to run a pace that gets my heart rate in that training zone.

Here's the pace data from tonight's run:

and here's what my heart rate looked like during tonight's run:

My aerobic zone is between 148 and 159 beats per minute (bpm).  It took a couple of minutes before my heart rate got up to 148, and from about 7 minutes to the end my heart rate stayed pretty well between 150 and 160 bpm while maintaining a pace of about 10:30 minutes/mile.  My Garmin software reported an average heart rate of 151, with a max of 163 for this run. 

So, moving forward, I now know that a good easy/recovery run pace for me right now is close to the pace I ran tonight: about 10:30min/mi.  

This information also gives me a good baseline for future comparison.  In a couple of months, I can repeat this analysis and hopefully I'll have a lower heart rate for the same pace (or the same heart rate for a faster pace).

I'm not an expert on any of this.  I'm just learning about many of the topics discussed above, so the above analysis is based on my very amateurish understanding. There is a ton of info on the internet about heart rate zones.

Boston Half Marathon; Houston 5k

Boston Half Marathon

Registration for the Boston Half Marathon opened this morning...and closed just 2 hours later. The field size limit was reached that quickly. Wow.

Houston 5k

I'm thinking about running the Houston 5k on Jan. 30, 2011.  It coincides with the Houston Marathon, which is one of the marathons that is commonly used to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  If I ever do get to the point where I feel like I'm ready to try to qualify for Boston, I'll probably do it at the Houston Marathon.  There are certain marathons that the Boston Athletic Association expressly recognizes as marathons that can be used to qualify for Boston (although they point out that this is not an all-inclusive list). The Houston Marathon is the closest of those that are listed, making it the most likely choice for me.  So, if I get to that point, I think it would be good to have at least have had some experience running down there, even if it's just the 5k.  Besides, I think it would be fun to travel for a race.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Analysis of an Intervals Workout

Tonight was my first intervals workout for this new training cycle. This was a 2x400 meter interval workout.

Here's basically how the workout went:

.6 mile easy run

400 meter fast run;
2 min walking

400 meter fast run;
2 min walking

.6 mile easy run

I'll add additional intervals every one to three weeks.

Tonight, the main goal was to get a couple of interval runs in and see how my pace looks. I basically ran by feel tonight, with a goal of running the 400m fast intervals at about 1:50 each. I wore my Garmin Forerunner 305 and heart-rate monitor so I could collect data on my pace and heart rate during the fast runs.

The overall goal of running intervals is to improve my race pace (by improving my LT). Ideally, my heart rate should be in an anaerobic training zone, which is between 80% and 90% of my max heart rate during the fast interval runs. So, I need to run a pace that gets my heart rate in that training zone.

So tonight my intervals looked like this:
Interval I: 400m in 1:51 (7:24min/mile pace)
Interval II: 400m in 1:48 (7:12min/mile pace)

Here's what my heart rate looked like:

The first hill is my warm-up run, and the second two hills are the two intervals.  My anaerobic zone is between 159 and 170 beats per minute (bpm).  It looks like my pace was about right for the first interval, maybe a bit high on the second.  During the second interval, my heart rate briefly exceeded 90%, which is sometimes referred to as red-line zone.  For short intervals like this, the red-line zone can be okay if you're healthy enough to withstand the intensity. 

So, moving forward, I now know that a good minimum interval pace for me right now is close to the pace I ran for the first interval: about 7:24min/mi.  

This information also gives me a good baseline for future comparison.  In a couple of months, I can repeat this analysis and hopefully I'll have a lower heart rate for the same pace (or the same heart rate for a faster pace).

Incidentally, my warm-up run should be in my aerobic zone, between 70% and 80% max heart rate (between about 148 and 159 bpm for me).  It looks like I hit it about right (but a bit on the fast side) with an average pace of about 10:30-10:45 min/mile.

I'm not an expert on any of this.  I'm just learning about many of the topics discussed above, so the above analysis is based on my very amateurish understanding. There is a ton of info on the internet about speed workouts and heart rate zones.

p.s. - just ran across this:  3 Ways to Take Your Run to the Next Level |

Monday, July 12, 2010

The party's over

My post-race rest and recovery week is now officially over. That means back to eating right and time to start training for my next race, which is a 5k in October.

I went for a 3-mile run last night, and kept an easy pace. It was one of those weird runs where I felt slow and tired, but my pace was actually pretty good. If I hadn't been wearing my Garmin, I would have thought my pace was slower than it was.

So, my training plan beginning this week looks basically like this:
Sunday - easy run
Monday - rest, resistance training
Tuesday - intervals
Wednesday - easy run, resistance training
Thursday - tempo run
Friday - rest
Saturday - long run, resistance training

My weekly mileage totals will ramp up over the next few months from about 17 to 25 miles per week. Most weeks, my long run will account for roughly 1/3 of my miles. I plan to ramp up my long runs from 6 miles this week to 10 miles by late Sept.

p.s. - I read recently that for 5k/10k training, it's a good idea to try to get your long runs up to about 3x your race distance.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some video of my first 10k

The video begins as I'm approaching the finish line.  I was exhausted!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The "Tempo" run

The idea of speed workouts, like "tempo" running workouts and interval workouts, is to increase your lactate threshold (LT).  LT is the point at which lactate substances start to accumulate, which contribute to fatigue.  Basically, LT is something you want to improve if you want to improve your distance running.

LT is related to VO2 max, which is where oxygen consumption plateaus.  VO2 max is something I think of as a maximum effort point - it occurs at some maximum running speed and is also related to max heart rate.  LT, on the other hand, occurs closer to "race pace."  As pointed out at [], two runners with the same VO2 max speed will not necessarily perform the same in a distance race - the runner with the higher LT will perform better because the higher LT allows for a higher race pace.

Here is a link to a pretty good article that explains LT training:

In short, the above article suggests that tempo runs that involve running near LT (at about 95-105% LT pace) can improve the runner's LT.  One example tempo workout involves 3-5 10-min intervals near LT, with 2-3min rest between intervals.  The other example tempo workout is a 20-30min run near LT.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tonight's run

I ran pretty hard tonight, considering that I'm supposed to be in recovery mode this week.

I read somewhere that after a race, you should rest and do easy runs for the number of days equal to the number of miles of the race.  My last race was just over 6 miles, and tomorrow will be day 6 post-race.

Anyway, I've had my pace on my mind alot lately.  It seems like my pace has hit a plateau.  When I started running, it seemed like my pace was constantly improving.  From one week to the next, my comfortable pace would improve 10 or 20 seconds.  Then, it just flat-lined.  I've been stuck around 10min/mile for a while now.

Then again, for the past month or so, I've been mostly focused on improving my endurance.  I had a 10k coming up, and I wanted to be able to go the distance.  So I haven't really done much speed work.

Plus, it's summer now.  It's hot and/or humid every run.  I think that's slowing me down.  In fact, I'm hoping that maybe it's a good sign that I'm maintaining my pace as summer creeps in.

But tonight I guess I wanted to show myself that I could run fast, and I'm also impatient about getting started with some speed work.  So I mixed in some fartleks tonight - I would pick a point up ahead (like a tree or something), and run really fast to it, then slow down to another random point, then fast to another point, etc.

I feel like I've established a decent endurance base, so I'm really going to put an emphasis on being consistant with my speed work as I prepare for my next 5k in October.  My goal is to get in at least one, no more than two, speed workouts every week.  I'm thinking intervals on Tuesdays, tempo runs on Thursdays.

When to Replace Running Shoes

Here's some quick notes I read today about when to replace running shoes.

For typical training-style running shoes, they are good for about 500 miles (in contrast to racing-style running shoes, which may only be good for 200-300 miles).

Also, watch for compression lines in the soles of the shoes.  If there are getting to be alot of compression lines, then it's time to replace the shoes.

Another sign that the shoes are wearing out can be the onset of various aches and pains due to the shoes losing their ability to absorb the shock of each stride.

Looking at my training log, it looks like I have about 300 miles on my shoes.  I'm running about 20-25 miles per week, so I should expect them to last at least another couple of months.  My next race is mid-October, so I also want to make sure I have plenty of time to break in some new shoes before my next race. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Intro

I'm 39, and I'm a beginning runner.

I started running so I could lose weight faster.

Now I lose weight so I can run faster :)

I started 6 months ago with the C25K (couch to 5k) program. I highly recommend it.

Since then, I've run two 5k's. Last weekend I ran my first 10k.

I'm learning all the time about running - training, equipment, etc. So I decided to journal.

This blog is my journal.