Sunday, June 29, 2008

Monthly miles:

When I enter my daily mileage into the Runner's World log, it tallies my weekly, monthly and yearly miles. So, for this June it reads: 59.3 mpw, 249 miles this month, and 1327 miles for 2008, thus far. Now, I kind of like the monthly totals. They're more forgiving if you've missed 10 miles due to travel, soreness, etc. It's a loophole around the "I've got to hit X number mpw," that we runners fall into.

I'm a big picture guy as an advisor, but don't practice what I preach, so I tend to be a streaker as well as a weekly total hoarder. Not that I run THAT many mpw, but I like to be over 50 EVERY week of marathon training until the taper. Does it really matter if one week is 42? NO! But I'm not so bright with such matters, so I'll go for 50 at the risk of hurting myself.

This week, for example, I was going to cut back but did I? NO>>>>>>I went the same 59 as last week, with the faster long run and 2 days of easy speed. So I was BAD. We all know that come race time, 250 miles last month is better than 125...but does a 70 mile week mean more than a 67 mile week? Hardly.

More miles give me confidence, but so do faster miles and feeling healthy and light, and having nice shoes and a cool racing outfit and some cool gels and a bunch of friends watching and of course, good, cool weather.

This means monthly is good; it's a cumulative GPA, not this quarter's...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

  • Inspired by Summer marathon training:

    Ten Signs that the Humidity is too High for Running

    Here in Timmins, the humidity is mild in the summer. But just ask Pudov in S. Korea what it's like during July and August over there. Since I also lived in Korea 2004-2007 I wanted to compose a list, inspired by running during their monsoon season...In Korea, it's not acceptible for guys to go shirtless, by the way. And the kids love to point and stare at westerners...just to make you more self-conscious.

The List..(drum roll...)

  • Your stopwatch is unreadable due to condensation

  • Your running shoes make that funny wet squeaking sound after your first mile..and it's not raining.

  • whatever body hair you have looks like a Rorschach (yuck!)

  • The singer on your ipod sounds like he's gargling.

  • Your shorts look like body-paint.

  • There are rings of salt around your ankles the size of doughnuts.

  • The sweat in your eyes won't go away. After your run people ask if you've been crying.

  • Your change of shirt give you a fresh, clean feeling. For about 30 seconds.

  • You have this creepy feeling that if you fall, no one will want to help without gloves.

  • You ponder philosophical quandries like, "why do men have nipples?"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Variety: to train well, I've got to mix it up.

Today I was going to take an easy 7-miler, but after warming up fairly well, I decided to go a notch faster on my run.


I asked myself...." Ron, how many fast runs have you done OFF the treadmill?" The answer is that I've done very few faster than 7:40 pace around here, except ON the treadmill. So I went at a faster pace today. Yes, the knee was's an ominous feeling with the occasional pain down there. But, I felt the need to run outdoors at a good pace.

So, after going 7:30/pace for three miles, I finished my run well under 7-minute pace for 4 more miles. I can rest tomorrow, if necessary. But going into a race without running fast is unsettling to me; so I picked it up the same way I would have done with my Minnesota running buddies. I still have a week until my 10K so I should train normally, including the speed, long runs and varying surfaces.

One thing I know about me is that I can go faster more easily than longer.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My left knee, left hip and right groin have all been problematic since April, when I took to the streets after a winter on the treadmill. In other words, I have some pain running, walking and even getting out of bed.

Since 1/1, I've been averaging around 50-60 mpw, with few rest days. My weight is lower than it usually is and my stamina's good, but I feel around 65 y/old much of the time.

So, against every instinct that I have, I'm going to take a SRD this week and lighten my mileage for a fall-back week..maybe 40 miles, with some light speedwork. This isn't radical, I know, but I'm hoping to put a little life into my limbs; it beats having forced rest weeks! I had enough of those last year.

I love to run, and who wants to be sidelined by injury during training. I'm finding that all the marathon training programs I've seen tend to assume that your legs will feel fresh most of the time. Mine feel like a wreck, but I can still run. So, I'll try to leave it that way!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

When I planned this weekend, I said to myself "the hell with the long run." My knee's been hurting, and besides, I'd have 50 miles this week with a 7-miler.

But...I woke up, my legs felt better, and I fit the roads and trails for a spontaneous 12 miler. Only I got lost on the trails and wound up running for over two hours--15 miles--to hit 59mpw and continue my long run streak at 6 weeks. This was to be a fall-back week, and it was, as it turned out. Just not much of one...from 61 miles to 59.5...oh week will have no long run, but rather a 10K race.

To me, the long run of at least two hours is harder on the body than anything else--even speedwork. So I am better served by going 55-65 mpw, with the long run of 18-21 miles being slow and uncompetitive. I go from 8:20 at the start to sub 8:00 later. But I don't do the 7:10-20 pace any longer--it's not necessary with a speed session and high weekly me, I'm running high volume right now. I wish I could do more, but it's not worth the risk.

I find racing to be a means of getting in super-high quality mileage. But I miss living close to races; it's 4-8 hours each way to all but two local races each year. And after late October, forget it. But I visit my family in California sometimes--I will this Xmas--and it's possible I can sneak in a race.

People around here keep telling me there are bears around, but I've never seen one on a run. Call it a death wish but I WANT TO SEE A BEAR. With all the mines around here, I'm half-convinced it's unsuitable habitat for most wildlife...kind of like Boyle Heights in LA.

For my race next week there are two goals: sub-39:00 and AG victory. It's a small race so both are possible. I need a good time to prove to myself that there's progress being made.

We're going out tonight for some guilt-free gluttony. Oh the beauty of the long run.

And yes, I'm sporting my ankle tan-line with my usual glee.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Here's what I wrote on RW forum in December:

How many miles should a marathoner run? 12/07...

This is THE question in competitive marathoning. Notice I didn't say "elite" marathoning." For elites it's always well into triple figures during training cycles. But I believe a healthy runner who wants to race well at the full marathon requires at least 65-75 mpw/average over 16 weeks, with 1-2 faster days and one long day.

But if you are under 35 or so and you can go 80-100mpw, you can't help but race even better.

That's what I said then, but I've seen some crash and burns on heavy mileage (75-100) and have also experienced a lot of pain building up my long runs from 12-19 miles over the last 7 weeks. So at 60mpw, I'm thinking that 65mpw is about my max After that, the speed can go up a bit. I'd like to keep running all year, and too high a peak doesn't feel healthy to me...And 2X a day isn't necessary for that kind of mileage...too many showers!
I had to get in a bit of interval work today just to remember what it's like to run fast. It's not a big part of my marathon training, but it feels good to move at sub 5K pace for awhile (2 miles). It comes more naturally to me than to run a 20-miler. Since I'm running a 10K in 10 days, it would behoove me to get in some faster running. And it helps the biomechanics at a slower pace. That's a significant benefit.
Now if only my knee would behave! It feels stiff after any run, but doesn't hurt. So on I go...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Today, it was warm and muggy for the first time this summer...63f with 80% humidity, so I ran my long run at an early hour. I felt sluggish and had a stomach ache, but made my run a 19-miler at an easy(8:15) pace. legs were sore all around. No doubt, this is still a
building-up stage for mileage. So I took an unplanned ice-plunge afterwords in the bath. Wow! That really helped with the soreness.
It was a good training week of 61 miles, with two mini-speed sessions and the long run. I guess I burned off the Moroccan chicken and ice cream I consumed last night. Tonight, it's over to Laura and Ernie's for some pork with raspberry sauce. OK, the first 9 burned off last night, and the last 10 are for tonight...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I'm starting up with my conventional marathon training. You know, a long run, a tempo run and maybe a fast General Aerobic, supplemented with three easy GA runs and a rest day (run 4 with Heather at 10:00 pace). But as the Fall sign-ups approach the question I'm pondering is: why beat up my body on full marathons when a half marathon offers more accurate reflections of fitness and talent 90 percent of the time? It's one thing if you have yet to complete a full marathon, or if you know there's a huge margin for improvement. Also if you have no injury history and/or are on the cusp of BQing.

I want to run well, but out of the seven marathons I've run, three were too warm, one caused an IT band injury and three were OK. That means I've had 4 marathons where I ran much slower than I felt, realistically, I could do. But the post-marathon pain is there whether you had a good race or bad.

On the half, I've had some warm days, but they only made a difference of a few minutes. On a full marathon, a warm day will add over ten minutes--sometimes a lot more--to my time, not to mention the dangers implicit to running hard for over three hours in heat. My last three marathons were in 3:12, 3:31, and 3:28. In all three my conditioning was the same and the courses were equally was weather that made the difference.

I've never targeted a half as the big race, but I know that if I'm in shape I' run well, barring injury or extreme weather. Plus, I'll still be able to do the limbo the next day.

That said, I'll probably run a marathon this fall. I'll pray for health, good weather and no unforeseen problems. I guess it's still the super bowl of long running, and I feel I can do better than what I've done. But the HM sounds pretty good when you're at mile 22...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A week after running 15 miles as a long run, I went 18 miles. No biggie. Except, on Monday I ran the trails around Timmins. They're a little bumpy, and those combined with the sudden increase in long run miles left both of my upper legs unexpectedly sore today. I contemplated staying on the treadmill for reduced impact, but today is one of those perfect outdoor running days:55f and clear, except for a few billowy clouds . So out I went; we don't have many of these days in Timmins. But the soreness didn't abate much over the hour of running. Also those shoes have had it--560 miles on my poor adistar cushions. I'll treadmill with them, but the mean streets have seen the last of pair number 3 in my rotation!