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Wk 9 Training - San Diego Marathon

Sunday, April 13, 2014

MONDAY
Rest

TUESDAY
PLAN
Cross Train XT#1
Spin Workout (45 - 60 mon)
10 min warm up then increase to PE 2, PE 1 for last 5 min

ACTUAL
Strength Training -- 50 min
Indoor Cycling -- 45 min
Walking -- 25 min (3 mph)

WEDNESDAY
PLAN
Key Run Workout #1: Track Repeats
10 min warm up
1600 m @ 9:09 (400 m RI)
3200 m @18:38 (800 m RI)
2 x 800 m @4:26 (400 m RI)
10 min cool down

ACTUAL
Intervals: :50/:15 (1600), :45/:15 (3200), :50/:10 (800)
Interval Splits: 8:44 / 18:29 / 4:15 / 4:13

THURSDAY
PLAN
Cross Train XT#2
Spin Workout (50 min)
10 min warm up, then alternate 15 moderate to hard, 5 min easy

ACTUAL
Strength Training
Indoor Cycling -- 50 minutes
Walking -- 10 minutes

FRIDAY
PLAN
Key Run Workout #2: Tempo Run
6 miles:
1 mile easy
4 @ 9:57
1 mile easy

ACTUAL
Intervals: :30/:40 (1, 6); :30/:20 (2-5)
Mile Splits: 11:08 / 9:40 / 9:38 / 9:36 / 9:41 / 11:12

SATURDAY
Rest Day

SUNDAY
PLAN
Key Run Workout #3: Long Run
20 miles

ACTUAL
20 miles
Intervals: :30/:40 (1-13 ); :30/:60 (14-20)
Mile Splits: 11:45 / 11:58 / 11:52 / 11:32 / 11:43 / 11:55 / 11:50 / 12:15 / 12:23 / 11:38 / 11:52 / 11:23 / 11:46 / 12:24 / 12:22 / 12:32 / 12:39 / 12:25 / 12:31 / 12:21

Notes: I started this run outside, on the road behind the gym. I had hoped to be able to do half the run outside before moving inside to the gym track. It was a muggy, humid morning, not very comfortable running weather but at least it wasn't sunny. I should have gone in after 6 or 7 miles, but since I had 10 miles in my head, I kept going, even though the wind picked up and I was running into a fairly stiff breeze at miles 8 & 9. I finally realized after 9 miles that running into the wind was starting to really fatigue me, so I went inside at that point.

Since the goal of today's run was simply to go the distance (after failing to do so on my last two long runs), I decided at mile 14 to switch to slower intervals and keep the run very easy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTNINGRUNNER 4/15/2014 9:59AM

    Always my determined hero.

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NATPLUMMER 4/14/2014 10:34AM

    Solid week :-)

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SEABREEZE64 4/14/2014 8:45AM

    Good week....

I didn't understand Wednesday's (3200 m @18:38 (800 m RI) ).

Made it 20 - woo-hoo. Your slow is very, very fast for me!!!!

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Wk 8 Training - San Diego Marathon

Saturday, April 12, 2014

(30 Mar - 6 April)

MONDAY
Key Run Workout #1: Track Repeats
20 min warm up
6 x 800m @ 4:12 (1:30 RI)
10 min cool down

ACTUAL
Intervals: :50/:10
Splits:
4:13 (1:31) / 4:12 (1:52) / 4:12 (2:13) / 4:10 (1:53) / 4:12 (1:31) / 4:12

Notes: The big challenge today was the short rest intervals. That's not much "rest" for a half mile. Since I was running these on the gym track and 1:30 is less than one lap, it was also a challenge to find good landmarks at the appropriate times (so that I could keep track of subsequent laps). So some of my rest intervals were a little longer than 1:30, but not much.

TUESDAY
"Rest Day"
Meetings & entertaining an out of town speaker.

WEDNESDAY
"Rest Day"
Interviews, on site visit for Executive Director candidate

THURSDAY
Strength Training
Key Run Workout #2: Tempo Run
6 miles:
2 miles easy
3 miles @ 9:42
1 mile easy

ACTUAL
Strength Training
25 minute walk to transition between ST & Running

Run Intervals: :30/:40 (1-2), :30/:15 (3-5), :30/:45 (6)
Splits: 11:08 / 11:19 / 9:28 / 9:34 / 9:34 / 9:35 / 11:31

FRIDAY
Strength Training
Cross Train XT#1
Spin Workout (45 - 60 mon)
10 min warm up then increase to PE 2, PE 1 for last 5 min

ACTUAL
Much of the day was spent at the vet's office

SATURDAY
Rest Day

SUNDAY
Long Run
9 miles @ 11:23

ACTUAL
Intervals: :30/:45, :30/:40
Splits: 11:20 / 11:11 / 11:29 / 11:23 / 11:29 / 11:09 / 11:24 / 11:18 / 11:18

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NATPLUMMER 4/13/2014 11:12AM

    Solid week.
Is something up with the kitties?

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ROXYZMOM 4/12/2014 11:09PM

    emoticon

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DIGIT00 4/12/2014 8:40PM

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Wk 7 Training - San Diego Marathon

Friday, March 28, 2014

MONDAY
Rest Day

TUESDAY
Strength Training
Run Workout: Easy Run
Distance: 3 miles

Intervals - :30/:40
Splits - 12:01 / 11:33 / 11:11

Notes: I did not have time for breakfast before heading to the gym, although I did grab a banana as I went out the door. Strength training was first and I was feeling a little tired as I finished. Part of the problem was that I had had a late night and shorted my sleep a bit, but I was also still feeling Sunday's 18 miles too. As I started running, I soon realized that I needed to eat something. I didn't have any gels with me, but I did have some hard candy. I are one piece during mile 2 and a second during mile 3. My pace did pick up but i can't say that I felt that great.

WEDNESDAY
Key Run Workout: Tempo Run
8 miles:
1 mile easy
6 miles @ 9:43
1 mile easy

ACTUAL
Intervals - :30/:30 (1), :30/:15 (2-7), :30/:45 (8)
Splits - 11:04 / 9:33 / 9:35 / 9:28 / 9:38 / 9:27 / 9:39 / 11:42

Notes: I was both better nourished and more rested today and this run went well.

THURSDAY
Cross Train XT#1
Spin Workout (45 - 60 mon)
10 min warm up then increase to PE 2, PE 1 for last 5 min

ACTUAL
Strength Training
Indoor Cycling: 60 min
Walking: 30 min

FRIDAY
Key Run Workout: Long Run
13 miles @ 10:23

ACTUAL
7 miles
Intervals - :30/25, :30/:20
Splits - 10:19 / 10:17 / 10:31 / 10:21 / 10:24 / 10:21 / 10:33

Notes: I was feeling a little under the weather this afternoon. Lunch did not totally agree with me and I was uncomfortable. I stopped the run after 7 miles.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Trip to Dallas for the opera

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTNINGRUNNER 4/1/2014 10:49AM

    You are an inspiration to me - you have such strength and will power

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STRIVER57 3/30/2014 8:10AM

    was just discussing the importance of food and sleep with a friend who cycles up a hill to work a couple of days a week … enjoy the opera.


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NATPLUMMER 3/29/2014 2:07PM

    It's amazing how food and sleep can turn things around.
Enjoy your trip!!

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MBTEPP 3/29/2014 10:14AM

    Sensational week. Have a great weekend in Dallas. Looks like the soggy weather has passed.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 3/29/2014 10:07AM

    Have a great weekend!
Once again, I'm impressed. YOu make a plan and stick to it.

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RUN4FOOD 3/29/2014 5:24AM

    Quite a good week of running and always impressed by your self awareness.

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SEABREEZE64 3/29/2014 12:50AM

    Have fun in Dallas. Hope you are feeling good today. Nice week!

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Wk 6 Training - San Diego Marathon

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

MONDAY
Key Run Workout #1: Track Repeats
20 min warm up
2 x 1200m @ 6:24
4 x 800m @ 4:12
10 min cool down

ACTUAL
Intervals - :60/:10
Splits - 6:17 / 6:11 / 4:01 / 4:03 / 4:05 / 4:01

Notes: This was a great run. I felt fabulous and it was so much fun. My hamstring issue seems totally resolved. But the real reason the run went so well was that my glutes and hips were engaged and powering me forward. It is so much easier to fun fast when your glutes are doing their job. I felt relaxed during each repeat, and the effort felt "comfortably hard" with the emphasis on the "comfortably." Quite a change from last week and an excellent reminder of just how important those glutes are to a runner. I could feel them working throughout this run.

TUESDAY
Cross Train XT#1
Spin Workout (45 - 60 mon)
10 min warm up then increase to PE 2, PE 1 for last 5 min

ACTUAL
Strength Training
Indoor Cycling: 60 min
Walking: 20 min

WEDNESDAY
Key Run Workout #2: Tempo Run
1 mile easy
5 miles @ 9:28

ACTUAL
Intervals - :30/:20 (1), :30/:15 (2-6)
Splits - 10:09 / 9:19 / 9:23 / 9:06 / 9: 03 / 8:54

Notes: Felt really good. Did some work with the trigger point balls on lower back, hips and glutes before the run and also between miles 3 and 4.

THURSDAY
Cross Train XT#2
Spin Workout (50 min)
10 min warm up, then alternate 15 moderate to hard, 5 min easy

ACTUAL
Strength Training
Sports Massage

FRIDAY
Rest Day

SATURDAY
Cross Train XT#3
Rowing (35 min)
5 min easy, 10 min fast, 5 / 10 / 5

ACTUAL
Easy Run
Intervals - :30/:40
Splits - 11:55 / 11:50 / 11:58 / 11:34 / 11:36

Notes: When I went out for today's run, I intended to make it my long run. But the weather was warm and very humid, which made running really uncomfortable. Since a front was coming through over night and the temps were supposed to be about 20 degrees cooler on Sunday, I switched to a short run and postponed the long run to Sunday.

SUNDAY
Key Run Workout #3: Long Run
18 miles @ 11:37 - 11:03

ACTUAL
Intervals - :30/:40 ( :30/:60 for the last few miles)
Splits - 11:03 / 11:03 / 10:57 / 10:48 / 11:05 / 11:10 / 11:02 / 11:05 / 11:12 / 11:06 / 11:37 / 11:48 / 11:41 / 12:09 / 12:24 / 12:40 / 12:36 / 12:34

Notes: I got really tired towards the end of this run. I'm not sure why, since I ran 16 last week and still felt strong at the end.

Well, I just looked at last week's run and am now fairly sure the reason for the difference in the two runs is pace. Last week, I ran much slower because I was still concerned about my hamstring. The first half of the run last week was around 11:45 /mi vs this week's 11:05ish. That 40 seconds makes a big difference over a this many miles. Clearly I don't have my long run stamina quite back to what it was a few months ago. But I am getting there.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEABREEZE64 3/27/2014 7:52PM

    Great progress. sounds like your body is raring to go!!!

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THETURTLEBEAR 3/26/2014 8:33PM

    Sounds like your progress is excellent!

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SLENDERELLA61 3/26/2014 4:45PM

    Thanks for sharing your training. Very impressive, as usual. Would love to know the details of your strength training if you choose to share. -Marsha

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IFDEEVARUNS2 3/26/2014 3:57PM

    Impressive! The return of warm and humid has certainly affected me. I'm realizing how lovely this winter was in terms of running weather.

Comment edited on: 3/27/2014 10:25:33 AM

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LEWILL1982 3/26/2014 2:25PM

    Great report! This is the second time I've seen the glute/hamstring relationship. I actually read about it in my Runners World this morning. How do you strengthen your glutes? (is that a weird question??)

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NATPLUMMER 3/26/2014 1:18PM

    You're doing great!

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How can I become a faster runner?

Friday, March 21, 2014

That is a question I get asked a lot. There is no one single (simple) answer to that question, not to mention no "sure fire, guaranteed" method. But one thing that a runner can do in training that often yields faster times is to increase her "lactate threshold."

I am currently reading an interesting book, "The Science of Running: How to Find your Limit and Train to Maximize Your Performance," by Steve Magness. In the chapter, "Lactate, Acid, and Other By Products," he lists a progression of workouts that can enhance these variables. I thought it might be fun not only to share the list of workouts with you but also to discuss how one might go about developing a training plan based on them with the goal of spending a training cycle to enhance one's lactate tolerance and improve one's lactate threshold.

But first, some brief background.

For a long time, experts believed that the build up of lactate in the muscles was the source of a runner's fatigue (and slowing down). That theory has been contradicted by recent research. However, even though lactate itself doesn't cause fatigue, it highly correlates with it. What that means is that as lactate increases (and lactate can be fairly easily measured, which is why it can be studied), so do the by products (less easily measured) which are the actual cause of fatigue. So increasing one's lactate threshold is still a valid, useful training goal.

One's lactate threshold is defined as the fastest running speed at which blood lactate levels remain in a relatively steady state, i.e. the body can remove excess lactate from the blood stream as fast as it is produced. Think of this as the upper end of your aerobic range. The longer you can keep your blood lactate levels stable, the longer you can resist fatigue and maintain that "fastest speed."

Magness's guidelines for improving lactate threshold are really a series of steps. Start, he says, with step one and add the next step as you progress. I.e. don't try to do everything at once.

So let's assume that we have two runners who want to improve their lactate threshold and who are not currently training for a race (i.e. they aren't following a specific training plan). They each run three days a week at a weekly volume of about 20 miles a week. That 20 miles breaks down into 5 miles on Tuesday and on Thursday and a 10 mile long run on Sunday.

STEP ONE: Basic Mileage

Running is a skill and the more you run, the more skilled your body (and brain) becomes at it. Of all the things you can do, running more is the simplest (and first) step to getting faster.

But runners must be careful about increasing mileage. You should not be increasing mileage all the time. And while you are increasing mileage, you should be careful to limit the intensity of your runs. One stress at a time is the safest approach, so run easy while increasing mileage.

My own experience has been that an increase of about 10 miles a week (maximum) per training cycle is manageable. Then stay at that higher level (without more increases) through the rest of that cycle.

So our two runners decide to increase from 20 to 30 miles per week. They do this as follows:

Wk 1: 6 miles (T), 6 miles (Th), 10 miles (Sun)
Wk 2: 6 miles (T), 6 miles (Th), 12 miles (Sun)
Wk 3: Repeat wk 2
Wk 4: 6 miles (T), 2 miles (W), 6 miles (Th), 12 miles (Sun)
Wk 5: 6 miles (T), 4 miles (W), 6 miles (Th), 12 miles (Sun)
Wk 6: Repeat wk 5
Wk 7: 6 miles (T), 4 miles (W), 6 miles (Th), 12 miles (Sun)
Wk 8: 6 miles (T), 6 miles (W), 6 miles (Th), 12 miles (Sun)
Wk 9: Repeat wk 8

At this point, Runner 1 feels very comfortable with the new volume, but runner 2 decides that she wants to cut the Wednesday run back to 4 miles. In either case, the Wednesday run is a recovery run at a slow pace. They continue to run four days a week at this new volume (30 mpw, 28 mpw) until they are confident that their legs have absorbed the changes and they are ready for the next step.

STEP TWO: Steady runs at around Marathon pace

Each runner now turns the Tuesday run into a marathon pace run -- but progressively, as follows (the rest of the week are easy runs as listed in step one):

Wk 2-1: (T) 6 miles: 2 miles easy, 2 miles @ MP, 2 miles easy
Wk 2-2: (T) 6 miles: 2 miles easy, 3 miles @ MP, 1 mile easy
Wk 2-3: (T) 6 miles: 1 mile easy, 4 miles @ MP, 1 mile easy

Runner 2 stops the progression here and keeps her MP run as listed in Wk 12. Runner 1 goes one more step:

Wk 2-4: (T) 6 miles: 1 mile easy, 5 miles @ MP

They continue to run at 30 and 28 miles per week, respectively, with a marathon pace tempo run on Tuesday, a recovery run on Wednesday, an easy run on Thursday, and a long run on Sunday until they feel ready for the next step.

STEP THREE: Lactate threshold runs

Lactate threshold pace is generally defined as the race pace you can maintain for one hour. If you are an elite runner who can race a half marathon in about one hour, then LT pace is HM pace. For me, LT pace is slightly slower than 10K pace. The slower you are the shorter the race distance you will cover in a hour, so your LT pace will correspond to race pace for that shorter race. Both runners use their MM times and the McMillan calculator to estimate the correct training pace.

Runner 1 has as an MM of 10:00/mi. Her LT pace is around her 5Mi race pace, or 11:31.

Runner 2 has an MM of 12:00/mi. Her LT pace is between her 4MI and 8K race pace, or 13:40.

Each runner now turns the Thursday run into a lactate threshold run as follows:

They add 15 minutes run at LT pace in the middle of the 6 miles total and gradually increase the total time as they progress to a maximum of 35 to 40 minutes. (The total length of the run stays at 6 miles.) These 35 - 40 minutes can be done as intervals, e.g. 15, 10, 5 with a 2 minute rest in between each.

STEP FOUR: Lactate threshold runs uphill

Each runner now moves her threshold runs to a hilly course (can be a treadmill). They run these by feel, i.e. maintain a pace that requires the same level of effort as the pace used in Step three. The pace will be slower because of the hills. But that's OK. It's the effort that counts and if they try to maintain the same actual pace, they risk injury with no additional benefit to show for it.

STEP FIVE: Intervals at slightly faster than LT pace

Back on a track or level course, they increase the pace of the threshold runs to slightly faster than LT pace. They run these as repeats, not continuous running.

STEP SIX: Do one of the following workouts on Thursday:

(Warm up thoroughly before each of these workouts)

1 mile easy, 5 miles at 10K pace
Long intervals at just slower than 5K pace (e.g. 4 x 1 mile w/ 3 min rest)
Medium intervals at 3K pace, e.g. 3 sets of (4 x 400m w/ 45 sec rest), 3 min between sets.

During steps 4 - 6, both runners continue doing the MP tempo on Tuesday, a recovery run on Wednesday, and an easy long run on Sunday.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTNINGRUNNER 3/24/2014 10:59AM

    I need to read this book.

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MBTEPP 3/22/2014 4:10PM

    I love to try new ideas. Great review on the methodology. Running can get quite technical, and improving takes thought and effort. Thanks for blogging. Great info.


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ROXYZMOM 3/22/2014 8:08AM

    Thank you for sharing! You gave me some great ideas for my training.

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NATPLUMMER 3/22/2014 12:22AM

    Interesting.

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STRIVERONE 3/21/2014 11:52PM

    This was very interesting and sounds sensible. Thanks. I've got several races scheduled in the near term, but I'm going to revisit this when they are over.

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RUN4FOOD 3/21/2014 8:05PM

    Thanks for sharing these ideas. This is quite technical which seems to be your style., running with your mind.
I wish I could run 6 miles three times each week. I only have 30 minutes so I guess I could if I could get my pace to 5 minutes per mile instead of my normal 10 to 12 minutes per mile.
The ideas look great. I'll look to read more from you and see what others have to say.

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WENDYSPARKS 3/21/2014 6:11PM

    emoticon

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