Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Training Run: Haskell Field

I could feel the heaviness in the legs today as the miles built up. Yesterday’s testing and rock moving put a load on my system. I am thinking to run the HR Max test next week to have a chance in recovery and avoid injury. After all there is no reason to rush into it as yesterday was tough enough workout.

Haskell Field is a mere two miles from the house. It’s a collection of soccer fields, playground and a parking lot. The remains of a ball diamond were torn down this year along with the skate park. What I like about the field is the flat area and grass that is well maintained. You can run a perimeter loop for a distance of .9 miles. This was an easy run on the soft surface. For a total of nine miles I got 5 off the roads.

Training: AM – Haskell Field 9M, 71:47, 7:59 Pace, 130 HR, 60s, overcast, humid, feel a slight sensation on the right shin and right ankle.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mini-Test Lactate

This test is derived from a thread on LetsRun. Each period is a minimum of 8 minutes. The protocol that consists of repeat runs over 2400m at slowly increasing intensities (with pauses after each period to draw blood). I did not draw any blood.

Once at 50mpw; its time to perform the following mini-test. Go to a track on a windless day, as rested for a race, and do the following:

Run 2400m at a steady 140 HR (Stop 90 secs and record time)
Run 2400m at a steady 150 HR (Stop 90 secs and record time)
Run 2400m at a steady 160 HR (Stop 90 secs and record time)
Run 2400m at a steady 170 HR (Stop 90 secs and record time)
Run 2400m at a steady 180 HR (Stop 90 secs and record time)

At all times, adjust the running pace to maintain a stable HR. On each new stage slowly edge the HR up (ie: it is ok if the HR takes the first 600-800m to reach target level), then simply maintain HR. DO NOT start fast and have to slow to maintain target HR.


2400m at 140 HR = 11:34\7:45, such a slow pace hard to not go fast

2400m at 150 HR = 10:40\7:09, still slow, remember to keep track of laps

2400m at 160 HR = 10:02\6:43, a little quicker

2400m at 170 HR = 9:27\6:20, avg. 169. I can hear my breathing, fearing the 180 HR

2400m at 180 HR = 9:03\6:04, avg. 176. This is allot of work I can feel the legs, heavy breath, lower energy, had enough

Test conditions were in the a.m. with a slight breeze, the temperature around 70 degrees. The field maintenance decides to cut the inner track grass at the start of my first 2400 so I got a taste of dust and grass clippings. I ran in NB 766s, next time need to bring water as my Gatorade ran out on the last test. Will need to repeat the test in six weeks. Check back in a couple of days and I will run the Maximum Heart Rate Test.

Training: above tests 11.5m, no issues, just slow, but setting the starting point

Monday, May 29, 2006

Initial Marathon Planning

Feels like summer is here, the temperature is up requiring running with singlets and keeping hydrated. Today’s run was very casual on partially shaded streets. The time has come to start addressing a running plan. Mike sent and has some excellent resources on Lydiard training that I am reading. My friend Russ says he has a Lydiard book that he picked up back in the 1980’s. I read last year’s New England Runner of the Year, Nate Jenkins based some of his training on what was called Lydiardesque, he went on to qualify for the Olympic trials. It looks like I will start with timed runs for this week and see where the mileage lands.

Training: AM – Powers Road Out n Back 7M, 55:32, 7:59 Pace, 135 HR, sunny, warm, humid, feel a slight sensation on the right shin, ran one half with stroller.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

MesoCycle V Week 3

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 48
Number of Workouts: 6
Stretching: light on the pre-run, better on post-runs
Yoga: One
P\U, S\U: 250\500

Notes: Muscle recovery feels like it’s done. Running, stretching, yoga, push-ups and sit-ups are coming along nicely.
Issues to Note:
1. Stretching can easily be overdone resulting in a strained muscle that persists for 3-12 hours, example neck stretching.
2. Hamstring issue is non-existent. What’s new is a very slight inner right shin dull sensation feeling like a shin splint. It really has no effect on running.

Next Week Goal:
Up the mileage to 60, increase yoga to two, stretching consistency, aim for more sit-ups and pushups per set with six days.
Keep the pace slow enough for general heart rate of approximately 70% as underlying muscle recovery continues.

On the planning side it’s been decided to run the Cape Cod Marathon unless my sponsor calls for something else. An eighteen week training schedule is in the works based on the Lydiard methods. Just need to figure out what those are.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Max. Heart Rate: Initial thoughts

A friend of mine asked advice on determining one’s maximum heart rate. This is one test that I aim to do and have done once in the past. The 220-Your Age = Max HR is very debatable for one to rely on; there are just too many factors involved and one would risk injury by using it.

What I have done in the past is the test right out of Pete Pfitzingers Advanced Marathoning. I run a two mile warmup to a hill and run this test:

“You can find your maximal heart rate quite accurately during a very hard interval session. An effective workout is to warm up thoroughly and then run three high-intensity 600-meter repeats up a moderate hill, hogging back down right away after each one. If you run the 600s all out, your heart rate should be within two to three beats of maximum by the end of the third repeat.” I use a Polar HR Monitor model a5, funny I can’t find this model on their website. The monitor is okay, but with my engineering background you always want to see more of the stats and for it to always display an accurate HR.

Check this out! I came across this on
Coventry Health Care Delaware Marathon - May 21 - Wilmington, DE Chuck Engle banged out his 21st marathon of 2006 and landed, once again, at the front of the crowd with his 12th victory for the year”.
If you run his name in the results search you can see all the marathons\place\times, this is unreal, such stamina and endurance. Many of his posted times are faster than my PR! I would be more interested in what he is doing than all the hype about Dean Karnazes.

Training: AM - Mossman Loop 4M, 31:29, 7:52 Pace, 141 HR, sunny, warm, humid, feel a slight sensation on the right shin.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Town Crier: Lawn Striping 3x

The weekly Town newspaper reported someone vandalizing our lawn for the third time from the police log. We live on a corner lot with an ideal lawn, especially when wet, as of recent for these shenanigans. A few other homes in the neighborhood were also struck. After the first incident I set rocks out as a deterrence and kept the lights on Friday nights. Next time was a Saturday and they easily avoided the rocks as it was more decorative than serving its real purpose. We then kept the lights on Fridays and Saturdays and more rocks. The third time after heavier rains they snuck through the rocks for one single damaging pass on a Tuesday. I talked with several neighbors and one of the kids with mud on his Jeep to no resolution. Now the lights burn during all hours of darkness and a motion camera is in place to capture vehicle activity. My wife claims the rocks are not attractive at this point as there is no landscaping design sense to them. A neighbor on the other end of the block has a beautiful rock wall setup on their corner that is very colonial and one to match. It is such a shame to wake up and see deep four inch ruts torn through the grass. For now, I consider our corner a “hard target” but not impossible. Every day I add more rocks, it’s hard work, heavy lifting, even bent the metal on my two-wheeler on a rock I couldn’t move. In a week’s time I will be out of rocks from my property for the wall…I can see this is a long-term project like Marathon training that is going to take perseverance to see it through.

Today’s run was in the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) about a mile from the house. On the return I talked with a Woman pushing a stroller to find out about the dogs that chase me from her neighborhood. I will write more about that later. Today I gathered stones to throw at the dogs as I am not about to risk straining a muscle in recovery.

Training: NWR Loop 8M 63:49, 7:58 Pace, 137 HR, sunny and warm, feel a slight sensation on the right shin.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Training: Admittance to Lydiard

As I am taking it easy in recovery from the ROC Marathon my attention is focusing toward developing a plan for a fall marathon. Historically I am self-coached with brief periods in the past of structured "Club Training". To get to the next level will take a change from previous training or the results may be the same or slower.
Initially, the plan is to follow Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning >70 M for 18 weeks. When developing this site and exploring others its peaked my interest to consider the Lydiard method. Awhile back I was given Daniels' Running Formula as a gift and found VDOT and other concepts hard to follow. Everything was just too technical, but now it's time to reconsider.
Wait, what's the difference between Daniels and Lydiard?
Recovery running this week is going great, very happy with taking the rest immediately follwing the ROC as the hills really pounded my legs.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

MesoCycle V_Week_2

Weekly Review
Total Miles: 28
Number of Workouts: 5
Stretching: 2
Yoga: 1
P\U, S\U: 250\500
Notes: Muscle recovery feeling much better this week. Good introduction to running, stretching, yoga, push-ups and sit-ups.
Issues to Note:

1. First a.m. of structured stretching possibly caused a left leg shin muscle pain later in the day possibly from overstretching. This happened once before when stretching my plantar fascia while doing heel raises on steps. Pain was slight but noticeable for approximately six hours. Pain subsided after taking two Advil, gentle massage, and cross-legged seating in a chair.
2. Sunday a.m. run of eight miles at nine min./mi. pace caused the left upper hip to produce a bursitis effect that came on around mile four, persisted through the run and lasted for six hours later.
3. At the end of the week could still feel indications of some sore/damaged left hamstring.
Next Week Goal:
Up the mileage to 38, increase yoga to two, stretching to four, aim for more sit-ups and pushups per set with six days.
Be careful to keep the running pace in check as now more energy stores are built up and ready to push. Must keep the pace slow enough for general heart rate of approximately 70% as underlying muscle recovery continues.
On the planning side it’s time to consider the Fall Marathon options. An eighteen week training schedule is in the works with a possibility of running the Cape Cod Marathon.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Marathon Recovery

I took a real break from running. One full week off. Post race, two to three days I discovered tight and sore leg muscles. My quads were equal, left hamstring an apple-size knot persisted for one week, right ankle soreness lasted 36 hours.
Did light stretching, yard work and later in the week one yoga session and started back on with regular situps and pushups.

Post-Mortem: Race of Champions Marathon

Total: 877.25
Avg: 48.75

Initial focus was to run a spring marathon after an absence of four years. Last marathon was the Around the Lake an evening/nighttime marathon setting the course record in 2:55:48 on a hot August day.

Training progressed through a typical New England Winter with ice, snow, rain, cold and darkness. This period included a monthly weekend work schedule that would compromise training and one out of State trip for a week.

At about eight weeks into it, after a 22 mile run, the right Achilles flared up requiring one week of rest\cross-training. After recovery and confidence started building preparations became more enjoyable and focused. My wife ran Boston which gave me the impetus to register for the Race of Champions seeing a completion would be possible. Boston also boosted my mental training and initiative to seek out better attention to a schedule.

Initial goals were aggressive and not realistic giving the preparations. A sub 6:00 minute pace was not in the works but still in mind. Finishing and possibly winning was the fallback goal.

New items that helped in doing many solo runs: tuning in with an MP3 player to Endurance Radio and the Boston Marathon audio recordings, heart-rate training and GPS (Garmin) tracking. Items gapped: very little stretching, almost no strength training, only one tune-up race and irrespective of diet considerations.

Trained primarily in New Balance model 766's, two pairs.

Best program following was from Advanced Marathoning during the last four weeks. This and the tune-up race were the necessary confidence builders.


Breakfast: Oatmeal, bagel w\jelly, water, multi-vitamin, tums and a banana

0700 Arrival at Mount Tom Ski House, cold, breezy around 45 degrees

0800 Start in the lodge gravel parking lot, ran in Adidas Rat Racers.

Run up the hill in the top five; try very hard to take it easy down the steep backside as to not wear out the quads so early on.

The access road leads you to a Reservoir that you loop 2 and 2/3 times on packed dirt\gravel. I fall into a pace with the previous four-time champion. Take the lead after one loop as the pace was slowing and really wanted to run 6:10’s. Mile 2 split was 12:39. I ditched my hat and gloves to my wife who supported me on these loops. Was passed during last loop by surprise as I was thinking the race was won already, foolish marathon thoughts so early on. Mile 5 split was 31:40 for a 6:28 average and I was wondering if I held it what would be the finish time. Kept repeating my mantra: Patience, Strength, Flow. This race does not start until mile 20!

By surprise was passed by another runner when exiting the woods around mile 10. I thought there were only two of us running strong, whatever happened to “the pack”? The pace fell off and I followed until he pulled over to the side of the road. For the next three miles I kept the leader in sight with the tracking bike over rolling hills through rural roads. The pace was consistently hard with a heart rate of around 88%. During this time I was chased by a vicious looking dog that prompted me to immediately pick up the pace and close the gap.

We ran together through the half-way point in 1:23:46 and kept pace, albeit much slower and conversational for the next four miles. Heart rate dropped to around 82-84%. The runner from before returned around mile 18 on the opposite side of the road and he kept pushing the pace. I encouraged my new racing buddy to stick with it to stay in the race, he fell off and I caught up with the other runner at the next water station. We ran together for the next couple of miles at around 86-88%. At mile 20, time 2:09, we began to increase the pace, at 21 he spent too much time at the water station and I pressed the pace to the finish. I tried to maintain a 91-93% heart rate to the finish over mostly flat with a gradual uphill. At the last turn before the ½ mile uphill I looked over my shoulder and to my surprise did not see any runners! I made the charge, or should I say struggle up the hill to the finish in a time of 2:52:25.

Finishing temperature was around 60 degrees and sunny. I did not track split times on my watch only heart rate. Average heart rate came out to 86% or 162. Took in three Powergels over the course of the race, vanilla and orange flavor. I had excellent support by my wife at the start, miles 4, 7, 9, and the finish.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Race of Champions Marathon

Thank you to GSHH, Fast Feet Stores and Volunteers of the Race of Champions Marathon.

This was my first time running your marathon and I loved it. Going into the race I had low expectations and was preparing for the worst. What a surprise, as you far exceeded most races of this size. The quality of the course, friendly volunteers, organization and beautiful scenery made for a wonderful experience.
I apologize to those volunteers that received spilled water\gatorade from cups. Early on, it seemed the cups had little fluid and I was concerned about dehydration. Last year someone mentioned there was no water in the last six miles, that was not the case this year; plenty there. Was there a finish line string\tape? After 26.2 miles, your memory gets a little fuzzy and I don't recall breaking one. Your postrace "feast" is excellent! Hat's off to the cook of the chicken. Also, thanks to the earlier responders to my forum questions about the course.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Lions Journey for Sight 5Mile Road Race

I ran this 5 mile tune-up race in Reading this past w\e with an average HR of 173. I will need to revisit my max HR again sometime to see where this percentage lies. Any idea what percent of max HR one would expect over racing distances from the 5K to the Marathon.

Finished second overall to a direct competitor who was running 5:12’s to my 5:32’s, absolutley smoked me from the start. Anyhow, I am training for a marathon which is only a few weeks away.

Inaugeral Post

Here it is on the web!

Main page: Run_Master_Faster is a clean front end showing the running journal.

Sub page: MyRaces as a Masters Level competitive runner.

Sub page: Running Resources are methods to achieving the goal loaded with information.