Archive for March, 2009

My first time as a spectator for sports events. I’ve never even seen a running race from the spectator’s side.

I parked on the east side of the island, a good 3 miles from the start. Rode my mountain bike in, which was a so-so choice given the winds; at least I didn’t have to worry about walking it over sand and leaving it unattended.

I got there just as the olympic distance (SuperSeal) was starting. Couldn’t wake up early enough to see the 70.3 guys/gals off. But I did try to match their speed coming down the highway. You can’t go 18mph on my mountain bike, so it seemed a futile exercise. It played with their minds maybe.

I enjoyed walking around the SuperSeal athletes waiting to get into the water. Many friends and family were doing the same. Same kind of atmosphere as the half that I did in Ohio.

I forgot my camera, so had to make do with my phone cam. Not too bad. I have some video too, but I don’t know how to offload it at the moment.

Spent the most time waiting for teammates to come out of the water, and then we positioned ourselves right at the bike mount/dismount area. It was fun looking at all the bikes, and the interesting ways people mount and dismount. No major mishaps, other than one guy who just about slid in after completing his 56 mile bike leg. It was a lot of fun cheering those athletes who came in with the “I can’t believe there is more to do” remarks.

We walked over at the finish line, which was almost anti-climactic. Other than trying to navigate around spectators and salt-encrusted finishers, it turned out to be a great day. Our teammates did really well. A hearty congratulations to everyone who completed the SuperFrog and SuperSeal!

Spoke to some very nervous teammates competing next weekend at the Ironman CA 70.3. I don’t think the preview was well-advised, but you can see them planning each stage as we walked from one area to the next.

I’ll be watching the CA 70.3 next weekend. I’m already looking forward to it! (there is a slideshow link at the bottom for the few photos I took).


Slideshow link

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So I’m officially registered for these two races. It took a while.

SFM is a convenience thing, since it falls the week after Vineman. I’m up there anyway, so I might as well run the marathon before I come home to southern California.

This will be my fourth year for San Diego Rock and Roll, and my second year for SFM. I’m looking forward to both.  SD R&R is on 5/31/2009 and SFM is on 7/26/2009.

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I find myself transfixed by the book, “Daniels Running Formula”.  At first, it was just one more book I needed to read.  Lately, my flight to quality has me looking into whether the combination I set up stands up to common sense.  Maybe Daniels represents one extreme, in that you use it as a training bible for competitive running.  But at the same time, reading between the lines, you can figure out how to make things practical so that you save yourself from overtraining or injury.

Take periodization for example.  Basically, segmenting blocks of training days for specific purposes.  Even when you are in the final phase of a plan, you can still segment further by dividing it into a beginning, middle, and end.  What’s convenient is that you can plan a recovery week in between, sort of a break for the body in preparation for the next big push.

At least for right now, my sense is that my mix is right but training at slightly less than LT is off a bit.  He says that training at treshold should always be done at a consistent pace to get the most benefit.  For intervals, I’m doing it right.  Slightly faster than 5K to push V02 max to around 90-98% of capacity.    Never over, because there is no benefit to overtaxing the body and affecting the training cycle because of longer recovery times.

At least at this early phase, I’ve relied on repeats to train at marathon pace.  Not too bad, since training at MP requires two systems to coincide: first, your muscles have to learn running at speed and improved economy; and second, your cardiovascular capacity has to catch up as well.  But for someone like me who has a base of years of long slow distances, I think the CV capacity is already there.  The whole thing just needs to be synchronized.

I’m actually running much lower miles than most people would be led into believing.  I don’t know–it’s just me.  I have never run that many miles common to runners’ schedules in a week.  Am having enough phantom soreness as it stands with the quality workouts; I don’t want it aggravated by more miles.  My simple plan is to give my body all the rest it needs between sessions.  Daniels assumes you do more than 60 miles; I’m nowhere near that.  I’m lucky if I do 35 miles a week.  I only do 4 days of running.

I’m actually enjoying checking off workouts on my list right now.  No, not the tri workouts but the running ones.  I know I can never be a pure triathlete, so I just try to do more of what I do best.  I run.

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Not that these things should be analyzed, but I’m sure there is data to be mined here that will be useful for future reference.

I think I’m getting stronger. Since I follow the same 21 mile route, I can get good feedback as I hit certain points on the route. A good 7 miles of it is on the San Diego R&R marathon course.

I have to work on consistency in the late miles. I think today’s pace breakdown may have been related to all that sweat in my eyes thing, but excuses will only go so far. Need to work on pre-run nutrition, specifically what I eat the night before. It has a major effect on my energy levels in the late miles.

Although my speed in the long run is fast, my quality work (MP, track, speed intervals) is committing higher speeds into body memory.  My long runs are no longer long slow distances; I can get back to those after this goal is accomplished.  I’ve basically traded longer LSD miles for quality (less miles, more recovery).

Here are some notes:

  • I’m more comfortable running in the 7:45 range lately.
  • I’m more consistent in the first 16 miles now.
  • I always have issues with sweat getting into my eyes after mile 16. It is affecting my pace after that.
  • Generally, I’m running faster. I know that’s not the idea, but maybe consistency at sub-8s is getting better.
  • Run # 4 seems to be the reference point or gold standard at this point. Consistency is just better overall.
  • I’m getting to 13.1 as planned–if I go 8 pace, I should get to 13.1 in 1:44.
  • Run #1 note — figuring out a good goal, so initially anything better than 8:30 was the goal for that run
  • Run #2 note — I started aiming for 8:00 here, very consistent, and my energy levels were high (Energy beans)
  • Run #3 note — there is a one-weekend gap due to the total immersion weekend prior. Energy levels were low and I was also suffering a bit from allergies
  • Run # 4 note — everything worked out, hydration, feeding, high energy levels. (Gu at miles 6 and 13)
  • Run # 5 note — repeated the last one, but running slightly faster. Energy levels weren’t as high prior to the run and got a really bad case of sweat in my eyes in the late miles. (Gu at miles 5, 10, 15–maybe too much)
  • I want to keep healthy in this flight to quality workouts.  So I’m making sure my nutrition is balanced and that my body gets everything it needs.  I’m also making sure that the resting intervals are observed rigidly (no extra workouts getting in).
1 2 3 4 5
Time 2:28:40 2:25:22 2:28:34 2:22:41 2:22:20
Avg Pace 8:15 8:04 8:15 7:55 7:55
7 8 4 9 13 14
8 8 13 7 4 3
9 1 0 1 0 0
13.1 1:45:50 1:45:23 1:44:49 1:43:19 1:42

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Got the same numbers as last week, average 7:55 over 18. But time-wise, I got it down by 20 seconds so 2:22:20. Last week was more consistent as far as pacing; today, I was playing with lower numbers in some segments.

Let’s talk improvement. No issues with keeping speeds up to 15, but there is always a degradation of effort after 15. This is where I always have to focus in the marathon–miles 16-21. If I pull that out nice, then the rest of the miles take care of themselves. I was hydrating and feeding properly, but it didn’t work today. Maybe I need to think about storing energy before the long run?

Some segments I was running 7s to 7:10s, so had to consciously back off to the more pedestrian pace. I’m usually doing 7:40s most of the time. Perhaps I will plot my times for visual comparison later. That will be good to figure out what I’m doing that is affecting my consistency in my long run pace.

I’m going to phase out the 3-mile recovery runs after mile-by-mile until I’ll be running straight for 21.  That will come over the next few weeks.

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I needed to re-certify before my card expired. So I showed up early, with no breakfast or coffee.

Plenty of people showed up for recertification. The main difference this time versus the previous class, was that many of the sections were abbreviated. It’s basically a refresher course. We covered the following:

  • Rescue breathing — Adult / Child / Infant
  • CPR — Adult / Child / Infant
  • Choking victim — Adult / Child / Infant
  • AED — Adult / Child / Infant

It’s basically an on-scene responder training class. The goal is to stabilize the victim, until the emergency first-responders come in. The point that was made was: do not go beyond what you’ve been trained to do.

I enjoyed working with the CPR dummies (adult and baby). Just good to get feedback about the right way of doing CPR because who wants to do it for real? Anyway, it was a really good refresher course. I might look into other Red Cross courses just because.

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Track: hold on!

So it was supposed to be easy.  The plan was:

5 X 400, Z2 @ :10 sec rest
5 X 400, Z3 @ :20 sec rest
5 X 400, Z4 @ :30 sec rest

I wore my new Newton All-Weather trainers today, so the plan was: new shoes = run slow.  So what happened?

I naturally tucked in and ran with my usual pace group initially.  Zone 2s are easy.  Zone 3s are a bit harder.  Coming into the Z4s, I thought I’d peel off and do my own thing.  For some reason, I kept right on with the pace group.

Finally, at the 4th rep of Zone 4s, I peeled off.  I then finished the 5th set right around the same pace as my pace group, but I’ve allowed a gap to form in the 4th rep.

Seeing as these are short sets, it is hard when  you do them and then when you’ve recovered–you don’t remember what the fuzz was about.   Anyway, I was hanging with my usual pace group without meaning too.  But the good thing is they actually noticed that they couldn’t shake me tonight.  Cool.

Running in Newtons is a bit different.  If you don’t hit the angle right, the bouncy portion kind of kicks you back; so the best way to run is to hit the angle right, meaning that running in these shoes actually take some training.  I did alright.

I would have run in my Zoot Energy shoes, but for some reason I didn’t feel like changing into them tonight.  Good excuse to run in the Newtons anyway, since I’ve been using them for walking around town the entire week.  Yeah, I walk like I’m on the moon on these things.

Fun workout.  I also talk to the two fastest guys in the group and found that they play with their shoes a lot as well.  We were talking about them while warming up, because they also have the usual pairs–racers, trainers, Zoots, and Newtons.

Oh, my 405 was at 23% power so I couldn’t keep track of my pace.  I really didn’t care about it tonight, but it looks like we were doing the zone 4s at sub-6s according to one of the guys.

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