Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Runner Revives Sore Tired Legs

After pushing yourself past the threshold of labored breathing into the realm of gasping for air, your body tends to be starved for oxygen. As luck would have it, that oxygen is exactly what your body needs to be able to compete at any level of continued exertion and when its gone... the muscles get sore, tired, and in the end, non-responsive. Not good.

In my experience a simple remedy to rejuvenating legs that have just come off a hard training run or race is to take at least one day off (no more than 3) then run a comfortable distance (3-5 miles is good for a 5k runner) at an easy pace with a high turn over rate.

First, warm up for about 1 mile before you increase your turn over rate. Once sufficiently warmed up, pick up your turn over rate to where you are running about 160 to 190 steps per minute. An easy way to do this is to count out 80 to 90 steps per right foot strike to the ground. Once you feel the pace, maintain that for about another 1 to 3 miles then conclude the run with a 1 mile warm down.

The slower pace with faster strides will help you recover from the microscopic tears and trauma to the muscles and inflammation that are causing the soreness.

Ahhh, fresh legs.

Monday, April 28, 2008

5.3 Miler

Quick run out to the 4 mile marker from Big Rock. This run has been a good one to get me back into the swing of things. I am trying to put a few more miles together per week, but I have been having a hard time doing that for one reason or another. Today, however, was a good run. I hope to put a few more of these together as the weeks progress.

Route: Big Rock to Mile Marker 4
Distance: 5.3 Miles
Time: 40:41
Pace: 7:40/mi

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Race: Sprint for Cancer 5k

Race: Sprint for Cancer 5k
Location: Atlanta, GA
Time: 19:21
Pace: 6:14/Mile
Age Group Place: 2nd (Age 30-34)
Overall Place: 4th

This race was a good indicator where I am with my training. I took off 10 seconds per mile since my last race in February. I have a feeling I can drop that another 7 seconds per mile by keeping up with my training plan. The 5k races I have in the coming months should be at this time or faster. My goal will be to remain focused on speed work as well as consistent base miles.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Interval Training - Don't do these 3 Things

Intervals are a great way to build speed and they are even fun if you like "good pain" but they can offer a good dose of "bad pain" if not ran the correct way. Today I took to my normal route and included a few repeats of .5 miles at 6:00/mile pace. The recovery took up about 1/2 the distance in almost the same amount of time. That is pretty typical of an interval and a good way to keep your HR up, and the "bad pain" down.

1) Avoid speed on tight hamstrings
One of the most important things to watch out for would be any tightness or inflexibility in the hamstrings that you are not able to loosen up with your warm up run of at least .5 to 2 miles. In my experience, adding speed on top of a sore hamstring is a recipe for at least 1 week of recovery. Avoid this scenario.

2) Run from a good base
Another topic to keep in mind are your base miles. You should have at least 4 weeks of consistent training of 3 days/week before doing any speed work. Some sources say more while others will say less however 4 weeks with three workouts per week should be fine as long as you don't put on too much speed... that is the third thing to watch out for.

3) No need for too much speed
Too much speed too soon will lead to those tight hamstrings I was talking about. Once those set in, you will need to back off the speed training and sometimes training all together. That sucks.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cross Training - More Pain

This is the second Sunday in a row that I made it through this intense workout. I have been playing with the idea of starting back my multi-sport training and I think this is a good way to get that jump started. The next step will be to join Globo-Gym down the street so I can use the pool. Until then, this little gem of a workout will do.

Set 1
10 Minute Treadmill Run
1x10 Dumbbell Curls
1x20 Wide Width Push-ups
1x10 Dips
1x10 Dumbbell Curls
1x20 Shoulder Width Push-ups
1x10 Dips
1x10 Dumbbell Curls
1x20 Narrow Width Push-ups
1x10 Dips

Set 2
10 Minute Treadmill Run
1x10 (each leg) Lunge Stance Squats
1x10x10x10 Front Raise, Side Raise, Bent-over Raise
1x10 (each arm) Tricep Kick Backs
1x10 (each leg) Lunge Stance Squats
1x10x10x10 Front Raise, Side Raise, Bent-over Raise
1x10 (each arm) Tricep Kick Backs
1x10 (each leg) Lunge Stance Squats
1x10x10x10 Front Raise, Side Raise, Bent-over Raise
1x10 (each arm) Tricep Kick Backs

Set 3
10 Minute Treadmill Run
1x20 Bent Knee Crunch Raises on Dip Bar
1x1 Minute - Core: Plank
1x20 Crunches
1x20 Bent Knee Crunch Raises on Dip Bar
1x1 Minute - Core: Plank
1x20 Crunches
1x20 Bent Knee Crunch Raises on Dip Bar
1x1 Minute - Core: Plank
1x20 Crunches

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sticking to the plan.

Today the storms from last night were still lingering and there was lightning which was the only reason why I decided to take my long run indoors. Running 9 miles on a treadmill is not my idea of a good time, but sticking to the run plan today was very important.

The run went well and it has been a long time since I have spent so many miles on the treadmill. I think this is a good sign that I am committed to this new training plan. I will do some cross training tomorrow. Maybe the same insane workout as last week. Well, maybe not.

Run Summary
Date: Sat Apr 12
Distance: 9.00 Miles
Pace: 8:00 / Mi
Route: Treadmill

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Day Three of 16 Week Training Plan - SPEED

Today was one of the first days that I have done speed work in a long time. The workout called for a good warm up and then 3 miles at 6:40/mile pace. I have been racing below this pace so I felt like it was something I could handle however speed work has a way of messing with your head.

It is hard to imagine running at such a fast pace for so long without there being a finish line with bananas, gatorade, and a cheering section waiting for you cross the line. Instead, if you are like me, you are alone on the trail pushing yourself and checking your watch at the 1/2 mile marker to make sure you are on track. There is no water or support crew to hold traffic. There are no competitors except for the imaginary Kenyan you put in front of you as the Rabbit.

The good thing is, you can pass that Kenyan even when you've left everything on the trail and started walking. That Kenyan won't beat you. You can't let him/her do it. It's your imagination. Win.

Run Summary
Warm Up: .5 Miles at 7:55/mile
Tempo Run: 3 Miles at 6:34/mile
Cool Down: 1.3 Miles at 7:55/mile

This run felt good. I was strong throughout the run and did not have a hard time with keeping up the pace. I felt like I had a lot more in the tank, but kept to the plan and did not push harder than I needed to. I am looking forward to my slow run tomorrow and then the long run on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Training Plan: Day 2

Today is the second day of a new training plan I am working through. It is a 10k training plan that will include ramping up my mileage as well as some tempo runs that should help me pick up the pace along the way.

Today I was supposed to run at 8:00/mile pace but my first mile was about 7:45 and my next few were... well... faster. I know that if I want this training plan to do what it is capable of doing I must try to stay at the paces that have been advised. However, it just does not feel like I am pushing that hard right now, even at sub 7:45 pace, so I will just need to keep a close watch on how I feel.

Run Summary
Distance: 4.14 Miles
Pace: 7:32 / Mi
Route: Big Rock to Bench

16 Week 10k Training Plan

Monday, April 7, 2008

Get Loose. Stretch.

Today I picked up another 45 minute run on the treadmill. The weather in Atlanta is nothing but unpredictable. It is still a bit cool and last night after work I could not tell if I was going to get caught in a down pour so I decided not to take the chance and put in a few miles indoors.

My cross training the other day has left me sore. No real surprise that my upper body and lower body have begun to tighten up from the madness on Sunday. I have not had that kind of workout in a long time. However, I do feel like it did some good, so I am destined to go through it again. Maybe next Sunday. Not any time sooner.

There is something about feeling sore like this. It is a reminder that working out and working hard are two different things. I have been working out for a long time, but I have not really been working hard. Putting together 1 or 2 weight training days or even cross training days will be a good way to take me to the next level of working hard.

I plan on adding sprint and hill training in the coming weeks. That will be smart hard work. Or at least it should be. I will let the sore legs and upper body get a bit loose before I start putting together sub 6 minute miles or hill repeats. That too would be smart.

One more thing that has been lingering on my mind is triathlon. I am feeling the itch to convert my road bike to triathlon or to just get on the thing and start banging out a few hundred miles. There is a big temptation to do that right now. What does that say about my goal to qualify for Boston this year? Well, I think I can supplement some of my run training with cycling and swimming. That might help keep the injuries down as I increase my mileage. Oh well, it is just an itch at this point.

Run Summary
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 5.8 Miles
Time: 45 Minutes
Pace: 7:45/mile.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weights + Treadmill = Cross Training

Today I took a different approach to my workout. I have been trying to incorporate weight training into my Sunday workouts and today was no different. However, I did add a twist with the Treadmill. Here is how it came together. There is no rest between each exercise.

Set 1
10 Minute Treadmill Run
1x10 Dumbbell Curls
1x20 Wide Width Push-ups
1x10 Dips
1x10 Dumbbell Curls
1x20 Shoulder Width Push-ups
1x10 Dips
1x10 Dumbbell Curls
1x20 Narrow Width Push-ups
1x10 Dips

Set 2
10 Minute Treadmill Run
1x10 (each leg) Lunge Stance Squats
1x10x10x10 Front Raise, Side Raise, Bent-over Raise
1x10 (each arm) Tricep Kick Backs
1x10 (each leg) Lunge Stance Squats
1x10x10x10 Front Raise, Side Raise, Bent-over Raise
1x10 (each arm) Tricep Kick Backs
1x10 (each leg) Lunge Stance Squats
1x10x10x10 Front Raise, Side Raise, Bent-over Raise
1x10 (each arm) Tricep Kick Backs

Set 3
10 Minute Treadmill Run
1x20 Bent Knee Crunch Raises on Dip Bar
1x1 Minute - Core: Plank
1x20 Crunches
1x20 Bent Knee Crunch Raises on Dip Bar
1x1 Minute - Core: Plank
1x20 Crunches
1x20 Bent Knee Crunch Raises on Dip Bar
1x1 Minute - Core: Plank
1x20 Crunches

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Treadmilling a Long Run

Today I took to the Treadmill to see if I could break the monotony of my Out and Back runs that have been outdoors. It is strange to think the Treadmill would help break me out of a monotonous running rut, but at this point I would be willing to try just about anything.

The run went very well. I was not only happy to be indoors because of the pouring rain, but a cold front came through that made it more than uncomfortable to do pretty much anything outside that involved running shorts and a moisture wicking shirt.

Run Summary
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 8.29 Miles
Time: 1:05:00
Pace: 7:50/Mile

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Another Training Run - 5.80 in 00:45:00

This will be the last Out and Back run from Big Rock that I do for a while. I have said in the recent past that I like the consistency but I need a change of scenery. At this point I would take a Treadmill run over the Out and Back that I have been doing for the past few weeks.

New plan. Treadmill at least twice before returning to the Out and Back.

Run Summary
Route: Out and Back from Big Rock
Distance: 5.80
Time: 00:45:00
Pace: 7:45/Mile

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

On The Run Search Results

Starting the week Out and Back

This is becoming a regular thing for me. It is good to have consistancy in any trainging plan and I must admit it is not something I am used to. I like knowing that I can put in a good run within 45 minutes. I hope to keep up this consistancy as summer roles into view. Warmer weather will dictate how late or early I am able to run. Thankfully, I should be able to work this 45 minute run into my schedule no matter what the weather brings me.

Run Summary
Route: Out and Back from Big Rock
Distance: 5.8 Miles
Time: 00:45:00
Pace: 7:45/Mile

Morning Run

Got out this morning, again, for a morning run through the hills. They are not as daunting as they were when we first moved to the hill cou...