Training Run (3 miles) — 4/30/2012

I had no intention of running outside today. Having gotten up early 3 days in a row, I wanted to sleep in a bit. It was a little before 9 and my computer was telling me it was only 64 degrees outside, so I decided that I may as well go outside for a run and I may as well pick a fun location.

I settled on going down to the battery to run. Once upon a time, I said I should do this and I did do this when I ran the iFive:K two weeks ago. Once I got outside, however, I could tell that it was not 64 degrees. The clock at the bank by my apartment said 81 when I left (83 when I returned) and it was humid. No matter, I was already in my car, so I may as well go for a good sweat.

Part of me wanted to do a relatively fast run today, but with the heat and another run tomorrow, I wasn’t sure that was a good idea. Eventually, I just decided to let my body go and decide how fast it wanted to run. It went somewhat faster than I expected, but it wasn’t exactly what we’d call a speed run either. It was slower than my (hopeful) marathon pace. I did 3 miles in 29:40 while keeping my heart rate at relatively modest levels.

I have a plastic table cloth that I keep in my car to cover my seat when I go home. I had just been using a blanket, but that didn’t seem to be getting the job done. When I got home and stepped out of the car, a bunch of sweat rolled out of my shorts and splashed onto the ground. It was sort of a weird sensation. I wasn’t really thinking that I had even sweat that much on my run, but I guess the longer than usual car ride home gave me plenty of time to accumulate sweat.

I’d like to find another nice scenic place to run tomorrow, but I don’t want to drive too far. I was considering going down to Kiawah Island, but it’s a bit of a drive and I don’t want it to get too hot while I’m driving down.

Training Peaks Link

Weekly Plan 4/29-5/5/2012

It’s sort of a strange week for me. I’m finished with spring semester and the summer graduate course that I’m teaching doesn’t start until next week. This gives me an awful lot of free time, which I’d normally like to use to get in a bunch of running. However, I’ve got a 5K race on Thursday, so I have to think about that while planning. It would be nice to throw in one extra day, which I might do tomorrow.

  • Sunday: 5 miles, long intervals
  • Monday: 3 miles, recovery run (optional)
  • Tuesday: 7 miles with strides
  • Thursday: Race the Landing 5K
  • Saturday: 10 mile long run

I’ve already done today’s long intervals and did a few strides while I was at it. For my Tuesday run, I’m going to try and do about 15 seconds of strides in the middle of each mile. Thursday is another 5K race and Saturday is another 10 miler. It should be a pretty fun week of running!

Training Run (5.6 miles) — 4/29/2012

Lost Pitbull?!

The temperature started out below 70 but was up to about 75 by the time I finished. It’s not awful heat, but there was approximately 9,000% humidity. When I went to my car, it looked like it had just gotten out of the shower and didn’t have time to dry off yet. That was ok for a run like today. The main point is to get me breathing hard.

I started down my normal path for the slow job part of my run, but turned around when I say a stray dog blocking the path. It didn’t look like a pitbull, but I didn’t want to mess with it. Plus, I wanted to do some strides and figured it might be easier on the street, so I had that added benefit to turning around. This wasn’t my last encounter with a stray dog on this run. Another one came up to within 5 feet of me and started barking when I was in the last 5 minutes of my run. People of Charleston, you need to get your dogs under control! Continue reading

Lifting Weights

I’ve been debating for a while now whether or not I want to completely give up lifting weights. I used to love it when I was in college and I was able to put on a lot of muscle extremely quickly. Now, however, I’ve come to really dislike lifting. Plus, all of this muscle that I built in college is working against me when I run.

There are still some nice things about being muscular though, and that makes me hesitant to completely give it up. For one thing, it looks pretty nice. It also tends to dilate your veins, which helps increase blood flow.

In any case, I certainly don’t want to build any more upper body muscle. I think a nice compromise might just be to do really light lifting once or twice a month. I’ll do high reps with low weight. This should be enough (hopefully) to get the benefits that I want from my upper body muscle while slowly decreasing my upper body muscle mass.

No running today, but I would like to get a little bit of exercise in. I’ll probably just hop on the treadmill for some walking later this afternoon.

Training Run (10 miles) — 4/27/2012

It seemed like Sunday would be no better than today in terms of weather and doing my long run today seemed to give me a bit more flexibility and rest before next weekend’s long run. So I set my alarm for 6:00 as I will for the next 3 days and got my stuff together and got ready to head out the door by 7:00.

When I got to my path, the first thing I saw was a poster for a lost pit bull. Typically, this is not the kind of thing you want to see, but he had been missing for 6 days and I doubt a pit bull will roam around a residential area for too long before it gets picked up.

In terms of difficulty, this ranked squarely in between my last two long runs. It wasn’t as fun or easy as my ten miler from April 7th, but it wasn’t like the one that was so miserable that I had to cut it short from two weeks ago, either.

Given the conditions, I’d say it went pretty well. The temperature was pretty constant around 70 degrees with your typical Charleston humidity. I never thought that I wouldn’t make it to 10 miles and I even considered pushing for a longer run at some points during my run. By the time it was over, though, I was ready to quit. Since I have another 10 miler planned for next weekend, I might push the distance on that one a bit if I feel good, but I thought pushing myself too hard today might jeopardize next week’s long run and I didn’t want to do that. The week after next will be a step back week, so if I push too hard next week, I’ll have two weeks to recover.

Mile Time
Mile 1 10:04
Mile 2 10:21
Mile 3 10:43
Mile 4 10:44
Mile 5 10:48
Mile 6 10:54
Mile 7 10:48
Mile 8 10:49
Mile 9 10:39
Mile 10 10:45
Total (10 miles) 1:46:41 (10:40/mile)

Training Peaks Link

The Lore of Running

Dave lent me his copy of Lore of Running by Tim Noakes. I spent the better part of my 3 hour final today reading through part of the first and second chapters.

A few weeks ago I finished reading Hal Higdon’s Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. Higdon’s book was a nice intro for how to train for a marathon. It had all the basic advice and plenty of anecdotes which made it a quick and pleasant read. By contrast, Lore of Running is nearly a 1,000 page tome that reads like an instruction manual for your body.

The second chapter of the book spends a good deal of time describing why VO2 max is not the end-all-be-all statistic when it comes to running. The short version of the argument is that if your muscles get fatigued because they’re not getting enough oxygen, then the heart–which is also a muscle–would also not be getting enough oxygen. This would cause well conditioned athletes to start feeling signs of heart failure when they get fatigued, which doesn’t happen.

In a nutshell, it seems as though this is another case of the confusion of correlation and causality. Doing things that will cause you to get better at running will also increase your VO2 max. However, two runners with the same VO2 max won’t necessarily be able to perform at the same levels.

Needless to say, I’m going to get a copy of this book for myself. As a scientist and a runner, this kind of stuff really appeals to me.

I’m still undecided as to whether I want to do my long run tomorrow or Sunday. The weather doesn’t look great for tomorrow morning, but it doesn’t look great for Sunday, either. It’ll probably be a game time decision as to how far I want to run.

Training Run (10 kilometers) — 4/25/2012

I did the Cooper River Bridge run again. My legs felt pretty stiff as I went up the hill the first time, but they loosened up pretty quickly. It was a pretty cool morning, so I was happy to get out and run. There probably won’t be many of those left here in Charleston as we move into May.

The outside of my kneecap was a bit sore during and after the workout. This is a pain I’m used to. The first time I noticed it was right after my knee surgeries and it’s the result of some of the muscles around my knee not being as strong as they should be. If it’s getting sore, I’ll take this as a good sign, since it means I’m strengthening muscles that need to be strengthened.

Overall, I’d say it was a good run. It was only 20 seconds slower than the last time I did it and I was coming off of a day where I worked out pretty hard.

Distance Time Pace
Steep Uphill 0.89 miles 9:27 10:36
Gentle Downhill 1.56 miles 14:28 9:18
Gentle Uphill 1.56 miles 16:08 10:18
Steep Downhill 0.89 miles 6:51 7:42
Memorial Park 1.34 miles 14:18 10:30
Total 10 kilometers 1:01:14 9:48

Training Peaks Link

Training Run (5.3 miles) — 4/24/2012

This certainly went better than the last time I tried it. The weather was cool. It looked like it was even going to stay in the 50s all morning, so I didn’t bother to get up early.

I planned to go for about 7:40/mile pace for my intervals, then walk for a while until my heart rate got down to 135, then light jog until my heart rate got too high or until just before I was about to start my next interval.

The first two went pretty smoothly and I didn’t have any problems. I could have even gone faster. Once I started my third one, I could tell I had a little help from the wind at my back for the first two and had to push a little harder to keep the 7:40 pace.

I decided to do the last one as fast as I could, so turned off of the green way and headed over toward Savanna highway. Once I turned onto the highway, I could tell the wind was much worse than it had even been on the green way. I was hoping to do 6:50/mile and had to push really hard. Unfortunately, I missed it by only one second.

I definitely feel like I can go harder on these intervals next time I do them. I was breathing hard at the end, but that’s kind of the point and I wasn’t exhausted. If the weather’s the same, next time I’ll probably try for a 7:20 or 7:30 pace, but it will probably be warmer, so I’ll probably end up going about the same pace again.

Time
First 1/2 mile interval 3:49
Second 1/2 mile interval 3:48
Third 1/2 mile interval 3:49
Fourth 1/2 mile interval 3:26
Intervals Total (2 miles) 14:52 (7:26/mile)
Overall Total (5.3 miles) 56:50 (10:37/mile)

Training Peaks Link