Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Good Hill Workout Summary has a good hill workout summary at this link.

I missed the weekly hill workout with the Pacers this week. My wife and I went to see James Taylor in concert at the Tweeter Center. I managed to get up early and get in a three mile run before catching the train to head to work in Boston. So it was not a "lost" running day.

Our workout is fairly repetitive but open for varying speeds and efforts. I have found another location that has a good one mile loop with a nice up and down hill portion. This loop would make for some good workouts over the one mile distance. As folks get into marathon training mode, this would be a good alternative.

The advantage our current location has is the two sides of the hill (one shorter, one longer than the other) is good for the group. We can do each side at our pace, gather at the top and recover down together to share the reinforcement and encouragement we all need to make it back up again.

Monday, June 27, 2005

MIT Weblog Survey

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Interesting survey... I wonder what the results will tell us?

Follow the link to join the survey... the more the better the data

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Another warm day, another milestone

Yes, 70 degrees at 6:30 AM. Not a good thing for a long run today. Oh well.

I felt good for the first 7, then lost contact with the pack and slowed pace but hung on to finish the 10 mile run scheduled for today. The small water bottle I carried with me provided some refreshment, wetting my whistle, and some cooled my head. I switched hands carrying it to help concentrate on stride and rhythm. It gradually lost weight and was easier to carry as the miles clicked away.

As I drove home from our rendezvous point I noticed some things in the neighborhood that I did not see as I was coming through to finish. In particular, a new lawn got sprayed with that green stuff that will spout grass seed in a couple of days. Some of the spray came right out across the sidewalk into the road, and it either happened after I passed, or I guess I was really focusing on the finish and not being observant of the changes in the neighborhood. Hard to miss.

This week's mileage tallies out for over 500 miles for the year to date. At this rate, a plus 1000 mile year is very possible.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

From Curt Rosengren at The Occupational Adventure

Staying motivated can be one of the hardest parts of creating a career that really lights you up. It's not an overnight, push-button process. It takes time and effort for it to unfold, and it's really easy to stray off the path, especially if you're doing it alone (versus working with someone like me).

Taking a look at what motivates you and building that into your process can help. What motivates you? Is it competition? Is it somehow keeping score? Is it rewarding yourself for your efforts?

So what is your motivation to run? to run well?

Do you have a race in mind?

What is your short term goal?
What is your long term goal?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

10 miles is easy in this weather

Yes, nice today in New England. 48 degrees as I head out the door this morning to join the Pacers for the 10 mile run today. Last week it was already 79 and humid at this time. Oh, it was so much easier to run today.

Now, the 10 miler was still work but it was worth it. Good pacing overall, I even felt I could pick it up a bit for the finish. This caps a 25 mile week, including Thursday's pub run, yesterday's race (3rd overall 5K time). Into a new groove running wise. A few weeks of these 10 milers will pay off in dropping down a notch on the pace chart as my strength builds and I can hold the race pace longer.

My thanks to the Pacer buddies who came out to run today and especially those who did the 10 to keep me company.

Keep on running!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Quick recap

The weather has stayed cool and overcast with showers here and there. Quite a break from the oven we had been in.

Thursday was our first Pub Run. It was originally a simple affair for our club. Rendezvous at a tavern in nearby Wrentham, run a loop or two there and finish the evening with some conversation, food and liquid refreshment. A conversation or two took place and before we knew it, another club (the Wampanoag Road Runners) were joining us for an event now part of a "Summer Series" posted out on Cool Running.

It was fun. About 35 of us ran, some faster than others, some more competitive than others. I did my thing running with a team mate for the 5K loop, then another one joined me for 2 more miles before we rejoined the group for the promised conversation, food and liquid refreshment.

A good workout and a good night overall!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Grateful for the weather break

Yes, the weather turned here in New England today. And quickly. Dropping from mid-80's to mid-50's in a few hours.

It was a good thing it did. I was dreading tonight's hill work out in the heat. After running three races last week (yes, that was a bit much) and then 10 miles on Sunday in the heat, I was not sure how it would go tonight.

But it felt like a different day! Almost considered breaking out the long sleeve shirt.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Sprinting to good health

From AOL Health although ultimately from WebMD, comes the result of this study that
Just six minutes of intense exercise a week can keep people as fit as three hour-long jogs, Canadian researchers report in the June issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Is there a catch? Of course. Those six minutes come from four 30-second bursts of all-out effort with four-minute rests in between each sprint. This "sprint interval training" adds up to three 20-minute sessions a week, says Martin J. Gibala, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

So if you are wavering out there about whether to do the hill workouts or the track intervals, here is more evidence that these workouts do pay off.
The idea of sprint interval training is at least 70 years old. Elite athletes often train this way. But this elite training technique has only recently come under scientific scrutiny. How well can it work? Gibala and colleagues looked at the effect of just a few training sessions.

They enrolled 18 college students in their study. All were "recreationally active," although none of these 21- to 27-year-old students was engaged in any kind of structured athletic training. All the students practiced using a special stationary bicycle used to test fitness capacity.

After the practice sessions, half the students got two weeks off. The other half did six sessions of sprint interval training over the same two weeks. What happened?

Those who didn't train didn't improve. But just those six sessions of sprint interval training increased the students' endurance capacity by 100%. And tests showed that their muscles were burning oxygen much more efficiently.

If you just want to maintain your health, as the call to arms from Halley indicates needs to be done, then do some speed work.

If you want to improve your running, your performance in any race distance, short or long, you need to do some speed work.

If you would like details on what program to do for your circumstance, please contact me and I can work something out for you.

Happy running!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Self Induced Passion

Found this reference to reinforce the point I was making yesterday:

The idea is to shift your mindset about exercise from "I should exercise" or "I have to exercise" to "I want to exercise". The author identifies four ingredients for intrinsic motivation: vision, mastery, flow and energy.

Vision is about imagining yourself as the person you want to be, whether that is an exerciser, or a healthy eater or whatever it is you want to change about yourself. As you know, you are what you think, so if you start thinking of yourself as the person you want to be NOW (even if you don't feel like it!) eventually you will become that person!

Thanks Beth (Elisabeth Freeman)! Read the full article here.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Norfolk Race Results

My third race this week was also hot (in the 80's) but in the morning (9:00 AM start) and along country roads on a rolling course so it was better than it could have been had the race been held later in the day. I was not expecting a third PR although I was hoping for it.

You can do a lot with your imagination. It is the first step to getting beyond what you have done before. You need to think about it. You need to imagine it. In my high school and college days when I high jumped, the preparation also included the visualization in my mind of making the leap over the bar and falling onto the mats. If I could not visualize the successful leap, it did not happen.

The visualization, the imagination, fosters the execution. Practice (i.e. workouts, which are aptly named) help you to execute at that performance level that you will need to do come race time. Successful execution in practice will lead to successful performances come race day.

The mind and body need to be operating together. So there will be days when they almost come together, days when they perfectly come together (and you wants lots of these), and days when they just don't make it together.

The reality of the third race this week struck. The body would not maintain the goal pace and I slowed each mile. It was still a good workout. I still learned something from the race. I know I need to work on my strength. The race performances confirmed that for me. I was not able to run negative splits. However, the week was still a success (three good races, 2 PR's).

Some good workouts to look forward to over the next week before another race next Saturday. Hopefully, the weather will be cooler for that one. If not, we'll certainly be better prepared for the heat.

Happy running!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Hollis Race Results

The race in Hollis was a good one. Well organized with markers on each of the half mile marks, it made keeping track of your pace very easy. It was advertised as a down hill race but was really more of a rolling course, gradually down but with up rolls in it along the way.

I ran well keeping close to pace long the way and getting a PR for the 5K distance. Full results are located on Cool Running.

Two races down this week, one to go.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

JPMorganChase Corporate Challenge

The JPMorganChase Corporate Challenge race in Boston was the event of the day. 12,000 runners hit the streets at 7:15 PM with the temperature still in the upper 80’s for their individual 3.5 mile jaunt out Commonwealth Ave to Kenmore Square and back to the Boston Common. This is always a crowded race but I managed to get a good spot about 30 feet from the starting line. As opposed to previous years where I was passing walkers in the first mile, I was making my way at a comfortable pace, only getting passed by some faster runners, as I made my way through the first mile in about 7:40. This pace was a little fast for the heat but otherwise right in the range where I wanted to be. The water bottle that I brought with me for my pre-race preparations, I decided not to discard and instead made use of it during the race, taking sips along the way as my mouth got dry. This also helped me maintain pace (gain time) as I stayed away from the water stops and avoided the inevitable slow down for the water cup exchange.

I missed seeing the sign for the two mile mark but was at 23:20 for three miles (just off my finish time for the previous 5K race I had run). I maintained stride and pace coming into the finish, no need to pick it up and show off here. This performance was already a personal record (PR) for me and I have two more races remaining to run this week.

My final time of 27:18 was just over a minute better than my previous bests of 28:20 and 28:22 for this race.

The amazing part of the race was I knew one other Norfolk County Pacer was running as well with his company. I did not know what color shirt his company team had so I had little hope of really finding him. Standing in the group before the start, I was looking around trying to see if I might find him. I recognized a running cap just in front of me that was similar to his and as I looked closer the body type was also a match. Stepping forward, I started to hear the conversation and the voice was a match. Yes, of all the places to find a running buddy, right in front of me at the start. How about finding that needle in the haystack of 12,000 runners?

Monday, June 06, 2005

A 6 Minute Difference - Janet Furman Bowman

This article by Cynthia Gorney in the June 2005 issue of Runner's World touches on a delicate issue. The subtitle is a little more revealing: "Ever wonder how much faster (or slower) you'd run if you were the opposite sex? Janet Furman Bowman may be the only runner in America who knows."

The running performance change has been over two minutes per mile slower as Janet than he/she was as Jim. The person who runs as Janet today once ran a 5:05 mile, 17:02 5K, and a 3:01 marathon. The article covers the changes he and his friends in the Tamalpa Running Club in Marin County, California went through as he changed from a male to a female.

In this day of drug testing and drug evasions, this article was enlightening in showing another side to the story. Usually, it is a male or female taking hormone treatments to boost their performance. Here the sexual transformation from a male to a female was dealt with in a sensitive manner.

For the full story, read here.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Good Workout Tonight

We had a good group of Pacers out on the track tonight. Effectively worked in two groups. One did 4 x 800, the other did two sets of 3 x 400. Each person worked on their pace and generally found someone to either run with or key off. Good work and good encouragement for each other. This makes it a whole lot easier to do.

A subset of the group ran a 3 mile loop in the neighborhood after. Nice weather for running, not too hot, not too cool. Some breeze but not hindering.

Looking forward to more days like this!

With travel this weekend, I'll miss the group run Sunday. Then next week is the big race week; big in that there are three races; Tue, Thu and Sat.

The week after that is our first pub run. We will meet at a nearby pub, run a loop (or two) and finish with some liquid refreshments. So I won't be back on the track for three weeks!

Wow, time does fly when you are having fun!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Good Hill Workout

Joined with other Pacers for our normal hill workout Tuesday.

Coming off my first ten mile run on Sunday, I was not sure how my legs would be for the workout. I was very pleased with what I was able to do overall. I was careful to run negative splits and did that successfully. Next time, I want to go negative splits again but start off a bit faster and maintain the same time drop from split to split. That should help with building my strength.

Happy running!