Wednesday, June 29, 2005
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
Sunday, June 26, 2005
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
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
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.
Friday, June 10, 2005
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
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
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
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
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.