Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Training Update 7/24/11 - 140 Mile Week

            I finished off my first 140 mile week in a while on Sunday with a 14 mile morning, and a 5 mile afternoon. Each day this week I ran between 19 and 22 miles, wearing my usual sweat pants and long sleeve shirts on most of my morning runs. This week had 3 workouts; Monday was a short 10 x 100m fast, 100m easy during a 12 mile run, Wednesday was 5 x 1 mile at 10k effort on the track, and Saturday was a 16 mile steady state with a fast finish.

            Mondays’ workout was meant to be fairly simple; the 100 on/100 off was just like doing strides at the end of a run, however Lemoncello made me work a lot harder than that and I was hurting pretty bad after 10 strides. Lemon went on to do 20, show off. Then Wednesday was another tough day for me, I averaged 4:52 on my mile repeats, but once again was shown up by Lemon as he averaged 4:40 with his last one at 4:32. We had 3 minutes rest between each repeat, and I gladly took every second of it. Running fast up at altitude while attempting 140 miles in a week is just hard.

            Fortunately the workout Saturday went a lot better for me. Our workout was a 16 mile fast finish long run, which ended being more like a steady state workout. Lemon and I warmed up 3 miles with Scott and Aaron, then we did our drills and strides before beginning our long workout. The plan was to run our first 12 miles in 5:20-5:30 pace per mile, then drop it down the last 4 miles to as fast as we can. We started off fine with a 5:27, then the next 2 miles were a little quick 5:14 and 5:11. After that and already losing about 10 seconds on Lemon, I backed off to 5:20’s again.

            I managed to stay between 5:18 and 5:25 until 12, and then it was time to pick it up. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to pick it up very much, but fortunately I had just taken my gels and had a caffeine rush going. The last 4 miles I ran 5:04, 5:13, 5:03, and 4:59 and averaged 5:15 for the 16 mile fast long run. Lemon was nice enough to only beat me by 50 seconds this time. Either way, it was a solid workout. Thanks to Greg and Tim for driving along the whole way and handing us fluids every three miles.

Monday             AM: Distance run with 100/100 fartlek from Gregs. 12 Miles in 1:21:02.
                        PM: Easy run from home. 8 miles in 51:58.

Tuesday            AM: Distance run from Buffalo Park. 14 miles in 1:31:20.
                        PM: Easy run from home. 6 miles in 40:39.

Wednesday        AM: Workout at Coconino Track with Lemon. 3 mile w/u, then 5 x mile in 4:49, 4:54, 4:53, 4:52, 4:51 w/ 3 minutes rest, then 3 mile c/d. 12 miles in 1:16:40.
                        PM: Easy run from home. 7 miles in 47:03.

Thursday           AM: Distance run at Bagel Run. 14 miles in 1:31:36.
                        PM: Easy run from Cooper with Jordan. 6 miles in 39:59.

Friday               AM: Distance run at Campbell Mesa. 14 miles in 1:33:01.
                        PM: Easy run from home with Tim. 6 miles in 41:39.

Saturday            AM: Workout at Lake Mary with Lemon. 3 mile w/u then 16 miles fast in 1:24:50 (5:27, 5:14, 5:11, 5:22, 5:17, 5:22, 5:25, 5:22, 5:20, 5:25, 5:21, 5:24, 5:04, 5:13, 5:03, 4:59), then 3 mile c/d. 22 miles in 2:06:30.

Sunday             AM: Distance run from home. 14 miles in 1:31:12
                        PM: Easy run from home. 5 miles in 33:15.

Week Total: 140 miles (102 on singles, 38 on doubles).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Training Update 7/17/11

Another great week of training in the books, spent 3 days in California with Carolyn, then came back up to Flagstaff to find it warmer and more humid than normal. The humidity and heat is still nothing compared to what it will be like in Daegu, so I’m still wearing my long sleeve shirts and pants to warm myself up more. The week started easy for me, getting just mileage in Monday through Wednesday, then on Thursday I had a solid hill circuit workout at Buffalo Park with Danny Mercado. Friday was easy distance and on Saturday Lemoncello and I had a progressive long run, which went really well. Sunday was another easy distance day.

The hill circuits that we do in marathon training are pretty simple, but end up being pretty tough on the legs after 4 loops. You can see the loop and elevation chart in the link above, as well as a brief description of the workout. The map is fairly accurate, and you can zoom in on the elevation chart to see how steep the route is. This workout is a fartlek run over hills, and it can get pretty tough after a couple loops. I ran pretty close to the best I have done on this circuit; running the 800m long hills between 2:28-2:30 and my 2-mile loops in 13:25, 12:50, 12:30, 12:20.

Our progressive long run had no real specifications other than to continually run faster throughout the loop. You can click the link above as well to view the loop and the elevation chart. Feel free to zoom in on the elevation chart to get a good feel for the hills. On this loop we like to break it down into 3 sections; running up to Wing Mountain, running around Wing Mountain, and running back to the parking lot. Each section is approximately 7 miles (we have to add on .2 miles at the end to get 21).

So for a progressive long run we figured we would just run each section faster than the last. This wasn’t too difficult as the loop normally runs that way anyway. Our times for each of the 7 miles were approximately 47:50, 43:40, and 39:50. Our total time for the 21 miles was 2:11:23, which works out to about 6:15 pace. And as an added bonus I was rocking full tights and 2 long sleeves for the long run as well.

It was a good week, and I put in 130 miles, with 6 doubles. I have not run this much mileage in a while, so I’m pretty excited to be doing it again and feeling pretty good. Not to mention that I get to eat so much more delicious food afterwards.

Monday:            AM: Distance run from Carolyn’s house, 10.5 miles in 1:09:00.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s house, 8 miles in 51:45.

Tuesday:           AM: Distance run from Parents’ house, 12 miles in 1:16:25.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s house, 6 miles in 41:15.

Wednesday:       AM: Distance run from Carolyn’s house, 12 miles in 1:20:54.
                        PM: Easy run from Home (back to Flagstaff), 6 miles in 40:34.

Thursday:          AM: Workout at Buffalo Park, Hill Circuits with Danny Mercado, 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 14 miles in 1:30:30.
                        PM: Easy run from Home with Jeremy Acosta, 6 miles in 42:08.

Friday:              AM: Distance run from Gregs’ with Lemoncello and Brett, 12 miles in 1:22:00
                        PM: Easy run from Home with Tim Jeffreys, 4.5 miles in 32:36.

Saturday:           AM: Progressive Long run with Lemoncello and Fasil, 21 miles in 2:11:23

Sunday:             AM: Distance run from Home with Tim, 14 miles in 1:31:56.
                        PM: Easy run from Home, 4.5 miles in 30:47.

Week Total: 130 miles; 95 in singles, 35 in 6 doubles.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Training Update 7/10/11

            Only 8 weeks left until the big race in Daegu, and I feel this was my best week of training so far. I got 120 miles (98 on single runs) with 2 solid workouts and a 22 mile long run. I spent the whole week in Southern California, staying with my parents and spending the days with Carolyn and her family. Carolyn had surgery yesterday (Monday) on her ankle. She is in a huge cast now and we’re hoping for a speedy recovery.

Last Monday’s workout was a fartlek run, 20 x 1 minute fast, 1 minute easy, before heading to Huntington Beach to watch my family race the 4th of July 5k. My brothers ran 18:51 and 19:05, and my Mom nearly ran a personal best with a 34:41.

Thursday’s workout was also a good one; I ran it on a half-mile loop around the football practice fields at my high school. Half of the loop was grass, and I estimated the 1k mark, so the times may have been off by a second or two. Either way, I averaged 3:02 for the K’s with only a minute jog in between each repeat.

Saturday was a pretty solid long run; I did 2 loops from Carolyn’s house up to Whiting Ranch and back. Carolyn drove around handing me my fluid bottles every 5 miles, making it a whole lot easier to feel good. I got a whole 60 ounces down too, not too bad for only 22 miles.

Monday:            AM: Workout – 20 x 1 min. on, 1 min off at Mile Square Park. 3 Mile w/u, 3 mile c/d. 12 miles total in 1:14:50.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s house. 5 miles in 35:24.

Tuesday:           AM: Distance run from Parents’ house on Riverbed, 11 miles in 1:10:27.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s. 7 miles in 44:24.

Wednesday:       AM: Distance run on Riverbed, 14 miles in 1:28:44.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s. 4.5 miles in 31:03.

Thursday:          AM: Workout, 10 x 1k around Football Fields at FVHS,  3:03, 2:59, 3:03, 3:05, 3:03, 3:03, 3:01, 3:03, 3:01, 2:58. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d, 1 minute between each repeat. 13 miles total

Friday:              AM: Distance run with Luis at Cameo Shores. 11.5 miles in 1:20:02

Saturday:          AM: Long run from Carolyn’s, 2 long loops to Whiting Ranch. 22 miles in 2:21:40.

Sunday:             AM: Distance run on Riverbed, 14 miles in 1:28:45.
                        PM: Easy run from Carolyn’s. 6 miles in 40:00.

Week Total: 120 miles, with 4 doubles.

Questions answered:

In my last blog Anonymous asked, “Snick. Seeing that eh LA Dodgers are bankrupt and up for sale, have you ever thought about buying them?”

Well, that would be a spectacular purchase, but seeing as I have just enough money to afford my mortgage payments, I don’t think I would be able to afford anything that McCourt would offer them for. That would be a fantastic purchase though. I’ll work on getting enough money to buy them in another 20 years.

Also in my last blog Running Bums asked, “What types of stretching and ancillary activities do you find most helpful? Do you spend a lot of time on it?”

I do very little stretching to be honest. I stretch occasionally after runs, mostly workouts, and even then its just quick stretches to loosen up a tight muscle. Part of this is laziness, part of it is taking for granted that I’ve rarely been injured, and the last part would be that I know when a muscle or muscle group is tight or sore and have been able to loosen it up or take care of with a small amount of stretching and/or getting a massage to get the muscles loosened up.

Other activities that can be included as prehab and rehab type of activities that I do are core work and plyometrics/drills. I do these much more than stretching. Core work is generally done twice a week and plyometrics/drills are done 4-6 times a week. I feel that both of these are much more helpful for me than stretching. I generally feel more loosened up for a workout when I have a more dynamic routine like skips, arm swings, leg swings, high knees, etc. And for long distance training, core work is almost as important and your workouts. With out a strong midsection, your body will break down before you are halfway through a race or workout.

Some would consider plyometrics and drills to be stretches, and I agree with that. I do these before every workout and race, and after most afternoon runs. It’s a great way to not only loosen up the muscles, but to loosen up joints like the hips.

Thanks for your questions!


PS. For those of you who voted in my latest poll, I lost 6 pounds on my 14 mile run last wednesday, and it hurt so bad.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

            Another solid week of training this last week, along with having my family in town and a trip to the Grand Canyon. I did not quite hit as many miles as I wanted to, but I had some pretty good runs, a great long run, and I still hit 102 miles with only 3 doubles this week. Monday started off with a nice easy morning run followed by a drive up to Portland, and then a flight back to phoenix, where I met my family and the Padillas (family friends) for dinner.

As I mentioned in my last blog, my parents were visiting my Fiancé and me, checking out our new house and celebrating my birthday with me. We played a lot of games, went to the Grand Canyon, and had quite a bit of food from local restaurants. All of this was scheduled around my training, which was easy to do since my parents went out and ran, rode bikes, and/or walked each day as well.

            My total mileage increased this week, even though I only doubled 3 times, due to lots of travel. Had a short, easy workout Monday, a short, harder workout on Thursday, and a nice Long run on Saturday:

Week Total: 103 miles, with 3 doubles.

Monday:            AM: Distance run from Eugene House, 13 miles with 5 x 1 minute on, 1 minute off fartlek in the middle. Time = 1:21:08.

Tuesday:           AM: Easy run from hotel in Phoenix, 4.5 miles in 30:18.
                        PM: Distance run from home with my brother, then added on some, 10.5 miles in 1:12:49.

Wednesday        AM: Distance run at Buffalo Park with team, 10 miles in 1:09:35.

Thursday           AM: Workout from Gregs, 10 min @ tempo pace, 4 min @ 10k pace, 2 min @ 5k pace, 2 x 1 min fast. 3 mile w/u, 3 mile c/d, 2-3 min between intervals. 10.5 miles total.
                        PM: Easy run from Monica’s after massage, 4.5 miles in 29:54.

Friday               AM: Distance run with guys from Cooper House, on Fort Valley Trails, 10.5 miles in 1:12:13.
                        PM: Easy run on own from home, 6.5 miles in 41:43.

Saturday            AM: Long Run at A-1 Mountain road with Brett, 21 miles in 2:16:54. Took in 50 oz of fluid throughout run.

Sunday               AM: Distance run with Jeremy Acosta from home, 12 miles in 1:19:00.

Questions Answered:
In my last blog Mike said...
Nick, I’ve read before about how the sugar from gels consumed during a marathon are not converted into muscle glycogen and are thus not really too useful during a race. Do you know any more about that?

It is to my understanding that you are correct, the gels are not converted into muscle glycogen, but they do not need to be. The muscle glycogen is stored in skeletal muscles and liver prior to participating in exercise. While exercising the glycogen is converted into glucose, sent to the blood stream, and taken to the muscles that are in need of fuel.

The sugar from the gels, however, will become glucose in the blood stream and then be brought to the muscles for use during exercise. The gels are used by the body immediately to fuel the muscles during exercise (a marathon or long workout).  The gels are essential to maintain blood glucose levels during exercise, which will help exerciser’s maintain their high intensity exercise longer before reaching exhaustion.

In addition to that the gels that I use also contain caffeine to help keep myself more alert toward the end of a marathon. Caffeine has been shown to lower rate of perceived exertion and muscle pain, basically making my brain think I am less tired and sore than I really am. In both cases the gels are very useful during a longer race (1+ hours).