Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Welp. I’ll forget about April for a moment. Next race will be a 2000m steeplechase on March 11. I’ve got 5 weeks to get in “don’t embarrass yourself” shape.

Went to a small track meet hosted by the University of Hawaii track team today. After watching our women’s team, I told one of the ladies I would run in the open 2000m steeplechase event next month. For starters, I’ve enjoyed working for the UH athletic department. The girls ask me pretty regularly if I’ll jump in one of the meets. Seeing as how I’m mostly out-of-shape for that sort of thing, I would have rather had until April at the least. Alas, March is the last open event of the school year, so it has to happen soon.

5 weeks. Not a lot of time for base building. Speed it is. Speed and recovery and more speed and more recovery. Do what I gotta do.

Recap

This week kinda sucked training wise. 10-miler on Sunday left me with a tight IT band and later a sore knee. Ran through it on Monday in a decent “sprint” workout (more below). Shut it down until today’s 3 miles. Not as productive as I had hoped. That said, my estimated 5K time improved from about 24:00 to 22:00. The gains should come pretty quickly over the next two weeks before the trench warfare sets in and plans have to be a little more deliberate.

Spring 2017 Goal Progress

  1. Build endurance (today). Despite only three runs this week, I think “Mission Accomplished” is accurate. Solid 3-mile easy run on Saturday. On the right track.
  2. Complete 80% of planned strength/recovery workouts. (April 15). Nope. 3-for-7 this week. Sunday, Monday and Saturday night. Gotta do better. Just get the situps in, man. No reason not to be 100% next week.
  3. Run a race in late April (April 22). No progress here. I will be running a race in mid-March though. Should still generate a list of April options next week.
  4. Start May in 18:30 5K shape (April 30). Estimated 5k dropped from 24:00 to 22:00 this week. That’s with 3 days of running. Will get a better feel for progress this coming week. So far, so good.

 

Run of the Week

Not much to choose from here. Good to get an interval session in on Monday before the knee soreness crept in. Good one to build a foundation on too. Will repeat this every Monday until whenever.

 

Unrelated to running

Mental health matters. Not a huge believer in my ability to think my way into positive mental states though. Generally, either try to address any pressing concerns or just eat, sleep and exercise better. Been popping the vitamins and water a little more consistently now (multivitamin, iron, Vit. D, fish oil, magnesium, probiotic)…and generally speaking, things just feel a little easier. Sleep’s been good. Bringing positive energy to work. Placebo effect maybe? I don’t know.

Just my ramblings for the week…look forward to a solid week next week of running. Ya know…don’t care who wins the Super Bowl tomorrow. Ready for next football season already.

 

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Can’t believe it’s been two years since I’ve posted on this thing. From the looks of it, a lot of people who I used to read on WordPress have stopped too. Time to find new pages to read, I guess.

I love running. Since dropping the 5k PR about two years ago, I really haven’t run consistently to be honest. Not long after my best race, I wore down from the constant hard runs and the Hawaii heat and humidity. Heck, maybe I just got complacent. In any case, running for time hasn’t been that big a deal in the past couple of years. I think I have more in tank now. I want to make another go at it. I’m not even close at the moment. Rough guess…maybe 6-7 minutes off the pace right now. With consistent running, I should quickly approach the 20-minute barrier for the distance mid-to-late February. Then the hard work begins. Rough target for a personal best (16:58) in the 5K should be around August, if everything goes to plan.

For the next few months, until the end of April, the goal will be to get in shape and to set up a great summer of running (which, honestly, I’ve never had). Since about 2009, I’ve organized my years into three 16-week segments with some rest weeks in between. The first segment typically runs from January to late April. Today actually kicks off Week 5 in what I call the “Spring” segment. Fairly boring stuff so far, and I’ve probably run for about 10 days in the month of January. Hardly a great start. Run plan for this spring is pretty basic. Alternate”easy” runs with intervals. That’s it. One for stamina. The other for race-prep.

The biggest challenge will be staying motivated with no personal bests in sight. Good life prep too. I’ll want to run long after I’m not capable of doing my all-time best. So here we go…Goals for this Spring in order of appearance and what I plan to do this week to contribute.

  1. Build endurance (today). Not really specific about this goal because I don’t have as much control over the specifics. Basically involves running faster paces at an easier effort as measured by heart rate. Not perfect, but it’s the tool I have. Should see big gains early by just getting off the couch.  
  2. Complete 80% of planned strength/recovery workouts. (April 15). Just want to be balanced here. I have some assortment of pushups, situps, squats, jumps and foam rolling planned for every night. I’ve always let this part of the plan go, but not this time. I’m tracking. I want to feel strong. These will be night workouts. Shouldn’t miss more than 1-2 days per week.
  3. Run a race in late April (April 22). Simple. Need to find a race that I can run in. I’ve got a two-week window to get it done in the training schedule. April 22 and April 29. Need to sign up. Big motivator.
  4. Start May in 18:30 5K shape (April 30). And contrary to everything I’ve posted above, if I want to think about being at my best at the end of August, I’ve got to be in striking distance beforehand. I won’t have to wait until April to see progress on this. I have a “key workout”, 4×800, that I run on Wednesdays. While typically 3×1600 gives me a better idea of how a 5k run will go, 4×800 will suffice if the effort leaves me feeling as though I have more to give. I will consider this goal met if I complete the workout averaging 2:37 per rep and not maxing out HR (<95%) at the end of April.

Alright. This this meets the whole S.M.A.R.T. goals criteria. Specific (with the exception of #1). Measurable (numbers everywhere). Attainable (Done it before. Not looking for a PR). Relevant (I love this stuff). Timely (done in April). Thanks Internet.

Favorite Run Last Week: 

Well since I didn’t run last week, here’s today. 10-miler. Progressive run. Went faster with every mile. But still have a lot of work to do. So sore. I’ll look back on this run as the season progresses.
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Unrelated to Running…

I was a HUGE New Edition fan as a kid. You know, the singing group. They were so COOL! Or you don’t know. But you can learn about them. BET recently produced a New Edition biopic last week. It was terrific. 3 nights. 6 talented men. 1 great story. For the next month, I’ll be listening to my guys over the next month and pounding out these miles. This also explains why I will categorize these segments of posts over the next 3 months as Heart Break.  It’s the title of N.E.’s most commercially successful album. Just getting back to what I love. Running and music.

Run safe everyone…

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(guess we have to pay WordPress to post videos now…lame).

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It didn’t last long…and it wasn’t easy.

Confidence was not the word of the day. Adaptation maybe a better choice. I read some running article the day before the race that said runners who were prepared for difficulty would handle the challenges of the race a lot better. My challenge was getting in a mindset where I was prepared to hurt (a little) to get what I wanted.

In any case, I always try to race on my brother’s birthday, or at least that weekend. It’s good luck. Last Saturday, was dead on (Apr. 25). Even better. After setting my PR in March, I’d identified the 5000m race as the next opportunity to do something special – at least for me – break 17 in the 5K.

Since the training leading up to the March workout was successful in getting me to 17:22. I did the same sort of training leading up to the April race as well. Only just a little bit faster for every workout.

March v. April Difference (some examples)
“Easy Runs”: 6:42 v. 6:35 pace.
Steady State: 6:11 v. 6:03 pace.
Mile Repeats: 5:26 v. 5:17 pace.

For three weeks in April, training went to plan. I performed better than I had leading up to the March race, and I knew that I had a realistic shot at going under 17:00 on race day. The last week, the taper week, didn’t go as well though. I’d stopped eating as much as before, stopped doing strength workouts at night, and the weather was getting warmer throughout. Not sure why. Boredom? Fatigue? Silly, really. Even though I had cut my mileage in half for the week, the Wednesday (3×800) speed session didn’t go so well. I’d done a similar session, twice as long (6×800) the week before. How could I be struggling so much on a down week? I was having a hard time sleeping as well, getting around 6 hours per night for the week. Even worse, an ill-conceived experiment with long striding left me with throbbing shins and a sore left buttcheek.

Going into Friday, my recovery plans amounted to taking Friday off from running, drinking as much sugar as possible and getting to bed early. Check. Check. Check. Nearly 10 hours of sleep Friday night had me feeling OK by Saturday morning. Packed the workout drinks and drove off to the race.

I’d gone over my strategy well in advance this time. A 5000m race is really 25×200 meters. About the longest period I can focus at one time. As early as the night of the March race, I knew what my splits would be for the April race. Every 200m: 40, 41, 41, 41. 40, 41, 41, 41. Cross 1600m in 5:26. 3200 in 10:52. 4800 in 16:18. Sprint to the finish in 16:58.

I was happy to see at the check-in that three runners from one of the local universities would be in the race. While “The Kid” wasn’t returning, I was sure that local university runners would push (or pull) me to a great finish. Business as usual from this point. After drinking my usual pre-workout drink and warming up, I was informed that there would be two heats of the 5000m instead of one. The women would run first and then the men. This is the first time this year, that I’ve warmed up and then sat afterwards for 30 minutes while waiting on my race. Rather than re-warm up, I decided to keep my windbreaker pants on, sit down and continue to drink fluids.

Actually had a good time talking to the other runners as we began our final check-in at the starting line. People always have the same question: “How fast are you going to run?” Nervous types, I guess. For once, I genuinely didn’t care to hear how fast they were going to run, I assumed it would be good enough to help me. Fortunately, their coach (or friend) asked me what splits I needed to run to get my goal of 17:00 and agreed to call out my times as I passed by. This would be crucial later.

Gun goes off. College kids take off towards their planned pace of 77 seconds per lap. I need to go a little slower at nearly 82. In fact, I should come through 100m in 20 seconds or so. I looked down to check my watch for early confirmation and quickly discover that I didn’t press start hard enough at the gun. I start the clock at 100m but my splits are off entirely now. Memorized splits won’t help me now, and I don’t feel like doing a bunch of math during the race. Good thing the coach agreed to read my times out.

With the coach’s help, I figured the first 1200m left me slightly behind pace, but I made it up to get to 5:27 at the 1600m mark. Good, only a second behind at this point. The trick then, was to keep my cadence up around 180 spm and not overstride as I tired. While striding quickly helped, the benefits were easily countered by warmer weather (75 degrees), high humidity (83%), moderate winds (10 mph against on the backstretch), and an increasingly nosy sun that chose to peep from behind the clouds. Ran a couple of the laps squinting until I got enough courage to slow down and wipe the sweat from my face with my shirt. Much better. At the 3200m mark, I was 5 seconds behind pace at 10:57, but not too disheartened. A very nice lady was yelling that I had the freshest legs left in the race. Good to hear. While 40, 41, 41, 41 was out of the picture, I felt that if I just ran hard enough, I could give myself a chance in the last 600-800m of the race.

And so, I looked away from my watch and looked up. The lady was right. The three runners from the university were all having a tough time of it. They’d planned to run under 16:00 that day, but it was clear that they weren’t going to make it. All were within 150m of me. The last in the group was only 50m to 75m ahead. I decided to close on him. To be honest, I don’t remember much of the last mile. I just kept the last kid in my sight and tried to get within striking distance. With 200m go, the coach yelled out, “16:24…16:25…”. I was 6-7 seconds behind pace.

The math came to me quickly. I needed 34-35 seconds to break 17. A whole month of training for this. I worked too hard to go home unhappy. Time to cut loose. Catch this guy in front of me. As the others were finishing, I caught the 3rd kid with 75m to go. To his credit, he didn’t give up and just edged me at the tape. Great response on his part as we sprinted to the finish line. I stopped my watch in 16:39, but I knew I’d started it late. What was my official time?

I asked around but no one was clocking me. Then I walked into the timing booth. The team manager already knew what I wanted.

16:58.91.

Bam! 34 seconds to close the run. Great surprise on a very tough day. I called my dad to tell him about the news. I’m still having trouble associating myself with the 17:22 5K time – let alone a sub-17. Dad’s response was don’t get used to it because it’s going down again.

We’ll see. May 23. Road race. Fort Worth, TX.

Memorial Day Weekend.

Great time to catch all the Great American documentaries on the History Channel. Particularly looking forward to a couple on the History Channel. One involves the World War II leaders’ actions during World War I. The other is about a pivotal engagement in the Korean War. Still struck by the fact that the United States and China were once combatants. Fascinating stuff. Keeps life in perspective.

Up and down week running. 33 of the planned 43 in a down week. Hoping that the two days of rest did me some good. Think I’m going to commit to one long run in the morning as opposed to two-a-days. Starting to get a little tired of it mentally. Physically, I’m holding up fine. Need to establish some dietary discipline. Not easy with the BBQ going early and late in the week. Last week to spend time with family in Dallas before heading out to San Diego and ultimately Hawaii next week.

 

Last Week:

Sun: 3 miles (morning) / 3 miles (night)

Mon: 6/0

Tue: 0/3

Wed: 0/6

Thu: 6/3

Fri: 3/0

Sat: 0

 

Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [33 miles of planned 43 in a down week. Up to 58 next week.]
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [No problems this week.]
  3. Drop weight. [Not making progress here. Trying something new.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [At 75% Heart Rate: dropped a 9:07/mile run during this week. Season best, but only 3-mile run. Flirting with sub-9:00 miles lately, would like to see a complete run under pace.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in four three 5K races. [Neglected to pick a race at the first possible opportunity here. I suppose I could always time trial myself next weekend. Nah, I’ll change the goal to three.]

 

A little discouraging this week, as I got tired and distracted. But I’ll keep trying. Slow runs. Slow songs. Consistency. Need to get to bed earlier to set off the morning runs. Lots of obstacles this week. Food. Family. Expected bad weather. Need to prepare for the move. I’m going to try though. Let’s see what happens.

Out.

Well,

That’s it for Indianapolis. 11-miler at 5 a.m. to close it out because Dad and I are going to hit the road to Texas in a minute here. Been a challenge running in the Midwest in the winter and early “Spring”, but mornings like today make it all worthwhile. 59 degrees, breezy and no one on the roads. Lots of mileage (by my standards) this week, and it was for the most part…fun. Running’s a great way to start the day and relieve the tension at the end the day as well.

 

Last Week:

Sun: 4 miles (morning) / 3 miles (night)

Mon: 4/4

Tue: 4/3

Wed: 8 miles (4x1mile w/ 0.5-mile jog, 1 mile Warm & Cool)

Thu: 4/3

Fri: 4/3

Sat: 11

 

Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [55 miles this week. Personal best. Up to 57 next week.]
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Not bad. No run-stopping pain. Still some foot tension though.]
  3. Drop weight. [1 pound lighter from Saturday to Saturday. Good pace. Not too fast.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [At 75% Heart Rate: 10:44 pace last Saturday; 9:28 pace this Saturday.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in four 5K races. [Need to pick a race to run in three weeks. Goal for this week.]

 

Time to wash up, pack up and drive off.

Good luck with your training.

See you next Saturday!

Hello again,

When I last left off, I was getting set to run a race in Columbus at the end of April. Two foot “injuries” later, I’m now starting another schedule for the summer. Not going to say January-April was a failure though. Gained a lot of strength in the weight room and on the track in those months. Probably packed on about 5-7 pounds in the process. That said, the weather’s getting better. It’s time to do what I really love doing.

Just run. Moving to Hawaii sometime this summer for work. I am vaguely aware of what that sounds like. Just reporting the facts here. Move involves stops in five states: Indiana, Missouri, Texas, California, and of course Hawaii. Not much room to hit the weights and the track on the road. So, I’m keeping it simple. Mileage. 10-12 hours per week. Morning and and night. No more than an hour at a time. Easy work. The old Lydiard way. Long runs on the weekends. Tempo and “speedwork” outside on Wednesday. I just want to be outside.

 

Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August.
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety.
  3. Drop weight.
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually.
  5. Run increasingly faster in four 5K races.

 

Last Week

Sun – Thu: Fartlek Runs, 20-40 minutes

Fri: Off

Sat: 11 miles…Sllllooooow

 

Last week in Indiana. Time to run…and pack…

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Workout: 9.35 miles [6 miles @ 6:58 / 3.35 miles at 150 bpm]  Weather: 81 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Found some weakness. And that’s a good thing. Now to go after it.

Sometimes, training can be frustrating because I think I’m doing everything right (or at least enough to improve) and then I don’t see any results. The fun part about this week is that I see lots of opportunity to get better. I didn’t finish any of the workouts that I had planned this week and the long run was the run that I came up short the most. I planned 12 at a certain pace, but only made it through 6 at that pace. After tiring at 6, I decided to stay out there on my feet for as long as the run would have lasted if I’d have gone 12.  Just want to improve a little every week from now on.

I’ll be doing the same workouts for the next two weeks, so here are my goals for the upcoming week:

1. Tempo Run – Make it to at least 2.5 miles of the planned 3.

(Only 2 miles last week).

2. Speedwork – Complete the 6 x 800 workout with even splits.

(Had to stop after the last rep because of cramps last week).

3. Long Run – Make it to at least 8 miles of the planned 12.

(Only 6 miles on pace last week).

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