Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

What a week!

Set a couple of “mini-goals” last week, involving mileage and stride rate. Worked out pretty well. Didn’t adjust mileage on the plan overall, but I did go upwards (to 60) last week. A personal best for me. The goal for stride rate this week was to improve to 175 bpm from 166. In the end, I averaged 174. Nice improvement from the previous week, and it took some concentration on what I was doing with my feet at various points during the week. The better news is that my stride rate picked up naturally as well. As in, I didn’t really have to think about it towards the end of the week. Like to get that rate to 180 this week.

The real story…not sure why I saved it for second…was completing the planned 60 miles with a move from Dallas, to San Diego to Honolulu. The breakdown was:

Mileage

Dallas – 4

San Diego – 53

Honolulu – 3

Suppose you always have time for the things you care about, right? After three weeks of tough, high heat/humidity runs in Dallas (70+ degrees with 70+ percent humidity), everything came together in San Diego. Much less humid, perfect temps in the mornings. Closed out with one final effort in Hawaii after my flight arrived on Saturday. First of many miles to come here, I suppose. And there we have it. This 16-week plan was to have runs in  five states: Indiana, Arkansas, Texas, California, and Hawaii. And it’s all done in week 6. Great feeling.

So, yeah. I met this guy in San Diego too:

 

Meb was at a local event in San Diego hosted by Jim Ryun to commemorate Ryun’s sub-4:00 high school mile. Got a picture with Meb as well. Felt bad for him because we all swarmed him on the field to get one. Appreciate him taking the time to promote the sport. Lots of other talents and legends there as well: Eric Avila, AJ Acosta, Sarah Brown, Deena Kastor, Mary Slaney, Jearl Miles Clark, Joaquim Cruz. Fortunate to go there with a friend and a lady who turned out to be a baller in the world of USA Track and Field. Knew EVERYBODY…she did. Made it easy for me to meet people. Pretty…effin’…cool. And inspiring.

 

Last Week:

Sun: 4 miles (morning) / 0 miles (night)

Mon: 0/13

Tue: 4/3

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

Thu: 5/0

Fri: 6/8

Sat: 6/3

 

Tracking Goals:

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

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [60 miles this week. Personal best. Set the tone with a 13-miler on Tuesday to say to myself that I wasn’t going to fall behind. Up to 62 next week.]
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [No problems this week.]
  3. Drop weight. [Ah travel. Ran hard. But ate just as hard. Didn’t lose a pound for sure. Probably didn’t gain one either though. No net change for the season. Going to see if I can take control now that finally on the island.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Massive gains this week. Previous fastest run at the 75% heart rate limit was 9:11. This week, broke 9-minute pace three times this week at the 75% heart rate limit. Best pace was 8:27 on a 6-mile run Saturday morning. Volume is starting to pay off.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in four three 5K races. [Will pick a race this week that I will run in two weeks. May decide to run an additional race in August to restore the goal to four.]

 

Great effort last week. Need to keep pouring it on here. Will begin the new job this week. And trying to get used to the decent running routes here. That is, those without lots of tourists who don’t want to be run over. Approaching something that feels like me being in great shape to run. I don’t think I’ll be in personal best shape until these runs start approaching the 8:00-mile mark. Plus, the speedwork would have to improve considerably. I was running repeats at near 5:30 pace when I PR’d three years ago. So far this time around, I haven’t planned to run much faster than 7:00 on the repeats. That said, the long easy runs are making my shorter speedwork feel really easy. Closed in 6:16 on the repeats on Wednesday – just out of curiosity. Maybe I won’t have to run all that fast in practice on speed days to reap the benefits. We’ll see.

Making progress. I’ll take it.

See you next Sunday!

Out.

 

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Hello,

Hard work. Determination. Haven’t been my calling cards(at least not preferred – would much rather think things through and execute), but this week was all about it. Doing … in spite of …

 

Last week’s recap:

Sunday: Rest

*Good.

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

*Fighting still with the bench press. Moving up on other major lifts.

Tuesday: 8x200m w/6 min rest

*Positive. Struggled with this one before the trip to California. Fast last two reps.

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 lower weight)

*Easy work.

Thursday: 8x400m w/3 min rest

*”The Miracle” (read below)

Friday: Weights (5×15 lowest weight)

*Overdid it slightly on the squats and deadlifts with too much weight. Good work though.

Saturday: 8x800m w/90 sec rest

*Not a great day. Not sure if it was the weights or being in the morning. Will try eating breakfast first next week.

 

“The Miracle”: Thursday’s Run

Setting: 3 hours sleep. Long day at work. Mostly with me being irritable. Did not alter nutrition to include more carbs to fuel the workout. Got to the gym late after a long conversation with my Grandmother after work. One more nasty protein shake and 1-mile warmup at 6:15 pace to begin a workout that I haven’t completed at this speed this year. 8x400m  (456m to be exact) @ 4:40-ish mile pace with 3 minute rest.

I hated Rep 1. I was sure I was going to quit after Rep 2. But despite not feeling well, I kept running. Hard. By rep 5, I could see that people on my indoor track in the gym were noticing. What’s this guy’s problem? Maybe that’s just me talking. All I can remember is looking up at the white gym lights in the ceiling and gasping for air after every rep. A good rep, when the split read 1:20 or 1:21 on my watch, usually meant relief. The times were so important, on the last four reps. Any failure – 1:23 or above – probably would have broken my spirit.

When I’m that tired, there’s no strategizing. No working on this form or that step or whatever. Just going…almost unconsciously. To top it off, I closed with another 6:15-mile as a cool down. Probably the best workout that I’ve had in the last two years, given the circumstances. Just hope that it pays off soon.

 

Emphasis from Last Week: Sleep, Protein

Sleep was an up and down thing…no pun intended. Struggled for most of the week, see the note on “The Miracle” above. But pulled it together later.

Protein and nutrition worked to an extent. The good news is that my diet was executed to plan. I ate the SAME THING from Monday to Saturday. 1800 calories. Same meals. Same time. Same water consumption. Same protein shakes before and after the workout. A little disappointed that after Wednesday that the scale really didn’t reflect my effort. There were moments when I was staring at a bag of chips, or sitting next to the phone thinking, “Call that pizza guy.” But I didn’t do it. The question: “How much do you want it?” seemed to be enough to move me along. As long as I was able to provide an affirmative answer. Plus, the more moments I had where I sacrificed, the less I wanted those moments to be in vain.

That said, if I don’t see some improvement this coming week, I’ll have to adjust my food plan again. One more week.

 

Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/4 min rest

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 less weight)

Thursday: 8×400 w/ 2 min rest

Friday: (5×15 even less weight)

Saturday: 8×800 w/ 1 min rest

 

*Trying. So hard. At everything. Willing to keep making adjustments, but just once, I want to see the effort pay off.

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See you next Sunday!

Hello,

Tough week running, but I’m happy to have survived. Same old stuff in the gym, keeping up with the weights and intervals pattern. Boring, but effective. I think.

Last week’s recap:

Sunday: Rest

*Always a good day.

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

*Back up to a respectable number on the bench. Handled squats, rows and deadlifts with ease.

Tuesday: 8x200m w/4 min rest

*Hard work. Not really picking up speed, but matched last week’s speed only with 2 min less rest.

Wednesday: Weights (5×10 lower weight)

*Cut weight by 50% and lifted well.

Thursday: 8x400m w/2 min rest

*Proud of this one. I didn’t even want to run.

Friday: Weights (5×15 lowest weight)

*Ah, soreness there you are.

Saturday: 8x800m w/1 min rest

*Miracle. Wanted to quit after four. Hamstrings were sore, but powered through it.

 

Patience

Improving involves a lot of high-effort work with low-immediate return. No gratification most of the time. My plan this Spring is no different than the ones before in that regard. What’s new is that the focus will be on gaining strength, losing unnecessary weight and improving speed endurance. In short, weights, portion control and intervals. Still, progress comes so slow, and it’s disheartening. To drop a pound in a week, it takes 7 days, 21 meals, on-point, with few mistakes outside of those meals. To gain speed-endurance, it takes getting to the track and completing an interval workout either faster, longer or with less rest than before.  To get stronger, it takes lifting a slightly heavier weight every week. Progress from week to week can be measured in seconds and pounds – with numbers less than five – most of the time. It’s hard to be patient with that kind of progress, especially when the mistakes (pizza nights, missing workouts) sets me that far back. Efficiency helps, but until someone comes up with a way that eating McDonald’s and sitting in bed makes people into four-minute milers, it’s going to take some discomfort and waiting.

Such a long way to goooo…

 

Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/2 min rest

Wednesday: Pushups, Situps, Squats

Thursday: Fitness Blender

Friday: Pushups, Situps, Squats

Saturday: Fitness Blender

*Welp…traveling to California this week, so I’m going to have to be creative.Using YouTube videos of a husband and wife duo for the cardio days. Tried one when I got snowed in earlier this year. Surprisingly difficult. I couldn’t keep pace. Eager to try it again. On weights days, I’ll probably just hit 5 sets to failure on the pushups, sit-ups and squats, and call it a day. Not perfect. Maybe not even the best I could do. But it’s what’s going to happen.

See you next Sunday!

 

Workout: Warm [1.5 mi.], 4x400m @ 1:09-1:19 w/ 400 jog, Cool [1.5 mi.] Weather: 57 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Back at it.

Missed a run on Tuesday traveling back home and well….was just too lazy to go out on Wednesday. Really didn’t do anything. Had a choice today. Make up the Tuesday workout or do the Thursday workout, which was a repeat of last week’s action. Choice: Tuesday. Reason: Sprints.

Going to really make an effort to spend some time under 5k race pace for the next 5 weeks. Can’t do it all though. I only want to take on three hard(er) workouts a week. Something has to go. Tempo runs are out. And sprints are in. After last week’s speedwork session, I feel like running has been a lot easier, especially on easy days and long run days. The little touch of speed has made it all more pleasant. 

So…today is taking speed to the next level. Just 4x400m, but at something akin to my 800m or 1-mile race pace. A little more recovery in between with the 400m jog (as opposed to just 200m on speedwork days) but at grind-it-out pace.

Fun…stuff. No sarcasm.

And it hurt so much. The first rep was pretty awesome. Legs up and legs down in a hurry. Didn’t really think about breathing or form just getting the pace down. After hitting the fast end of the range at 1:09, I figured it was all going to be easy. Wrong. Turns out that the sprint muscles don’t really recover that fast – even with an extended rest time. Held on for a 1:11 and 1:11 on the next two reps before dropping down to 1:17 at the end. I did notice that my form “auto-corrected” as I fatigued. Lots of arm pumping and straight ahead motion as I was slowing down. Loved it. The important thing was not to get discouraged even though I knew that I was getting weaker. Hard stuff. Hard stuff. And to think my 400m sprints are some dude’s marathon pace. Hum-bling.

Really excited about the near future. There’s a lot of room to improve my speed-endurance. So much room to improve. And I have a lot of faith that it’s (the fast stuff) going to make the rest of the runs better. I do have a question as to whether I can sustain sprints, speedwork and a long run in the same week. I’ll find that out soon enough (that is, next week). Have also recently discovered that my body runs well off of a higher percentage of fats in my diet than I had thought. Looking forward to getting  into some peanut butter for the next few days.

Booyah! I’m out. Have a good one.

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Workout: 14 miles @ 7:25 pace.  Weather: 61 degrees, cloudy.

Recap: There we go – that’s more like it.

Sugar

Great day. Can’t complain about a thing. I feel like a commercial for bad dietary habits but here goes. To fuel today’s run, I ate two small pizzas and six chocolate chip cookies last night plus ¾ cup of sugar in the form of Kool-Aid this morning about an hour before getting outside. Now, I’m not recommending it, but I wouldn’t lie to you either. It’s bad for my character. I didn’t want to bonk again like Thursday, so something had to change. This IS what I ate.  And the run turned out great.

Body responded really well to having…you know..fuel. Usually on these longer runs, it takes a second to get into it, but not today. Found the goal pace early and never really let up. With about four miles to go (10 miles in) I felt like I was breathing a little bit harder. When I lost concentration and started daydreaming, I tended to fall of the pace slightly. But there was never any real doubt. Knees and feet started getting a little sore about mile 12, but with two miles to go it didn’t take much prodding to finish. Made it my goal to finish the last mile with as few steps as possible. Felt more efficient. Last mile was in 6:56. Run was at 7:21 pace overall. Proud of that. The goal is 18 miles at 7:02 pace in five weeks. Good to know I can close out at that pace now.

The Incredible Shrinking Heart Rate

Past experience had taught me only to look at distance and pace during my harder training runs – not heart rate. Today was a good example of why this practice began. After completing the workout, I checked the overall stats and saw an average HR of 170 bpm – pretty high for a long run. I wondered why, on a day where I felt great, would my heart have been working so hard.

After checking the mile-by-mile statistics, I knew exactly why. My heart rate monitor gives me problems about half my runs, registering heart rates that are way too high. Usually it does this for a second or two before popping back into normalcy. Today, it did something outrageous.

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Maybe this graph doesn’t make a lot of sense, so allow me to interpret. Telling the story from the monitor’s point of view, apparently, I ran the first two miles at average heart rates of 194 bpm, about, you know, 97% effort. Then, without slowing down, the run got easier. The heart rate dropped to about 170 bpm for the next few miles. BUT…I finished the run at around 160 bpm, while speeding up.

Lesson of the day: there is a danger in looking at the heart rate monitor for guidance during the run. I would imagine this would hold true at even lesser margins of error. In the end, I felt fine. Didn’t need the machine to tell me anything different.

Lesson 2 might be to get another heart rate monitor.

Tough Week…But It’s Done

After hitting my mileage goal last week, I felt a little less motivated this week and it showed. Missed two easy runs on Wednesday and Friday. Had a crappy speedwork session on Thursday. At the end of the week though, great long run, and I think everything’s still on track.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

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Workout: Warm [1.25 mi.], 2×800 @ 2:41 w/ 400 jog  Weather: 75 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Not good.

Didn’t bring the stuff out there today. No real mystery. Gotta eat. One of the most frustrating things about training is the constant need for fuel. When I slack on my carbs, fluids, protein…bad stuff predictably follows. Also didn’t do the regular easy run yesterday either. Actually got off to a decent start today, but I wasn’t feeling it. Experimented with keeping my arms high as well. I’ve had some success (fun) swinging low, but I want to give ostrich-style another chance during a meaningful run. See what goes on Saturday.

Rep 1:  2:40

Rep 2:  2:43

Bad runs ain’t the end of the world. Gonna do it right in the kitchen and come back to finish the week. 5K goal still in sight.

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Workout: 2.41 miles @ 5:44 pace. Weather: 77 degrees, cloudy.

Recap: Didn’t quite have enough today. But I did learn a lesson about relying on the GARMIN.

Needed 5:37 pace for this run. First mile was right on 5:37. I started feeling fatigue in mile two. Then the treachery began. The GARMIN told me I was moving at 6:07 towards the end of mile two, and then didn’t give me me a split for that mile. I assumed I ran the second mile at 6:07. I tried to speed up a little at the beginning of mile 3, but figuring that I was already 30 seconds behind, I stopped running.

After getting home and uploading the splits to the website, I saw that the second mile was in 5:44. A lot better effort than I thought. Excuses aside, I was genuinely tired at the end of mile 2, and I don’t think I would have made it much further before crashing.

Here’s the plan:

1) Repeat this week of training with 2-mile runs.

2) Make sure the nutrition is on-point (I did OK last week, but I can do better).

3) Try again next Saturday.

*If it doesn’t work out next Saturday, I’ll start taking every other day off.

 

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

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