6 Tips For Quality Run Training

6 Tips For Quality Run Training

Tips for Quality Run Training Train no faster than one pace quicker than the race you are training for. For example, 5k pace is good for an Olympic-distance race, while half-marathon pace suffices...

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Workout Wednesday: Run Strength

Workout Wednesday: Run Strength

Happy Hump Day!  Workout Wednesday’s will consist of favorite workout of mine that I either have prescribed to my clients or have been assigned by MY Coach.  It might also be a favorite of yours.  Feel free to send me any workouts you like.   There will be an objective for every workout for specificity.

Run Strength – Hill Repeats

I am not a huge fan of weights or being in the gym.  As the summer wore on and Florida continued to increase in heat I found myself spending more and more time in the gym and on the treadmill, but I still prefer to be outside.  This workout will work leg strength as a replacement for a gym resistance workout or a supplement to.  It can be done either on the Treadmill or outside with a hill that takes 2-3 minutes to run up, or here in Florida we use parking garages.

WU (Warm-up): Run Drills & Dynamic Stretchinghills
1-2 miles @ conversational pace

MS (Main Set):
Hill Bounders on uphill
Recover for 30 sec – 2 minutes
Speed over strides on Downhill
Repeat for up to 30 minutes

CD (Cool Down): 1-2 miles @ conversational pace
Lunges & Static Stretches

Objective: Leg strength, Aerobic capacity, Form Development & Confidence on Hills

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE): 5-7 on the uphills (Talking should be very difficult)

Description: Run a hilly course.  Do not try to run fast on the uphills but rather concentrate on a good knee lift, strong arm swing, uplifted chest and full push-off extension in your back leg. Practice running efficiently on the downhills with high turnover and enough of a forward lean that your front leg lands directly under you.

Hill Bounders:  go up the hill with a bouncy action and a good posture, concentrating on a good knee lift and arm swing with a “snap” with your ankle. You should be thinking Spring up the hill.  Jog until recovered at the top.

Speed Over striders: Run down the hill with out breaking but increasing your cadence with the steepness of the hill.  Instead of completely striding out elongating your stride, focus on increasing your cadence with a normal stride.

Biggest Mistakes: Running too fast up the hill rather than concentrating on form.  Running too hard up the hill and getting into too much oxygen debt. This is not desirable in this phase  .Putting more stress on the legs than they are ready for with too much bounding or downhill running and getting injured.  Precipitating your peak with repeated speed bursts. Some people tend to develop speed very quickly once they start doing the hill circuit. If this is the case, go very easy with downhill striding and on the stride-outs. You’ll still have plenty of time to develop speed to maximum. Premature speed development would only lead to premature peaking and this should be avoided.

Warning: The first week of hill training is one of the times where injury is most likely to occur. This is a very demanding exercise, so be overly cautious and feel your way gradually.  After about 2 weeks in this phase your legs could feel very tired and you may feel you’re actually slower. This is normal and will pass within a couple of weeks of consistently completing the workout.

I hope you enjoy this one. I know I do.

 

What kind of workout do you do for run strength?

Carpe Vitam!

The Goof at the Races

The Goof at the Races

There is a few races that I have neglected to report on.  I decided that being most of them were smaller and very…well…uneventful, I thought I would just give the highlights.

Escape from Ft DeSoto Sprint Triathlon

Taking part in brick workouts at the North Beach at Ft DeSoto allows for familiarity of the surroundings, so when competing in a race in the same location, it is like having home field advantage, unless the course goes off the path.

The swim was 800 meters which for me is usually pretty slow, but the current was decent and I was able to stick nextEFFD to the bouys so I felt like I improved on the swim, but it still wasn’t fast enough.  I was able to sprint out of the water and head to transition with energy to spare.

The bike was one simple loop around Ft. DeSoto with a familiar headwind on the way out and a tail wind on the way back.  I averaged over 21 mph, so I felt pretty good, but I overdid it just slightly because I felt it on the run.  The run was slightly longer than a typical sprint and the second half was on the beach, so I really felt it on my legs.  I still had enough to sprint into the finish line, but it was a lesson learned that even on a ten-mile bike leg, I still need to take it easy at the start and ride negative splits in the second half.

Afterward the finish line was filled with excitement sharing stories of the race with friends and watching a few of them at the award ceremony on the podium.  It was a fun race and while I am not huge fan of Sprint Triathlons, I will definitely be taking part in this one again.

Tampa Corporate 5k

This race was put on by my friends Ben Mena and Beth Shaw (MenaShaw Races).  It was incredibly well-organized with numerous tents for vendors and a line of food trucks preparing everything from smoothies to homemade doughnuts.  Of course a beer truck was strategically placed near the finish line to provide access to exhausted runners looking to replenish their carbohydrates.

Police Run2It always amazes me when Ben and Beth pull these races off.  I know it was basically the two of them doing all the organizing, fundraising and negotiating with vendors and sponsors, so when I walked up to the site and saw an enormous amount of people and activity, I was overwhelmed with pride and honor just to know these two personally.

I was on Nick’s team, No Limit Marketing, so he gave me my shirt and we took a couple of photos and lined up for the race. I really wanted to just take it easy during this race, but the energy got the better of me.  The course was interesting, as it led out of downtown, then off the beaten path where the terrain changed to broken pavement and then a turnaround back to the start.  I was on track for a PR, but the course turned out to be 3.4 instead of 3.1 due to a last-minute logistical changed ordered by the city.  Interesting enough, I only know this due to a conversation with Ben after the event was cleaned up.  There was no mention of it during the event which is a credit to my friends, because it was seamless and no one really cared, because everyone was having a great time.

Our team actually came in 4th but just a couple of minutes.  St. Anthony’s Triathlon was going on that weekend, so Nick decided to just coast through it, which was smart, but he kicked himself later because if he would have actually ran it we would have placed.  We still had a great time.

St. Anthony’s Olympic Triathlon

It was a crazy day for St Anthony’s this year.  The expo was as expected with numerous vendors all giving free swag, free trials, and providing goods for the race and future races.  They all kept the excitement of the race consistent.  I could not keep my heart rate down during the expo.  After a quick bike, run and swim I walked over to check-in and aMCSTA press conference was taking place.  On the panel were a number of champion triathletes and NFL superstar.  Hines Ward, former NFL player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was on the panel due to his upcoming entry into the 2013 World Championship Ironman Triathlon in Kona, October 12th.  He has never competed in triathlon before so on his road to the Ironman he is competing in the different distances and St. Anthony’s was to be his first Olympic Distance Triathlon.  My favorite triathlete, Mirinda Carefrae was sitting right next to him, because they are both sponsored by Chocolate Milk.  That was a huge treat for me, especially since I was able to talk to her and I got a hug from her afterward.  (Awww.shucks)  She was on her way to a meeting, so unfortunately I didn’t get a picture, but maybe she will recognize me at a later date and at that time I will get a pic.  But I digress.

The next day the expected wave of anxiety especially since the water looked a little choppy and being my confidence in the water is a little shaky, I was even more anxious.  I guess my feelings were correct because after the pros started Phil LeHaye, the race director, came over the loudspeaker and stated the course would be shortened for safety sake.  I really thought  that I would be happy due to my limited swimming confidence, but I was amazed at how disappointed I was.  To me it was no longer an Olympic Triathlon.  I ended up doing this exact same course two years prior when they moved the swim but I was even worse at that point.

2013-05-06Truth be told that was the most unusual part of the race.  I completed the swim without any real issues, the bike was uneventful with an average of 20.8 mph and I even was able to complete the 10k run with only one hitch; my bladder told me after mile 4 that I needed to empty it.  I told it that we only had two more miles, but I had already held it for a while and it just wasn’t going to allow me to keep going for another two miles without relieving it.  I ended up using a port-o-potty on the route which took even longer because I was wearing a one-piece tri suit that Zoot had sent me with their new technology.  I usually am not a fan of one-piece tri-suits but this one even though it was black, was cool and comfortable.

I finished in 2:43 which was 37 minutes better than two years prior with the same distance.  If it wasn’t for the stop it might have been up to 7-8 minutes faster.  Either way I was happy with my performance and I felt really strong crossing the line.

Police Appreciation Run

My friend Rich texted me a few days before this 10k race.  I had no intention of running it, but

PArun

I had not had the opportunity to hang out with Rich for a while and I wanted to catch up with him.  Of course Rich is really fast genetically, so even with all the training I had been doing I still couldn’t catch him, but I enjoyed the race.

This is a Chris Lauber directed race, whom I just have the utmost respect for, not to mention the race was dedicated
to the current and fallen Policemen and women in the area.  Great cause, and a great race, even with the 10k going off course for a bit.  We didn’t know this until we returned to the finish line, but Chris was lucky because even thought we drifted, it was still exactly 6.2 miles, start to finish.   There were plenty of vendors afterward, with food and recovery fluids.  I highly recommend it to anyone.

Miles for Moffitt

I believe I have stated this in other posts, but to make money to live I contract myself out as an IT Program/Project Manager for large firms.  What exactly do I do?  Well, companies hire me to manage projects that usually have over million dollar budgets, like re-designing an online banking site for a well-known financial company, or the development of a government website with over 50,000 pages and applications.  I identify the scope of the project, procure the resources both human and material, set the schedule, manage the budget, mitigate the risks, serve as a liaison between the business executives, IT department, internal and external vendors and worker bees, and manage the tasks in order to complete the project.

MMSBMy latest contract is with Gerdau Steel and they are a major sponsor for Miles for Moffitt, which is a very popular event in the Tampa Bay Area.  Gerdau was nice enough to allow me to run the 5 mile race for them.  They have basically three races the 5 miler, the 5k and the  1 mile run/walk.  The 5 miler and the 5k can be run either timed or untimed.  This was a well-organized event with a relatively flat course on the campus of the University of South Florida.  Surprisingly enough there was a couple of hills, but nothing that felt terrible.  I saw a few of my clients while out there and hung out with Rich again.  I averaged 7:30 miles as I did the week before during the Police Appreciation 10k, so I was content with my performance.

After the races concluded, and the thank yous are stated, they have a parade for the cancer survivors that ran the race.  It was a really awesome site to see all of these people who were diagnosed with cancer now running in a race.  it was inspiring and motivating to know they came back from as close to hell as one can get, and stronger than before.

The Dunedin Sprint Triathlon

I have completed this race for a couple of years now, and since my first triathlon is no longer around, the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon, I decided to make this one my annual “remember how it all started” race.

DTRI

This race is held on Honeymoon Island which is a great beach with usual minimal issues, but this year we were told that the bottom was a little rocky and we should bring water shoes.  I decided to wear my Vibram 5-fingers because they do not hold a lot of water and  I thought they would be easy to get out of.

The swim was pretty much a water run due to the shallowness of the  water.  I usually incorporate some water running during my swim sessions so I know the resistance that water can put on your legs, so I dolphin dived/swam most of the way.  I was going to be using my legs enough during the bike and the run, I didn’t need to be wearing them down, prior.  I came out of the water in the faster 10% of the wave, but was slowed down by two things.  The first being getting out of my shoes.  While there was no water giving me issues, the shoes had constricted around my foot so I had to fight to get them off, and then exiting transition had a very narrow trail, so there was a line of us only able to shuffle to the start mat.  Other than that the race went great I finished in 1:05 which was another PR for me by a couple of minutes.

And that brings us up to date on race reports.  My next race is the NYC Triathlon which is an Olympic distance triathlon in the heart of New York City July 14th.  I am really looking forward to this race due to the course being around my favorite city.

Carpe Viam!

How to Race Ironman Florida With Very Little Stress

I have a lot of friends that are competing in the Florida Ironman this weekend.  This is the granddaddy of endurance competitions right in the heart of the panhandle Florida at Panama City Beach.

I want to wish you all the best of luck and I know you will all be an Ironman at the end.  Of course, a couple of them already are, but that doesn’t change the challenge any.

As I did this last year I want to give you the lessons I learned while taking on this challenge.  Take them or leave them, but hopefully, you will take something out of it and if not another reader might find a helpful hint to take on their journey to the Ironman Triathlon in their future.

Left to right: Eve, Kat, Marai, Summer, Mary-Ellen & Iron Rick, Anne, Carola (Not pictured: Rick Jansik and David Nardoski)
  • Double check your gear on Thursday when you arrive.  Most likely you will know someone coming up on Friday, so they can bring an item you may have left behind.
  • Go to Athlete Check-In early Thursday or when you arrive on Wednesday.  Get it over with so you have all of your gear bags and as you unpack you can start to pack them.
  • Buy all of the SWAG and stuff you want early.  They run out fast and if you follow #2 then you will not have to wait in line.  For some reason, Ironman does not hire the fastest cashiers in the world and the line seems to take forever.
  • Swim a portion of the course early on Thursday morning as close to race time as possible.  Notice the current, the temperature, how long it took you to warm up, and any wildlife in the water.  Double check to make sure your wetsuit is fitting correctly and any adjustments you needed to make to feel comfortable.
  • Write these ideas and any other adjustments down.  Then the excitement of the race does not bode too well for memory cells.  It is best to be able to look over a checklist on Saturday Morning.
  • If you do not have the experience do not feel invincible enough to rent race wheels or if you do, rent them at home and bring your training wheels with you.  The weather may say 5-7 mph wind gusts on Friday, but that can change to 20 mph in a heartbeat and a lot of miles are spent in the crosswind.
  • Ride on Thursday as well.  Ride a few minutes in each of the major gears and in the low chainring to spin your legs and get some blood moving.  This will also check your bike for any adjustments you may need.  There is always a bike maintenance tent at the expo.  Ride after you swim in case you need to get some maintenance done.
  • Keep eating and keep hydrating especially on Thursday.  Thursday is actually more important than Friday as far as nutrition and rest are concerned.
  • Do not run on Thursday.  Save the pounding for Saturday.
  • Plan for a long, long sleep on Thursday.  The excitement is building but not enough to hinder your sleep on Thursday vs Friday.  Friday will be a completely anxious day and that night will be hard to sleep.  Get it on Thursday.  No alarms, no loud roommates, just sleep as long as you can.  Once your up, you’re awake and it will be hard to get back to sleep.
  • Walk through your transitions and even legs and make a checklist for your gear bags.  This works.  (ex.  I get out of the water, strip my wetsuit, go to the tent and I put on my shoes, helmet, glasses..etc…then write down “shoes, helmet, glasses, and anything else”)  Make sure you walk through your nutrition plan as well, to make sure you have enough nutrition on the bike.  If you are putting the powder in bottles, do that at this time as well.  It is your choice if you want to add the water today or tomorrow, but put the powder in the bottles.  (Personally I put my bottles completely together and put them in the freezer.  By the time you get on the bike they will be almost thawed and you will have ice cold hydration)
  • Put your gear bags together on Thursday night, when you are calmer.  You are more likely not to forget anything.  You will still have a  few things to put in them but the bulk will be there.
  • Plan for a special needs bag for the run, but ride with what you will need for the full 112 miles.  The stopping for the special needs bag is not worth the time.  Have what you need, and if you do come into a situation there are aid stations every 10 miles, they will help.
  • Do put a special needs bag aside for the run.  This is just for some warmer clothes just in case the temp drops.  You probably will not need it, but at least it will be there.  Do not trust the forecast in Panama City.
  • Do a 15/15/15 workout on Friday.  15 min swim, bike and then run to clear all the excess and get your legs feeling like they need to for the next morning.  It sounds weird for the day before such a hard day, but trust me this will make you feel much more confident.
  • After you return and shower after your little workout check your gear bags one last time.  Empty each of them out and run through your checklist one last time.  You can turn these in, pretty early on Friday, and you will want to so you can just relax the rest of the day.
  • Relax as much as possible on Friday.  Put your feet up, watch TV, play some cards, but relax.
  • Do not forget to eat and drink.  Follow your nutrition plan which should include your meals on Friday.
  • Lay down and try to sleep no later than 8:30.  3:30 am comes awfully quick.
  • Get up at 3:30a and take a shower.  This will awaken you and start your day.
  • Have a nice breakfast by 4:30.  This will make sure you have all the nutrients in your body by the 7 am start time.
  • If you train with a gel, have one in each sleeve of your wetsuit.  It is always a little chilly on Saturday morning, so even if it is uncomfortable, your wetsuit provides warmth.  If you have a sleeveless put the gels in your pant legs.  I also put a couple of Imodium as well, but that works for me.  I suggest it if you know it does not cause side effects for you.
  • Find your friends and have them near you at the start.  This helps.  It provides some comfort because the rest of the day…you will be most likely alone.
  • Have one of those gels 10 minutes before the start of the race and the second one while you are running back into the water on your second loop.
  • Put a smile on your face.  If you are terrified then fake it.  Most of the time faking it will make it true.
  • Trust your training it got you here now it is time to have confidence in it.
  • Do not eat or drink anything but water for the first 15-20 minutes of your bike.  Your body is making a switch.  Allow it to settle before you put anything in your stomach.
  • Ride your own race.  Do not worry if others are passing you.  You have a plan stick to it.  Enjoy the scenery and get lost in it.
  • If you have a watch with a timer use it.  I personally had my alarm go off every 15 minutes so I knew to make sure I was drinking and eating.  I knew that I had to take in a quarter of bottle every 15 minutes and a gu every 45.  In the Ironman if you get behind on your nutrition it is a hard fight back.
  • Salt – Make sure you have enough salt.  I took 250 mg every hour and I had no cramping at all.
  • Do not deviate from your plan.  You spent a lot of time putting this plan together do not deviate even if you feel great.  You never know what the course will bring.
  • HAVE FUN!  This may feel like the longest day of your life while you are competing, but after you cross the finish line it will feel like it went by in a blink of an eye.  Enjoy it!  You spent a lot of time training for this, have some fun.
  • Last but not least.  Watch when you are coming into the finish shoot.  If there are people around you, either slow a little or speed up and make sure you are alone as possible coming across the finish line.  This is going to be your moment.  It should be one of the few times in your life you should be selfish.  Savor it.  You swam, cycled and ran the whole thing alone, cross the finish line alone.  Trust me here, you will thank me for it when you see the video later.

I am so proud of all of you.  I am so lucky to be able to call you my friends and I know you will all be amazing.  I will be there volunteering and I really hope I get to see everyone.

Kick some booty.  Ironmen and women.

Carpe Viam!

Workout Wednesday

The Revolution 3 Florida 70.3 is 5 days away and I feel like I am still working out pretty hard for this “so called” taper week.  The workouts are shorter in duration but a little more intense.  Yesterday’s workout ended up being a 4 mile tempo run on Bayshore.

I started, as always with a warm-up of Dave Scott drills, ballistic stretches, high knees, hamstring leg-ups, booty kickers and bounders.  My main set consisted of a 1 mile run at an 8:15 minute mile, Four 3 minute sprints with 45 seconds rest in between, and another 1 mile run at 7:45.  I cooled down with my usual routine of 50 walking lunges, 50 monkey lunges, 50 squats, 50 crab walks and static stretches.  Does that sounds like taper week to you?  At the time I didn’t, but afterward I understood.  I was fatigued to a point where I was recovering fast, but I felt like I could do more.  I am not sure if it will actually do anything for me as far as strength or speed, but it did boost my confidence, which was just fine with me.

Bayshore Tuesday Morning

This morning (Wednesday), I looked  at my plan and an expletive was about to come through my mouth for two reasons; a) I didn’t sleep well the night before, and b) I really thought this was taper week.  As I perused the scheduled butt kicking I was about to give myself, I realized I might have been wrong.  Here was my bike trainer workout this morning:
Warm-Up – 50 single leg drills on each leg, 100 single leg drills on each leg, 10 minute spin in the small chain ring
Main Set – (and get this) Pyramid Intervals: 1 min sprint, 1 min spin, 2 min sprint, 1 min spin all the way to 6 min sprint, 1 min spin and back down to 1.
Cool Down – 15 min spin and 1 mile transition run

I didn’t expect a workout of this intensity this morning, but at the conclusion, dripping with sweat, I realized how ready I was for this weekend.  I might not do as well as I did in Augusta, but I am sure going to give it one hell of a try.

Speaking of workouts, the off-season is coming up and my goals are to develop some leg strength that will allow me to average 24 mph on the bike comfortably, arm, core and back strength to allow me to propel in the water, run faster, and stay in the aerobars longer on the bike.  I also would like to increase my flexibility to keep relieving pressure on the injury in my lower back.

Here is one of the first workouts I ever did to comeback from my back injury which helped me attain the base cardio, core and strength I have today and which has allowed me to enjoy the success I have been having. (Well, at least I think it’s success.)

Warm-up: (1 set x 10 reps)

  • Walking Knee Hug
  • Lateral Jumps
  • Fwd Lunge w/ Overhead Reach
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Reverse Lunge w/ Twist

Core (3 sets x 10 reps)

  • YTLI Raises
  • Swiss Ball Plank
  • Single Leg Glute Bridge

Strength – Supersets (3 supersets x 10 reps)

  • Prisoner Squat/T- Push up
  • Dumbell(DMB) Reverse Lunge/Inverted Row
  • DMB Single Leg Romanian DeadLift/DMB Push Press
  • DMB Lateral Lunge/Pull up

Cardio Ciruit (20 reps of each exercise x 3 rounds)

  1. Kettlebell Swing
  2. Burpee
  3. Squat Jump
  4. Shuttle Run

It’s a pretty good workout and can be done in about 45 minutes with minimum equipment obviously.  As with any workout whatever you put in, you will get out and with this workout it is no different.  I thought I would share it as a portion of Workout Wednesday.  I will continue to bring you different workouts each week whether I get them from my past experience or from research I find.  If you have any workouts you are passionate about or WODs (workout of the day) you enjoy.  Feel free to submit them via the contact form and I will post them and credit you with a guest posting.
Carpe Viam!