This was a bit of a messed up two week period, as Desi and I went out to The Black Hills to visit family.
I still managed to get all my volume in, and it was an extremely successful two week period.
Those few runs over 9 minutes per mile were ones up into the Black Hills National Forest. It’s a 3 mile climb going up almost 1000 feet.
Sessions worth mentioning are the last couple tempos that I executed, one was 20 minutes three weeks ago the the other was 25 minutes two weeks ago, both at the same pace of about 6:13 average. The goal over the next few months is to reach 40 minutes at the pace of about 6:00 per mile. After that we’ll take the time down again but increase the pace a bit more.
As for nutrition during the two weeks. The last was all over the place. I basically survived off of Dave’s Killer Bread and Nutella. Not that I’m complaining 😉
I awake with stiff legs from yesterday’s miles and from last night’s immobility.
My first thought every single day is something along the lines of “This morning’s run is going to be difficult.”
Already I feel apprehension, yet I arise, knowing that movement is the cure. Through the morning routine I flow.
The sun is not up, but through the trees it teases us with waves of orange, blue, and red. As I step out through the threshold, there is a chill in the air. No wind touches my face, yet the cold air soaks through my clothing.
Autumn in South Dakota has taught me many things about being cold. Chiefly, and ironically, that it’s never as cold outside as I think it is looking out through the windows.
I also know that movement is the best way to keep the cold at bay. As I run, the negative thoughts recede and I am taken over by the flow of the run.
All mortal thoughts and feelings have disappeared. My feet barely touch the ground. The air disappears as I no longer feel its resistance and my lungs no longer require its use. I’ve transcended, if only for a few miles, to something not of this Earth. I no longer experience suffering, resistance, or even happiness.
I simply experience the flow.
I was recently asked by a more accomplished athlete than myself, how does one exactly go pro with running?
Triathlon and many other sports have Pro Cards athletes earn. But, I don’t think that is what makes a person a professional.
In my eyes, it’s adopting a Pro State of Mind.
Simple as that.
Check out this video from professional runner Ryan Vail. Many other professional athletes are in the same boat. They train full time and work part time in the fitness industry (or elsewhere) to support their training.
That’s a big part of being pro.
Amateurs run to escape their regular daily life. Professionals do daily life things (like a “job”) to support/escape their running.
While my 17:41 5k PR is far from the speed of elite professional runners, I still consider myself a professional (but clearly not elite). I train full time and work to support this, not the other way around. I’m a writer and coach with a fully flexible schedule, completely conducive to getting in the rest and running I need to train full time.
What do you think? What does it take to go pro?
I’ve been spending a lot of time on that track lately. My hamstring does not let me run too long on the treadmill. What I’ve been working towards is one run outside (the longer and / or slower one of the day) and the faster or shorter run of the day on the 100m track.
The 166 laps and 665 turns I did on Wednesday did burn up the bottoms of my feet a bit towards the end, luckily there were no blisters and they were okay the next day! I do try to switch directions ever 5-10 minutes as well.
For being my highest volume week of running since before August 2012, I feel really good. The 10.4 miles at a 7:12 pace fatigued me for a few days, but I do not have any developed fatigue from the general week of running, which is great 🙂
6am – Vit D
9:30 – aa pulls
10 – EZ/MOD60
10:30 – smoothie
Noon – decaf
4pm – apple
7 – ramen coconut
10 – bagel with hummus
7:30 – EZ30
8:30 – two apple and two bananas
Noon – oats and a banana
2 – EZ50
3:30 – a.a.
4 – two burritos
5pm – EZ25
7pm – popcorn
10pm – cup cake
7.5 hours sleep
Am – decaf
10am – 3 cranberry bliss bar samples from Starbucks
1pm – bagel
3pm – 1:15 run
6pm – ravioli and garlic bread
10pm – apple and pb
11 – oats
3pm – rice and veggies
6pm – Mac and cheese
7pm – regen 30
9 hours sleep
7am – bagel
7:30 – mod50 minutes
9:30 – sample bite of a bar at Starbucks, decaf with some creamer in it.
Noon – rice and veggies
1pm – two burritos
4:30 – 15 chocolate covered almonds
7pm – burritos
8 hours sleep
9:30 – caffeinated coffee
10:30 a- .a. tablets, energy gummies
11am – 1:20 run
1pm – amino acid pills
2pm – veggie wrap & fruit smoothie.
7pm – burritos
10am – EZ90
Noon – packet of instant potatoes & 3 apples
Afternoon – decaf
The #1 benefit of working on my own hours is that I can do as I please, when I wish.
This affords me the incredible luxury of running whenever I feel like it.
Whenever the motivation strikes.
Luckily it strikes at least once a day, sometimes two or three times.
I’ll often do a quality session right away in the morning, which could give me 1.5 days recovery until my next run at noon the following day. Or I could have a session at 7am and another 8 hours later at 3pm.
Another option when I have a hard session scheduled (and what I generally do) is go into my morning run with no expectations. It could turn into an EZ30 or if motivation strikes, I may do the workout. If motivation is not found, I’ll do the workout in afternoon after I’m loosened up from the day.
Many say that weekends or not having a schedule is tough, to get your work done (whatever it may be). I however disagree. I’ve found that not having a schedule, or making my own, lets me work best as I can do whatever I feel like whenever I most feel like it!
Super solid week of running. Last Friday through Tuesday was all recovery, with 60 to 120 minutes of elliptical every day. I’m quite pleased with the mileage I was still able to get in with only four days of actual training.
The snow has officially came in full force, and I’m not sure what the plan is going to be this winter. I have no problem getting EZ volume in, but anything much faster becomes dangerous due to ice or packed snow. I can also run at higher efforts, but I can’t do any specific pace work outside.
Move inside you say?
Not so fast. My right hamstring does not allow me to spend too much time on a treadmill, in which case it’s probably best to not spend any time on it. I do have access to a 16 lap per mile track, which can work for short speed sessions. I may have to forego the half marathon goal for next spring in favor of 5k specific work.
I’m also hoping to give people a better idea of my general training. It’s important to realize that training is not only running, but nutrition, sleep, and rest. Thus I’m hoping to log my other daily activities as well:
am – decaf coffee
1pm – pear & oats before 1.5 hours elliptical
4:30 – 2 pizza bagels
7pm – 2 apples sliced & scooped into peanut butter
9pm – 2 bean burritos
9am – oats & peanut butter
9:30 – hour elliptical
2pm – apple
3pm – EZ30
4pm – apple
5pm – veggies on rice with some spring rolls
7pm – 2 bean burritos
10 – munched on an apple & some carrots
9 hours sleep
10am – oats
10:30 – EZ60
1pm – flavorless decaf latte
4pm – oats
6pm – 15 bean soup
8:30 – pizza bagel
9am – oats
9:30 – EZ60
2pm – 2 burritos & 2 apples
2:30 – EZ30
6pm – EZ30
8pm – 2 bagel pizzas (kind on a kick)
10pm – 2 burritos
9 hours sleep
9:30 – oats
10am – EZrun
2pm – oats
2:30 – EZ60
4pm – 4 amino acid tablets
5pm – curry chickpeas & veggies on rice
8pm – 2 burritos
9 hours sleep
9am – bagel & caffeinated coffee
9:30 – EZ100 (1.4% body weight loss)
11:30 – aa pills
Noon – oats
4pm – 2 burritos
6pm – pasta
6:30pm – lifting session
7:30pm – cookies!
However, with habitual caffeine consumption, the affectedness of caffeine is greatly reduced. This is why many people will reduce and cut out the stimulant for a couple weeks prior to the event.
But I got to thinking, why not just cut out caffeine altogether, and use it to give your key workouts a boost as well?
I do drink coffee and tea very regularly, probably daily. But it has nothing to do with caffeine, I simply like the taste of coffee or strong tea.
The plan is to be able to use a pre-workout coffee as a stimulant once or possibly twice a week as a stimulant for hard workouts.
I’m hoping this has two outcomes:
1) Better sleep
2) Better workouts
We’ll see! I’ve been cutting back for a few days and today I’m just having a decalf coffee. This is completely anecdotal but may be worth a try.
I noticed absolutely nothing different. Blah! How boring?! Of course, this was no double-blind study, but I didn’t feel any different. So, back to sipping on my AM pre-prandial coffee 🙂
Your Science-Based Guide for Using Caffeine to Lose Weight | David Brown at Lean High | “”The scientists discovered, that 50 mg of caffeine wasn’t enough to trigger ANY extra fat loss in the human body.
This was my second running of the Turkey Day 5k in Watertown and its 14th running.
No other race in town brings in a quarter of the amount of participants as this one, with 396 participants.
Inside the high school at the sign up area I could see multiple current or ex cross country runners. All of them from out of town and skinnier than me. Always reminds me I still have a few pounds to lose.
The first 2k were uphill and the 3rd and 5th k were into the wind, so it was not going to be a fast race. I went out hard and was in 3nd for the first couple kilometers, just ahead of a group of 3 that caught and ran with me for a bit before edging away on an uphill.
I ended up finishing in 6th place with a watch time of 18 flat. 19 seconds slower than the last 2 5k’s, but still a good time considering the conditions.
What I learned:
Always dress light. It was bloody cold, but I stripped down a bit. Just cover the skin. Speaking of blood, I got a bloody nose during this run.
Going out hard for these shorter events really works great for me. Of the 4 or so I’ve done this during, I’ve been pleased with the results.
I need to lose weight. Duh. Knew that.
The Phase-X without insole is a bit low. Feels better with those extra few mm.
Solid week of running. Mainly focusing on volume right now. I had some GI issues on Wed and Thur for three runs in a row. Luckily for the Moderate 80 minutes it was OK. I believe having a bit too much food before those runs caused my stomach to hurt, but we’ll never know!
I’ve also adapted to the temperatures well. The MOD run was quite cold, 15F if I remember correctly, yet I had all my skin covered and was quite comfortable.
“Most mistakes in races are made during the first two minutes, perhaps even the first minute.” – Jack Daniels
That above quote most often refers to, I believe, runners going out too fast and burning out.
In my race history, that mistake has actually been going out too slow, and losing too much time during the race for a time that represents my abilities.
There was something I’ve noticed many times, during this easy first quarter of any race. I would experience severe doubt in myself and why I was racing. During a 10k in 2013 where I was running at a very comfortable pace with 4-5 other runners, I actually considered breaking off with the 5k runners.
I really think the slow pace just let me think too much.
Something else I noticed was that while this only occurred during the early stages of a race, it always went away. Always.
Which led to my new racing strategy.
“During every good race of my life, I’ve been aggressive (from the start). People thought I was being stupid, but I live by the sword and I die by the sword. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. I’m at peace with this. It’s not always going to be your day.” -Glenn Randall
Glenn is most famous for leading the 2012 Boston Marathon for the first 9k before fading to finishing thirty minutes after the winner. He pulled the same thing at the 2010 Pikes Peak Ascent and won it.
I believe going out “too fast” helps me race for a couple of reasons. Mainly it can help me get into a “flow state of mind”. That groove, where everything happens perfectly. Flow does not happen at a jogging pace.
As I said above, it also does not allow me to think as much. I start to feel better, get into the race more.
However, one must be careful to actually not start off too fast. The key is to either go out at a pace you hope to stick to, or go out at a faster pace but slow down before you are fatigued. I believe this fast initial pace (lets say for the first kilometre of a 5k) makes the actual goal race pace from 2k on perceive to feel easier.
In 1954 I opened the national Cross Country Championship Race (over a distance of 10 miles) with a 2:03 first half mile through mud. It was my habit as a cross country runner to attempt to settle the question of who would win as early as possible, leaving everyone else in the field to run for second place. -Gordon Pirie