Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Pikes Peak 2010

Just one big hill, keep on running, keep on hiking, keep on crawling

12 weeks to my second Pikes Peak Double.  Uh-Oh! A shade under of 40 miles of bliss in two-days to prepare for – Saturday Aug 20th is the Ascent and Sunday Aug 21st is the marathon.  Two years ago I was in the midst of preparing for the first Double.  I had a few Ascents and 1 marathon under my belt.  My strategy was simple – lots of running (40 per week), lots of hills.

This year my strategy is a bit different.  I’m planning to run four times per week, cross train with swim/bike/row when possible and kick out lots of CrossFit metabolic conditioning WODs (workout of the day) with lighter Olympic Lifting WOD’s mixed in.  As I shared in a marathon report form two-weeks ago – the CrossFit and cross training approach has paid dividends.  Now the question is how to morph it for the Pikes Peak Double.

From a Fall marathon (Tulsa in Nov of 2010) through the Lincoln Marathon (May 1, 2011) I averaged 19.5 miles a week – tell a running purist you’ve tackled a marathon, right at 4 hours with less than 20 miles per week and they’ll laugh at ya! Game plan now?  Mileage will increase just slightly to 25-30 miles per week, with focus still on running no more than 4 times per week.  I’ll soon hit some prime outdoor swimming workouts (favorite place in Lincoln, NE is Woods Pool’s 50 meter pool).  Plus am enjoying the bike!

I’ll continue the WOD’s at 3-4 times per week.  Metcon will be the focal point – due in part to a budget crunch.  I am deeply attached to our CrossFit Lincoln affiliate but need to pay all expenses through a cash flow basis only (my family has been on a get out of debt campaign, pay as you go and kids’ summer activities need to come first!).

Fortunately I have some equipment at home and have become proficient and discipline enough to work it in.  The CrossFit metcon’s rely on body weight or lighter weight exercises – so hello Murph, Filthy Fifty, Diane, Angie Fran with dumbells, wall walks, retaining wall jumps, outdoor pull up bars/ropes/ladders/squat racks/pistols, etc!  Some in the CrossFit world eschew the metcon and focus more on the Olympic Lifting (with a bit of merit).  But for endurance events there’s nothing like a 20- 45 minute metcon pushing the pulse to 165-175 to ready- set your body!  And there’s a push up contest on Facebook that I’ve got to meet!

Here’s the plan:

  • May 30 – June 5 – 25 miles run, 10 bike, 500 yard swim, 3 WODs* – Hills & all out Havelock 10k.
  • June 6 – June 12 – 25 miles run, 10 bike, 1 mile swim, 3 WODs – Filthy Fifty & 1 mile walking lunge
  • June 13 – June 19 – 35 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs – 3 hour max distance run
  • June 20 – June 26 – 25 miles run, 20 bike, 2 swim, 3 WODs – 1/2 marathon in 1:50
  • June 27 – July 3 – 25 miles, 20 bike, 1 swim, 3 WODs – July 4th – short race
  • July 4 – July 10 -30 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs – 1 mile walking lunge (hope to return to CrossFit Lincoln too!)
  • July 11 – July 17 – 30 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs –  Lincoln Mile
  • July 18 – July 24 -20 miles run, 10 bike, 1 swim, 2 WODs and Cornhusker State Games – Track – 200 – 1,500 & 5k
  • July 25 – July 21 – 35 miles run, 20 bike, 1 swim , 3 WODs – 3 hour max distance run
  • Aug 1 – Aug 7-  25 miles, 20 bike, 1 swim, 3 WODs – Thunder Run 5k – sub 22 minutes
  • Aug 8 – Aug 14 – 25 miles, 20 bike, 1 swim, 3 WODs – 2.5 hours, hills 20lb vest
  • Aug 15 – Aug 21 – GAME DAY(s)

* I’ll pick up the strength/oly lifting and metcon WODs from main, CFL or CrossFit Endurance.  Swim/bike/run will generally follow CrossFit Endurance

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The Lincoln Marathon was ten days ago – May 1st – so was I too beat up to write a blog post?  Nah, just busy, really. :-).

Marathon progress - step by step

Chart your marathon progress - you can do it!

I’ll call this my marathon PR – 4:00:17 by the chip.  I’m still 4 minutes off my 1996 all time best – but after my PR article a few weeks ago – am comfortable calling this the new PR (out of 21 marathons).  I’m also just a sliver under 30 minutes from a Boston Qualifier time for a 45-49 year old male – this changes in 2013.    There are two things that I think might be helpful to share – the race day experience (with weeks leading up to it) and trends over last two and half years – aka shaving 50 minutes off a marathon time!

Race Day

1 month before

In early March I focused on some high intensity strength training and metabolic conditioning.  The two together help push your anaerobic threshold and strengthen those weak areas that play havoc on a marathon (hips, glutes, hamstrings).  I think I had a good balance of run/bike/swim/row and the CrossFit WODs (workouts of the day) .  Had a great 20 miler in mid March, PR on a 10 mile run.  I also followed the CrossFit Endurance aerobic WOD’s closely.  I tapered a bit in April – no Olympic lifting the week before the marathon, mixed in more bike and swim.  I do think another 15 to 20 mile run would have been wise 2-3 weeks prior.  All in all felt ready.

Race Day

Had a good strategy for Lincoln.  Find the 3:50 pace group and hang with them.  The first two miles were slower – 9:40 to 9:10.  The idea is to avoid glycogen depletion early on – smart idea!  Got ahead of the pace group and helped pace a friend to his sub 1:50 1/2 (way to go Dan-O!).  Probably not wisest thing on my part.  Caught back with 3:50 and ran among them until about mile 14.  Times for the 10, 15k and 1/2 were slightly slower than 2010 Lincoln Marathon and Tulsa.

Wasn’t feeling all that “chipper” from mile 12- 16.  Was worried maybe the strong CrossFit WOD emphasis may have come at the cost of good endurance prep.  Felt less confident than on my best longer run in March (20 miles at an 8:58 pace).  Started feeling good again at mile 18 going into Holmes Lake – seeing friends along the way helped (shout out to Andi, Nelson, Jeanne and Barb).

Lincoln Marathon Finish - entering the hallowed grounds of Memorial Stadium

150 meters to go - really difficult to look Freaky Fast at this point

Seeing my family, including a very miffed dog in Heidi, who attempted to break free and join me while howling at me to pick it up, was great at mile 19.5!  Much like the Tulsa Marathon, felt strong from mile 20 in.  A couple of pit stops helped.  No miles slower than 10 minutes (one right at it for a mile 20.5 pit stop).  Picked the pace up from mile 21 on and held it.  Was doing all I could from mile 24 in to bust through 4:00 hours.  The Garmin time and splits looked good, yet, I know the Garmin distance is typically 200 – 400 meters longer than the 26.2.  Some of that is due to large crowds and weaving across streets.  Was on the 4:02 border at mile 25 but kicked in (well relative term) final mile at 8:45 range for final 1.2.

Though it wasn’t 3:45 (or 3:30) was content with the results.  I may never notch Boston but can take comfort in marathoning at a pace that’s closer to my expectations.  Plus, much like after Tulsa, my DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) is much less.  There’s nothing like riding a bike, walking, lifting the day after  a marathon with just minor discomfort.

Trends –

As the table above shares – I’ve been able to improve the marathon times.  Bluntly put it sucked. I was ready to punt any notion of another marathon after the Twin Cities in October 2008.  The time was not my worst (4 hours 50 minutes)  but the experience and results were not close to what I wanted.  I figured maybe one or two more shots, but drifting into the 5 hour range was not on my radar – 16 marathons – was enough to prove to myself I could finish one.

To reverse the tend I focused on higher volume aerobic, 85% running, from November 2008 to the May 2009 Lincoln Marathon.  Some improvement there (27 minutes) but still felt like junk from mile 20 in.  So I foolishly signed up for the Pikes Peak Double (40 miles, 2 days, all the mountain air you could hope for).  I achieved a PR on the Ascent (4:43) and held together for the full marathon the day after.  It’s still my overall best aerobic performance.  Some nice PR 1/2 marathons followed and then “ping” on mile 9 of the Omaha 1/2 felt my sartorius muscle (groin area) in my left side scream out.  Hobbled and rested 3 weeks then hobbled through the Des Moines Marathon.  That was a little faster than Lincoln and was just happy to get it done.

That led to the “get fit and get strong” – so 90 days of P90x and then a year plus of CrossFit began.  Saw good results in 2010 – close to PR times – 4:18 in Lincoln, able to recover and do an OK marathon 13 days later at Brookings (4:23) then good close to 2010 at Tulsa with a 4:07.  More importantly than the time at Tulsa was how I felt after mile 19.  The normal “wall’ish” feelings started hitting me around mile 17.  Surprisingly after some salty pretzels and a little stretching felt great from mile 21 in. I had never felt that good on a back 6 (where the marathon really begins, at mile 20).

Shaving another 7 minutes at this year’s Lincoln Marathon was satisfying.  I was targeting a 3:45 to 4 hour event – and came in on the slower side.  Still it was another strong day and finish.  Though running the front 1/2,  2 minutes slower than a year ago, I was able to finish 18 minutes faster.

What next?

Will follow same game plan for a return visit to the Pike Peak Double and one to two Fall marathons.  Time to bust through the 4 hour door and say hello to sub 3:50.  Then shave more time in the 2012 Lincoln Marathon.  I’ll continue with 4 running workouts a week – inching upward the volume to 26-30 miles per week.  I won’t sacrifice speed/stamina/ strength or flexibility.

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PR Running

PRs drive me - how about you?

The PR: Personal Best, Personal Record (PR) – in swim/bike/run/row/adventure race/CrossFit worlds a PR is about your victory over yourself.  Whether you’re a back of the pack, middle of the pack or top dog – it doesn’t matter.  PR’s are celebrated by friends and competitors alike.

As I’ve reprogrammed my training over the last year and a half to a strong mix of strength training and aerobic balance (swim/bike/run/row) I’ve been very blessed to attain some PRs – not ALL TIME PR’s but 12-13 year ones.  So I’m thinking they still qualify.  Plus it still provides some goals to see if my 45-46 year old self can beat the 28-30 year old self.  Of course in the back of mind I’ll think “why in blazes didn’t I train like this in the mid 1990s?!”

Here’s the running benchmarks I’m chasing.  (for validation go to http://www.athlinks.com/myresultsadv.aspx?rid=68436406  and/or http://www.lincolnrun.org/racedbq.asp)

  • Marathon – 14 year best 4:07 (Tulsa in November 2010), all time best 3:55 (Lincoln 1996), Boston Qualifying (3:30 in 2011, then 3:25 from 2012 to 2014 – ugh!)
  • 1/2 Marathon – 12 year best 1:44:30 (Grand Island in August of 2009) all time best 1:41:17 (Lincoln 1997).  I want to measure this again this year and see impact of Strength / Anaerobic Training begun in October of 2009.
  • 10 mile – 13 year best 77:10 (7:42 pace, State Farm in February 2011), all time 76:00 (7:36 pace, Statehood Day 1998)
  • 15k – 16 year best 73:45 (7:54, Governors Cup in October 2010), all time best 71:18 (7:39 pace, Governor’s Cup 1994)
  • 10k – 12 year best 46:32 (7:28 pace, Novartis in March 2011), all time 42:37 (6:52 pace, Omaha Corporate Cup, 1996)
  • 5k – 12 year best 22:49 (front half of Novartis 10k, March 2011), all time best 20:59/ 20:32 (6:45 pace, Bun Run in 1996 and  6:41 pace Public Safety 5k – Omaha – 1996).
  • 1 Mile – 5:59 (Lincoln Mile, 1998), foggy memory of a 5:18 in High School in practice in 1981… but that was a little while ago.
  • Track events – this is going way back – to the early 1980’s.  Back when stop watches had hands on them and distances were in yard 😉

I’m also starting to keep a journal of the CrossFit lift totals – as meager as they are sometimes.  The idea is to track these over time as well. (Numbers below are in pounds)

  • Front Squat (legal ;-)) 155
  • Back Squat – 185
  • Military Press – 135
  • Push Press – 145
  • Split Jerk – 135
  • Deadlift – 255
  • Bench – 185 (all time 205)
  • Fran – 75# – 7 minutes 12 seconds.

This can also be applied to weight, body fat, annual physical results (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc).  Right now my racing weight is at 168-170lbs.  Two years ago before the Lincoln Marathon I was at 183lbs with a nice little marathoner’s belly that men pile on over the years.  My weight was slightly lower at the Tulsa Marathon (164).  One change has been been continued Paleo Nutrition moves (higher protein, animal fat) and heavy strength training cycle from February to early April).

What PR’s do you keep?  What value to you see in them?

I see them not as a wall to bash your head against – but a meaningful measurement to see what your current state is.  And whether you’re an age group winner, trophy sniffer (almost to that age group winner, or where I’m at now), mid pack or back of the pack – it doesn’t matter.  PR’s are all about you! They also can help motivate you when your workouts are hard, progress slips or motivation wanes!

I have a few more opportunities over the next several months to test this out – the Lincoln Marathon next Sunday, Cornhusker State Games in July and Pikes Peak Double (great comparison to my age 40’s peak of  endurance/aerobic fitness in August of 2009).

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#CFE Max Dist Run – 90 min – home to MoPac 3 + by coachdavek at Garmin Connect – Details.

I’ve used a Garmin (205 and 405) for the last few years. Sometimes I love it, other times it frustrates me (when quirks such as lock up or ventures into bizzaro satellite search mode during a marathon happens). Today I really like it. Finally got around to syncing the Garmin with my dailymile account and blog. Fun stuff!

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Just say no to LSD!

Sunday had a great long run – 15 miles (maybe .1 short but was done when I hit home).

running

OK, not the course we ran Sunday... but Pikes Peak was on my mind!

Held a 8:53 average with 9:37 for slowest mile and 7:31 for fastest.  At mile 5 I joined in with some freaky fast runners, who were soaking in the mid 60’s February day in Nebraska.  A rare weather treat.  I tried to keep sight of the lead pack of Joel, Megan and PJ which helped me score a sub 24:30 5k (7:58 pace),  made the turn around and back to where the gang started (holding a 8:42 pace for the return trip of 4 miles, was good seeing Sherri, Joy, Amber and Tony on the way back!).

Was feeling thirsty at mile 12.  Water bottle was running low. My wonder dog Heidi was fine – still lots of snow to chew on and puddles to drink in!  Slogged home at a 9:25 to 9:37 pace for mile 12.5 to 15 and called it good.

Big learning moment –  8:45-9:15 is now my Long Slow Distance.  I’ll test this for 18-20 but am very encouraged of the impact that CrossFit Endurance has made over the last year.  The CFE protocol rarely calls for runs longer than 2 hours.  In the past LSD runs were 9:45 to 11:00 minutes.  My body would ache a good day or so.  Now I feel good enough later in the day for some strength training and speed work within 48 hours.

So if LSD runs are bringing you down – ratchet up the speed and decrease the distance.  You might be amazed!

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The time over distance, speed/strength over LSD (long slow distance) and intensity of effort over “logging miles” has sunk in deeply now.  In looking at January I could feel a few different ways:

  • Down because my running miles were low (67) and almost 1/2 of a year ago.
  • Excited because I had over 300 aerobic miles and several anaerobic sessions (the aerobic miles inflated due to indoor bike/spinning)
  • Steady because I hit a target time goal of 26-30 hours each month or 50-55 minutes each day.

I’ll chose steady.

Daily mile allows a nice quick summary for both time and distance.  I’m hoping to see some drill down ability for

Time

Time is my primary outcome measure now

Rowing and CrossFit/Fitness categories – but I’m not picky.  It’s nice to have a utility that lets me track it all.

Here’s January’s summary

  • Total miles: 301
  • Cycling (trainer, spin, rinse, repeat) – 222
  • Running – 67
  • Rowing – 10
  • Swimming – 2
  • CrossFit WOD’s – 11

February may have a different mix of aerobic miles.  My plan though is a little more swimming, less spinning, running up to 90-100 miles, same row and 12 CrossFit WOD”s.  The idea is flexibility, intensity and consistency.  I would rather hit  rowing/bike/swim at 100% than just log miles on ice (though sometimes I’ll use the mental discipline and crank some miles in -10 weather).

distance

My primary exercise outcome measure from 1992-2009, no longer the case.

Similarly if my shoulders are screaming after a CrossFit WOD (lets say pull up, thruster or wall ball intensive one)  I’ll rest from swimming and rowing for a day or two.  I’ll bike or run instead.  Over the last year I’ve found rowing to be the closest substitute for running in terms of distance and effort.

Quick question for you all, how do you gauge your exercise outcome and success?

Dog Sense

Posted: January 29, 2011 by Dave Kohrell in Running
Tags: , , , , ,
Two of my four favorite girls

Heidi and her buddy - Annaliese!

Just got back with my #1 faithful training partner Heidi, yellow lab and was reminded that there is such a thing as dog sense.  About 2.5 miles into a 7 mile run I went straight at  the trailhead of a famous local bike trail (MoPac) where we usually turn left or right.  She stopped and nodded to left, right and started to tug to the left (or into the countryside).  I told her “ok girl” and she nodded and then proceeded to drag me onward.   She looked back a few times just to make sure the endorphins were not getting the best of me!

Snow Run with Dogs

The dogs are always ready for a cold run - ice looks good on their whiskers

 

Don’t let the cold, ice, snow stop you from getting outside.  The indoor work from swimming, spinning, rowing, lifting, metcon and treadmill are healthy cross training pursuits – sometimes you just got to get outside.  Was a perfect cold weather day for the dogs – Ace and Heidi and people – Becky, Laura, myself (top picture, left to right)) and Joel (bottom picture on the right) to get out.

What makes for a perfect cold weather run day?

Start with true temperature – today it was 12-15 degrees. A little chilly but not too bad.

Now add in wind speed – no wind today.  In Nebraska it’s not uncommon for 20-25mph wind gusts join in the cold – that makes it nasty.

Finally what are the conditions – dry (best), (light snow pack with some ice under (ok) snow packed of 1-3 inches, (ok), icy (bad) or heavy snow (more than 3 inches).  Yak Trax and spikes are good for heavier snow pack or ice – seems you need constant cover though – a mix of dry pavement and ice sort of plays fits for the Trax or spikes.

snow run 2011

Laura, myself and Joel posing fast in 15 degree weather

 

Today it was just a light layer of snow over occasional ice.  A warmer pair of trail shoes worked.

Be sure to bundle up in the most important parts of your body – heads and hands (two layers with mittens).  Your trunk and legs will stay pretty warm.  After 20 minutes you may find yourself on the warm side if you bundled too much.  Wear synthetic / performance gear for first layer.  I’m a little crazy but as long as I have the longer Armor Under shorts – I’m comfortable without tights if it’s above 10 degrees (air or windchill).

finish line

Racing like Lightning McQueen - Cha Ching!

52 weeks of CrossFit Workouts Of the Day and Triathlon Training.   Add in the P90x round from October of 2009 to January 17 of 2010 and that’s a solid 65 week test of cross training.  The detailed statistics are available in a year end capper.  I also shared some candid results in the “Proof Positive of Training Change after the Tulsa Marathon”.  So there’s been enough summarizing already!

The last five weeks were a true rush of activity – catching up on some cycle, row and swim miles.  I have been ramping up the CrossFit WOD’s in preparation of returning to CrossFit Lincoln (which began last week!).  Through all of that and the normal Christmas – New Year’s activity rush I felt comfortable and strong.

So without further ado – here’s the highlights.

For the next 52 weeks, I’ll pop in a quick blurb from time to time regarding my weekly training.  Feel free to join me on Daily Miles for the weekly logs.  I’ve been looking at a lot, and I mean a lot, of aerobic / anaerobic/ strength training exercises and will be share much more on those in 2011.  So keep your browsers open and check back!

Five Week Stats Day 329 – 365

Week ending 12/19 12/26 1/2 1/9 1/16
Running 11.5 8 16 9.5 17
Walking / Hiking 0 0 0 0 0
Cycling/spinning 21.7 27 33 30.5 88
Swimming .57 .71 3.1 .85 0
Rowing 3.11 0 4.35 .62 3.5
CrossFit WOD’s 3 3 4 2 2
Total miles, Time. Workouts (WODs), Highlights 37 miles
5:13hrs
11WODs
Mix of workouts and CF Whitten
35 miles
4:15 hrs
12WODs
Power Snatch WOD & Workout Mix
62 miles
7:48 hrs
15 WODs
Wrapped up 2010 miles – 3 mi of swim, great spin, CF WODs, 7.35 6 mile run
41 miles 4:19 hrs
10 WODs
CrossFit Luce.
109 miles, 7:27 hrs
11 WODs
Not a mileage hog but all those spin miles add up.  Plus 63 miles on bike on Friday evening into early Saturday

Overcome the Dreadmill

Posted: January 13, 2011 by Dave Kohrell in Running
Tags: , ,

Ice, below zero air temperature, 30 mph winds – three things that may force you inside to a treadmill (affectionately called “dreadmill”).  On those occasions you’re inside and a cross training workout of rowing, swimming, spinning isn’t in the cards, there are ways to take the “d” out of dreadmill and put the “t” back in.

Good article from Lance Armstrong’s Foundation LiveStrong that provides some ideas on Overspeed Training and a perfect way to kick through your next treadmill workout.