Posts Tagged ‘Marathon’

This is one of those New Year’s Day Planning – Retrospective Blog Posts – 2014.  It’s inspired in part by trying to bring together a few data sources: planners, paper scrapes, DailyMile extract (app used from 2010-12) and garmin connect (new tool used since 2013 since I got garmin and they got a good website now).  I’ve continued this blog to help me keep track of the different approaches to fitness I’ve foolishly or wisely pursued. On to that retrospective.  I’ve done a couple of them – last time was in 2011 for a year-end planning.    I’ve also tried to capture two post “big day” events following the:

First, a pic to those who love miles.

24k miles

24,000 miles over the last 22 years. Fun!

I tend to be on the low side of miles for a once to three times a year marathoner type; especially since 2010.  I’m right at 1,000 miles of running each year (1,020 in 2013 and 1450 to 1700 overall the last five years). Those running miles are 1/2 to 1/3  of most marathoners.

The reason for this lean mileage approach is increased reliance on strength training (CrossFit, Starting Strength, Metcon, Body Weight, Boxing, etc) and plenty of cross training.  Related, is the desire to keep healthy.  While not true of every runner, I do find an increase in injury and illness risk from unrelenting mileage.   I also have been able to keep at a happier weight in my mid 160lbs and avoid the “marathoner gut” weight level of 185lbs.

So in my late 40’s I’ve found that mix of exercise that works best – both in form and time.  Yours is likely different.  Just find that happy place and balance.

More on that balance, with other demands in life, it’s strangely consistent that I can crank out 5-7 hours a week of working out.  Sometimes it’s hit, miss or around or during kids’ event; while traveling, picking up what I can almost anywhere and anytime.

5 year time

5 year time – for some key exercises (swim, bike, run, row, strength)

Based on that measure, I hit a high water mark of 290 hours in 2013.  That translates into about 5 hours and 1/2 hours a week. Some weeks topped 10 hours, others were 2.  A strength training intensive week – lots of lifting – typically translates into less time.  During the 10-14 week prep for Pikes Peak, more time each week is on the menu.  I’ve found a benefit of much improved core, pillar, whole body strength in my 40’s – is much smoother adaptation.  So ramping up miles on bike or feet does not kick the snot out of me into to DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness).  Attaining marathon times of 4 hours to 4:24 since 2010 has involved much less pain the following days than marathons from 4:33 to 4:55 from 2006-09.  Another benefit is there’s more to life than marathons – so all times from one mile to 1/2 marathon have improved.  As I look at my “athlinks” profile I’m actually much better suited for 5k, 10ks and 1/2 marathons.

The number of times I workout is helpful measure to. Bring all three together and a 3D picture of time, number and distance emerges!  It’s displayed in an Excel chart that shouts “way too much time on New Year’s Day after a Husker victory over Georgia (24-19) and time between other bowl games”. 😉

3 dimensions

3 dimensions

Now on to 2014!

Goals?

Keeping it simple.

  1. Run Lincoln Marathon well.  Hit Pikes Peak Marathon PR!
  2. Workout 6 hours a week.
  3. Snag at least 3 PRs across any event (run, bike, swim, strength) – could be a 5 mile run, 25 unbroken strict pull-ups, sub 32 50 meter swim.  Who knows?
  4. Run one ultra again (fun because I don’t care about time on those).
  5. Volunteer at 5 or more events.
  6. Learn and master 3 new skills (currently picking up boxing and kick-boxing which is fun beyond all belief; double unders and muscle ups still mock me!)
  7. Have fun!  Enjoy those I workout with and workout with those I enjoy!

What are you goals? I would like to know.

Finally here’s the detailed data – that way I can find it again when I torch a laptop! 🙂

detail

detail

Summer time of S/B/R/S – Swim/Bike/Run/Strength and what a
fun summer it’s been! Last weekend capped it off with a second
Pikes Peak Double – truly a life defining experience.

Pikes Peak Ascent  - finish cries out for a handstand!

Pikes Peak Ascent – finish cries out for a handstand!

Along the way I’ve been
blessed to snag some bling at our State Games (swim and run), gain
a new 15 year PR in a 5k (21:49) and find that balance among
swimming, biking, running and strength that propels the run
side. There are times in a year where those four legs of a
fitness table are used to propel another side; such as a USMS one hour
postal swim in January or CrossFit Open Games in March to April
Here’s the workout numbers since June 24. Weekly run average of 35
miles per week is something my prior run only focus would have been
proud to attain. Not going carry that the whole year, but
it’s good to know, when a ramp is needed, it’s there. And of
those 280 miles, over half were at a high intensity level – so not
a slog easy run.

Activity
Type
Count Distance Time Elevation
Gain
Avg Speed
Running 68 280.47 – 35
per week av
53:34:52 22,233 5.2
Lap Swimming 13 3.09 1:45:27 0 1.8
Walking 11 4.15 1:32:08 211 2.6
Strength Training 10 0 1:55:19 7
Cycling 8 83.37 7:09:43 1,869 11.6
Open Water Swimming 1 0.28 12:05 1.4
Summary 113 371.36 66:13:23 24,320 5.8

I enjoyed the mix of activities this week!

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Got some strength back, buns on the bike seat with a good long ride Sunday and the highlight was our Freaky Fast Runner’s teams at the Havelock Community and Charity run on Saturday June 1.

Hit a better than median, average time of 48:19 for the 10k!   The FFR 3k Mixed Team was 3rd and the 10k team was 4th.  This was a day after a wonderful tempo run and two days after track (so much for only 3 days a week running ;-))

Our running community was saddened by the departure of our inspirational marathoner, Carol Smith.   She battled ovarian cancer for over a year.  An incredibly moving memorial service was held yesterday, June 6, to celebrate her life.  We will miss her and look forward to seeing her in eternity!

 Activity Type Count Distance Time Elevation Gain Avg Speed Avg HR
 Running 6 25.42 4:09:51:00 628 6.1 143
 Walking 4 2.2 43:29:00 90 2.9 80
 Strength Training 2 27:00:00
 Cycling 1 21.27 1:38:54:00 218 12.9 130
 Swimming 1 0.57 17:00:00 2
 Summary 14 49.46 7:16:13 936 7.2 137

Since I’m using Runner’s World Run Less, Run Faster as a guide for 16 weeks (actually 18 since there will be a break for the Pikes Peak Double in August), thought it would be good to use the next series of “serial” blog posts counting down like RLRF (how I abbreviate for Garmin workouts).   Focus last week was aerobic base building – run and bike.

My 3 key running workouts were

  1. Speed – 3 x 1 miles at East High Track on Thursday night (7:12, 7:28, 7:33).
  2. Long – 13.1 (1/2 marathon) in 2:03 on Saturday morning.
  3. Tempo – 2 miles in 16.28 – 8:13 pace on Sunday morning.

Those workouts point to a 3:45 – 3:55ish Marathon.

Activity Distribution Report for coachdavek
 Activity Type Count Distance Time Elevation Gain Avg Speed Avg HR
 Running 8 20.52 3:14:23 556 6.3 144
 Cycling 3 10.38 1:07:11 208 9.3
 Strength Training 1 3:00
 Summary 12 30.9 4:24:35 764 7.1 144

Still coming off the high and the low of my 25th Marathon – almost at 50 total ultra (1), mara (25) and 1/2s (19) since 1994.

As shared last week in the Lincoln Marathon Recap  the 4:28 was the 7th out of 9 for Lincoln marathon times.  It was better than 2006 and 2009, close to 2003 but slower than the 90s and 2010/11.  The last Lincoln in 2011 was (4:00:16) which, while not all time marathon PR best in terms of distance from Boston Qualifier.  That gap,  gives a concrete “how far away” am I assessment.  In 1996 the qualifying standard for a 31-year-old male was 3:05 – so 50 minutes off.  In 2011 the standard for a 46-year-old male was 3:30 – so 30 minutes off (before that dratted 2012 change).

So, as you can see I’m not a BQ type guy.  As I shared on other posts I’m a grinder, mid-packer and occasional trophy sniffer.  I tore through my body through years of ho-hum endurance training (enjoying it a lot when healthy) and discovered structured, progressive, random strength programming in late 2009.  The results of STRENGTH + ENDURANCE = PRs.  And perhaps a long shot with a perfect storm of a BQ.

If I was closer in 2011, what happened?  Two things –

  1. in 2012 I was disconnected from a CrossFit box and structured programming.  There’s a raging debate on the blog-o-sphere and web land about how structured that programming is.  I’ve benefited from some great training at three different boxes and structure (so Black Box and Starting Strength programming to level out the ‘randomness’).
  2. feeling a tad weak after high mileage December, decided to get my strength swag back (haha) and along the way jumped into CrossFit Open Games.  I completed all 5 WODs at Rx (barely) during a cruddy Spring for running.  Also I did not appreciate the maximal muscle stuff needed to pull off the 5 weeks of the CrossFit Open.  It would put me at a max rep strength on each WOD (not 70% like most Master Males, 45-49).  So there were four weeks of “run more than 5 miles or do hills, rigghhhht, no!” Mistake? Not really, would do again in a heart beat.  It was fun.  Plus while slower than 2010-2012 marathons it was faster by 5 minutes than my max aerobic driven 2009 Lincoln Marathon and felt incredible the day after.  Oh and no injuries!  There’s much more to fitness than what happens on 26.2 miles!  Still if your dream is a killer 26.2 then that leads to the next big bullet line –

So what?  What are you going do now?

Three  things

  1. ENDURANCE. Understand there ain’t no thing as a free lunch as Mark Twight said.  He’s the guy who trained the Movie 300 shredded Spartans at Gym Jones but I can’t get his report for free but know it’s there.  I’m ramping up a mix of speed, stamina and endurance work.  I still value CrossFit Endurance (lots of hate out there in the endurance only community). Come-on ectomorph brothers and sisters, I was once was like you.  But strength is good.  We’re all learning. Jason Fitzgerald and Strength Running is none too happy with it!     Get you head spinning and read the honorable response by TJ Murphy – a high enduro refugee.I’m forgoing CrossFit Endurance and following the FIRST’s Run Less, Run Faster from Runner’s World (RLRF).  It’s a nice 3 running workout plan each week – so tempo, speed and long run.  I leveraged part of this (from Week 8) jumping in with a friend, Amy Uhlmann, who nailed her BQ at Des Moines in October 2012.  On her second marathon.  Freak! 🙂
  2. STRENGTH.  Will strip away some of the intense chipper and limit my AMRAPs.  I need time and recovery for an aggressive swim/bike/run (s/b/r) schedule. Metcons are not suitable substitutions – they have their place.  I’ve learned that let the high intensity intervals stand on their own (whether in the pool, on a bike or running on a trail).  I’ll head back to the Y for some work following a lighter version of Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength, punch card at CrossFit and take my strength on the road within the RLRF speed.  I’m forgoing some exercises for now – sumo deadlift high pulls, box jumps (steps instead) and snatches while focusing on squats, strict pull ups, squats, bench, squats, push ups, squats, swings, squats, lunges, squats-thrusters, toes-to-bar, squats – see trend.  SQUATs, loaded, unloaded, my life!
  3. OTHER. Kick in the s/b of the s/b/r – have great swim and bike workouts ready. On those 105 degree days, a pool or bike beats the foot path!

I’m scribing my results daily at Garmin Connect (feel free to connect) and will summarize here and for group stuff on my favorite local group – Freaky Fast Runners.

Next

Details of training, with anchors for Marathon, 5 mile and 10k are shared in the table below.   Think about doing the same for yourself. Include similar races, same course each year. It helps a ton in giving you an apples to apples comparison of the only contest that matters – you against yourself and time (real and father).  One of the things I haven’t appreciated in the mood swings and debates on strength/endurance/combo or right “approach” is lack of transparency.

http://athlinks.com/racer/results/68436406

and here  “type in Kohrell, D” http://www.lincolnrun.org/resultsdb.asp

with this summary below – ok this very detailed table screaming for 15 pie charts – below – double click on the “jpg” and it will expand!

If I were making this up the times would be MUCH faster!

If I were making this up the times would be MUCH faster!

 

 

The Science of Strength

Posted: May 13, 2013 by Dave Kohrell in Crossfit, Marathons
Tags: , , ,

Have been reviewing and dissecting the approach of Joe Vennare and his brother since Joe “favorited” my Twitter Tweet “post Lincoln Marathon WOD – Fight Gone Bad”.  I really am impressed by their balance approach to strength and endurance!  Power of social media.  Some nice, simple vids on their site as well and good mixed WODs (run/kettlebell/body strength)

 

The Science of Strength.

The last sixteen weeks have included an intense cycle of swimming (Jan-Mar) and CrossFit (Jan-end of April).  Time spent for those two almost equals running time.  Of 92 hours working out since the glistening on a new year, 50 were spent on something other than running.  Additionally about an 1/8th of Lincoln Marathon preparation has been spent on other activities – rowing, cycling, hiking (snow shoveling and camping) and walking.

Image

CrossFit Games 13.5 – Fran, yet even nastier than her normal bad self!

Tomorrow is the moment of truth.  This sixteen weeks has been most similar to my 2011 Lincoln Marathon preparation.  Differences this time – more strength training (CrossFit Starting Strength and WODs for CrossFit Games Open) and less speed work on the track (Spring that was more like a Winter!).  I hope the results are similar to 2011’s 4:00:16, maybe even a shade faster!

Activity Distribution Report for coachdavek
2013 – 16 weeks – 1/1 to 5/4
 Activity Type Count Distance Time Avg HR
 Running 104 253.5 42:58:07 146
 CrossFit 74 0.2 20:39:57 113
 Lap Swimming 22 22.13 14:28:42
 Rowing 21 12.67 1:42:26
 Walking 15 14.31 4:34:30 120
 Hiking 10 7.42 3:37:28 107
 Cycling 7 16.44 2:20:37
 Indoor Cycling 6 23.99 1:54:16
 Track Running 1 4.69 43:42
 Summary 260 355.34 92:59:46 141

Some other links
2011 Lincoln Marathon Recap
CrossFit / Anaerobic Training Stuff n Skillz

Shared this in our Freaky Fast Face Group before Lincoln Marathon – 2013.  Very text’y and no pics. Image 🙂

Marathoner / 1/2 marathoners – some tips.
I probably should save this in a text file since I repost something akin to it each year.
1. Grab a cheap poncho, throw away long sleeve t-shirt and gloves. The weather looks like light rain ending by 8am, little chilly, 40’s on Sunday. Should be in 50’s for marathoners and nicer coming back out of Holmes Lake. This is actually good weather. You won’t want to keep the extra gear on – by the time you hit South Street, you all will be warm. ALSO DON’T overdress. We’ve had a longgggggggggggg extended winter/spring. Remember those runs when you overdressed and then left your pants, hats, sports bras at my door leaving me with all sorts of explaining to do!
2. Take some chaps stick – good for chafing. Put on lips (duh), nipples, under arm.
3. Walk through water stations – keep to your right and ease back in gracefully. Sheridan and 48th are packed, but there’s room. Early on adrenaline’s a kicking and you don’t want to slow down. In Lincoln the marathon doesn’t really start til you kiss 70th street good bye and ½ begins on the downhill of 20th. I’ve found it helps a ton to break in some other exercises (easy squats, a lunge, even a push up) at about every 10k. I’m too OCD to try Galloway’s method of run/walk, but there’s some solid science behind it. For anyone over 3 hours on marathon, 1:30 on a half, ensuring you get refueling will more than offset the time to get the fuel. (Joel you can therefore ignore all water stations ;-))
4. Take liquids at each stop but don’t overdo it. Hypernatremia (really means low sodium relative to amount of water) can be as much a problem as Dehydration from 3 hours on. Take the bananas/oranges when offered. GO WITH WHAT YOU Trained with. You know your body
5. Don’t worry about exact pace plans from mile 1-3. This event is quite a bit bigger. It’s actually a good idea to have your first mile the slowest (as the case in my 2011 Lincoln Marathon).
6. Marathon – a couple ibuprofen’s can help at 2 hours – don’t overdo. 2 is enough. Also if sodium is an issue for you (my case with non-existent thyroid) some pretzel sticks in a bag or salt packet sprinkled on the oranges handed out at 10th street help a ton.
7. Sunglasses, hat can help. Store your ipod until after the trail on Highway 2 or at least keep it on low. We don’t want any Freaks looking clueless and not allowing someone to pass (whether that person should pass ya is another story).
8. Marathon – On the Highway 2 trail check your instinct to pick it up to pass a lot
a. Slightly slower 1.75 miles will mean nothing over the course of expended energy for not much gain
b. Sloppy feet, if muddy, ain’t fun
c. Related, don’t weave side to side like the Harlem Shake. Why run 13.7 or 26.9? Look ahead a ¼ mile and make a straight line, keep on that sight line.
9. Have fun! Really, enjoy the day. Embrace it. Marathons and Ultras are difficult to “race”. So just enjoy it
10. Encourage others – we’re all good at that anyway, there’s a powerful psychological and spiritual release when you do. When you’re mind says give up, you still have over an hour of energy at least to go!

If this were 2009, I’d be freaking out now and not in a freaky fast way.  Why?  In the first two months of this year I’ve snagged 100 miles running.  50 a month average, with a May marathon – that’s not good.  Or it didn’t used to be.

Miles - Oh My!

Miles – Oh My!

After a running catch up in December, amidst some crappy running conditions from December 18th on (ice/snow) I felt a need to get some strength back.  So enter CrossFit Cornhusker  and my third CrossFit affiliate experience since 2010.  They’ve all been great! The other two are CrossFit Lincoln and Bellevue University.   I’m following the same training approach of my new marathon PR in 2011 – 4:00:16.  Last year I mixed a good amount of body weight, chipper, AMRAP type WODs among my run/swim/bike.  It amounted to about 2 a week.  I decided it was time to ramp up to 3.5 times a week of the full assortment of CrossFit WODs (so hello Oly Lifting, pushing through functional movement and outstanding coaching by Jordan Klasek.)

Results – a mix of miles and WODs (workouts of the day).  So when I look at time, I’m a bit more confident.  My life does not permit 8-14 hours of WODs a week.  My “happy place” is right at 6.

Time - Yes!

Time – Yes!

With that programming time I’m able to crank an occasional average Joe marathon at 40 minutes faster than my late 30’s/ early 40’s self.  Pretty cool.  That’s why I like to think of CrossFit as training for the Average Joe.  I may not reach my Boston Qualifier (BQ), but I’m a lot healthier and able to work training into a real life.   Since my kids swim for Nebraska Aquatics, I decided to ramp up the laps too.  Quick ratio – 1 mile of swimming is equal to 4 miles of running (rough, but it works).   In the first two months of this year right at 50% of my training has been CrossFit/Swimming, 40% running and 10% other (row, walk, little bit of cycling and yes, snow shoveling).

CrossFit + Max life swimming yardage + Quality Running miles =  Average Joe Happy.

Final note, I’ve enjoyed using DailyMiles over the last years.  Another way to see the mix of time/miles is through my trusty Garmin (3rd one at 410) and using the http://connect.garmin.com/calendar  to the max.  Garmin has been slow in adding the trending,  other workouts and analysis to Connect.  What’s there now is solid.  And I salute them!

Image

Two week glance via Garmin Connect Calendar feature.

http://www.crossfitendurance.com/
http://www.crossfit.com/

The Des Moines marathon on Oct 16 was an enjoyable and memorable day.

Des Moines Marathon

Des Moines Marathon - 2011!

I was able to run it with friends (who PR’d in their marathons and snagged some great 1/2 marathon times).  It was also my second one that my ace marathon volunteer and son Joshua joined in.  The time was OK – 4:10 – 21 minutes faster than in 2009.  I battled through a Fall of foot issues (right ankle, left foot plantar faciitis) following a tumble at the Pikes Peak Ascent in August.   Incorporating a healthy dose of metcon (metabolic conditioning) helped keep some semblance of September training. Then a good bit of stomach gurgles joined in the morning of the marathon.  Despite those two hurdles, I still had and enjoyable day.   I was able to pace one of my friends along (Joy) from about mile 19 on.  We were able to push and pull each other from mile 20 in.  I felt a good final surge at mile 24.

Two marathons in 2011 – 4:05 average.  I’ll take that.

But, next year the motto is BUST 4 hours!

Enjoyed a 5k  / kids 1/2 mile with my entire family and a friend of my oldest daughter last Saturday at the Monster Dash and Goblin Run at Vala’s Pumpkin Resort in Gretna Nebraska.  It was an aggressive and tough course – mix of gravel road, trails and left over pumpkin mash.  A crisp 28 degrees greeted our start – that felt warm enough after the first 1/2.  After notching a lot of bling we were able to enjoy a long day (and Husker victory over Michigan State).   As I get “older ;-)” there’s no greater joy than sharing something I love with family!

Now it’s in the pool for some serious, nah extreme, stroke make over.  I’ve dove in the pool alongside the kids (slow lane) with their awesome USA Swim team – Nebraska Aquatics.  Coach Eric and Becky have offered nothing short of an extreme stroke makeover.  I’ve blended a good dose of strength and conditioning alongside the pool action.  It works well.  Crank a 500 – then crank 25 kettle bell swings.  Works for running – why not swimming and strength?!

Keep cranking!

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