Posts Tagged ‘Marathons’

Did you set some overly aggressive goals in fitness, your career, life for 2011? Wondering if you can accomplish that seemingly far away mountain top?  Is something holding you back?

CoachDaveK is a resounding believer that fitness is a mind/body/spirit effort.  Watch and hopefully be inspired!

I shared a catharsis in my post Tulsa Marathon recap a few weeks ago.  Since then I’ve ramped up my CrossFit intensity at home and the Y, am saving some valuable coin to return to the CrossFit Lincoln box and have picked up some swim, row and bike miles!  Fun way to end the year.

Five Week Stats 293-328

Week ending 11/14 11/21 11/28 12/5 12/12
Running 11 34 9 14 15
Walking / Hiking 0 3 0 0 0
Cycling/spinning 6 6 11 6 14
Swimming 0 .14 .75 0 0
Rowing 0 0 0 1.25 1.25
CrossFit WOD’s 3 1 2 3 3
Total miles, Time. Workouts (WODs), Highlights 22 miles 3:22 hrs
8 WODs
Taper Week
43 miles 6:58 hrs
8 WODs
Tulsa Marathon – 14 & 1/2 year PR!  4:07:49!
21 miles
3:03 hrs
7 WODs
Fran under 7 minutes and best post marathon feeling!
21 miles 3:26
9WODs
20 miler – Holiday Run 5k – 23:55 with Heidi.  Pretty good for the course
30 miles, 4:32
10 WODs
Final outdoor track workout for a while – 56 deg in Dec!

Summary

If you’re an aerobic athlete (runner, swimmer, cyclist, triathlete) who’s reached a plateau, has found more miles does not translate into success and wonders if strength training might help – please read. I’m not offering a quick fix, food gimmick, shake, or simple  trick.  Over the last year I’ve ventured into a different way of getting to a goal – it may not be for everyone.  But I have found an incredible payoff from it and embrace it.

It’s a few simple things

  • Incorporate the right kind of strength training (read more in this blog) 2-4 times a week
  • Cut back your miles for miles sake
  • For your existing mileage look toward performance, speed and stamina
  • Chart your progress over 12 months and see what happens!

Detail

Proof.  Data.  Trends.  Statistics and data gathering can mislead and interpretation of results requires wisdom as well as raw analytic power.  That clarification and limitation declared, I do think there’s enough evidence that a combination of Strength Training + Aerobic Training is far more powerful than Aerobic Training alone.  Modify that aerobic training to focus on stamina, speed, flexibility and burst, and alongside the strength training, your results will be strong.  Hone that further with improved nutrition and those strong results become powerful.

Two years ago, during one of my worst marathon experiences (4:52 at Twin Cities), I thought about punting it.  Pack it up.  Give it up. It was miserable weather day, but I had endured worse.  It seemed though a goal of getting to Boston (or 1 hour and 22 minutes faster) was an impossible hope. Rather than give up I decided to push it harder.  So in 2009 I ramped up the training.  I knocked off a Pikes Peak Double and some “ok” marathon times (4:30 range).  The price of that ramp up was high: a strained, torn sartorius tendon.  By October of 2009 I was hobbling at the start of the Des Moines Marathon.  Sure, lots of miles in the bank, toward 1,500 running for 2009.  But hobbling still.

That began my entry into cross training – had done that in triathlon terms for several years.  But serious cross training, or more properly strength training, nope, nada, avoided it.

P90x was Stage 1.  It was perfect for torturing my aerobically fed and strength dead body into shape.  All the Tony Horton’isms, pull ups, sneaky lunges, gut cracking ab routines, yoga twisting/humbling sessions and push ups a guy could hope for.  I saw some nice results.

A chance encounter with a surly but dedicated athletic trainer, Mike Livergood, at Bellevue University in January of 2010 led to Stage 2 – CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance.  Similar in many regards, the difference between the Beachbody DVD fed programming and organic CrossFit approach was significant. CrossFit is a better fit for my performance goals.  Step by step, coaching from a great box and set of trainers at the Lincoln CrossFit box (Cole, Jeremy, Kelsey Phil and Tanya) and staying with it on my own have led to the best fitness base in my adult life.

Stage 3 involved extending a wonderful speed group of like minded, er like age, friends to a group of Freaky Fast Runners I had no business trying to chase.  From June until present, this group has been an evolving network of fast people who have fun.  Not quite the same every time, but always putting the hammer down for speed, hills or a Saturday run.  Love you all!

So what does this mean?  Big deal?

I’ve been blessed to achieve 15 year PR’s in 5 mile, 15k and marathon races.  This has been my best year of racing since 1996-98.  There’s been some learning curve and minor injuries: a hamstring pull in late May from performing too many deadlifts a day before a 5 mile race and calf pull in July as my body adapted to move towards a “pose” esque running style, lots of hills, etc. From beginning to end – I’ve been pleasantly surprised or more apropos, shocked!

While a 3 hour 30 minute marathon for Boston or a Full Ironman triathlon are not a sure thing, I can at least place those in the realm of possibility.  I’ve been able to shave 24 minutes off my aerobicly training injected marathons of 2009, and now have only 37 minutes to go.  The table below lists the results for marathons.

I’ve also cut 15lbs, from 176 to 161, increased muscle strength and burst across a variety of tests.  My “vitamin I” (ibuprofen) fix has been cut dramatically (not pounding the body and actually strengthening muscles, ligaments and connective tissue).  I am to do things I didn’t image possible – a kipping pull up, jumping up with confidence to a 8′ pull up bar height, over 250lbs for deadlift, 40 unbroken knees to elbows. This still a ton of other goals to still drive me; for example, why not try to attain the Navy Seal standard for 40-50 age males?

More distinctions:

  • In 2010 I will run 66% the amount of running miles compared to 2009  (1,000 to 1,500) with the same biking and swim miles.  Total aerobic miles will nudge 1,550 to 1,600 versus 2,000 in 2010.  New aerobic miles have been introduced through rowing.
  • In 2010 that 66% running miles will have been done at much more efficient and faster pace.
  • In 2010 my anaerobic training (CrossFit) will reach 140 Workouts Of the Day (WODs), not including the aerobic oriented WOD’s.  Overall training hours will be the same as 2009.
Marathon State Date Place Overall Place % Pace Time PR +/-
Route 66 Marathon – Tulsa
Marathon
OK 11/21/2010 422/1648 25.61% 9:27 4:07:55 P.R.
Lincoln National Guard Marathon & Half-marathon 2010 – Run -Marathon NE 5/2/2010 667/1154 57.80% 9:51 4:18:29 +10:34
Brookings Marathon – RUN – Marathon SD 5/15/2010 119/203 58.62% 10:02 4:22:57 +15:02
Lincoln Marathon – Run :: 26.2Mi NE 5/4/2003 523/785 66.62% 10:02 4:23:14 +15:19
Siouxland Marathon And Half Marathon – Marathon SD 10/20/2007 107/166 64.46% 10:07 4:25:11 +17:16
Scheels And Adidas Fargo Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K – Marathon ND 5/19/2007 819/1191 74.81% 10:18 4:30:02 +22:07
IMT Des Moines Marathon 2009 – Run*Marathon IA 10/18/2009 922/1374 67.10% 10:21 4:31:27 +23:32
Lincoln National Guard Marathon & Half Marathon 2009 – Run -Marathon NE 5/3/2009 768/1142 67.25% 10:26 4:33:23 +25:28
Go! St. Louis Marathon & Half Marathon 2008 – Run-Marathon MO 4/6/2008 1106/1617 68.40% 10:36 4:38:00 +30:05
Lincoln Marathon 2006 – RUN – MARATHON NE 5/7/2006 775/959 80.81% 10:44 4:41:28 +33:33
11Th Annual Gobbler Grind Marathon,Half-Marathon, 5K & Marathon Relay – 26.2Mi Run KS 11/18/2007 175/244 71.72% 10:54 4:45:46 +37:51
Oklahoma Marathon 2003 OK 11/22/2003 205/308 66.56% 10:57 4:47:15 +39:20
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon & Medtronic Tc 10 Mile 2008 – Run-Marathon MN 10/5/2008 6172/7967 77.47% 11:04 4:50:09 +42:14
Pensacola Marathon And Half Marathon – Marathon FL 2/17/2008 175/263 66.54% 11:09 4:52:24 +44:29
Community First Fox Cities Marathon WI 9/24/2006 510/706 70.96% 11:13 4:54:10 +46:15
Pikes Peak Marathon 2007 CO 8/19/2007 551/773 71.28% 18:28 8:04:03 +3:56:08
Pikes Peak Ascent 2009 – Marathon CO 8/15/2009 668/711 78.48% 21:31 9:23:49 +5:15:54
Lincoln National Guard Marathon – 1995 NE 5/1/1995 NA NA 9:38 4:12:22 +4:27
Lincoln National Guard Marathon – 1994 NE 5/1/1994 NA NA 9:03 3:57:11 -10:44
Lincoln National Guard Marathon – 1996 NE 5/1/1996 NA NA 8:59 3:55:36 -12:19

September and October have proven to be a nice fusion of Triathlon (primarily running) and CrossFit, much like late Summer races into early Fall.

Oh my we're too pretty not to be seen, fix your browser!

Get your freak on fast!

Have been solo on the CrossFit WOD’s.  Am missing my Lincoln CrossFit box greatly, but due to budget limitations, have to get the WOD’s done at home and the YMCA.  I am still seeing improvements on speed of repeat WOD’s (Fran, Murph, Angie, etc).  Have enjoyed getting creative for the Filthy Fifty and Kettle Bell combos – picked up a wimpy 3/4 pood but works nicely for me.  I tend to scale to 50 to 60%.  See http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_Widman_CFStartupGuide1.pdf

I’ve been blessed to  notch two 14 year PR’s at a September 5 mile hilly run (Buffalo Run on Sept 12 – 38:31) and 15k October 17th run (Governor’s Cup 15k at 1:13:40).   I hope those events bode well for my Tulsa marathon. I also enjoyed my most effortless 20 mile training run since the mid 1990’s – on Oct 30th.   I was able to hold a steady 9:46 pace without gels and just with water.  The running results have been inspired by a great bunch of Freaky Fast runners – well over 15 people have come together off and on the last several months to challenge, encourage and motivate each other (the pic includes some of ’em)!

It has not all been cold skim milk and peanut butter cups though.  I’ve had far to much allergy junk since mid October with a nice lingering smoker’s cough.  Fortunately three bouts of stomach flu have not returned for round four.

Five week stats – Day 221- 256

Week ending 9/5 9/12 9/19 9/26 10/3
Running 30 23 8 20 24
Walking / Hiking 0 0 0 0 0
Cycling/spinning 17.5 14.5 5 2.25 2
Swimming .68 0 0 0 0
Rowing 0 0 0 0 0
CrossFit WOD’s 2 (7.57 Fran, 65#) 2 (bootcamp & 1/2 Angie) 1 0 3
Total miles, Time. Workouts (WODs), Highlights 48 miles 7:04 hrs
16 WODs
Fran under 8!
37.5 miles 6hrs
13WODs
Buffalo – 14 year PR – 38:31!
13 miles  1:59 hrs
8 WODs
Light week – recovery & stomach flu
22 miles 3:39 hrs
6 WODs
6 mile run w/ dogs on Friday
26 miles 5:09 hrs
13 WOD’s
Gettin’ the Cfit Grove Back

And Five Week Stats + Day 257 – 292

Week ending 10/10 10/17 10/24 1o/31 11/7
Running 22 25 18 35 25
Walking / Hiking 3 0 2 (scouts) 0 0
Cycling/spinning 2.55 9 0 6 0
Swimming .28 0 0 0 0
Rowing 0 0 0 0 3.11
CrossFit WOD’s 2 3 1 3 3 (7.58 Fran)
Total miles, Time. Workouts (WODs), Highlights 28 miles 5:35 hrs
15 WODs
Hike w/ Webelos @ Arbor Day Farm
34 miles 6:05 hrs
12WODs
Filthy Fifty (tough WOD) &
14 year PR at Governor’s Cup 1.13.40 (7:55 pace!)
20 miles 3:54 hrs
6 WODs
10 miler on Sat and surviving stomach flu rd 3 – yuck
41 miles 7:01
8 WODs
20 miler – 3:16 – held strong even  with seasonal cough/ allergies & Yasso 800’s
28 miles, 4:56
10 WODs
Triple Play Weekend:
Friday Murph, Saturday – 6 mile run and Sunday  –
Beer and Bagel Off road.  3.8 miles of trail fun on Sunday

Those “Pose” running technique, barefoot running and a reexamination of assumed running best practice have combined for a perfect storm within the field of running. 30 year old norms and assumptions have been pushed and strained – that 30 year date goes to the late 70’s and introduction of “heel to toe” support by Nike, Brooks and running experts. By having shoes absorb and attempt to take away some or all of the pain of running, an onslaught of running injuries has ensued – though causation and correlation have not confirmed. Meaning, don’t throw out everything that works for you, but do examine and test it.

Having adopted elements of the pose technique (2008) and occasional barefoot running (in 2009), I can attest it does make a difference. Now on to my first pair vibram 5 finger shoes and more adaptation.

Pose running technique: a beginner’s guide | Sports Injury Bulletin

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Been thinking about what is both a “tweak” and significant revolution in how I’m training now, versus 1992-2008.

The “goals for 2010” blog shared a bit of that. Just hit me as I posted a reply to a @fb friend that there’s a bit more profund change.

At the root of this transformation journey is going from 90% run into the ground plus whatever else — TO — 35% run, 15% spin/swim each, 35% crossfit/anaerobic. The irony may be ending up with 1,500 miles of running (still a high point).  Though those miles will be higher quality.

In building 2010, I’ve mixed my triathlon training up quite a bit to incorporate much more anaerobic (strength) training and 4 running workouts at high intensity per week (instead of 5-7 ok ones). Now I despise “dreadmills” and just run outside or on a nice university track (200 meter @ Uni of Nebraska) / high school track for speed work.

Rotation each week is Long Run (Sat/Sun) 12- 20 miles; Speed (Tuesday, no more than 55 min total, 4-8 miles), Temp or Hill on Thursday (6-8 miles) and another workout S,M,W, or F that’s a “quick” 6 variety. For the rest of the week it’s 1) swimming or 2) spinning / cycling. I do try to do something aerobic (but again bursts) each day

What’s helping me take my fitness level to the next level is the anaerobic training. 1st the beachbody P90x fare in late 2009. 2nd and ongoing is a real kick on your jaw from http://www.crossfit.com. Crossfit is done 4-5 times a week.

Now the proof is in the pudding (that’s ok under Zone diet 😉 so we’ll see what 2010 brings.

In a goal setting mood right now.  I’ve been able to reach most of the 2009 goals set a year ago at this time.  Here’s what’s in my master spreadsheet and measurement

2009 Goals:  2,000 total miles: 1,500 running (29 per week).. 100 swimming or 3,200 laps.. 200 bike.  Lincoln Marathon – 4:15; Pikes Peak Double!  4:55 and 7:55.  HyVee Long Course Triathlon – Finish.  Des Moines Marathon 4:10

Actual,  2,004 total miles: 1,500 running (29 per week), 24 swimming or 3,200 laps, 480+ bike. Lincoln Marathon – 4:32; Pikes Peak Double!  4:43 and 9:20.  HyVee Long Course Triathlon – Finish. Des Moines Marathon 4:31. Plus near 1/2 marathon PR @ Grand Island in August (1:44), 1/2 marathon course PR in Omaha (1:46), 5 mile and 5k times – best of this decade.  Still not under 22 minutes on 5k or 37 on 5 mile.  First open water 1k raced (where I got smoked ;-))!  Finally began P90x in October to build and repair core/pillar strength.

Quick analysis.  Was able to reach mileage goals though much more biking than planned and far less swimming.  Finished the Pikes Peak Double and Lincoln / Des Moines Marathons but 20 minutes slower than planned. Enjoyed several other races as well!  The core strength training is paying dividends in body / muscle cut and hopefully downstream in racing as well.  Feel much stronger.

Now for 2010!  The bullet list is below.  My goal is to continue total body conditioning (6 pack abs and guns!), achieve PR’s or near PR’s from the mid 90s,  continue better nutrition, have fun, further triathlon capability and avoid overuse injuries.

  • Total  Miles: 3,000 or 50% increase whoa
    • Running  1,750 to 1,800 running (33 per week or 20% increase).
      • Consistency – 30 to 35 with 12-15 40 mile plus
      • Seek out the SW track group
      • Bring P90x to summer hill workouts!
    • Swimming 52 to 100 (consistency is the word – 1 to 2 miles per week)
      • Flip turns
      • Sub 9 minute 500
      • Sub 35 mile
    • Cycling/ Spinning 1,200 (20+ per week or 1 spin session and 1 to 2 good rides in the summer)
      • Secure a decent road bike
      • Continue spinning
      • Century Ride!
    • P90x – continue core and upper body 2-3 times per week
    • Possible 1 round of “Insanity” to learn techniques for track.
    • Races
      • State Farm 10 mile, sub 80 minutes (March)
      • Lincoln Marathon 4 hours or bust (May)
      • Brookings Marathon, 2 weeks after Lincoln 4 hrs to 4:20
      • HyVee Long Course Triathlon – sub 3 hours or 20 minutes faster (June)
      • Leavenworth 1/2 Iron Man (Sept)
      • Des Moines, sub 3:45 (Oct)
      • Pikes Peak Ascent 4:15 for Wave 1 qualifier
      • GI 1/2  (1:40) and Omaha 1/2 (1:44)
      • CSG’s 5k – sub 22
      • Buffalo Run, 5 mile, sub 38
      • Girls on the Run with Annaliese – for fun
      • Other races with kids for fun!