Posts Tagged ‘Strength Training’

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

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Have been kicking and hitting it the last month or so with TITLEBoxing in West Omaha (Oakview mall). Literally on the kicking and hitting in terms of workouts. Helping a bit on the business side too.

The core workout mixes boxing and / or kickboxing over 8 rounds (4 minutes each). It’s a perfect program for metabolic, body strength building.

Warm up and cool downs of 15 minutes bracket the core workout – hitting core, abs, lateral and vertical movements.

The pace and fun of learning how to hit well, then applying those skills makes the time fly. It’s a blast!

Menu of exercises includes:
Dozens of and core exercises
Lunges
Burpees
Squats
Med ball varations
Shuffle
Planks
Push-ups
Sit-ups
All four punches (jab, cross, upper cut and hook)
All kick combos (front, roundhouse, back)
Hammer strikes, elbows, knees and other nasties.

Check it out! It’s a solid stand alone program and hits enough body, rotational and skill development for a killer marathon / triathlon cross training workout.

Yo Adrian!!

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Platte River – from Camp Cedars!

Three Weeks of hybrid workouts.  The Run Less, Run Faster is still a guide, but will kick in fully in August (after Pikes Peak Double) and in time for a November 2 marathon (Indy)! It’s also allowed some flexibility – such as hiking around Camp Cedars (above pic) with my son Joshua during family day at his Boy Scout camp.

The philosophy of 3 quality runs is locked in for me – Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Also blending in quite a bit more biking, renewed swimming and 2 or 3 quality strength workouts a week.  The mix feels right.  Had a good 5k on Father’s Day (with my happy four legged running friend Heidi) at 22:49.  Added some time due to poop pickup and extra time at water stops; shaved just a bit due to her help up a hill or two!

Keeping the average workout time to 6 – 7 hours.  Not ultra volume, but about an hour more than average from January to May. 

Activity Distribution Report for coachdavek    
             
 Activity Type Count Distance Time Elevation Gain Avg Speed Avg HR
 Running 18 49.41 8:29:42 1,030 5.8 147
 Lap Swimming 6 2.83 1:45:04 0 1.7
 Strength Training 5 1:30:32
 Cycling 4 61.37 5:04:57 1,120 12.1 128
 Walking 4 1.67 36:15:00 105 2.8 100
 Hiking 1 2.46 1:00:10 308 2.5
 Summary 38 117.74 18:26:40 2,563 7.3 140

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

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.

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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

It’s been awhile since I shared  a post.  Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.  The culprit is being busy at work and play.

So it’s been a summer of fun – I wish I could race every weekend.  Not possible due to other events and budget (hence the busy with work).  I did enjoy some break-troughs and avoided a near break at Pikes Peak.

  • Enjoyable Havelock 10k with several Freaky Fast teams and a surprise top 3 finish for my team (thanks to a late entry for us who won top overall female!).  Nice to break 48 minutes on that course again.

    Freaky Fast teams dominate Havelock!

  • Lincoln Mile – 1st one since 2000 – snagged a slightly faster time than 11 years ago – 6:16.  Still off my PR of 5:59 in 1998, getting so close!
  • 1st sub 23 minute 5k in a long time at the Thunder Run.
  • Finally broke the 5 year average for the Buffalo Run.  This race is Lincoln’s oldest – a 5 mile hilly course in Pioneer’s Park.  Was battling my 1992-96 self.  Set a “mature” Dave PR of 37:03.

Not all was record setting this Summer and there were some challenges to navigate.

  • Due to budget and time constraints as well as desire for next triathlon to be a 1/2 Ironman, no triathlon this summer.  I was able to volunteer and serve as life guard at the CSG and lend a hand a duathlon.  If not racing, may as well help out – plus I learn a good amount by watching the elites (not that I can replicate it. :-)).
  • Took a bit of tumble at this year’s Pikes Peak Ascent – got up, dusted myself off and finished in 4:57.  A little ahead of last year, but off my own best and 42 minutes off Wave 1.
  • Due to time constraint haven’t been able to pop into my favorite CrossFit spot – CrossFit Lincoln.  I hope to again beginning in November.  Also no gym at all since June.   With strength a component of my training since October of 2009 this has posed a challenge.  The result has been fusing speed, stamina and strength together or what I call S3.  From early July to present, I’ve just used what ever I got – dumbbell, body weight, med ball, kettle bell, picnic tables, jungle gyms, park benches, etc – and rolled those into the run, bike, swim workout two to four times a week.  The result is a fusion of all three.  I’ve researched a bit of the urban or natural workout methods.  It’s not ideal but it can work.  There’s never an excuse now to exclude strength training.

So how did your Summer go?  What’s on tap for Fall?  Watching my kids enjoy Cross Country, Football and Soccer has been at the top my list.  Seeing several cross country meets has brought me back to that grass roots running that hooked my in the early 1980’s – show up, put on a number and run your best.  Not much in the way corporate sponsorship or instant electronic results, but a ton of fun!

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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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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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