Posts Tagged ‘training’

RECAP: Still here, still running. Insanely busy with work, but fitting in some miles and keeping to my promise to build the miles slowly and not get hurt.  Last week was the first time I hit thirty miles for the week since November and it felt fine. In an abundance of caution, I took a slight cut back this week. Next week I plan to be back up over thirty again.


In other jock news, I’m spending a lot of time lately learning how to rock climb. So far I’ve only been dabbling in bouldering at the rock climbing gym here in BK, but I’ll be getting outside this spring .  Expect lots more on rock climbing around here in the coming months.


Rushed today (as always) so here are the numbers:



Run Streak: 0

Average Weight –186

Running Miles: 25.7 in 4:11:22

Bike Miles:  ? in 30:00

Strength and Flexibility: 2:45:00

Total exercise time: ~7.5 hours

Daily Breakdown:

Monday – 1 in 9:00

Tuesday –Off

Wednesday – 6.5 in 1:05:00; Pull ups (7,3,2)

Thursday – 6.5 in 1:03:00; Spin Bike: 30:00

Friday – 6 in 59:40; Pull ups (4,3,2); Push Ups (25)

Saturday – thirty minutes of stretching and foam roller

Sunday – 5.75 in 54:42; 1:30 of bouldering; 10×4 V-ups; 10×4 push ups


Goals for Last Week:

  1. n/a


Looking Ahead:

The running is coming along fine, it’s slow, but it’s getting better. I’m determined not to push it, just thirty miles this week, no need to get hurt just when the weather is starting to get good.



Goals for Next Week:

  1. Run 30 miles
  2. Exercise for at least six hours
  3. Decide on a body weight program
  4. Stretch daily

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  1. I am not as young as I think I am.
  2. I get injured too often to make any real progress.

In the last two years of my taking running reasonably seriously, these are the two things about myself that I have repeatedly failed to understand. I’ve gotten into a bad pattern where after injury, I upped my mileage too quickly, causing a new injury, causing more time off, and then another quick ramp up of mileage. It just hasn’t worked.

Here’s a chart of my weekly mileage for this year.

That is what running looks like when you cannot stay healthy. In the whole year, I never put together a single sustained period of serious training. No wonder the fall racing season was such a disaster.

What happened? I got greedy and stupid. Repeatedly. I would get up to fifty miles and then do something stupid during a speed workout, get hurt, and have to cut back. Or I’d be training at thirty miles a week and suddenly up it to fifty. These were stupid mistakes that a 22 year old could perhaps have recovered from, but which left this 36 year old limping around the park.

This time, I’m going to go about things old school Sean. I’m going to build up slow and steady, and I’m going to stay healthy for the long term. My best period of running, when my times were coming down, and when I felt the healthiest, was early this summer when I strung together four weeks of forty five plus miles with no speed work.  I want to get back to that level and then stay there. That is going to take some time and I need to remember that.  I’m not built like a runner, I’m not young anymore and it is going to take a longer time and a lot more miles for me to get where I want to be.

I’m currently nursing a fucked up ankle, but once that heals, I’m going to hit the road and do yet another slow buildup of easy miles. No speed work, just slow and steady miles building up over the winter so that when summer finally arrives, I’m not digging out of another injury hole.

Running is a cruel mistress; she will accept no short cuts. I need to remember that.

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RECAP: When I started running seriously last year, I was training for the Vermont Marathon. My mantra when I dragged myself out in the snow and cold that winter was “respect the race”. At that time I had run one marathon, badly, and I didn’t want to do that again. So I rarely missed a run and I ran that race one hour faster than my first marathon.

Respect the race is something I still believe in. There is no point in running a marathon if you aren’t prepared. If you aren’t ready, then don’t run. Its better to fight another day than to beat yourself up for a guaranteed poor showing.

Well, I’m not ready. Philly is a month and a half away and a combination of injuries, work, and travel have absolutely destroyed my fall training. I haven’t run longer than ten miles in weeks. I still have some groin pain when I run and my work load shows no signs of slowly down. With all that in mind, I’ve decided to cancel Philly. While this bums me out, I’d rather race well than suffer through a subpar performance. I’m going to try and figure out a couple of 10Ks for the fall so all this training wasn’t totally in vain, but really I am already thinking about next year.

Alright, the numbers:


Run Streak: 0 days

Average Weight –182.5

Running Miles: 14.5 in 2:12:00

Bike Miles: 0

Body Weight Work: 0

Total exercise time: ~2 hours

Daily Breakdown:

Monday – 4.5 in 40:00

Tuesday – 9 in 41:23:00

Wednesday – 1 in 9

Thursday – Off

Friday – Off

Saturday – Off

Sunday – Off

Goals for Last Week:

  1. Run at least 50 miles – FAILED!
  2. Run a decent long run of at least 18 miles – FAILED!
  3. Reincorporate stretching – FAILED!
  4. Schedule physical therapy appointment – DONE!
  5. Lose a pound – DONE!

Looking Ahead

The less said about last week the better. Not running Philly is something of a relief though. now I can concentrate on fixing this groin injury and losing some weight in preparation for what I hope will be an awesome 2012.

Goals for Next Week:

  1. Lose a pound
  2. Run at least forty miles
  3. Stretch 3xweek


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Traveling today for Rosh Hashanah, but I got out and got in a silly one mile run early this morning before work. As I push my way back to being in shape over the next couple of months, keeping up the running streak and writing here regularly are going to be important. As I said yesterday, consistency is the key and I have found I am the most consistent in my running when I am running every day and blogging about it frequently.


This weekend I’ll be in Vermont for the Holiday. As long as there is no pain in my groin, I’m going to hit the hills hard. I’m hoping hit the Toll Road at the top of Mt. Mansfield and do some serious running on the trails. If I don’t come back sore on Monday, I’ll be disappointed.


Shana Tova everyone!

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RECAP: Once again lately life has gotten in the way. I wasn’t running well, and the lack of running lead to a lack of blogging. Isn’t it always the way? After a pathetic 25 miles  last week, this week was much better – 50 miles in six runs. I’ll take it.

Alright, the numbers:


Run Streak: 7 days

Average Weight –186.7

Running Miles: 50.2 in 7:48:43

Bike Miles: 0

Body Weight Work: 2 times

Total exercise time: ~8 hours

Daily Breakdown:

Monday – 4.75 in 41:38; 100 push up challenge W2D1 (14, 14, 10, 10, 16) for a total of 64

Tuesday – 3.5 warm up in 31:00; 3 track workout in 19; 2.5 cool down in 25:01

Wednesday – 10 in 1:34:05

Thursday – 5 in 45:48; W2D2 (14,16,12,12,19) total of 73

Friday – 4.5 in 37:05

Saturday – 17 in 2:54:57

Sunday – 0

Goals for Last Week:


Goals for Next Week:

  1. Three days of body weight work
  2. Run at least 45 miles, ideally 50
  3. Survive to fight another day
  4. Lose a pound

Looking ahead:

I am having a medical procedure this week that is going to lay me up for a day or two, so fifty miles for the week is going to be a stretch. If I can run Wednesday, I’ll be good, if I can’t I’m screwed. I am definitely going to miss my speed session this week, so I’ll need to find time for an individual workout somewhere in here.

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  1. Give us the vitals:
    1. Name: Lance H
    2. Sex: M
    3. Age (at the time of first BQ): 41
    4. Height (at the time of first BQ): 6’1″
    5. Weight (at the time of first BQ): 173
  2. At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tell us a little about the race. Baystate, 2010.  I needed a 3:20:59.  I was probably in 3:15 shape but after catching my kids’ never-ending sickness the Thursday before the marathon, I quickly realized I couldn’t maintain that pace.  I had a hard time taking water and gels, and slowed to the bare minimum pace to get there (7:40s).  The 3:20 pacers passed me around mile 22 or 23 and I realized I couldn’t lose them.  I didn’t and ran 3:20:22.
  3. How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Other than the normal on again off again jogging that I’d done since college (no more than 20 miles a month probably), I started more seriously in 2005.  Did you run in college or high school? No
  4. What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? Maybe 10,000.  But 7,000 or so were in the last 3 years.
  5. How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? In the 12 months prior maybe 2900
  6. Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 10
  7. Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, give us an idea of what your training philosophy was. No.  Over 2 or so years, I tried to steadily increase mileage, running most days.  I’ve tried to just keep it simple with weekly mileage, long tempo runs 1x/week and intervals 1x/week.  I think for me consistency over time has been the key to any success I’ve had.  Most of what I’ve learned I’ve gleaned from different people in the swamp (a message board on running ahead – ed).  It’s simple but not easy.
  8. Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No real running club, but I do have a good group of local friends that I run with pretty regularly in my little town.  In fact, we have 7 first-timers from our group going to Boston this year.  I don’t mind running alone at all, but it’s nice to have people that are going through similar experiences, friendly rivalries that go with it and of course company on some of those miles every week.
  9. Did cross training play a role in your training? Hell no.
  10. Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I really believe if I can do it that nearly anyone can.  5 years ago I looked at a few friends that were running 4:00 marathons when I was running 4:28 and I thought 4:00 was a pipe dream.  But I steadily and consistently put in the work and the times came down more dramatically than I ever would have dreamed.  I ran 3:45 in 2009 and thought I’d never get to 3:30.  I ran 3:20 last year and thought there was no chance I’d get to <3:10.  Do the work, don’t get impatient, don’t take extended breaks and make running a non-negotiable priority in your life if you want to get better.  Oh, and guess what the goal for Boston is? Hint: see the unachievable above.

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2011 Goals

As I wrote about earlier, I have mixed feelings about 2010. It was by far my best year for running, but it was also not all I was hoping for. I set PRs at every distance, but I didn’t break four hours in the marathon, and it looks like I won’t run 2,000 miles. Whatever. That is the past, this is the future.

Training Goals

I have started building a training plan for 2011. At its core it is a pretty simple – run lots, mostly easy, sometimes hard. Pretty simple. I want to build up to some serious mileage. Really serious mileage* and I have a battle plan to do that without getting my ass hurt. I plan to do a standard two weeks of increased mileage then a cut back week, then two more weeks of increase. I don’t plan on increasing by more than ten percent per week.

Additionally, as I do not plan on racing anything longer than a 10k until the fall, my training can be pretty consistent for a long period of time. A really prolonged period of high mileage weeks sounds like just what the doctored order.

One of my goals for the year is definitely to increase my week mileage, but I don’t plan on just racking up miles. Part of the reason I am sticking very close to the ten percent rule is because I also hope to incorporate more workouts into my plan.

A major piece that was missing from 2010 was workouts. Once I get my weekly mileage back up over 50 mpw I am going to try and do one workout a week. If my body is handles that ok, after a couple of months I’ll add a second workout. The workouts will begin with pick ups in the mid week long run and then progress to tempo runs. Maybe sometime next fall it’ll be time for real deal speed work, but not yet. What matters now is aerobic base and the way to get that is to grind out the miles and put the occasional anaerobic workout within a longer run.

Or at least that’s the plan. If the plan doesn’t produce results, I’ll change the plan.

Racing Goals

As I wrote in my 2010 recap, I don’t think I raced enough in 2010. I was too focused on the marathon, I didn’t set up enough races in between to gauge fitness, and that impaired my ability to focus. This year will be different.

First, I am only going to run one marathon this year, and it is going to be in the fall. Not sure exactly which one yet, but I am very tempted to go to one of the smaller races, like Bay State. We’ll see.

For the rest of the year I’m going to concentrate on the shorter distances, 5k, 10k, maybe a half marathon. For these distances I am setting some pretty ambitious goals. Maybe I’ll meet these goals, maybe I won’t, but I want to be ambitious this year, I want to aim for the top end of what I am capable of achieving, so:

5k: sub 20 minutes

10k: sub 42

Half Marathon: sub 1:32

Starting in the early spring, I hope to race the 5k and 10k distance pretty often, probably once a month. Ideally I’ll do a half marathon in the late summer or early fall as a test run for a fall marathon. Depending on how that half marathon goes, I’ll decided on a marathon goal. I know I will break four hours in the marathon, but man I would LOVE to do it in 3:30…

We shall see. Who knows what is possible?


* I hesitate to even write this down, but for miles per week I am thinking at least 70 mpw, but if my body can handle it, I’d love to know what 100 mpw feels like.

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