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Resurrecting Chicago

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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Mark B on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:22 am

Your poor dog! Whatever you do, don't bring him to Vancouver this time of the year. One of our "peculiar institutions" around here is to sell - and shoot off - fireworks that were wisely outlawed in most of the rest of the country years ago. People here will spend hundreds - even thousands - of dollars to buy massive numbers of mortar shells (yes, the things you see in ACTUAL fireworks shows, except slightly smaller), Roman candles, etc. If it can't blow your hand off (firecrackers), they're pretty much legal.

And they've been going off for hours now, all around us. Your dog would be catatonic. You might not be far behind!

And BTW, welcome to the club. I think every person I've ever known who switched to clips on their bikes suffers the same injury as you. The trick is to not keep doing it. jocolor
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:36 pm

Swimming milestone today. Swam a mile non-stop. The downside to swimming at my local facility is the hours. It is open for lap swimming 6-9 am and 5-9 pm. The early evening hours are packed, and I know if I do the 8 pm thing, I'll be too pumped to sleep well. So, that means morning swimming. Which means no morning running. Which is a problem when the days are hitting 90 degrees. So no running this afternoon. I'm thinking I may have to adopt Hal's novice 1 program for the next few weeks to get back on track, hoping that the aerobic conditioning fills the gap of lack of miles. I don't know if that will work, but if the temps hold at this level, I've got to find some middle ground. This is truly going to be a zany training cycle, balancing the temps, different training modes (swim/run/bike), and what seem to be niggly niggles. The only thing that seems to be for sure is that there will be daily decisions and constant change. But I'm still going to get a PR in Chicago Laughing
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  mul21 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:01 pm

OK, Tom, serious question here. What's the goal of running for you? I've been thinking this for several weeks now, but was trying to come up with a tactful way of bringing it up. As much time as you're spending cross training, you're really sacrificing the potential to gain a lot of running specific fitness. Now, if you're just doing this for fun and to stay in shape, more power to you. But, I think you have some aspirations of qualifying for Boston, if not actually running it. I think, if that's the case, then maybe more time spent on running and recovery would serve you well and fit in the other stuff as you feel up to it. I'd be willing to bet you have some significant gains still out there based on how well Eugene went.

Just a thought to ponder in your spare time! scratch
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:01 pm

@mul21 wrote:OK, Tom, serious question here. What's the goal of running for you? I've been thinking this for several weeks now, but was trying to come up with a tactful way of bringing it up. As much time as you're spending cross training, you're really sacrificing the potential to gain a lot of running specific fitness. Now, if you're just doing this for fun and to stay in shape, more power to you. But, I think you have some aspirations of qualifying for Boston, if not actually running it. I think, if that's the case, then maybe more time spent on running and recovery would serve you well and fit in the other stuff as you feel up to it. I'd be willing to bet you have some significant gains still out there based on how well Eugene went.

Just a thought to ponder in your spare time! scratch

Jim, a damn fair and thought provoking question, and one I'm glad you asked of me. The simple answer is that I WANT to be able to BQ in Chicago, the issue I've been struggling with is one of persistent low level injury. My thought with the cross training was that I'd be able to maintain my aerobic fitness level while I was keeping running mileage low to allow for healing. But like many plans, things can come unraveled. I was wondering what prompted the question from you specifically yesterday so re-read my last few posts. Actually, I didn't have to go any further than yesterday's post where I clearly stated that I put the cross training over, and sacrificed, the running. Quite illuminating. Thanks for pointing this out, clearly I've got to rethink my training priorities.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  jon c on Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:58 pm

Tom, I tend to agree with Jim about focusing a bit more on running. Cross training is not a bad thing, but it doesn't do the same things that running will do for you in terms of specificity of training. Especially when you are so close to a BQ. After this year, your BQ will be tougher to get so if you can go under 3:35 now it will be to your advantage. I made my biggest breakthroughs in my marathon times after finally embracing a six day per week running schedule. Agree that the training schedule and injuries are an issue, especially in our age group so if you do this, do it gradually.

My opinion is that a lot of runners get injured because we push too hard in our training. I have managed to stay uninjured for almost three years (until recently) by running slow and easy miles with an occasional tempo run thrown in. And in doing so, my full times went from the 3:40s to the 3:30s and even a couple 3:29s. Of course this continues to be an ongoing process as I hope to run with longevity and stay healthy if that is possible.

So I hope whatever path you choose to go that you will be ultimately successful. We find in the process a lot of satisfaction in our time, work, and effort and also learn a lot about who we are and what we are capable of.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:55 pm

@jon c wrote:Tom, I tend to agree with Jim about focusing a bit more on running. Cross training is not a bad thing, but it doesn't do the same things that running will do for you in terms of specificity of training. Especially when you are so close to a BQ. After this year, your BQ will be tougher to get so if you can go under 3:35 now it will be to your advantage. I made my biggest breakthroughs in my marathon times after finally embracing a six day per week running schedule. Agree that the training schedule and injuries are an issue, especially in our age group so if you do this, do it gradually.

My opinion is that a lot of runners get injured because we push too hard in our training. I have managed to stay uninjured for almost three years (until recently) by running slow and easy miles with an occasional tempo run thrown in. And in doing so, my full times went from the 3:40s to the 3:30s and even a couple 3:29s. Of course this continues to be an ongoing process as I hope to run with longevity and stay healthy if that is possible.

So I hope whatever path you choose to go that you will be ultimately successful. We find in the process a lot of satisfaction in our time, work, and effort and also learn a lot about who we are and what we are capable of.

Jon, I think you have some good points. In my short running career I've been a bit of a poster child for overdoing it in my training. I thought that in the last half of my Eugene training cycle I'd hit upon the the balance of miles and pace as I finally went injury-free for an extended period, but after the race some of the same of issues cropped up. My long-term goal is what you state above, to run with longevity and stay healthy. Time to refocus.

So today was back to basics using the same run structure as for the Eugene cycle. Ran early in the morning to avoid the 90+ afternoon temps. 60 minutes @ LHR target <143. Ended up with 6.4 miles at a 9:24 average pace. I'm not ready to go a 6 day per week schedule yet, I'll stick with 4-5 for now.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Mark B on Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:30 am

You're getting some terrific advice here, Tom.

One thing that's easy to forget when you add cross-training to mix is that swimming and cycling sessions also strain the body, and that if you increase your overall training load beyond your body's ability to respond positively - it's going to respond negatively. Take a look at your total time training and see how it compares with your training leading up to Eugene. I'm willing to bet the workout time has increased, even through the miles are fewer.

Concentrating more on running at this point might, ironically, allow you the recovery time you need.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:28 am

Mark, I think you are right about the balance aspect here. My personality tends to have me go all in for something I enjoy but often without paying proper attention to other aspects of life (not just running). You'd think I'd have some level of awareness about this by now Wink Unlike you who made a clean switch in what you were doing, road marathon training to trail running, I just added to the already ambitious mix. I do think that a second issue is what JohnP pointed out a number of posts ago, I'm not 25 anymore - I'm not sure that I believe that down deep inside yet . . . Gotta run.

So I did run (LOVE the ability to edit a post at any time!). 60min/LHR @143 max/cadence >90. I'm going back to posting the run details as it helps keep me honest:

Split
Distance
Time
Avg Pace
Avg HR
Cadence
1
1
0:09:16
9:16
131
90
2
1
0:09:09
9:09
138
92
3
1
0:09:14
9:14
141
91
4
1
0:09:21
9:21
141
91
5
1
0:09:18
9:18
142
91
6
1
0:09:11
9:11
141
92
7
0.49
0:04:31
9:16
142
92
Summary
6.49
1:00:03
9:15
139
91


Results are good when I look back to the early stages of the Eugene cycle. Happy to see that.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:55 pm

Yesterday rest day. Today much of the same but 1 hour at the gym doing stretching and some core work. Trying to be good Smile
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Natalie on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:28 pm

Gym work is important, imo.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:54 pm

Today's run was 10 mile-ish, and I say -ish because my Garmin was a bit wonky at the beginning and end. I know I was going a little faster in mile 1, but no way did I do a 7:09 Very Happy, and I did not slow at the end of the run. Both involved running under a bridge, so perhaps that has some bearing on it, but I've done this run many, many times before.

Did an out and back through local park that has some rolling hills, and today, Dragon Boat races with tons of people there. Made the run a bit more interesting both from the standpoint of being able to watch the races as I ran around the water and because I had to do some people dodging as those on the trail had their minds elsewhere. In mile 6 came up on a guy with a dog, a large border collie mix of some sort. When he heard me coming he put his hand in his pocket and took out some treats, put himself between me and the dog and tried to distract the dog with the treats. To me that spelled trouble and sure enough, as soon as I came abreast of them the dog shot out around him and right at me with teeth bared. I had to veer off the trail to avoid getting bitten. All I could think was how irresponsible the owner was to have that dog out in that venue, with all the people around, and what an idiot he was to have him on a 6-8' leash that he did not hold short when he saw me coming. Jeez.

But I digress. Standard fare, LHR @143 max/cadence >90. In reviewing the splits I'm pleasantly surprised at the mile-to-mile HR/pace consistency. Maybe not quite up to the standards of Mr. Mello, but do tell me I have some sort of base to work from.

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Avg HR
Cadence
1
0:07:09
1
7:09
140
88
2
0:08:50
1
8:50
141
90
3
0:09:15
1
9:15
141
90
4
0:09:23
1
9:23
140
90
5
0:09:18
1
9:18
142
90
6
0:09:17
1
9:17
140
91
7
0:09:15
1
9:15
141
90
8
0:09:16
1
9:16
142
90
9
0:09:20
1
9:20
144
91
10
0:09:24
1
9:24
143
91
11
0:01:33
0.16
9:44
143
90
Summary
1:32:05
10.16
9:03
141
90
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Mark B on Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:25 pm

Nice run, Tom. Weird about the Garmin.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  mul21 on Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:45 pm

Now that's more like it! A few more of those along with the core work and you'll be right back on track for a good effort in Chicago!
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Jim Lentz on Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:49 pm

Nice run Tom, other than the dog incident. If you upload the run and then look at the map you can often spot why the pace is off. Peggy and I ran together on the 4th of July and my first mile pace was too fast. When I looked at the map it showed I started ~.25 miles further back than I did. Starting in a heaviy tree covered area threw it off, although it was fine for the back portion of the run.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:21 am

Jim, you nailed it. I guess I was under the bridge when I hit start and that caused it to somehow choose it's own starting point for the run. Lesson learned I guess - at least until the next timeî„…
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Julie on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:25 pm

Good running, I don't know if I have any words of wisdom about avoiding injury. I'm sort of the opposite in that I do very little cross training because if the weather is at all suitable (no ice) I want to be outside running. Stretching after runs have helped me, but I know that is controversial, as well.

Sorry if I missed it, or just forgot, but what training program are you following? how far are you from qualifying for Boston (or were you the last marathon you ran)?
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:25 pm

@Julie wrote:Sorry if I missed it, or just forgot, but what training program are you following? how far are you from qualifying for Boston (or were you the last marathon you ran)?
Hey Julie, thanks for stopping by! Cross training is something new to me as well. For my 3 marathons I've run I've been like you, focused on the running only. During my last cycle for Eugene, I focused on building my aerobic base by doing low heart rate (LHR) work almost exclusively and ended up with a 24 minute PR that was 7 minutes short of Boston. With the new standards for 2013, that 7 is now 12 minutes. I did run a negative 7 minute back half split in Eugene and was able to finish with a really fun sprint, so I did have some gas in the tank. I also know from analyzing my training results that I have not yet maximixed building my aerobic base. Which leads to this training plan.

It is not a canned plan but rather one that takes elements of the Eugene cycle and modifies it. I'm continuing the LHR runs for the first half of the cycle and bolstering that with the cross training (swimming) to continue the aerobic base building. I've added in a 2x/wk Pilates session to work primarily on the core/hips/flexibility to a) help in injury prevention as the hips/flexibility issue is a contributor to my ITB issues and b) strengthen the center of my body to put me in a stronger position in the last half of the marathon. I then went over the top with a fairly aggressive cycling component as well, and that is what I believe did me in, so I've backed off that and am feeling stronger and the nagging injuries seem to be doing much better. I know that I'm in new territory and still pushing my body a bit, but I'm listening to it much better and won't hesitate to rest more or back off for a while if that becomes necessary. I'm not a subscriber to the 'no pain no gain' approach, but do believe one has to push the envelope to enable better performance.

So that is where I am as of today and the recent runs have been a lot of fun and resulted in some confidence building numbers. When I get about to the halfway point, I'm going to start slowly factoring in some MP runs during my sorta long midweek run, starting at 10% of the distance and peaking at 80% before heading into taper. And at some point here I will likely be looking for a Half to run just to keep the race juices flowing and to get a real calibration on the fitness level at that point.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Joel H on Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:45 pm

It has been a while since I have posted but looks like you are trying to pay attention to your body and doing the smart thing and backing off a bit of cross-training. I can't wait to see you cut another 12+ minutes off your time in Chicago.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Julie on Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:33 pm

wow on the 7 minute negative split! I had a few minutes off on a few marathons but never 7. Can you explain low heart rate training? I have heard a few others training with it but I guess I don't really understand it. Do you ever do speed work then?
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:47 pm

Julie, the LHR training concept is based on the premise that we have additional aerobic capacity that can be gained through specific training. In general, this means running at a pace that keeps your HR at or slightly below 70% of your max heart rate. This will drive the growth of mitochondria in your muscles that will allow for the better aerobic performance. There are a couple of different schools of thought on this, some of which keep you strictly at this level for your training, some that allow for a minimal amount of speedwork. Since I was using the LHR training also to minimize the chance of injury, I adopted the former approach and only near the end of the cycle did I run a few at the Initial Lactate Threshold HR just to make sure my legs remembered how to go fast and to give me the confidence I still could. Our resident expert here is Mark B and he can quote chapter and verse on this (and I'm confident he'll correct anything that I got wrong above Smile ). As I said in my post above, the results were way better than I had anticipated, so I'm a believer and am now using this for at least the first half of this cycle.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Kenny B. on Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:04 pm

Tom,

Playing a bit of catch up on your blog. I see you really have been diligent about your niggles etc. Nice to see how hard you are working towards being healthy and hitting your time goal. Something is working well based on the last few runs. Looking very strong!
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:13 pm

Thanks Kenny. This is really the beginning of the cycle now, even though I'm a few weeks in. I got my team reset last week and am refocused and eager.

Today 60min/LHR @143 max/cadence >90. Started out a bit fast but it didn't hurt me too bad. For whatever reason, I struggled with cadence today. Haven't had that crop up before, but did have a strenuous Pilates session yesterday evening, so I'll blame that. The average pace today was significantly improved, but I'm not reading much of anything into that as one data point does not a trend make - but I'm pleased to see it nonetheless.

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Avg HR
Cadence
1
0:08:40
1
8:39
133
89
2
0:08:37
1
8:36
139
91
3
0:08:51
1
8:50
143
89
4
0:09:04
1
9:03
142
89
5
0:09:19
1
9:18
143
89
6
0:09:26
1
9:25
142
90
7
0:05:51
0.64
9:12
143
92
Summary
0:59:48
6.64
9:00
141
90


I do think the cross training is having a positive effect. I'm feeling stronger at the end and after the runs than I used to, and the paces are significatly better (today aside even) at this point in the cycle than in the past.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Mark B on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:32 pm

@Tom H wrote:Julie, the LHR training concept is based on the premise that we have additional aerobic capacity that can be gained through specific training. In general, this means running at a pace that keeps your HR at or slightly below 70% of your max heart rate. This will drive the growth of mitochondria in your muscles that will allow for the better aerobic performance. There are a couple of different schools of thought on this, some of which keep you strictly at this level for your training, some that allow for a minimal amount of speedwork. Since I was using the LHR training also to minimize the chance of injury, I adopted the former approach and only near the end of the cycle did I run a few at the Initial Lactate Threshold HR just to make sure my legs remembered how to go fast and to give me the confidence I still could. Our resident expert here is Mark B and he can quote chapter and verse on this (and I'm confident he'll correct anything that I got wrong above Smile ). As I said in my post above, the results were way better than I had anticipated, so I'm a believer and am now using this for at least the first half of this cycle.

Hi Julie (and Tom). Tom got it nearly exactly right. The only thing I'd add to what he said was that it's a bit of a misnomer that none of the low heart rate training approaches allows anything uptempo. In fact, the biggest advocate for low HR work, Phil Maffetone, warns against becoming what he calls "anaerobially deficient" by doing too much low HR work. Once speed gains at your target low HR plateau, he says, it's time to introduce some anaerobic work. He advocates interval training, and while he's of the "little goes a long way" school of thought, he says that a little bit of anerobic work at the right time can spur a whole new round of improvements in low heart rate training.

You can learn more in Maffetone's book, High Performance Heart. He also touches on it in his treatise The Maffetone Method. You can get both books cheap used on Amazon.com.

Oh, BTW. Nice workout, Tom. With the hard workout the day before, it's not surprising today's run was a little tough.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Julie on Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:18 am

Thanks Mark and Tom both for the info. It is definitely something I don't know much about. I will have to read more about it.

Good work out, Tom. I think Pilates is great for increasing strength that really is functional (Sorry if I said that before). I remember when I worked in a nursing home and pushing beds out and helping people out of bed, and all that was just so much easier when I was doing just a little Pilates consistently.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Jim Lentz on Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:26 am

Nice run, Tom.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

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