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Building A Better Bumblebee

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Nick Morris on Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:02 pm

Good run today Mark. I like how you were able to pick it up for the second half. I am a fan of eating either a Quaker breakfast oatmeal bar or Nutrigrain Harvest Fruit and Oats bar at least an hour before my run.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:28 am

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Catching up on the week.  First, cool picture, though I honestly would've never guessed that was you.  I think the blur is giving you a bit of a curly look to your hair that is probably not actually there.  The overstriding doesn't look that bad, IMO.  I guess it depends where you were in your stride.  At least your foot isn't kicked straight out.

Re: your conditioning question...  Well, you're training for ultras again, right?  Or at least a 25k mountain race?  Hiking will come in handy and will be necessary, which would lead me to argue in support of it during your training.

Ha! That "curl" was just my locks whipping in the wind. I wasn't ever what anyone would call a "fast" runner, but there was a time when I was not so seemingly fixated on seeing how slow I can run... Wink

The stride comment was more of a joke, though I do know that I have had a tendency to propel myself forward by flinging my leg forward rather than the more common means. (Given that I have odd feet and no calf strength, maybe that makes sense.) I've seen plenty of photos with my leg kicked straight out, too.

Thanks for the thoughts on training effects.

@Nick Morris wrote:Good run today Mark.  I like how you were able to pick it up for the second half.  I am a fan of eating either a Quaker breakfast oatmeal bar or Nutrigrain Harvest Fruit and Oats bar at least an hour before my run.

Thanks, Nick! I might have to try something else. My stomach has always been a bit delicate in the morning. I rarely have trouble in a mid-morning run, but first thing? It's a crap shoot. Even carrots would come back on me sometimes. Now, it might be the coffee... but switching that out ... well... would be difficult.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:11 pm

And now for something completely different...

Dynamic Testing: 2.55 miles in two 1.27 mi repeats (NOT low HR)

Weather: Clearing, cool. About 46° Gear: Super-secret shoes, shorts, long-sleeved T.

My first trip to Nike in a while for a dynamic testing session. It was the usual drill, running in two different footwear conditions and then comparing and contrasting them for the analyst and developer. We did a 1.27-mile loop that includes a bit of a hill, which really gets the heart pumping on the uphill and gives you a chance to let it fly on the downhill.



Did I say "heart pumping"? Oh yes. I always treat running sessions at Nike as up-tempo work, and this was no exception. (I purposefully left my HR strap at home so as to not freak myself out.) My average pace for both legs of the run was just under a 9-minute pace (way faster than I have been running), though it includes slower bits going uphill and much faster bits heading down the other side. At one point, Mr. Garmin says I touched a 6:30 pace. Smile Mostly, though, I got down into the 7s.



My legs didn't seem to mind -- they did better when I consciously relaxed -- but my lungs and heart were objecting. I wasn't quite sucking wind, but it was close. All in all, a good workout. Luckily, I didn't suffer from hypoxia enough to prevent me from remembering how the shoes felt on.

Wrapped up the day with a bit of core work, with 5 minutes of storking per leg (the hard way) and 2x30 bridges. Annd... I just threw in 2x50 single-leg heel lifts (knee locked) on each side. Fluff seems worried that I'm considering going monoped, because, you know, it's bad enough that we went from 4 on the floor to 2. But 1? That's just wrong. Wink


Last edited by Mark B on Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:16 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:43 pm

As much as I like Maff as a method to not over due something, I think you can increase your HR a bunch and your heart will be none the worse for it.  You'll get it use to the higher HR in nothing flat.  But it's always fun to see how things pan out.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:55 am

@ounce wrote:As much as I like Maff as a method to not over due something, I think you can increase your HR a bunch and your heart will be none the worse for it.  You'll get it use to the higher HR in nothing flat.  But it's always fun to see how things pan out.

Even Maffetone doesn't advise using his approach ALL the time. He makes allowances for anaerobic training and racing.

He generally suggests not going anaerobic (his version of it, that is) during base training, so as to not short-circuit the adaptation process. (Because that can apparently happen.) A tiny bit every once in a while isn't going to hurt, though.

Interestingly, Maffetone says it's possible to become what he calls "anaerobially deficient" -- where you lack the ability to perform at a higher intensity due to too much slow work. The interval training he advocates for dealing with that isn't quite as lung-busing as some VOMax workouts I've seen.

I've never quite gotten to the point to where I'd do Maffetone intervals -- instead, I did Hadd's "initial lactate threshold heart rate" runs, which are essentially tempo-type runs where you target a higher heart rate and hold it at that point as your pace falls off. The better you adapt to it, the less the pace falls off. Then you ratchet the HR target up 5 bpm and start all over again. (Never had the patience to see that approach all the way through, either. Pesky races kept popping up.)
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Tom H on Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:30 pm

@Mark B wrote:
Interestingly, Maffetone says it's possible to become what he calls "anaerobially deficient" -- where you lack the ability to perform at a higher intensity due to too much slow work.
I believe him on this.  During the CIM training cycle I integrated speedwork after doing nothing but low intensity for most of the year and the body was not impressed.  HR skyrocketed during the efforts, but the good news is that recovery was super fast.  It didn't take long, though, for the HR to more match the effort.  Which leads to a question Mark, if you've gotten off the LHR bandwagon for a while, would you expect to see HR at slower paces higher by 5-10 beats than they were in the past?  That's what I'm seeing now and not sure if it is due to the change in training focus or something else.  Thoughts?
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  mul21 on Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:32 pm

Hijack: For some reason, this doesn't surprise me-

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:25 pm

@Tom H wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
Interestingly, Maffetone says it's possible to become what he calls "anaerobially deficient" -- where you lack the ability to perform at a higher intensity due to too much slow work.
I believe him on this.  During the CIM training cycle I integrated speedwork after doing nothing but low intensity for most of the year and the body was not impressed.  HR skyrocketed during the efforts, but the good news is that recovery was super fast.  It didn't take long, though, for the HR to more match the effort.  Which leads to a question Mark, if you've gotten off the LHR bandwagon for a while, would you expect to see HR at slower paces higher by 5-10 beats than they were in the past?  That's what I'm seeing now and not sure if it is due to the change in training focus or something else.  Thoughts?

I think what you're saying is that, after you returned to low HR training after a lapse into evil speed work (wink, wink), you noticed that you were back to running slower paces at your low HR target?

If that's the case, and all other things remain equal (terrain, weather, etc.) I'm afraid to tell you that yes, that is how it works. Getting those slow-twitchers conditioned and the mitochondria built is not a once-and-done process. If you don't stimulate them at that intensity, they get deconditioned. I've found that repeatedly over the years.

The upside is, it does come back. (Unless you do something wacky like I did and lower your HR target by 10 bpm, which means it comes back s-l-o-w-l-y.)

@mul21 wrote:Hijack: For some reason, this doesn't surprise me-


Ah yes, Portland. But you may be interested to know that this little park has been around much longer than Portland had its reputation for being overly precious hipster refuge. In fact, the parks's been around since 1948.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:

In 1948 the site that would become Mill Ends Park was intended to be the site for a light pole. When the pole failed to appear and weeds sprouted in the opening, Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, planted flowers in the hole and named it after his column in the paper, "Mill Ends" (a reference to leftover irregular pieces of wood at lumber mills). Fagan's office in the Journal building overlooked the median in the middle of the busy thoroughfare that ran in front of the building (then known as SW Front Avenue).

The park was dedicated on St. Patrick's Day, 1948, as "the only leprechaun colony west of Ireland," according to Fagan.


Read the whole entry here.

Portland annoys me at times (I grew up in Eugene, so that's to be expected), but this is kind of a hoot.

---

BTW, I took Tuesday as a rest day after maxing it out on Monday. I hope to get out for a walk at lunch this afternoon. It's been a busy few weeks (my boss is on a cruise), so my training has been somewhat improvised on the fly lately.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:53 pm

Walk: 2.3 miles

Weather: Low clouds, mild. 52 degrees

Nice day for a lunchtime walk, with mild temperatures and low clouds. Hard to imagine just how buried parts of the country are today.

I took it easy, working out whatever little kinks may have developed in my faster running Monday at Nike. It's funny to consider an average 9-minute pace fast, but considering what I have been doing lately, it was.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:30 pm

LOW HR Run: 90 minutes (6.27 miles)

Weather: Low clouds/fog, cool. 43° Gear: Lunas, lightweight pants, long-sleeved T, jacket, hat, gloves (shed). Fuel: Carried nuun in handheld.

This was my first low HR effort after my frolic at Nike on Monday, so it felt really weird to be out there in thin sandals and moving at such a slower pace. I headed out toward Llama Ridge, knowing I'd have to turn around before I got to Larry, Moe and Curly's place (though there a new llama about 2.5 miles out from my house, and sheep, and lambs). It's scenic country road that undulates but is relatively flat.


Nice scenery, too.

The first half was kind of depressing, especially since I checked back and realized I've been using this lowered target since Dec. 8. Not much obvious improvement, it seemed. Nevertheless, I've seen in previous efforts that it takes a while for the body to catch on before improvement really kicks in.

I hit the turnaround point (43:30 out from the house for a 90 minute run) about 20 feet farther than last time. Sheesh. I paused and took a few swigs of nuun -- I decided to start packing fluids again to see if it helps -- and headed back home. I noticed fairly quickly that I seemed to be getting into the rhythm I couldn't find in the first half. I was still quite slow, but I noticed that it didn't appear to be quite as slow as a week ago.

Last week: (6.07 mi)


This week: (6.27 mi)


By the time my Garmin hit 90 minutes, I'd gone 0.2 miles farther than last week! When I compared paces, I can see that a huge drop-off last week didn't happen this time. Still slower, of course, but not by as much. I know low HR training to know this is how the improvements begin -- you slow down less and less in later miles, THEN the first mile pace picks up. (I suspect having fluids probably didn't hurt, either.)

It appears that this is happening again, which is the sort of encouragement I needed.

Walked first and last 5 minutes. Average HR for entire run: 125
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:00 pm

I don't know how you can hold yourself back and run at those slow heart rates! I know the theory but I just don't have the control you do!!  That said I have tried to slow down my long runs this training period.

I also woke up to fog this morning...those nice warm sunny days were nice while they lasted.  I hate to even mention the weather we've been having while everyone east of us is struggling with cold and snow.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:18 pm

@nkrichards wrote:I don't know how you can hold yourself back and run at those slow heart rates! I know the theory but I just don't have the control you do!!  That said I have tried to slow down my long runs this training period.

I also woke up to fog this morning...those nice warm sunny days were nice while they lasted.  I hate to even mention the weather we've been having while everyone east of us is struggling with cold and snow.

If I said it was easy, I'd be lying. In fact, I am so unaccustomed to working that range of my "gear box" that simply running at that intensity/speed is physically difficult. I'm keeping at it by reminding myself that I'm just starting off at zero with this training -- which will be helpful as my body learns how to run in this new unshod or nearly unshod state. It'll help me not do more than I'm ready for.

Still...

Glad you got that sunny warm weather. We didn't. It was foggy and much colder in the valley most of those days. But it's not 3 feet of snow, either. That'd be a challenge for running. Smile
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:23 am

Hopefully the low HR training will get easier as your body adjust. It will take time, but you'll get there.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:33 am

@Nick Morris wrote:Hopefully the low HR training will get easier as your body adjust.  It will take time, but you'll get there.

That's what's been keeping me going, Nick.

I went back through my running logs, remembering that I briefly experimented with what I then termed ultra-low HR training while recovering from a marathon back in 2010. I did it for only a few weeks, but I noticed that the times were pretty close to what I've been seeing now. And that was after a full training cycle. So that suggests a big part of this is simply working muscle fibers in an unfamiliar way. They should respond.

The thing that intrigues me is the question of just how much they'll respond. When I started off in the 139 range, I was pretty slow, too, but I eventually got several minutes per mile faster. I could live with being able to run 10-minute miles at 129, just sayin'.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:58 pm

Took Friday as an unscheduled rest day when I woke up feeling off and spent much of the day thinking I was fighting off a bug. I aborted a treadmill run and cross training and even opted out of a walk at lunch, it felt so much like I was on the verge of catching the flu that's been going around so much here.

But when I woke up this morning? Nothing. Felt totally normal. Not complaining, but that was weird.

My best guess is I pushed myself harder than I thought in my little uptempo session on Monday, and that it caught up with me after my 90-minute run on Thursday. I normally take Saturday off, anyway, so I should be fresh for my Sunday morning run.

Better be. My training partner is feeling spunky and wants to do 10.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Tom H on Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:19 pm

Yeah, what's up with all the viral bugs going around this year - seems like a lot more than usual.  As you say, tough to say if you are beat down from training or coming down with something.  Sheesh.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:53 pm

@Tom H wrote:Yeah, what's up with all the viral bugs going around this year - seems like a lot more than usual.  As you say, tough to say if you are beat down from training or coming down with something.  Sheesh.

It definitely seems more than usual. Our paper has been choked with obituaries and death notices over the past month or so.

It seems that I was just tired, thank goodness. But I'm being careful and trying to wash my hands a lot.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:59 pm

LOW HR Run: 10 miles

Weather: Rainy, 39 degrees. Gear: Luna sandals, tights, T, pullover, jacket, hat, gloves. (just on the edge of being chilled once I got good 'n' wet. Fuel: Coffee and Grape Nuts before, nuun in handheld during.

My training partner's getting spunky and ambitious. He talked me into upping our Sunday run to 10 miles (we'd been at 7) this morning. I wasn't sure, based on how I felt  couple of days ago, but decided to give it a shot.

It rained the whole time, and the temperature was 39. I got somewhat chilled as the rain slowly soaked through my layers -- including a SportHill top that does a good job of retaining heat when wet -- but wonder of wonders, my naked feet were perfectly comfortable the whole time! Go figure. It helps that the sandals insulate the soles of my feet from the cold pavement, I suppose.


Also, this was the farthest I've run in sandals. Woot!

The run was slow, and it got a bit more challenging as time went on, but it was fine. We had to walk a number of times, especially climbing up from the greenway. But that was to be expected. Our walking kept my average heart rate just where I wanted it to be for the whole run.



Oddly, I got slightly lightheaded at one point and veered off the sidewalk onto a lawn. I was fine afterwards, though. Weird.

Walked first and last 5 minutes. Average HR for entire run: 126
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Tom H on Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:50 pm

Didn't your mom ever tell you not to go running in the rain?  And common sense not to do so when it's 39 degrees?  Oh, that's right, you're a runner - different rules!  I'm marveling at your ultra low HR runs these days.  I don't think I'd have the mental toughness to sustain that.  Does sound like it make for happy feet in your case.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Nick Morris on Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:02 pm

I'll trade my 0 degree windchill and winter storm warning for your 39 and rain...Go Hawks!!
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:23 pm

@Tom H wrote:Didn't your mom ever tell you not to go running in the rain?  And common sense not to do so when it's 39 degrees?  Oh, that's right, you're a runner - different rules!  I'm marveling at your ultra low HR runs these days.  I don't think I'd have the mental toughness to sustain that.  Does sound like it make for happy feet in your case.

Hey, Tom! What is this "common sense" of which you speak?

CO-mon sense. Co-MON sense. Sense. Hm.

Nope, not ringing any bells... Wink

The ultra-low heart rate is a mental and physical challenge. I know if I keep at it, though, the paces will improve. That will come in very handy.

@Nick Morris wrote:I'll trade my 0 degree windchill and winter storm warning for your 39 and rain...Go Hawks!!

I'd rather have 0° windchill and dry than being soaking wet at 39°. If I had to do it all the time, I might have a different opinion, of course...
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:27 pm

Like I've said before, a dry cleaning bag is the easiest way to provide a water repellant, it's easily removed, easily trimmed, AND it keeps you warm.  Pretty cheap, too.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:01 am

@ounce wrote:Like I've said before, a dry cleaning bag is the easiest way to provide a water repellant, it's easily removed, easily trimmed, AND it keeps you warm.  Pretty cheap, too.

Says the guy who suggested cutting off my little toe... Suspect

Some bummed out folks around here after the Pats snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Super Bowl (it was a darn fine pick, blast him). I'm not heavily emotionally invested in the Seahawks, but it would have been nice to see them repeat. Ah well.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:35 am

@Mark B wrote:
@ounce wrote:Like I've said before, a dry cleaning bag is the easiest way to provide a water repellant, it's easily removed, easily trimmed, AND it keeps you warm.  Pretty cheap, too.

Says the guy who suggested cutting off my little toe... Suspect

Some bummed out folks around here after the Pats snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Super Bowl (it was a darn fine pick, blast him). I'm not heavily emotionally invested in the Seahawks, but it would have been nice to see them repeat. Ah well.

Sorry, Mark, but the Pats deserved that after that wacky catch (and all the wacky ones in prior SBs where they lost).  Deflategate be damned.  I love that Kraft said "we won that game 45-7".  I agree, if they found the balls at half time and changed them, they still demolished the Colts.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:50 am

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Sorry, Mark, but the Pats deserved that after that wacky catch (and all the wacky ones in prior SBs where they lost).  Deflategate be damned.  I love that Kraft said "we won that game 45-7".  I agree, if they found the balls at half time and changed them, they still demolished the Colts.

That was a crazy catch, wasn't it? But Malcom Butler's goal line interception was a great heads-up defensive play. I'd say America got its money's worth out of this game, something you can't say about many Super Bowls. Had everybody on the edge of their seats until the very end. Congrats to the Patriots.

Oh, Deflategate. That bit of hyperballic (see what I did there?) media circus was just part of the pre-game hype, though it probably helped motivate the Pats in the big game. Wonder if they'll face any sanctions? I think it'd be appropriate. As far as the Colts game goes, just remember that Nixon didn't need to bug the Democratic National HQ to beat Mondale, either, but that wasn't really the point...

A very disappointing year for Pacific Northwest football fans, but we'll get other chances. And besides, we found out yesterday that a sweet and friendly stray cat that befriended us a week ago was adopted on Super Bowl Sunday and now has its very own home. That's a very good thing. cat

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