Jan 19, 2010

Training schedule for Nashville

Occurs to me that I meant to post this. I've just started week 3 of training for the Nashville Country Music Marathon. I play indoor soccer once a week (that's my Monday XT), I strength train 1-2X/week. Here's the running schedule to get me there.

01/04/10 XT
01/05/10 LT – 9 miles w/ 4 miles @ 15K-Half race pace
01/06/10 MLR – 11 miles
01/07/10 Recovery – 5 miles
01/08/10 General Aerobic – 9 miles
01/09/10 Recovery – 5 miles
01/10/10 MLR – 15 miles
Weekly Total 54 miles

01/11/10 XT
01/12/10 General Aerobic & Speed – 8 miles w/ 10x100 strides
01/13/10 MLR – 12 miles
01/14/10 Recovery – 5 miles
01/15/10 General Aerobic – 9 miles
01/16/10 Recovery – 5 miles
01/17/10 MP Run – 16 miles w/ 8 miles @ MP
Weekly Total 55 miles

01/18/10 XT
01/19/10 MLR – 11 miles
01/20/10 MLR – 13 miles
01/21/10 Recovery – 5 miles
01/22/10 LT – 9 miles w/ 4 miles @ 15K-Half race pace
01/23/10 Recovery – 5 miles
01/24/10 MLR – 15 miles
Weekly Total 58 miles

01/25/10 XT
01/26/10 General Aerobic & Speed – 9 miles w/ 10x100 strides
01/27/10 MLR – 14 miles
01/28/10 Recovery – 5 miles
01/29/10 MLR – 11 miles
01/30/10 Recovery – 5 miles
01/31/10 Long Run – 18 miles
Weekly Total 62 miles

02/01/10 XT
02/02/10 LT – 9 miles w/ 5 miles @ 15K-Half race pace
02/03/10 MLR – 14 miles
02/04/10 Recovery – 5 miles
02/05/10 MLR – 12 miles
02/06/10 Recovery – 5 miles
02/07/10 MP Run – 18 miles w/ 10 miles @ MP
Weekly Total 63 miles

02/08/10 XT
02/09/10 General Aerobic & Speed – 8 miles w/ 10x100 strides
02/10/10 MLR – 12 miles
02/11/10 Recovery – 5 miles
02/12/10 General Aerobic – 10 miles
02/13/10 Recovery – 5 miles
02/14/10 MLR – 15 miles
Weekly Total 55 miles

02/15/10 XT
02/16/10 LT – 10 miles w/ 5 miles @ 15K-Half race pace
02/17/10 MLR – 14 miles
02/18/10 Recovery – 5 miles
02/19/10 MLR – 11 miles
02/20/10 General Aerobic & Speed – 7 miles w/ 10x100 strides
02/21/10 Long Run – 21 miles
Weekly Total 68 miles

02/22/10 XT
02/23/10 Recovery – 6 miles (AM), 4 miles (PM)
02/24/10 MLR – 14 miles
02/25/10 Recovery – 5 miles
02/26/10 LT – 11 miles w/ 6 miles @ 15K-Half race pace
02/27/10 Recovery – 6 miles
02/28/10 Tune-Up Race, Last Chance for Boston Half-Marathon, 20 miles total
Weekly Total 66 miles

03/01/10 XT
03/02/10 Recovery – 6 miles (AM), 4 miles (PM)
03/03/10 MLR – 15 miles
03/04/10 Recovery – 6 miles
03/05/10 MLR – 13 miles
03/06/10 Recovery & Speed – 7 miles w 6x100 strides
03/07/10 MP Run – 16 miles w/ 12 miles @ MP
Weekly Total 67 miles

03/08/10 XT
03/09/10 General Aerobic – 9 miles
03/10/10 VO2 max – 9 miles w/ 6x800 @ 5K race pace, jog 50-90% interval time between
03/11/10 Recovery – 6 miles
03/12/10 MLR – 11 miles
03/13/10 General Aerobic & Speed – 8 miles w/ 10x100 strides
03/14/10 MLR – 15 miles
Weekly Total 58 miles

03/15/10 XT
03/16/10 Recovery – 6 miles (AM), 4 miles (PM)
03/17/10 MLR – 15 miles
03/18/10 Recovery – 6 miles
03/19/10 LT – 12 miles w/ 7 miles @ 15K-Half race pace
03/20/10 Recovery – 5 miles
03/21/10 Long Run – 22 miles
Weekly Total 70 miles

03/22/10 XT
03/23/10 VO2 max – 9 miles w/ 5x600 @ 5K race pace, jog 50-90% interval time between
03/24/10 MLR – 15 miles
03/25/10 Recovery & Speed – 7 miles w 6x100 strides
03/26/10 Recovery – 6 miles
03/27/10 Long Run – 18 miles
03/28/10 Tune-up race, Mercy Heart Mini-Marathon 15K, 9-13 miles total
Weekly Total 64-68 miles

03/29/10 XT
03/30/10 Recovery – 6 miles (AM), 4 miles (PM)
03/31/10 VO2 max – 11 miles w/ 6x1000 @ 5K race pace, jog 50-90% interval time between
04/01/10 MLR – 15 miles
04/02/10 General Aerobic – 8 miles
04/03/10 Recovery – 6 miles
04/04/10 Long Run – 20 miles
Weekly Total 70 miles

04/05/10 REST
04/06/10 VO2 max – 8 miles w/ 5x600 @ 5K race pace, jog 50-90% interval time between
04/07/10 MLR – 12 miles
04/08/10 Recovery & Speed – 6 miles w 6x100 strides
04/09/10 Recovery – 5 miles
04/10/10 8-10K tune-up race, 9-11 miles total
04/11/10 Long Run – 17 miles
Weekly Total 57-59 miles

04/12/10 REST
04/13/10 General Aerobic & Speed – 8 miles w/ 10x100 strides
04/14/10 Recovery – 4 miles
04/15/10 VO2 max – 8 miles w/ 3x1600 @ 5K race pace, jog 50-90% interval time between
04/16/10 Recovery – 5 miles
04/17/10 Recovery & Speed – 6 miles w 10x100 strides
04/18/10 MLR – 13 miles
Weekly Total 44 miles

04/19/10 REST
04/20/10 Dress Rehearsal – 7 miles with 2 miles @ MP
04/21/10 Recovery – 5 miles
04/22/10 Recovery – 4 miles
04/23/10 REST
04/25/10 REST, DRINK, EAT & CELEBRATE!!!!!

Jan 14, 2010

Weekend trip to train

So I've got this friend up in Wisconsin, and he's training for his first marathon this spring. He says I got him motivated to do it, but I'm not buying that. His wife is a triathlete, and I suspect seeing her compete had much more to do with his wanting to compete in endurance events than I did. In any case, he and I are a part of an actuarial discussion forum (Yeah, fascinating. I know) that has a "Health & Fitness" section where I said I'd be posting my training plan for Nashville. He came up with the great idea of traveling to each others' homes for a weekend to train together. That sounded awesome to me. Downright brilliant!

So on the weekend of March 19-21 I'll be in the Milwaukee area, running with Troy. I can't wait. I've never spent any time in the Milwaukee area. Just been there for a couple of Bucks games, so I'm looking forward to it. Plus, to have a good friend to get through these training sessions will be a big help. I remember last year sort of hitting a "training wall" about 12 weeks in. Not a fatigue wall, but more of a "I wish training was over and it was race day" wall. I was finding it tougher & tougher to get out the door. So these trips couldn't come at a better time in the schedule.

Then, he'll be coming to Cincy the following weekend, where we'll not only be training, but running a tune-up race. The Mercy Heart Mini-Marathon 15K. We'll actually be racing the day AFTER a 20-mile training run. That worried me slightly at first, but now, I think that's OK. My original training plan actually had an 8-15K tune-up race for Saturday, followed by an 18-miler the following day. Flipping that around, running 20 miles with Troy instead of 18, THEN racing will (instead of giving me an evaluation of my current fitness level) give me a lower bound of my current fitness level. I think I might prefer that. That should help me maintain a conservative approach. Add to that, he's never been to Cincy. So Susan & I are already thinking of things to do, places to eat, that are uniquely Cincinnati. Gotta think Skyline may be involved!

He booked his flight a few days ago, I did last night. It's official! I'm ready to go!  I'm thinking the next time we do this should be a weekend trip somewhere we'd both love to run, and "the queens" in our lives would love to visit.

Jan 11, 2010

Essential gear for winter running

IMO, I think training for my spring marathon is THE BEST. Living in Cincinnati, I get my share of winter weather. Freezing rain is the typically biggest problem. We seem to be right in that spot where too often it's snow an hour north of us, and rain an hour south. But we also get our fair share of days in the 20's with gusting winds. Personally, I love running in the cold, and wind, and snow. Hate driving in the snow, but I love running while it snows. Something really peaceful about it. Freezing rain? Can't think of a damn good thing to say about it.

The worst, and best, days are those when it's stupid-cold and crazy-windy. Especially when it's on your scheduled long run day. But you have to get out there, and get that run in. At least, I do. Sometimes, to make myself feel tough, I'll think of the scene in the move "Forrest Gump" when Lt. Dan is on the mast of the ship, with the storm raging all around him, and he yells at God, "Is that all you got?!?" and then shrieks like a madman, and I'll think that's me today. Is that all you got, God?!? Because if it is, it's not enough to keep me from finishing this run! And then I swear under my breath, look at my Garmin to see how much further I have to go, and wonder how I became so stupid as to be out there running! LOL.

Anyway, some of my friends have asked me at times what I consider as "essential gear" for training in the winter. Let me start by saying, get the right gear, and you too can love running when the mercury drop below 32.

Here's my bare essential list:

1) "Coldgear" tops to wear as a base layer. On top of that, a technical shirt or jacket. If it's REALLY cold, you might double up on the shirt/jacket.
2) Lined running pants. I even have one pair that is fleece lined, by Champion, for the coldest of days. They're a bit heavy, and you definitely run slower, but nothing gets through those. I try to get most of my running pants at TJMaxx, on the cheap.
3) Optional - 1-2 pair of running tights, for cold but not freezing days, or to wear under a light pair of pants that aren't warm enough by themselves
4) Wind briefs for long runs on windy days. For guys, this is REALLY important, trust me. Nothing worse than feeling like you can't run b/c your ballz are frozen and the wind is making it infinitely worse (I recommend the ones from Brooks, but there are several brands out there that you can find online. Running stores often carry them this time of year too.)
5) Smartwool socks
6) Fleece hats & gloves (more than one of each). You'll want to be able to put on DRY hates & gloves to start every run. Do not underestimate the importance of these. For me, nothing makes a run more miserable than ice-cold hands or freezing ears.
7) Sunglasses, not b/c the sun or the glare from the snow is so bright, but to keep your eyes from watering when running into a stiff headwind.
8) More than one pair of running shoes, so you can alternate b/w them. This is especially important if you often find your shoes are wet after a run.
9) Balaclava (not entirely necessary, but I'm a big fan of them now for those really windy days)

That's it, you're ready to run in the coldest of weather and ENJOY it.

Jan 10, 2010

Chocolate #9

I had heard a lot about this product. All of it good. But when I was first made aware of Chocolate #9 I was already in the midst of my training for Indy. So I followed the advice that any runner would give...don't go trying something new. Stick with what you know. So I waited.

A few days ago, I bought the "trial pack". 3 packets for $4.99, delivered to my house. It arrived lickity-split and so I was able to test it on my long-run today.

I got one word to describe it...AWESOME. You want me to use two words? Alright. FREAKIN' AWESOME! And here's the kick, I'm not even that big of a chocolate fan. But this stuff tastes great, and seemed to work pretty well. Great consistency, great flavor. It's actually so good, I would take one in the middle of the afternoon as a pick-me-up snack. Forget 5-hour energy drinks, Monster, Red Bull, etc. I'd rather have a #9 packet.

If you haven't heard of the product, you can find it here. http://www.chocolateenergygel.com/

Seriously, try it.