Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Running Recap (mileage totals).

December ended up being my lowest mileage month for the year! Total mileage was only 61 miles (I only ran 9 days the whole month). That brought the mileage for the year up to 1175 just missing the 1200 mark. My average run over the year was just about 7 miles per run.

Here are some of the highlights from the year:
Boston Marathon in April 3:13:56
Newhall July 4th 5k (18:20).
Breaking 20 minutes (19:57) on the Pelona Vista Cross Country course (3 mile).
Aqueduct half marathon time trial in Ocotober (1:24:33).
Topanga Turkey Trot 15k (1:14:05) 11th place!
Mile time trial in December (5:14).

Some of my favorite workouts from the year included:
18 mile fast finish on the aqueduct on March 2.
Grass Mountain intervals on August 17.
Grass Mountain race man vs. bike September 6.

Now it is time to look forward to 2009.
Here are some of my goals for the year.
1. I will run 1500 miles in 2009.
2. I will run 4:55 mile (1600m) by the end of May 2009.
3. I will run a sub 18 min 5k by the end of 2009 (Palmdale Turkey Trot).
4. I will run a 2:55 marathon at the CIM in Sacramento December 6, 2009.
5. I will run 30 miles for my 30th birthday in July.

Here is an article that I wrote for this months HDR newsletter on goal setting.

Setting goals for 2009

During my professional career I have read articles and talked to employers who say they like to hire runners! Even in my own interviews with future employers, my running has been a positive mark on my likelihood for employment. Their reasoning is simple: Runners know how to set goals. They know that it takes hard work to attain those goals. Furthermore, they are typically consistent and dependable on a day to day basis making the “baby steps” towards the big picture. Yes, its time to starting looking towards the new year and set goals for where we would like to be and what we would like to do. Many of the readers of this article probably have some sort of goal in mind for their running for the upcoming year, and if not you may be soon. The purpose of this article is to help you set attainable and realistic goals.

First, I recommend writing your goals down, that way you can see them and read them. Start your goals with “I will” instead of “I would like to.” This makes certain that you are dedicated to this goal. Also write down a date of when you want to accomplish your goal.

Next tell your family and friends about your goals. They will help keep you accountable on days that you don’t feel like going out on your long run. Then post your goal around your house and work area so that you see it and read it often. The more you say the goal the more you will believe it will happen. Keeping a running journal or training blog is a good way to keep track of your progress.

The most difficult part of goal setting is making them realistic and attainable. It is hard to predict what you will run for your first marathon. My first marathon I had no idea how to predict what I would run. Before training for a marathon I had never run more than 14 miles at once. I didn’t want my goal too high and then be disappointed if it was not met. I also wanted to make it challenging enough that I would be proud of my accomplishment when it was met. I predicted 3:20-3:30 and ran 3:15.

Now there are calculators online that can help you predict what your potential times for other distances might be based on a recent race time. Input your last 5k time and it will give you equivalent efforts for other distances. The formulas are based on physiological research and comparing times of different runners. Some not only predict equivalent times but also give you your specific training paces for certain workouts. I have found some to be very accurate. Here are my favorites: also has a training calculator that you can use and then plug into their SmartCoach tool that will give you a training plan to work with.
Remember these calculators give you a prediction of potential to base you goals on. You still have to train for that specific race and goal time.

The great Yogi Berra once said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.”
Happy running in 2009!
Karl Stutelberg, PT

Finally, here is Dr. Maharam (Runners World's running doc) list of medical resolutions for runners for 2009.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

7 mile easy run (53:55)

A week later I got another run in. This morning it was about 27 degrees when I left. I just wanted to get out there and run for an hour before Thursday's long run. I ran 7 miles at an average pace of 7:42. It was an evenly paced easy run.

Do you have a cold? Wondering if you should exercise through it? The answer is YES! Read about it here. Dean Karnazes says YES in his new book too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

No Sleep...No mileage

I have been in Henderson, NV over the long Christmas weekend. We have had a great time spending time with family. My brother got married on December 26th and I was the best man! It was a great day!

The boys have had a blast with two sets of grandparents and have had fun playing with new Christmas presents, but have not been sleeping well at all!

Micah seems to be teething and Matt wakes up when Micah is crying since we are all sharing a room. Consequently, neither Andi nor I have gone out on a run while here. Sometimes that is the way it goes.

I did get a new Ironman watch and some new Nike pants and long sleeved shirt for Christmas. Can't wait to try them out!

Planning a good hard run on New Years Day with training partners Clay and Dale. Plans are being finalized currently, but will be between 10 and 13.1 miles at 7:30 to 8:00 pace.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

8.5 miles marathon pace (61:30)

I ran this morning for 8.5 miles to even out my 6.5 miles on Sunday. The course was around Lane Park and back with a little added around the neighborhood. After a mile warm up I settled in close to marathon pace for the rest of the run (6:45 to 7:00) and ended the run in 61:30 (avg pace 7:14. It was a nice morning, not as cold as I thought it would be, and just a slight breeze from the west. I finished the workout with 4x150m accellerations in front of the house.

"If you run 100 miles a week, you can eat anything you want -- Why? Because (a) you'll burn all the calories you consume, (b) you deserve it, and (c) you'll be injured soon and back on a restricted diet anyway." --Don Kardong

Sunday, December 21, 2008

6.5 miler (48:56) recovery run

Stayed up too late last night to get up early enough for a long run. Split time with Andi before church to try and both get in a run. I ran to the hill at the end of 45th and did a loop up the hill twice, then back home for 6.5 miles in 48:56 (avg pace 7:32) Last 2.5 miles were under 7:10 pace. My calves were tight from the near all out effort on the track yesterday, but not too bad (symmetrical soreness as I like to call it).

After looking back in the blog archives again i noticed that my VDOT for the half marathon time trial on October 26, 2008 (1:24:33) was 55 compared to my VDOT for yesterdays performace, which was 56. So maybe I am still improving over time even with some fairly random and inconsistent training.

Update: Based on Runnersworlds age-grade calculator (which levels the playing field based on age) Clay and I put out almost identical performances on Saturday. He scored 70.7 and I scored 70.9. To read more about the age grade system click here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

1600m time trial Karl 5:14, Clay 5:57

Clay and I decided to meet Saturday at Joe Walker Middle School earlier in the week to help each other on a 1600m time trial. After a good warmup (it was about 50 degrees but a cold wind on the back stretch) Clay ran his mile. He was hoping to break 6 minutes. I ran the last 800m with him and he came in at 5:57. I then did some accelerations on the track and got ready for my mile. I was hoping to break 5:20 but didn't know if it could be done today. Although I was well rested having not run since Wednesday. Clay ran ahead of me on the back stretch for the 3rd and 4th laps as I like to have someone to chase. It helped me stay focused on the second half of the run. My splits were 75.5, 80, 80, 78.5 for a 5:14 mile! (VDOT=56). See Clay's blog for pictures. Today was really just a base line for the spring. I would like to drop 20 seconds off that time by the end of May. Total mileage with warm up and cool down today was 5 miles.

I looked back at Clay's blog from last year and I ran 5:23 on September 18, 2007. I haven't run as fast as I did today in 6 or 7 years, and it felt easier than a year ago.

Here are two videos from Coach Chapman with Team Indiana Elite about their core circuit workout that reminds me a lot of the workout we presented on at our last running clinic, besides the dynamic stretching. This is worth a watch.
Video One (The Workout)
Video Two (The Interview)
Coach Chapman describes the benefits of his workout well stating in one 24 minute workout his athletes get general strength training, neuromuscular training, and cardiovascular training. He also states this circuit workout allows his athletes to run more mileage, faster workouts, more workouts per week, and recover quicker. Sound familiar? It sure is cool that some coaches are starting to GET IT!
Mountain climbers and burpees are part of the routine. They are even doing "kettlebell squats" with a handled medicine ball! Although most of their exercises look pretty easy!

Finally, a link to an abstract from a recent article in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research linking less flexibility to better running economy, of course these are all fairly balanced collegiate runners.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

4x1mile cruise intervals, just beating the snow!

I didn't get out to do my threshold pace run yesterday so last night I checked the weather and there was a chance for rain/snow but little wind so I decided to bump the workout to today. I did a 2 mile warm up then 4x1mile cruise intervals (threshold pace) with 1 minute recovery in between, followed by a mile cool down. It is a great workout. My cruise intervals were 6:22, 6:17, 6:16, 6:10. My calves were a little tight, but other than that I felt great. I planned the route such that I didn't have to run into the wind/light rain for more than half of any interval. The rain was light but cold and felt like small sleet or hail. I finished the 7 miles in 49:22 (avg pace 7:03). The temp when I started was 37 degrees (felt nice) but by the time I finished it was 34 degrees and starting to snow.

As I write this at 1:30pm on my lunch it is still snowing. It has not stopped for the last 6.5 hours. I went home for lunch and here is what the house looked like. I took the boys out for a quick photo. See for more pictures.Update: The snow finally stopped this evening. It snowed for more than 12 hours! See our snowman here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

10 mile long run (1:11:56)

It was a little windy this morning but not enough to keep me inside. The low temp last night was about 25 degrees which is pretty cold for us socalers. I felt really good out the door this morning and was cruising at 7:30 pace even on the uphill miles. I got in 10 miles total in 1:11:56 (avg pace 7:11) which was my long run for the week.

Mile splits were 7:40, 7:21, 7:20, 7:15, 7:22, 7:07, 7:03, 6:56, 6:47, 6:56. Again it is always up hill for the first half and downhill on the way home. The route was a long rectangle with the turn around point being N and 55th W.

100% chance of rain all day tomorrow. 70% chance of rain on Wednesday with the possibility of snow during the colder hours.

Tuesday morning should be a good time to run. I will probably do a threshold run that morning.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

8 mile treadmill fast finish (58:34)

Due to higher winds and colder temperatures I stayed inside today on my treadmill. I wanted to get and hour run in if possible. I ran the first 4 miles at about 7:30 pace, the next 2 at 7:15 pace, then a 6:50 and a 6:40 mile to finish. It felt pretty easy on the treadmill (avg pace 7:19). I kept the grade at 2.0 (flat). There is supposed to be wind and rain off and on the next 5 days so I may hit the treadmill a few more days this week.

Congratulations to Clay Patten who ran a 41:34 at the Santa Monica 10k. I guessed 41:30, so I was pretty close. A good confidence builder as he has taken off 3 minutes in less than 2 years including injury. With a mileage build up he should be ready to run a fast half marathon this spring.

Jordan Hasay won the Footlocker HS Cross Country Championships today. There were 3 returning champions in the girls race and it looked like she sat back and kicked to win in 17:22. A great way to cap off an amazing high school cross country career. See the interview with the winner here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

After a week off I'm back 5mi (37:24)

I was recovered from the flu by Tuesday but I have no excuse for Wed. and Thurs. I finally got out for a run this morning. It has been cold out here with lows in the mid 20s which is part of what kept me in bed this week. Today it was very cloudy and looked like it might rain, but the temp when I left was 40 degrees. I had a great run on the level surfaces around my neighborhood. I ran 5 miles in 37:24 (avg pace 7:29).

Good luck to Clay tomorrow running the Santa Monica Christmas 10k, sub 42min for sure!

The 30th footlocker highschool championships is this weekend in San Diego, CA. It is amazing how many of these kids went on to become Olympians. Check out this video with interviews with past runners who went on to great things.

Visit For More Videos

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sick Stutelbergs Stay Inside

For those of you wondering why I didn't post this weekend, it is because the whole family had some form of a flu type virus, even though we all had flu shots. No mileage for any of the Stutelbergs this weekend.

Congratulations to my buddy Ron Gallagher for finishing the Las Vegas Half Marathon in what I believe is a PR (2:13:08).
His dad also ran a PR and his wife Julie finished strong after recovering from being sick that week.

Jordan Hasay won the Footlocker West Regional at Mt. SAC this weekend. It was a slow tactical race to qualify because Nationals is in one week. She is the only person ever to win Regionals 4 years in a row. Check out the pictures and results here.
I think I would be intimidated if I was in high school and one of the other runners in my race was wearing a USA singlet.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

4 slow recovery miles

I ran only 4 miles this morning and I really didn't want to go any farther even if I had the time. My legs are still tight from the race this weekend. The most sore part of my body was my feet. The small muscles in my feet are not used to working that hard to react and balance on the trail. They usually don't even have to think as most of my runs are on level road. They were feeling better this afternoon. The four miles took me 34:25 (just over 8:30 pace).

The Las Vegas Marathon is this weekend. My buddy Ron Gallagher and his wife Julie are running the half this weekend. It will be Ron's third half marathon this year! Before this year he had run zero half marathons. Good luck Ron & Julie, can't wait to hear all about it.

Some words of advice: learn from my mistakes. I ran my second fastest marathon at Las Vegas in 2006 (3:04:12), but I could have PR'd had I not made the rookie mistake of going out too fast, and it was my 5th marathon.
My first 10k was 39:56 (6:25 pace)
My half split was 1:25:42 (6:32 pace)
My 30K time was 2:05:35 (6:44 pace) This must be my 30k PR!
If I had maintained that 30k pace for 8 more miles I would have run 2:56!

I felt great for 15 to 16 miles but then hit a major wall at about 19 miles and finished in 3:04:12, which means my second half was 1:38:30!
You WILL feel great for the first half of the race. Don't let those feelings take you out too fast. Stay within yourself and know your goal pace (Garmin makes this easier with virtual partner), even running a little slower for the first quarter of the race is ok. As Clay would say, "You must respect the distance."

My three fastest marathons are Grandma's (2:58), Las Vegas (3:04), and Boston (3:13). Of those three my slowest first 10k was 42:36 (6:51 pace) at Grandma's where I PR'd (2:58:37). At Boston my first 10k was 41:50 (6:44 pace). Both of these races were very evenly paced (I went out in 1:28 at the half in both races) until the last 10k in Boston were cramping issues did me in. At Grandma's my first 10k was 42:36 and my last 10k was 43:35. Talk about even! The stars were aligned that day.

This is the last year that the Las Vegas Marathon will be put on by Devine Racing (the company that just sold the LA Marathon to pay off their debts). Next year the Las Vegas Marathon will be the Rock n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon, and they think they can draw 30,000+ runners. This is probably the best move in the history of the Las Vegas Marathon. Very exciting. The Rock n' Roll group knows how to put on successful races. Read all about it here and here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Race Results and Monthly Totals

Here is a link to the Topanga Turkey Trot 15k race results.
Why is my age 30 you ask? Because the race series goes into 2009 they take your age at the end of 2009. I move up an age group early!

Here is a link to a picture of me at the finish line.

Monthly total mileage for November was 110.
Total mileage for the year so far is 1124 which is the distance from Lancaster, CA to Seattle, WA.

Recovery week this week. Although I'm not as sore as I thought I would be. That strength training pays off again.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Topanga Turkey Trot 15k (1:14:05) 11th place!

I ran the Topanga Turkey Trot 15k this morning with my college buddy Arnie Camp. There were near perfect conditions with about a 50 degree temp at the start. The race was at Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park, about 7.5 miles south of the 101 freeway.

Xterra puts on a socal trail race series with one race per month and gives out overall awards at the end of the series. They put on a great race including a 5k, 10k, and 15k today. Most people ran the 15k.

The race course was much more challenging than I expected. The first two miles were steep uphill on a fire road. After that we started down hill on a single track trail with switch backs and very low brush that anyone over 5ft tall would have to duck under and this went on for the next 3 miles. I got knocked in the head by branches on multiple occasions and at one point a large branch knocked my hat off and the runner behind me picked it up and gave it to me. I think my hat got dirtier than my shoes. See picture.
There was no room to pass but people were courteous about asking to pull over. A group of three of us packed together with me leading through the dense brush. I was only passed by one runner on this portion. This down hill was so technical that you couldn't make up time from the slow uphill start.

Finally, at the 5 mile mark we got off the single track, and we were all happy to start running uphill again as our quads were pretty shot by now. It was a steady uphill climb for the next two miles to the second peak and I ran with Terry Crocker, who I met after the race. Together we maintained a 7:30 pace up the hill until the last quarter mile which really got steep.

We were caught by two or three other runners at the top of the hill and with 2 miles to go I decided to see what I had left in my quads on the downhill (I will probably pay for this tomorrow). I lead the pack that I was running with down the hill to the finish and never looked back. I even caught another runner right before the finish line.

My finishing time was 1:14:05 (just under 8:00 average pace). I was 11th out of at least a hundred or so runners, and about 5th in my age group. The 10th place runner was 2 minutes ahead of me so I had no chance of catching him and making the top 10 (he was 51 years old by the way). My buddy Arnie finished in 1:17 and change and was 18th place. The winner set a course record and broke 1 hour! There was no one close to him. He must have been a short guy.

To put the difficulty of this race into perspective I should be able to run a 15k on level road in under an hour at my threshold pace. This course took me 15 minutes longer.
I knew it would be slow when I hit my 10k in 54:20!

After the race they put on a nice breakfast spread including scrambled eggs, bananas, oranges, muffins, croissants, and coffee. I would recommend an Xterra trail run to anyone looking for a challenging trail run.

I decided to have my Garmin take 1k splits since it was a 15k race. You can really tell how difficult certain parts of the race were when looking at the 1k splits: 5:24, 5:23, 5:32, 4:56, 4:42, 4:59, 6:25, 6:34, 5:12, 5:13, 4:27, 3:38, 4:54, 3:31, 3:15. The Garmin 305 was right on at the finish at 15k or 9.3 miles.

My 5k splits were 25:57, 28:23, and 19:05.
Total elevation ascent was 2470ft.

It was a lot of fun.
See the elevation profile here.

New local races for the rest of the year posted here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day 10k

This was not a USATF officially sanctioned race or course, just me running a Garmin measured 10k. The rain has passed but it is still cloudy. My time was 43:54 (avg 7:05). Mile splits were 7:43, 7:14, 7:05, 6:48, 6:53, 6:49. I guess you could call it a marathon pace run.

Two years ago we started a family turkey run pushing Matt in the jogger.
Last year we had a newborn, Micah, and didn't go running as a family.
This year Matt is sick with a fever and congestion so we missed the family run again.
Hopefully next year we will take the kids out in the jogger all together.

Here is the picture from 2 years ago.

Here is another turkey day family running picture from 2004 at the Arena 5k in Minneapolis.
My dad and my sister ran again this year but it is now called the Lifetime Fitness Turkey Day 5k.
Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving Day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cruise Intervals! Best 30 min workout!

I had 30 minutes this morning and wanted to get in a quality run. I was hoping to spend some time at threshold pace without over doing it. It was similar to last week but shorter intervals and less rest. The workout turned out to be a great quality workout and it was completed in just over 30 minutes.

After a mile warm up I did 5x 1/2 mile at threshold pace with 30 seconds rest in between them and finished with a mile cool down.
My times were 3:10, 3:12, 3:06, 3:06, 3:10 and that 30 seconds rest sure goes by fast after 4 of them.

I finished with 3x150m accels.
The total mileage was 5 miles in 36:05 (avg 7:13 pace).

Cruise Intervals are done at threshold pace, or comfortably hard, 90% vVO2max / Heart rate. The idea is just to break up a longer threshold run to make it a little more manageable. Usually rest should be only 1 min/mile intervals. Jack Daniels recommends no more than 30-60 seconds rest. This short rest keeps lactic acid levels constant. Since I was only doing half mile intervals then my rest was only 30 seconds. In other words I could have run 2.5 miles at 6:20 pace, but breaking it up gave me a short mental break.

If you only have 30 minutes and want a quality workout try this: 8 minute warm up, then 5x (3min comfortably hard followed by 30sec easy), finsh with 8 minute cool down. Total 33:30 workout.

Here is what Jack Daniels, PhD. has to say on cruise intervals:
"Plenty of scientific evidence, not to mention common sense, tells you that you can run longer at a certain pace if you take short rests than you can by running that pace nonstop, as in tempo running. This type of intermittent run/rest approach also reduces the stress level of training. No wonder the concept many years ago gave rise to interval training - probably the world's most popular form of high-level athletic training.

Now the same idea brings us a newer, more effective form of training - cruise intervals. Simply put, cruise intevals are a type of threshold-pace running in which you divide the workout into several segments that are separated by recovery periods. As a result, the lactic acid level in your blood remains quite constant, the same as in a steady tempo run. (I have actually tested this with my runners, and found it to be true even when they were running 6 miles of cruise intervals.)

A typical crusie-interval session should include a warmup, the cruise intervals and a warmdown. I generally recommend the 1-mile distance for cruise intervals but believe that any distance from 1/2 mile to 2 miles (3 minutes to 10 minutes of hard running per interval) would prove equally effective. The short rest between intervals is essential to the workout; it should last only 30 to 60 seconds.

How many cruise intervals can you do on each hard day? The general rule of thumb is that your cruise intervals should total no moare than 8 percent of your total weekly mileage. If you run 20 miles a week, do about 1 1/2 miles of cruise intervals; if you run 50 miles, do about 4 miles. Generally my athletes run just one cruise interval session per week.

Don't let a low or moderate weekly mileage total hold you back. Cruise intervals can prove particularly effective for runners in the 15- to 30- miles-per-week range. For example, a 20-mile-per-week runner might do 3 x 880 yards at threshold pace with 60-second recovery jogs between the 880s. Cruise intervals also make an excellent transition from a steady-running program to one that includes more demanding workouts."

The rest of the article is here. Check it out.

Greg McMillan says of cruise intervals:
"The Cruise Interval workout was popularized by the running coach, Jack Daniels. They, like the other Stamina workouts, are meant to increase your lactate threshold pace. Cruise Intervals are like shorter and slightly more intense tempo intervals. They last three to eight minutes and the pace is between 8K and 12K. Like tempo intervals, they are followed by short recovery jogs (30 seconds to 2 minutes). You'll probably find that it's easy to run too fast on these. The tendency is to treat them like regular long intervals. However, keep it under control and work on a smooth, fast rhythm. Control in training is key to improvement." Read his article here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

12 mile long run in Quartz Hill (1:37:15)

I wanted to get in a 12 mile run today to push my weekend total over 20 miles. I don't even know the last time I got in a 20 mile weekend. This was also my third day running in a row. I can't even tell you the last time I ran three days in a row. Needless to say my legs were pretty tired from the get go this morning. My pace was considerably slower than usual but I was more concerned with putting in the time on the road today.

It was a tough run. My legs were pretty tired from the hills yesterday and I picked a hilly route through Quartz Hill. I didn't eat before my run either so I had no extra energy. My average pace over the 12 miles was 8:06. I will take tomorrow off.

Dean Karnazes wrote about hill running in his new book. He says you can coast up hills or attack them. When coasting up hills you would try and keep your heart rate from increasing by more than 10 beats per minute. When attacking hills you run at a "hard but manageable effort," which I think is probably similar to a threshold type effort.
He also talks about steep hill sprints which are short bout maximum efforts similar to interval training, which is what I have been doing once a week. See yesterday's post. Dean says, "steep hill sprints build a more powerful stride" which is true. They are very effective for improving running economy (RE). Uphill workouts also provide less pounding on the body with the same or greater cardiovascular stress. Unfortunately, Sir Isaac Newton was right, what goes up must come down. Running downhill causes much more pounding and stress on the musculoskeletal system due to the braking forces involved. You could walk down the hill forward or even backward to minimize the stress on the quadriceps. The problem then becomes rest time between repetitions. You get more rest if you are walking down the hill. If the goal of the workout is to stress VO2max then I think you must jog down the hill to limit the rest interval to at most 1.5x the work interval. If the goal is maximum effort anaerobic sprints for stride power and running economy (which can be as short as 10-15 seconds and should be no longer than 45-60 seconds) then walking downhill is appropriate for a work to rest ratio of 1 to 3.

In my opinion hill running is a weakness for many runners and should be addressed in all training programs. I used to dread hills in races but now I know that I can use them to my advantage and I enjoy adding hill workouts to my training. I really feel like I got a workout after a good hard day of hills.

My colleague Clay Patten did some steep hill sprints today on 70th up to the aqueduct. See some pictures of his run here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

6x 1/4 mile hill intervals with 3mi WU/CD

I did my hill workout this morning the same as November 13, except I only did 6 repeats due to limited time. I did a 3 mile warm up to the hill, then 6x intervals up the hill, then 3 mile cool down back home.

My times on the hill were a little faster this week. I ran 1:33, 1:37, 1:36, 1:37, 1:37, 1:34.

Based on the elevation profile the total elevation change from the bottom to the top is about 90ft in a 1/4 mile, which equals an average grade of 7%. Not super steep but still challenging to run hard, especially the last 50m or so, which is the steepest.

Total mileage for the day was 9 miles in 66:50 (avg pace 7:25).

I felt good the rest of the day.

One week until Topanga Turkey Trot. The race is SOLD OUT!
I think I have a good shot at being in the top 10. The winner last year in the 15k was in 1:03.

Friday, November 21, 2008

5.7 mile warm up for 800m in 2min40sec

For those of you counting this IS my 150th post.

This morning I had time for a six mile run. I normally don't run on Fridays but I was experiencing runners' guilt from not running yesterday. I can usually tell how the run is going to go based on my first mile split and today was 8:15 which in the cold (38 degrees is cold for us west coasters) was pretty good (usually I am between 8:20-8:30 for my warmup mile).
I ran up the hill at the end of 45th twice and then came home. I realized that I would be a little over 6 miles on the way back and felt really good, so I decided to see what I could run the last half mile in. I ended up running 2:40 for the last half mile and ended the 6.2 miles (10k) in 44:17 (avg pace 7:07). I felt REALLY good and based on that last half mile I think I could easily go under 5:20 for a mile.
I also saw a coyote at 45th and K-8 on the way home.

ATTN Dale: Here is 26 tips for your best marathon from runnersworld.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Threshold run: total 7 miles (50:19)

I haven't done much hard training in November so far. If you look back there is a lot of easy runs. I started my weekly hill workout last week and the last day I did a threshold run was on November 8th at the Palmdale 5k. I was itching to do some faster running and decided to stay close to home. I did a 1.5 mile loop warm up and then ran 3x1 miles at threshold pace with 1min 15sec recovery jog between them, then did a half mile in 2:58, and finished with a 1.5 mile cool down. My miles were 6:26, 6:13, and 6:15. The roads are very flat around my house and they are set up in a nice grid pattern which makes estimating mileage easy (I don't have to keep looking at my Garmin until I know I am close). For example: My second threshold pace mile was on J from 50th to 40th.

Total mileage was 7 miles in 50:19 (avg pace 7:11). Next time I will add another mile to that workout.

In the runningtimes news Ryan Hall has announced that he will run the Boston Marathon in 2009. The last American to win the Boston Marathon was Greg Meyer in 1983! He can use his Beijing Olymipic Marathon time for his qualifying time..he he. I guess that means he won't be running in the Flora London Marathon next year, since it is 6 days later. My advice: Add some good hills late in your long runs Ryan!

Addendum: The fires in southern California caused a cancellation of the Pasadena Marathon this weekend due to very poor air quality. I hope they can rebound for next year as this was the inaugural running.

Finally a link to Greg McMillan's core training for runners DVD, that looks to be very similar to Clay and my strength training routine.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 mile Sat. (1:17:27); weekend in Lone Pine

I got up early on Saturday for a 10 mile run with a goal of turning around at M and 70th West (almost as high as you can get without going up on the aqueduct). The pace was comfortable averaging 7:44. As usual it is uphill on the way out and downhill all the way home.

Mile splits were 8:11, 8:15, 8:08, 8:06, 8:07, (then the turn around), 7:36, 7:19, 7:20, 7:16, 7:04.
Total ascent 820ft.

My left hamstring was sore for the rest of the day but is fine today.
The highlight of the weekend was Saturday morning we left town for Lone Pine, CA (the portal to Mt. Whitney). Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the contiguous United States. We didn't go to the top (it is a pretty intense 11 miles to the top and at 14,505ft is not for children), but we did drive up to see the trail head (8,360ft) and went up the first few feet of trail. The trail head area is also the finish line of the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135 mile race from Badwater in Death Valley, CA which is 282ft below sea level. In other words the lowest point on the country to the trailhead of the highest summit in the country. It was beautiful weather this weekend with the highs in the mid 70s in Lone Pine.
While we were in Lone Pine we also did some picnicking, rock scrambling, hiking, eating, playing, tricycling, sliding, and picture taking.See the Stutelberg Scoop for more pictures.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

8x 1/4 mile hill intervals with 3mi WU/CD

I finally got a round to starting my weekly hill workouts today. I ran over to 47th and L-14 (about 3 miles). This is the start of the steeper portion of the closest hill to my house.

I did 8x 1/4 mile repeats up the hill with about 2:15 min rest running back down the hill.
My times were all 1:39 except the first (1:45) and the forth (1:38).

I was sore to start, ok on the run, now sore again in both hamstrings from yesterday's circuit workout with kettlebell exercises. I realized I haven't used kettlebells in about a month and I am feeling it today.

Total mileage today was 9.5 in 1:14:50 (avg pace 7:53).

I would like to work up to 12 repeats up the hill between 1:35-1:39. (If I left from my house that workout would be 12 miles total and take an hour and a half.)

I have one more race for the year on November 29th. I transfered my entry to Boney Moutnain to the Topanga Turkey Trot 15k. I will train through this race (no tapering) but cut out the hill workout that week.

Just when you think you've seen it all!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

5.5 mile easy run

It was pretty cold this morning and I had a day of runny noses and watery eyes yesterday. I had little energy this morning and took it easy. I had just enough time to run up the hill at the end of 45th and back at just under 8 min pace.

They changed the date for the LA Marathon...again! They are really having a tough time with this race and I am afraid turnout will be quite low this year. They could really ruin a race that is over 20 years old. The race used to be the first week in March. Devine racing sold it this year and they changed the date to Presidents Day, in February, as there was a push to have it on a holiday Monday. That recently got changed to Memorial Day May 25th! Read more concerns about the decision here. Meanwhile, the Inaugural Pasadena Marathon this weekend is sold out!

The University of Washington women's cross country team won the PAC-10 championships this weekend with a perfect score, 15. They actually had the top 6 runners in the race beating Oregon, Stanford, and the rest of the conference easily. They have a good shot at winning NCAA Nationals on November 24th. See the PAC-10 race here.

Have you ever seen an alter-G antigravity treadmill in use? I hadn't either until I saw this video of UW's Katie Follett. Pretty cool.

Wondering how Deena Kastor is doing with her rehab from her fractured metatarsal? Read here blog post on her web site. She has done some crazy things with her foot (like magnets, a spiritual bone healer, and bone marrow soup), but they seem to be working. She also just saw Dan Pfaff at the Olympic Training center to assess whether she is favoring her foot anymore.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Winds force Karl inside for 7 miles!

High winds today brought my run inside this afternoon while the boys napped. I ran 7 miles at about 8:00 pace (55:30) with most of the time on a slight grade 2-3%. I planned on running 6 but decided to make my weekend total 10 by adding an extra mile today. It is just deadly to run for more than an hour on the treadmill. I don't know how Dean Karnazes ran for 48 hours on one earlier this year. The weather should be nice for the rest of the week.

Hope everyone has a healthy week.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Palmdale Turkey Trot 5K pacer (19:36)

Today was the Palmdale 5k. I ran with Clay to pace him and test his current fitness level. He predicted under 20 minutes but based on some of his good interval sessions over the last month I thought he was capable of running 19:30 on a good day. Well, today was a GREAT day! There was no wind and the temperature was near perfect. I forgot my garmin, and there ended up being no mile markers, but we stayed at a VERY even pace over the whole course and finished in 19:36 (average pace 6:18). It was a very flat course with a downhill finish. Clay won his age group and ran his fastest time in 25 years! I could tell by his breathing pattern over the last mile that it was a maximal effort. The picture above is us near the finish line. Congrats Clay!

My son Matt and I ran the 1/2k and he got a medal (all the kids did), but he wouldn't wear his race number. "I don't want to" he said. We have learned to pick our battles. Andi and her dad pushed the boys along with our friends the Schneiders. It was a well run event and everyone had a good time. See the Stutelberg blog for pictures.

Our strength circuit training clinic was today and we had 21 people attend. It was a successful presentation and we got some positive feedback.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

9 mile Thursday (1:09:03)

Went for an hour run this morning that turned into 9 miles as I got out the door a little early! It took about 3 miles to warm up as the temperature was in the low 30s. The turn around was at M and 55th West with a lap around Lane Park and back home on 52nd. My average pace over the 9 miles was 7:41 and the workout was split into 3 mile sets with the first three warm up and the last three at about 7:15 pace. I finished with 4x100m accelerations. It was another great morning as the wind has calmed down today.

My plan for the next month is to do a weekly 1/4 mile hill interval workout on 47th St. for some speed emphasis and then test my fitness with a mile time trial on December 6th (shooting for 5:15 or faster).

Should be good weather on Saturday for the Palmdale 5k at Desert Sands Park, where my son Matt is running the 1/2k and I am pacing Clay for a 19:30 (6:15 pace).
Also on Saturday at noon is the Valley Physical Therapy running clinic on "strength circuit training for runnners." It should be very informative with some great exercies to take home to improve your form and running economy.

Finally, I ran in Prescott, AZ a month ago but didn't realize there are RABID FOXES out there. Next time I will have to be more careful!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

8 mile progression run in the mist

My 5:15 start this morning was in the dark and there was a light wind with a cool mist that made for a nice cool run. I took off the gloves after 3 miles as I was over dressed. I need to get a new running headband since mine got stolen when I left it up on the aqueduct. The stocking cap is just too hot.

The route was over to Lane Park and back totalling 8 miles in 57:43 (avg pace 7:13).

Mile splits were 8:03, 7:31, 7:35, 7:19, 7:05, 6:43, 6:29, 6:55.

It was a great run and the wind picked up just as I finished. Starting to cool off here in the mornings. Time to break out my winter running clothes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

4 mile easy run (goose egg for the weekend)

A big goose egg for the weekend (no mileage) for no reason other than laziness.

Easy 4 miles this morning (31:27) before work (almost talked myself out of that one too).

Kara Goucher was third at the New York City Marathon on Sunday with the fastest US female marathon debut time ever (previous best was Deena Kastor). Kara ran a time of 2:25:53 on a windy day in New York City. This was the first US female runner in the top three at this race since 1994. World record holder Paula Radciffe won in a time of 2:23:56. Both, I believe, ran negative splits.

The US had 4 men in the top 10 (that hasn't happened since 1987) with the first US finisher in 6th place, Abdi Abdirahman.

Friday, October 31, 2008

October Review & New Article

Total mileage for the month of October was 94 miles for a year total of 1014 miles! That is averaging almost exactly 100 miles/month. Not really that much when you do the math but when you divide by number of workouts I am averaging about 7.25 miles per run since January.

I recently wrote a new article for the High Desert Runner newsletter and I thought I would give my blog readers a sneak peak.

How Can I become a Faster Runner? By Karl Stutelberg, PT

Think about this mathematical formula. Speed=stride length x stride frequency. There are two simple answers: An increased stride length will increase speed and an increase in stride frequency will also increase speed. Can you do this without expending more energy? The answer is YES (with training of course). The question of “how” is a little more complicated.

You could take longer steps or take many quick steps and you will certainly run faster, but you will not be able to maintain that change in stride over a long period of time. It simply is not efficient. An excessive increase in your stride length will cause more vertical movement and therefore decrease forward propulsion. Any rotational movement can also cause more energy expenditure and thus slow you down.

A more effective method is to increase your stride length through a combination of flexibility training and strength training. This type of training will allow for greater ROM, especially in the hips, and a stronger push off with each step. Exercise physiologists have found that the most efficient runners have a stride frequency of about 180 steps per minute. Too many or too few steps will waste precious energy.

Just as important as steps per minute is time spent on the ground. During the running stride there is either one leg on the ground or no legs on the ground. This time spent with one leg on the ground includes a deceleration phase where the body is slowing down.

One of the best ways to become a faster runner is to decrease the time spent on the ground. Muscles have an elastic recoil property that allows them to contract forcefully which transfers energy quickly and maintains forward movement. The best way to train the body to respond quickly and forcefully is plyometric training. Plyometric exercises include: squat jumps, split squat jumps, and single leg squat jumps with the goal of spending minimal time on the ground. Be mindful of the fact that you should always have an appropriate strength base before attempting plyometric exercises.

Recent studies show that plyometric training improves distance running performance by increasing running economy, meaning you can run at higher speeds with less effort. If ground contact time is improved by .01 seconds per step and you are running at 180 steps per minute, that equates to an improvement of 14.4 seconds per mile (on an 8:00 mile pace), or a 45 second improvement in 5K time, without doing any extra running. Is it possible, with consistent training and a proper strength base? I think so.

Matt Fitzgerald’s book Brain Training for Runners lists “the five characteristics of good running technique” as stiffness, compactness, ballistic action, stability, and symmetry. Plyometrics trains stiffness and ballistic action. On November 8th at 12 noon, at Valley Physical Therapy Group, Clay Patten and I will be presenting Circuit Strength Training for Runners. Come learn how to improve on the other three: compactness, stability, and symmetry through specific strength training exercises and become a faster, more efficient runner.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

6 mile easy run (46:39)

I went on a 6 mile easy run this morning in 46:39 (avg pace 7:47) as my first run since my half marathon on Sunday. I felt great about two days later but just haven't got out on the road since. At least I thought I felt great until after 6 miles this morning. Both of my calves have been sore all day with a few other aches here and there. At least it is symmetrical soreness (more normal type delayed onset muscle soreness). They say it takes one day to recover for every mile that you race, and I was pretty close to racing on Sunday. So it should take about 13 days to completely recover from that run.

The Runnersworld "Running Doc" Dr. Lewis G. Maharam answers the question of how to treat yourself immediately after a race to lessen muscle soreness here.

The hottest news this week is the build up for the New York City Marathon on Sunday November 2 (my son Micah's birthday). This is definitely a race that I want to do some day. See course map here. There are qualifying standards that I could meet (at least their half marathon standard 1:23:00). The race will be televised on Universal Sports and also live 8:45 ET on their website

It will be worth a watch, especially the women's field, which includes many of the top women in the world (including WR holder Paula Radcliffe) and two debut's with great potential: Kara Goucher and Kim Smith. Someone even tried to predict what their debut times would be here.
See the list of elite women here.
And a list of the elite men here.

Runnersworld finally caught up with "a winner" with the fastest time at the Nike Women's Marathon in San Fransisco. Catch that interview here.

See Andy Samberg as the Out of Breath Jogger from 1982
and the Out of Breath Jogger from 1992

OK, that should be enough links to keep you busy for a while.

Finally, a great video of elite track athlete Lauren Fleshman of nearby Canyon Country, CA (Canyon High class of '99) going over running form drills. She explains them well and makes perfect form look easy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

First Annual Aqueduct Half Marathon (1:24:33)

Since I didn't get to race yeserday, and I am probably not racing any distance over 5k for the rest of the year I decided to do a Garmin measured half marathon on the California Aqueduct this morning. Clay rode his son's mountain bike as support and carried my water (thanks Clay) and we started at 60th W at about 6:15am. The first 20 minutes were in the dark but Clay had his headlamp (thanks again Clay). I thought I would be around 1:26 based on how I was feeling the last few weeks, and the conditions were great. I also wanted to try and run negative splits on the out and back course (the turn around was at 110th W).

I felt great on the way out and settled comfortably around 6:40 for the first few miles. Clay had to yell at me to slow down, but I was able to converse with him for the first half pretty well.

The last 4 miles were pretty tough and it really helped to have Clay on his bike just a few steps ahead of me, pulling me along. I tried to just keep an even pace and then attempted a final push on the last mile finishing in 1:24:33 (average pace 6:27)! I think that is my 5th or 6th fastest half marathon time ever! Although at least three of those times were on the old Las Vegas Marathon course which is mostly down hill. The aqueduct is about as flat as you can get (over the 13 miles today there was a net ascent/decent of 70ft).

My mile splits were:

The other splits that I remember were 40:30 for 10k and 65:00 for 10 miles.

I was very pleased with the final time, I had nothing left in the tank (I took one GU at mile 7). And I did negative split!

PS: Last 6 miles was in 37:47!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Boney Mountain postponed!

DUE TO HIGH FIRE DANGER, this event is postponed until January 10, 2009.

Guess I'll have to change my weekend plans.
How about a half marathon time trial on Sunday?
Anyone want to try and run a sub 1:30 on the aqueduct?

4 mile easy run (30:27)

Last run before the race on Saturday. 4 miles at 30:27 (7:34 pace) with a few short surges in the last two miles. My legs feel pretty good this week. We'll see how the do on Boney Mountain!

For those of you daily readers here are two follow ups to previous stories I reported on earlier this week.

Remember the woman who had the fastest time at the Nike Women's Marathon, but didn't win? Here is the follow up article. And Nike's statement here.

Remember the guy at the Chicago Marathon that collapsed near the finish line? Well Runnersworld caught up with him for an interview after he was recovered. He says he was found to have low potassium levels or hypokalemia. But the weather was a little on the hot side and I am guessing he was also hypernatremic or dehydrated. This is one of the hardest parts of a marathon, especially a hot one, is finding a balance in your fluid and electrolyte levels and keeping your body near equilibrium.
Read his interview here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

5 mile easy run (38:28)

I got in an easy 5 miles this morning. The temperatures have been perfect for the last week, and NO WIND! You have to take advantage of these days around here. 5 miles took 38:28 this morning for an average pace of 7:41. I tend to increase speed on these short easy runs because it is up hill slightly on the way out and down hill on the way back, plus there is the warm up factor. I think my last mile was around 7:00. 4 days to race day!

The Nike Women's Marathon was this weekend in San Fransisco, and the woman with the fastest time DID NOT win the race, go figure that one out. Race officials can sure be morons. Read about her here.

Interesting Nutrition Tips for Runners on

A bio on world record holder Haile Gebrselassie.

And a college cross country runner that ran a race with a nail in his foot!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

13.1 mile long run (1:38:58)

On Saturday morning I did my long run for the weekend before leaving to go camping in Carpinteria (see family blog). I ran to Clay's house which is 4 miles away, then we ran about 5 miles together, and then I took the long way home to make it an even 13.1 miles (you can't just run 13, might as well make it a half marathon) which is the distance I will be running next weekend.

It was perfect weather, and in my long sleeves and pants I was almost over dressed. Most of the run was in the dark, so I have been getting good use of my headlamp (yes I am that nerdy).

Mile splits were: 7:56, 7:44, 7:21, 7:31, 8:09, 8:15, 7:42, 7:30, 7:24, 7:17, 7:15, 7:14, 6:53. Average pace was 7:33.

Miles 5 and 6 were mostly up hill with the furthest point from home being M and 70th West.

This week will be full of easy runs in preparation for Saturdays race.

I enjoyed Dean Karnazes blog entry this week and wanted to share it here.

November 8th is our next running clinic on Strength Circuit Training for runners! On that note, there are some great US runners in this years NYC Marathon including Kara Goucher, Abdi Abdirahman, and Chris Graff. A year ago, Chris dropped out of the Olympic Trials Marathon and was all but retired from competitive running. He took up coaching at the University of Maryland. Now he is back racing at the NYC Marathon and says this about his turn-around,
"I just started feeling better and better and I wasn't running much but doing a lot of the strength work," Graff explains. "By the end of the summer, I started feeling great on my two-hour runs. I was running two to three days briskly, easy on the others." Amazing what a little strength training can do!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday half mile hills 3x+half mile flat 2x (total 9mi)

I got my last hill workout in before the race on the 25th, although after talking with my buddy Arnie I don't think anything I have done will prepare me for the single track switchbacks for 13 miles that I will experience in a week.

I did my normal hill route starting on 47th at L10, running up to the end of 47th, making a left and then up to the joshua tree at the peak (half mile). I did this route 3x in 3:20, 3:15, and then broke my record again in 3:09. I was pretty spent after the third one, but did 2 more half mile intervals on the way home in 2:47 and 2:50 followed by a 2 mile cool down.

Total mileage was 9 in 1:08:13 with an average pace of 7:34.

On the half mile hill route, the real grade increase doesn't start until the quarter mile. When I am ready to do hills again I am going to do quarter mile intervals which would start on 47th at L12 and finish at the same joshua tree. I will probably start with 6-8 times and build on that. It would be a tough workout for sure.

I found another cool running/pace calculator/estimator. Check it out here.

Did you see the video of this guy struggling to finish the Chicago Marathon this year?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

5 mile easy run 38:26

Tuesday morning I ran an easy 5 miles increasing each mile starting at 8:28 and ending at 6:59. Average pace was 7:41. The route was an out and back on 45th west, so it was slightly uphill on the way out and slightly downhill on the way back. I did 2x100m accelerations in the last mile. Hills on Thursday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

10 miles total with 3 threshold pace miles

I did not get a run in on Saturday. It has been getting cooler here in the morning (low 40s) and those pre-sunrise runs are harder to make happen. I had to dig out my running pants for my run on Sunday morning. We still slept in and I left about 7:30. I wanted to get in a few miles at threshold pace again so I went out to Lane Park for my warm up. It is exactly 1 mile around the block there so I did that twice, then a 2.5 min recovery, followed by one more mile, for a total of three mile at threshold pace.

My threshold pace should be about 6:20, although I haven't raced since July 4th, and I haven't done any time trials to gauge my fitness. My first two laps (miles) around Lane Park were 6:11 min each and my last mile (after that 2.5 min recovery) was 5:55. It didn't feel like my HR was up too high (my HR at threshold pace is around 165-170) so maybe I am getting a little fitter. I was pretty well rested too since I only ran once during the work week, which was an easy run. Total distance for the day was 10 miles in 1:11:32 (average pace 7:09). This was a similar workout to September 13, 2008 when I was running 6:20-6:30 pace on my threshold runs.

If I do another workout similar to that one again I will start to add one more mile (with about 1-2 min recovery in between) at the same pace until I am up to 6 or so. That would be a pretty killer workout. Since I only have two weeks until my next race I will probably do some more hills this week, and maybe one more tempo run either next weekend or early next week. Probably only two more quality workouts before race day.

My dad sent me the newspaper from Minnesota after the Twin Cities Marathon. They also run a 10 miler and 5k that day. Olympian Kara Goucher won the 10 miler in a course record 53:15. She was using this race as a tune up for her marathon debut in New York City on November 2nd. Her coach, former NYC and Boston Marathon winner, Alberto Salazar, who had a heart attack last year and a defibrillator placement, ran the 10 miler as well in 1:08 and change!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

8 mile easy run (59:48)

My left calf has been sore again since my hilly 14 miler in Prescott, AZ. This time it is on the medial head at the proximal insertion (near the knee). I took Tuesday off and it has been feeling better each day, so I ran today (8 miles with average pace of 7:28). I ran over to Joe Walker Middle Schoool, did a loop around the block, and then headed home. I will post splits at home tonight. Each mile was faster than the previous with the last mile just under 7:00 (8:10, 8:02, 7:42, 7:26, 7:15, 7:07, 7:01, 6:57). My left calf was a little sore but it seems to be loosening up as the day goes on.

There is just over two weeks until the Boney Mountain 21k (half marathon). I looked at previous results and it is either a REALLY tough course, or I have a good shot at placing. There were only two guys last year under 1:40. I should be able to do that (famous last words).

In other news: My son Micah (11 months) took his first steps this week. He is so proud of himself. He can stand up in the middle of the floor and take 3-4 steps and then fall into my arms with a big grin on his face. It is pretty cute. I'll try and get some video to post. He'll be running in no time.

There is a Turkey Trot in Palmdale this year put on by HDR Dale Lister. Should be a good time. Andi and I are talking about pushing the boys, or maybe running together, if we can get baby-sitters.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Prescott, AZ 7 miles + 7 miles =14 miles

I am in Prescott, AZ for the weekend for my grandpa's funeral spending time with family. My grandmother is living in an assisted living facility that her and my grandpa moved into about 2 months ago. Their house is nearly empty but my uncle John and his wife Linnea stayed there over the weekend. I decided I would run from my hotel to the house and back. Mapquest said it was 7.2 miles each way.

Prescott is a mile high city, so the elevation is a little higher than I am used to but it did not seen to affect me too much. The temperature and weather were near perfect (around 50 degrees at my 7:00 am start). I ran to the house in 52:36 (avg 7:31). It is quite hilly around here too. I then spent an hour at the house visiting, then ran back to the hotel the same way in 49:57 (avg 7:08). I thought it would be harder coming back and it was (the last two miles were almost all up hill) but I was pushing it a little bit on the way back running around marathon pace. I will post miles splits and elevation changes when I get home. 14 miles total with an hour break half way. Total time for 14 miles was around 1:42 minutes.

Mile splits for the first 7 miles: 7:29, 7:72, 7:19, 7:15, 7:19, 7:51, 8:00

Mile spits for the second 7 miles: 7:04, 6:50, 6:56, 7:02, 7:20, 7:27, 7:15

The start and finish elevation for each run was about 5700ft with the low point about half way at 5300ft (the elevation chart looks like a "U"). There was about 800ft of ascent and descent on each run.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Half mile intervals 2x hill, 2x flat

I got out EARLY today (5:30am) for my weekly hill workout. I did the normal 2.5 mile warm up and then started my half mile hill. I ran the first in 3:26 and then broke my record on the second in 3:13. After those two I realized I had to get back home so I cut the hills off at two and decided to do two more half mile intervals on the way home, which is relatively flat or downhill. The last two times were 2:52 and 2:55. I felt like I could have gone a little faster but it was still dark out and I was being cautious of my footing, even with my headlamp. I had a mile cool down at the end for a total of 7 miles with total time of 51:56 (avg pace 7:25). I think from now on I will add one or two flat half mile intervals after the hill repeats. I really feel like I am flying after burning out the legs on the hills. Rest time between the hills was about 4 minutes running down, but only about 2.5 minutes in between the flat half miles on the way home.

This is my first post for October so I have mileage totals for September. I ran 114 miles in September, which is up from 82 in August. I did have two pretty long runs (16 and 18 miles) but mostly I was more consistent with 4x/wk running which helps with the mileage totals. My legs are feeling pretty good right now. Clay and I have also been stepping up our lunch circuit workouts with increased intensity and more cowbell, I mean kettlebell.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Marathon World Record in Berlin (2:03:59)

Haile Gebrselassie broke his own world record for the marathon this weekend in Berlin, and became the first person to run under 2:04 with a time of 2:03:59. That is averaging 4 minutes and 43 seconds per mile!! He now has the top 3 fastest marathon times ever, all of which were run in the last 12 months, and he's 35 years old (I still have hope). See the runners world article here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

10 mile progression run (1:13:27)

After a week of easy runs I was ready to do some quality training today. I got up early to drive up to the aquaduct for a 10 mile run. The workout was divided into three parts (3 miles easy, 3 miles just above marathon pace, and 3 miles at threshold pace with a 1 mile cool down). I started at 70th going west on the aquaduct with a turnaround at 110th. There was a slight head wind (breeze) on the way out. The pace progressed every three miles with miles 7-9 at threshold (LT) pace. This was a tougher workout than I expected because there was a 6 mile warm up at a moderate pace before the LT miles.

The first three mile splits were: 7:57, 7:57, 7:58
AVG HR=135

The second three mile splits were: 7:17, 7:15, 7:21
AVG HR=150

The third three mile splits (LT) were: 6:26, 6:27, 6:11
AVG HR=170

I ran into Clay just as I was finishing my 9th mile and ran my cool down with his warm up.
The cool down mile was: 8:29
Total time for 10 miles was 1:13:27 (average pace 7:20)

I just finished reading an article from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning from 2005 titled: A Comparison of Methods for Estimating the Lactate Threshold.
The researchers tested subjects in a lab to find their true LT values and velocity at LT. Then each subject performed 4 tests, over 3-6 weeks, designed to estimate their lactate threshold pace. The purpose was to find which tests were most accurate and give runners an simple way to determine their training paces when lab tests are not available.

The four tests were VDOT, 3200m time trial, 30 minute time trial, and Conconi Test.

They did a 400m and 800m time trial to obtain values for Jack Daniels' VDOT formula.
The 3200m time was entered in to a regression equation to find LT pace.
The 30 min time trial was done on a treadmill where AVG pace over 30 min=LT pace and AVG HR for the last 20 min=HR at LT.
The Conconi Test was an old validated test done on a 400m track but it seemed too difficult to describe here, and you need an assistant.

The results showed that the VDOT and the 30 min time trial were the closest estimates of running velocity at lactate threshold. They gave the 30 min time trial the advantage because it also gave the runner an estimated HR at lactate threshold for those that set training intensities based on HR.

I found it interesting that they only did a 400m and 800m time trial for the VDOT formula. Number one, because those distance are almost completely anaerobic; and number two, they are very easy to recover from and reproduce often. They mentioned this in the discussion and state that longer race distances put into the VDOT formula may be even more accurate.

The 30 minute time trial was done on a treadmill, not a track, and I'm not sure why. It seems to me that you could still get average HR information and it would be easier for the runner to adjust their pace during the effort if they ran on a track. The only part that bothered me was that I thought threshold pace was closer to 10k-15 pace (or the all out pace for 1 hour), and I don't know too many people that can run a 10k in 30 min.

Either way the researchers felt because if it's simplicity, accuracy, and amount of training information given, the 30 minute time trial was the best method for estimating lactate threshold.

I personally have been using the VDOT formula which is based on a recent race time at any distance, due to the fact that you don't have to do any time trials, especially if you are racing fairly often. I find that it is very accurate for my estimated training velocities, and equivalent race times at other distances.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

8 mile easy run (1:02)

Another easy run today giving my self a full week recovery from that 18 miler last Saturday. I am finally starting to feel recovered. I also needed a down week for overall recovery. My left calf is much better. I added a few short hills to test my calf on the way over to Lane Park, ran a lap around the park, and then back home for a total of 8 miles, last few miles around 7 min pace. Average pace for the run was 7:45 pace. I did 5x150m accelerations in front of my house as another test and was able to get up on my toes without trouble. It has been great weather lately for running in the morning.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

6 mile easy run (46:00)

I got in 6 easy miles this morning and avoided all hills to give my left calf a rest. It felt great on the run but was sore at work this morning. I iced it twice at work and then Clay taped it (kinesiotape) for the rest of the day. It has continued to improve over the last 3 days. I had no posterior tibilalis pain on the run or afterwards today, it has all manifested into my soleus and proximal achilles tendon. I need to get the inflammation down so I can start doing more hill work. Average pace over the 6 miles today was 7:40. Last two miles were around 7 minute pace with no calf pain.

FYI Free 3oz (pretty tiny) ice cream night at Cold Stone Creamery tonight from 5pm to 8pm.
Idea! Run to the local store...then run home! Net calories 0!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

4 mile easy run

My left soleus is still sore from Saturday night. I did get 4 miles in this morning, and it took me 3 of them to warm up. I averaged just over 8 minute pace during the run. It may take a few more days to recover from that run. We are going to Vegas this weekend so mileage will be down anyways. I will try and avoid hills the rest of the week as well. Actually, I will be out of town the next two weekends so I will have to get in some quality workouts during the week over the next two weeks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Relay for Life 18 miler!!

Yesterday was the Relay for Life and we had a team set up at work. We decided to meet at 6pm and walk as a group and have some pizza. Andi and I took the boys over and did some walking (and dancing with Matt). Then took the boys home. I went back to the event which was at Highland High School to meet Clay and his son Zac. I planned on running from 9-11 but had some posterior tibialis soreness during the day so I decided to just see how it went.

I ran the first 4 miles on my own and felt really good. I brought along my camelback, gu, and shot blocks for refueling. The first 5k was about 21:30. At 4 miles I met up with Zac and we had a pretty even pace going most of the way for the next 7 miles. We were averaging 7:30 to 7:50 miles most of the way. A few times I looked at my garmin and it said 7:15 pace but we were still both able to hold conversation and didn't appear to be laboring. I don't have an official split for Zac but we did those 7 miles in about 54:00. He is really becoming quite fit. Unfortunately, Clay's asthma was affected by the dust (Highland has a dirt track), and he was unable to join us.

After the Pattens left I continued on my run towards 2 hours. My leg did bother me slightly during the run but was not worsening so I plugged on. I increased the pace to near threshold pace for the next 4-5 miles running about 6:20-6:30 pace and it really felt pretty easy (Those hill repeats sure work wonders). I hit the half marathon at about 1:38:00 and hit 16 miles at 1:56. During those last few miles I decided I would do two more miles as a cool down after I hit 16, and for about 2 laps I even thought about making it an even 20 but that didn't last long.

I set a record for myself for consecutive miles run on a track. The run ended at 18 miles in 2:11:19 which is 7:17 pace. The workout ended up being more like a McMillan fast finish long run (see March 2, 2008).

My posterior tibialis was not sore but my L achilles was. When I got home I did a 10 minute ice bath on both of my lower legs and will probably repeat it on the L side tonight. I have to practice what I preach you know.

Speaking of which our third running clinic went really well on Saturday morning, but we only had 10 attendees. We have our last one for the year on November 8th titled, Strength Circuit Training for Runners. It is going to be worth it so hopefully we have a good crowd.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Half mile hill repeats x4 (total mileage 9)

I forgot to post on Tuesday as I have had many things going on this week. Tuesday morning I got the call from my mom that my grandfather had passed away. He was struggling more and more and now he can be at peace. He was a great outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing, golfing, and hiking. In his earlier years he was a wrestler, gymnast and diver and fought for our country with the US Navy. He was one of the hardest working people I have known. Even a few years ago we caught him up on the roof of his two story house. He loved being outside working in the yard and feeding the birds which he knew every species of in Prescott Valley. When he was younger he would catch and train hawks outside of Chicago. He was the father of four and grandfather of eight, and he got to meet my wife and two children. He will be missed and thought of often. Please keep my grandmother in your prayers.

I think he only saw me race one time but I remember it well because it was at the Nevada state cross country meet my senior year of high school, the only year we made it to the state finals. I was proud for him to be there and see me race.

I did a fartlek run Tuesday morning for 5k and spent the time thinking of him and my grandmother.

Today I did my half mile hill repeats but I changed the course slightly and just ran on 47th starting at L-10 up to the top, turned left and finished at the crest of the hill at the same joshua tree that was my finish line before. By changing the route I took out the slight downhill portion. Now there is a steady up hill grade the entire was especially after the first .25 miles (which are relatively flat).

Times were a little faster than last week 3:24, 3:24, 3:19, and 3:16.
Total mileage was 9 miles at 1:08 (average pace 7:33).
It is a great workout. I wish I could decrease the rest time but I have to run back on the same route and I don't want to burn out my quads on the downhill.

In the news: Dean Karnazes attempted to break the 48 hour distance record on a treadmill live on the Regis and Kelly show this week. He fell short at 211 miles, the record was 240. They had him on video with a live web feed so we could keep our eyes on him during the day (and night). He was at 133 miles at 24 hours. What an amazing effort!

Last reminder that Clay Patten, PT and I are hosting our third FREE running clinic on Saturday September 20th at 11am at Valley Physical Therapy Group in Lancaster, CA. The topic this time is: Lower limb running injuries. We will be discussing symptoms, treatment, and prevention. We are also performing FREE gait analysis with RSVP (661) 948-0186.

Saturday is also the Palmdale Relay for Life at Highland High School. Valley Physical Therapy Group has a team and we will be there intermittently throughout the day running and walking. The event is from 9am-9am on Suday. I will be running at least from 9pm to 11pm on Saturday night. I would like to put in at least 20 miles at the event. Come out and join us!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

2 hour run - 16 miles (2:04) in Quartz Hill

I figured out how to make sure I get up early in the morning so that I can get my long runs in....put the alarm clock on the other side of the room.

I got up at 5am, but after putting on my HR monitor, garmin, camelback, mp3 player, hat, and putting 2 gu's and my cell phone in my pockets, I didn't get out until a quarter after. The temperatures were near perfect and the moon was nearly full at the start of the run.

I didn't have a route planned out but I knew I wanted to run for 2 hours and I knew that I wanted to run up some of the long hills in Quartz Hill. I thought I might be able to make it to N and 70th but my turn around ended up being M-8 and 70th. The long hills were on N to 60th and on 65th to M-8 (this was the toughest one).

It was a very similar run to January 12, 2008.

The total mileage was 16 miles in 2:04 (average pace 7:47). I tried to keep an even effort for the whole run. My HR was avg 135-140 for the first hour and avg 145-150 for the second hour. I took a gu at 60 min and 90 min. The Camelback is a must for any run over 75 min.

I will now bore you with all my mile splits:
8:27 (up 65th)

Total elevation gain was 1865ft over the 16 miles. Elevation peaked out at 2754 ft (if you are a daily blog reader you will remember the elevation at my house is 2350).

It was a good run overall, I felt pretty comfortable the whole way. It was my longest run since Boston 5 months ago.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Threshold run with hill (7 miles - 49:22)

Again I went to the closest hill from my house. After a 2 mile warm up I did about 20 minutes at threshold pace over a .8 mile loop that has a short hill in it. My pace during the threshold portion of the run was around 6:20-6:30 with my fastest mile 6:09 which included mostly level road. The threshold portion was just over 20 minutes and included just over 3 miles.

Total mileage for today: 7
Average pace over entire run: 7

Friday, September 12, 2008

Next race: Boney Mountain trail run (Oct. 25)

I have officially signed up for my next race! I am running the XTERRA Boney Mountain trail run with college buddy of mine Arnie Camp. It is a 21k trail race that looks pretty challenging on the elevation chart. says that it is a half marathon. Either way, it is over 13 miles. The race is on October 25th, 2008. That gives me a 6 week build up for the race, and I have already been doing hills and trail running over the last month. I am excited.

I also found out recently that the only US women's finisher in the Olympic marathon, Blake Russell, is a physical therapist! How cool is that? She got her Master's degree at Elon University in North Carolina. Read some articles about Blake here, here, and here.
I will post a picture that I took of Blake at the US Women's Olympic Trials when I get home.
Here it is:Other elite runners that are also physical therapists include ultrarunner, and two-time Badwater champ, Scott Jurek. He got is Master's degree at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

8 mile run including 3xhalf mile hill repeats

I have been wanting to do some hill training during the week for a while now and haven't been able to get out and run some, until this morning.
The closest hill is at the end of 45th W. (2.5 miles from my house). It goes up for about 150m then levels off 150m then continues to increase in grade for the rest of the distance up to half a mile. The steepest part is the last 50m. Recovery is running back the same route, but I may change that next time (too much steep downhill running).

I did three repeats today, but I think I could have done two more for sure. They were all around 3:25-3:30. The fastest I have ever done this half mile course is 3:15 back on March 12th.

With the 2.5 mile warm up and cool down back home, the total mileage was 8 miles in 59:25 (average pace 7:25). I felt really good out the door today. Hopefully I can get out of bed earlier next time so I can do one or two more repeats.

Looking for a two hour run this weekend.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

7 mile recovery run (56:00)

I was sore from yesterday so today was all about putting in time on the road. I like to go for an hour. That amount of time makes me feel like I got in a decent workout (benefit of workout for time spent). I know I quote him a lot, but Jack Daniels says if you have limited time to run, go for at least 30 minutes. Less than that, he says, and you are spending more time getting ready and showering etc afterward. I would much rather do an hour run and then take the next day off completely, than run 30 minutes two days in a row. Some days just don't allow for that and you take what you can get.

Mile splits today were: 8:28, 8:20, 8:25, 7:57, 7:44, 7:33, 7:16 (average pace 8:00).
Total weekend mileage was 18 miles.

We took a family picture a few months ago, all wearing CLU shirts, for my brother-in-law Clark who started his freshman year there last week. I also submitted the photo to the alumni department and they posted it to the website. Check it out here. Can you find us?

I also found a picture of me running the home cross country 8k course MY freshman year (fall 1997). Here it is.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Grass Mountain: Man vs. Bike (ok Man vs Man on Bike)

Clay and I went out to Grass Mountain this morning. The workout was a little different today. I have never run straight up the 2.7 mile climb, we always do it in an interval format. Today I decided I would see how long it would take me to run the whole way. We set it up as a race with me running and Clay on his mountain bike. He has biked to the top in around 23 minutes and I had reached the top in a 1 min run / 1 min power hike format in a total of 25:20. I figured I could probably run it about 1-2 min faster with steady running and thought we might be close at the finish.

We ran once up together on our usual interval format with Clay setting the pace. We reached the top in just over 28 minutes, jogged slowly down, refueled, and then Clay switched to the bike for the head to head matchup. I took the lead for the first 3/4 mile but Clay quickly caught me and created a nice lead as the hill levels out in the middle. The last half of the run was me trying to catch him on the steepest part of the hill. Every time I turned a corner I could see him ahead and I didn't appear to be gaining any ground. He finished about 1 minute ahead of me and my time was 23:20, 2 minutes faster than my interval format time. Average pace was 8:37. It was an all out effort for both of us as Clay beat his previous time by a full minute.

I hit the mile mark at just under 8:00, was at mile 2 at 16:30 (8:30 mile) and then it took me 7:00 to run the last .7 of a mile (which is 10 min pace). It really gets steep toward the end (averages about 15% grade). 6 mph at a 15% grade is equivalent to 5 min/mile effort on Jack Daniels, PhD treadmill grade effort chart.

It took 2.5 minutes to reach my steady heart rate of 170-174 and I maintained it for the duration of the run. With an approximate max HR of 190 this would be about 90% of my max or a threshold run, with a cool down back down the mountain.

Total mileage for the day was 11 miles.

I have found some pretty good info online this week that I would like to share.

First Runners World listed schools that offer marathon training classes here.

I found two great quotes in a Perform Better magazine.
The first is: "Any trainer/coach can make an athlete tired. But not every trainer/coach knows how to mae them better" - Brian Grasso, YCS.
He has a great website here with some interesting articles about training kids at various developmental stages. He lists 4 sports that he feels every pre-teen child should participate in to develop in to a well rounded athlete. Can you guess which 4 sports, swimming, martial arts, and gymnastics. You can read his reasoning here.

The second quote is: "It is absolutely possible to add fitness to dysfunction, but that doesn't make it right." - Gray Cook, MSPT, OCS, CSCS
This is what sets a Physical Therapist apart from ATC's and trainers. We correct the dysfunction and add stregnth on top of that. Check out Gray Cook's website here.

The last great info pieces that I found were video clips of a coaching seminar where Pat Tyson (Mead HS and now Univ. Kentucky coach), Terrence Mahon (coach of Deena Kastor & Ryan Hall), and Juli Henner (Georgetown Univ. coach) discuss CORE TRAINING and SUPPLIMENTAL VARIATION. Terrence has the best commentary and both videos below are worth a watch (about 8 min each). Terrance has a great definition of core training and really GETS IT. They also talk about becoming and ATHLETE and not just a RUNNER.