Sunday, August 31, 2008

Human Race 10k treadmill workout (51:00)

For the last few months there have been many advertisements for the Nike Human Race 10k. They hosted 10ks all over the world today, so I decided to join them. It was windy here today and the workout got put off until the afternoon when I moved it indoors and onto the treadmill. For those of you that don't know my stance on treadmill running check out an old post here.

My enthusiasm for treadmill running is not very high, but it grew a little bit after reading Daniels Running Formula. We all know that running up hill at a certain pace is harder than running that same pace on a track. After years of research as an exercise physiologist, Jack Daniels PhD., developed a chart that showed a certain speed on a certain grade would produce a specific mile-pace effort, sometimes a greater pace effort than one could attain on level ground.

One of his athletes, Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, who was third in the Olympic trials marathon, says that Jack has her run 10x one minute intervals at 9min/mile pace with a minute rest, but at a 20% grade! Although not very fast, when combined with the 20% grade that speed equates to a 4:30min/mile effort (a speed that she could never do 10x1 min intervals on the track.

Most commercial treadmills do not get up to 20% grades (mine goes to 10 and I'm not even sure that means 10% grade, I even checked the manual), but you can still play with this chart. Jack Daniels PhD. even gives you some sample threshold workouts that I posted below.
The great thing about these workouts is that the speed doesn't need to be that fast to put out a great effort, and the effort is quantified. Sometimes trying to max out just the speed on a treadmill can be a little dangerous.

Today I did my 10k for the Human Race but I broke it up playing with different inclines and speeds, almost like a threshold run. If "incline" on my treadmill equals "% grade" than the effort pace for each mile is shown below.
Mile 1 was 7.0 mph at 2% = approx. 8:15 pace
Mile 2 was 7.0 mph at 4% = 7:24 pace
Mile 3 was 7.0 mph at 6% = approx 6:35 pace
Mile 4 was 8.0 mph at 4% = approx 6:35 pace
Mile 5 was 8.0 mph at 2% = 7:24 pace
Mile 6 was 8.0 mph at 1% = 7:30 pace

Total time running was 51:00 which averages out to be 8:12 pace but I can tell you the workout did not feel like 8:12 pace. I basically ran for 16 minutes at 6:35 pace effort, very close to my threshold pace.

If you must do some treadmill running, this is the way to go.

I cannot post my monthly mileage totals yet as I only keep track on my calendar at work, but I can say for sure that it was under 100 miles.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Slip n Slide Champ after 7 mile easy run

My garmin battery died about 2 miles into the run today. My calves still feel tight from last weekend. I got in about 7 miles and it took some where around an hour. Just a slow easy run. I may push the pace a little tomorrow.

The highlight of the day was winning the Schneider Family Labor Day Weekend Slip n Slide Championship with my slide of 51 feet 6 inches!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

3 mile recovery run

Just an easy 3 miles recovery from Sunday. I am still sore in the calves from that workout. I would have gone farther but time was a factor this morning as my first 2 miles took me 18 minutes to loosen up! The effects of that workout definitely lingered. See my previous entry for details.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

13.1 total miles with 5 miles @ threshold

Today I ran another half marathon the day after the men's Olympic marathon. The workout last week included intervals, so today I included 5 miles at threshold pace. Threshold pace is defined as the pace at which your body STARTS to accumulate more lactate than it can clear. They call this "comfortably hard." To improve your lactate threshold you must spend time running at or near that point to improve your body's ability to clear it. It turns out to be the pace at which you can run all out for about one hour, or somewhere between 10k and 15k race pace. It is 88-92% of your velocity at VO2max or heart rate. Isn't it amazing, that a human can run at 90% of their maximum HR for an hour!

There are a few ways to do this type of training. Interestingly, Jack Daniels, PhD states that the ideal duration of a steady threshold run is 20 minutes (from Daniels' Running Formula). You can also break it up into cruise intervals, where you are running many shorter workbouts with a very short recovery. Or you can break up the 20 minutes or so into shorter workbouts also with little rest (I guess this would still be considered cruise intervals). Either way they should all be done at your threshold pace, not faster. Be careful not to go too fast on cruise intervals. If they feel too easy then do more, or shorten the rest.

One of Jack Daniels' runners Magdalena Lewy-Boulet qualifed for the US Olympic team in the marathon. In the last issue of Running Times she states that one of her marathon prep workouts is 5x2 miles at threshold pace. This would equal 10 miles at threshold pace, or very close to an hour at threshold pace.

Today I decided to use the same workout but step it down a bit, since I'm not a world class athlete. I did a 4 mile warm up. Then I did 2x2 miles at threshold pace and 1x1 mile at threshold pace with half a mile (4 minutes) recovery in between workbouts. I finished with a 3 mile cool down back home. The threshold workbouts were on the road around Lane Park, which is almost exactly 1 mile. The first 2 miles was done in 13:17, the second 2 miles was in 12:58, and the last mile was in 6:17. Total miles at threshold pace was 5, total time at threshold pace was a little over 30 minutes. My heart rate during the threshold workbouts was between 165-175. It was a tough workout for sure.

Total time for the 13.1 miles run today was 1:38:28. The HR graph looked totally cool on my new Garmin Forerunner 305.

Based on my last race time (18:20 for 5k) my threshold pace should be about 6:20 so I was very close most of the workout. My body is learning how to clear lactate more efficiently as we speak.

So the men's Olympic marathon was yesterday. I would say that was the most exciting race, for a distance event, in the entire Olympic games, other than the women's 10k. The athletes actually raced from the start!! The temperature was in the mid 80s for most of the race and many runners struggled with the heat. Twenty-one year old Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya won the race, and got the first gold medal for Kenya in the Olympic marathon, in 2:06:32. For the US Dathan Ritzenhein was 9th (2:11), Ryan Hall was 10th (2:12) , and Brian Sell was 22nd (2:16) for respectable finishes. The best recap can be found on

Video interview of Ritz after the Olympics on Article here.

OMG, check out video of Brian Sell's race shoes from the Olympic marathon here.

Also, US Bryan Clay, won the gold medal in the decathlon. He is a graduate of Asuza Pacific University (where Andi got here MPT) as was 1992 Olympian Dave Johnson (see APU school records). If you have the newest issue of Sports Illustrated (yeah the one with Michael Phelps on the cover) there is a great interview with Bruce Jenner in which he tells why the winner of the decathlon is truly the world's greatest athlete. Also read here and here. Bryan sounds like a great guy!

Anyone else as bummed as me about NBC's tape delayed coverage of the Olympics? Columnist Predicts Beijing is 'Last Olympics We Will Suffer Through in Tape Delay'

Thursday, August 21, 2008

8 mile easy run (60:24)

A nice day for a run this morning. I ran 8 miles in just over an hour. I am close to determining my fall race schedule and I will let you all know when I have signed up for a race.

If you saw Deena Kastor drop out of the Olympic Marathon and wondered what happened, she did break the third metatarsal in her foot. Here is and interview for further info.

On Monday night Dean Karnazes was signing his new book, 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days -- and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance, in Pasadena and my brother-in-law Clark and I went down to see him and get his autograph. We got there in time for the question and answer portion and then he signed for everyone there. There were about 50 people. He signed a book, a few 8x10s and my training cap (which is also signed by Alan Webb). Dean said now I have it signed by "a fast guy (Alan) and a slow guy (Dean)." Whatever Dean.

For those of you that don't know. I ran marathon #20 during his Endurance 50 adventure in 2006 which was the Valley of Fire Marathon. Dean always says he remembers me. I wasn't so sure the first time but now I don't know. He remembered that I was from Las Vegas.

He is always fun to go see as he loves to talk running with other runners. I started the book and so far it is great. It is quite an adventure learning how he organized the event, executed it, and learned from it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Grass Mountain Intervals are back!

I decided a few weeks ago that I would run a half marathon distance on the day that the women's and men's Olympic marathon was held. What I didn't realize was that the marathon was run on the morning of August 24th in Beijing, which is August 23rd here. So I did get in the half marathon on total distance today but it was run the day after the women's Olympic marathon.

The workout started with a 2 mile warm up and down, on the trail across San Fransisquito Rd. from the Grass Mountain trail head. Then I did the Grass Mountain interval format that we were doing last fall, which is 1 minute at interval pace (95-100% VO2max) followed by one mintue power hiking until I reach the top. Then jog down. It is 2.8 miles to the top of Grass Mountain. The elevation at the start is 3668ft and the top is 4610ft.

We went up and down twice, which is our standard format. When I say "we" I mean Clay Patten and me. His son Zac came along and today they both biked the entire workout (13 miles). Clay would get ahead of me on the flatter areas and I would catch him on the steeper inclines. He helped pull me along to a record for this workout. Last year I was running in the 26 minute range. Today I ran 25:59 for the first set and 25:20 for the second set. My max HR on the first set was 178 and 183 on the second. By the end of my last set I couldn't even get my HR under 160 on the rest interval.

How do I know all this information? My new Garmin Forerunner 305 is awesome. I upload all my workouts to my PC and it graphs every possible data set for me. What does that mean? More numbers to play with (speed, distance, HR, elevation, grade, pace) For those of you interested, has one of the best deals right now.

Oh, I almost forgot. On the way down the hill on the last set we were stopped by a HUGE rattlesnake crossing the path. It was the first I have ever seen and it was BIG 5-6 ft long and as thick as my wrist.

Cool Stat for the day: Over the whole 13 miles today there was a total of 3000ft ascent!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Matt wants to run with daddy!!

The boys slept in this morning! So we all decided to stay in bed as long as possible. Andi got out for a run first thing after Micah woke up. Matt woke up later, and after Andi got back I said, "Ok now daddy is going for a run," to which Matt replied, "I wanna come!" How could I turn that down? So we got out the old single jogger that I used to push him around in, got some milk, and an O-Bar (granola bar), and left for a run. I didn't think he would last for more than a mile or two but we had fun and Matt enjoyed his snacks and he lasted about 4 miles. I dropped him off at home and then ran an extra two miles or so (I didn't have my Garmin on), for a total of about 6 miles.

I got my new Garmin Forerunner 305 in the mail today and plan on testing it out tomorrow, with an interval workout up Grass Mountain with Clay.

Has everyone been enjoying the Olympics? Track and Field started on Friday. The first day included the women's 10k which had a loaded field. Shalane Flanagan from the US, who had food poisoning earlier in the week, took home a Bronze medal and improved on her own American record.

It was a disappointing women's marathon for the US today as only one of three of our athletes finished the race. Deena Kastor, the Olympic Trials winner, dropped out with foot pain after the first three miles. Blake Russell, our only finisher, ran a respectable 2:33. Runner's World article here.

Usain Bolt ran an insane 100m breaking his own world record in 9.69 and the first to go under 9.7 (the crazy thing is he pulled up to show boat for the last 20 meters).

And of course Michael Phelps won is eighth gold medal in eight events tonight, when he swam the butterfly leg of the 4x100 medly relay. 8 goals in 8/08, how appropriate. The 8 golds included 7 world records and all were Olympic records. If you missed any of his races you can see them on

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Local wrestler wins bronze in Beijing

I had planned to get up early today so that both Andi and I could get in runs before I left for work. Unfortunately, Micah is not nursing well and teething and was up half the night. The crying wakes up Matt and, needless to say, none of us got much sleep, Andi less than me. So no one got in a run today.

Some great news from Beijing, local Greco-Roman wrestler from Lancaster High School, now 27 year old Adam Wheeler, won a bronze medal yesterday. Read about it here.

Having trouble getting motivated to run out the door in the morning? Here is runners worlds 101 Kicks in the butt that they posted in 2007.

PS This is what we really talk about at work.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

7.5 miles with 2.5 @ threshold pace

My Garmin was acting up this morning so I don't have exact mileage or splits. My workout consisted of 2.5 miles easy, 2.5 miles at threshold pace, 2.5 miles easy. The threshold portion was probably only truely at threhold pace for the last 1.5 miles as I just didn't feel that great and it took me a while to really get going. Also, the loop that I did the threshold portion at had a little hill in it. I will definitely repeat that workout down the road because I know I can run harder than that.

Brooks, a running shoe brand, made an animated commercial about running throughout a lifetime. It is hilarious, check it out here.

A new long term study on health and running came out from Stanford Medical School. There was a write up on Yahoo news and here is Dean Karnazes take on it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

5 miles in Henderson, NV

I have been in Arizona for the past 3 days visiting my grandparents and family. My grandfather, "Grandpa Jack" has congestive heart failure and his health is steadily declining. He has some tough days and some better days. While I was there he had some better days and it was great to see him.
The family was very busy helping my grandparents, so we didn't get any running in, but we stayed in a house/cabin that had a beautiful view of the Prescott National Forest.

Andi and I drove to Henderson with the boys on Saturday, so this morning we took turns going out for short runs before making the trek back home. I got in a 5 mile run, averaging about 7:30 pace (7:45 pace up hill and 7:15 pace on the downhill).

Here is a nice "Thanks Mom" from US 5k, 10k runner Shalane Flanagan before heading off to Beijing.

Interestingly, the IOC is monitoring websites for Olympic material. If an athlete breaks their "rules" they can be banned from competition. Rules include no pictures, video, or interviews especially of other athletes or the opening ceremonies. See US 10k runner Amy Yoder-Begley's blog for her limited perspectives so far.

There have been some good commercials during Olympic coverage, and some really dumb ones. Here is one of my favorites so far.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Here's an idea!!

How about running 8 miles on Friday (08/08/08)! Maybe at 8:00am? Then check out the opening ceremonies on TV!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

8 mile progression run (59:00)

Mileage today totaled 8 miles in 59 minutes with the first 4 easy pace and the last 4 miles at marathon pace. Mile splits were 8:08, 7:37, 7:48, 7:36, 7:04, 7:01, 6:35, 7:08. Average pace over the run was 7:22.
The new issues of Runners' World and Running Times are both great Olympic previews, got out and get your copy today!

This was posted on the Runners World Daily News Blog for tomorrow 8/06(a local celebrity):
Mark Covert's 40-Year Running Streak Makes It Into the Congressional Record
Covert, 57, has run at least a mile every day since July 23, 1968. He's covered over 140,000 miles. His is the longest continuous streak recognized by the United States Running Association. Although Covert is now a Californian, and a coach at Antelope Valley College, his feat was put into the Congressional Record by Earl Blumenauer of Oregon because Covert ran the 1972 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Eugene wearing shoes fashioned by Bill Bowerman's waffle iron - and because the vast majority of his subsequent miles have been run in Nikes.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

5 miles in Henderson, NV

Got in to Vegas late on Friday. No running on Saturday. We took the boys to the pool, it is HOT out here.

Andi and I went for 5 miles this morning. We planned on doing more but it was windy and we both felt sluggish and tired. We averaged just over 8 minute pace. I will bump the long run up a day and get up early tomorrow and try to get in 10. I will probably run on Mon, Tues or Mon, Wed. this week.