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.

Monday, September 1, 2008

8 mile easy run (61:00)

A beautiful day for a run with just a light breeze to cool me down. Even this afternoon there was no wind and we had a great BBQ with my sister-in-law and her family.

My run today was 8 miles in 61 minutes which is an average of 7:37 per mile. The last two mile were at marathon pace 6:50 to 7:00.

FYI: The altitude at my house is 2350ft.

Total mileage for August was 82, but that is averaging 3 runs per week. Still not consistent training. Must start to ramp it up.

My colleague Clay Patten, PT biked around Lake Tahoe this weekend (72 miles) in under 4.5 hours. The story and pictures are posted here.

Clay and I are presenting our third running clinic at Valley Physical Therapy Group on September 20th at 11am. The topic is Lower Limb Running Injuries: Prevention and Treatment. We are also offering a free gait analysis and shoe prescription for those who RSVP.

This is the same day as the Relay for Life: Palmdale, at Highland High School. Valley Physical Therapy Group Family and Friends has a team this year. Come out and join us for the Running Clinic, Relay for Life, or BOTH! Mark your calendars for September 20th.