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.