Monday, March 30, 2009

Questions Answered

I had some great questions from my weekend post and wanted to reply right away on both of them.

Ron, here is the Accelerade website statement on recommended usage:

Accelerade should be used to rehydrate the body during exercise and also whenever additional energy is needed. The optimal amount of Accelerade to drink during activity depends on the type and intensity of activity, air temperature, and your body size and fitness level.
Before exercise: consume approximately 12-20 oz. of fluid 2 hours prior to exercise and 7-10 oz. of fluid 15-20 min prior to exercise
During exercise: as a general rule you should consume approximately 20-32 oz. of fluid for every hour of exercise. This should consist of ingesting several ounces of Accelerade every 10 to 15 minutes throughout activity. However, there is large variability between individuals as to their tolerance for fluid intake. Further, during many athletic events the frequency and volume of fluids available may be limited. Individuals are encouraged to drink as much as can be tolerated within the recommendation above without inducing gastrointestinal distress
Following exercise: consume approximately 20-24 oz. of fluid per pound of weight loss after exercise
As with any sports nutrition product, you should incorporate it into your daily training to determine what works best and not experiment with a new routine on race day.
While Accelerade is formulated especially for use before and during exercise, it is also an excellent source of recovery nutrition. Following a workout, the body needs water and sodium for rehydration, carbohydrate to replenish muscle fuel stores, and protein to repair muscle damage. Accelerade contains all of these important recovery nutrients.

I personally use Accelerade for a recovery drink only, especially on long or hard efforts. At our recent running clinic, Erin Hamman, RD reported that the optimal time to replenish your carbs is the first 45 minutes after exercise but within the first 3 hours is still ok. I have not tried the version with caffeine. Clay swears by consuming it during competition. Every person is different in what they can “stomach” during activity. The protein may be too much for some and ok for others. It is definitely a good idea to try different drinks during training to find out what works best for you.

The research I found shows improved glycogen resynthesis, increased fat oxidation, improved recovery and performace on same day 60 min exercise bouts. Chocolate milk has been found to be just as effective.

Berardi JM, Price TB, Noreen EE, Lemon PW. Postexercise muscle glycogen recovery enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Jun;38(6):1106-13.

Berardi JM, Noreen EE, Lemon PW. Recovery from a cycling time trial is enhanced with carbohydrate-protein supplementation vs. isoenergetic carbohydrate supplementation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Dec 24;5:24.

Karp JR, Johnston JD, Tecklenburg S, Mickleborough TD, Fly AD, Stager JM. Chocolate milk as a post-exercise recovery aid. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Feb;16(1):78-91.

Thomas K, Morris P, Stevenson E. Improved endurance capacity following chocolate milk consumption compared with 2 commercially available sport drinks. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009 Feb;34(1):78-82.

Here is a link to the Accelerade FAQ page.

Your question on recovery time after a half marathon is a good one. I agree with Tom on the 1 day of recovery for every 1 mile that you race, but there are other factors involved. First, how hard did you race? If it was an all out effort, then this 1 day for every mile holds true. If not then you should recover a little quicker. Everyone is different on how much they can take and how quickly they recover.

The biggest misconception I read in your comment was that this time after a race should be a recovery, and not a complete rest. If I raced all out on a tough half marathon I might take of the next 2-3 days completely resting with no running (swimming or biking would be fine), and then ease back into recovery running with easy mileage over the next 10 days. The “recovery” time just means no hard workouts. I also think the term “atrophy” that you used is inaccurate. Atrophy means an actual decrease in muscle mass or a “wasting away” of muscle tissue. The only way this could happen that quickly is if you lie in bed for the next two weeks and never get out! Although this sounds nice, space scientists with NASA found that complete immobilization for three days resulted in astronauts losing one-fifth of maximal strength. The effects of a sedentary lifestyle are not as dramatic as immobilization in space, but the space research supports the notion that ‘if you don't use it, you'll lose it’. Dan, I hope you are not going up into space any time soon.

Detraining means the “partial or complete loss of training-induced adaptations, in response to an insufficient training stimulus.” Loss of cardiovascular endurance is much slower and depends on your level of fitness. In one study, well-conditioned athletes who had trained for a year stopped exercise entirely. After three months, researchers found that the athletes lost about half of their aerobic conditioning. Another study had sedentary individuals start a bicycle fitness program for two months. During those eight weeks, the exercisers made dramatic cardiovascular improvements and boosted their aerobic capacity substantially. At eight weeks, they quit exercising for the next two months. They were tested again and were found to have lost all of their aerobic gains and returned to their original fitness levels.

From the research that I found, there are very little to no losses in maximal and submaximal cardiovascular (CV) fitness after 2 weeks of detraining. Some losses in VO2max and other CV changes begin between 2-4 weeks of detraining and even greater losses if the period of detraining lasts longer than 4 weeks. This applies if you have been training for at least a year. If you have only recently started training (last 2-3 months) you can loose all of your training effects after a period of 4 weeks of non training. Luckily, all these negative effects can be avoided, and current fitness maintained, by reducing training volume by 1/3 to 2/3 but not stopping completely. Strength gains, on the other had, were not lost until after 4 weeks of complete stoppage.

The moral of this story is for quickest recovery after a half marathon, drink 20-24 oz. of Accelerade per pound of weight loss 30min to 3 hours after your race. Then begin a 2 week recovery period consisting of rest days, cross training, and easy mileage build up before beginning higher intensity workouts.

Finally, congratulations to Dan Ham on his Cheseboro Half Marathon this weekend in 1:50:51 good for 15th in his age group.

Mujika I, Padilla S. Cardiorespiratory and metabolic characteristics of detraining in humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Mar;33(3):413-21.

Mujika I, Padilla S. Detraining: loss of training-induced physiological and performance adaptations. Part I: short term insufficient training stimulus. Sports Med. 2000 Aug;30(2):79-87.

Mujika I, Padilla S. Detraining: loss of training-induced physiological and performance adaptations. Part II: long term insufficient training stimulus. Sports Med. 2000 Sep;30(3):145-54.

Neufer PD. The effect of detraining and reduced training on the physiological adaptations to aerobic exercise training. Sports Med. 1989 Nov; 8(5):302-20.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

9 mile run, fast finish at threshold pace

It was a BEAUTIFUL day today. Quite possibly the best weather day of the year so far. It is finally "shorts weather" even in the early morning. I headed out on 45th again to Towncenter, south on 30th and back on Rancho Vista (for you locals). I felt great this morning and settled into a marathon type pace early on. I pushed it up the hills on Rancho Vista, at threshold pace, up to 50th and then cooled down. Here is the break down mile splits.

7:50, 7:31, 7:18, 7:09, 7:03, 6:34, 6:39, 6:25, 6:53.
Miles 6, 7, 8 were coming up Rancho Vista!

It is a fairly hilly course but nothing too steep. You can really push the hills and not kill yourself. The only flat portion is on 30th for one mile.

Total time for 9 miles 1:03:25 (avg pace 7:03).
Calves and hamstring felt great.

What did everyone else do on this gorgeous day?

PS. They now make accelerade with caffeine! And there is a great deal on REI Outlet. For those of you not aware. Accelerade has a 4:1 carb to protein ratio. The protein has been shown to speed up the absorption of carbs and assist with recovery. The caffeine has been shown to improve performance. This may be the new SUPER BEVERAGE!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tuesday 10 miles, Thursday 7.5 miles

Tuesday morning was near perfect for temperature and weather. I had over an hour to run and have determined that I need to spend some time just putting miles on the road, nothing too fast, so I zig zagged through Quartz Hill, running up and down the hills for 10 miles. I tried not to look at my watch too much and just ran comfortable. I ran the 10 miles in 1:15:30 (avg 7:33 pace)! It was a good run. The roads are well lit but I used my head lamp too.

Today (Thursday) I looked out the window and saw the trees swaying pretty good. I almost crawled back into bed but pushed myself out the door. I did the Towncenter loop over by the golf course which was 4.5 miles then continued up to 60th and back on M-8 for a total of 7.5 miles in just under 58 minutes (avg 7:42 pace). The wind appeard to be coming from the north but then changed to come from the west as usual.

I have been fairly consistent with my lunch strength training 20-30 minutes 2-3x/wk for the past 4-6 weeks. My left hamstring talks to me the day after kettlebells but not enough to affect my stride.

Dean Karnazes had a good post the other day. Some interesting ideas for new inventions for running using the piezoelectric effect to harnes some of the energy we create by running.

Dean's dad was inspired to start his own ultra endurance challenge by his son's cross country adventure in 2006. He is playing 18 holes of golf every day for 96 days straight and will cover all the lower 48 states in the process. He is also walking every course and carrying his own clubs. Here is an article about him. He is starting his own blog The Happy Golfer. Another daily blog to read and follow.

Here is the last episode of Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels. This weeks clip is on recommendations for making US Track and Field better. These interviews have been excellent and I will miss watching them every week. They are all very worthwhile and I would recommend watching them all.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Zero mileage weekend

High winds and rain kept me from running this weekend. Yes, I have a treadmill but didn't have time to get on there either (ok lots of alibis going on). I had planned to get up this morning and run either outside or on the treadmill (if it was still windy) but my alarm was not set right (more excuses).

Saturday was the first running clinic of the year. Clay and I hosted Erin Hamman, RD to speak about nutrition for endurance athletes. There was some great information given on general nutrition as well as pre and post race fueling. Thanks to those of you who attended.

Today my day calendar says is Roger Bannister's 80th birthday. He was the first person to break the 4 minute mile barrier. There are some great books out about him and the pursuit of this goal. He is on my list of people that I would like to meet. He trained and broke the 4 minute barrier while in medical school and went on to become a well known neurologist in England.
Here is the video of his most famous performance.

And his head to head race with John Landy to detmine the fastest miler in the world. It is amazing how gracious both athletes are after the race.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Easy runs and tempo run

This dailight savings messed my morning runs up. Although it has been warming up it is now dark at 5am when I need to go running. I am not letting that be my excuse any more. I have a head lamp you know.

I had a half hour to get in 4 miles around Quartz Hill. Took just under 32 minutes (7:56 pace avg).

Thursday morning I ran the same course that Andi and I ran on Sunday but did a tempo run for the portion on the aqueduct and the first mile back down. Total 7 miles (2 miles warm up, 4 miles tempo, 1 mile cool down) The middle miles were between 6:10-6:40. It took a while to get going. I haven't run hard in a while. Total time for 7 miles was just over 50 minutes (just over 7:00/mi pace).

Time to start logging some serious mileage.

Next events:
May 3, 2009 Orange County Half Marathon
July 5, 2009 30 miles for my 30th birthday

Don't forget to check out Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring is here! 7 mile anniversary run.

It was windy all day on Sunday but Andi and I still got out for a run on our Anniversary while my mom stayed with the kids. We ran up to the aqueduct, then from 60th to 70th, and came back on the other side and conveniently finished at Cold Stone. You know what happens from there. The run was 7 miles (for the start of our 7th year of marriage) and we averaged 8:30min/mi over the run. We’ll have to do a marathon for our 25th anniversary.

We are planning on running the Twin Cities Marathon together on October 4th this year. That gives her 7 months to get ready. Her last marathon was the Los Angeles Marathon with me in 2005 where we ran 3:38. We are hoping to break 4 hours this time around.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

15 mile pacific crest trail run

Clay hosted a mountain trail fun run today on the Pacific Crest Trail from San Fransisquito Road to Lake Hughes Road. It is a grueling 7.5 miles each way on single track trail for a total of 15 miles. Total ascent was 3684 ft. There was very little flat areas. I had run the back end of this course before with Clay, starting at Lake Hughes Road, but it had been over a year.

I took a Kelty hydration pack with a 2 liter water pouch to test out today. I liked it quite a bit. It has a waist and chest strap that holds it tight to my back. The water valve was easily accessible as well. I nearly drank the entire 2 liters.

It took me 68 minutes to get to the turn around (7.5 miles). The first two miles at the start and after the turn around were over 10 minutes each. I stopped at the turn around to get my powerbar gel blasts, get a drink, and started back up the hill. I met Clay about 2 miles back towards the start and ran back with him and his dog. I finished the 15 mile course in 2:21:29 (avg pace 9:26).

It was a lot of fun but I am going to be sore tomorrow. The last 1.5 miles are down hill and steep. My quads and calves will be "talking tomorrow" and I really stretched out my plantar fascia on my left foot coming down the hills. I also made the same mistake I made in Boston of not cutting my toe nails before the run, but I don't think I will loose any this time.

If you have the opportunity I highly recommend this trail run.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

First run from the new house: 9 miles exploring

I didn't get in a single run all week last week. We have been busy "getting settled." We are having a party at the new house (elevation 2600 ft) next weekend for my son Matt's 3rd birthday!

I finally got in a run this morning and went exploring. I wanted to find the best route up to the California aqueduct. I also saw some trails branching off the trail on google earth that I wanted to check out.

It is exactly 1.75 miles from my house to the aqueduct if I take 55th to the end then take the trails up. It is just slightly longer If I stay on N, then turn on 60th and enter the aqueduct there. For those of you not from the Antelope Valley, the California aqueduct is a water channel that starts in northern California. It runs along the west side of the valley here and has a paved side and dirt side that are open for running/walking. It is a great flat area for running without any traffic or stops to worry about.

I found the trail I was looking for and took it to the top of the hills south of the aqueduct (peak elevation 3400 ft). There were some great views of the valley from up there. There are some great trails up there that look like I could take down to Highland High School. I didn't want to get out too far so took a trail back which turned out to be a dead end of sorts. I had to walk down a hill that the garmin says topped out at 49% grade! I ran home on the road.

Don't forget to check out Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels. Coach Daniels talks about goal setting this week.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekend move and 1600m pacer

Sorry for the lack of posts. I have not done much running but getting some great strength workouts with our move to the new house. After 6 hours of moving all the large furniture and appliances on Saturday I dropped off the U-haul and ran to the track to meet Clay and Zac for a 1600m time trial. The first one I ran with Zac who's goal was a sub 5:30. We ran dead even splits but he was just over in 5:31 (a 20 second PR! Happy Birthday Zac!). He will be under in no time. Then after a short recovery I paced Clay to an A/G PR of 5:49 We ran 89sec for the first two laps and then 85, 86 for the last two. After another recovery I decided to see what kind of leg speed I had right now and to my suprise ran a 63 second 400. There is hope for that sub 5:00 mile in May. It turned out to be a great interval workout for me, so everyone was happy.

See Clay's blog for more commentary and pictures!

Total mileage for February was 84. If we keep having weather like we did this weekend I will have no excuses to not be running more consistently in March.