Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moving the blog!

I am officially moving my blog to If you scroll down on the home page you will see a list of my 5 most recent posts. Once reading the blog an archive of previous posts will be located in a column on the right side. I will continue to post on my own training, with tips, news, and other entertaining stories related to running. Check often as I will try and post a few times per week. Thank you to all my readers, please follow me to my new site and feel free to continue posting comments or questions anytime.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Long Run (from the best)

Remember that post I did a few weeks back about what a 140mpw looks like and how it would take someone who runs 10min/mi over 20 hours a week to run that far? Well the same principle should be considered during the weekly long run, and here is the breakdown on this topic from Coach Jack Daniels PhD. Makes a lot of sense to me. An elite marathon runner would almost NEVER go out for a 4+ hour training run so why should the beginner?

Watch more video of Saucony Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels on

Run, Forrest, Run!

"Now you wouldn’t believe it if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was goin’ somewhere, I…was…runnin’!"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Newhall Independence Day 5k (20:29)

Today was the 29th annual Newhall Independence Day 5k. This well established race draws about 500 runners every year. This was my 4th consecutive year running the event. Since I have not been running I decided to play it conservative. I found Dale and Lauren at the starting line and Lauren was talking about a PR so I decided to try and pull her along with me. Our first mile was 6:40 and Lauren was right with me. We made it to the turn around and I started to pull away. By my watch I hit the two mile mark at 13:46. My last mile was 6:20. I finished in 20:29, a nice tempo run for the week. I was pleased until I realized that that time was my marathon pace at CIM! I've got to get back in shape!
Lauren did PR 21:13. Clay's daughter Kendall also PR'd in 23:20. The weather was very warm, ok it was hot! It is always a fun time with free Jamba Juice afterward at a nice park. It just takes them forever to call the awards!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Birthday run

Today was my 32nd birthday. Two years ago I ran 30 miles for my 30th birthday. Last year I ran 3.1 for my 31st birthday. This year I met Chuck at Ave S. and the aqueduct at 5:45am. He had already run 5 miles. We ran 5 together and then met Dale and Lauren for another 5! So I ran 10. Chuck suggested I should have run 3200m (just short of 2 miles) for my 32nd birthday. It was a good idea except I think we had already run 3 or 4 miles, so we just kept going. It was a great birthday run. The miles flew buy while we all chatted. It seems like everyone is finally coming around after some nagging aches and pains that needed a little rest. My legs felt great but I am tired tonight.
Cutting Edge Running just announced special July introductory prices. Go check 'em out!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I have started my coaching career this past month. It is an online coaching service at The website is constantly evolving as I learn web design. I am doing the website editing myself so it will take some time, but please keep checking back regularly. I see some great potential with the services that I am offering, and hope to help many runners reach their goals.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

USATF Championships Day 4

I watched the final day of the track and field championships today with my boys. They really liked watching the races. Both the men's and women's 800m were great, and produced some fast times. Veterans Nick Symmonds and Khadevis Robinson went 1-2 in the men's 800m using great race tactics. Both should do very well at the World Championships later this summer. After the events were over we went into the backyard and practiced our long jumps.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

USATF Championships Day 3

All the races today played out as expected, except the 1500m. Both men's and women's races were crazy and completely different. The women started out with Christin Wurth pushing the pace making sure it was an honest race. Unfortunately she went out like it was an 800m and no one went with her. She went through the 400m split in 62 seconds, which is nearly world record pace. She had created a huge gap between herself and the rest of the field which was still moving pretty quick. She looked great for 1350m and may have run away with it if she had gone out in 64 instead of 62. They started to gain on Wurth with 300m to go and caught her on the home stretch. She was passed by Uceny, then Simpson, and Rowbury at the line. I thought Wurth was going to collapse with 50m to go as her legs looked wobbly. The top three women could all make the final at World Champs. I picked the winner (Uceny) but was wrong on Pierce and off by a place with Wurth. Watch the race here.

The men's 1500m was a mess. It was awful to watch. Nobody wanted to lead. No one wanted to break the wind or let others sit on them, and everyone seemed to be willing to let Lagat dictate the race. He went to the lead and then slowed the pace dramatically. The men's first lap was 66 (4 seconds slower than the women). There was bumping and shoving, and multiple times were people almost went down. Then they all started to kick playing into Lagat's perfect senario. All my picks were within a few steps of each other in the last 30m. And after a few late surges it ended up 1. Centrowitz, 2. Lagat, 3. Manzano, 4. Wheating. The reason #4 was important was because Lagat knew he wouldn't be running the 1500m at Worlds and 4th would move into 3rd. Some people (Leer who ended up 5th) took offense to Lagat's strategy, but who can blame him for wanting two win to events at USA's. Unfortunately, he turned what could have been a very fast and competitive race with one of the most stacked fields in US history, into "who can run the fastest 200m surrounded by other runners without falling down." I picked Lagat to win but not in that fashion. He was beat in the last 20-30m by NCAA champ Matt Centrowitz and Leo Manzano snuck into 3rd with a late kick. I thought Wheating would have more but he ended up 4th. Torrence was 6th (my pick for 3rd). Unfortunately, of the three runners that may be in the 1500m for the US, I think Wheating has the only shot at making the final. I hope I am wrong.

Friday, June 24, 2011

USA Track & Field Championships Day 2

Mostly prelims again today. All the 800m runners that I thought would make the final did, which should make for some great finals this weekend. Khadevis Robinson won both is heats with the slowest times, which should give him an advantage (good lane assignment and freshest legs).

The 5k finals were tonight and I was not suprised to see Bernard Lagat and Molly Huddle win. They ARE the American record holders in the event. What impressed me the most was three people Galen Rupp, Desiree Davila, and Jen Rhines. Galen won the 10k last night then came back and made the team in the 5k with a third place finish. He said he will double at Worlds. Desiree Davila was 4th in the 10k (31:37) and 6th in the 5k (15:25). She didn't make the top 3 in either event but it was a killer double and a PR in both events. Jen Rhines made the same double but was even more impressive with a 3rd place finish in the 10k (31:30) and a 4th place in the 5k (15:19). She rounded out a 2nd, 3rd, 4th place finish in the 5k from the Mammoth TC girls!

The word on flotrack was that Lagat and Solinsky closed their last 1600m of the 5k in 3:58! AWESOME!

1500m finals tomorrow and Lagat will be there. An awesome field on both sides. Men's race includes Lagat, Wheating, Torrence, Leer, Manzano, Lomong, and Centrowitz. The Women's race has Anderson, Simpson, Rowbury, Hasay, Uceny, Pierce, Wurth, and Follett. It is anyone's race.

My picks:
Mens: 1. Lagat 2. Wheating 3. That is tough but I am going to go with Torrence, but I also like Leer (Go SCIAC).
Womens: (This is really tough) 1. Uceny 2. Pierce 3. Wurth although Katie Follett has had a great season...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grandma's Marathon

The 35th Grandma's Marathon was this weekend. Grandma's will always be a special race for me as it was my first marathon under 3 hours, and at the time it was a 17 minute PR! I bettered my debut marathon time of 3:15 in L.A. 2004. I was very naive to the marathon and believe I went into it undertrained. My only gauge of my fitness level leading up to Grandma's was a local 20k race around the brutal Red Rock loop outside of Las Vegas that I ran in 1:24, and I had paced Andi to a 3:38 LA Marathon 3 months earlier.
My goal was to run a BQ (3:10 at the time) and I settled in with a pace group. I didn't know anyone else running but had family there waiting at the finish line for me. The Grandma's course is unbelievable. They bus you 26 miles north of Duluth, MN to Two Harbors and then you run back on the lakeside road with Lake Superior on your left the entire time. After about 3 miles I remember thinking, "This feels slow, I am going to run ahead of the pace group and see how I do. Then if they catch me I will just have to hang on." I went through the half in 1:28 and realized I was clicking off 6:30 to 6:40 miles consistently. The pace group never caught me, my last mile was my fastest 6:04, and I finished 2:58:37.

Grandma's is a fast course with great competition. My sub 3 hour finish barely cracked me into the top 200 runners, and this year would have been no different. This year there were 18 guys under 2:20, a 42 year old ran 2:29 and a 52 year old ran 2:43. Two Americans, Jeff Eggleston and Matt Gabrielson, ran 2:13. Michael Wardian, who just finished 11th and was first American at Comrades Marathon (5:52:51), a 50 mile race in South Africa, came out to Duluth 3 weeks later and ran an Olympic Trials Qualifier in 2:17:49.

The winner of Grandma's was closing in on the finish line this year, crossed what he thought was a timing strip, and stopped 60ft short of the finish line. People were yelling at him to continue and once he realized that he wasn't done, was caught by another runner and they sprinted to the finish. The leader still won the race but only by .2 seconds!

Jennifer Houck, a 27 year old up and coming American marathoner was 5th in a PR of 2:33:01. She has run 5 marathons now and gotten progressively faster each time. She is also a Physical Therapist! Look for her at the Olympic Trials for the marathon.


First day of US Championships is in the books. All the prelims seemed to go well with only a few expected people missing out on advancing. Eric Flores, hammer thrower from my alma mater, CLU, had a nice first throw but fouled his next two throws and did not advance. His first throw put him in 10th and top 8 made the final. Khadevis Robinson, now coach at my other alma mater UNLV, easily won his heat in the 800m to advance.

The women's 10k was awesome since Shalane pushed the pace early and lead almost the entire race and broke 31 minutes. Kara Goucher and Jen Rhines rounded out the top 3, but Desiree Davila and Magdalena Boulet came in 4th and 5th respectively and both PRed by over 30 seconds. It was a great race.

On the other hand, the men's 10k went out super slow. Actually it strung out and then after a few laps the leaders put on the breaks. At that time Sergio was in last and when the breaks went on he was literally pushed up into 3rd place. He stayed in the top 5 for a few miles and then they started throwing in some killer surges and finally Galen closed in I think 1:54 for his last 800m and won the race. It was a risky way to run as a few guys who had a chance got out kicked at the end. That is what happens when you leave it up to a kick. You either got it or you don't. Sergio ended up last in 29:17.

5k final tomorrow night (Lagat vs. Solinsky).

USATF Championshilps

USATF Championships start today with mostly preliminary heats. Sergio Reyes is running the 10k tonight at 7:55pm PST. It should be streamed live on

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

High Mileage

The idea of high mileage for all runners that use their aerobic system as a primary energy source for their race distance is an idea made famous by Arthur Lydiard. His ideas of long slow distance and training are commonly misinterpreted. One of his most famous athletes, Peter Snell, was running 20+ mile long runs before his double gold performance in the 800m and 1500m at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Why would someone run 20 miles when their event is less than a mile? To maximize your aerobic sytem one must continually stress it to continue to improve. Everyone running 800m and up should have a weekly long run as part of their training.

On the other hand, runners can become WAY to obsessed about mileage. Ryan Hall wrote in a recent post, that he used to go out for a 2 mile run before the week was out just to hit his magic number of at least 100mpw. He goes on to write that now in his running career exact mileage has become less important. What he finds most beneficial now is "hard, quality workouts followed by adequate recovery and even making sure to over-recover." That doesn't mean that Ryan is running less weekly mileage. It just means that he knows that the recovery is most important, and that those 2 extra miles my hinder his trainng more than enhance it.

It is still important to keep track of your mileage. You can tell when you have done more than you are used to and may need a recovery week or an extra recovery day. My advice is schedule your "workouts" first, meaning long runs, tempo runs, and intervals. Then fill in with other easy runs that will challenge your aerobic system and facilitate your recovery not impede it. Also, continue to challenge your aerobic system by doing a "little bit more than last time." For example if you were running 30mpw without trouble, then increase to 35mpw during the same stage in your training.

Have you ever wondered what a 140 mile week looks like? Nick Arciniaga recently posted on a typical 140 mile training week during his marathon training. Check it out. At first 140 miles sounds insane right? And it is, but when you think about how Nick trains it is not as much as you think. He has it split up into 13 workouts over 7 days. Nick averages some where between 9 and 10mph on even a long run or recovery run, sometimes faster. If he averaged 10mph over the whole week that would be 14 hours of running a week. That is 2 hours a day. If someone who averages 6mph on their training runs ran 2 hours a day they would run 84 miles that week. That would be a lot of running for them too but it would be an equal training stimulus for them (140mph is to Nick as 84mpw is to 10min/mi runner). It would take the 10min/mi runner 23 hours/wk to run 140miles!!!! Now that is insane!

Nick can run 100mpw in about 10 hours of training. It would take me about 13 hours/wk. Even at top marathon shape I am lucky to get in 5-6 hours/wk.

So Nick runs 2 hours a day. What does he do the rest of the day? All the little things to make sure he is recovered enough for the next workout. Must be nice.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Texas A & M Core Training

Texas A & M just won the men's and women's NCAA Div I National Championship for the 3rd straight year. They also had 46 All-Americans in men's and women's track & field. This may be one of the main reasons. Listen to their strength and conditioning coach. She mostly works with sprinters but the rules apply to everyone.

"Hold your posture while applying force to the track."

"If I can apply more force [to the track] over a longer period of time, I am going to win the race."

"Get as strong as humanly possible without getting bigger."

Watch more video of The Pros in 2011 on

Saturday, June 18, 2011

10 mile run

I will be coaching my oldest son's soccer team in the fall and this morning I had a training course for all the coaches. It was at the Lancaster Soccer Complex, and after doing a google map from my house found it to be almost exactly 10 miles away. I decided I would run there and Andi said she would pick me up after my class so I left the house at 6:40 am to make it in just in time for the 8:00am class. I remember about half way there, running by a digital sign that had the temp at 72 degrees. It was most certaily above 80 for the last few miles. There is no break from the sun on Ave M. The run was tough for two reasons. First, I haven't run that far in a while, and secondly, I haven't run in that kind of heat in a while. I carried an Ultimate Direction water bottle (with hand straps) in each hand. They are great for carrying fluid on the run.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I ran today! (5 miles)

I have not run in a month. I have been staying up too late and not getting up early enough for a run. The weather has been good. I have missed some great days for running. I have been working on my website and brainstorming ideas with little to show for it. I was hoping it would be up and running over a month ago, but my web guy has not had time to work on it and I am hoping to take over the work myself very soon. I did have a friend work on a logo and finalized a domain name and here it is (yes that is me in the logo)!
When I take time off from running, even a month off, I start to think about "the good times" meaning when I was running well and really fit. It wasn't too long ago, only a little over a year ago, that I PR'd at the marathon distance and 10 mile distance, and ran my first ultra. The key to these PRs was the training that was happening a year before that. It was maybe the best year of running that I have ever had. It started with the training and build up for my 30 mile run on my 30th birthday. I started really training for that in May 2009 after the OC half marathon (1:27:22). I slowly built up my mileage and ran 30 miles in just over 4 hours for my 30th birthday. I continued to consistently build on that base with my wife as we ran the Twin Cities Marathon in October 2009, and even more intense after that for California International Marathon where I PR'd (2:57:11). I took it easy for a month after that and started really putting in some long miles on the trail for LD50. Two weeks before that race I PR'd at the Charlottesville 10 miler (62:01). I went on to meet my goal of a sub 9 hour race at Leona Divide 50 mile in April 2010.

The keys to this level of fitness I attained were consistent Long runs (30 mile birthday run, a spontaneous AV marathon and Twin Cities Marathon became LONG training runs), and long tempo runs. I was at the point where I was running a 10 mile tempo run at 65 minutes.

I am far from that level of fitness right now. Like I said before, I have not run in a month and minimal running this year. I finally got out for a run today. I left the house at 6:45am and ran 5 miles (down to Lane Park, two laps, and back). It was so much harder than it should have been. I hate that first run back, but I was glad to be back. One good thing about time off is that those little nagging injuries have more time to heal. My right calf felt really good today. I rewarded myself by wearing a brand new pair of ASICS 2150s that have been waiting for me in my closet.

We spent the early afternoon at the beach (pictures to come soon).

Shout out to my friend and colleague Ron Gallagher, who was quoted in an article in the most recent Triathlete Magazine in an article on compression garments.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Watch the race!

I finally got to watch the HS dream mile and I am amazed by the effort of Lukas Verzbicas! (My internet at home is on the fritz). Those conditions were so tough. Of the 5 HS boys to break 4 min, that was the worst weather for sure. I say take 2-3 seconds off that in ideal conditions. Props to Elias Gedyon for the move he made with a lap to go. He would have been under 4 too in good weather, so would Mudd. The class of 2011 may be the best since 2001 (Hall, Ritz, Webb). It will be fun to see where they all are in 4 years, 8 years. We may have just watched a bunch of future Olympians. Jim Ryun and Lukas Verzbicas are the only HS boys to break 4 minutes in a HS only mile!

Watch the race here.

Post race interview with Lukas here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

He did it!

I knew Lukas Verzbicas was a special talent, but he sealed the deal today by becoming only the 5th high schooler ever to break the 4 minute mile! I honestly thought there might be 2 or 3 kids do it today but it sounds as though windy conditions made it awfully hard to get it done. Congrats to Lukas! What an amazing year this young man has had (Footlocker xc champ, Nike Cross Nationals champ, National 2 mile record holder, and now sub 4 minute miler). I look forward to following your career for many more years.

Watch more video of adidas Golden Stripes 2011: Dream 100 & Jim Ryun Dream Mile on

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thirsty Thursdays!

What was your toughest workout ever?

Watch more video of Saucony Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels on


“Life isn’t about how you survived the storm, it’s about how you danced in the rain.” --Nick Karnazes (father of Dean Karnazes)

Just surviving the storm right now.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

California State Track Meet

I finally looked at the results from the California State high school track meet and there was some phenomenal performances. California always has many of the top track athletes in the country. I think it is a combination of good weather for year round training and a HUGE population of high school kids. When my high school came out to CA for meets from neighboring Nevada, even the top kids from my school seemed to be only above average.

Four performances in particular caught my attention in the distance events.

First, Amy Weissenbach an 11th grader from Harvard-Westlake won the girls 800m in 2:02.04! That time is the 15th fastest female American time so far this year! All the women faster than her are professionals. She is faster than any NCAA runner so far this year (NCAA championships is this week)!

Second, Jantzen Oshier a 12th grade boy from Trabuco Hills ran the 1600m in 4:00.83. He has lead the list of top boys milers in the country all spring but 4 flat is incredible! He will be in the High School Dream Mile this weekend with Lukas Verzbicas (who just smashed the HS 2 mile record in 8:29), Billy Orman (who won the AZ 3200m in 8:48), Elias Gedyon (8:50 at CA state 3200m), Amar Moussa, and the Rosa twins. The question may not be who will break the 4 minute mile, but how many?

Elias Gedyon is my third highlighted athlete. He was second to Oshier in the 1600m at CA state in 4:04 and won the 3200m in 8:50! That is possibly the best double in the country. The last person to win both at the CA state meet was Meb Keflezighi!

Finally, Sarah Baxter, a 9th grader from Simi Valley, won the girls 3200m in 10:13! How fast will this tiny little girl me in 3 years? Amazing! The great thing about her is that her parents and coaches seem to be holding her reins back and not extending her seasons by adding more and more races, even though she probably could win all of them.

Congrats to all these kids. They are truly amazing! See all the CA state track meet results here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why US track and field is still behind?

The United States has some of the top runners in the world, no doubt. In my opinion, we have the talent pool to win or have Olympic medalists in every event. The problem is that there are too many other more popular sports with greater notoriety that pull great athletes away from track and field.

I opened a recent issue of Sports Illustrated and was reading the Faces in the Crowd page when I noticed two great athletes. Mac McGuire (wonder who he was named after), ran a 47.8 400m split in his HS relay anchor leg to win the Texas state championship. He is also a team leader in goals scored for the state champion soccer team and an all-state kicker for the football team. He will be playing SOCCER for Boston University in the fall.

Alyssa Lombardo ran a 56.9 400m for a district record in PA. She won the 100, 200, 400, and 800m at her league meet. She is an all-state athlete in track and soccer. She will be playing SOCCER at Stanford next year.

Mac’s 400 split is equivalent to a 1:45 800m time and a sub 4 min mile. With the right endurance training this kid could be a top NCAA middle distance runner.

Alyssa’s 400m time is equivalent to a 2:03 800m and a 4:13 1500m, both of which would be top NCAA times.

Give them 4 more years and they could be Olympic hopefuls in track. Instead they picked soccer. Most likely they will not be Olympic soccer players or even professional soccer players. They probably did get athletic scholarships and who can blame them for taking the money to play and get a college education, but with those times I’m sure they could have both received scholarships to run track. I am not faulting either of these kids, but athletic American kids have so many options that the track talent gets only a small drop from the pool.

There certainly is more pressure on track athletes when it comes to performing in competition. If you have a bad day on the soccer field your teammates can pick up the slack and still win the game. Have a bad day on the track and you will get dusted! No one can help you run faster in the open 400m except yourself.

Luckily, US track and field gets an Andrew Wheating every once in a while to drop soccer and become one of the top mid distance runners in the world! In the mean time we will all just have to wonder how far Lebron James could have thrown the discus? Or How far Michael Jordan could have long jumped or high jumped? Or how far a young Vladimir Guerrero could throw the javelin? Or how high Shawn Johnson or Nastia Liukin could pole vault? Until the minimum salary for team USA track and field pushes 7 digits we will never know.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thirsty Thursdays are back!

Flotrack started a new series with Coach Jack Daniels, PhD. This week was about mental fatigue. I have heard him tell this story about the runner in South America before and it is a great one.

Take it one mile at a time, one lap at a time, one step at a time. It is a simple act of puting one foot in front of the other. Don't make it more complicated than it is, and remember the faster your run the faster it will all be over!

Watch more video of Saucony Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels on

Friday, May 27, 2011

CLU results from NCAA Div III Nationals

The NCAA Division III National Championships for track and field are this weekend. My alma mater, Cal Lutheran, has two athletes that have already scored points (a top 8 finish). Eric Flores, the Div III National hammer record holder has already won two events: the hammer (213ft 11in) and the shot put (57ft 5.75in). He won the shot put by a quarter inch on his last throw! That give CLU 20 points and puts them tied for 3rd place going into the final day. Toccoa Kahovec was 8th in the women's steeplchase with a time of 10:39 , also a school record time, earning her All-American honors. Not bad considering CLU doesn't even have a track! Congrats to both athletes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Conservative training progression and Vibrams

Anytime you put "Vibrams" in your title these days people will stop and read. You may have seen these "shoes" out there that are really just a glove for your feet. Christopher McDougall might be able to take credit for the fad after his book Born to Run became a best seller and people wanted to try this new inovative type of running called "barefoot running." The truth is that people have been running barefoot, even in the US, for part or all of their training for many years. This is not a new idea. During my high school and college cross country years, we often used to take off our shoes and run sprints or strides across the football field after workouts. It is a great way to teach running on your midfoot or forefoot and strengthen your foot and ankle. The vibrams allow a runner to "run barefoot" on surfaces other than grass with some protection for your feet. Like any training tool it is best to progress forward conservatively.

The video is a recent guest interview of Keith Olbermann on the David Letterman show. The related discussion is in the first two minutes. Keith comes out on the show walking with a cane and a walking cast and goes on to tell Dave that he has a stress fracture in his foot caused by running in Vibrams. He goes on to imply that if you weigh more than 175 pounds and you run in Vibrams you WILL get a stress fracture.

First off his podiatrist must have stock in Vibrams because to say that walking in Vibrams is good for your knees and hips is a bunch of baloney. WALKING is good for your knees and hips. It really doesn't matter what foot wear you have on. The Vibrams allow for your foot to move as it was intended to move and that is a good thing, but to say that Vibrams are good for everyone is hog-wash.

The reason that Keith got a stress fracture in his foot is not due to wearing his Vibrams, it is because he either ran in them too much too soon, or ran in them before his body was strong enough to control the new movement at his foot and ankle.

This brings me to my point. The key to improvement in running is consistent training progression over a long period of time without interruption (injury). A conservative approach to training progression will ALWAYS decrease your risk for injury. The problem becomes determining how much is too much or not enough. Most people will give you the 10% rule for a safe amount of weekly mileage progression. This means that if you ran 20 miles last week then you can run 22 miles the next week, and 24 miles the week after that. This may be too much for some (jumping from 90mpw to 99mpw) and not enough for others (10mpw to 11mpw). It has to be individualized.
Jack Daniels, PhD. would say that any weekly increase may be too much when continued over many weeks. He advocates keeping mileage fairly consistent for 3-4 weeks before increasing. This gives the body a normal amount of time to adapt to this new stress before changing it again. He recommends increasing mileage by 20% every 3-4 weeks.
I believe I read somewhere that Coach Alberto Salazar increases Galen Rupp's peak mileage by only 5 miles per year. This means that if the most Galen ran in one week last year was 90mpw, then next year his highest mileage will be around 95. Now that is conservative, but you don't hear about many serious injuries with Galen and he has demonstrated a consistent and steady improvement in 5k and 10k times over his career so far.
This conservative rule applies to all aspects of training. If I want to add intervals into my weekly training program and I start with 8000m worth of interval work on the first day, I am at a higher risk for injury than the runner who started with 3000m. If I want to try some barefoot running and I start with a 30 min run 4 times a week, I am at a higher risk for injury than the runner who starts with some light jogging on the grass for 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, everyone is different and even the 10 minutes in the Vibrams might be too much for some, conversely the 30 min 4x/wk runner might be just fine. I tend to lean towards the conservative approach to training as a little bit less over a longer time yields better outcomes than short bursts of heavy training.

Keith may want to just do some light jogging on grass for 100m at a time once his podiatrist gives him the OK to run again. In the mean time he would definitely benefit from some general strength and conditioning. His weight (over 175lbs) probably had little to do with the injury (ie: the contestants on The Biggest Loser seem to be just fine).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

News and Links

I did not make it down for the Oxy High Performace meet, but it sounds like this will be an annual event so maybe next year. There is no other meet in the country, except maybe Pre Classic, that attracts so many top tier runners.

The meet was highlighted by some quick 800s. Two women went under 2:00 which doesn't happen too often in the US, and two men went under 1:45!

The 1500s were a little slower than last year but won by Katie Follet and Andrew Wheating. Katie is tearing it up this year and ran a PR in 4:07.44. Andrew won in 3:36.46 in his season debut in an open event. Neither were A standards but solid performances.

Here is the link to all the race videos and interviews.

I wrote about the US World Championship marathon team recently. Today runnersworld posted a link to Nick Arciniaga's blog that he started to document his training for the marathon in Daegu. He discusses his teammates and their chances of a team medal! Hopefully he updates it often. It will be fun to read his insights on marathon training. I posted a link to his blog on the blog list to the right.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

oxy high performance meet

The heat sheets for the Oxy High Performance meet are out as well as the race schedule. Check out the Men's 1500 championship race. There are 6 olympians in the race including the rabbit (Nick Willis). Events start at 6:45 and should be done by 9:00 pm. Two hours of the fastest mid-distance athletes in the country!

Also an update on the Ryan Hall appearance at Dick's Sporting Goods in Santa Clarita. The rumor is that there is an organized "run with Ryan" at 8:00 am at Dick's followed by autographs at 9:00am. Call to confirm.

Anyone planning on attending either of these events? I am hoping to go to the meet on Saturday night. Let me know if any of you are going.

Do you rotate shoes?

First, USATF officially announced the US marathon teams for world championships in Daegu, Korea this August. We knew that Sergio's win at Twin Cities last fall guarenteed him a spot but now it is official. The teams are as follows:
Mens: Nick Arciniaga, Sergio Reyes, Jeffery Eggleston, Mike Sayenko, Mike Morgan.
All of these guys have run under 2:15 in the last year with Nick being the fastest, 2:11:30 at Houston.

Womens: Kara Goucher, Tera Moody, Colleen DeReuck (at the age of 47), Kathy Newberry, and Alissa McKaig.
The first 3 women have run 2:30 or better in the past 2 years. It was a suprise to see Kara Goucher on the list but I guess she wants to get in one more marathon before the Olympic Trials and this is on a World Championship stage. Although, I read that if she qualifies in the 10k at USA's this summer that she will run the 10k in Daegu instead.

The UVA Center for Endurance Sport posted an interesting article on running shoe cushion this week. The reason people used to rotate shoes was the idea that the cushion would "rebound" back to previous shape a day or two after a run. What they found was that this is not true. Almost a "mythbusters" type of experiment. What they did find is that the EVA midsole does weaken and eventually breakdown over time. "Shoe breakdown is variable depending on the runner’s mass, running surfaces, and gait style." The author did reference an article that showed that running in "worn" shoes did increase stance time and altered lower leg range of motion, thus slightly altering gait and possibly increase risk of injury.

Since we all cannot look at our shoes under a microscope after every run, we have to make a decision for ourselves when to switch to a new pair. The gang at UVA is still recommending switching out, or at least starting to think about, a new pair every 400-500 miles. That would be once a month for those running 100+ mpw. Their research showed the breakdown of the shoe is cumulative and it doesn't matter if you run every day or even twice a day in the same shoes.

My recommendation is to keep an eye on the "white foam" on the bottom of your shoe. Once you start getting multiple creases and wrinkles, and it appears to be smashed then it is time to begin thinking about a new pair. I usually can "feel" a difference in my shoes, and may also start to be more sore or have more little aches telling me I might need a new pair of shoes. I do continue to rotate my shoes (typically 2-3 current pairs) but mostly for certain workouts. I have a pair I like for longer runs and a pair I like for faster stuff (threshold or track workouts). I usually have a racing pair for up to half marathon distance. I have always run a marathon in my current trainers. I find that switching shoes everyonce in a while also challenges my foot to adapt to a different amount of support, thus working the muscles of my foot and ankle more.

Like the article says, I also recommend "being nice" to your running shoes. That means only using them for running, letting them dry out first if they get wet, and not leaving them outside in direct summer heat to dry out. I also don't recommend putting them in the washing machine or dryer if you plan on running in them again.

Be careful, switching between shoes that are too different in their amount of support (motion control to neutral) could be too much change and stress at one time and you could set yourself up for injury.

How many current shoes do you keep active in your closet?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Next weekend events

There are some great track related events going on in the local area (Los Angeles) this Saturday.

First, at 9:00am Ryan Hall will be at Dick's Sporting Goods in Santa Clarita signing autographs.

When I heard that I wondered, "why would Ryan Hall be coming to the LA area?" Then I remembered the USATF High Performance meet at Occidental College is this Saturday and his wife Sara Hall must be running there. Sure enough, she is running the 3000m steeplechase.

How do I know this information? Well I have been looking online for the entrants list for this meet and found nothing. So today I emailed the race director, Rose Monday, and she emailed me here entrant lists! It is going to be awesome! They added a men's and women's steeple this year along with 800m and 1500m.

Here are some of the highlights of entrants.
W800m: Maggie Vessey, Hazel Clark, Jenny Simpson
W1500m: Katie Follett, Shannon Rowbury, Phoebe Wright, Brenda Martinez
W 3k Steeple: Sara Hall, Lindsay Allen, Delilah Dicrescenzo

M800m: David Torrence, Duane Solomon, Tyler Mulder, Khadevis Robinson,
M1500m: Andrew Wheating, Leo Manzano, Lopez Lomong, Nathan Brannan, Russell Brown, Will Leer, Matt Tegenkamp, Nick Symmonds, Evan Jaeger. And Nick Willis is a rabbit!
Also Asics Aggie Phil Reid (who just PR'd for 5k (13:39) is running the 1500m!

It is going to be sweet, especially the men's 1500m! It may be Andrew Wheating's first race this season. They also have some international runners coming. The races start at 7:00pm at Occidental College. I ran there many times when I was at CLU.

Here are the race directors.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Typical Antelope Valley Spring Weather

I did not get in any running this weekend. The video is my excuse. One of my small trees in the front yard snapped in half!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

McMillan's Even Steven

Tuesday morning Dale, Joel and I have met off and on for track workouts. I am hoping that we can make it more of a weekly meeting. I talked with Dale last night and he confirmed that he would be there. Then he said, "You pick the workout Karl." That can be dangerous, although Dale and I are both 9 days post OC marathon so I didn't want to do anything too crazy.

I decided to try a workout that Greg McMillan wrote on an email called Even Steven. He recommends this workout when you need a down week or maybe don't have time to get in some hard workouts, or just need a "fun recovery workout." We seemed to fall into that last category this week. It also stresses all energy systems. Here is the breakdown.
After a warm up (I did 1.5 miles)
10 minutes at MP
2 minutes Easy
8 minutes at HMP
4 minutes Easy
6 minutes at 10k pace
6 minutes Easy
4 minutes at 5k pace
8 minutes easy
2 minutes faster than 5k pace
10 minutes cool down.

The workout totals 60 minutes and each faster workbout ends on a multiple of 10 so it is easy to follow on your watch.

We made it through and covered 8 miles in the hour.

Things I like about this workout:
1. It allows you to ease into the workout at slower speeds.
2. You are supposed to pace by percieved effort and not worry about splits.
3. You have to run hard on semi tired legs.
4. It did feel like I got a good workout in just an hour.

Things I didn't like about this workout:
1. You don't spend too much time at one pace.
2. There is plenty of rest in between.

I would recommend trying this workout during a recovery week or during a base phase to just get a small taste of running at different speeds. It is more like an appitizer sampler of all your different race speeds. I would not do this workout during specific marathon training or within a month of any road race, as there are better more specific workouts to be done.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Running in Houston

I traveled to Houston, TX this weekend for the wedding of a running buddy of mine. Tom and I met at CLU. He was a freshman when I was a junior, but the next year we roomed together and quickly became close friends. One of my first memories of Tom was his first cross country meet at CLU because he missed the bus by oversleeping and missed the race. He was one of the most natually talented runners on the team and was always one of our top performers. I remember a 1500m race at Claremont that I was in with Tom. He was tripped and fell in the first 200m of the race but got back up, ran hard, and still beat me! I don't know what his PRs are but I think he broke 4:10 for 1500m and ran a few good 5ks. He seemed to always make the final for the 1500m at SCIAC championships. By his senior year he was consistently running in the 26s for 8k cross country. Then at the end of that year of cross country he broke a metatarsal in his foot running and was off his foot for a few months which put him way behind for track. I even got him out to Las Vegas a few years after he graduated for a half marathon which he ran 1:25 on little training. Like I said, "natural talent."

Anyway Tom got married this weekend to Mindy Roll and asked me to be in his wedding party. Tom, Dan (Tom's brother), and I went for a wedding day 3 mile run that morning just as Tom and I had done on my wedding day. We had to start the day off right.

Man, it is humid in Houston (about 60-70% humidity) and it is only May. The wedding went great and Tom and his bride are off to Ireland today.

I also got to meet Eddie Carson whom I had been following his blog for some time. Eddie ran the Boston Marathon this year in 3:10 and has made huge improvements in his running in the last few years. He and his wife picked me up at the airport and took me out for a beer and a bite to eat. We talked for over 2 hours. They were both very welcoming and went above and beyond to welcome me to Houston. Thanks again guys!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Shout outs!

I have been meaning to give a shout out to Clay Patten who finished his second LD50 last weekend. He is in great shape and had an awesome first 35 miles before having trouble with his asthma and hiking the last 15 finishing in 10:45 (he was on pace to run 9:45). It is hard to believe that it was a year ago when I ran my first ultra out there. My time last year (30th place) would have put me 38th place at this years race. It is becoming more and more competitive and I hope to do it again. Trail running is some of the best and most rewarding running out there, with beautiful views, challenging terrain, and a sense of accomplishment after every run. Keira Henninger put on a great race this year with 50mile, 50k, and 30k options.

The winner of this years race was 24 year old James Bonnett. Running Times did an article on him a few years back as an up and coming ultra runner who had run his first trail marathon at the age of 9 and was 23rd at Western States 100 at the age of 19!

I had a few friends run the OC half marathon last weekend too. Justin Patananan was 4th in 1:10:37 and Neil Small ran a huge PR finishing 11th in 1:15:33!

Here is a link to my finishing video and pictures. You can see how windy it was at the finish in the video.

Monday, May 2, 2011

OC Marathon Recap (3:44:34)

I wanted to write this post last night but I was so tired that I fell asleep on the couch watching the Payton Jordan Invitational live on flotrack. Here is the full recap of the OC Marathon. I decided to stick with the full marathon at Orange County only in the last week leading up to the race. Actually, more like the day before the race. This was my 9th marathon and 7th slowest in 3:44:34 (avg pace 8:34 pace), and it was also my longest marathon (more on that later).

The day before the race, Dale went down to pick up our race packets. He texted me while down there and said, "Lauren wants to drop to the half, what do you want to do?" I texted back, "What are you running?" thinking that I didn't want to be the only one running the full. He texted back, "do you want to drop down?" which didn't answer my question, and after thinking that Dale would not want to drop down in distance, I texted back, "NO." I finally called him back and he said that he actually switched both Lauren and himself to the half, but then had second thoughts as did Lauren, who texted him back saying, "keep me in the full." So we were all still registered for the full marathon. What did we ever do without cell phones?

So the plan soon became to run with Lauren and help her run a solid marathon, maybe even a Boston Qualifier. Little did I know that she had been having lots of trouble with her asthma earlier in the week.

To avoid the hotel costs I crashed at Dale's house and woke at 2:40am to leave for Newport Beach by 3am and arrive in time to make the bus to the starting line. We arrived in what we thought was plenty of time. The line for the bus was already quite long and continued to grow. We waited for over a half hour to get on a bus and then sat there for another 5 mintues or so. When we finally arrived at the starting area we got off the bus and heard the National Anthem playing, we ran over to a short port-a-potty line and started weaving our way up as close as we could to the starting line and made it about half way into coral A before the gun went off.

The three of us talked and enjoyed the beautiful weather and clear skies for the first hour of the race. We meet up with David Weary (who was running the half) about mile three and he joined "team Lauren" for the next 8 miles or so. We were cruising right along and hit the 10 mile mark in 1:23, then David broke off to finish the half. Dale playing tour guide along the way as he is from Orange County, and he told us that there were only 2 big hills on the course. Lauren and I started counting hills and we were up to 9 at mile 9! This is NOT a PR course in any way.

We hit the half split in 1:47:47 (8:14 pace) and I thought this might be Lauren's day. I started helping her refill her amphipod at aid stations while she ran ahead. I would catch back up to her and deliver her water. About mile 17 she started to get some cramping in her diaphram which set off her asthma and she had to stop. We got her going again but then she had to stop again. Even by mile 15.5 our average pace was down to (8:11). But after 3 stops we could tell it was going to be a tough finish for Lauren. Dale and I continued on and tried to pick up the pace a bit but he soon decided he had had enough and said, "see you at the finish line Karl." Not a mile or so later, the bear jumped on my back and I "hit the wall."

The last 5 miles were a struggle. I guess I anticipated that it would be tough but it was also reaching 80 degrees and by now the dry Santa Ana winds, that were a nice cooling breeze, were now blowing at 15mph and in my face the last 3 miles. I looked around at my fellow runners and as glad to see it wasn't just me struggling out there. There is a comradery among runners, something about struggling together that bonds us. I called it, "The Death March" for the last 4-5 miles. It was tough. Certainly my lack of fitness was showing. For a while I tought I could be close to 3:35 and then sub 3:40 but ended up 3:44 (avg pace 8:34). Chuck was waiting for me at the finish line. He ran 3:41. Dale came in at 3:51 and Lauren finished in 4:02, actually better than I thought she would do.

The reason I said it was my longest marathon ever is because after running back and forth at water stopps and running back to check on Lauren, I actually ran just over 27 miles on Sunday!

It is hard to imagine running almost 50 minutes faster right now (my PR is 2:57). But here is my calculation of how I got to this time. 2:57+10 minutes for each of the last 3 months due to lack of training+3% slowing for every 10 degrees over 50=3:47.

It was a blast running with Dale, Lauren, and David. We told stories, jokes, and kept each other going. I thought Lauren had it today but it did not happen. There's always next time Lauren!

Finally, this morning at work I was reading an article in Competitor Magainze about Rhabdomyolysis, and it said, "just because you've run a marathon in the past doesn't mean you should run 26 miles without an appropriate build up; doing so can put you at risk becuase your body has not been trained to handle the stress." So I guess this is one of those, "do as I say not as I do" moments. I never once felt that I was in any kind of medical danger, just some major chaffing issues that a little cortizone creme took care of.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Steady 8 miler

The only calm morning this week and I got to enjoy it! It was beautiful out this morning and I got in a nice steady 8 mile run in 60:18 (7:32 pace). It is exactly 3.1 miles from my house to the end of Ave M at 75th West. Sounds like a good time trial run to me.

Found some great slow motion video of the men's and women's leaders at the Boston Marathon. I love watching people run in super slo mo!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Boston Marathon 2:03:02!

Me at the finish line, Boston 2008

It was an incredible day in Boston. It must have been magical to be there.

Four men broke the previous course record, set last year.

Two men broke the world record by almost a minute, although because of Boston's loss of elevation and point to point nature the records will not be ratified.

Geoffrey Mutai won the race in 2:03:02!

Moses Mosop was second in 2:03:06 in his debut marathon!

Ryan Hall's time is the fastest American time ever, first American under 2:05, and broke the Boston course record, and he was FOURTH!

The 2010 Boston Marathon winner, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot was less than a minute off his course record that he set last year. This year his 2:06:43 was only good enough for SIXTH PLACE!

17 of the past 20 Boston Marathons have been won by a Kenyan man. This dominance continued again this year with Geoffery Mutai.

8 of the past 12 Boston Marathons have been won by a Kenyan woman. This dominace also continued this year with Caroline Kilel in 2:22:36

Two women ran under 2:23 today and finished within 2 seconds of each other. In the last 4 years the women's race has been decided by 3 seconds or less!

The second place female was American Desiree Davila, who's time of 2:23:38 is the fastest ever for American females at Boston (previously held by Joan Benoit Samuelson).

Joan Benoit Samuelson, who had been dealing with back pain and thought about not even starting the race, ran 2:51 at the age of 54.

Kara Goucher ran a PR by over a minute with a time of 2:24:52 (a time that would have won Boston the previous 4 years) just 6 months after giving birth to her first son, and placed FIFTH!

Great video recap of the significance of this years Boston Marathon.

House to House run

We were in Las Vegas/Henderson, NV for the weekend. Saturday morning I am usually pretty tired and I sleep in a little. Sunday I got up early and went for a run. My good friend Ron recently bought a new house and I decided to run over there and meet him on his recovery run. He and his wife Julie had competed in the Rage Triathlon at Lake Mead the day before and both PR'd in their races! Congrats to you both. The city of Henderson has been working on a network of bike paths around town that are all interconnected. I took part of one trail over to Ron's house. It was exactly 4.5 miles from my mom's house to Ron's house. I arrived a little early so I ran through the neighborhood and found the entrance to the River Mountain Loop Trail. This bike path connects the eastern side of Henderson to Boulder City and Lake Mead. They are doing final construction that will make it a full 35 mile loop. I ran another 3 miles on the RMLT and then met Ron and his dog Sulley for a 3 mile trail run. Ron's house is in a great location for biking and running. There is no need to drive anywhere to get started. Total mileage for today was 10.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finally getting some national recognition

An article from the most recent Running Times magazine by Sergio's coach, Joe Rubio. The entire article, on year round race-ready fitness is worth the read and makes a lot of sense if you are a high mileage runner who likes to step up and down in race distnaces. When I first met Sergio I thought he races a little too much, but after reading this I understand how he makes it work for him. It helps when you can go win a half marathon and have it just be a long marathon pace run.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Progression Cruise Intervals with Dale & Joel

Hey I got out early again to get my run in today! I did an extended warm up of 4 miles then a mile on the track with Dale. Joel came out today as well and we decided on running mile repeats with short rest. We ran the first one easy in 6:53 and then decided that we didn't need a full lap recovery today so we just did a slow 200m jog. The next three miles were 6:48, 6:38, and 6:35. Joel and I ran together with Dale about 10 seconds behind. After 4 I asked Dale if he wanted to do one more. He agreed and I decided to pick up the pace. Joel hung on for 3 laps but faded on the last lap. I ran 6:07, Joel was 6:13 and Dale was 6:54. It was a nice crisp and calm morning for a track workout. My right leg is feeling better with each run. We'll see how sore it is tomorrow. Total mileage for today was 11!

Less than one week until the 2011 Boston Marathon. I am excited to watch and follow the race, especially the women's race. It is a stacked field. Reporters are saying that there are 15 women in the race who have a chance of winning. Three of the top 6 American female marathoners are running: Kara Goucher, Desiree Davilla, and Blake Russell. It was also just announced that Joan Benoit Samuelson will be running as well. Her 23 year old daughter qualified so she decided she would run too. There is speculation that she will try and run an Olympic Trials qualifying time (2:46) which she narrowly missed at Chicago (2:47:50). She says she would like to run under 2:50 for sure. I wonder if Boston is like the Masters golf tournament. After you win once are you are guarenteed entry for life?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

8 mile Rancho Vista Loop

The weather is back to gorgeous and I need to start taking advantage of it. I got out today for an hour run before church on my good ol' Rancho Vista loop. My entire right leg has been acting up. I feel totally out wack and out of balance. It doesn't affect my stride but it takes a few miles to loosen up and then is sore for a few days from the hip to the calf. I need to start practicing what I preach a little and get back on my hip and core program. It will do me some good. After I "loosened up" today I got into a nice groove. Here are the splits. 8:23, 7:39, 7:26, 7:27, 7:00, 7:08, 6:50, 6:39. Total miles=8 in 58:30 (7:20 avg pace). Ed Whitlock ran 3:25:40 at the age of 80 in Rotterdam today! Unbelievable! Dale you just have to maintain your fitness for 30 more years and you have a shot at breaking his record! Thought there might be a world record out there but the winner ONLY ran 2:05:27, almost a minute and a half off the WR. American Kelly Calway ran 2:44:47 at Rotterdam. She has a fun blog that I linked too on my training blog list to the right. She was 13th female and first female American.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Up coming local events for track fans

Hey track fans! There is some exciting events coming up in the SoCal area that I wanted to bring your attention to. On Sunday April 10, Chris McDougall (author of Born to Run) is leading a barefoot/trail run in Griffith Park along with a book signing of Born to Run. The event starts at 1:00pm at A Runners Circle Running Store in L.A. Scott Jurek will be there too!

There are two track meets that would be worth watching this weekend too. The Arcadia Invitational starts tonight and will be live on This is always one of the best High School meets in the country, especially on the west coast. Last year the boys 2 mile had something like 16 kids go under 9 minutes! The other event started yesterday is the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Inviational at UCLA. There will be some top athletes there and JJK will be there too. Saturday at noon they scheduled a "walk with Jackie." I don't know what that means but it should be a good time. They are running the mile Saturday afternoon.

Next weekend there are two more track meets worth checking out. The Mt SAC Relays will also have some of the top runners in the country and a few Olympians I'm sure. That is April 14 and 15. UCLA is also hosting a dual meet with Oregon at Drake Stadium in L.A. on April 17th which sounds really exciting. Running events start at 1:00pm and should conclude by 3:00pm. Here is the schedule.

Finally, the USC and UCLA dual meet is at USC on May 1st. This is always a fun meet as there is an intense rivalry between the two schools. The Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford is the same day and always attracts some of the best runners in the country. Flotrack should have it streamed live.

Oh, and of course the London Marathon and Boston Marathon are on April 17th and 18th respectively and both should be great to watch with top Americans in both races.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

9 miles with company

I did it! I finally got up early enough to get in a run! I got up at 5:00 and left the house about 15 minutes later. I headed west on M-8 and ran into Sergio Reyes (see previous post) going the other direction. I turned around and joined him for about the next three miles until we got to Joe Walker. There I met Dale who wanted to do some cruise intervals on the track. Last time we ran miles at around 6:40 pace with 200m recovery. Dale is still recovering from the LA Marathon and dealing with some other issues and he couldn't quite hit those times today. My first mile was about 6:45 and he was behind me. I told him we should do a full lap recovery instead of just 200m and I ran the next one in 6:38, but Dale was closer to 7:00. Then we decided to cut everything in half and run 800s with 200m recovery. I ran 3:13 and 3:09 and Dale was getting progressively slower so we called it for the day and did a cool down. I am crediting myself with 9 miles for the day.

Can Ed Whitlock, now at the age of 80, break the 80+ AG record for the marathon (record is 3:39:18)? We'll find out this weekend at Rotterdam! He felt he could have run 3:20 but came down with a cold. I guess he ran a 1:34 half marathon last fall!

Another good form drills video

Monday, April 4, 2011

Runner's World May 2011

I received my newest issue of Runner's World Magazine tonight and was excited to find this on page 40.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Shoe donation

I recently went through my closet and got all the old pairs of running shoes out. I wanted to find a good organization to send them to. There are quite a few groups that collect shoes and take them to people around the world that can use them, not necessarily for running, but for protection and hygenie as well. One of the main ones is Soles 4 Souls which states that they would take new or "gently used" shoes. I think most of my shoes were more than just "gently used" so I continued to research. I found another site by Nike Reuse a Shoe that recycles used running shoes. They take them apart and grind them down, then use the material to make athletic fields including tracks. I decided that this is the way I would go, so I boxed them up. I went down to the post office and asked them what the cheapest price to ship the box would be. It ened up being around 18 dollars, so I decided to hold onto them. I figured Nike was going to make money on my old shoes anyway, and didn't like that idea either. Then a friend of ours told us that Sport Chalet was collecting used shoes for Soles 4 Souls to send over to Japan and give to the victims of the tsunami. Andi and I both boxed up a bunch of used shoes and took them over on Saturday. They are taking donations until April 10th so if you have old shoes you would like to donate some where, and have a Sport Chalet nearby, it is a great and easy way to help out some people that realy need it.

Andi made a good point. She said, "Karl, how many Japanese people will be able to fit in your size 13 shoes?" A few I hope.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back at it...10 miler

I took a two week break, not something I would recommend when you are signed up for a marathon in 6 weeks. I have been struggling with motivation. It is a tough time of year to run early in the morning, and I have NEVER been a morning person. My time to run is any time before 7:00am and it is just plain tough for me to get up before 6! I suppose I could run at night but I am just darn tired after work and getting the kids to bed. I had a bad head cold for about 4 or 5 days, and after that the weather turned ugly with high winds, colder temps, and rain over the past week. I just can't force myself to roll out of bed, get dressed and then get blasted by 30 mph cold wind.

Well, I left the house today at 5:45am. I ran my Rancho Vista loop but added two laps around Marie Kerr Park to make it an even 10 miler. Total time was 74:14 (just under 7:30 pace). I was just under 8:00 pace after 5, so my last 5 were just under 7:00 pace. The wind was not bad and as I came back on Rancho Vista there was a slight mist in the air. It felt harder than it should have but what can I expect after two weeks off.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Race Results

Andi and I after the 2005 LA Marathon. We ran 3:38:42!

There was a lot of great performances this weekend all over the world. Everyone who completed the LA Marathon on Sunday put up with some crazy conditions to get their finishers medal. Some of the times out there were incredible based on the wind and rain that they had to deal with.

9:48:42 Kelly Gneiting broke the Guinness World Record for "Heaviest Person to Complete a Marathon" by crossing the finish at the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday.

5:17:04 Fran Cowart finished her first marathon at Los Angeles. Way to go Fran! See Clay's blog for details.

3:43:53 Chuck Fieland continued his streat of LA Marathons. He has run many different courses in many different conditions.

3:24:23 Dale Lister some how dealt with the conditions better than most and ran a BQ minus 10 minutes to almost certainly secure his spot at the Boston Marathon in 2012.

2:36:14 The McRunner, a man who ate all 3 meals at McDonalds for the past month and raised $27,000 dollars for Ronald McDonald House, also ran a PR at L.A. During this time his cholesterol and body fat dropped! He was also running 100+ miles per week.

2:27:03 Amy Hastings of Mammonth, CA was 3rd at L.A. and ran the 3rd fastest debut marathon for a US female ever! This made her 3rd fastest on the trials qualifiers list and 8th fastest American female of all time! I heard that 6 of the top 8 US females EVER are expected to run at the US trials in January. EXCITING!

2:06:35 Markos Geneti won the L.A. Marathon with a course record and the second fastest debut marathon EVER! How he did that in those conditions is beyond me. There is something to be said for being a first timer in the marathon. It either humbles you, or you are so naive (because you don't know what it will feel like late in the race) that you can go out hard and don't look back. I know I exceeded my expectations when I ran my first L.A. marathon in 2004 in 80 degree weather, in 3:15:12.

Also this weekend, Galen Rupp was 3rd at the NYC half marathon in a world class field with a time of 1:00:30, and he fell at one point in the race! This was ALSO his first time at the distance. Again, I think ignorance is bliss. Salazars group did great with Mo Farah winning the men's race and Kara Goucher 3rd in the women's race. Alberto Salazar coaches all three athletes.

Shalane Flanagan was 3rd at World Cross Country and lead the US Women's team to a bronze medal. This was the first medal by an American woman since Deena Kastor in 2003.

Finally, there was a World Record in the marathon last week! Michael Wardian broke the World Record for a marathon dressed as a super hero when he ran the Lower Potomac Marathon dressed as Spiderman in 2:34:56!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I didn't run on Tuesday or Wednesday run while I took my family to Disneyland for my son Matthew's 5th birthday (which also happens to be Andi and my 8th Anniversary). We had a BLAST as it was the boys first trip to Disneyland. Matt's favorite rides were the Buzz Lightyear ride and Pirates of the Caribbean.

I can home with a head cold and congestion that gives me a constant headache, coughing, and sneezing. I had some back pain from my trip to MN which was almost gone but the coughing and sneezing exacerbated that a little.

Needless to say I have not run this week and probably won't run much this weekend as the weather is calling for wind and rain and I want to get rid of this cold.

The Orange County Marathon is 6 weeks away and I am now seriously considering dropping down to the half marathon.

The Los Angeles Marathon is this Sunday so a BIG SHOUT OUT goes to Fran, Dale, and Chuck who will be out there pounding the LA pavement! This video is for you guys!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

10 mile easy run

I didn't get up as early as planned so only had time for 10 today. My legs were tired from yesterday so the pace was slow. I was dragging myself up to the aqueduct, then east for 3, and turn around back home. Total mileage was 10, pace was just over 8:30 pace avg.

On the weekend I prefer to get the hard workout in on Saturday and go long on Sunday. Since the long run is typically at an easy pace anyway I might as well already be a little tired. And it usually means I will have a better workout on Saturday. It is tough for me to run fast the day after a "long run," usually meaning over 12 miles.

The big story today was that Lukas Verzbicas broke his own National HS indoor 5k record running 14:06 all by himself, well he was lapping everyone which gave him someone to chase. What makes this even more impressive is that he did it after winning the two mile in 8:40 (second fastest all time) and the mile in 4:10, and he did it all this weekend at the New Balance Indoor HS Nationals! Check out the 5k video here. He is SO SMOOTH! One more minute and he will be world class.

Oh, and if you didn't see NCAA indoor championships, Jordan Hasay was a double champion in the mile and 3k. The mile was good but this 3k finish was AWESOME. Check it out here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nutty Runners 5k (18:48)

Karl, Neil (2011 Nutty Runner Champion), and Clay

Clay and I reprised our roll as the "Nutty Runner Peanuts" at the second annual Nutty Runners 5k. The race director is a close friend of ours, Dale Lister. Last year the weather was aweful, cold and windy. I am talking 30+ mph winds, and the peanut costume acted like a huge parachute making the second half of the race tough. I won the race last year with a time of 19:12. I was in great shape from training for LD50 and Charlottesville 10 miler. This year the weather was almost perfect. The temp was in the high 50s/low 60s and almost completely calm. Dale had over 200 pre-register this year! I think another 40 or 50 walk ups the day of! It was a great turnout. I finished in 3rd pace with a time of 18:48, 24 seconds faster than last year and less fit (that tells you how bad the winds were last year).

The race started off as usual, with the junior high age kids taking off as if they were running a 400m race. I think kids have two speeds at that age, on and off. Pacing is a tough thing to learn and it takes years of practice. I started out what I thought was conservative, letting all the kids go. I watched as Neil Small (the eventual winner today) quickly picked off all the kids and then took off on this own. He distanced himself from us within a half mile. There were two other "grown ups" ahead of me at the mile mark that I hit in 5:58. I made the turn around in 4th place and almost got run over by a group of horses! They were preparing for the upcoming parade. At about 1.5 miles I caught Justin Gillen and passed him. I was sure he would go with me but I think I gapped him a little as we continued back to the track for the 1.5 lap finish. My second mile was 6:02 and I was starting to "feel the burn" or "tie up" a little, what ever you want to call it. I was struggling to maintain pace. I peeked behind me as I turned onto the track and noticed Justin a few strides behind me. The way I felt I was sure he would catch me. I had a last surge with 200m to go and held him off for 3rd place in 18:48. My third mile was faster than I thought it would be, 6:13. Neil won and broke 17 minutes (16:53!), Clay ran 22 minutes even and was 5th in his age group! I think the 50-54 age group was one of the most competitive with 5 guys 22min or better, since David, Chuck, Clay and a few others were all there. The 30-34 age group had 4 guys under 20 minutes! Those two age groups had 10 of the top 20 runners above the age of 20!

Everyone seemed to enjoy the "peanut" guys and we took pictures with quite a few people after the race. Thanks to Dale for putting on a great event. The turnout was excellent, the Friday packet pick up was key, and the race went on without a hitch today. Nice work Dale! Can't wait for next year.

I was suprised by my performance today. My training has been sub par lately but today showed I still have some speed. I just need some good long runs before Orange County and I think a BQ should still be realistic.

The USATF 15k championships was today as it was last year, again at the Great River Run in Jacksonville, FL. Sergio was 18th with a time of 44:42. In 2010 he was 19th in 44:54. Justin Patananan was 53rd with a time of 48:35.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shortest Post Ever

I ran 6 miles this morning. Didn't run with a watch. Felt ok about it. Still need to get up earlier. The weather is getting warmer.

8 weeks until Orange County Marathon. What kind of shape can I get into in 8 weeks?

BIG SHOUT OUT TO DALE! He broke 20 minutes in the 5k for the first time this weekend, on his birthday! Way to go Dale.

Friday, March 4, 2011

8 mile run on the parkway


It has been a busy week and I had an hour to run today so I took it. I always try to get a few runs on "the parkway" (see pictures above) while visiting my dad in Minnesota. "The parkway" is a series of bike paths called The Grand Rounds that circles the Minneapolis area. There is close to 50 miles of bike/running paths around the city, it is great. Part of this path runs right in front of my Dad's house. See what it looks like in the summer here and the fall here. I like running south toward the Chain of Lakes area of Minneapolis. The Twin Cities Marathon uses some of these trails as part of the first half of their course.

The temp was probably in the 20s when I left but the wind was fairly calm and the sky was cloudy. I ran out for a half hour, turned around, and came back, adding an extra mile at the end. I am crediting myself with 8 miles for the day.

I left about 30 minutes after a big lunch, which wouldn't be my first choice, but it was my only opportunity today so I took it. I am getting better at running on a full stomach. It used to be a difficult thing to do. When you eat a meal blood goes to your stomach to help digest the food. Then when you start running blood is shunted away from your stomach to the muscles of your legs, slowing digestion. That is why you might feel the food still sloshing around in your gut. If you run after a big meal I recommend keeping the pace easy to avoid cramping and nausea. I picked up the pace a little at the end as it did not seem to be bothering my stomach.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I am sore (but not where you'd expect)

I woke up today and took inventory. I stood up and my legs felt suprisingly good. I walked up and down the stairs at my dad's house with no problem. With no stair training for this event yesterday, not even once on a stair master, I figured I would be sore for a few days in my quads and glutes, but no problem. Later this morning I realized, "my left shoulder is killing me, why is my left shoulder so sore?" Then I thought about the stair climb. My left arm was my inside hand the entire time as we ascended the stair-well counter-clockwise for an hour. I occasionally used both hands, but almost always grabbed and pulled with my left arm. I also used the left to quickly swing 180 degrees around each landing area (2x per floor). Funny that after 5400 steps it is my left shoulder that got the most cranky.

We watched the Academy Awards tonight and, after the song commemorating all the people in the film industry that have passed away this year, they finished with a quote from Lena Horne,
"It's not the load that breaks you down, its the way you carry it."

It made me think of how my left arm carried more of the load than it was ready too yesterday. It made me think of how, as a physical therapist, I teach people how to carry loads so that they don't break down. It reminded me that your posture and how you carry yourself when running can cause your body to break down. And it made me think of people like Lena Horne that have over come obstacles because of the way they carried themselves and responded to criticism.

What a great quote.