Monday, February 24, 2014

Halfway home!

This week is 3-7-4-10 which is a relief to me after the last two weeks of 12 and 13 miles for my long Saturday run.  My mid week run is increasing in total mileage.  Here is what Hal Higdon says about the mid week running schedule.

Midweek Training: Training during the week should be done at a comparatively easy pace. As the weekend mileage builds, the weekday mileage also builds. Add up the numbers, and you'll see that you run roughly the same mileage during the week as you do during long runs on the weekends. Midweek workouts on Wednesdays build from 3 to 10 miles. (I call these my Sorta-Long Runs.) There are similar slight advances on Tuesdays and Thursdays although these are planned as "easy" days. Novice 1 is built on the concept that you do more toward the end than at the start. That sounds logical, doesn't it? Believe me--as hundreds of thousands of marathoners using this schedule have proved--it works.

Monday, January 13, 2014

How I'd rate... hydration


Hydration is really important to me during marathon training.  I try to increase my daily water intake.  I carry water when ever I run over an hour.  There are many forms of running bottles and carriers.  Just google "running fuel belt" or "running hydration belt" or "pack".

I've seen many runners run carrying a bottle.  Some water battles come with a strap to help you hold the bottle.  I can't run with this type of bottle.  I keep switching hands to balance out the weight.  This is not my style.

Some runners carry a Camelbak on their back.  This is too much water for my runs and feels too heavy to carry.  Plus it gets sweaty on my back.  Also I find it's hard to keep the tube clean, even though it's easy to get access to the water.

I also see many of these types of fuel belts.  The advantage is you can carry both water and electrolyte replacement drinks separately.  I've never tried it.  I think I would try to balance out all the bottles and drink from them alternately, so it seems like too much of a hassle.
This is my favorite style of water bottle carrier.  It's simple and easy to use.  I have an older version of this one, but this style works the best for my needs.  It has a single bottle, angled so it's easy to pull out and drink and return without looking.  It has a zippered section for my keys and an phone if necessary.  I wear it low on my hips so it doesn't bounce too much when the bottle is completely full. After a while I forget I'm wearing it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

16 Weeks from Sunday!

16 weeks from this Sunday I'll be running the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio.

This is a 3/3/3/7 week, so 7 miles on Saturday.  I ran 3 miles on a treadmill on Tuesday, 3 miles outside on Wednesday and planning on 3 miles again on the treadmill tonight after work.  I never listen to music when I run outdoors.  I like hearing the natural sounds outside.  Especially when I'm running on the road early in the morning it's important to hear cars approaching.  I always run on the left side of the road facing traffic, so I can see them and they can see me.

I do listen to podcasts on the treadmill to help pass the time. This American Life, You Made it Weird, Radio Lab, Fresh Air, Freakonomics Radio, Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin, and The Moth are my standards.

Or you can watch Fred Armisen's spot on impersonation of Ira Glass (one that did not make it to air) here.

Warm up, then down

I never stretch before I run.  I do always walk before I run, at least a quarter mile or so.  I never start running immediately.  Also, when I'm finished running I always walk at least a half mile or so.  It helps my muscles recover and my heart rate return to a near normal rate.  Then I make sure I stretch after each run.

Here is an excerpt from RunnersWorld on stretches you can do post run while standing...

After an exhausting run or race, you might be tempted to sit or lie down. But getting off your feet too soon could cause muscles and tendons to tighten up, says Chris Ramsey, D.P.T., O.C.S., a physical therapist and triathlete from Portland, Oregon. A better recovery plan is to immediately hydrate and then do these stretches to increase elasticity and reduce stiffness. Ramsey recommends doing them in a dynamic manner: Hold each one for a second or two (to the point of slight tension); release momentarily; then stretch again. Do a total of 20 reps.

Hamstring Stretch: Extend your right leg so your right heel is on the ground in front of you. Bend your left knee and slowly lower your hips down and back, as if you were sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your upper body tall. Repeat on opposite side.

Calf Stretch: Stand with both feet on a curb or step. Move the heel of your right foot backward so it's hanging off the curb. Lower your right heel down so you can feel a deep stretch in your calf muscle. Bend both knees to deepen the stretch.

Glute and Piriformis Stretch: Cross your right ankle just above your left knee and lower down into a squatting position. Hold onto a friend or a tree for balance if necessary. If comfortable, gently push down on your right knee. Repeat on opposite leg.

Chest Stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lace your fingers together behind your head above your neck. Squeeze your shoulder blades together while trying to extend your elbows out to the sides and slightly back to open your chest.

Quad Stretch: While standing on your left leg, bring your right heel back, and grab your right foot or ankle with your left hand. Gently pull your foot toward your tailbone. Keep your knees aligned, and don't arch your back. Repeat on your other leg.

Here is the link to the entire section with video examples.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sock it to me

Running Socks

Next to good running shoes, my socks are key to comfort and avoiding blisters and hot spots (areas on your foot where it hurts when or after you run.)  I always run in Feetures socks.  I love these socks because they are virtually seamless and "hug" my feet.  You can buy them in any color or ankle height.

I like the quarter ankle height because sometimes with the "no show" or low cut my socks can slide down into my shoes, especially on long runs or when it's raining.

Either way, I make sure I'm not running in any cotton socks.  They hold water and cause blisters.  Running socks are expensive, like most good equipment, but they last a long time and pay off in comfort.  I expect to pay around $10 a pair, but have found good sale prices at the expos before races or style close outs and can get them for around $8 or so a pair.  Like most running gear, I get to know the pricing of my favorite items, so when I spot a deal I buy a few and stock up, or should I say "sock up".   (See what I did there...really?...anyone?)