Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Five Fingers update

Hi Guys,
At some point I mentioned that I would provide an update on the 5finger testing. Well its been a while and to tell you the truth I haven't been using them as much as I thought I would be. The first couple of runs in them went great (I only ran for about 20 minutes each time) but I noticed that I got a blister right on the seam where the upper is joined to the sole. Other than that I now can't tell the difference between 5Fingers/Newtons and a pair of Adizero RC race flats that I run in. I'm hoping that this is a good thing.

I did notice a difference between those 3 sets of shoes and a pair of Lunar Glides that I own. When running in them I still run on the forefoot/midfoot but it sounds like I'm landing a lot harder and louder than I am in the others, this may just be the shoe itself as its about the same weight as a Newton but the sole seems to be a harder material. I can tell this now as people are giving me space on the sidewalk when I approach them from behind whereas before people won't hear me until I was right up on them.

While out running yesterday at lunchtime, I saw a guy using the 5Fingers down around the CloverDale Pedestrian/Bike bridge and I thought that his feet must be freezing as it wasn't really all that nice out (around -5'C), the other thing I noticed about the runner is that he didn't seem to run like an antelope (as this is what I think of when I see people running with good form)

Light on their feet, good leg turn over, arms relaxed, back straight and head level.

About 1:10 in there is a clip of that graceful movement that I'm thinking of.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekly Training - Week ending Feb 21st

Monday - Rest (Family) Day
Tuesday - 105mins total for day 24 K (long run)
Wednesday - 50 minutes @ Lunch total for day 11.5K
Thursday - 50 minutes @ Lunch 11.5K + 11K inc. 5x5 @ 5:40per mile pace
Friday - 75 mins total for day 17.2K (the running commute - ran to work)
Saturday - 135mins total for day 27K (Long slow run)
Sunday - 70 Total for day 18K with Fartlek

Approx for week = 120K
Good week for running. I think this is the biggest week of training that I've done for some time. Monday was family day so I spent the day with the family watching the Winter Olympics, I also took Tuesday off work and went running.

On Friday I ran to work (as we had a meeting at lunchtime), it was about a 75 minute but I got a call around halfway and had to resolve some computer issues while on the road.

Saturdays run was pretty good, albeit slower than I normally run. But that's OK right now as I'm not looking to make the long runs hard (just yet) I'm looking to spent time on my feet rather than distance covered.

Roll on this week - one more week building and then possibly a rest week

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Weekly Training - Ending Feb 14th

Monday - 50 minutes total for day - 11.5K
Tuesday - 50 minutes Lunchtime + 5x3mins / 2 min rec @5:15 mile pace
total for day - 22K
Wednesday - 50 minutes
total for day - 11.5K
Thursday - Rest day + 30 minutes yoga
Friday - 50 minutes
total for day - 11.5K
Saturday - 2hrs with APTS crew. including 6x2K (6 x 2 laps of the Legislative building 3 starting at top 3 starting at bottom) Times for each repeat 1) 7:41 2)7:32 3)7:15 4)7:11 5)7:04 6) 6:58 2min rec between for day - 24K
Sunday 65 minutes total for day - 16K

Total for week - 96K
Not a very good week on Thursday I think I ate a little too much MSG as Friday mornings running commute to work was called off due to feeling hungover. On Tuesday the the intervals didn't go as easily as they had in the past. Only good day was Saturday's run. Roll on next week

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekly Training - week ending Feb 7

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - 50min lunch time + 50 min evening (15 warm up 5x3min @5:00 mile pace/ 2min Rec 15 min cool down) - Total for day 23K
Wednesday - 50min lunchtime - Total for day 11.5K
Thursday - 50min lunchtime + 70 mins evening (15 - 20min warm up 5x5min @5:20-5:30 mile pace/ 3 min rec 15-20min cool down) - Total for day 25K
Friday - 50 min lunchtime - Total for day 11.5K
Saturday - 2hr run with APTS crew - Total for day 22K
Sunday - 70 min (20min warm up 10x3 @ 5:40 mile pace /5min rec 12 - 15 min cool down) - Total for day 15K

Approx. Total for week = 108K

Summary of Week
Good training week this week. The run on Saturday was slower than I would normally run, but I was going for more time on my feet than for distance. By running slower a couple of others stayed with me for the 2 hours and since it was pretty cold out there the company was welcome. I'm also trying to get in more quality runs in per week than previous years. By March I plan on adding 1 mid week long run and then in April a second one.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sugar Cravings.....

Is it just me or do a lot of runners have sugar cravings? Yesterday I felt like the cookie monster due to the fact that I couldn't seem to get enough sugary things to eat.

This is what I had to eat on top of my normal everyday food. (remember spread throughout the day)
1 - Choclate Chip Muffin (from Second Cup)
1 - Yoghurt covered granola bar
2 - Mint chocolate cookie things
10 - (at least) Arrowroot and Vanilla Bean snaps? cookies

I wonder also if this is related to the amount of Coffe I drink daily?
1 - 12 cup pot of coffee a day... I do drink a lot of water to offset the coffee intake, at least 4 litres per day.

This is an ongoing battle I have been having for many years and for the most part if there is nothing sugary around to eat I'm good, I can do without. But lately its been getting the best of me and to tell you the truth I'm getting a little annoyed with myself for eating the crap as I know its not doing me any favours, its a quick pick me up and thats about it.

I've been thinking lately that I need to start taking something to take the edge off the cravings as I'm starting to feel that sugar is getting the best of me...Do I need help?


For most of my time in sport I have been self coached or have done whatever the group was doing. When I took my spot for the Boston marathon in 2008 I decided that I would need a coach, as I was thinking that since this is the biggest marathon in North America I couldn't go there and not run a good race.

So I contacted a couple of people and met with both coaches that I had heard good things about. The first coach (unknown to me) that I contacted had decided after that initial meeting that he wasn't going to coach via the internet anymore. The second coach (Kevin Masters) that I contacted ended up introducing me to Brian Torrance, who came my coach for that season and who then introduced me to Jack Cook at Fast Trax (for which I’ll always be grateful).

Since the birth of my son I've gone back to being self coached using books and ideas that I get from either the internet or from talking to people about running. So 2009 was a kind've mixed bag in terms of results. I started out slowly and to tell you the truth I was finding it very hard to combine running/working and our new baby then by year’s end I was almost where I wanted to be in terms of times for the marathon and half marathon. After the marathon in Dublin I decided that I wasn’t going to let the grass grow under my feet (so to speak) and that I was going to keep training, maybe not as hard as in the build up to the marathon but at least getting out there every day putting in the miles until February and then I would commit to running a marathon in the spring just see how it would go.

For me the worst thing about being self coached is it seems hard to commit to something that you read in a book, or if you’re like me you read six books and then somehow combine all of the training ideas into some sort of mongrel training plan that doesn’t always make sense or bring you to the fitness levels you expect or allow you to peak at the times you have in mind mostly because you second guess yourself all the time. The first training plan that followed successfully was one downloaded from runners world. It wasn’t bad, but it only had one day per week as a hard day and that alternated between intervals one week and a tempo run the other week. Brian’s training plan had a lot (for me) of harder stuff per week some of which had me reaching pretty deeply to complete.

Right now I’m kind’ve limited during the day as to how much I can do. Most days I run anywhere between 10 and 12K on my lunch and then run longer on the weekends once or twice a week I try to get in a second run (this depends on if I have to pick my son up from his day home or not). I guess this is how most people that have families and jobs train. But I wonder sometimes if I pushing a little too hard? For instance yesterday I ran a hilly 12K in 50 minutes and then today I ran a flatter 11K in 45 minutes, this usually happens as I try to train more by how the legs move than by strictly keeping to either a heart rate or a set pace.

This makes me wonder what the Kenyans are doing, not the top Kenayans but the men & women that are running my kind of times. Do they sit around in the evening watching the final season of Lost or do they even second guess what they’ve done in training for that day?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekly training for week ending Jan 31 2010

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - 45 - 50minutes easy in River Valley(lunchtime) / 15min warm up 5x3minutes @ 5:22 per mile pace going up to 5:05 per mile pace, 2 minute recovery 15minute cool down. Total for day 20K (evening)
Wednesday - 50 minutes easy, total for day 11K (lunchtime)
Thursday - 52 minutes, total for day 12K (lunchtime)
Friday - 50 minutes easy, total for day 11K (lunchtime)
Saturday - 95 minutes easy total for day 22K
Sunday - 15min warm up 2x12minutes @5:30 pace 4 minutes recovery 20 cool down in 5fingers.
Also spent 30 minutes in the pool with my son.
Weekly total of 95K

Good week of running, though I was hoping to get a second run in on Thursday it didn't happen due to life getting in the way. Saturday and Sunday went pretty well but I had to cut both runs a little short due to the weather and poor footing.

Bigger Stronger Faster

Hi There,
Not sure how many people watch the CBC. But last night they had a documentary as part of their Passionate Eye series called “Bigger, Stronger, Faster”* *a side effect of being an American.

The guy that produced the doc had tried steroids in the past but then gave them up as he felt like it was cheating, throughout the documentary he talks to people about the use of steroids. What worried me is the number of people that he talked too that said steroids are safe. The vast majority of people interviewed either thought steroid use was A) safe and could not understand why they are portrayed as being evil and B) was using them for a long time. The only people that seemed to have a problem with steroid use, was congress and his parents. However when one their sons dead lifted over 700lbs they looked like they had won the lottery (to use the producers own words)

The majority of people he interviewed that used steroids were bodybuilders/power lifters (one guy lifted 732lbs, don't tell me he wasn't juiced up). He did speak to a couple of athletes such as Floyd Landis, Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis. Interestingly here for me is that Ben Johnson and others don’t think they are/were cheating since everyone else was doing it. This reminds me of something I heard back when the Festina Scandal broke in 1998, “we’re not cheating, we’re leveling the playing field” or we’re not cheating since everyone cheats on something be it exams, taxes, wife’s, husbands or whatever. It is amazing to me how people that take steroids to get super performances will A) Deny, deny, deny that they used them and then B) how they can justify the use of steroids to themselves and their families. One of the producers brothers said that if he thought using steroids was wrong he wouldn’t use them, but since he didn’t think it was wrong.....he had no problem with their use.

I have a problem with the use of doping in sports. It’s wrong, to me sport is something that we do for fun. Even though I'm sometimes (to others it seems) like I'm pretty serious about it. I know that we’re not going to be world Champions or get to the Olympics (first of I’m not dedicated enough and secondly I maybe a little old). I just don’t see why you would need or want to use them. Mostly because I think if I can’t do it on my own then I wasn’t meant to do it. If I started to produce world class times, I think you would have to start questioning the improvement. There is a quote from Chariots of Fire when Sam Mussabini tells Harold Abrahams that “you can’t put in what god left out!” or I'm sure you've heard you can't turn a donkey into a racehorse. Maybe I’m naive but I’d like to think that there are not many people out there that use steroids to run in Alberta. This begs the question - What has happened to our moral compasses that we think that cheating is not a bad thing?

It also makes me wonder if there should be drug testing at a provincial level, maybe not for things like Franks Wednesday X-Country league, but for the championship races and the marathons.

Your thoughts?