Saturday, May 31, 2014

05/31/2014 Afternoon 5 miler

It's a beautiful day for a run!  I just finished up a strong 5 mile run in about 37:56.  A 7:35/mile pace with a decent amount up and down some small hills.

After my 7 miles yesterday, my left knee had been sore yesterday and early this morning. I'm not sure why, but during and after the run, it now feels pretty good.

It's about 7 weeks until the Running with the Devil. As my fitness is building, I am confident in my direction. In the next few runs and weeks, I look towards adding some serious hill workouts.

Friday, May 30, 2014

05/30/2014 AM 7 miler with motivation

I just finished up a good 7 mile run at a pace of about 8:55/mile.  I think it is my slowest pace in a long time during a run.  I am quite happy about it.  An overall theme of mine is the need for varying pace, this recovery pace is one that is important, but often overlooked.

As I ran my 7 miler this morning, I listened to Scott Jones AthleteonFire podcast and Weekend Warrior show.  It is a big motivator and method of inspiration for me.  Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about motivation a lot.  Along with a lot of people, I go through periods of struggling with motivation.  In trying to figure this out, I have been thinking a lot about internal and external motivation.

In a nutshell, external motivators are things like running so you win races, or because your coach tells you to, or trying to earn a scholarship, etc.  Outside factors.

Internal motivators are things like doing something like sports, performing, because you love it.  Also, maybe you feel satisfied after a workout, or are excited to simply run a race.  This is inside stuff, motivating factors in your mind and body.

I'm not here to tell you what should or shouldn't motivate you, because I fall into both of those categories above.  What I do want you to think about, is what is motivating you in the moment.  Sometimes, a little push in a different direction can give you the motivation you need.

Right now, I am stuck in a little rut running the same route over and over.  My fallback is the race I am doing in July and my need to prepare.  Also, the podcasts I listen to.  One I dragged myself to start my run, the podcast took over.  I forgot where I was running and listened.

Finally, look for a good book to motivate you.  Running books always do it for me.  There are a million of them out there.  Start with the ones from my earlier post here:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Running faster for everyone, not just those that are already fast!

So I read a great article here, Competitor Online.  It breaks down to this, without all the stuff you may not understand.  If you want to run faster, train your feet, legs, and brain to do so.  People I talk to all the time think that only fast people can get faster.  Also, that once you get to a certain age, you cannot be fast anymore.

First, anyone can get faster.  That doesn't mean you will be Olympic fast, but you can get faster.  Also, when you do some of the things needed to achieve speed, the double secret bonus is that it helps with weight loss if you want to kick a few pounds.  I am going to paste what I believe is the most important part of the article for you, the examples of the work needed.  Basically, its training your feet and legs to fire faster.  Feel free to read the whole article, it isn't long.  Aim to do these drills a couple times a weak, just after warming up.  The goal is for you to be totally fresh and do these drills with precision/accuracy.  Enjoy!

Footwork Drills

“One of our favorites is box tappings,” Walker said. “This drill was probably stolen from some of our soccer athletes, who were actually doing the drill for footwork quickness on, or around, the ball.”
Box Taps: Standing 6-12 inches behind a box or riser (4-6 inches high), bend slightly forward (10-15 degrees at the ankle), and alternate tapping the box with the balls of your feet. Work on proper positioning (center-of-mass over box, dorsiflexion of ankle, long spine angle, and reciprocating arms) before trying to increase frequency. “Use this in buildups of 10-40 seconds, resting five times as long as the set to ensure you are working for speed and not endurance,” Walker said. Perform twice a week. Check your progress by counting taps every third week.
Ladder drills: Move through the ladder by firing both feet into each rung, doing two sets. Then move to single-leg drills by passing through while firing only your left foot, keeping the right foot outside the ladder. Repeat with right foot firing. Once you’ve mastered this, start adding accelerations coming out of the ladder.
Starts And Sprints: “I practiced my reaction time and race starts with repeats as short as 50 meters; this taught my muscles and my brain to fire and react more quickly, as opposed to just running faster,” Gonzales said. Repeats below 50 meters work too, as Walker is a fan of fly-in 20’s.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Today's tip for Plantar Fasciitis

Although I have never suffered from it, Plantar Fasciitis is debilitating for many runners. Check out this tip taken from the Runner's World daily calendar.

Monday, May 26, 2014

05/26/2014 Ridgewood Memorial Day 5K

First, in addition to enjoying nice weather or a bbq, or a 3 day jaunt somewhere, I hope you took time to remember our servicemen and women at some point this weekend.  If not, do so now.  The men and women that serve our country, past, present, and future, deserve our greatest respect.  They go through a lot, so we don't ever have to.

On a lighter note, thank you to my wife Maura.  I had been on and off about doing the Ridgewood 5K and was going to let it slip by, but she told me to go for it and thanks to her dad signing me up, I got in and ran my first race of 2014.  Also, it was my first race since starting this blog a few months ago.  

Although I did not have the full base I would have liked and really any speed work to speak of, I consider today a success.  I finished the race in about 20:25ish and took 69th out of 1600-1800 people.  Although it wasn't my best, I felt good racing again.  The 3rd mile I fell off a tiny bit.  I finished up mile 1 in 6:30, mile 2 same pace at 13:00 overall, and it took me about 7:25ish for the final 1.1 miles.  
As I was running, it occurred to me what I often tell a lot of my students.  Running races is a crazy sport because it doesn't matter whether you finish first or last.  If you are racing, it hurts.  For me today, mile 3 hurt.  

Besides the race itself, the event in Ridgewood is always a fun time.  It's about 2000-3000 people hanging out, doing a 10K, 5K, or the Fun Run mile, or simply spectating and cheering on friends and family.  I love the event because its big and I like my kids to see it, be a part of it, and have fun together.  That's just what we did. 

After the 5K race, we watched the Master's and the Elite mile races for the men and women.  A small group of runners punishing themselves to basically sprint a mile.  It's always fun to see.  

The Fun Run was a good way to finish off the event.  We all ran the mile and mommy and the girls and Connor did a great job.  I don't know if the kids will go on to race, but I want them to see it and have a positive feeling associated with it.  I also like doing the Fun Run because it always feels like I am shaking out some of the Lactic Acid in my muscles and that it helps keep me from getting too sore post run.

Finally, it was a great excuse to hit the ice cream truck on the way out!

Ridgewood Memorial Day Run 2014

Here are some pics from the Ridgewood Memorial Day Run.