Thursday, December 31, 2015

12/31/2015 Final day of 2015 with a great workout at @risefituniverse

Today, on the final day of 2015, I went to RiseFit once again with my buddy Jason and we worked out pretty hard.  This morning, Rob, I believe the owner, was running the class and it was an hour instead of the half hour class the other day.  I won't take you step by step through the whole series, but it was great.  It featured strength, mobility, cardio, and range of motion in a variety of exercises and moves.  

Today's class had sandbag stuff, TRX, sprints, resistance bands, and more.  There is no time wasted and you really do move from one thing to the next in great transitions and progression.  Rob is a pro and you can tell he has a lot of knowledge and passion.  He helped several of us at different points with form and offered encouragement to everyone sporadically.  You can tell he really is into what he is teaching and presenting to the class, rather than just selling it.

Moving forward, I may try to fit in a class once in awhile.  It is a great supplement to the running and it's something different.  I also like the fact that I never feel like I am doing something that will injure me.  I know it's possible, obviously, but the progression through the workout warms you up well and seems to really incorporate functional moves based on a lot of bodyweight stuff and resistance, rather than overloading weight and stress.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

12/29/2015 A great workout at @risefituniverse in Ho Ho Kus, NJ

Tuesday, I went to RiseFit in Ho Ho Kus, New Jersey with my buddy Jason and got a great workout in for about a half hour.  This was my second workout at Rise.  I tried a class a few months back, and this time Jason had a small group training class he invited me to.  The trainer for the class was Josiah, as it was the last time I went.  He seems to just have a mental rolodex of exercises designed to destroy you physically...sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly!  Also, you can tell he has a plan well thought out in advance.  He is always ready with the next movement or sequence.

Yesterday, we started with a few lower body moves like lunges, bear crawls, reverse bear crawls, etc.  We then moved to a mini set of 3 stations with dumbell chest press, TRX squats, and lat pull downs.  There is very little resting at all.  Next the 4 of us did a rotation of TreadWall, balance on all fours on a yoga ball, and full body lifts off a bench.  The TreadWall by the way, is a rotation climbing wall that is constant climbing at the instructors choice of speed.  There are rock handles and ladder rungs.  We used the ladder rungs, but there are off center so they are constanly back and forth, with no easy repetitive comfort.  It sneaks up and wears you out.  Constant work to near failure, quick rotations, and strong verbal support and correction from Josiah all make it a positive experience that exhausts you.

We finished up the work with sprints and alternated with push ups, mountain climbers and alternating toe touches (like a modified crunch).  The 30 minutes go fast and furious with no breaks and a controlled workout from start to finish.  I strongly suggest you give the place a try.  Below are links to their website, Twitter, Facebook.  Right now, they are offering a free trial week.  What's not to like about a free trial?

RiseFit

RiseFit Twitter 

RiseFit Facebook

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

12/22/2015 7 mile run and some extras

I headed outside for my run today in a long sleeve and shorts.  I stepped out and realized I wasn't going to be cold, and headed out.  It had rained already a bit, but wasn't at the time.  At literally the one mile mark, it started to rain, significantly.  I was amazed for a second that, in late December, I was running in the rain in shorts.  I smiled to myself and kept running.

I decided to run a little longer today since the foot has been tolerable and I wanted to bank some miles heading into the Christmas break.  I cannot wait for the time off at home with Maura and the kids.  Also, to get ready for the baby coming soon!  Seven miles went fast today, even in the rain.  I really just cruised comfortably and tried to finish a little quicker than my mid run pace.  The splits were as follows:

1
8:21--8'21"/MI
2
16:29- 0:13 (2%)8'08"/MI
3
25:04+ 0:27 (-6%)8'35"/MI
4
33:53+ 0:14 (-3%)8'49"/MI
5
42:45+ 0:03 (-1%)8'52"/MI
6
51:30- 0:07 (1%)8'45"/MI
7
MISSING KEY: ACTIVITY_RUNNING_DETAILS_MODULES_RUN_36
59:31- 0:44 (8%)8'01"/MI
After I got back, I sat for a second and got a drink of water.  I then hit a couple exercises to continue the bodyweight work I talked about yesterday.  Today's simple routine was two sets of the exercises below:

Pull ups
Air squats
Side planks

I am a lot more tired today, but I am an Athlete.

Monday, December 21, 2015

12/21/2015 A winter run and bodyweight work, advice from @athleteonfire @becomingultra

Every run I get in this month is another winter run I didn't wuss out on!  Today, it's actually a little chilly out, but I banged out a quick 4+ miler and got back to do some bodyweight stuff.  I have been touting Scott Jones at AthleteonFire and BecomingUltra for years now.  He is great.  He has great podcast interviews/guests, easy advice for all experience levels, and really promotes the idea that everyone is an athlete.  

Today, I employed Scott's tips from his Becoming Ultra podcast episode #11.  Simply put, he talks about adding basic bodyweight exercises to the routine when you are swamped around the holidays.  If you can't get out for a big run, or a full gym workout, do some push ups, squats, lunges, etc.  Get some work in on the athlete side of you for an all around athletic, coordinated self.

After my run, I did three simple sets of these four exercises and it didn't take long, but I am better for it.

Push ups
Lunges w/twist
Farmer's Walks
Planks

I'm going to follow Scott's advice and try to do a few time friendly bodyweight exercises everyday.  Some days will be more, some less, depending on the run situation for the day.  However, since I'm not a big "working out" guy, this might be a less painful way of adding to my overall fitness and adding some interest to it.

Friday, December 18, 2015

12/18/2015 6 miler and prepping for an upcoming interview and schedule

Coming off the workout from yesterday, my whole body is sore.  My muscles need more consistent usage.  I need to keep up with that.  I headed out today for a nice 6 miler at whatever pace I fell at.  I didn't bother pushing it or looking at my watch.  I just wanted to run an average pace.  I ended up at about an 8:34/mile pace, according to my watch after the run.  Fine with me, I had other things on my mind.

I am doing an interview this coming Tuesday with a former student, Justin Macaluso, and I look forward to sharing that with you asap.  It will be an interesting interview and I promise to do it right.  Because of this, I spent most of my run today mentally going over some topics, questions, and deciding some directional ideas for the interview.  I'm no pro at this, but I want to put forth a good effort to do the interview justice, to provide you with good content, and to help Justin with his efforts.

For now, that is all I will say.  I hope all of you are stopping once in awhile to enjoy the holidays and reflect upon the year.  Also coming up, a post with my racing schedule and goals for 2016.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

12/17/2015 30 Minute Strength Workout

I didn't have a chance to run yesterday because of logistics.  I did squeeze in a
couple shorter walks  throughout the day, bringing my activity level up a lot overall.  Today, normally not a run day because of my schedule, remained a secondary workout day.  I have scheduled Thursday to be my cross training day for the next several months, so I took 30 minutes and kicked my ass a bit.  I am not a weight guy, just not.  However, I know the benefits are real, even for a runner.  

A portly runner like myself can really benefit from the weights to shed some pounds.  Admittedly, that is why I am doing it.  I want to be lighter, especially next June.  My workout today took about 30 minutes to the nose.  I did the following exercises in 2-3 sets to achieve the total number of reps listed below.  

5 minute jog warmup
Pull ups-  20 reps
80 lb. Deadlifts-  50 reps
Push ups-  50 reps
50 lb. Step ups-  30 reps
Floor Wipers-  35 reps
Single Arm Clean, 25 lb. Kettle-  40 reps

As I look at it on the screen, it doesn't look that impressive.  But for this runner, I am tired.  A few tidbits.  First, most people deadlift with more weight, but I have herniated discs in the past so I am not F-ing with it.  The Floor Wipers are one of my favorite exercises, click on the name and watch a video of the exercise.  Finally, this is based on the 300 workout, but for someone a lot less fit!  I put in a picture of a modified 300 workout for us normal people.  Go for it and let me know how it goes.

I look forward to just going for a run tomorrow.  :)


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

12/15/2015 Mile repeats hurt so good

There is no other pain in running like mile repeats.  They hurt, no matter what your level, from beginner to elite.  They are too long to sprint, too short to jog, and they come way to quick between rest periods.  Your chest hurts, your legs burn, and each repeats feels like you are running 1.05, not 1.0 miles.  My repeats for this workout took place on the road with some decent incline and decline involved.  I have a perfect one mile loop I do.

Mile repeats also happen to teach the body how to deal with pain during a race as well as helping to build VO2 max and raising your lactate threshold.

What does this mean?  Basically, mile repeats make it possible for you to go faster and longer, before your body says no and fills up with lactic acid and falls down.

Today, in my first session of mile repeats in quite some time, I ran three repeats after my warm up.  The workout went as follows:

 1/2 mile warm up
1 mile at 6:50
3:30 jog recovery
1 mile at 6:37
3:30 recovery
1 mile at 6:45
1/2 mile jog recovery cool down

I felt really good on the second repeat.  The 6:37 didn't kill me, but I felt like I was moving.  In my mind, I started the 3rd repeat with a goal of going under 6:37 so I could negative split each of the three, but my body said no and I finished it in 6:45.  No big deal, it was still faster than the first one.  In a couple weeks, I will go again and add a repeat or 2.  

It will hurt just the same! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 The year's Racing Recap

The 2015 racing year has ended.  I had thought of trying to squeeze in a Turkey Tort or Reinedeer Run, but the time, my foot, and my eating season all happened and I am concentrating on the big picture now.  2016 will be upon us soon.  I hope to get as lucky in 2016 as I did in 2015 and race often.  I was able to do 8 different races this year from a 5k, to 5 miles, to 13.1, to a marathon.  Overall, it was my busiest racing year to date.  Although I didn't set any PR's, I accomplished a couple things to be proud of.  First, in May, I took second place in a race overall.  One step closer to my goal of a race win.  Secondly, I won my age group at the Ridgewood Memorial Day 5K.  With it being a race that features over 1500 finishers, I have to be happy with that.  Third, I was part of the second place overall team out of over 80 teams at the Franklin Lakes Triathlon.  It was my first race of that distance and I did what I could.  Finally, the NYC Marathon, nothing more to say.

In reflection, it was a good year of racing, but I want and wanted more.  As I was walking this afternoon and thinking about this post, I realized that I have a lot of grand ideas about what I can do and what I want to do.  However, I have not really taken advantage of my strengths by putting all the training together with good nutrition and supportive cross training.  Already, I have started to head toward 2016 in a better way.  I am still running on task and I like where I'm at.  It's time to add the nutrition and the cross training.  No more bullshit.  

In an upcoming post, I look forward to sharing my goals for 2016.  As you will read in that post, some are going to be challenging.  I cannot wait for 2016 to see what I can accomplish.  Listed below are the times and races for my 2015 events.  Each one is set as a link to the race report I did on that event.

Cupid's Chase 5K- 20:25

Hillsdale Rover & Clover 5K- 20:41

Radburn 5K- 19:20  (2nd Place overall)

Fred D'Elia Memorial Day 5K- 19:11   (1st in age group)

Franklin Lakes Tri-Relay 5M- 32:17

Franklin Lakes Scenic 13.1- 1:34:43

Wyckoff Education Foundation 5K- 19:37

NYC Marathon- 3:53


Friday, December 11, 2015

12/11/2015 Sometimes a rhythm carries you

First, I hate to harp on it, but someone up there wants me to keep running throughout this winter.  I headed out for my run today in shorts, a t shirt, and a fleece.  I actually ended up too warm.  In December?  All I can say is awesome, thank you El Nino!

I had a bit of foot pain from the start, but it didn't get worse so I kept going.  I didn't do anything yesterday so I wanted to get something accomplished today.  In addition to the foot, I just didn't feel good from the start.  I thought the run was going to be a miserable one and chalked it up to the fact that some days are like that.

It wasn't until I was about 3 miles in that I realized I was feeling a lot better and was moving quickly, but comfortably.  I finished up at 5 miles, with a sore foot, and a finish of about 40 minutes on the dot.  I had a pace of about 7:57/mile.  Here are my splits:

1
8:24--8'24"/MI
2
16:22- 0:26 (5%)7'58"/MI
3
24:14- 0:06 (1%)7'52"/MI
4
32:18+ 0:12 (-3%)8'04"/MI
5
MISSING KEY: ACTIVITY_RUNNING_DETAILS_MODULES_RUN_36
39:46- 0:36 (7%)7'28"/MI
I would never have thought it, but I got into a rhythm and really just ticked off the miles.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Product Review: Nuun Energy Tabs, Wild Berry & Lemon Lime, @nuunhydration #getelectrolit @karagoucher

My Nuun water bottle from
NYC & 2 flavors of tabs.
While I was at the NYC Marathon Expo, I had the opportunity to try out some new products on the market as well as some that were simply new to me.  I had heard of Nuun through its sponsorship of some notable athletes, like U.S. Olympian, Kara Goucher.  I stopped by their setup at the expo and tried a sample of a few flavors, notably the energy choices due to my love for caffeine.

I decided to pick up a bottle of each of the 2 Energy flavors on sale, Wild Berry and Lemon Lime.  Coincidentally, both flavors I would normally gravitate to so win-win.  You only get so much from a little shot glass size sample of a drink, so I was interested to see how I would like it during and/or post run.

I have used the Wild Berry during one long run and have drank both post run a couple of different occasions.  I have to say, I love both drinks for a couple reasons.

1.  The flavors taste like they should.  I avoid certain drinks off the shelves (Vitamin Water) because they taste chemical to me.  Both of these flavors taste natural and what I think the name sounds like.

2.  A second thought on flavor.  I love that the flavor is just right, for me.  It is neither too strong, nor too week.  I cannot stand drinks that are too strong.  Regular Gatorade is ok, but I frequently have to water it down to drink.  Nuun Tabs added to 16 oz. of water are the perfect concentration for my taste.  At least for my palette.  

3.  I didn't have any stomach issues on the long run or after my running when I have had these drinks.  Also, my hydration during the 12 miler was totally on Nuun and it held me right along with no dehydration.  That isn't to say I normally have issues, but these products entered my running life seamlessly.

4.  Not to be overlooked or made light of, I love the packaging!.  It is small, simple, easy to open and use.  I don't have to measure, pour dust, etc., and there is no spilling it or messing it up.  One 16 oz. bottle of water and one tab, DONE.

In summary, I would like to recommend this product to runners because of the reasons listed above.  I love the taste, the use, and the ease of use.  I look forward to trying some new flavors as well.  I hear there is a Mango flavor which I need to pick up as that is my preferred fruit.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A FREE marathon and half marathon in beautiful Maine @dirtyoldsneaker @garyallen262 @runnersworld @crowathletics @mainetrackclub

I just read about an upcoming event in Maine, December 12th, 2015.  The FREE races are being held in Maine, benefitting a struggling Katahdin area.  The race director, Gary Allen, is also the race director of the well know and beloved, Mount Desert Island Marathon.  You can check out the details of the race, the location, the background, etc. at this website article:


If you are in the area, go run, support the locals, and enjoy a nice Saturday race.  If you do run, let me know.  I will do a feature race report, starring you!

12/09/2015 Better choices for recovering while running

Before I went out to run today, I was trying to decide what to do.  Today would be my third day in a row running and I wanted to be smart about my foot.  I decided to keep it at the comfortable distance of 5 miles and to run on the grass today.  The softer surface is absolutely better for Plantar Fasciitis than harder pavement/concrete.

I definitely felt good through the whole run today and I kept the pace strong after the initial warming up.  My splits are as follows:

1
8:10--8'10"/MI
2
16:31+ 0:11 (-3%)8'21"/MI
3
24:49- 0:03 (0%)8'18"/MI
4
32:42- 0:25 (5%)7'53"/MI
5
MISSING KEY: ACTIVITY_RUNNING_DETAILS_MODULES_RUN_36
40:17- 0:18 (3%)7'35"/MI
I always like to finish quicker than I start.  Teaching your body to run fast, even when tired, is a great component to have in the arsenal when race day comes around.  Racing hurts and being able to finish quick in that last 1/2 mile is a good skill to have.

As far as the foot, it was sore this morning.  It didn't bother me during the run though, and I am going to ice it now.  If I can manage to keep it like this or even work it back to being better without stopping running completely, I will be lucky and happy.

A great article on Runner's World...@runnersworld @cindykuzma

Run Faster with High Intensity Interval Training

"If you want to run fast, the saying goes, you've got to run fast. To stoke speed, most runners do traditional speedwork: aiming for near race pace over distances of 400 meters or more, with recovery periods equal to the length of the repeat (or slightly less). Or you can get fast even faster with supershort, superfast efforts, sometimes referred to as high intensityinterval training (HIIT)." 

--Cindy Kuzma


This is the beginning paragragh from this Runner's World article on HIIT training and increasing speed and endurance.  I like the article and it is a quick read with tips, examples, and reasons why quick speed bursts will help your training.  The author does a great job giving the information.  The only thing I am not sold on, is the extremely cautious attitude when trying it out.  My feeling is, if you run a couple times a week and you do a 5-6 minute jog warm up, there shouldn't be a problem.  I wouldn't choose to start running today, and do so by going out and sprinting a lot though.  However, I do think the average couple times a week jogger would benefit greatly from this.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Keep it simple, recover, move on...hopefully

Today, although I generally get a good workout in on Tuesdays, I decided to be smart about managing my foot.  Yesterday went well and I wanted today to go the same.  Instead of doing the planned mile repeats, I decided to simplify and do a basic 5 miler at a comfortable pace.  I went just over 5 miles and kept the pace at about 8:00/mile.  

Although I am happy to have run, I want more.  As I was running, I rationalized that 6 months out from a race, I am smart to be safe.  I continue to ice, NSAID, and compression sock my nights.  It seems to be working so TBD...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Trying to stay on the plan, managing the foot

The plantar fascia (pf) is a thick, fibrous band located along the bottom of the foot.
I think I may have a little plantar fasciitis after looking into it a little more and examining the pain,
feel, etc.

I have been wearing compression socks at night and trying to really stretch my feet and ankles in bed before I get up.  It has definitely gotten better over the last couple days.  I headed out with the idea of going about 5 miles today, and the foot felt great for about the first 4miles.  I did start to feel it a bit more after the 4 mile mark, so I shut it down at about 4.25 miles.  I figured that I got a run in and I want to manage the "itis," not make it worse.  I am going to ice now and take like 42 advil.

I am going to try and control this issue with advil, ice, compression, and no barefoot time at all.  I really do not want to take any significant time off if I do not have to.  If you are having heel pain, foot pain, etc., here are a couple informative sites to check out.  It is a common injury, but the severity and recovery needs vary greatly.

http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/plantar-fasciitis

http://running.competitor.com/2014/03/injury-prevention/how-to-treat-and-beat-plantar-fasciitis_97607

http://www.active.com/running/articles/how-to-treat-and-prevent-running-injuries-plantar-fasciitis


Friday, December 4, 2015

The ideal gift list for the runner in your life, even if it's you!

I have been thinking about the best things to suggest for runners for about a week and a half.  I have looked at various gift guides from Runner's World, Competitor Magazine, Outside, Men's Health, and the internet world.  I have to be honest, I'm generally not impressed.  On most lists, there is a bunch of crap I would never want or use.  Also, some lists have things that are 2-3-$400.  How do I suggest things that are that expensive?  I will not, even if it is a product I love.  For me to assume that someone else would feel good about the product after spending hundreds on it is a little much for me to ask.  Instead, I have compiled a small, low coast list of things that I think every runner actually needs, or may want.  I would love suggestions, so send them to me if I missed something.  Here is my list in no particular order.  By the way, some of this stuff I want too!!  Hint, Hint...


1.  Roadid- This product, if you aren't familiar is a must for runners, cyclists, walker, anyone really. It is a small ID bracelet, anklet, or shoe attachment that has all of your preprinted contact info.  I asked for and got this last year.  I explained it to my wife this way, "Basically, if I stroke out and am found in a ditch during a run, someone will find me and be able to identify me.  They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, bling, etc.  
(Depending on personalization, $20)

2.  Target Performance Socks- I did a review of these socks last April.  I still love them and they are cheap!  (Roughly $3 a pair)

3.  Runner's World- It doesn't matter if you are a hard core runner, an occasional jogger, someone that races a lot, or never.  Every that runs, even just once in awhile, can benefit from the Runner's World magazine.  Recipes, training ideas, races, cool interviews, race info, it's all in there.  The thing is, most runners, especially beginners or those that do not run a lot, won't go out and buy a running magazine.  However, if they get it, they will read it. ($20-ish)

4.  Bib/Medal Display- This is more for the racer, obviously.  Here are 2 new sites, GoneforaRun, and RunningontheWall, I found this week with awesome options for hanging up race bibs, medals, pics, etc.  We love to get SWAG and show it off.  Here are some affordable ways to do so. (Prices vary)

5.  Handheld-  All runners need a handheld water bottle.  Sure, you can just grab a water bottle and head out, but if you get a good one, buy a runner's handheld.  They don't leak, they hold stuff, much better than a Poland Spring bottle! It doesn't matter to me which you buy, but I do recommend one that holds at least 16 ounces. Here is a link to a list of a few, but check out others if need be. ($15-$50, depending on size, brand

6.  A Gift Card to a Running Store!!!!  I'll be honest, runners like to pick out their own stuff.  We're a little picky.  Here are some choices I like:

RunningWarehouse
RoadRunnerSports
ZombieRunner
Amazon

7.  Sunglasses-  This is all on you.  Fit and fashion aside, sunglasses are important for runners for
several reasons.  First of all sun protection.  Let's not forget, wind rain, dirt and dust, etc.  I wear sunglasses on all my runs.  I cannot be bothered with anything getting in my eyes, even just a gust of wind.  Think protection.  As far as which ones, most gift lists like to say Oakley, Nike, UnderArmour, etc.  Why do sunglasses have to be $300?  I prefer the Optic Nerve brand because they are meant for athletics, they hold to your face well, they are reasonably priced, and they have a good website offering info on size, shape, and fit.  ($25-$110)

There you have it.  My gift list.  It's impressive right?  You could add sneakers, clothing, watches, etc.  At the end of the day, most runners will buy that stuff on their own.  I can recommend, but a lot of that becomes preference and/or opinion.  If anyone has anything to add, email me!

12/04/2015 A nice December run, new technology

I have to say, running in December in shorts and a long sleeve is kind of crazy, but I'll take it.  I got out for a good run for 46:37 and put in about 5.75ish miles.  I felt a little rusty coming off a few days without running, and it was great to be back out.  The foot was a constant feel the whole time, but not a major pain.  I do not know what it is.  

Today, for the first time, I ran and recorded my run with my new Fitbit Charge HR.  I normally use my Nike Sportswatch to record my data during runs, but wanted to try the Fitbit.  It is easy to use.  I press and hold to start the workout and I press and hold to end it.  I spent a few minutes trying to locate and look at the data on the dashboard on the Fitbit website, but I find it clunky and difficult to find my details.  It's big on telling me how many steps I have taken and giving me medals, badges, and awards.  However, I really just want to know my mileage, time, pace, etc.  I need the runner information, not just the active lifestyle stuff.  I think there is a way to get that info, I just haven't found it yet.  I will get back to you.

For now, I am going back to the Nike. It's just easy, free to review and use the website,  and I'm use to it.  I do wish it would connect to the satellite faster, but what can I do.  I do like the Fitbit for the everyday stuff.  It helps me get up and stay active and tells me what my sleep, HR, and activity levels are like for the day.  However, as a runner, I need more.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What's going on at The Daily Fitness Journal...

I thought an update was in order.  Especially since I haven't posted a workout since before Thanksgiving, I thought it was necessary.  As far as fitness/workouts, I have been focused mainly on walking right now.  My left foot has been an issue, but doesn't seem to be getting better or worse.  It just hurts on the bottom, just back from the toes, in the middle.  I think it stems from stepping on a rock, but I am pretty sure I have had this pain in the past.  I was given a new Fitbit Charge HR on Thanksgiving, by Kevin Probert, and I have been trying to do the active lifestyle thing with steps, heart rate, etc.  I like it as an additional tool towards fitness.  I have yet to try recording a run with it, but will shortly.

As far as the site, I am working on a few different posts that will be up shortly.  These include the following:

1. Santa's list for Runners
2. My Race Recap for 2015
3. 2 Book Reviews for Runners

In the coming days, I will be back running, regardless of the foot.  I don't think it's anything major, so I need to get back out.  I'm getting a little antsy for a run.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to look for, and find a race of any distance

Having decided to make this blog about more than just me, I will be trying to give more information to the you, the reader, to help you on your own running/fitness journey.  Here's a good start.  

If you are thinking about trying out a new race, a new distance, or trying to find something fresh on the racing scene, here are some sites for you to use to locate races and find out the ins and outs of events all around the country.


Running in the USA
     This is a great site that covers races of all lengths, as well as duathlons, Triathlons, and Ultras.  You can search by distance, state, etc.  


MarathonGuide
     The namesake says it all.  It is information, a calendar, race results, etc. for marathon distance races around the country and the globe.


HalfMarathon.net
     This is the half marathon version of the site above.  Articles and first timer information also help you on the road to racing 13.1 miles.

Active
     Active, in general, is a great site for all those Active.  It has tons of articles on all different sports, as well and a race calendar.  


When all else fails, in your search for a race, check out/google running clubs in your city, town, area.  They often have calendars of local races, sponsored races in the area, etc.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

11/24/2015 Switch up and run, I want the Gravy Boat...

Because on a change in schedule, as well as a half day tomorrow, I decided to change today's normally longer run and switch it with tomorrow's 6 miler on hills.  A six mile run works into the schedule today better and 8-10 works into tomorrow a lot better.  I figured the key was to make sure I am running today and tomorrow.  The March through cold weather running continues.  

I guess some people wouldn't classify today, low 40's/high 30's, as cold, but I do.  I am happy that I got out and averages about an 8:00/mile pace for a decent 6 miles with significant hills.  

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday in my house and especially for me.  I love gravy and I have been looking forward to some good gravy over a big pile of rice for days.  I hope that all of you enjoy a safe, family filled Thanksgiving.  Also, I hope you all throw out your diet, eating healthy plan, whatever, and drink from the gravy boat.  You deserve it.

Monday, November 23, 2015

11/23/2015 Cold weather committed

Today is really the first test for me to being cold weather committed this winter.  I have posted on here weeks ago, that I am attempting to commit to running through the winter.  I have set my schedule to reflect that and I am continuing with that effort.

Today, with temps in the low 40's, and a strong wind, it feels like it is in the low 30's outside.  I am not going to lie, I thought about bagging it and doing some strength stuff instead.  However, I sucked it up and got some warm clothes on and went out for a little over 5 miles.  I kept the pace comfortable at about 7:52/mile, and finished up in about 41:29.  Now that my cruising speed is under 8:00/mile, I can start to run faster stuff and bring in some speed work that I have set up on my training schedule in the near weeks.  

You can incorporate speed work no matter what your background pacing is, but I prefer to have some strong fitness first, so that I can hit some times in my repeats I have felt before and am comfortable with.  Next week, I will do some strides and a set of 1-200m repeats that aren't on my schedule right now.  I simply want to get some fast, short work in to feel my legs turnover quickly again.  It feels good to get after it, and coming off the marathon training, I haven't done that in awhile.

Friday, November 20, 2015

11/20/2015 Afternoon 6 miler with hills

Basically, the way my running week is set up, Friday caps my week off and I rest on Saturdays.  After Sunday cross training, Monday is the start of the work week as well as my running week.  Consequently, my Friday runs occur with a full buildup on my legs.  Today, I ran a 6 miler with some hills involved and felt pretty strong considering this bring my total for the week up to around 24-25 miles, plus cross training.  My splits from today are as follows, note that mile 5 is all uphill.

1
7:55--7'55"/MI
2
15:34- 0:16 (3%)7'39"/MI
3
MISSING KEY: ACTIVITY_RUNNING_DETAILS_MODULES_RUN_36
22:59- 0:14 (3%)7'25"/MI
4
30:32+ 0:08 (-2%)7'33"/MI
5
39:23+ 1:18 (-18%)8'51"/MI
6
47:14- 1:00 (11%)7'51"/MI
The run covered 47:20 for 6 miles, with a pace of about 7:52/mile.  After an 8.5 miler Tuesday, a progressively faster 5 miler Wednesday, as well as other stuff, my legs were relatively fresh for today.  I am looking forward to tomorrow being an off day.  

Another nice day out too.  Sunny, 50's, little windy, but great for the end of November.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Still my favorite, ever!! Nike, Find Your Greatness

30 Minutes of bodyweight work

Today is a running off day.  Instead, I worked out for roughly 30 minutes utilizing mainly bodyweight.  I performed 3 sets of the circuit listed below.  It's always interesting when I start to add the cross training back in because of the lack of strength, but also the lack of mobility in my joints and muscles initially.  I think as much as I can benefit from the strength work, the mobility and range of motion to be gained in my hips and hamstrings might be even more important:

30 jumping jacks
5 push ups
25 high knees
7 burpees
10 crunches
7 squats
5 push ups
10 crunches
5 push ups
7 squats
30 jumping jacks
1 minute wall sit
5 push ups
25 high knees

I did not take rest periods between the exercises nor at the end of each set.  I did 3 continuous sets.  After that, I followed it up with 3 farmer's walks with about 3-35 lbs. of water in buckets.  I walked those to failure and rested 1 minute between 3 sets of that as well.

The whole workout took about 28-32 minutes, I didn't time it exactly.  I do know that with very little space or equipment, I got in a strong full body workout.

Free coaching advice!!!

I have spent 10 minutes trying to start this post without sounding obnoxious or like a know it all.  Here's the deal.  If someone out there would like me to help them train towards his or her first 5k, or a next race, or an attempt at progressing towards a PR in a race/event, let me know!  

I am by no means a professional coach nor do I think I know everything.  I am simply offering to assist if anyone out there that is looking to give a race a shot or try to add/change what they are currently doing in order to progress.  If interested, contact me over Facebook, Twitter, here, email, whatever!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Runner's World brings you info on 27 apps for running/fitness

Click on the following link to go to an article on Runner's World that previews 27 different smartphone apps to get you moving, educate you, track you, keep you safe, and on, and on.  It is one of the most comprehensive lists I have seen and gives you a good amount of detail on each apps positives and features.  

27 Apps Every Runner Should Know About

7+ months of training calendar, culminating in another Tri...

As promised, I have finished my training schedule for the next 7 months in advance.  I have never
 laid out a full plan this far on paper.  It is exciting and a little daunting in the same breath.  Harry, Jeff, and I are going back at it June 18th, 2016 for another shot at the Franklin Lakes Triathlon Relay.  Once I confirmed this the other day, I knew I wanted to lay out my training and really set myself up to peak for that race.  The calendar will be the top widget on the right hand side, listing the upcoming workouts.

Some basics of the training I have laid out include:

1. School breaks are being treated as mini breaks in training and I will get in what I get in.  I timed the training so that if I don't do a lot, my body will enjoy the rest.  Anything I do, will be gravy.

2. Saturday is my only day off completely.  I am really committing to see what I can do in the racing season, including the triathlon.

3. I am diversifying quite a bit, hills, sprints, Fartleks, long runs, repeats, cross training, etc.

4. I have tentatively added the Memorial Day run, as well as a couple other 5Ks during the training as races to train for, and through.



Today's progressive 5 miler

A 5 miler was scheduled today, and coming off 8.5 yesterday, I wasn't sure how the legs would feel.  I felt decent from the get go, but still "feel," the left hamstring.  I am not sure what that's about, but whatever.  At first, my plan was simply to run 5 miles, not slow.  As I got in the groove, each mile felt a little stronger and I decided midway through, to try and progress each mile a little faster.  I would say I decided this around the 2.5 mile mark, unsure of what the first 2 mile splits would look like.  

Finishing up, I felt strong and was pushing it well for the last mile.  I downloaded my watch and the splits are as follows:

1
8:05--8'05"/MI
2
15:50- 0:20 (4%)7'45"/MI
3
23:04- 0:31 (6%)7'14"/MI
4
30:13- 0:05 (1%)7'09"/MI
5
MISSING KEY: ACTIVITY_RUNNING_DETAILS_MODULES_RUN_36
36:54- 0:28 (6%)6'41"/MI
This makes a simple 5 miler feel like I was accomplishing something.  I never like to feel that I am simply getting miles in.  That is when my motivation nose dives I think.  I do not want to go through the motions, so a run like today, even though it was only 37 minutes, felt important.