Saturday, February 4, 2017

Choosing the right running shoe, a must for All runners

I was recently asked about how to pick the right sneakers to run in.  First, let me say that picking the right sneakers is extremely important, perhaps more so for the beginner or new runner.  The right sneaker, comfort, and staying injury free is crucial to running whether you jog a couple times a week or you hit the miles hard for race training.  Below, the chart on the right breaks it down.  You can figure out your arch one of a couple ways:

  1. Go to a local running store and have them watch you on the treadmill.  After a couple minutes, when you get off, they will then try to sell you a $120 sneaker.  Feel free to buy them, or ask whether you are a neutral, stability, or motion control shoe type.  Armed with your shoe type, hit the computer and search for shoes in your category. Try RunningWarehouse, RoadRunnerSports, or Amazon.
  2. At home, put some water in a cookie sheet on the floor, next to it place a paper bag on the floor.  After you step in the water, step directly onto the paper bag with both feet and then off of it.  Your foot should show up on the paper bag in some version of the diagram below.  Pick you shoe type by the impression your foot makes on the paper bag.
  3. Maybe you already know whether you have high or low arches.  If so, no test needed.  Simply pick your shoe type.

Final two points:
  1. Make sure you buy your shoes a half size bigger than your day to day sneaker if you are a jogger looking to add a few miles to your week.  If you are more serious, logging miles, and/or long runs, go a full size bigger that your day to day sneakers, like I do. 
  2. No cotton socks, splurge for some Dryfit at Target, or the running store!! 

Neutral shoes: They can work for mild pronators, but are best for neutral runners or people who supinate (tent to roll outward). These shoes provide some shock absorption and some medial (arch-side) support. Normal Arch
Stability shoes: Good for runners who exhibit mild to moderate overpronation. They often include a firm "post” to reinforce the arch side of each midsole, an area highly impacted by overpronation.  Low Arch
Motion control shoes: Best for runners who exhibit moderate to severe overpronation, they offer features such as stiffer heels or a design built on straighter lasts to counter overpronation.  High Arch

Friday, February 3, 2017

02/03/2017 Today's run & the week in review

Final run of the week, a short 4 miler in 29:47.  I sped it up a bit, even on tired legs.  I think I mainly did this because it's F-ing cold out.  The thermometer says 30, but the wind chill makes it about 19 the computer tells me.  I bundled up and ran my butt off to get back inside.  

As a whole, looking back on this week, I really put it all together.  My nutrition continues to be dialed in, now down about 14.25 lbs. since January 2nd.  Here is my work for the week:

Monday- 6 miles, 46:45
Tuesday- 5 miles, 38:50 & cross training exercises
Wednesday- 9 miles, 1:11+
Thursday- 4 miles, 31:40ish & 43 minutes cross training
Friday- 4 miles, 29:47

I feel really strong for the beginning of February.  My focus now is to continue to build miles, strength, and to stay healthy.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

02/02/2017 Tired legs, 4 days or running and cross training, 4 miler

In my second workout of the day, I ran a basic 4 miler.  I held a steady pace of about 7:45/mile for the duration.  I was definitely tired though, understandably.  I have 24 miles in for the week already and a couple cross training workouts.  

It is noticeable though, after about 4 weeks, my steady pace has dropped.  I started in January running around 8:30-8:40/mile comfortably.  Now, even on tired legs, I can go more at a pace around 7:45-7:55/mile.  I am planning to add some speed work one of these days and try to drive down my overall pace even more.

I do need to remember my long run pace needs to slow down sometimes.  I want that pace to be somewhere between 8:15-8:30/mile for now.

02/02/2017 Cross Training, Lighter=Stronger

Mountain Climbers
Today's cross training started with 10 minutes of jump rope.  I then did 3 rounds of the 10 exercises below, minimal rest only between rounds.  I am now down almost 14 lbs. from exactly a month ago.  It's funny, when you couple the loss of a significant amount of weight and the increase in a little strength, it can be dramatic how much stronger you feel.  I feel a lot stronger in only a month.  Before I started eating better and working out/running consistently again, it felt like a thousand miles away, being strong that is.  It is true what most trainers and books will tell you.  You can see real results in only a few weeks.  Here is the workout:

5 pull ups
20 bird dogs
2 min farmer's walk
20 squats
15 dips
2X20 sec. supermans
10 box jumps, 30 in. high
40 mountain climbers (video above)
20 side lunges (10 each side)
1 min. plank

The workout, including jump rope, took me 43 minutes total.  Later today, I am going to try and jog a 4 miler for recovery miles.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

02/01/2017 Where did January go? February begins...with a strong run

As I saw in the forecast, today was a better day for a long run.  Yesterday, 30 degrees and snowing.  Today, 43 degrees and sunny.  My 9 miler was a lot more enjoyable today than it would have been yesterday.  I ran a comfortable pace for the duration and tried to stay at an even split, working on pacing, except for mile 9 which I sped up and ran a 6:54/mile.  I didn't look at my watch until I finished, in 1:11 and change.

I'm not sure where January went, but luckily, she took 13 lbs. with her.  When I jumped on the scale this am, it read 155.5.  Exactly 13 pounds lighter than January 3rd when I got on.  I have a med ball tht is 12 lbs., and just lifting that, it's crazy tho think about that extra weight I was carrying around.  I have about 12 more pounds I would like to go.  Racing gets easier as you get lighter, to a point, and I want to make it easier.  

For two years in a row, I have run 32:17ish for 5 miles at the triathlon in June.  I want to couple lots more miles and speed work in training and significantly less weight to carry in order to make that time go down.  I have 136 days to prepare.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

01/31/2017 Dual workout, run and cross training

A view on today's run
Well, the weather has me switching it up again.  Tuesday is normally my long run day, but two weeks in a row, the weather is a no no on Tuesday.  Today, it's 30, breezy, and snowing.  Tomorrow, it's going to be low to mid 40's and sunny.  I decided, pretty quickly to do my longer run tomorrow and do a shorter, 5 miler today.  I went at a comfortably efficient pace today and ran my 5 miles in about 38:50, a pace of about 7:45/mile.  It wasn't difficult, but it wasn't a jog either.

After walking back inside, I wasted no time in getting into a short workout of the exercises below.

The workout wasn't very long, or involved.  However, I'm not always going to be that deliberate with my cross training.  I am sometimes going to just add a few exercises to a workout and I am good with that.  It's better than not, and it wasn't a big deal to add.  I like the variety, as well as the chance to branch out from the run. 

15 push ups
20 bird dogs
20 floor wipers (video demo below)
15 push ups
10 chair dips
2X20 sec. supermans
20 floor wipers
15 push ups
20 bird dogs

Monday, January 30, 2017

Where am I going in 2017, goals are set...

It has taken me a bit, but I have decided on my goals for the year, 2017.  Looking back, I didn't race nearly as much as I like to and I think my running fitness was low overall because of it.  2015 on the other hand, I raced a lot and felt fit for the year.  I think this is why I decided long ago that 2017 was going to be a committed year for me and that I wanted to race well.  With that in mind, here is my list, in no particular order.

Goals for 2017

  1. Set 2 new PR's.  I want to set a couple PR's this year.  It's been awhile since I have PR'd, so why not go for two new ones in 2017.
  2. Race a new distance.  I raced 5K's, 5 milers, 13.1, and 26.2.  Time to try a 1 mile, 10K, or something new to test me.
  3. Go longer than 26.2.  I've been thinking for a couple years about trying a 50 K, or a 6 hr. run.  Maybe this is the year, plus it takes care of #2!
  4. Commit to 2017 entirely.  As I talked about above, I need a full year of commitment to see how I can race, 2017 is the time.
  5. Marathon #4.  I would like to run a marathon a year for the foreseeable future, checking out new races and gaining race hardware.
  6. Win an age group.  This one I have done, but not in a year or two.  I want to get back down in time and rule the road.
  7. Win a race.  This is going to take a little help; i.e., a weaker field.  But hey, a win would be a win, right?
That's it.  The goals for the year are solidified and recorded.  There's no backing out now.  After I post this, in a week or so, I plan to sidebar it to keep it active and viewable near the top of the site.  I would love to hear your running goals, etc. for the year as well.  Feel free to share and I will link it up to my site.

01/30/2017 My second run in my new Gel Noosa Tri 10's, a strong 6 miler, @asicsamerica

Monday runs are always great after a couple days off.  Today was no exception.  I ran my second run in the new Gel Noosa Tri shoes that I just got.  Anyone that runs in Asics understands that the company just gets it.  It's only my second run in them and it was 6 miles.  I have no issues at all.  It is a great shoe that responds well.  It is usually unheard of to be able to go that long in a new shoe without rubbing, blisters, chafing, etc.  

I ran the 6 miles comfortably quick, finishing in about 46:45 total, pace under 8:00/mile.  In a continued effort to get my cadence up, I ran an average of 183 spm (strides per minute) with a max of 200 spm.  I would like to get a consistent average of up around 190 spm.  Last month and in previous runs, I was at a range of 175-178 spm, while recently in the past week or so, I have averaged right at 183 spm.  

For the rest of the week, 4 more runs and 2 cross training sessions, plus some walking.  My walking has kind of fell by the wayside, but I want to get that back into the routine, even if it's just in 10 minute sessions.