Friday, December 1, 2017

12.01.2017 A 5 miler to finish the week motivated

I didn't really have a lot of time today to run.  I had about 45 minutes to work with so I had to get out and go for my 5 miler quick.  I cruised in just under 40 minutes for run and am happy to have gotten it in.  For me, motivation has a snowball effect.  I have been a little sluggish the last couple months coming off a slow summer.  I finally have been ramping up and even though I was rushed, I was determined to get today in.  In recent weeks, I would probably have skipped it, but I am mentally where I need to be.

I think this is going hand in hand with the fact that I am eating healthy again and my nutrition is a positive part of my training scope right now.  My running and my nutrition feed off each other.  I definitely do a better job with either, when one is dialed in.  

This weekend, I'm going to try and be active as much as possible, without my running hoes on.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

11.30.2017 Quicker 5 miles today, and as the song says, I got issues...

The song says, "I got issues."  Julia Michaels is right, I have some.  Two to be in fact on today's run.  Luckily, both of them are easy to fix and I don't generally make these beginner mistakes.

First, I normally eat between 2 and 2.5 hours before I run.  I like to not have anything bouncing around in there.  Today though, I just forgot.  As I was eating my oatmeal with flax and Chia seeds, I realized.  Damn, I ate about 55-60 minutes before my run.  I definitely felt it in there as soon as I started.  My stomach felt heavy the whole way.  I managed to move on mentally though, as an hour is still a decent wait time, just not what I prefer.

Second, if you read the post about Strides yesterday, you know that you shouldn't do so many or do them so hard that an easy day becomes hard.  Well, I did 10 of them yesterday after not doing them for awhile.  Today, my legs were a little sore.  It wasn't too bad or too detrimental to my run, but I simply overdid it on them.

Somehow, today I ran an even stronger 5miles than I did yesterday though.  I ran smooth for the first 4 miles.  I looked at my mile split after the 4th and realized I ran a 7:27 and felt really good.  I decided to push mile 5 for fun and to see what I had left.  I ended up running a 7:07 last mile and my pace overall was 7:46/mile.  The ever important stride rate today was a strong 181.

Race Report, Upper Saddle River Thanksgiving 5K with Team Never End the Fight

Below, you will find the race report as written by Justin Macaluso.  The race is one of the biggest in Bergen County and every year, it's a signature race for Team Never End the Fight.  Congrats to Justin and the team for a 13th place out of 65 teams, as well as a couple individual PR's set.

This race was much different than any other race I have ever run.  For the first year in four years I would be hanging up my tennis racquet and sneakers to commit to running full time.  I have been running four or five times a week for the past two and a half months and running two local 5Ks up in Rhode Island.  However, I had been focusing on this race, hoping to improve from last year.  I never expected to succeed so much as an individual but as a team as well.

I was woken up by my father at 7am to get ready and get to the race on time.  The Upper Saddle River 5K is, if not the biggest, close to the biggest race in all of Bergen County every year.  With over 2000 runners each year, it's a popular event.  I had a busy two days and past weekend academically at school so I didn't get as many runs in as I thought I could, but I was feeling confident.  My parents and I drove down to pick up my cousins, William and Owen who would be joining us, and we headed over to Cavallini Middle School where the race would go off.  We got there and started warming up, and like almost every runner, my cousins and I started by running up the first hill, which is right at the start for half a mile.  

It eventually came time to get to the starting line and I knew that I was feeling comfortable and ready.  The race went off promptly at 9am and everyone took off.  I knew what I wanted to run and I hit the first mile perfectly at 6:45, ten seconds faster then my first mile last year.  I continued to push and move up as I knew I was in shape to start pushing the second mile a little.  I came across the second mile with a split of 6:35.  I really was feeling good and I had been running with three or four runners the whole way.  I wanted to see what kind of speed I had left for the last 1.11 miles.  I started to push even harder and I didn't feel gassed or uncomfortable so I continued to push and came across the third mile with a crazy 6:05 split and was going nuts realizing I had a chance to break 20 minutes, something I haven't done since high school cross country.  I could see the finish line in sight and the clock was certainly NOT on my side and I came across with a time of 20:03 and I felt amazing.  Of course I felt like I had to throw up, but like my dad says, 'If you don't throw up after a race, you didn't give it your all'.  

I was so happy with my time, but even happier because not only did I set a course PR, but my cousin William set a course PR, with a time of 23:20.  My cousin Owen set a course PR as well, with a time of 32:53!  Also, as a team, Never End The Fight placed 13th overall out of 65 teams, jumping eight spots from last year as well!

As a team Never End The Fight was supported by nine runners:

Justin Macaluso, 20:03, 61st overall
William Rice, 23:20, 224th overall
Jim Macaluso, 28:58, 751st overall
Courtney Kutcha, 29:29, 811th overall
Steve Greenblatt, 30:06, 894th overall
Landon Haan, 30:18, 922nd overall
Owen Rice, 32:53, 1268th overall
Doug Haan, 35:06, 1448th overall
Jere Ann Waters, 41:21, 1812th overall

Special thank you to the Haan family for coming out and supporting Never End The Fight for the first time!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

11.29.2017 5 mile run and strides

60 degrees and sunny on November 29th...Thank you God.  I got out for a nice 5 miler in under 40 minutes today.  It was a comfortable pace and felt good coming off a few days off over the holiday and a busy start to the work week.  

At the end, I ran 10 strides of around 60-70 meters.  After each one, I took a break of about 1-2 minutes walking so that I was fresh for the next one.  I don't normally make a habit of doing strides, but it's one of the things that will help bump you over the top during a successful training cycle.  I want to do them one a week.  

The benefits of strides are numerous.  Here are the basics behind strides from the folks at Runner's World:

Strides Understood
Strides are those 60- to 100-meter "pickups" that runners typically do just before speed work or races. In these instances, they generally warm up well, stretch, and then use strides as a finishing touch to ease into fast-running mode. The reasons for doing strides before a bout of fast running are multiple: muscles need to be flooded with blood, fast-twitch muscle fibers need to be recruited, and race pace must be briefly simulated to get the body and mind ready to run fast.
But why do strides at the end of an easy run? One answer can be found at the finish line of almost any race: People like to run fast at the end of races. We all do it, both the first-place runner turning on his kick in the Olympic 10,000-meter final, or the 450th-place runner sprinting to out-lean the 451st at a local Haul Around the Mall 5-K. Easy-day strides will improve that finishing kick.
Strides also improve your neuromuscular coordination, as the bursts of speed stimulate neural pathways. Just as a pianist's fingers fly over scales that have been practiced repeatedly, your coordination and form become more fluid from these short but frequent doses of speed tacked onto the ends of easy runs. Result: You become faster.
Strides as Speed work
Strides are also a great, non-threatening way to begin speed work if you've never done it before, or if you're coming back from some time off. Consider these eight points when you start running strides:
1. Finish your easy run at a smooth dirt trail, or a park with a flat, grassy area. A track or straight stretch of road also work well.
2. When you start in, gradually accelerate to about 85 percent of your maximum speed for the first third of the stride, hold that pace for another third, and then gradually decelerate over the final third.
3. Easy-day strides should not be timed, and the exact distance of each stride is not critical. About 60 to 100 meters is fine.
4. The easiest way to get a feel for this distance is to do strides on a track or football field. Count each time your feet strike the ground as you stride over the 100 meters. Then when you're away from the track, you'll know how many foot strikes equal 100 meters at a similar pace. For me, 55 to 60 foot strikes equal 100 meters. Therefore, when I do strides I accelerate for 20 foot strikes, hold that speed for 20, and gradually decelerate for 20.
5. A quick turnover is important for speed. Think "quick arms" and your legs will follow.
6. After each stride, walk around and shake out your legs for 90 seconds.
7. Then stride back in the opposite direction.
8. Don't run too many strides at such a fast pace that your easy day becomes another hard day. German Silva did 8 to 10, but you can start with five or six.