Marathon Training and Max Heart Rate

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Marathon training has begun!

I modified a training program that I got from the book “Marathoning for Mortals” by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield. It was recommended by a good friend of and best running I know named Susan Barth. It is a great book for anyone looking to run a half or full marathon.  Lots of good information about gear, nutrition, and training.

Marathoning for Mortals

In the back of the book are also several training plans for all levels.  I’m for the first time trying the “Run” plan.  Previously I’ve done the walk-run and run-walk plans which are basically interval plans with different amount of walking vs running.

This time is running.  The plan is a little different than I’ve done before in that it is more time and effort based than mileage based.  Most training regimes I’ve followed before have given me a specific mileage to run on any given day.  This differs in that instead of telling me to run 6 miles on Thursday it wants me to run 40 minutes at between 60-75% Max heart rate.

Which leads me to an interesting topic.  What the heck is my Max Heart Rate?  The old standby method is to subtract your age from 220. Being 37 that puts my max at 183.

Another method says to multiply your age by .7 then subtract from 207.  So for me that would be 207-(0.7*37)=181.9 or 182 because who can count .9 of a heartbeat anyway.

Yet another is 210-(0.5*Age) which for me yields 191 bpm.

Here is a calculator that using several methods. for my age it gives me a range of 180 for 191.  Heart Rate Calculator

These are all estimates and its a good place to start.  The best if you want a truly accurate number is to perform a cardio assessment.  Basically what you are going to do is push yourself hard and see what your peak heartrate is.

Again there are several ways of doing this.  My favorite, and I use that term loosely, is by running a hill.  You’ll need a heart rate monitor and find your “favorite” hill.  Warm up holding a moderate pace for 10 minutes.  Then, and this is the fun part, attack the hill as fast as you can for 3 minutes.  Rest for 3 minutes and then attack the hill as fast as possible again for 3 minutes.  Use the highest reading during the second run as your max. Which for me is 196.

The basic idea is to push as absolutely as hard as you can and see what happens.

Ok so here is the training plan, today is highlighted in Yellow:

Training 8-8The weight lifting and Power lifting are classes at El Jefe Crossfit.  These are great! I’ve always been hesitant to lift weights because in the past they have always strained my back.  I never was taught how to lift properly when I was a younger.   The coaches at El Jefe are very patient and eager to teach me how to lift properly and encouraging me to push myself.

This feels like an ambitious training schedule but with the help of Coach V, and the addition of Coach Dubreil and Coach Valdez from El Jefe I feel like its doable.  Although I just realized there are 2 Coach V’s.

Up Tomorrow is the 40 minute run in the morning and powerlifting in the evening.  The morning run will be a little different.  I need to do a 5K speed run to submit for the AZ Sunrise series virtual run from last Saturday.   Until then, C-YA!3479_1533749052790

Virtual races and Spartans

 

 

Wow, so its been a little busy here.  Lots to recap so I’ll just get to it.

 

I have now done 2 virtual runs in the AZ Sunrise series.  The first one I did during the 4 mile Arrowhead Loop Run on Thursday morning.  It was a pretty good run.  finished in 27:22 which is a 8:47 pace.  It really helps to have people that you run with on a regular basis to help pace.  I pushed pretty hard to stay with the lead group for as long as I could.

A couple weeks later we took a short trip to Seattle.  So, with I was up in the cooler weather I did another 5K for the July 7th AZ Sunrise run since I was going to be running a Spartan that day.

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Running in Seattle was great.  Thanks to Coach V’s years up there she knew some good places to run.  She took me to a trail     That was a out and back run with only 1 turn that I had to pay attention for.  I’m calling it a trail because it was heavy wooded with REALLY tall trees but it was paved so no risk of tripping on roots and rocks.  Even though I did it in the afternoon it was beautiful weather for running.  Sunny, warm but not what a guy from Arizona or Indiana would call hot.  I pushed really hard on this one and was rewarded with a 25:46 finish.  Average pace was 8:17 and the first mile was 7:14.  I haven’t had a mile split that fast since high school.  I looked up where that would have put me if I had ran that in the actual race.  I would have been 4th in my age group.  I’m pretty excited by that and am very curious to see what will happened in a week and a half at the next one.

On to the Spartan.  I ran a Spartan Super back in February.  A super is around 8 miles with around 25 obstacles\challenges.  To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of it.  While on the road and trails I’m pretty competitive and have very specific goals that I’m pushing myself to meet I view these kind of runs as just screwing around.  I’m just out there to have some fun.  The Tough Mudders have more that feel to me.  While I do take it seriously, I’m not worried about finishing times and have the most fun when I’m helping others on the course.

Spartan is a little different.  Almost everyone I talked with there was taking it very seriously.  I was criticized for drinking coffee before the race because “the caffeine will make you muscles need more oxygen while your running”.  That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that.  I’ll need to look into sometime.  But, frankly who cares.  I know a lot of runners that have a serious coffee problem.

Des Linden in an interview I think with Runner’s World talks about getting a bag of coffee beans to take home from everywhere she goes on vacations.  And she won the Boston Marathons during the worst weather conditions in recent memory.  She, along with her Husband and another couple run a coffee company, Linden & True Coffee. (https://www.coffeebylt.com/)

Ok, I’ve gone on rants about coffee before so I’ll stop now.

I need a refill anyway.

Anywho…..

This was a Spartan Stadium Sprint which means that it was basically a 5K with 23 obstacles.  I had a blast!  one 2 obstacles that gave me issues. I can’t climb a rope.  I used to be able to but I’ve forgotten how to do it somewhere along the way.  and the “multi-rig” which is just swinging from rings suspended by straps.  The only issue I had is that the rings where so close to the ground that I could reach them while standing on the ground.  So, every time that I swung between rings my feet dragged across the floor.

It took me 1:13:45 to complete. I could have gone a lot faster but since we where winding around the University of Phoenix Stadium I couldn’t tell how far it was between each obstacle or how much more I had left in the run.  So, I keep to a moderate jog to conserve my strength.  Next time I’ll push harder.

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And riding that kind of euphoric, that was pretty easy, feeling I signed up for a Spartan Beast in October.  That will give me an extra “Trifecta” medal.

Yes, I know, I have a running for the bling problem.

Tomorrow I will run my 4th Arrowhead Loop in 4 weeks. which means that I get a doughnut keychain.  I’m really excited about this.

This weekend should be interesting.  I’m on a triathlon team as the swimmer.  I haven’t swam seriously since I was in high school and would swim practices with the girls swim team.  And I’ve never swam like this in open water.  Or worn a wetsuit.

I had a chance at the beginning of the week to go on an open water swim but I got the time wrong.  I was told they where meeting at 4:30.  I assumed PM, they meant AM. Opps!  I’m hoping tomorrow night to go get some laps in at a nearby pool just to see if I remember how to swim.

I haven’t been very good at all with training runs.  As I mentioned I’ve been going to the Thursday morning Arrowhead Loop Runs. I also did a workout with Coach V’s trainer in Seattle, Chris Reilly.  Great workout but it kicked my butt.

I think that after the fairly intense training that I did for the half I needed the break.  Marathon training starts on July 23 and I’ve got a pretty aggressive schedule set up for that.

And now to finish watching England and Croatia!  Until next time C-YA!

 

Missed runs and Refocusing

20180427_110636.jpgSo, its been awhile since I posted anything. That’s partially because I haven’t ran in over two and a half weeks. But I have a fairly good reason. At least I think it is.

Two days before the race I started to get a little bit of a sore throat. Not a big deal I thought. I started pushing vitamin C pretty hard and decided to take it easy. Friday I had a little bit of a sniffle but again didn’t think much of it.

Then came the plane ride to Indiana.

Flying with sinus issues is never fun. But, I’ve survived it before and was confident that I would again. As the nearly 4 hour flight wore on I began feeling worse and worse. I was getting colder and colder. Even my three year old daughter cuddling up next to me wasn’t warming me up any.

OK, I have a fever.

Then came the uncontrollable shivering.  Coach V was getting pretty worried about me at this point and started mentioning that a half marathon in less than 12 hours might not be a best idea.  I dismissed that thought at first because I’m stubborn and hated the idea of all this training and not taking my shot at a sub 2 hour half.  I was sure that the fever was about to break and that with some sleep I’d be fine.

We landed, got our bags, and I made the very tough decision that it would be better not to drive to Illinois get 3 hours of sleep and then run.  The better plan was to go to our friends in Noblesville and be able to sleep in the next morning.

When Anna pulled up to take us to her place she thought that I “looked like hell” and that it was a good call to not do the race.

They took my temperature right before we went to bed and I was still at 102.  Honestly, I thought it had come down quite a bit from earlier.

So, I slept until 10 I think.  Temperature when I woke up was still 102.  But it broke shortly after I took a shower and I was feeling somewhat human again.

The decision not to run was the right one.  Even though it killed me, metaphorically speaking, to bail on a race.  I think that it may have come close to literally killing me if I had run it.  Best case I would have been extremely disappointed with the result.

So, I suffered though the next week with a horrible cough, sore throat, and I completely lost my voice.  Which is fun when a lot of your job includes being on conference calls.  I was coughing so bad especially at night that I was waking myself up and couldn’t get back to sleep.  A whole week of only 3-4 hours of fitful sleep is not a great idea. Finally the next Friday my boss came by and told me to go home and see a doctor.

So, I did. and that’s when I was told it was an upper respiratory infection and that it would be a good idea to take a couple of days off work.  They also gave my antibiotics and REALLY good cough syrup.  Well, I call it really good but it was really effective.  It tasted absolutely horrible.

Now in week three of the illness that won’t quit.  I still don’t feel great.  my throat is still sore and I can’t hardly stand the thought of running.  And at the same time I am very eager to get going again.

I’ve taken this time to really think about where my priorities are in running.

I need to get faster.

Like I want to be ALOT faster.

That started with shorter distances and working on my form.  I’m going to incorporate hill training into my weekly routine and I am looking to find a track to do some speed work like pyramids and intervals.  If anyone reading this has ideas on increasing speed I’m open to try things.

I’m also doing more short (5k) races over the summer.  The race schedule for the year currently looks like this:

5/26– ARIZONA SUNRISE SERIES – KIWANIS PARK

6/9- ARIZONA SUNRISE SERIES – SCOTTSDALE SPORTS COMPLEX

6/23- ARIZONA SUNRISE SERIES – FREESTONE PARK

7/7-Spartan Stadium Series Sprint – University of Phoenix Stadium

7/7- ARIZONA SUNRISE SERIES – ARIZONA FALLS

7/21- ARIZONA SUNRISE SERIES – RIPARIAN

8/4- ARIZONA SUNRISE SERIES – RIO VISTA PARK

8/18- ARIZONA SUNRISE SERIES – FOOTHILLS

12/2 Hot Chocolate 15K

12/9 Buckeye Marathon

12/15 Estrella Trail 10K\5K Challenge

Most of them I will do in person, 3 I’m going to do a virtual run since I can’t be there on race day.  I’ll probably add some more to fill in September through November.  Although that will be the height of the Marathon training so it might be best to lay off the races for a little bit.

Its a neat series with each race adding to a point total that makes you eligible for a drawing in the fall.

Hopefully my throat calms down soon and I can get back to it this weekend.  Until then…C-YA!

 

Flights and strollers

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So, I’ve gotten a little behind. Last weekend I went to Indiana to pick up my daughter for the week. I’ve been a little distracted.

But I stay with some friends in Indiana who are huge into Crossfit. They enjoy nothing more, that may be an exaggeration, than taking their friends to classes at there gym when they visit. SO….I went to the cardio class with Anna at Three Kings.

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It was diffidently challenging. the thing I found interesting is that I had a really hard time getting my heartrate into the target zone that the workout prescribed. I think that I’ve got my conditioning to the point that a 30-90 second burst, even when I go all out, isn’t enough to get my heart going.

Anna tells me that Matt, has the same issue. I suppose that its a good thing. I also didn’t feel as dead afterward as I did the last couple of times they took me with them. It was a good workout and pointed out that I need to do a little more than just run.

So, on the plane ride back I did a little research. I figured out that I need to start the marathon training on July 21. Which means between next Monday and then I can change my focus a little bit.

Strength training is one of the things that I need to work on more. Coach V is more of a lifter and she can help me with that. I’m hopping to build strength in in arms and core. When I was in high school I didn’t have to worry about lifting as much since I was helping on the family farms. there was a point when I could carry 225 lbs and squat lift 150 lbs in the form of feed bags. The crazy thing was I could essentially do that all day because I had to. I could also throw 90 lbs well over my head repetitively for 14 hours a day for several days in a row. Hay is heavy. I think that now I could maybe manage one hay bail and I would pay for it for a week.

I also want to concentrate my running more on speed and form than distance. I know from the videos that Coach V takes on the long runs that I have a couple of problems with my form. Tortoise and Hare has good form running clinics about once a month hopefully I can go to that and get a little help with my form.

As far as speed is concerned I think keeping to shorter distances and hill work will go a long way toward improving my speed.

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Sunday, I went for an 8 mile run. It was hot and slow about an 11 minute mile pace. But had the newest member of my support crew along in the trailer behind Coach V. It was great having her along. A little voice saying “good job daddy” every time we passed was great. Coach V also said that she said good morning to everyone they passed.

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Today I went for a short 1.5 mile run just to stretch out and move a little. I put Amelia in the trailer and pushed it. All I have to say is that I know have a TON of respect for all the parents out there who run pushing a stroller on a regular basis. That is some seriously tiring work.

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I’ve got one more run before the big day Saturday. I’m getting pretty nervous but having my daughter here this week is a good distraction from the running stuff. I’ll be doing 4 miles Thursday morning with the group. Until then….C-ya!

Skipped Runs and Soccer

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Last week I wasn’t feeling very well. I had swollen lymph nodes and a sore throat. I mentioned in the previous post that I cut my Tuesday run short because I got ill during the run.

So, for that and one other reason I skipped the Thursday run and got some more sleep. It was wonderful but I felt kind of guilty about it all day. But sometimes health is more important and I had a major event over the weekend that would make up for it.

Friday I didn’t go to work. I took the day off so that I could spend the entire day out in the warm….oh who am I kidding…hot Phoenix sun and run around with a great bunch of guys and gals.

No, this wasn’t some kind of mass group run or race. It was a soccer tournament. I am a soccer official (that’s football for those of you outside the US). I’ve actually been a soccer ref for 8 years and its a lot of the reason that I run. Running helps me to keep in shape for soccer. Its a lot of fun to run around the pitch with the “kids” and help them to learn to love the beautiful game.
Fusia Soccer
This was an elite level of U19 to U13 (that basically translates to 12-18 year olds) girls. Even the younger kids are playing at a very high level. There where college coaches and scouts from all over the US. I was told by the coordinator that 90% of the girls here will go to college on some kind of scholarship to play and mostly at D1 colleges.

What that means for me as a ref is very competitive, fast paced, and very, very fun games to officiate. At this level they all know what they are doing and play very clean, with just occasional and tactical fouling.

It also means a lot of running.

On average a game will involve me running 6 miles or more. Its all stop and go. At any given time you may have to sprint half the field (about 55 yards). There is also jogging at various speeds and sometimes very fast changes of direction and speed. You have to be ready to change what your doing at any time.

And you have to be watching for fouls. Which is a VERY involved process to determine the type of infraction, what the penalty is, if a yellow card or red card is needed.

Add in the screaming coaches, obnoxious fans and sometimes whiney players. It is very mentally and physically draining.

Over the course of 3 days I ran 8 games so assuming 6 miles a game that’s 48 miles. So, I’m a little tired and sore. Although no where hear as bad as I was afraid I would be. I’m looking forward to getting back to training on Tuesday although I am thankful that tomorrow I could just be a bum and sit on the couch.

Not that I will. Until next time…C-ya!

Recovery and Hills

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Today I did my run on the dreaded treadmill. That bane of every runner. The necessary evil that we must endure when the weather is too bad to be outside. But wait I live in Phoenix! The weather this time of year is as close to ideal as it gets.

Well, today there where a couple of factors that made the dreadmill, as my cousin calls it, an attractive alternative to the usual run outside. First, I’m still in recovery mode from the weekend. the 9 mile run and tough mudder where kind of hard on the old body and I’m still pretty sore.

Reason number 2: I’ve basically been up since 2:30 am. Adam, who ran the tough mudder with Vicky, Krista, and I had a 5 am flight. This meant that he wanted to be at the airport at 3:30, which lead to leaving the house at 3, and in turn meant getting out of bed at 2:30. Since I basically work at the airport I just went to the parking lot and tried to sleep in the truck. As you can imagine that flew like a lead zeppelin and at 5 am I gave up and went inside to start working. Coincidentally I got a great parking spot today. This lead me to think that I would just do a light workout.

Reason number 3: This is probably the best reason. As mentioned I work at an airport. Airports are notoriously flat places. Today’s training schedule called for 9-10 hills. Basically sprint up the hill for 60 seconds and then slow down the hill. Rinse and Repeat. So I could use the incline on the dreadmill and seriously up the speed to simulate a hill.

So that’s what I did. 10% incline at 7 mph for 60 seconds the flat at 5 mph for 2 minutes. Made for a nice 30 minute workout. I coupled that with a 2 mile warmup @ a 9:20 pace and a 1 mile cool down at about a 15 min/mile pace and it was about an hour. Not bad for a long lunch. Actually I felt like it was a pretty hard workout.

Couple little odds and ends here. I’m still needed to look into the nutrition side of this running thing. I’ll keep you all posted on what I find.

I have officially signed up for a half marathon in April.  The Christie Clinic Illinois Half Marathon on April 28 at the University of Illinois.

The dietbet folks have started a new thing called runbet. Same basic concept you choose a challenge, pay into it and then follow the training challenge submitting your runs either through runkeeper of with some photos. At the end if you make the challenge then you get your money back plus a portion of the extra from the folks who didn’t make it. I know for the dietbet it was a pretty good motivator.

Next run is 8-10 miles on Thursday. Until then…C-ya!

Nutrition and Tough Mudders

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I’m sore.

In fact I’m very sore.

I actually brought my stick up to my desk an have already used it twice this morning and probably will again soon.

The past weekend was perhaps one of the most physically grueling weekends that I’ve had since I stopped helping my family with their farms.

SO, why am I so sore. Let me start with Friday Night. A friend of ours who really likes to play board and card games is in from Ohio. So we (Adam, Vicky and I) went over to Vicky’s parents as soon as I got home from work to play games. The trouble that I didn’t realize was that everyone else had dinner before we went. Vicky’s parents being the gracious hosts that they are had cheese spread, crackers and even a little pizza to nibble on while we played and offered my several bottle of beer to wash it down. On top of the burger King I had for lunch meant that it was a whole day of horrible eating.

As I mentioned in the previous post I moved me Sunday run to Saturday. Which meant the I got up and went on a 9 mile run with the intent of keeping a 9:45 pace. This did not happen. We took off with Vick and Adam on bikes and me running. the first mile felt ok, not great but I did keep an 8:45 min/mile pace. Mile 2 everything started to tighten up and hurt but still managed a 9:26. And then I really started to feel bad. I spent the next 7 miles stopping occasionally to try and stretch my calves. I nearly got ill in mile 7 and almost tapped out. However, thanks to the encouragement from Adam and Vicky (who I’m going to start referring to as Coach V on these runs) I kept going and finished the distance.

This brings a thought and a question to mind.

First the question.

When training for an event such as a half marathon or a full is it better get in the distance of the long runs and sacrifice the target pace or hold the pace and not get the distance?

I realize that hitting both would be the ideal but as I demonstrated Saturday I wasn’t going to hit both. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

The thought has to do with nutrition. I know that I ate horribly on Friday and I think that had a pretty dramatic effect on the Saturday run. the nutrition side of things is not something that I’ve ever paid much attention to.

As a high school cross-country runner and track sprinter it never mattered much. I was eating everything I could to maintain my weight. I actually would eat to dinners a night most nights. One at a friends house right after practice and another at mine. (he was doing the same thing)

Now the advantage that we had is that our mothers are both amazing cooks and they where feeding us good balanced meals but as a 17 year old your not paying attention. The adults took care of little details like that so that we could worry about more important things like school, running, cars, music, girls … that sort of thing. although girls didn’t become a real distraction until college, but I digress.

Even in my 20s I didn’t have to really pay attention to what I ate. although by in large I was fixing in myself I mostly stuck with the type of things mom made. I’ve always loved fruits and vegetables. I’m actually a pretty good gardener. Almost anytime I have fruit I claim its one of my favorite fruits. And my love of pasta is nearly legendary among my friends and family.

Fast forward to now and I’m having to be careful how much I eat. What I eat seems to have a much larger effect on how I feel and now I’m noticing performance differences based on food.

Getting old sucks. There I said it. It is however inevitable. So, I’m going to start looking into what I should be doing diet wise. What does a runners diet look like? How can I fit into my lifestyle and family’s needs? If any of you know of some good resources let me know and I’ll review it and report back with what I learn.

Ok, enough with the boring stuff. On to Sunday!

I along with Coach V and Adam ran in Tough Mudder Arizona. And one of the really cool things is that we adopted an abandoned running who would have had to run alone named Katie.

A tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile non-competitive run with 20+ obstacles. They are all about teamwork and comradery with your fellow Mudders. Most of the obstacles you will be helped either physically of encouraged by complete strangers. It is one of my favorite things to be a part of.

The obstacles are designed to test you both physically and your grit. that ability to overcome fears and get the job done. I have seen many people especially new Mudders approach an obstacle with hesitation and fear. But with the help and encouragement of everyone around they time and time again accomplish things that they never dreamed they could. Usually they get to the other side and beaming with pride look back and say “huh, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” It reminds me of how much of running and really life is about our attitude and ability to set fear aside to just get the job done.

It true is an inspiring thing to see and a humbling event to be a part of. I always feel like kind of a badass for a few days afterward, even when I am so sore that typing is a challenge.

Did I mention I’m sore?

I also need to give a shoutout to my teammates:

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Coach V (aka Vicky) who got me started on these things even though I thought it was kind of gimmicky. And inspires all of us to fight though. Hopefully, I can continue to keep up with her.

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Adam who hates running but loves the obsticales (well most of them). I hope someday to have a quarter of his grip strength. He also has a youtube channel about board games specifically the game Dominion. You can find him there at AdamHorton01

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And Katie who we just met but by the end felt like an old friend. You are always welcome in the Mudder Band! And I look forward to running with you again soon.

So, I’ve got a lot to do this week between training, nutrition research and a few life things going on. The next run is Tuesday so until then….C-ya!

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