July Training- 10 Day Cycle

Typically, after a “mid-season” race you don’t have 10 days of easy running. You get right back into training. Well, as I mentioned in my last blog post, the last week to 10 days have not been ideal for running. But I am resolved to get back on it.

I spoke with a good friend of mine (ran with in college and also helped coach me to my last marathon), and he suggested doing a 10-day cycle. I have had trouble recovering workout to workout and the additional time between hard efforts may help me. Below is a sample of what I will be doing for the rest of July. This cycle continues into August leading up to my final 5k of the summer on Labor Day.

July_training_bThe basic outline of this 10 day cycle are:

  • Saturday: Aerobic Power (long intervals, tempo)
  • Sunday: Long, Easy-Moderate Effort
  • Monday: Recover miles
  • Tuesday: Volume Miles + strides/drills
  • Wednesday: Speed or Fartlek
  • Thursday: Easy Volume
  • Friday: Moderate Volume
  • Saturday: Volume Miles + strides/drills
  • Sunday: Long Run w/ Hard Threshold
  • Monday: Easy miles or Rest

As I progress over the next 6-7 weeks, I will give updates as to how I feel this approach is working. If good, quantitative improvement is made, I will continue setting up my training in this way as I prepare for some longer races this fall (10k-Half).

Here’s to getting back out there!

 

Week in Review: July 5-July 12 & Musings

Okay, so not exactly a week (as in Sunday-Saturday), but this gets me caught up to today. The past few days have been some great running and some not so great running. July 5-8 was pretty slow. I ran 6 miles in recovery from the July 4 5k but then didn’t run for 2 days. Laziness, busyness, not sure which one I want to use. In truth, the past few weeks have just been tough for me to get out of bed in the morning. Just super lethargic.

Over the weekend, though, Landry came down from Atlanta, and we were able to get some good running in. I had a crappy workout on Saturday morning, 4 easy with him to start things off in the afternoon; solid 8 miles Saturday morning; and then a very wet but fun 7 miles on Monday.

What I realized this weekend was how much I miss running with someone. I never felt like I needed a full team of people to run with (in fact, this was a pretty intense discussion that was had on my college XC team), but I do miss running with 1-2 people. For most of my running career, I have run with other people. In Middle School – College I ran with a team for most of the year, and I was able to train with Landry during breaks. Post-college, I lived in Richmond, VA and met a handful of guys to run with a few times a week, back in GA for a few years, I had the same situation, and then in RI, I would meet another former collegiate runner 1-2 times per week for workouts. But since I’ve come to Miami, I haven’t run with anyone, except some shorter runs with Anna. Ever. This past weekend was literally the first time I’ve run with another person for more than 3 miles since moving to Miami. Don’t get me wrong, I love running with Anna. It’s time that we get to spend together that we otherwise would not have, and with our crazy schedules, that time is precious. But I miss starting a run at 7:15/mile, and, as the conversation ebbs and flows throughout a run, realize we have dropped it to 6:30.

So, as Anna and I prepare for the next step in our lives, I want to move to a city where I can find a few guys to run with, even if it’s just a few days a week (workouts, or a long run). I need the accountability, but more than that, I need the social interaction in my running. The options are definitely there. I am applying to schools in the Providence – Boston area, which have rich running communities. Atlanta is another option, which will bring some of my old running partners as options.

To end this long, rambling post, I will just say, sometimes it takes time, more maturity, or just perspective to realize the importance people can play in your lives. Running can be and, at times, should be a solitary endeavor. I love getting lost in my thoughts while running, but the thing that drives the running community, outside of competition, is camaraderie with the few people who understand why you get up at 6AM on Saturday/Sunday to run 15-20 miles, why you enjoy pushing yourself to exhaustion, and why you think pasta should be its own food group.

If you want the details on my runs this past week, check out my Strava.

Keep running,

B

 

Week in Review: June 26-July 2 AND July 4th Race Recap

Week in Review

The last week was a complete bust. I completely lost focus the second half, skipped a few runs, and all-in-all sucked it up. I’m not totally sure what led to this. Maybe fatigue from work or running or both, but I lost it. Fortunately, I had a race to get me back in the right mindset and show me where I am.

I did have a decent workout on Wednesday (3 mile tempo w/ 4x:30/:30R), but I skipped Friday, a second Saturday run, and Sunday long run. No excuses.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Monday– 5 miles
  • Tuesday– 8 miles
  • Wednesday– 9 miles (WU + 3 Miles THR + 4x:30(:30R) + CD)
  • Thursday– 6 miles
  • Friday– No Run
  • Saturday– 4 miles
  • Sunday– No Run
  • Total Miles– 32-33 miles

You can see the details here.

July 4 5k Race Recap

Miami isn’t exactly a runner-friendly city. There are not that many great places to run, and the few that three are are often pretty spread out. So, you need to be willing to drive a ways to get a run in, deal with the exhaust and dangers of the road (of which I have spoken on here), or piece together a few places close by/do lots of loops on less traveled streets. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to getting out of here to a more runner-accommodating city (more on that later)

There was only one road race in Miami-Dade County, that I know of, on July 4. Usually, it seems, you have the option of numerous races on this particular day. In the past I did the Peachtree Road Race 10k, but since leaving GA I’ve either been out of shape or not run a race. This year, I wanted to get back into the tradition, but the options were very few (next closest was a 40 minute drive in Broward County to the north).

I decided to do the aptly named July 4 5k in Kendall. Race start was 7:04AM, so I had an early morning drive. Up at 5:30AM, quick breakfast and some cold brew, put on the shorts and t-shirt, grab the singlet and other necessities and head out the door. I had to grab my number when I got to the park and then waited for 15 minutes to use the only toilet open for the race. Finally, around 6:30AM I was able to start jogging a little to warm-up. After just a few minutes I was soaked and realized this was going to be a hot and humid run, and I was just glad it was only 5k. I finished up my warm-up with some strides and drills before putting on my singlet and heading over to the start line.

Surprisingly, this race was actually handled very well. The course was well laid out, when running outside of t he park, you were separated from traffic with cones, and there were actual time clocks at each mile.

When the gun went off the usual suspects took off like it was a 100m race. I settled in to a chase pack that slowly stretched out over the first 800m. I hit the first mile in 10th place in 5:36-5:37 feeling very strong and relaxed. I quickly dropped the young chap in 9th and considered pushing mile 2 to catch 8th, but I talked myself out of it and decided to just “maintain effort”. Bad move. I ended up running alone the rest of the race and trying ever so desperately to catch 8th during the 3rd mile. Ended up with a 17:41 (17:28 5k split on my watch) and 9th overall.

I am pleased with the race. This is a solid 30-40 second improvement from my last race in May. It shows I am getting into better shape and now, with 2 more months until my next race, I can focus, put in some really good work and try to drop another 45-60 seconds.

Speaking of training…

I want to start a more regular actual blog section. I have had the section title for Blog up since the start of this little site. But I’ve never really used them. Though I want this site to primarily act as an accountability for me to put in the hard training and track my progress to sub-230, I also want to share what I’ve learned over 16 years of running at the high school, college, and post-collegiate levels. Therefore, I am going to publish as few longer blog posts on my training philosophy, training basics and (if anyone actually reads/comments) answer questions about training, racing, nutrition, etc in regards to running. I am not a licensed coach and I don’t have a degree in biomechanics or physiology, but I do have a keen interest in how the body reacts to certain training stimuli and how to improve myself (and others) through employing different training techniques.

Okay, that’s it. Until next time.

-B

Long time no blog

It has been several weeks since I last blogged. No excuses, just busy and lazy on this front.

Overall, the last few weeks have been slow progressions forward. I have not been as high mileage wise as I originally planned, but I am getting in to shape. Case in point is my most recent long run. 14 miles a tad under 7:00 pace. It felt fantastic, even, and strong.

I’ve also been able to put together some decent workouts for this early in training.

  • June 6: 1x2mile (5:00R), 1x1mile (2:30R), 4x:30 (:30R)
    • 12:02 (6:01, 6:01); 5:54
  • June 9: 6×1:30 Hills
  • June 14: 4xmile (1:00R)
    • 5:54, 5:59, 5:56, 5:55
  • June 16: 12×1:00 (1:00R)
  • June 21: 2×8:00 (5:00R)
  • June 24: 6×1:30 Hills

My long run has also gradually increased to 14 miles. I spent a few weeks at 12 miles, then jumped to 14, but this past week was the best one I’ve had. The others have been a struggle, mainly with pace management in such hot weather. I tended to start off quicker than I planned, and really pay for it in the heat later. This past week, however, I was able to control myself much better for the first half of the run, then slowly squeeze the pace downward.

Overall, the past few weeks have been a good step forward in my training. I am racing on July 4 (one week from yesterday), so that should give me a good indication of how my training is proceeding. I don’t have a set goal, but want to improve a good bit over my last race in May (18:10). This will set training paces for the next few months as I prepare for my final 5k race of the summer on Labor Day and before I transition to 10k/half training for the fall.

Key things to note: I need to do a better job of tempering my expectations in the heat. It is hotter/more humid here than any other place I have lived, and there is an intensity to the sun that is more acute as well. I recently purchased a handheld water bottle to take with me on longer efforts and workouts. I hope that this will help with heat management.

For more details, check out my Strava.

-Brady

 

Tough Few Weeks…

It has been a rough couple of weeks. To start, it wasn’t all bad, but as a whole, I have struggled to be consistent, I’ve been sluggish, and some circumstances beyond my control have prevented me from moving forward. But I am not going to let these things slow me down and stop me from pursuing my goal. One step at a time…

On Friday, May 19, after a pretty solid week of training, I went out for my weekly workout. 10×1:00F(1:00R). The workout went really well, actually. I was gaining confidence leading into my race on June 4. I thought I could go mid 17’s and continue hitting my goals for the summer. But, crossing a road on my cool down, a car hit me, driving on the wrong side of the road. I saw a flash of color in my peripheral vision and must have tried to stop or jump back, but I wasn’t quite quick enough. The car hit my left hip and whatever backward movement I was able to make allowed me to spin down the side of the car hitting my elbows and forearms rather than going over the top of the car. Nothing seemed broken, and when I looked up after realizing what had just happened, the driver yelled at me to get out of the road and drove off, no indication of regret for hitting me or driving down the wrong side of the road. A kind woman who was sitting on the curb asked if I was okay. I jogged the 1.5 miles home before my adrenaline dropped and shock set in.

I was lucky, I could have been hurt much worse. But I came away with some soreness and very tender bruises rather than broken bones, a concussion, or worse.

This split second has set me back. One decision by me (to cross the road right there) and by the driver (to break the law and ultimately hit me). I’ve been nervous to run that direction ever since. I had to take a few days off to recover (mentally and physically). It’s been slow to build back.

But I will not let this beat me.

This isn’t my typical Week(s) in Review. If you want to see what I’ve been able to cobble together the past few weeks check my Strava here.

Onward to June. We continue forward. Below is my June training schedule. This may change slightly with mileage but overall should stay the same. Race on June 4 is still up in the air…

 

June_training_b

Week(s) in Review, May 8-14

Well, last week was a bust. Two missed days of running, a workout cut short. Just not a good week overall. Mileage ended up begin way too low and, although my workout wasn’t horrible, I hate cutting workouts short, especially when they are going well. I definitely need to refocus, regroup, and keep moving forward. My next race is June 4 (~3 weeks). Plenty of time to get back on track and hopefully improve. I think with the work I have done and just more running, I should be able to improve significantly from FICPA 1040k 5k.

Some notes on the workout. The scheduled workout was 3×8:00(5:00R). this is a throwback workout from college. I used to do this in prep for a season, just a solid HM<10k effort. First two intervals went really well, but I started having some serious stomach issues on the second 5:00 rest. I ended up calling the workout and began searching for an open restroom, which is difficult at 6:45AM in the middle of a city with few public restrooms…found one and then just finished the run from there for 8 total.

Long run…just didn’t happen. NO reason, no excuse. Just didn’t happen. Basically, it was storming when I woke up, so I postponed until later. When later came, I didn’t do it. My fault, no excuse.

Anecdotes: I’ve just felt overwhelmingly tired recently. I’m not getting enough sleep, and starting this week (May 15-21), I am teaching two Kaplan GRE courses a week (Monday and Wednesday nights). My schedule is packed, but I can’t give any of it up. We need the extra cash for the summer (Anna’s stipend is for 9 months).  I resolve to get to bed earlier, to eat more purposefully (i.e. more nutritionally to fuel myself as well as possible), and to keep focused. We have a busy 6 months coming up, so no room for slack.

Runs:

  • Monday– 5.25 miles
  • Tuesday– 8 miles
  • Wednesday– Missed run
  • Thursday– 8.25 miles
  • Friday– 8 miles (WU + 2×8:00/5:00R + CD)
  • Saturday– 8 miles
  • Sunday– Missed Run
  • Total Miles– 37.5 miles

For more details, check out my Strava

-B

Week(s) in Review, April 24-30 & May 1-7

So, I’ve missed the last few weeks of reviews, so this will actually be two weeks worth of training reviews. The last few weeks have gone pretty well, a few hiccups, but nothing major. No injuries, just laziness on a day or two. Let’s dive in!

April 24-30

Total mileage was a little short of expected/desired, but it turned out to be a solid week regardless. I was coming off of the FICPA 1040k 5k race and the longest run I’ve had in Miami, so I was a bit fatigued from the beginning (race recap here).

Overall, mileage went well, more treadmill running than I like, but sometimes that it what weather throws at you. I saw Mark Richt, former UGA football coach and current UM coach, on one of my runs. Other than that, it was just more of the same. Solid week!

Runs:

  • Monday– 6 miles (2 + 4)
  • Tuesday– 8 miles
  • Wednesday– 6 miles
  • Thursday– 7 miles
  • Friday– 6 miles
  • Saturday– 11 miles (3 + 8)
  • Sunday– 12 miles
  • Total Miles– 56 miles

May 1-7

This week begins training in my mind for one main reason: workouts. When I am training for races, I never really feel like I’m moving forward until I am doing specific workouts. So, this week begins my training of the summer races and ultimately my fall half-marathon goal.

I took Monday very easy, only 5k of running, and I think this may be a trend I continue. I am finding, now as a nearly 30-year old, that my body needs a little bit more time to recover from long runs. I believe this is partly age and partly current fitness. So, while I won’t always do a short 3-4 mile run on Mondays, I will likely do two 3-5 mile runs at a very comfortable “regenerative” pace.

The rest of the week actually went fairly well, and leading to Friday, I felt relatively good. Friday had 20x:30 with :30 rest between intervals in the midst of an 8 mile run. This is one of my favorite workouts, taken from my former college training. It is a great first workout to get into training or as a kind of “maintenance” workout. I felt great through 15-16 intervals but the final 4-5 were tough. In my experience, most workouts have a time where you have to decide if you are willing to finish it or call it a day and start making excuses. I was tired, I have not run this hard in years. I easily could have excused my way in to quitting the workout and calling it a day. But, I didn’t ant to start my training there. So, I pushed through, and I am glad for it!

The week finished off with a solid 13 mile run. Again, longest I’ve had in Miami. It was pretty warm, I was a little dehydrated, but it was a great run overall! I am pleased with my progression of mileage and my first workout. Now, the training really begins. I will upload my May schedule later today, but the coming weeks have one workout a week and a progression of long runs up to 15 miles. It should be a great start heading into the summer and hopefully jump start some serious 5k training and build the foundation for 10k/half training in the fall.

Runs:

  • Monday– 3 miles
  • Tuesday– 8 miles
  • Wednesday– 8 miles (4+4)
  • Thursday– 8 miles
  • Friday– 8 miles (WU + 20x:30/:30R + CD)
  • Saturday– 8 miles
  • Sunday– 13 miles
  • Total Miles– 56 miles

For more details/specifics, check out my Strava!

-B