Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Observation-MAF treadmill runs

Just updating with an observation.  So, treadmill running has always seemed easier to me than outside.  I know, no wind, hills, belt propelling you.  

But I mean, like waaaayyy easier to me.  I have my incline set at 1.5%, so we have the difference covered.  

I've always noticed that my runs outside tend to be about 20 seconds slower, with the same perceived effort, as my treadmill runs.

Well, now I have some proof.

I've been monitoring my heart rate this week, and with my shorter 5 mile run, after a mile warmup, I had to stay at at 7:30 pace to stay in my MAF zone of 138-148.  And, this was on the low end.  

For my longer run on the treadmill today, of 12 miles, I had to stay in about a 7:30-8:00 pace to stay in my range.  

Very interesting to me, but makes sense and correlates with my perceived efforts.  

So, there may be something to this.  

I'm anxious to see if I change any in the next month :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pretest-MAF running

Reading a new endurance book, The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing.  
I love numbers and new training plans, so this got me excited.  I also am curious to why I train at such a fast pace, but my race times don't correlate.  Something's going on.  Either I just don't race well, or I'm lacking aerobic fitness, as this book leads you to believe.

The book tells you to train in your aerobic MAF zone (which for me is 138-148 beats per minute).  No anaerobic training allowed during your aerobic building period.  This is hard for me because I enjoy fast track workouts & HIIT intervals, tempo runs...basically anything that leaves you exhausted & worked.  

Anyway, I decided to give myself a little pretest today, since I had an easy 8 on the schedule.  I wore my heart rate monitor and decided to warm up a mile, try to run in my target heart rate for 6, and then cool down a mile.  Here are my pretest numbers:

Mile 1 (warmup) 8:51 pace, 129 HR
Mile 2 8:24 pace, 143 HR
Mile 3 8:15 pace, 142 HR
Mile 4 8:22 pace, 143 HR
Mile 5 8:29 pace, 144 HR
Mile 6 8:32 pace, 143 HR
Mile 7 8:24 pace, 144 HR
Mile 8 (cooldown) 9:08 pace, 138 HR

Observations:  This didn't seem as easy-feeling as everyone says in the book.  In the book, you hear COUNTLESS stories about how running in this heart rate feels turtle slow.  It didn't feel slow to me, just felt like my normal running pace.  Hmmmm.  

I'll continue shooting for this heart rate in my running.  Currently, I'm scheduled for around 65 miles per week, building to around 80 towards end of summer for my fall marathon.  

I think I'll do another test in 4 weeks to see what results I get.  My prediction is, I'm not going to see much increase in my speed with the same heart rates.  I have a feeling I have a solid aerobic base and I just suck at racing.  We'll see!!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Recovery...something everyone needs to learn for endurance.  

And to keep running, injury free & happy.  

Stress, recover & rebuild...the cycle we should all follow to see progress.

This winter, I sustained a high mileage base (for me) and ran a marathon & experienced the fastest recovery I had imagined.  It got me thinking...why...what did I do right?  

I don't know.

There are a handful of things that may have contributed, so I thought I'd share my wondrous knowledge :)

No post race alcohol :(  This is really hard for me.  Races are usually on a Sat/Sun, and I would love to relax at dinner with a couple glasses of wine.  Nope. No longer after a race.  The day of my marathon, we had family obligations and I didn't have my celebratory wine.  Result?  Next day, no dehydration, that fluid in my body wasn't working towards ridding my body of alcohol, it was focused on rehydrating my whole, worn down body to help repair.  Sad to say, my celebratory wine will wait until days after my long runs & races.

Water...this is a no brainer.  Hello.  Drink lots of water for days.

Compression socks.  LIVED in them for 3 days.  Even slept in them.  Yes, it helps.

Vega Recovery.  I drink this stuff after really taxing runs & races.  Could be in my mind, but this stuff makes me feel like a million bucks afterwards.  I've started to crave it after hard workouts.

Foam roll that $hit.  Really.  I know this has been labeled as trendy lately.  Alot of sports med doctors have said it's pointless.  Well, it helps me.  And, I'm sticking with it.  I foam roll 2x a day when I have high mileage.  It takes minutes.  Just do it while you're watching tv or checking IG of FB on your phone.  Or your daughter does headstands in the background :)

Active recovery.  Walk the day after your marathon.  Take an hour stroll and enjoy your surroundings.  Also, the day OF your marathon, be sure to move around alot.  Don't just lay on the couch or in bed and become a stiff corpse :)

Stretch!  After you foam roll, stretch.  Just do it.

Heating pad.  I'm a fan of heat more than ice.  I heat the crap out of my legs.  My theory is it promotes new blood flow to promote healing.  That and it feels good, so I'm sticking with it.  Ice just makes me stiff up and I've seen NO benefits in icing. ever.  So, heat it is.

New shoes.  I'm a freak about making sure I don't wear my shoes out.  I usually only run 300 miles in them, so I go through pairs & pairs quickly.  Find the kind you like then go to and search for discontinued models and stock up.  A $120 pair of shoes, you can usually find for $60-$70 if you buy the previous model.  Buy them when they're on sale and you have them when you need them.

Remember, run, rebuild, and rest :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Random week off, and this was supposed to be about recovery

Why is it so hard for me to blog?  I have no problem reading other people’s blogs…never miss a beat there.  Maybe I should give it up?  One more try to be consistent!

Let’s get workouts out of the way.  This week was weird.  I had a killer, awesome OUTSIDE speed workout on Monday.  Then, it went downhill.  I didn’t really “run” until today, Saturday.  I don’t know what happened.  I have no problem working out, I mentally could NOT run Tuesday.  

I dreaded it.  

So, I didn’t.  

Which led to more days off.  I did this girl's workouts (Blonde Ponytail).  

I am so sore.  

I don’t think I’ve ever felt my LOWER abs…you know the ones you always try to make sore…the ones that give us the most trouble…well, YEAH, they’re freaking SORE!  I’ll be keeping an eye on her workouts and use them frequently! 

So, Monday was beautiful.  It was 2 mile warmup, 6 x 1 mile repeats with 2:30 minute recovery jog, 3 mile cooldown.  I was very proud of myself for hitting my target time in the first two, and the FINAL repeats.  This is HARD for me to do outside.  Given the workout on a treadmill, I would’ve hit the paces, even 20 seconds per mile faster, no problem.  Clearly, I need to run my speed workouts outside.  

One VERY important thing running intervals on the treadmill has taught me is...

the cadence I need to hit certain times.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Now, if I can only get my LEGS to not give out when I'm outside, we’ll be all good.

So, adjusting my training schedule, the trail run in June was rained out.  Rescheduled to July.  Fine with me.  I haven’t been consistent with my marathon training, so I’m pushing it back to following the 18 week schedule.  Doesn’t really matter, because the first part is base training anyway, and I already USUALLY hold a base of at least 60.  So, no pressure here!

I ran a 5k in May…sucked terribly.  I think the humidity was 100%.  I don’t want to make excuses, but seriously, heat & humidity DO ME IN!!  I’m a much better cold weather racer.  I still managed to pull off 2nd in my age group.  Although, I was really upset with my time because it was about the same I ran in November.  Yeah.  All this training, and I’m still at the same level as the fall.  


I understand you can’t train for marathons and expect to run well in 5k’s.  But, I feel you should consistently BETTER yourself.  So, not clocking a better time is very hard on me.

Today’s workout was Blonde Ponytail’s "Out of the Box Workout".  Then, later I jumped on the treadmill for 8.  I ran the interval run I usually do to complete the 8 in less than an hour.  OH MY HOLY MARY MOTHER OF JESUS.  If you would’ve heard me from another room, you would have thought I was having the most unbelievable, mind blowing sex ever.  Sorry for the visual and if I offended anyone…just want to give you an idea of how I was huffing, puffing, moaning, DROOLING, I think at one point I almost collapsed and vomited.  My daughter turned around and gave me the eye…like are you gonna make it?  I don’t know why it’s so easy for me to push myself in my own workouts.  When it comes to a race, I simply have no desire to compete with others.  

I compete with MYSELF only.  

I think that’s what kills my race times.  I push myself so hard in workouts and when it comes to a race, I really don’t care too much.  Hmmmmm, something is going on there. 

I listened to a podcast recently about competing, and the main thing running coaches LOVE to see in runners is….

You need a runner who HATES to lose more than LOVES to win. 

Coaches want this quality in athletes.  It’s a killer instinct that wins.  

I don’t have it.  

I compete with myself.  I’m learning to adjust things.  Maybe I’ll get there.

So, I had a recover post all ready to go.  I really want to talk about some key things that work for me.  I consistently hold high mileage, am getting up there in age!  Keep up with 3 kids, have a full time job, part time job (which consists of running lol), and have KNOCK ON WOOD managed to maintain major injury free and able to carry on with high mileage, quality workouts, and HIIT training.  I’ll try to have that by Monday.

And no, this doesn't have anything to do with running, but this is my son...awesome pic so proud :)