Jun 24

Marathon training miles and shoes

photo from runningshoesguru.com

At this point in this marathon training cycle, I’ve covered just over 308 miles, with almost 80 of them just this month (still with a week remaining in June). The target is set to qualify for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:14:59 or faster in the Salmon Marathon (ID) on September 8th.

Had I not jacked-up my knee back in March, I’m sure the mileage would look very different, but it’s good to see it coming back up. In fact, even with a week to go, June is already my highest-mileage month in 2012. I’m sure July will top it, if all goes right.

My speed is also improving, with my first-ever sub-2 half-marathon on Sunday (during a 14.3mi training run). So, all things considered, I’m feeling slightly optimistic for the Salmon Marathon. I know I’ve got to be cautiously optimistic though. There’s a lot of work still ahead in order to cut 71-minutes from my marathon PR set back in 2008.

So, with 300+ miles on my shoes, it’s getting to be time to consider replacements. I’ve been running in the Mizuno Wave Nirvana 8, and haven’t had any problems with them at all. However, I wonder if I can do better with something lighter and more minimal? These Mizuno’s are pretty hefty and substantial, probably more so than need be, and they really haven’t held up very well with a lot of trail miles.

A lot of things I’ve read recommend replacing your shoes every 300-500 miles, depending on type of use, conditions, durability of the shoe, runner characteristics, etc. So, I’m officially into that window…and I’m also noticing some wear and tear on my shoes, including fabric tears deveoping on the front-outside edges of each shoe.

[More: Runner’s World shoe replacement recommendations]

Anyone have recommendations out there? What running shoes do you like, and why?


Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/marathon-training-miles-and-shoes/

Jun 24

Trail bandit: half-marathon training run

20120624-094109.jpgI woke up smelling like I had slept by a campfire. The smoke plume from the High Park fire had apparently shifted overnight. The image here is what the plume looked like from my backyard around 9pm last night. But this morning was visibly hazy, visibility down to about 5-miles, and there was a bit of ash visible on the cars. I went out for my 14-miler, hoping the air by the creek wouldn’t be too bad, and that the haze would start to lift as the sun rose.

[More: Wildfires and running outside…should I?]

The smoke lifted partway into my run, and I didn’t even smell the smoke again until I got back home and inside the house. The campfire must’ve been in our living room.

The run was good today, even though MY trail was being used for a race today. I started seeing mile-marker signs, then aid-stations being set up, and arrows on the trail. When I got into Louisville, I saw the start/finish and expo area, with runners arriving in throngs. It was the new Louisville Trail Half-Marathon! Dang, wish I had known about it…I might have entered!

A runner fell into pace with me, we exchanged hellos, and I asked her if she knew when the race was starting (were we going to get trampled?). She surprised me by saying she was actually IN the race, but got permission for an early start. We were at mile 2 of the course (but mile 8 of my run). I was at about mile 6 when I heard the race starting gun, and passed the race turnaround point before anyone caught me.

Taking out my warm-up and cool-down mileage, my half-marathon distance today was just under 2hrs…a solid training run for me. It was already up to 83-degrees when I made it home at 8:30am, so I’m glad I got out there early.


Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/trail_bandit_half-marathon_training_run/

Jun 23

3 Tips for Increasing Your Race Distance




Are you an advanced runner looking for those one or two small tweaks that can boost your running skills? Check out this Active.com video by running author Matt Fitzgerald, who offers strategies that can help you maximize your potential as a runner and become a more well-rounded athlete.

More from Active.com: 5 Ways to Run Past Your Mental Blocks

Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/3-tips-for-increasing-your-race-distance/

Jun 22

It’s Who I Am

I don’t often promote products here, but yesterday, I received one of the best products ever, and enjoyed some added peace of mind on my run this morning. It’s called a Road ID – perhaps you’ve heard of it. If you haven’t, go to their website (link to the right) and check it out.

Road ID is a great product that could save your life someday.

It’s a nifty little ID bracelet that will give emergency responders the info they need in case something happens to me and I can’t speak for myself.

When I arrived at the track this morning, I couldn’t help imagine that if I passed out or something…would anyone see me? It was early, and there was no one else around. Although, if I was lying on the ground, the track is visible from the road, so maybe someone would see me while driving by. Then, what would they do?

Hopefully, call 911, and also notice my bracelet. I strongly recommend this product to every runner out there. There are several different styles from which to choose, and you can totally customize your tag.

When I ordered, they gave me a coupon I could pass along to my friends. Use this coupon number when you order: ThanksKevin15430018

The discount coupon is good through 7/15/12 on any Road ID order. To order yours, click the link on this page! Do it today! You can thank me later!

[I wish I would have had it for this: White-Lipped Return!]

Oh, by the way, their website is awesome, the customer service is outstanding, and the owners are very smart and good looking.

Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/its-who-i-am/

Jun 22

Fans full of hot air


Did you ever feel like the people cheering you on during a marathon were full of hot air? This morning, that was actually true for me. While doing an early morning tempo workout at Niwot High School track, a couple hot air balloons floated overhead.

One was close enough that I could hear cheering from it, saying, “go! go!” Shortly after I finished, it landed nearby, and I snapped this picture with my iPhone on my way from the track to work.

The workout was solid, and challenging. After a couple miles to warmup, I did two 1000m repeats at race pace, and 6 intervals of 200m going about 5min/mile pace. I was toast by the last interval. Here’s hoping these get easier!

[Reminds me of one of my old posts: Hot-Air Balloon Chase, or 3-Balloon Run]

Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/fans-full-of-hot-air/

Jun 19

Sunrise speed


This morning was a nice return to morning running! It’s been quite a while since I’ve enjoyed the peaceful Colorado mornings for a weekday run. For several months, my weekday runs have been after-work or late-night chores…a far cry from the morning running ritual I had established a while back.

So, this morning felt great, and I was rewarded with a cartoonishly-huge ball of fire slowly emerging from the horizon’s grip. It gradually blasted everything in sight with a vintage sepia tone thanks to the smoky haze still hanging around from the High Park fire.

The run was solid, a short 4.75-miler with ten 100m repeats at zone 5 heart rate. I was hitting 5 or sub-5 pace on each of them and feeling good! Before and after that main set, I was hovering around 8-min/mile pace with my heart rate still in zone 2! That’s some noticeable improvement for me.

Now that my workday is done, I’m also looking back and seeing that I got a TON of things done in my office today. It’s a good reminder to me of how less driven and less energized I’ve been without those morning runs to start my day. This is a habit I must re-establish!

Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/sunrise-speed/

Jun 18

Father’s Day run

Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there, especially to mine! I still remember running with my dad back in middle-school and high-school. I was prepping for soccer season, and he was prepping for refereeing and coaching.

After a lazy morning with extra hugs from my kids, and a good breakfast, I finally made my way out the door around 10am for what should have been a relaxed 9-miler. Unfortunately, it was already 91-degrees, and the air was still and dry. My run quickly turned into a hot slog, and my mouth felt like the Sahara.

My out-and-back run was mostly downhill the first half, which made for some smooth running as I practiced the higher cadence my coach wants me to use. My heart rate was right where it needed to be as I cruised at around an 8-min/mile pace. Coming back, however, was a different story.

Going uphill, in the heat, with a dry mouth and a sudden blood sugar drop, I bonked. Plodding along at a 12-min/mile pace, my HR was well into zone 4. I was surprised, and I took a walk break for a minute, but my HR didn’t really come down much. It was a struggle for about three miles or so.

It’s going to be hot this whole week, so It’ll be a good opportunity to fine-tune my hydration and nutrition, not to mention rest. Tuesday’s workout will be intense, and I’m thinking I should get up super-early and do it before it heats up!

Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/fathers-day-run/

Jun 15

My coach goes ultra this weekend

Good luck to my coach, Craig Howie (of Howie Endurance Project), who is running the Bighorn Mountain 50-mile Wild and Scenic Trail Run on Sunday! He has been a great example of consistency in training, and it has been awesome to see his training data through Garmin Connect. I remember when he asked me to give him access to my own training account so he could review my training data along the way. He said, “I won’t ask you to do anything that I’m not willing to do myself, so here’s my login and password to my own account.”

While I don’t lurk in his account, it has been pretty cool to see what he’s up to in his own ultramarathon training. His weekly mileage is astronomical compared to mine. Yet, I can see the same strategies and theories at work for him that he is trying to apply to my training.

So, have a great run Craig! You’re a great model to follow!

Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/my-coach-goes-ultra-this-weekend/

Jun 14

Smoke Running

The High Park fire is currently only 10% contained, and has burned about 47,000 acres just west of Ft. Collins. Thousands are evacuated from their homes, and one woman has died in this intense and fast-moving wildfire. Huge thanks go out to the thousands of firefighters and pilots who are battling this erratic and dangerous fire.

Here in Lafayette, the impact is mainly on air-quality. Training for a marathon in this smoky air is unpleasant at best, unsafe at worst. Though I feel bad for complaining about the smoke when so many others are impacted in much greater ways than I am, I’m still hoping for a clearing of the air soon. Hopefully, it will also indicate some clear progress won by the firefighters.

[Related posts: Fire on the Mountain]

Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/smoke-running/

Jun 13

Week 21: Cadence Training

Yesterday, I met my coach, Craig Howie of the Howie Endurance Project, at the track for some cadence and form training. After a warm-up, he had me do 10x 400m repeats at progressive cadence. Using music organized by beats per minute (bpm), it started at 90bpm and progressed to 100bpm. (Need a good bpm analyzer for your iTunes library?) He also recorded video to analyze posture and form at different cadences and paces.

I typically run around 80-85bpm, but I’ve never known for sure if that’s the correct cadence for me, and for my goal pace. This experiment was eye-opening, in that some of the much faster cadences, and shorter strides, actually felt smoother and more effortless than the bouncing and loping I often do at a relaxed pace. What’s more, the pace was down around 6 or 6:30/mile. My goal race pace (to qualify for the Boston Marathon) is 7:26 in order to finish in 3:14.59 or faster.

So, the training plan will begin to incorporate some more mile-repeats at race-pace or faster. The work now will be about developing a new relaxed comfort at a higher-cadence and pace, and to develop efficiency and endurance at that pace.

Easy, right? 😉

Permanent link to this article: http://puggerrunner.com/index.php/2012/06/week-21-cadence-training/

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