Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lessons Learned

Now that I’ve had a couple of days to recover from my last race, I wanted to share a few lessons I learned about myself with everyone….

Lesson #1: I need to continue watching my waistline. I can’t help but thinking the extra 30 pounds or so I am carrying is really a handicap at this point. I mean seriously – it’s like lugging a backpack with four gallons of water uphill. I’m down about 3 pounds in the last three weeks – so at least I’m heading the right direction. Finally.

Lesson #2: Ditch the speed work. I need more long slow miles. Lots of them. Speed work where I’m going over the next couple years is overrated. The ability to go fast doesn’t matter when the need to be slow and steady is more important.

Lesson #3: Hills are not overrated. I need more and longer.

Lesson #4: I’m racing way too much. I mean with next week (San Francisco Half Marathon) I’ll have run three races in six weeks. I need to refocus on training. Pounding out the long slow miles. Getting some legs under me instead of thrashing them every other week.

Yes. I know I didn’t eat breakfast Saturday. Bad move on my part. But I’m not counting that as a lesson learned because I’ve supposedly learned that lesson before.

So – here’s my corrective action plan:

  1. Keep watching my waist. Yeah – it sucks to feel hungry. It also sucks to strap four gallons of water to my back wherever I go.
  2. More miles. I’m going to concentrate on the long run. I’ve got to get to the point where 16 plus miles is not an exercise that ends in extended afternoon nap time. If I need to cut miles, the miles that will be cut will be the shorter stuff.
  3. I’m not going to completely ditch the speed work, but it will not be a major part of my training plan for a while (at least until I set a goal marathon).
  4. More hill time on trails will be part of the agenda for the next few weeks. And I will not walk them. Even if I can walk faster than I’m “running” – I’ll slog up the hills.
  5. After San Francisco – tone down the racing. My legs and body will thank me. Not to mention my pocketbook.

I think I’ve let the cat out of the bag a couple of times over the last few weeks. In case you haven’t noticed – I’ve taken a liking to the trails. There’s something about “surviving” that appeals to me.  Five hours on the pavement seems to be drudgery. Five hours on the trails though is like an adventure.

So – expect more trail time moving forward. I’m already doing one to two trail sessions per week. I’m going to try to get long run miles in on the trails. Perhaps some peak bagging as well (like this trip to Mt. Baldy, or this one up San Jacinto). And definitely a 50K by next spring.

But – not to get ahead of myself – here’s this week’s schedule:

  • Monday: Rest day.
  • Tuesday: Hills with Cal Coast. Somewhere around 5 miles
  • Wednesday: 4 mile easy run. Resistance workout of 1 set each Lying Hip Abduction, Single Leg Squat, Box Lunge, Stabiliy Ball Leg Curl, Single Leg Squat Jump
  • Thursday: 9 miles on the trails
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 12 mile long run.
  • Sunday : 9 mile easy run. Resistance workout of 1 set each Cook Hip Lift, Oblique Bridge, Forearms to Palm Bridge, Stability Ball Leg Curl, Broad Jump
  • Total: Around 39 miles.


  1. Good luck with the weight loss, Glenn. I could definitely use losing a few pounds myself. I'm up about 3.5 pounds right now and I feel really heavy. Urgh.

  2. That's great you're able to look back and analyze your situation and make changes moving forward. That's not always easy when we are looking at ourselves. A book I just started (will review on blog later) about getting faster actually advocates hill work early in a training cycle. So I think you're on to something there!

  3. I just don't see how anyone could lose weight putting in a ton of miles (marathon training/trail training) because your body needs so much fuel to do it. Just seems like a crappy time to be trying to slim down.... I understand why you want to, and the more calories spent than taken in to do it, just seems like a very difficult way to go about it. I felt like I was starving when I was marathon training and I WAS eating enough to make up for it. I can't imagine trying to lose anything on top of that. I'm sure you know what you're doing, just my two cents, and don't want you to be miserable! :)

  4. Hmmm... running 16 plus miles without an afternoon nap? I ran only 3.2 this AM and I am ready for an afternoon nap. More naps are good. I run therefore I nap.

    Seriously though - trails are so much better than road miles. Yet, when your trails in Vegas involve the same sun bleached rocks and sand to stare at ... yeah well you understand why I stay mostly on roads here.

  5. I'm going to attempt a 50K as well! I think it will be PCTR Malibu in November-any thoughts on that one?

  6. Trails are your friend. Repeat as often as necessary.

    Getting some legs under me instead of thrashing them every other week. What about just having some fun on the runs?

  7. We have lots of trais out here in Colorado in case you ever want to run a race out here :). I drastically cut my racing down this year...but I also notice that in my waistline; I think races, and speedwork, help speed up metabolism and you actually lose more wt doing a fast 10K than doing 16 slow miles. But the long run's gotta be there...just a delicate balance. Trust your body and you'll know what to do! Looking forward to seeing you soon!!:)

  8. Jeri took the words right out of my mouth. Also, it just depends on what you are eating.

  9. AHHHHHHH NEXT WEEK S.F.!!!! AHHHHHHH So exciting! I hear ya with numero 2, I need to stop the lil fast runs (better then nothing) but I need to go long and slow, I need to build up those miles! (with my new garmin of course :)

  10. I completely agree with those 5 points. Excellent. Everyone should take them to heart.

  11. I have averaged 39 miles a week since the Los Angeles Marathon. I have also averaged 2 lbs. weight loss per week over the same period.

    You can do it. You know what needs to be done. You need to put your mind to it.

    Never give up!

  12. I've never lost weight when I run a lot, I get too darn hungry.

    Mid range miles seems to work, if I cut back on the carbs (which is ever so hard to do).

  13. "supposedly I've learned that lesson before" LOL. Yes, we "learn" things but if it isn't convenient race morning... It's not happening :)

    I agree 100%-trails/the feeling of adventure is way cooler than boring suburbia pavement!

  14. Are you doing ANY interval training?

  15. I hate dealing with weight loss! I can't get my extra pounds off either. Yet, I run, and run, and run. But I don't run to lose weight : ) I oddly run to lose myself. You are a great analyzer. Honesty about yourself(like you are -- a great quality) will push you forward, forward, forward!!! Best of luck.

    Now, I'm gonna copy one of your blog subjects do a goal recap too.

  16. Like you (and some other commenter's) I need to drop a few lbs...it's always easier said then done though!

    Yes you are probably right about the racing and if your racing is taking you to the trails you training will need to be more specific, hills, trails etc

    Maybe some HR training is in order, and I am not just saying that 'cos I am doing it, but it's a good way to build up a solid base an help with the running later in the year and maybe I'll see you at a PCTR race?