Friday, September 30, 2011

Sweated Yesterday…

Been a while since I’ve had sweat actually dripping off the brim of my visor. But it was totally worth it.


Five miles in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. My feet hurt today…

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And Another Week….

Okay. Things are getting serious here. This week I’ll make it to 20 miles. As long as I don’t wimp out and make some excuse for not doing my “long” run:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 3 miles
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: 5 miles
  • Friday: 3 miles
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 9 miles (WTF? Next thing you know I’ll have to worry about a double digit run)
  • Total planned: 20 miles

Now – I’ve also got to come clean. I didn’t make my long (yeah – seven miles is long these days) run last week. Instead of 17 miles, I only got 10 in. So, this week will be one of those no no’s – doubling mileage. As a result, I’m going to take it especially easy on pace. There will be some lots of jogging and even some walking this week. The last thing I want to do is to break before I’ve even started.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Summer Draws to a Close in Southern California

That means one thing. Race season is here.

Unlike a lot of the country, race season is a fall/winter thing here. We are blessed that our winters are (while we think of them as frigid) quite temperate. Sure, in the throes of winter (January, February) we might have a race start with temps in the 40’s, but by the time the race is over, the temps are generally in the 60’s. Compare that to the summer when (OMG) temperatures could be in the 80’s and 90’s.

Right now, the “Next Up” sidebar is empty. It has been empty for a long time. I suppose that eventually a race or two will find it’s way there. For right now though, I’m barely waddling five or six miles, much less racing in a 5K.

So – while race season has started here in Socal – I’m not ready to commit yet. But keep your eyes peeled. You never know when one will show up….

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another Week in Boring Land

It’s been a week since I posted here in the Blogosphere. Life on the  running front has been plain old boring. But – isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? I’m seeing a small improvement week to week. I’m testing my patience. Who knows? At some point I might actually add a race to my sidebar.

This week:

  • Monday: Scheduled rest
  • Tuesday: 3 miles easy
  • Wednesday: 4 miles easy
  • Thursday: 3 miles easy
  • Friday: Scheduled rest
  • Saturday: Scheduled rest
  • Sunday: 7 miles
  • Total: 17 miles

At this rate in a month I’ll actually break 20 mpw!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


So, I said something yesterday that is probably sacrilege to most runners. I said I’m not interested in speed. Yup. Flog me now! The reason I am not interested in speed is because I’m already fast. Yessiree bob! I know that I have an 8 minute mile in me. The only problem is that I can only do that eight minute mile for maybe 50 yards.

I used to think that in order to be fast, I had to train fast. And that’s what happened. I trained fast. And my 5K and 10K times got better and better. The only problem? I was training for half and full  marathons.

This is the same problem that I see most runners grapple with at some  point in their running career. “If I want to run fast, I need to train fast.” Well – yes that’s true. But if you can’t last 26.2 miles, it’s not going to make a bit of difference that you trained for speed by doing four miles of intervals every week.

Here’s the bottom line folks – the single most important thing in your training is your aerobic base – your body’s ability to work efficiently for long periods of time. If we ignore our aerobic base, then regardless of how fast we can go, we won’t be able to do it for long periods of time.And how do we build aerobic base? Directly from Pete Pfitzinger:

How do you develop a big aerobic base?

Slowly and persistently. The key is to accumulate mileage over the course of months and years. Most distance runners should include two blocks of base training in their annual running plan. The minimum period required to obtain a significant improvement in your aerobic base is about six to eight weeks.

If you live in a part of the U.S. where you can train consistently through the winter, then starting aerobic base building in January provides about 12 weeks of solid training before the spring racing season kicks in. Similarly, if you can stand the heat, the relatively quiet racing months of July and August can be a good time for six to eight weeks of base work. With two solid blocks of base training per year, on top of your otherwise "normal" mileage, your aerobic base should build steadily from year to year.

How much and how quickly you should try to increase your mileage depends on your propensity for injury. Although you can increase your mileage dramatically over several years, increasing too much at once is almost certain to leave you injured. As a general guideline, most runners can handle an increase in mileage of 10 to 15 percent every two to three weeks. For example, if you have been running 40 miles per week, you would increase to 44–46 miles for two to three weeks before increasing your mileage again. No rule of thumb works for every runner, however, so you need to pay close attention to your body’s feedback to find the optimal formula.

During your base training, you should avoid VO2-max sessions and speed work and slightly reduce the overall intensity of your training. By backing off the intensity, you can increase your mileage without increasing the overall strain of training. When you are building up your mileage, it is particularly important to train on soft surfaces to reduce the accumulated jarring on your body, and to be sure that your running shoes are in good repair.

Aerobic cross-training, such as cycling, swimming, elliptical training, and deep-water running can contribute to your aerobic base with less risk of injury than further increasing your mileage. The more similar the cross-training activity is to running, the greater the crossover effects will be. If you have a history of injury or live where the winter (or summer) is not conducive to high mileage training, then cross-training can be a worthwhile component of your aerobic base training.”

Two-time Olympian Pete Pfitzinger is an exercise physiologist.

Here’s the bottom line. Want to run fast? Train far…..

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This Week’s Plan

So,  as I mentioned yesterday, I am slowly but surely settling into a running routine. Easy Tuesdays and Thursdays, a (little) longer on Wednesdays, and a (short) long run on the weekend. In the past I’ve always had Saturday’s set aside for a long run, but with my current schedule, I think I’ll be moving that to Sundays. That means for this week:

  • Monday: Scheduled rest.
  • Tuesday: 3 miles easy
  • Wednesday: 4 miles easy
  • Thursday: 3 miles easy
  • Friday: Scheduled rest
  • Saturday: Scheduled rest
  • Sunday: 6 miles
  • Total: 16 miles

At this point, I’m just trying to slowly build my base again. No races, no speed work, nothing fancy. Just boring nose to the grindstone work for the next several weeks. Hope you can stay awake….

Monday, September 12, 2011

Getting Back to Normal

A number of things are kind of getting back to normal these days. First off – the weather. Late summer in Southern California is back. After a little lighting, thunder, torrential rain and hail on Saturday morning, followed by Florida like heat and humidity, Sunday saw our normal weather back. Yay! I don’t know how all you folks in the Midwest and the Southeast put up with it.

With normal weather, I had no excuse to not head out for a quick 5 miler. I headed into the wild (or at least as wild as it gets here in Orange County) for some spectacular views and a spectacular run (well, okay – half run, half walk).



So, slowly but surely, things are getting back around to normal.Now,if anyone has a job for me, that would make things pretty darn  perfect….

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Just a Minute Here…

I’m shuffling my training around this week. It’s been unseasonably hot, humid, and stormy. We’re just not used to this type of stuff here in Southern California.

First off, on Sunday, I went to do my miles in the hills. I was greeted by 20 mph winds, a temperature of 63 degrees, and rain. Yes. Rain. In August. Very unusual.


I opted to put the run off until Monday. Then on Monday:

The weatherman was talking all weekend about the heat wave making it way into Southern California following our stormy weather. Well – it got here with a vengeance:


This was at the beach mind you – which means humidity up around 50% or so. All of this is so strange to us Southern Californians!

Well, I’ve been adjusting this week. Since it was still in the mid 80’s Tuesday evening, I moved my Tuesday run to Wednesday early AM, likewise will be moving Wednesday’s run to Thursday AM. And you can see that by Friday, things get back to normal around here. All the more reason to not move to Southern California.

This week’s plan:

  • Tuesday Wednesday: 3 miles
  • Wednesday Thursday: 4 miles
  • Thursday Friday: 3 miles
  • Saturday Sunday: 5 miles

Slowly but surely….

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Next Day…

The waves weren’t quite as big, but the action was better!

Oh. And I did get out for a run in the evening….

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I Took a Break on Thursday…

To go see something that happens once every few years. Check it out:

Some of these are 20 feet high. That’s like looking down a two story building.

Back to the training grind on Friday.