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The year so far -
by on Friday, March 15, 2013  (5 comments)

My feelings are a bit diametrical regarding my running so far this year.

On one end I have placed my distance goal of 2,013 miles for the year in jeopardy because of a bad Januray and bad February. As of tomorrow I should be hitting about 414 miles for the year so far to be on the correct pace. I am only going to be at 202 miles for the year. That is a differnce of 212 miles! That is a lot of ground to make up.

On the other end I am way ahead of where I was last year at this point. Last year at the end of March I had 62 miles and this year I will be close to 300. So I have a great shot at achieving my race goals of cutting my times down significantly and placing well overall as well as in my age group.

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Ed, remember where the ultimate goals are. Is your ultimate goal to hit a mileage number or to improve your race times? You're well ahead of where you were fitness wise at this time last year. Besides, we can't change the past. All we can do is take care of today and, when tomorrow comes, take care of tomorrow.

Maybe you won't hit 2013 miles, maybe you will. Who knows? All I know is you're still in line for some very solid race day performance gains. Keep it going and let's see what you can do on the days that matter.

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Ed, I have found as I age there is not as much juice in the tank. That being said, I still only miss 2-3 days taining in a month. I have discovered the will to train is there, but with the pressures of life I am limited to one daily run. I pick my spots. Each day allows for one training stimulus. For instance, I don't run long and attempt to do it faster in hopes of getting some type of long run + fast workout. It is one or the other. Combining them compromises what I can do for a few days. For instance, I am training for Ice Age. I usually do one or two runs a week of 2-3 hours for now a week at whatever pace it is. I could care less what the pace is. I also do one other run a week of 1:30 - 1:45 and with this winter it is typically 9 - 10 minute miles. I have two other runs of 6 miles and those are 8:30 - 9:30 pace. Currently I just started a harder effort. The last two have been on a treadmill. One was warm-up, then 2 minutes at 7.8 mph, then 2:00 at 7.9, etc., until I reached 9.6 mph. I got tired and folded the tent. Yesterday was another T-mill job w/ 4.0 miles at 9.2 mph. I do something to get the heart rate up. When the snow clears I will probably add some hill repeats w/ hard effort total of 10-15 minutes.

A week in my head is like this:
Monday - Easy 6
Tuesday - Easy 6-8
Wednesday - Medium long run 10-12
Thursday - Harder effort tempo of what I like
Friday - Easy 6
Saturday - Long or tempo effort
Sunday - Medium or long run

About 1 day every two weeks I take an easy day completly off. I get in around 60 a week average. Sometime 50s, sometimes around 70. I'm always in shape. I generally run the least in the Summer, maybe 40-50 a week. I'd be lying if I didn't believe the steady diet of 1.5 - 3.0 runs a week at this time of year makes me strong as hell for when I get to trying to run fast. It just comes. I always feel like I could run 5 miles around 30:00.

I am willing to change things during the week and have. Sometimes a hard run day still allows me to come back the next day and run 2-3 hours. Again, not the miles, but time out there. I also use much shorter phases of "heavy training" like 4-6 weeks. I also taper about 2 weeks instead of 3 because the level of hard training isn't as deep as it used to be. I feel comfortable using 6-8 weeks to train for any race any distance because I am rounded.

The odd thing for me is I am much more successful at short distances rather than the long ones I train for. Maybe it is mental. Maybe because the pain threshold I use to endure in long runs isn't worth it anymore...not sure.

I said all this to say that when I go run that day, I know exactly why I am doing it. In the past on that treadmill run at 9.2 mph for 4.0 miles I would have just kept bumping it up. I was so tempted to go to 10.0 mph the last 2 miles, but it would not have served the purpose. Learn to be smart. Again, not sand bagging anyone, I still go rip one now and then because I want to. I just have to go easy for a few more days. The biggest joy of running is these life phases we go through. This time next year I'll probably be on a different soap box, but one thing remains the same. Day in, day out I'm training. Not always sure what for, but if something comes up I don't have to build a big base. I have one and it is between 60,000 and 70,000 miles.

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Andrew A.:

What Ryan said. Mileage numbers are just that, numbers. What matters most is how those numbers serve to improve racing ability. If you have meaningful racing goals and a meaningful methodology to get to those goals then the motivation to undertake that methodology should come as a consequence. Put your goals out there, let your family and friends know that this is something that is important to you and that you are sharing that with them to get their support. It does not have to be a goal that is going to make the world a better place instantaneously, it is a goal that entails your personal improvement and striving for personal improvement has carry-over to things outside just your running: it leads one to want to take steps to improve in other facets of life (work, financial, spiritual, philanthropic, etc.), it adds another positive role model to one's family and community, it brings a positive outlook and voice to one's family and community. It can be as simple as coming home and having your kids or wife ask, "how was today's run?" or "sure is cold out, but you didn't let that get in the way of today's run, right?" If you expect buy-in from yourself, you are best-served to have those in your immediate surroundings also buying-in to the fact that you have chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular goal. It may seem cheesy, yet getting the most out of yourself within the context of your life's responsibilities will require the humility to build your own solid network of support. The Hansons are not going to come knocking at your door with their group training benefits, you are going to have to build Ed's Hansons right where you are.

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Great stuff guys - as always - thank you. I am trying to motivate others to get healthy by putting my goals out there for all to see. I have already motivated one co-worker who has been doing some run/walk exercise and recently did the Fight for Air stair climb in Milwaukee (47 stories of stairs.) I have a friend that is dying due to his weight and I am trying to motivate him to start something - anything. I would really hate to see him die and leave behind his daughter.

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Ed: I have already motivated one co-worker who has been doing some run/walk exercise and recently did the Fight for Air stair climb in Milwaukee (47 stories of stairs.) I have a friend that is dying due to his weight and I am trying to motivate him to start something - anything. I would really hate to see him die and leave behind his daughter.

Good job. As for your friend, don't forget, it doesn't have to be running. Any activity that gets the body moving can be a lifesaver. Like you stated, something - anything. Figure out what your friend might like doing and encourage him to try it out.

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