Sunday, February 8, 2009


This was a very good week overall: I hit 82 miles (although not all of it was running), I got in two decent workouts and I upped my long run to 13 miles. I am dealing with a bit of a hip issue though - my hip flexor has flared up and is a little tender, especially after hard runs. I can still run on it but decided to do most of my easy runs on the elliptical trainer to give my hip a rest. I still did all my hard workouts, my long run and a couple other runs outside or on the treadmill. It was fairly painful on Monday but was much better by the end of the week.

Based on this recent injury, yeah I get a lot of injuries now for some reason, I think that I am going to do a little experiment this spring racing season. The ultimate goal is not to see who can run the most miles. The real goal is to get to the starting line (actually, the finish line) healthy and run the fastest time. Since I am already running most of my easy days much easier than I have in the past I am going to go one step further and do all of my easy runs on either the elliptical trainer or the stationary bike. This will have a twofold benefit - first, it will cut down the pounding and two, it will provide for a little cross-training and work some of the support muscles that I do not regularly work when running high mileage. On my easy days I will do the long run on the elliptical and run the short run and on hard days I will do the short run on the elliptical and run the longer, harder run. This way I am running every day and will still get in almost 80 miles per week of running at my peak but will cut the abuse on my tired, old body by 40-50%. Hopefully this works out.

Monday: 8 mi (57) Slow, easy recovery run. My hip is a bit tender so I iced, took advil and used the foam roller to work it out. I am not sure if it is tendonitis or if I strained it by running on the ice last week. Hopefully if I attend to it this week I can get over it before I have to take any time off.

  • AM - 4 mi (30) Real slow and easy on the treadmill.
  • PM - 9 mi (63:00) I did 56 minutes easy on the elliptical trainer since this was just an easy recovery run and I wanted to give my hip a rest and followed this up with just a mile on the treadmill. Felt good.
  • AM - 4 mi (30min) Real slow and easy on the elliptical trainer to give my hip a rest.
  • PM - 10 mi (64:20) I did a slow 2mi warm up and 2 mi cool down along with a 6mi steady-state run. I started the workout at 10mph/1% incline and then increased the incline by 0.5% each mile. I was only able to do this for 3 miles (mile 3 was 10mph/2.0%). 2.0% incline seemed a bit too hard so I backed off to 1.5%. I did the 5th mile at 2% again and then did the last mile at 1% but gradually increased the speed from 10.2mph to 10.5mph. 10.5mph/1% seemed much easier than 10mph/2%. Easy tomorrow.
  • AM - 4 mi (30min) Real slow and easy on the stationary bike to give my hip a rest.
  • PM - 8 mi (60:00) On the elliptical trainer again just to work out the legs a bit.
  • AM - 4 mi (30min) Real slow and easy on the elliptical to give my hip a rest.
  • PM - 9 mi (64:20) This was a "progressive hill fartlek" again. I did an easy 2 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down (should have done more but I was pressed for time) and 6 miles of hill work. I alternated 0.5mi on and 0.25mi rest, all at 8.6mph, with the hard parts at 5.5-7.0% incline and the rest was at 1% incline. The interesting thing about running hard runs this way is that you get the effective workout of running at a faster pace, but you also have to run for a long time. For example, in bouts 7 and 8 I ran at an effective pace of 5min/mi for 0.5 miles, but was only actually running 8.6mph. Therefore, I ran this effective pace for 3:30 while if I were doing this workout on the track I would cover the 0.5 mi in 2:30. So, not only are you running at a faster pace but you are doing it for longer. The 0.5 mi hard sections were more like 1120 meters (0.5*3:30/2:30 *1600m = 1120m). The following table shows the incline and effective pace for each section.
BoutInclineEffective PaceComment
77.0%5:00Really hard
87.0%5:00Nearly died

Saturday: 9.0 mi (70:00) This was on the elliptical trainer for the entire time. Really boring but part of the routine I guess.

Sunday: 13.0 mi (1:42:) I went up to Hollis and ran with Brian, Joe, Trent, Molly and Chris around parts of the Applefest Half Marathon course. The weather was awesome (if you were in New England this winter you would understand) - it was 45 degrees but really windy. We went at a pretty easy pace but I think this is what my body needed. I felt really good afterward and my hip did not bother me at all.

I am hoping to get into the high 80's next week and try to hit three workouts (hill fartleks on Monday and Friday and a steady-state run on Wednesday).

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I came across the picture to the left when I was cleaning out my laptop. Man, that was a long time ago - it was the 1000m preliminaries of the 1995 indoor Division III New England Championships. I ran 2:38.15 to qualify and ran 2:29.95 (second place was 2:29.96) in the final to win by a hair. It was probably the closest race I have ever run. Man, I was thin back then.

Also, I finally figured out how to get a basic Java based calculator to work for the Daniels treadmill incline conversion for effective pace. You can find it in the right-hand column. I will enhance it when I get time to give more information, to allow pace as an input and provide pace as an additional output. I may also modify it so that it returns the effective pace for other treadmill inclines greater than and less than the desired input (basically a table output). Try it out and let me know what you think.

It is hard to believe that it is already February. Man, time flies. This was a much better week than last week since I hit about 74 miles and got in two good, hard efforts. I am getting really tired of the cold, ice and snow. We had maybe 2-3 days above freezing in the last 2-3 weeks, a couple feet of snow and 3 ice storms. The ice is the worst because it is so treacherous running outside that I have to do most of my running on the treadmill.

  • AM - 7 mi (5:45) Yeah, it was really slow. I did not think that I could run this slow but I think that I am fighting something. I also only got 6 hours of sleep last night.
  • PM - 4 mi (30:25) Yeah, slow again. Just plugging along putting in the mileage.
Tuesday: 8+ mi (56ish) This was supposed to be an easy run but I think it was close to 8.5mi and probably closer to 55 minutes. Felt good but wanted to rest for tomorrow's workout.

  • AM - 3 mi (22:50) Real slow and easy.
  • PM - 9 mi (63:00) I did a slow 2mi warm up and 2 mi cool down along with a 5mi steady-state run. I tried to do the SS run at 9.4mph/3% incline, which is equivalent to 5:58 pace, but it was just way too hard for me. I backed off to 9.1mph/3% incline, which is equivalent to 6:10 pace, and this was much better. Near the end I was starting to hurt so I ran the last 1.25 miles at 10mph/1% incline and this was the easiest, by far. I am not sure how to interpret this: either Daniels' charts are off or I suck at hills. I am going with the later and figure that this is an opportunity for me to work on a weakness. I will continue to run my SS runs at an incline between 3-5%.
Thursday: 9 mi (69:40) Yes, this was a really slow run, but I just wanted to make sure that I am recovered for the hill fartlek that I am going to run tomorrow. I started out at 8min/mi pace and worked down to 7:30 pace. My right hip flexor was a bit tender so I will have to keep an eye on that.

  • AM - 3 mi (22:35) Real slow again just to make sure that I have a good workout this afternoon.
  • PM - 10 mi (72:30) I ran a 3 mile warm-up, 5 mile workout and 2 mile cool-down. The warm-up and cool-down were run at 7:00-8:00 min/mile pace. I did the hill fartlek at a constant pace (8.5 mph / 7:03 pace) and alternated 1/4 @ 1% incline and 1/4 mile at an increased incline. I started at 3.5% incline and increased 0.5% each time to finish at 8% incline for the final bout. The following table shows the incline and equivalent pace for each section along with a comment about how difficult each session was. I added the comment before I calculated the equivalent pace.
BoutInclineEffective PaceComment
108.0%4:47Glad I only had to do one

This may be the last time I use tables - I can not figure out why there is a huge space before the table and it does not show up in the page preview or the HTML code. Hmmmm....

Update: As I said, I figured out a hack to get rid of the space but am not happy with it. I have to do a bit of post processing of the HTML code and I have higher expectations of Google.

Saturday: 8.5 mi (56ish) This was a nice and easy run just to recover from yesterday. I was trying to run really easy so I am surprised that it was sub 7min/mi pace.

Sunday: 12.4 mi (1:28ish) I was lazy and just ran the same route as last weekend. This winter is dragging on too long because it was 15 degrees and I did not think that it was too cold. Easy pace and I felt pretty good.

Next week should be pretty similar to this one - I will probably hit between 75 and 80 miles, get in a 7 mile steady-state run and probably try to fit in 1-2 hill fartleks.