Aug 4, 2013

NYC Marathon Training - Advanced Plan, Week 3 Recap

My Training
4 Flex Day
43 Bike
6 Tempo
6 Tempo
7 Regular
9.5 Regular
4 Hills 7 Regular
12 Long Run
13 Long Run
41 Run/43 Bike

90 Days to go. This week the mileage ticked up a notch to 41. I also decided to make my cross-training day a little more strenuous with a 43 mile ride on Monday. Wednesday was a lifesaver for my tired legs. No more of those for a while.

I'm finding that I look forward to the two-a-days I'm doing twice each week. It gives me time to run an easy 2 or 3 with my son and also keep my legs going with some additional mileage. I think a big part of the marathon preparation is learning to run on tired legs.

The hill repeats and the long run today were the two toughest days of the week. The hills test your short term toughness and the long run tests your endurance and mental fortitude. Both will help me become a better runner at any distance.

I need to develop a strategy for refueling on the run. Up until now, I haven't really needed to think about food and water too much. Today's almost 2-hour run reminded me that it is really important to take care of yourself. I experienced a few muscle cramps towards the end that I could have avoided. Nothing like daggers in your quads at mile 11 to remind you to be smart.

I've used Gu before, but I'm looking forward to giving the Sport Beans a try. I just have a difficult time choking down the pasty Gu product. Jelly Belly, if you need a product tester, just hit me up. Honey Stinger chews are also supposed to be pretty good, so I'm sure I'll find something that works.

Best of luck in your training efforts this coming week. Let me know if you've found a good strategy for refueling on the run.

Aug 2, 2013

5 Tricks for Increasing Weekly Mileage

I've been increasing my mileage in preparation for the NYC Marathon this fall. I know many runners that have set goals to increase their mileage but have failed to do so. So, I decided to share a few strategies that have helped me sneak in the miles during the base building phase of training.

1. Run Twice - You'd be surprised how much the body recovers over the course of the day. Try a morning run followed by a late afternoon run. You'll want to give your body at least 4-5 hours to recover between runs.

2. Run Early - It isn't easy to get up in the morning unless you are an early bird, but the benefits may convince you to set your alarm for those quiet hours. You'll find you have more energy than you do at the end of the day and you'll enjoy a safer run on empty roads in most communities.

3. Run with Friends or Family - This is my personal favorite. I run in the morning and then do a nice easy run in the afternoon with a family member. It's a chance to connect with family and add some easy mileage.

4. Keep a Training Log - I use a few online tools to track my mileage and performance. But, even a notebook would suffice. The point of tracking your mileage is to learn what works for you and track your growth as a runner. It helps motivate me when I start to waiver.

5. Share Your Accomplishments - Use social networks online and talk about your running plans and accomplishments with those kind enough to listen. Usually other runners will endure your stories about almost anything if you'll listen to theirs in return. If you have an audience or a support group your goals become more authentic and you'll be inspired to reach them.

Best of luck in your efforts to reach your goal this week! Do you have any strategies that you'd like to share?

Aug 1, 2013

What I saw on my long distance bike ride

I live in coastal New Hampshire, so it's not uncommon to see deer nibbling at the fruit trees in my backyard or standing in the trees and brush along the roadside watching me labor past in my effort to complete my training runs. However, what I saw on my long bike ride Monday was a first for me.

I had just completed the 41st mile of a 43 mile effort and was feeling a little dehydrated and hungry, but pretty good overall.  I had reached that pleasant stage where the cycling takes over and the mind has time to wander. At that particular point in time I was considering the evolutionary process and wondering why some species hadn't developed some appendages similar to wheels.

You can imagine my shock when suddenly two adult white-tailed bucks with fuzzy antlers came crashing through the bushes and clattered into the road thirty feet in front of me. They stopped and looked at me. I did the same. For a moment the deer closest to me looked as if he was embarrassed/threatened/angry all at once and I tried to remember if I had ever heard a story about a deer charging a bike rider before.

Then, they took off across the road a ran down the driveway of nearby house. They still seemed very confused. One of them awkwardly avoided running into a parked car as it ran down the driveway towards the wooded backyard. And then, they were gone. I hadn't even gotten my feet out of the toe clips. Two or three seconds max.

I looked around to see if maybe there was another witness to corroborate my story, but there wasn't. I pedaled home those last two miles feeling like I had witnessed something wonderful.