Archive for the ‘base’ Category

Another base run in the books

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Today has marked the start of a third week of solid running. I am feeling like my fitness level is getting back to where it should be, or at least where I like it anyway. The runs come quite a bit easier to me, I am finding the energy to push myself when I want to. And I am even remembering to push myself more often. I think the increased fitness is not allowing me to forget that I want to run fast! I am starting to feel a bit ragged in terms of being able to physically keep up with what I am wanting to do. My knees have been a bit sore lately which is a new thing for me. I have also been experiencing some pain in my hips and glute especially on my right side. I found an interesting article on a set of exercise takign about 20 minutes to relieve hip pain. After the first time I did them I noticed a difference right away. A big thanks to Julia Horton for this:
Relieve Hip Pain from Running with 10 Minute Exercise Routine.

Hip extension on all fours. On all fours, extend one leg back behind you, lifting it high so that foot goes well above butt height, but keep the leg fairly straight (not perfectly straight, but almost straight).

Hold it there for a solid second, then bring back to past original position so that knee is ahead of the support knee, then extend the leg back behind you again. Do 8 repetitions each side. Then repeat again at any time during the session.

Hip abduction on all fours. Picture a male dog lifting a leg to relieve itself. Lift your thigh out to the side so that the thigh is parallel with floor, leg bent at knee at 90 degrees. Your thigh should be perpendicular to your trunk. Hold for one second, then return to start. Do 8 reps each side.

Lie on back, legs straight. Pull one knee towards chest so that you feel a stretch in the opposite hip area, where the leg merges into the pelvis. Hold 30 seconds. Switch legs. Do two sets each leg.

Standing external hip rotation. Place hands on something for balance and stand straight. Lift one knee in front of yourself like a high march. Then bring knee out to the side, so that thigh is perpendicular to trunk.

Leg is bent at 90 degrees the entire time. Bring back to original high march position. Do not set foot down; keep rotating knee outward, then back inward. Do 8 sets each side — twice.

Standing hip rotation. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, hands on hips. Rotate hips five times in one direction, then in the other direction. The motion is similar to that of doing the hula hoop, except it is much slower, to get a good stretch all the way around.

Standing hip extension. Place hands on something for support. Stand straight. Lift one knee up and extend leg out behind you. It’s okay to lean forward to allow this motion. This exercise is similar to “hip extension on all fours.” Do 8 reps each leg.

It will take 8-10 minutes to complete these exercises. Do them once or twice a day (I did mine once a day).

I did the sets again after I ran today and it gives me hope that I can knock this hip pain back. So far so goo

Base run in the sun

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

What great weather we are having in Portland right now! Warm spring days here are always so often, I just wish they were as frequent as they are beautiful. But we take what we get I guess. The sun today inspired me to run despite being a tad bit hungover after playing an Earth Day fundraiser last night. I struggled a bit at first, and my legs are still lingering sore from getting back into regular running. But the soreness isn’t unbearable and goes away as I warm up. So sticking with the run hasn’t been as hard as it seems when I start…

I did a base run today of 10k. My pace was pretty slow, around 10:30 or so. My feet have also been a bit sore as well, I need to toughen them up I guess. It never gets to the point where I can no longer run, but I would really like to get used to the pounding again. Soon it will be back I am sure. Well I guess I had better eat something before tonight’s rehearsal. Otherwise I will definitely poop out.

Base run with leg lifts

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Today I was challenged by my wife to incorporate the leg lifts into my run that she is doing with her zombie run ap. I thought it a good idea despite the ridiculous way it looks (marching band on speed.) Her challenge had her doing five sets of ten reps (20 steps). I decided I didn’t want to do it until I warmed up, so after a half mile or so I found my self in the park with no one around, time for leg lifts. I tried to keep my pace te same as my regular running, but I found myself going faster than I did normally. Each step for the cycle of 10 is basically an exaggerated running step lifting your leg as high as you can. I did the first set pretty easily and it was over before I knew it. I thought to myself that wasn’t bad. Ater several blocks I decided to do another set, this time I went longer. Even with the increase in distance, it still felt pretty easy. So after a bit of a regular run rest I decided to do my third set, but this time I went a full block. For the fourth and fifth I did the same. My legs weren’t burning at all, but I noticed that at the end of the fifth set I wasn’t lifting very high at all. Finally the fatigue won the battle. The rest of my run (another four miles) my legs felt like lead, I could barely move! I am looking forward to trying these again.

Throughout the run I was flirting with sub 10 min miles. Every time I looked I was a tad slow, but just a tad. With a couple miles left I was still slow and I had the hills to deal with, combined with my dead legs I figured that was that. Still I picked up the pace and went from 22 secs behind pace to 16 secs behind goal pace as I went into my final mile. I realized that my flirtation was actually doable and with a quarter mile to go I thought I can make up those seconds. My fast pace became a sprint and I got to the gate just under 9:59 pace for the entire run! Boom! My speed has really been suffering the last year, it is something I would really like to improve. I see some track workouts in my near future…

This week’s long run

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

This week’s long run got pushed further out in the week, I keep getting further and further away from a consistent Monday LSD run. Overall I am going to say that is ok as I have been getting them in and I keep making them longer. However Monday is the perfect day of the week for them so hopefully I can get back on track especially considering that today’s run was the second quality run I did this week (actually second run in a row too). Though to do another long run in three dyas seems excessive.

I feel like I am really building on my base, the long runs seem much easier or should I say less painful! Today’s run was 12 miles exactly and interestingly I almost kept it under a 10 min mile pace (ended at 10:04). I was under 10 through nine miles, but the final three were more or less uphill as I climbed up from the waterfront to my neighborhood. And I can’t really say the entire three miles was all up-hill either, but there are some tough patches!

This was actually the second fast run that I did. Two days ago I did eight miles at a 9:13 pace which felt really good. I was strong throughout and even considered adding some miles to make that my long run but I had a rehearsal that night and was already pushing it.

I’m not really sure what has changed to make these runs feel better. I have been eating and sleeping well, so I am sure that had something to do with it. Still it doesn’t seem like that would completely explain why I have been running so strongly as of late. Both of the last two runs have been on injection day and I have always said that I feel stronger after the rebif, so maybe that has helped as well. My weight is also down a bit and I am sure that is a factor. Whatever it is I’ll take it!

I have been curious to see how my feet reacted to the increase in miles and the consistent longer runs with the zero-drop shoes. I really feel like a convert. I don’t have nearly the fot pain that I was experiencing before with the thicker heals, in fact I wore a pair of boots the other day that made me imagine that this is what high heals must be like! Changing my stride to more of a ball landing/mid-strike (as opposed to just a mid-strike landing) is working better than I had imagined. I have always felt like more of a distance runner than a sprinter. Initially I was concerned that I wouldn’t like running more like a sprinter, but it seems to feel much better overall even though the majority of my running is mid-strike oriented. With the zero-drops I occasionally will concentrate on my feet landing on the balls of my feet and spreading out in my shoes (Altra) expansive toe box. It feels really good landing that way. Despite initially having trouble lifting my feet enough to clear cracks an other obstacles, I seem to have corrected my gate enough so that it is not an issue (even though I am not lifting my feet much higher, at least consciously).

I have been pretty good about fueling for my last couple of long runs, gels and water. They both seem to make a pretty huge difference in my running performance. Today I was starting to fade a bit around six miles. A couple slugs of Hammer gel and my energy level picked up and I was able to comfortably continue.

The long runs have been great but I am reaching that point where increasing the mileage every time is making the runs a huge commitment, both in terms of time and the mental ability to gear up for them. Two hours seems pretty doable, but I know longer runs are soon going to be getting up closer to three (an beyond). My other problem with them is having interesting places to go. I have a pretty decent 11 mile run that I can add onto so maybe I’ll use that as a base for my longer runs and then just add on. Today’s route was new(ish) to me and I could probably use that as a good base as well even though I don’t really care for all the uphill at the end (pretty much my curse living on a hill.

I am starting to think about a long race again. My pace is pretty slow even though I do feel it getting faster (or is that just the last two? Yes it probably is). Still running another marathon would be fun, maybe make it a destination run which would be super fun (then again I can’t think of a better place to sleep the night before than my own bed.) We’ll see.

Oh and did I mention it was 28 degrees when I left? Brrrrrr.

Fastest slow run this year

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

In my winter of base maintenance I have been running a lot of 10 distance runs. I have been doing them pretty slowly until recently when I have been pushing the tempo a bit. I can’t even classify these junk runs as LSD runs anymore in my journal, they have been closer to tempo runs (but not really). I had been noticing that my pace has been pretty good for the first 3-4 miles, but then slows down considerably in the final 2+. Some of that I have been blaming on the hills in the fifth mile wearing me out, but I don’t think it has been the only factor. I also think it is a conditioning issue as well and that I just poop out towards the end with my pace dropping to 10-11 min miles.

So this week in an effort to battle the slow death of my running pace I have been pushing my tempo throughout the runs and especially so at the end. Yesterday I was rewarded with my fastest 10k time this year, just under an hour. My average HR in these runs has been really high and I even hit my max of 189 during my final push to finish in under an hour (59:45). I think I will start sprinkling in these runs in preparation for starting marathon training, which I need to get going on soon. The race I am targeting is the Vancouver Marathon on June 19th (just checked the date and I am happy to see I have another 2 weeks! I thought it was the 5th for some reason.) I am not totally sure I will do the race, but I’d like to try for it. I can make my decision to back out if the training gets to be too much. But conditioning wise I am right on target to start training. My weight is low and I have been maintaining my base enough (could have always been better…) My weight (hovering around 180) is perfect for starting the regimen. If I can shed another 10 pounds by race day I’ll be happier, but I think it is doable at that weight. It should be nice running in Vancouver (WA not BC) for the change of scenery. They are promising a flat and scenic course along the Columbia and Fort Vancouver.

Not sure if I will run today, mostly for time reasons (busy with work, except for right now and I suppose I could head out the door for a slow recovery run.) We’ll see, I mostly wanted to write today as my blog maintenance has been lapsing more than my running!

I need a break from the breaks

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Today was the second run in a row after another extended break. Last Sunday I managed to roll my ankle off the edge of the sidewalk. When I felt myself going down I just decided to roll with it and tumble freely rather than fighting it or trying to catch myself. It ended up making the fall rather soft which was great, but after I noticed that the back of my head came within inches of smacking against a concrete block. I guess I got lucky!

So that run was the third day back from a week I took off from a back issue I had been having. I managed to get back into it really smoothly and felt like I hadn’t lost much fitness at all. This time after another week off I feel completely different. I am more sluggish, tired, sore and my heart rate has been really high. I think I need to ease into it, which is what I was planning to do after the first break, but things went so well. This time I think I will heed my worries and take it easy. Both of these runs have been 6 milers and relatively slow, but my HR on both runs as been really high especially today when I was pushing it at times. Slowing down a bit is actually just what I need at this point as I transition into base type training. So maybe these breaks are a good thing, we’ll see.

RIP Pearl.