Sunday, 29 December 2013

Week of training Sunday December 22th - Saturday December 28th

Hello again,

This is going to be a quick update just to let everyone know how training went this week, I'll put a post up mid week about how to improve running economy and how important it is to maximize our efficiency in general.

This week went very well considering it was Christmas and running took a back seat to eating and seeing friends and family. However I did manage to run 140 miles and got 3 good workouts in.

This week in training


Sunday

Long Run - 20 miles @ 7:00 pace on the treadmill, this was brutal having to run for 2:20 minutes on the treadmill but I was happy to get it in.

20 miles - AM
Off - PM

Monday

Workout - 8 X 800m The goal was to run 2 at 2:30, 2 at 2:25, 2 at 2:20 and the last 2 as fast as I could, I took large breaks just making sure I was fully recovered and could hold my form and run the intervals under control, the average break was about 3 minutes, the 800's ended up being 2:29, 2:32, 2:23, 2:25, 2:19, 2:19, 2:14, 2:11. I was ecstatic with this session, to be able to run a 2:11 at the end of a workout was something I never thought I'd be able to do at this time of the year. (I'm going to make sure I race all the twilight meets at Pearlgate track this summer. I think it's paramount to be able to run a sub 2 minute 800m and a sub 4 minute 1500m if I want to be able to run under 15 minutes for 5km. So the speed needs to be my top priority.) Summer goals will be a 1:59 for the 800m, a 3:59 for the 1500m and a 14:55 for the 5000m. 

14 miles with workout - AM
6 miles really easy - PM

Tuesday

10 miles - AM
10 miles - PM

Wednesday

Workout - 4 X 1 mile with full recovery (4 minutes). I wanted to try and run these all at 4:45 as I was feeling confident after the 800's on Monday. I went a little too hard the first 2 and started to suffer the last 2. I hate slowing down at the end of a workout so I'll make sure this doesn't happen again and I ease into the workout next time. Miles ended up being 4:42, 4:43, 4:48, 4:57. (Yeah that last one was a blow up, I went through the 800 in 2:22 and basically died the last 800 ha. lesson learned)

6 miles easy - AM
14 miles with workout - PM

Thursday 

Nick's Boxing day birthday run 14 miles - AM
6 miles - PM

Friday

Workout - 10km Lactate Threshold Tempo. I did this with Matt Noseworthy and Nick Snow. The boys are fit right now. Matt did 30 minutes at 5:27 pace, and Nick did a 10km progressing from 6 minute pace down to low 5:20. I dialed in 5:20 pace and rolled a comfortably hard effort for a 33:20 10km. I'm happy that running at that pace is feeling controlled and comfortable, that's pretty close to my Half Marathon goal pace, I'm going to need to split two 33:00's to run 1:09 low.

6 miles easy - AM
14 miles with workout - PM

Saturday

10 miles easy - AM
10 miles with Matt - PM

So all in all that's a great week of training. Happy to get the mileage back into the 140's. And the workouts went well considering. I'm really getting the itch to run a track race so I'm going to look at going to Moncton to run the open 3000m race during the AUS meet as Amanda and some sprinters will be heading over. I'm not 100% sure, but I think it would be a good idea to head over and run a quick 3k. I don't know what I'm able to run for that kind of distance, It's just all suffering during a 3k, but I'm confident I can run at least 8:50-8:55ish, but any faster then that I don't know about. Hopefully there is a heat with guys running mid to high 8:40's that I can get in with.

Well that's it for this week. Again I've got a little post planned on running economy that I'll post around Wednesday so look for that.

I hope you all had a safe and happy Christmas.
Cheers
Dave


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Saucony Type A5 review.

As promised, I'm going to give my thoughts on the lightest racing flat from Saucony.


The Saucony road competition line consists of the Fastwich 6 and the Type A5. I'll attach a picture of the Fastwich as I think that's also a terrific option for longer distances such as the Marathon. I'll do a review of that shoe at a later time. I've raced in the last 2 generations and really enjoyed it. It's my tempo shoe of choice.


The Type A5 is a feather light racing flat weighing just 5.6 ounces for a men's size 9. I find that for me it runs true to size. In the rest of the Saucony line I'm normally a 10 and the same holds true with this shoe. If your coming from the other Saucony racing flat the Fastwich 6, I would recommend sizing down a half size as I found that shoe to run a little small.

The type A5 sits very low to the ground and uses a 4mm heel to toe offset. I find that it has a fast transition and really feels great the faster you run. I'm a mid to forefoot striker so I don't know how it would respond for a heavy heel striker as it's fairly minimal but I'm sure just about any runner can get away with this for racing up to 10km. I'd recommend heavier set runners and less efficient ones to maybe use something like the Fastwich or even the Kinvara for longer distances. But expect with an efficient stride to use this in any distance up to the marathon.

The upper is really soft on the foot and I've run in it sock-less without any issues in terms of hot spots or blisters. Just toss in some baby powder before you run on the foot bed and you will be just fine. Because of the use of flex film overlays it reduces the need for having seams so the foot gets locked down but without the added bulk of more overlays being attached to the upper. This is a shoe you will enjoy getting into and rolling out a nice interval session or a race.

I think that's about all I can say about this shoe. I really like it. I'm getting anxious to try the new type A6 that Saucony has coming out next year, I'm going to get my hands on a pair in February and test them out and let everyone know what I think. I'm sure they will be supreme! I'll attach a sneak peak!




Until next time,
Stay Frosty,
Dave

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Week of training Sunday December 15th - Saturday December 21st + Thoughts on hill training.

It's weekly update time.

I hope everyone is all ready for Christmas, I'm still finishing up my last bit of shopping. But I'm looking forward to some good food, company and even a few runs this coming week. Training went very well this week. But I did take a day off as I was feeling pretty fatigued so consequently my mileage wasn't as high as last week but I managed to hit 124.7 so it was lower but still pretty good.

Hill training


Let's talk about hill training really quickly. I've been doing allot of reading lately about the best ways to incorporate it into training. And much like most things in running there are plenty of ways to go about it. From what I have read a grade of about 7% is ideal as when hills are run at this percentage we see the best results in terms of whats happening to our bio-mechanics. In terms of stride length we see a shortening of about 4.46 percent. Ground contact time becomes greater by 3.76 percent. And finally the flight time (time we spend in the air) decreased by 13.4 percent. All very positive things. So when repeating this in training we are working on things that in tern will help our efficiency.

From what I can see 800-1500m specialist use allot of hill training during their peak racing season to hold form and help them maintain while doing less workouts then they would in their building phase of their training. Workouts tend to vary between 10 second explosive hill sprints to long hilly runs as Arthur Lydiard preached. One thing for sure is that it will help build strength and boost efficiency.

I'm going to be doing a post on the importance of developing better efficiency next week. For years coaches and scientist would tell us that VO2 is king in terms of performance, but what we are realizing is to truly maximize ones VO2 and run the best times we are genetically capable of we need to be running as efficiently as possible, wasting the least about of energy as we can.

This week in training.


Training went well once again however I did take a rest day on Saturday. I got 124.7 miles, 2 workouts and a Long Run. So I can't complain. However, I'm finding it increasingly challenging to get good days for workouts, so I'm doing workouts whenever the weather permits. Hence the Monday then Tuesday back to back sessions.

Sunday

Long Run - 20 miles, Amanda and I ran the first 12 together nice and conversational, I wasn't really looking at my watch but when I got back to mun to drop her off I realized we had been running 8:00 pace which is perfectly fine and it was rather windy. I then proceeded to run the last 8 miles around 5:55 pace to bring the pace back down of the entire run. The run was an average of 7:13/mile which is perfect. I'm really impressed with the amount of volume Amanda is getting in. I can see some fast times from her later in the indoor season and next spring on the track and the roads.

20 miles - AM
Off - PM

Monday

Workout - 12 miles of in and outs, so 6 hard miles at half marathon pace alternating with a 6:30 mile recovery. It went really well my miles ended up being 5:12, 6:37, 5:15, 6:41, 5:17, 6:31, 5:13, 6:40, 5:14, 6:33, 5:11. This was a really fun session, it was nice getting a full mile to recover so they didn't feel as hard as had I done them at that pace with say 60-90 second breaks.

14 miles with workout - AM
6.7 miles - PM

Tuesday

Workout - 8km tempo with Kate on the Mundy Pond course. 25:51, felt really good despite it being a day after a hard session. Averaged 5:10 pace, I wen't through the 5km in 16:14 and actually picked the pace up a bit more the last 2 miles. Kate had 8km - 5km - 3km at Marathon pace, so after I did my own thing for the 8km tempo I paced her for the next 5km and 3km @ 5:50ish pace. Felt great

13.7 miles with workout - AM
6.3 miles treadmill - PM

Wednesday 

12 miles - AM
8 miles - PM

Thursday 

10 miles - AM
10 miles - PM

Friday

14 miles - AM
10 miles - PM

Saturday

OFF


So that's another week, 124.7 miles. I'm happy with it. The workouts went well but I don't really enjoy taking off days. I'm pressed for time here today so I'm going to hop on mid week and do the Saucony Type A5 review.  Expect it maybe boxing day or there abouts.

So in closing I hope you all have a tremendous Christmas. Be safe, spend time with your loved ones and family and eat until your pants no longer fit! I know I will.

See you all next time.
Happy Festivus!
Dave  


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Week of training Sunday December 8th - Saturday December 14th + Thoughts on the state of the Marathon

Hi Everyone,

It certainly has gotten cold this past week, but as they say the show must go on. I may as well just not even bother saying I'll take a scheduled down week because it didn't work out that way again. I had a very solid week of training with a long run, 2 solid quality workouts and another day where I paced Kate for 14km's worth of running at about 5:48/mile pace. I kept my mileage up and averaged 20 miles a day and ran 140.8 miles for the week.

Last week I talked about speed development through repetition paced training. I'm still doing some research on the second part of the discussion which is speed/strength/efficiency development through hill training. I'm going to have a few paragraphs ready to conclude that discussion next week. So this week in between speed talk I'm going to touch briefly on why I think there are too many people going to the marathon when they have not yet learned the shorter events and are in tern not running the times they could potentially run had they fully maximized their shorter racing potential. (Note that I'm not trying to say that people should turn from the marathon. I want people to enjoy running the distance to the best of their abilities. This is just my opinion. I know that the marathon to allot of people is the ultimate feat, and it certainly is a tremendous accomplishment. All I'm trying to say is that to truly run your best marathon I would hope that you are pleased with your personal bests over all the other distances.)

When to move up to the Marathon? Is it still a "race" or something to check off the bucket list?


Let's talk about the marathon. Statistics tells us that each year the average time in which it takes to complete the marathon continues to rise. These statistics also show that the marathon is one of the fastest growing sporting events in the world. One would assume with more people running the event, we would see more great talent being discovered and more people running fast times. This however could not be further from what's happening. The gap between the elites and the average marathoner is growing with each year. If you look at the results from a major marathon there are normally very few male runners who come in after say 2:15 which is about the cut off of what an elite male is going to be finishing in, I'd even venture to say in this day an age your not really even making a living if you can't go under 2:11 but that's a different discussion. Normally there can be minutes where there are no runners coming in at all between the 2:15-2:30 range. This is something we need to look at and ask ourselves why are there so few sub elites? My guess is that to run a time in the range of 2:15-2:20ish you have to pretty much train how an elite would and train as a full time job, and that's just not going to happen because nobody running those kinds of times can earn a living from road racing like that. So I can almost understand why there aren't many in this group but I have no idea why we don't see more people running 2:20-2:30. Lots of people out there have the potential to run in this ball park (for women I'd say this is similar to the 2:35-2:45 range). My theory is that people simply don't develop enough before they go to the marathon. They go to the event with very modest times over shorter distances, so consequently they will only have the ability to run a marathon that is reflective of what they have accomplished to that point over the shorter races. We don't see people setting four 10km pr's en route to a new marathon personal best, it just doesn't happen. 

So how did we get to this point? Why is it that the marathon is getting all the glamour and not the shorter distances? (I have a theory but I don't want to offend anyone as whoever does a marathon is certainly deserving of respect in my books!) But personally I'm far more impressed by a runner throwing down a respectable 5 or 10km time. I had the pleasure of hearing Steve Boyd speak a few years ago and he touched on this as well. Look at him for example, the majority of the races Steve runs now are 5 and 10km, he is 50 years old and is running mid 15's for 5km and low 32 for 10km. Sure he could go out and run a 2:28ish marathon, but he would also have to dedicate allot of his season to one race, and would need a good month to recover on the other end of it. Now I understand Steve was a very competitive runner when he was younger and competed internationally but the same holds true for people who just take up the sport. I think we would have much more competitive marathons if people would just focus on becoming faster over the 5km- half marathon distance before stepping up to the "big show". I know personally my performances over shorter distances tell me I can run between 2:27-2:29 with a sound marathon specific training block. But to me I look at it from the perspective of if I can take 30ish seconds off my 5km time and start running under 15 minutes that's going to take potentially 4 or more minutes off my marathon time when I do make the jump up in distance, and a 2:23-2:25 marathon is a time that I would be proud of when I start running 26.2. 

I don't want this to sound elitist. I think everyone has the right to run whatever they are so inclined to, but I think that people would enjoy the marathon way more if they ran them faster. And for some people a 4-5 hour marathon is a very solid performance. We all have a different set of abilities and amount of time we can allocate to our training. So my advice is don't step up to the marathon until you are happy with your personal bests over the shorter races. Or if you have been marathoning for some time now, take a year or two away from it and drop those personal bests then watch minutes come off your marathon when you take another crack at it.

As I mentioned, next week I'll get back to the topic of building speed through hill work and touch on how developing better efficiency is paramount when trying to optimize performance. 

This week in training


I had a great week once again, the weeks seem to be clicking along nicely. I'm starting to get excited for the spring. I've got lots more work to do obviously but I'm feeling so fit right now. I would love to race a 5km, when doing 4X2km with Kate Wednesday I banged out a 6:03 2km rep and felt smooth doing it in windy and cold conditions. My speed is there right now, just have to keep building on it. Anyway, I decided to register for the Hypothermic Half Marathon the 2ed of February. This will be more of a hard effort then anything as the course is measured at 21.55 km (it even says it on the site...only in St. John's ha), so it's over 400m long and not a great course but I should be able to roll a relatively fast time regardless. I'll just make sure I dial in 5:25 pace and keep the effort steady. I'll try and come through the half marathon in 1:11 under control. I'm looking into the Miami Half at the end of February, if I can get a deal on a flight and Elite entry I'll go after a mid 1:09 there. I'll save the rest of the winter plan for another post. I got 140.8 miles in this week with a Long Run, 2 workouts and a hard session pacing Kate. It was awesome having her here this week for training. We will hit it big next week as well. I really think she is going to knock her Marathon debut out of the park if she stays healthy during the build up, I'm predicting 2:37 or there abouts. She is fit! Watch out Huston!

Sunday

Long Run 20.8 miles - This went well, it started with a large group for the first 10ish miles and we ran pretty relaxed around 7:30 pace, then it was just Allison, Kate, Peter and myself and we started to drop the pace down into the 6:30 range for the last half. It was a pretty windy day, we ended up averaging 7:08 pace for the run which was good considering the slow first half and the fact it was on the trails.

20.8 miles - AM
Off - PM

Monday

Workout - 6 X 1 mile working down from half marathon pace with 60 seconds active recovery, I was going to do this on the indoor track. The goal was to do Mike Greene's 5X1500m workout but the track was packed so I did it outside on the Tupper St. loop, I started really easy and worked the pace down, my last 2 miles I was hurting pretty bad, but I felt I could have run 1 more which is how I should walk away from any workout. I went 5:17, 5:11, 5:07, 5:02, 4:58, 4:49. So looking at it the first 3 miles are pretty slow but I was using only 60 second recovery and I wanted to feel good working the pace down. The last mile was really solid, I went through the kilometer in 2:57, so the wheels are there for sure.

12 miles with workout - AM
8 miles - PM

Tuesday

13 miles - AM
7 miles - PM

Wednesday

Workout - 4X2km with Kate working down from 10km pace with 2:30 standing recovery. The loop was very greasy as we had gotten some snow Tuesday and it was windy but Kate and I got through it. I started my first 2km nice and easy at 10km pace and worked down going 6:21, 6:16, 6:03 then on the last rep I paced Kate for her 2km as I felt I had enough work in with the 6X1 miles on Monday, so the last one was 6:55. Kate nailed her workout running all her reps about 10 seconds faster then goal marathon pace on a poor day weather wise.

13 miles with workout - AM
7 miles - PM

Thursday

11 miles very easy - AM
9 miles - PM

Friday

Workout - This wasn't so much a workout for me as it was pacing duties helping Kate nail an important Marathon paced session of 5km - 2km - 5km - 2km @ marathon race pace (3:40/km or 5:50ish/mile). It was brutally cold and we actually had allot of snow fall when we ran it. Kate nailed it and averaged about 3:38/km for the workout when all was said and done. I was pleased to get over 8 miles in at 5:48/mile pace and feel so composed and relaxed. The crappy thing was I took off one of my base layers a brand new Suacony Drylet sport top and put it behind a tree, and when I went back to get it someone had taken it......so frustrating, so if anyone sees it on Kijiji let me know haha.

14 miles with workout - AM
6 miles - PM

Saturday

11 miles easy on possibly the coldest day I've ever run - AM
9 miles - PM

140.8 miles this week. I'm feeling a little tired but not over-trained, just some lingering fatigue. I'm sure Christmas week will be one with less volume and that will freshen up the legs. I'm getting ready to head out for my Long Run now with Amanda and possibly Kate at 12. I'll make sure I get 20 miles in at a decent pace.

So that's about it for this week, smooth sailing, I've been doing my drills, core work and foam rolling. (Thank you to my friend Lee Bennett for sending me some great video guides/tutorials on this important part of running that is so easily neglected! Lee is a very strong runner and is ever improving thanks to his sound approach to the sport! Look for some great times from he and his wife in 2014!) So let's hope the healthy uninterrupted training continues. I'll do a review/impressions of the Saucony type a5 racing flat next week. I've been using it for workouts and it seems to be a very nice shoe, super light and responsive. I figure I should get a review in before I get my hands on the new type a6 when they drop in February.

Thanks everyone for your continued support and for following my training journey.
Stay frosty,
Dave



Sunday, 8 December 2013

Week of training Sunday December 1st - Saturday December 7 + thoughts on raw speed development.

Hello again,

One more week in the books. I pushed the envelope more then I had intended to this week. I was hoping to have a scheduled down week of reduced mileage but it didn't really work out as I planed. Peter and Kate (Bazeley) got into town on Wednesday so I hit a couple of hard workouts with Peter and we ran a fair amount of mileage the last half of the week. I ended up running 3 really good workouts but I pushed my long run to today so it won't show up on this week's training. I was happy with this week and was surprised I had so much energy and pop in my legs. I hit 142.5 miles. (Next week I'm bringing it down to 100 just to be safe and not risk burn out). I will get into the training later in this post, but first I want to talk a bit about improving foot speed.

Raw speed development through repetition paced running.


Let's talk about how to develop our high end/raw speed. If there is one thing I think is neglected the most in the average runner it's their speed. From what I can tell most runners think that raw speed is something best left to sprinters and doesn't effect how they run in their events (5km - Marathon for most people). This is simply not true and I hope people start to realize this and correct it in training. As good as this latest running boom has been for getting more people active and involved in this wonderful sport of running, it has also made our sport more into a hobby then anything. So let's talk about SPEED! It's fun to run fast and you should practice running fast. It will help you run better over every distance.

Now, what do I mean when I say "repetition paced running"? I'm borrowing this term from Dr. Jack Daniels, one of best running coaches of our time. He defines repetition paced running as fast running, not hard running but fast, where we focus on turning our legs over. These can also be called power intervals. The goal is to improve anaerobic metabolism, running mechanics, strength and economy, all of which breed pure, raw, unadulterated speed. 

The most common way of training to accomplish the goal of speed development is through short intervals from 100-400m. A mistake that is made by allot of runners when they first approach this type of training is that they think it's all out sprinting. This is not the case, these intervals are supposed to be run fast and controlled, focusing on holding good form, driving with your arms and with a good knee lift. More is not always better, preform anywhere between 3000-5000m worth of work at this pace. Be sure and recover fully between intervals and if you feel you can't hold strong form and continue to run fast and efficiently stop the workout. The biggest thing is to be relaxed at all times, the best runners in the world are always relaxed and fluid during their gate cycle. By practicing this, it will lead to the development of more speed, better running form, economy and in tern faster times in your races.

I'm only briefly touching the surface of how speed is developed here when talking about repetition paced running. I'm going to make this topic a 2 week discussion on my blog. So please leave some thoughts, comments and let me know how you train to develop your speed. Next week I'm going to discus hill training for the development of power and foot speed. And I also plan on touching on running economy next week as well. Again, please let me know what you think or even what you would like me to talk about to get the discussion going.

This week in training.


I had another fantastic week. I was a little nervous as I hadn't planned on keeping my volume so high, but I had to take advantage of having Peter and Kate in town. Having them out for workouts is a treat and really helps keep the motivation up to run hard. You will notice there is no Long Run in this weekly recap. I didn't do it on Saturday because of the workout on Friday. I did however do a 21 mile/33ish km long run this morning (Sunday) so I did get it in. It will just be on next weeks break down. I track my weeks from Sunday - Saturday. I got my easy runs in with Amanda again (she continues to kill it in training) and my workouts in with Peter. I would also like to thank Mike Greene for helping me put together some workouts. Mike has an outstanding running pedigree and is owner of the fastest Newfoundland Marathon time run at the Boston Marathon (2:34). Mike has some incredible track PR's as well, like SUPER fast. So I really value and appreciate his opinion. You can tell just by talking to him the passion he has for the sport. Thanks Mike!!

Sunday

13 miles - AM
8 miles - PM

Monday

Workout - 5X1500m. This was Mike's workout, he had me do it on the indoor track on the outside lane. After a good warm up I got into it running 52 seconds/lap for the first rep. At the end of the 1500m I walked for 52 seconds until the end of the next turn and then did the next rep at 51 seconds/lap. Again, I followed this with another 52 second walk recovery until the next turn and took the pace down again with each rep until on my last 1500 where I ran laps at 47 seconds for the first 3 then 44's for the last 3 laps of the final 1500m rep. This was one of my favorite workouts I'd ever done. It felt so good to be in such control and to take the pace down at will. I'm going to be using this workout in my build up for the spring. I recommend you guys give it a try!

7 miles - AM
13 miles with workout - PM

Tuesday

11 miles - AM
9 miles - PM

Wednesday

Workout - 2X15 minutes @ Lactate Threshold pace with Peter, Caroline, Mark and Melissa. We did this around Quidi Vidi on the roads, so it included that brutal hill coming out of the gut. Baze and I went on our perceived effort. I generally like to run this type of workout about 5:15 pace but it was a viciously windy evening and the hills made it a hard session to get our pace going. We averaged 5:35 pace for the workout with a 2 minute recovery between 15 minute reps. It was a good session. It felt like a 5:15 effort. 

9 miles - AM
11 miles with workout - PM

Thursday

12 miles - AM
8 miles - PM

Friday

Workout - 4X2km @ 10km race pace with 2:30 recovery (5:05/mile pace or 3:10/km pace). This workout went very well, it was done with Connor and Baze. I got a little jumpy on my first 2km rep and ran it in 6:06 which is if I'm honest about my 5km race pace at my current fitness and not my 10km pace. I dialed it back the next 3 and when all was said and done I averaged 6:20/2km rep for the workout which was right where it needed to be. 5:05/mile pace is starting to feel very relaxed and under control which is good. I guess the fact that I'm doing mile repeats now between 4:48-4:50 is helping make 5:05 pace feel that much easier. I'd like to do 3X3km at this pace and then 2X5km in the next couple weeks just to make sure I can run it under control for longer reps. Baze and Connor looked really strong in this session as well. The boys are fit!

13 miles with workout - AM
7 miles - PM 

Saturday

7 miles - AM
14.5 miles - PM

142.5 miles for the week. I'm feeling tired as I type this as I just completed a 21 mile long run with Peter, Kate and Allison. This coming week will have to be dialed back, I'll play it by ear and might jump into the pool for a couple of sessions to take some of the pounding off the body but still get the aerobic work in.

Saucony Mirage 3 and Cortana 3 thoughts and impressions.


As I stated last week I've been rotating these two shoes the past 3-4 weeks. I normally train faithfully in the Saucony Kinvara 4. It's great as I find I can do anything in it, easy miles, fast intervals, long runs even race some longer distances if need be. But I was concerned that with the weather changing and the fact that I'll be running on the pavement more I would need something a little heavier and with more under foot. I decided to try the Mirage 3 and Cortana 3. Both around 8 - 9 ounce shoes which is still very light and good for up-tempo running but with more midsole to protect my legs when running 130+ miles per week. I've been so pleased with both shoes! They fit true to size and offer a plush ride but with a fast feel that makes you feel light and nibble. The Mirage 3 seems to be the firmer of the two and seems to work well for faster running. The Cortana 3 is more of a shoe you will want to run  your easy miles and long run in and just enjoy the ride. I've never been in such a comfortable and responsive shoe before. I won't go into the science and tooling of the shoes but I will say that if you are a fan of the Saucony Kinvara franchise then you will love both of these shoes. I highly recommend them both! (They also come in some neat color-ways as well!!)


Well, Thats another week. I'm so happy with the training I've been able to string together. I've got to thank everyone who has gotten out for runs with me in the cold, and especially to Peter this week for helping out with the workouts it made a huge difference. 

Until next time it's back to the grind.
Stay frosty,
Dave



Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A quick thank you to Saucony.

I wanted to just say a thank you to Saucony Canada for coming on board and sponsoring me. I'm very proud to be sponsored by hands down the best running company out there. The saucony hurricanes 2014 team looks to be stacked from top to bottom.

I got home today to find some new winter gear and some more shoes waiting for me. Thanks so much to Jeremiah, Catherine and the whole saucony team. You guys are awesome.


The Saucony Hurricanes Team gear is pretty spiffy if I do say so myself!

The weekly update will be coming on Sunday as per usual. Training is going well, 2X15 minutes tonight with Peter, Caroline and hopefully some more people tag along.

Keep your sticks on the ice,
Run happy
Dave

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Week of training Sunday November 24th - Saturday November 30th + thoughts on mileage for distances 1500m and up.

Hey Everyone,

Time for the weekly update. I've had one of the best weeks of training I've ever put in. 141 miles, 2 solid workouts and a 20 mile long run. This week I'm also going to chat about mileage and how I think its something many runners need to take a closer look at.

As I type this I'm catching all the results from National Cross Country Championships which went down yesterday in BC, great to see some friends running well and tearing up the dirt. Crag Odermatt came 3rd overall in the masters division, Erin Burrett threw down in the senior women's race for a 7th place finish, I do believe that earns her a national team spot for NACAC. As well Matt Noseworthy ran a great race and placed 34th in the Jr men's division (dude is a stud and a big talent) and Jillian Foresey came second overall in the Jr. women. Way to go everyone!

Also, shout out to Reid who ran the Fukuoka Marathon this morning. He ran a stellar time of 2:11:24, when you think about the fact that he broke his collar bone at the end of the summer to have run that kind of time was awesome. He will take another crack at the Canadian record soon I'm sure.

Mileage/volume, how much do we need to maximize our running performances? 


To me this is something that allot of people seem to have their own opinions on. How much should they run, how much cross training should they do, how much volume is enough for the given distance they wish to compete at? For me, I think if a runner is serious about running to their potential they have to put in allot of mileage. Granted we all have different time restraints and only have a certain amount that we can set aside for running. But the fact of the matter remains that if your goal race is anything from 1500m and up, to truly run well you need to put in the work and get the physiological benefits that come from higher volume training. This doesn't have to be fast running. Science says that working at a capacity of 75% of what your racing pace will be is plenty and benefits will be had spending time in this area.

I hear so many people talking about how mileage isn't everything and that at a certain point all that's happening is your running "junk miles". This really frustrates me, it's almost as bad as when I hear people saying that after September it's the "off season" until April. (I'll rant about that some other time lol). I'm not saying everyone needs to be running 2 hours a day, people have lots of things on their plate, they have families, demanding jobs, other hobbies, etc. But if you've been doing the same thing over and over and aren't getting better results why continue to do the same thing? Like Albert Einstein said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" If you are in fact following a sound training protocol but you aren't improving I'm 95 percent confident that adding more volume will help you break through your plateau. The 10 percent rule is important to follow. (Increase your volume slowly adding only 10 percent each week)

There is a reason why top 1500m runners are running 100 miles (160ish km) per week. There are adaptation that happen physiologically from running that much volume. Look at the training of the worlds top marathon runners, it's not uncommon to see weeks of mileage in the 150's during their buildups. To me this seems like something that people really need to look at in their training and ask themselves are they running as much as they can to achieve their goals. If your just running for fun, then by all means run whenever you feel so inclined and enjoy yourself, but if your serious about performance and want to run fast times, the answer is simple, do your quality workouts and run allot. 

I don't have the answers in terms of how much is enough, its going to vary from runner to runner, so do some  research, check out your running logs and analyze your volume critically and honestly. The more you run, the better runner you will become!

I'll attach an excellent piece I recently read that a friend of mine, Graydon Snyder stumbled across. It talks about the benefits of high volume in endurance sports -  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01184.x/full

I would love to hear what you all do in terms of mileage and what your "sweet spot" is in terms of managing your volume and quality workouts. We are all different, 100 miles a week isn't for everybody and that's fine. Some people can run incredibly well on very low volume, and others thrive when they are cranking out lots of time on the roads. I'm sure there is a different number out there for everyone that will work. I just want to get it out there that we don't need to be afraid of doing more. Track your training, analyze it scientifically, seek the counsel of those who have achieved success in the sport and see what you need to do to reach your goals. Comment and let me your your thoughts, tips, tricks, process!

This week of training.


As I mentioned, I had a great week of running. I got most of my easy runs in with Amanda (Wilkins). It's exciting to see her training progressing, she hit her highest week of volume last week running just about 60 miles (100km). I'm hoping by the time she goes to CIS indoor champs she is ready for a good 600m and 1000m. This coming week Kate and Peter will be back so I look forward to hitting some hard session with them. It really helps so much during this time of the year to have someone to meet for those hard grinding sessions.

Sunday

15 miles - AM
5 miles - PM

Monday

13 miles - AM
7 miles - PM

Tuesday

Workout - 4 mile hard tempo @ 10km race pace (pace for a 31:45 10km). This went very well, I started conservative running the first mile in 5:10, came back with a 5:09, then started working hard and ran the next two in 5:03 and 5:04. The average for the 4 miles was 5:07 (31:50 10km pace). This was done on the Tupper Street loop. I feel that I'm in high 31 minute 10km shape if I had the right race with people to chase. But I need more work in the 5:05 pace zone for sure, after 5km I can tell I'm really working hard. This will improve once I lower my 5km PB as well. All in all great session.

8.5 miles with workout - AM
12.5 miles (very slow) - PM

Wednesday

10 miles - AM
10 miles - PM

Thursday

12 miles - AM
8 miles - PM

Friday

Workout - 4X400m + 4 miles @ half marathon pace, then 10X10 second hill sprints. I had 2 minute active recoveries after the 400's, then a 3 minute standing break before the 4 mile tempo and then got into the hill sprints after I recovered fully. I went 68,65,66,63 for the 400's, and averaged 5:17/mile on my 4 mile tempo (goal half marathon pace is 5:19 but it was close enough) and then just focused on driving my legs and high knees on the hill sprints. I came away from the workout feeling really great and confident. I was sore the day after but it was one of my best ones this fall.

11 miles with workout - AM
9 miles - PM

Saturday

Long Run - 20 miles @ 6:52 pace. This was possibly the hardest run of the week to get through. My legs felt so tired after the workout on Friday. I wanted to work the pace down as the run progressed but I just couldn't seem to get my legs going any faster. It took me a little under 2 hours and 20 minutes. I took a gel at 1 hour and another one at 90 minutes. 

20 miles - AM
Off - PM

141 miles total for the week, one of my highest mileage weeks ever.

"That's all she wrote" for this week. It was a grind for sure but my energy levels stayed pretty high and I nailed the workouts. I'm going to drop my mileage back a bit next week and let the body absorb some of this training and volume. I still plan to get some good workouts in but hopefully average about 14-15 miles a day rather than 20. This should freshen the legs up and get me ready to roll again the following week. Next week I'll give my thoughts on the new Saucony Cortanas 3's and Mirage 3's as I've been rotating them for my easy and long runs. Hopefully we continue to get this glorious weather!

Thanks as always for tuning in,
See you next week, same time and place,
Run happy,
Dave

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Week of training Sunday November 17th - Saturday November 23rd + some VO2 max training thoughts and questions.

Hey guys,

Well, that's one more week in the books. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has stopped by to read this blog and leave comments and feedback. I was overwhelmed with the support and amount of views I've been getting so thank you so much. (Thank you to NLrunning as well)

I'll chat briefly about some questions and thoughts I have about training the VO2 max energy system all year as well as break down last weeks training.

VO2 max training all year long? Smart for development or playing with fire?


First off lets define what VO2 max really is, 

According to Wikipedia -  VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum capacity of an individuals body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual. The name is derived from V - volume, O2 - oxygen, max - maximum.
VO2 max is expressed either as an absolute rate in litres of oxygen per minute (L/min) or as a relative rate in millilitres of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute (i.e., mL/(kg·min)). The latter expression is often used to compare the performance of endurance sports athletes.

So without going to in depth in the science department, VO2 max is the key energy system that fuels our aerobic power. And running is an aerobic activity. But when training to increase or improve our VO2 system should we only target it during a specific training cycle? Or at a given time during the preparation for a goal race? We see allot of the top running coaches when putting together a training program to prepare and athlete for a "championship race" or season most will use periodization in their approach. A typical training plan for a runner training for events like the 3000m - 10000m will start with a base period, then a strength period, typically followed by a sharpening period and finally the championship racing period. Where the athlete is peaking for goal races.

When we look at the different types of training we know that VO2 is by far the most difficult and is supposed to be the most stressful. We hear top coaches such as Dr. Jack Daniels talking about how these bouts of VO2 training should be the only ones that feel hard. Rep paced running should feel "fast", threshold running should feel comfortably hard but VO2 should feel hard. Personally I find this training the most strenuous and takes me the longest to recover from. I generally do repeats of distances between 800m - 1 mile, with the goal of running them about 3000m race pace and taking half the time it took to run the interval in recovery. Needless to say when you start increasing the volume of these sessions to 5-6 miles of work, your really taxing the body and burn out can occur. So my question is, can we run these types of workouts year round to try and improve this crucial energy system, and maybe back off the frequency or volume during our less important training cycles? Or should we stick with the idea of periodization and only incorporate it when its time to build aerobic power at that given time in our season? How do you guys approach this? Do you do strait VO2 sessions? Mixed workouts? Let me know what works for you and what your thoughts are. I'm curious to know what works for different people!

This week in training.


This week was successful for sure. I was solo for 85 percent of my runs so it was mentally tough getting after workouts and a long run with the weather getting colder and the wind. But its this work and dedication that will hopefully help me gain lots of fitness in the next 5-6 months. Hopefully I will be able to get out with the speedy Adam Snow when his training resumes (5km specialist and real fastwitch runner).

Sunday

9 miles - AM
10 miles - PM

Monday

Workout - 16 X 400m @ Rep Pace. This is a standard repetition workout. I did it on the Tupper loop by my house as I didn't want to head all the way to the track. I took full recoveries of 2:00/rep. Enough time to jog back to the start of the 400m. I started them at 71 seconds for the first 4, and tried to work down the pace each subsequent 4. The last 4 averaged 65 which is good for this time of the year. The workout average was around 68 seconds.

12 miles with workout - AM
6 miles - PM

Tuesday

10 miles - AM
10 miles - PM

Wednesday

Workout - 3 X 10 minutes with 4 minutes active recovery. This went well, I started very conservative and did the first rep at 5:21 pace, the second was a bit faster at 5:08 pace, then for the last rep I ran myself into the ground and just hung on the last 3 minutes and averaged 5:00/mile pace. This was encouraging, though I wonder if the slow first rep was smart. Perhaps all of them run at goal 10km pace would have been smarter. (Done on Tupper loop).

11 miles with workout - AM
5 miles - PM

Thursday

8 miles - AM
8 miles - PM

Friday

11 miles - AM
9 miles - PM

Saturday

Long Run - 20 miles @ 7:00 pace average. Unfortunately this was done solo and it was a grind. I left my house and went down around quidi vidi lake for 4 laps then added some miles at the end. It was a decent run though. I started running the first 10 miles really easy about 7:30 pace then ran the last 10 in the 6:20-6:30 range. I find the last 3-4 miles of these runs are brutal. I need to work on my strength if I want to be running good times over 10 miles and the half marathon distance so I hope this is helping.

20 miles - AM
Off - PM


129 miles total on the week.

Thoughts


I'm pretty happy with this week. It wasn't out of this world or anything but there was 3 good days of quality running. Just keeping this going is all that needs to happen. I'd like to run about 5 miles more per week but it was nothing to complain about. On a side note I didn't get a chance to wear the Saucony Cortanas this week as I'm still waiting on a shipment of winter gear and shoes but I'll for sure wear them as soon as they come and give everyone my thoughts.

That's all for this post, back to the grind,
Run happy
Dave

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Week of training Sunday November 10th - Saturday November 16th. + LT training thoughts and questions.

Hello again,

Before I kick off this weekly update I wanted to talk about something I've been thinking about that's training related. I would love some feedback or even get a discussion going.

Lactate Threshold Training?


We know it's one of the most important energy systems to develop, but when training for primarily the 5km-10km distances how long is the optimal tempo? I mean there is always more then one way of doing things and achieving the same goal. But I feel that Lactate Threshold training is something allot of people see as confusing, myself included. The principal of the training being to improve our bodies ability to clear lactic acid accumulation while running. What I'm wondering is, for 5km-10km specific training what is the most effective sessions to use? For me this season, my tempo runs have been between 4-5 miles (continuous) at paces between 5:15/mile - 5:25/mile depending on the course and distance. But I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps longer tempos are necessary? I say this as I've been following some runners recently who have been training for the marathon and doing very long LT sessions during their buildup and they have run new personal bests over the 5km and 10km during their buildup so it has me doing some thinking. I'd love to hear what you all think and what works for you so leave a comment and let me know.

This Week in Training.


This week was excellent as I was able to do my quality workouts and long run with Kate and Peter Bazeley. Kate is one of the top female distance runners in the country and is a fellow Saucony Hurricane teammate. She is in a buildup now for her marathon debut and is really rolling. Her husband, Peter, is one of the top runners in the province and is super consistent, so having them there for the workouts this week was excellent and I think we all made some great progress. Hopefully we get more workouts in as the fall moves along. 

Sunday 

8 miles easy - AM
8 miles easy - PM

Monday

10 miles easy - AM
10 miles easy - PM

Tuesday

Workout - 7.25 mile tempo run. (This was a great session done on the always hard mundy pond course. Peter and I started nice and controlled at about 5:40 pace then worked it down until we started running 5:20's. Our average for the tempo was 5:25/mile which I was very happy with. Kate had a great workout as well and ended up running faster then her prescribed pace).

13 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM

Wednesday

12 miles easy - AM
8 miles easy - PM

Thursday

Workout - 8 minutes (3 minutes rest) 3X2 minutes (2 minutes rest) 8 minutes. (Very good workout as well. I don't normally do time based session but I really enjoyed this one. We did it on the Tupper Laurier loop. Peter and I talked about running the 8 minute segments @ 5:15 pace but we got a little jumpy and averaged 5:02 pace for the first 8 minutes, 4:47 pace for the 2 minute segments, then 5:06 for the last 8 minute segment. All in all great session)

12 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM

Friday

13 miles easy- AM
8 miles easy- PM

Saturday 

Long Run - Kate, Peter and myself got after a 35km/22 mile run out and back on the old railway bed. (We averaged 6:42/mile pace on the run, my legs felt tired coming back the last 3-4 miles. We got to run about 30 minutes with Colin Fewer mid way which is always a nice treat (the provinces top runner, 7 time tely 10 winner, fellow Saucony teammate and 30 minute 10km performer))

22 miles - AM
Off - PM

138 miles total on the week.

Thoughts

Tremendous week of training, plenty of miles and the workouts went without a hitch. That's one more done and written in the log. Time to regroup and get after it again next week. I'm going to be trying out the new Saucony Cortana 3's  this week for all my easy miles. So I will let everyone know how I find them. I'm looking to get into a more plush daily trainer as the majority of my miles will now be on the roads in the winter. I normally like to run all my miles in the Kinvara 4 but I'm going to try this out and see how it goes. Stay tuned!

Until next time keep your stick on the ice
Run happy
Dave

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Training the week of Sunday November 3rd - Saturday November 9th 2013

This is a little late for posting last week's training but I'll have this week's up on Sunday, Work has been busy as I've been staying later on account of trying to get longer lunch runs in.

The approach I'm taking with this fall and winter is that I'm not going to try and hit home runs and kill every workout. But rather, focus on the quality of the entirety of these next 5-6 months before I target 2 Spring 10kms (The Sun Run and Yonge Street). If I can make small gains in fitness and be even 0.1% better today then I was yesterday I'll be ready to run some fast times this spring and hopefully roll out a sub 31:30 on one of those first two 10km s.

This week of training went well with 2 workouts and 121.5 miles run in total.

Sunday

9 miles easy - AM
9 miles easy - PM

Monday

Workout - 3 mile sustained high end aerobic tempo + 10 X 250m hills (4:56 pace for the tempo and ran the hills hard, about 5:30 pace on average with 5 minutes rest after the tempo and jogging 250m down the hill after the 250m hill reps.) - Great workout, really hurt the last mile of the tempo, but that was well outside my lactic threshold pace so that's understandable. 

13 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM

Tuesday

10 miles easy AM
11 miles easy PM

Wednesday

10 miles easy - AM
10.5 miles easy - PM

Thursday

Workout - 4 mile tempo on the Tupper Street loop 21:12 total time (5:18/mile average pace) - This was a great effort and shows me I'm fitter then I was a couple months ago. It was very controlled, the first mile was slow, ran in 5:29 and each subsequent mile got faster while remaining in my target zone and finished with a 5:12 mile.

10 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM

Friday

12 miles easy - AM
6 miles easy - PM

Saturday

7 miles easy - AM
(single run day, legs needed a break)


So all in all I'm happy with this. I like hitting 20 miles each day and running 140 miles/week but I won't complain about this at all. I've got to keep telling myself, stringing weeks of training like this together will make the difference next spring. Patience is key.

Until next time,
Run Happy
Dave

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

And so it begins.

Hello world, or whoever is out there reading!

I must confess I never figured myself as a blogger, but why not start. If nothing else it will serve as an outlet to document the journey of my running as I attempt to progress in a sport that has been very good to me and one I'm very passionate about.

This blog is going to focus on my training and the journey that I'm embarking upon as I try to improve as a distance runner and make the jump to the next level.

A little introduction before I kick things off. I'm David, or Dave, I'll answer to either and I'm from St. John's Newfoundland, Canada. I'm 27 years old and took up the sport of running in 2010 to try and get myself into shape after leading a fairly sedentary university students lifestyle from the time I finished high school and stopped playing hockey.

So to make a long story short I jumped into a local 5km race and got my behind handed to me. I figured I was still in halfway decent shape but that was not the case. I ran a little over 20 minutes and was not happy about it. Looking back now it was not a bad performance as I was carrying allot more muscle and some non essential mass at the time and was roughly 200 pounds which wasn't that bad on my 6 foot 1 inch frame but certainly not good for an aerobic sport like running. After the race I got that runners high and wanted to beat the time I had just run. So one thing led to another and I began racing every road race in town that year and running allot of mileage without even realising. I was putting in about 80-90 miles a week (135ish km's) with no training structure to speak of. Just running for the pure enjoyment of the sport and the feeling it was giving me. By the end of the year I had dropped down to my current weight of about 145 pounds and was somewhat competitive on the local level setting personal best of 16:50 for 5km and 34:56 for 10km. I was hooked from that point and knew I wanted to keep training. The next couple of years from 2011-2012 I continued in my high mileage ways but was doing little in terms of structured quality running and didn't have much if any road map or method to my madness. I had some training partners that are amazing guys and have helped me immensely but I was not training smartly for what I was trying to achieve. At the end of the 2012 season my personal best had dropped to 15:53 for 5km, 25:47 for 8km, 32:47 for 10km and 54:56 for 10 miles. Improvements were happening and I was becoming competitive but not anything near where I wanted to be. So I decided to seek the counsel of a friend and an AMAZING runner in his own right Craig. A Masters runner from BC whom I had met in 2010 when I participated in the 10km National Championships. I bounced training ideas off him and just learnt from his ways and years of experience. I put in a great fall and winter for 2012/2013 and built a large base with a string of 16 weeks of 125+ miles/week with some quality tossed in once a week to keep the speed close by. I then began to train with some structure and kept running high mileage while doing 2-3 hard sessions a week, mostly on the track. I enjoyed my best season to date thus far and lowered my personal bests to 15:33 for 5km, 25:24 for 8km, 32:08 for 10km and 53:58 for 10 miles. I'm very happy with this season but I'm hungry for much more and I know that I'm only scratching the surface. I feel that I have the potential with the right training to run much much faster and so the journey begins. I plan on doing all the little things now, the stretching, drills, core work, cross training and really dialling in my nutrition as I hope to make much bigger strides towards my goals this coming spring. I would like to lower my personal bests in the 5 and 10km to under 15 minutes and under 31:30 by the time the spring rolls around. No small feat, but as they say nothing ventured nothing gained. I feel I'm in better shape then my current PB's indicate but I need to put in allot of work to progress to my next set of goal.

So in concluding I will be updating this blog about once a week with training updates, random ramblings and possibly some equipment reviews. I'm fortunate to have teamed up with the best running company out there in Saucony and am thrilled to have them as my sponsor. So look for some gear reviews and updates on new things they have coming to running shops near you.

That's all for now,
Run Happy,
Dave