Saturday, 22 March 2014

Week of training Sunday March 16th - Saturday March 22ed + Thoughts on easy days + Rant on why pro track/road running isn't main stream

Hey friends,

Well, I'm back into the grove, felt a little under the weather early in the week and had a little bit of a head cold even the last couple days but the work still got done and progress was made. I kind of added a few miles to the end of my week haphazardly because I missed a day and had one day with only 3 miles. I don't mind not running super high volume but I like to at least hit a 100.

Is everyone getting excited for the spring race season? I don't know I'f I'm more amped for my own races, or for the major marathons and track races that come with the months of April and May. I know the London Marathon is going to be a BARN BURNER! Like, I can't even call who will be in the top five, except for Mutai, man is that guy nails. When Farah (Mo) went down there at the NYC half it was like a gun went off, the man just took off. It's clear when he's in a race right now that he's the Alpha Male and everyone is sort of just waiting to see what he's going to do. What an engine that guy has. Props to Stephen Sambu (Former University of Arazona stand out and team mate of the ultra fast Lawi Lalang, on a side note what a crew Coach Li has out there, I guess everyone from Kenya flocked there after they saw the success Bernard Lagat had). Sorry for that rant ha, love me some NCAA D1 action ha, but yeah, great to see Sambu try to go with Mutai but it was just like a kitten playing with a lion. Mutai will be hard to beat. The only person I see giving him trouble is Kipsang, and he can't race stupidly like he did in the London Olypics or it's game over. Then we have Boston in about a month now which will be pretty decent too, not as talent heavy as London, (or Rotterdam either in my opinion). But always a great race. But what has me really excited is early season track and field where we will see all the pros opening up outdoors at the Stanford invite, Payton Jordan, Mt. Sac, Oxy, heck the Penn Relays are always pretty sweet as well. So have an eye for that. Look for our boy Kelly Wiebe to be lighting up some races and Ryan Brockerville throwing down in the steeple. Because this is an off year with no world champs or Olympics expect people to chase after some fast times, I hear Asbel Kiprop will be taking a crack at the 1500m WR at the Hercules Diamond League meet in Monaco.

Rant Alert!

I'll end my talk on the world of track and field/road running there or maybe I'll keep going just a little. I get a little carried away talking about people running fast. One thing that puzzles me about this sport is that people love it and actively participate in it but yet they don't follow it? How does that make sense? I think part of the problem is with the governing bodies and not enough advertising/pushing it in the main stream. But allot of it is on us as well. I mean people who have never played hockey will religiously watch and check for updates, I'm guilty of loving MMA and Basketball yet I've never grappled or played ball......I don't know. I just find it strange that I can get on the start line of just about any race locally or nationally and only a hand full of people would be able to tell me who Ezekiel Kemboi is and why it's so amazing he can run under 8 minutes for a 3km steeple, or who the phenom younger Dibaba sister is and about her amazing string of world records she set indoors this winter. Maybe I'm being a bit ridiculous but I think it's strange that running is one of the most widely participated sport both recreationally and somewhat competitively but yet hardly anyone pays any attention to the world class athletes that shape the sport for the rest of us. End rant.

How easy should we run on easy days?

I think this is a topic that confuses allot of people, myself included. My friend Josh Seifarth ( running coach/athlete check him out) brought to my attention that one of the chaps on the form had asked about it, we sort of figured it could get interesting so we are having a look at who jumps in and offers advice. I'll talk about it briefly but anyone out there reading who would care to offer up some advice or comment please do. What I've learned about this sport is there are many ways of doing things and the more I learn, as with all things in life, the more I realize I don't know. So please feel free to offer up your opinion/advice in the comments section bellow. 

I've spoken with lots of different people about this and I've seen many people approach easy days in allot of different ways. I suppose we could just use the old saying of "go by feel". Well, most new runners and a lot of experienced runners have no concept of feel and they just run at a pace that's too fast, where they are leading to an onset fatigue that may hinder a workout later in the week. So at that end we know this is not an easy day. I'll post what I think is the best bit of knowledge out there about this topic, Josh posted this on the forms and it really sums things up nicely, it's from the great Italian Coach Renato Canova it reads;

Has the goal to better and faster recover the effects of fatigue after tough training. If the normal basic level of lactate in an athlete is 1.2 / 1.5 mml/l, after a hard workouts (expecially in the lactic zone) the level remains higher for 2-3 days, if the athlete goes to rest. Instead, after an EASY RUN, he is able to remove the residual lactate, and his lactic level can decrease under 1.0 mml/l, with a feeling of wellbeing. 

For every event we have different speeds of REGENERATION, but normally the right speed is about 60-70 % of the speed of the Threshold. So, in case of a top Marathon runner, having a Threshold about 2:48 per km, we can speak of Regeneration when he runs slower than 3'40" / 3'45". In this case, 3'45" or 5' have the same effect, but many times running too slowly provokes mechanical problems. 

Instead, for a good 800m runner (1'44") coming from 400m, and having a Threshold of 18 km/h (3'20" per km), Rigeneration is running slower than 4'10" / 4'20", but, because the biomechanical difference between the speed of the race (13" every 100m) and the speed of regeneration is very evident, sometimes is better to use other systems (pool, sauna or other situations not involving wrong running technique)."

Obviously this is rather scientific but that's the best way to break down and easy day. The goal is to get your body back to where your physiologically able to preform another workout and to begin stressing your body with another stimulus. I don't know how many times I've seen people running themselves into the ground day in day out. I'll admit at first when I saw it and noted that these people were allot faster then me at races I wanted to jump on the band wagon, (Note that I was just starting running at this point and wasn't very fast, not that I'm uber fast now but you get the symmetry I'm going for.), but after realizing that I'm not getting any faster if I'm not recovering and receiving the training effect from new stimulus I'll never make any progress. This has made a huge difference in my development.

I think the big take away from this is that "easy day" is a relative term, and needs to be individual. For example Canova offers that of the easy pace for his 1'44" 800m runner, obviously that's world class and it's going to be adapted to his needs. My friend Jeremiah is running 6:10ish/mile pace on his easy day's and for his fitness, when he's in top form that works for him. For me I'm closer to 7 minute pace then 6 minute pace on an easy day, for someone else it could be 9 minute pace. The best thing to do is be honest with yourself about your fitness and run according to that as well as think "Regeneration"

This week in training


3 miles - AM


OFF (felt sick and had the beginning of a flu, tried to nip it early)


Workout - 8X4minutes with 2 minutes easy jog recovery. The goal was to run this faster then race pace for 10km and see how I felt. It went well, I was coming through the kilometre in anywhere between 3:01-3:05. I needed the 2 minute recovery where I wasn't feeling 100% but I was happy with the session. 

6 miles - AM
13.2 miles with workout - PM


15 miles medium long run at about 6:05 pace ended with 8 strides - AM


Workout - 10 mile tempo, or an attempted 10 mile tempo. I felt good the first half of the run but I had a rough patch there around the middle and contemplated stopping. I told myself get to 10km and then you can make it. I got through 10km right on pace in 33:08 (I was looking for 33:00 but it's hard to nail down paces on a long tempo on the roads). And after that things got ugly I ran a 5:33 mile and started slowing down so I called it. I'd rather stop then push through when I'm not feeling 100%. I made it to 8 miles with an average pace of 5:22/mile. That's not bad. I wanted to hit 10 miles in 53:00 picking up the last 2 but it wasn't there that day. No shame in calling it.

4 miles - AM
12 miles/no cool down - PM (I felt sorry for myself and walked to my car....won't happen next time)


8.2 miles - AM
10.1 miles with 15' of diagonals  - PM


Workout - 25X200m, I did this last week but my friends Jason and Joe were meeting at the track and I love me some 200's....had to be done. Just really wanted to work on having good rhythm and practising the frequency of my cadence while holding my form, we took 1 lap jog recoveries and traded off taking the pace. The majority of the 200's were 31's with the scattered 32/33 and a couple of 30's. Held my form well though. 

12 miles with workout - AM
8 miles gently - PM

So as you can see the last half of the week was a bit ridiculous. But as I sit here typing this on Saturday after supper I feel good about the week and I'm over my flu except for a runny nose. I didn't get my 100 miles, but that's alright, no need to kill myself for the sake of a number in my training log. 91.5 will do and there was allot of quality in there.

Well that post was a little longer for sure, I wanted to touch on a few topics so I'm glad I got that in there, shoe review coming next week for the new Type A's. Awesome shoe, all the lightness and responsiveness you've grown to love in the previous generation but with a little more under foot, yet it's lighter.....the fine men and women at Saucony know shoes let me tell ya. I'll toss my review up mid week.

Alright I've got to clue this up, not that I have any crazy plans or anything, I've just now discovered the awesomeness that is Boardwalk's all consuming, ha :).

Thanks as always for stopping by, I really appreciate it.
Run strong,


  1. nice post. Just curious what your average daily nutrition looks like? How strict are you with it? Pre run/post run?
    Daily caloric intake?

    1. Hey Mike,

      Thanks for reading.

      I would say my nutrition is normally spot on during the week when I'm on my daily schedule of getting up early, running, going to work, get off and do my second run, then head home for the night. However on weekend's I'm not as strict as I should be but I try to dial things in when I've got an important race coming up.

      A day of eating normally looks like this, (Keep in mind I'm running over 100 miles a week and doing a couple of pool running sessions so I'm not really counting calories much but I do track my macronutrients.)

      5:30am - Wake up have a cup of coffee with skim milk and a little splenda
      5:30am - Run #1
      6:45am - Post run, 1 cup of oats with frozen berries, flax seed, 35 grams of whey isolate and a handful of mixed nuts. (I'll have a multivitamine, 5 grams of fish oil and an iron supplement with this meal)
      10:30am - 50 grams of whey isolate with 100 grams of a complex carb source. This might be a couple bagels or even a couple cookies, (The key thing is getting in 100 grams of carbs in some form and 50 grams of high quality protein)
      12:00pm - Lunch, I'll normally have a couple of sandwiches made with either tuna, chicken or turkey. (This normally has about 70 grams of protein and 140ish grams of carbs)
      2:30pm - Whey isolate shake 50 grams, just the protein powder mixed with water and some mixed nuts (I'm just getting this in me so I'm not hungry for my run)
      5:15pm Run #2
      6:30pm - Supper is normally pretty big, anywhere between 10-12oz of a protein source fatty or lean, could be fish, chicken, steak, whatever I have around, some fibrous vegies and about 100 grams of carbs in the form of rice or pasta.
      9:30pm - 250 grams of cottage cheese, with some almond butter and an ample before bed and if I'm having some trouble getting to bed I'll take some melatonin and a ZMA supplement.

      So, I mean it's allot of food but I'm burning about 2300 calories through running each day normally. I don't really count calories or worry about my fat intake but I try to get about 250 grams of protein and about 500 grams of carbohydrates. I'd guess my fat intake is about 75-90 grams/day. I find I need this much to not be sore from all the mileage and quality workouts.

      Calories would be in the ball park of 3500 maybe 4000 if I eat out at lunch.

      Now this is how I eat during the week, on weekends I'll allow myself some freedom, but 90% of the time the diet is pretty good.

      If I can offer any nutrition advice or anything just let me know. I find nutrition to be very individualized. Some people are insulin sensitive and need to time their carbohydrate intake differently, others maybe don't need as much protein or fat. It all comes down to your daily caloric expenditure as well as your basal metabolic rate.

      I hope this is of some help and insight :)