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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Weight Routine

I’ve been lifting weights 3x/week since October, getting into a nice pre-work routine at Anytime Fitness in Springfield.  A gentleman “regular”, who I see routinely, recently approached me and requested that I write out what I do each day.  Apparently I fly around fast enough that he can’t quite tell.  I wrote it out, so I figured I might as well post it here. 

Focus:
  • General strength
  • Aerobic/Anaerobic stamina
  • The ability to work one group, then work a separate/opposing group while the previous group is resting
  • EFFICIENCY – trying to get in and out of the gym quickly!
 Strategy:
  • Alternate UPPER and LOWER body
  • Alternate “flexion” versus “extension” exercises (if applicable)
  • CIRCUIT-STYLE – do one set of an exercise, the quick rotate to next
  • Two sets of TWO different circuits
CIRCUIT ONE
  • Horizontal Row
  • Squat (either bar or dumbbell)
  • Lat Pulldown
  • Calf Raise
  • Ball Push-ups
  • Side Plank/Leg Raises
CIRCUIT TWO
  • Bicep Curl
  • Single Leg Good Morning
  • Bent Flys
  • (Roman Chair – sometimes, now phasing out due to time/redundancy)
  • Leg Extension
  • Pull-Ups (Assisted à Full)
  • Leg Flexion
NOTES:
  • I do a 2 minute elliptical warm-up
  • I do TEN reps of everything except for ball push-ups (x20) and single arm/leg exercises (x10 each = x20)
  • When possible I RUN/JOG between machines or lifts (if it’s more than 10’ or 20’ away)
  • The entire routine – the warm-up, 300 total reps – takes <20 minutes
  • The goal is NOT to rush the reps – I try to take at least 2 seconds / rep
 Runners need to RUN.  However, resistance strength is vitally important. I fault my lack of weight training in my TCM build-up for the calf/heel issues I've had since.  And you can't argue with an hour a week for that quality.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Odds & Ends

Random musings:
  • Friday Confidence Boost: running "easy" 300 repeats in 4:25 - 4:40 pace and feeling strong.
  • Saturday Confidence Shatter: sliding and slopping around at Hagg Lake, wondering how the hell anyone could run under 8:00 pace on that crap (as the top 3 all did), and wondering how Max King ran 3:26 on that course*.
!*Answer: the course was FROZEN in 2010!)
  • This week I read one of Mr. Ball's posts about "Western States Widows", and the resulting discussion, which highlighted the importance of balance in a runner's life, with respect to The Important Things - friends, family, careers.  The discussion resonated with me; I need to do better.  Do better at sacrificing and compromising, but also a better job of involving and integrating loved ones into this "lifestyle".  I believe THAT is the key; as such, I'm so happy that my family ("the entourage") is enthusiastic about my WS100 run. 
  • As such, the plan for this week:  NO Fall Creek Run-Around on Saturday; instead, on Friday afternoon: Sharps Creek Rd (road course, but BIG ELEVATION), then a weekend away in YACH-ets w/Britt.  Bonus: Britt gets to hone her crewing skills (on bike?)....or, if the weather is brutal, x3 Ridgeline/Spencer Laps
  • Almost finished reading a fascinating book, Deep Survival.  Check it out.  Many, many lessons and applications to rather extreme endeavors such as WS.  I'll write about it more here in a bit...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Waxing Philosophic

After three weeks of >40 miles and three legitimate (e.g. >10mi) long runs, I consider myself officially "back" from my "three month tour of Europe, Scandinavia, and the Subcontinent".  It's been great, though there are still minor issues I continue to work through -- namely AM stiffness in both heels.

Ultra training -- the concept as much as the day-to-day -- has been such a liberating experience thus far.  Gone is the pressure to run FAST; rather, the mindset is to "Run like you have to run a hundred miles".  Rather than forcing a pace, the focus is relaxation and efficiency.

But the interesting thing: I feel FASTER!  From a biomechanical aspect, this makes perfect sense -- before maximal speed/force, there must be technical excellence.  There's a reason why golf instructors implore their students to "swing easy" -- because one must learn to perfect the technique while relaxed before you can amplify.  To "Grip and Rip" is to risk penalty strokes.  The same is true for fast and hard running with less-than ideal mechanics.

It'll be interesting to see, in the coming weeks, if my overall footspeed truly IS faster.  

But even better: running is far more enjoyable.  With the exception of Friday's "Illness Run", every long run I've done in the past three weeks, I've felt like I could go hours longer.  I'm sure this is reflective of the "7-week freshener", but I also think it's in large part due to relaxed, efficient mechanics.  Running is FUN!

Random Musings...

...I'm almost for-sure in for Chuckanut 50K, thanks to a petition to the RD and a waitlist placing.  I look forward to that weekend, for equal parts competition/ability testing and pre-/mid-/post-race ultra running community.

...Ian Sharman just ran 7:38 pace for 100 miles at Rocky Raccoon.  Wow.  Awesome.  This is an example, and a prelude to where ultra running is heading:  Mechanics + Nutrition + Toughness = incredible performances like we've never seen before.  I look forward to "racing him" at AR50, and WS100 this year.

...I spent probably 4 hours this weekend on this Google search: "Western States Race Report".  Read about a lot of bad races, and a lot of mistakes; and I learned a lot.  Among the best, informative success stories:

Meghan Arobgast ('10);
Bryon Powell ('05);
and coincidentally, Iam Sharman ('10).

Ian ran the most simple strategy for his 8th place WS/100-mile ultra debut:  
  • Run really easy early (30th place through the first third), 
  • Drink nearly exclusively electrolyte drink (including his own Nuun-supplemented water), and 
  • Eat early, often and a lot.  
His only hiccup: forgetting to mix in Nunn tablets into his water at Foresthill, resulting in a 18-mile hyponatremic stretch that maybe cost him 20-30 minutes.

Thus far, his is the template for my debut.