Kids need to burn some energy? Two follow along workouts!

If you are like the Humphrey family, you have now entered the world of homeschooling! In Michigan, schools are shut down until April 12th. However, my teacher friends are telling me that there is little chance of the year being finished out. Either way, your kids need to move. You need to move! Coach Nikki has added some videos with our daughter Josephine. These are a great way to hit the reset button.

Workout #1

Workout #2

If you like these videos, subscribe to Nikki’s Youtube channel “Communitas Wellness” and be notified with every workout uploaded!

20 Minute Endurance Athlete Workout

Working remotely? Gym closed? That fitness ain’t gonna gain itself! Coach Nikki offers you a 20 minute workout you can do anywhere with little to know equipment!

 

20 Minute Workout for Endurance Athletes

 

Coach Nikki is the strength coach for LHR. If you’d like to see some of the programs she offers, check out her page HERE. Programs are focused to endurance athletes and can be completed with limited equipment and space. She also offers strength and mindset programs. 

Virtual Race Updates

LHR Virtual Spring Races

Just wanted to thank everyone has registered for our virtual race. Since my original post, we have had some updates to post!

  • We have added 5k and 10k options
  • You can register for multiple events. So you can do the 5k and 10k, 10k and half marathon, or whatever combo you want. There is a discount for multiple events. The more you run the bigger the discount and is applied automatically.
  • Wrapping up medal design
  • Our friends below have all chipped in and ensured that we will have some nice swag opportunities!
    • Athletic Brewing
    • Velopress
    • Hansons Running Shops
    • Ann Arbor Running Company

The window for any race is already open and you have until May 4th, 2020 to upload your results. We hope we can help you have a good finish to your spring racing season.  Visit our race site for info and registration!

Spring Race Cancellation: Preparing for the fall

With all the questions regarding maintenance plans to reduce the impact of having races cancelled and then filling the void until you need to start training for your fall races, although Boston technically will still be summer. How weird was that to write? Let’s lay out some timelines and the courses of action possible.

However, before that, I would say that scheduling any race before mid-May at this point will probably be in vein. I just have a gut feeling that this will be the earliest that races resume, but I even think that first part of June. I think the sooner it heats up, the faster this thing dies off and life returns to normal. Ok, so with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s hit it!

4 weeks: 3/16 to 4/12: Rest and Recovery

  1. 7-10 days OFF. Now if you made it through a training block and raced in whatever fashion, then this means no running. It doesn’t mean no exercise though. I think walking, leisure biking, light yoga is all great things and may actually help speed recovery.
  2. Then, I usually prescribe 30 minutes a day or every other day. The next 10 days.
  3. The 4th week is usually 5 days/week of 30-60 minutes of easy running.
  4. If people start strides, I usually do that in the late stages of the third week.

The point is regeneration and recovering from all the hard work that has been done.

In this case, it just might be a good time to hit the reset button.

Now, this doesn’t have to fit in perfectly, you can add, subtract, adjust how to fit your needs.

Now, let’s look at timelines:

For Boston:

18 weeks out is May 11th. So, if planning on following one of the classic plans, this would be a start date for you. But that means from right now. From 3/15/20 to then that is 9 weeks total, then subtract your rest period. From Mid April that’s 5 weeks. In either case that’s not a lot of time. It’s not really enough time to get ready to run any kind of races. I would suggest just following a base plan of 6 weeks and adjusting to fit the timeline. Personally, I’d probably just cut the last week off. Build your volume to 75-80% of peak volume. Start with lower intensity workouts, and then put some speed in towards the end. Goal is general fitness. 

London:

If training for London, then 18 weeks out is 6/1/20, which leaves you 11 weeks from now, or 7 weeks from a 4 week recovery period. Still not a ton of time and I think you’d be better off just doing a base building plan as described above. I would rather see it spaced out, rather than cramming a mini-segment in. I would hate to start a new segment that means more to you with some aches and pains that weren’t necessary.

Now, for most of you, an 18 week schedule after just doing a half or full marathon training block, and then a base building block is a long time. I would not be opposed to shortening that marathon segment up to 14 weeks and that will be plenty of time to recapture that fitness. So, in this case, the start date would be June 8 for Boston and June 29 for London. This would give you ample time to run a dedicated speed segment of 8-12 weeks (can adjust for in between weeks). This allows you to really work on some dedicated speed, some gears you don’t hit with marathon training, and an opportunity to get those racing flats out a few times.

Just make sure to leave yourself 5-7 days of light running and a couple days off before starting the marathon segment again!

What about other fall marathons or half marathons?

The same ideas discussed above will work for other races. The biggest thing to do is take your race date and back up the desired number of weeks. Just remember that the longer you want to make your marathon buildup, the less time you’ll have between recovery now and the start of that segment.

The shortest amount of time I suggest for a speed segment is 8 weeks.

The longest would be 12-14, but 14 is really pushing it.

What if I am planning on running both Boston or London, along with the fall marathon I am already signed up for?

Here is where things get tricky. First, I think you have to consider when your latest marathon will take place and how many weeks between that and either Boston or London. The length of time between those two will really dictate what your options are. If you are running anything in October, along with London (yuck) or Boston, then that’s a really tough turnaround. I personally think that you choose one or the other to really race. Both have pros and cons. I think we know that September to early/mid October can still be really hot.

Heat and Boston’s course has never really fared well. London is flat and fast, so you might get away with it.

It might be a race week decision, too! I usually tell people that the best chance for success is the first one, but this may be a unique situation. Now, if later, say a Boston and New York combo, you’d have like 7-8 weeks, which might not be a bad option. I actually ran Indianapolis in mid November and Houston in mid January with Houston being slightly faster (even though I was about 10 pounds heavier and really not that motivated). I just think the shorter the window, the less likely it is to run both really well.

My best advice would be to pick one race, base my training around that and either use the first race as a long run or the second race as a victory lap (depending on what you choose).

If you pick the first race, go all in on that and back your training start date from that race. Just use the time between the first and second to get your legs back under you. If you pick the second race as the A race, then use that as your guide for a training start date and then the first race will have to be considered a hard workout, or big long run. Just make sure that if this is the case, then there is a few extra days recovery time after the first marathon. You also really have to be on point with all recovery options- sleep, fueling, hydration, cryo, boots, whatever you have access too- pull out all the stops that following week.

I know this is not a perfect situation but it can still be a successful situation.

With the right mindset, the right planning, and a positive attitude, it can all be conquered! Best of luck on your training.

What I laid out here can be adjusted to fit whatever your present situation is and whatever your fall racing plans are.

If you are interested in plans I have created, please check out the plans I have updated, including recovery, base, Boston marathon, half and full marathon plans. 

These plans are instant access via Final Surge. They can be customized to fit your needs by easy drag and drop to fit your specific schedules. They are built on Final Surge’s custom workout builder which allows you to be able to sync to many GPS (take all the guesswork out of what your workout should be). You can apply these plans by your specific start or end date and will be able to have all workouts at your specific paces. From now until the end of March, these plans will be 50% off so you can map out much of your 2020. You also have lifetime access to these plans to reapply in the future.

Luke Humphrey Running Training Plans

If your race has been canceled, but still want to take advantage of your fitness, I have set up a virtual race to help you add some finality to the segment. You can check out all the details in the link below. 

Virtual Race

Was your race cancelled? We might be able to help.

What’s interesting is they I coach people in China and in Italy, so they are really feeling the pressure. Luckily they are ok and my athlete in China is actually seeing life start to return to normal. For us in the United States, things got REAL this week. Races, high school sports, professional sports, concerts, and pretty much any public gathering became a no-no. Personally, my daughter is now out of school until April 12th. It’s a crazy time. It’s a tough time. For a lot of us, running is our source of mind-clearing, work shedding, and endorphin gaining well being. To not run a race is certainly not the end of the world, but it can certainly leave a void. It was to be the finality of a training segment that lasted through the nastiness of cold dark winters, only to have mother nature show you who is really in charge.

So, what are our options? One is to finish out your training so that while these plans may be altered, you can still be on track for your summer and fall racing plans. That’s what a lot of my athletes wanted and so we thought of how we can do that. We all understand that running itself is a reward and a gift. However, so are finisher medals. A small token of a job well done. A stamp of approval on a completed journey. That’s why I created a virtual race. That’s funny because as I write this, the only thing virtual is the signup! The work is physical. The medal will be physical. The effort is human and not AI-powered. So, in reality, all this ends up being is a way for all of us to get some closure to a race segment and maintain a sense of normalcy in our routine.

What I have done is created a half marathon and marathon option for you. The window was opened from 3/1/20 and will close on 5/3/20 to allow the vast majority of you to complete your training as scheduled and run your “race” on the scheduled date. A great opportunity to get your friends grouped together and make it a team effort. If you have a run club training for the same event, even better! Throw a big party afterward! We will be sending medals after the window closes and are working on finding something cool for you to have. We are also working on securing some swag through our friends in the wonderful running community. At the very least, you know LHR will hook you up with something!

 

If you are interested in joining this virtual party, please check out the registration party here.

 

Coronavirus: Resources, thoughts, action plans

Coach Mike Morgan laid out a very grounded, reasonable response to his athletes regarding corona virus and I thought it would be great to post here. Also, below, I posted a video I made a few days later. This addresses what I think your three main options are regarding upcoming races. Stay safe, be sensible, and don’t lose your cool out there.

From Coach Mike:

I don’t want to be Fear Monger Mike, but we’ve been getting a lot of messages regarding the virus, and wanted to offer up a couple of thoughts as it relates to us as coaches/athletes. I’m not going to discuss interaction with the virus, or facts surrounding it in regards to our daily lives, there’s plenty of that information out there, and that’s not the purpose of this email.

Regardless of what you believe about the virus, the reality is that companies are making organizational adjustments due to it. Over the past few days, we have seen both the Paris and Rome Marathons pivot and unfortunately, this could continue into the spring/summer/fall.

Here are a couple of thoughts and suggestions for you as athletes:

1. You can certainly look at back up race options, but there’s no guarantee that THESE events will take place, ugh…. I know.

2. When booking, I definitely suggest understanding the potential cancellation polices, including the race, airline, and hotel. Most of these avenues are being ultra-flexible, but make sure you know what you are getting into.

3. Consider your insurance options. Talking with Coach Luke, he bought that optional flight insurance for his Boston flights, just in case. Another underutilized option is to see if your credit card offers a trip interruption insurance, most do. I recently got all of my money back for my Houston flight through my Visa card, a bit of paperwork, but you pay for these services, might as well use them if necessary!

4. If a race does get canceled or moved, I am hopeful that they will accommodate the athletes with deferred entries or refunds.

5. Finally, control the controllable. We can’t control the decisions of these cities and race organizations, however, we can control our physical and mental preparation. For me, I’m not going to waste a bunch of time and energy wondering if a race is going to go on, rather, I’m going to train for it until I hear otherwise. As an athlete, I’d hate to plan on a cancellation, slack in my training, then not be prepared on the starting line.

 

 

Podium Runner: Coping with race cancellation

 

Luke Humphrey Personal Coaching!

 

RED-S: What it is and why it’s important

RED-S or relative energy deficiency syndrome is an evolution from the female athlete triad syndrome. This is good because energy deficiency isn’t just a problem for women. In my experience, men are just as likely to have issues with diet as women are. On top of that, the effects of consuming too little or offsetting by exercising more can have a detrimental effect on performance and health. We can leach calories away from vital bodily processes in order to sustain our training. Today’s video goes into how we can establish a baseline understanding and some practical advice.

 

 

 

 

Luke Humphrey Personal Coaching!

 

Product Spotlight: Isalean Shake

Runners are now recognizing that protein plays a big role in endurance performance. However, what we are seeing is that a lot of our athletes, they simply aren’t getting enough. To make matters worse, the protein that they are getting in, is of fairly poor quality. It was in my own diet that I recognized this, and decided to utilize the Isalean shake in my own diet.

So how much protein do we need? For the longest time, protein requirements were no more than that of the average person, at 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a 150 pound person, you’re looking at about 55 grams of protein. However, new recommendations are 1.2-1.6 g/kg of body weight and I have seen all the “whey” up to 2.0 grams. For that same 150 pound person, you are looking at a new amount of 82-110 grams. Potentially, they may need as much as 136 grams! Now, a lot of this depends on the size of the person, how hard they are training, and where they are at in their training cycle. But, you get the point, it’s significantly more protein than what was previously thought.

Why we need more as endurance athletes

While we aren’t bodybuilders trying to bulk up, our body is constantly turning over tissue. These are exponential with the amount we are training. We aren’t talking just muscle, but amino acids (protein broken down) is vital to things like connective tissue and blood components!

While carbohydrate and fat provide so much of the energy needed to run, protein does provide some fuel source. Protein can provide up to 5% of energy demands. This number is not a game changer, but also note that if you are on a low carb diet, then the amount of protein providing fuel for exercise increases by even greater numbers.

Why I chose Isagenix Isalean

The Isalean shake is so much more than a simple protein powder. It’s 24 grams of undenatured whey protein. If you are not sure what that means, it’s simply not boiled to death so all the good stuff is cooked out. The dairy that Isagenix uses comes from grass fed cows with no antibiotics or hormones. On top of that the shake includes 23 essential vitamins and trace minerals.

These shakes are loaded with all the things I need- including essential fatty acids and high quality complex carbohydrates. For me, it made getting all the quality nutrients I need for my health and performance so much easier.

Product Spotlight: Isalean Shake

Product Spotlight: Isalean Shake

Why shouldn’t I just drink chocolate milk?

It is true that chocolate milk is a nice treat after a tough workout, but is it as the “perfect” recovery drink as often advertised? Let’s take a quick look at the make up:

For overall calories, there’s not a ton of difference roughly 200 for an 8 ounce glass of chocolate milk vs 240 calories for the same amount of Isalean shake. However, looking at where those calories are coming from, the differences become a lot clearer. In a glass of reduced fat chocolate milk, there is roughly 8 grams of fat, whereas there are 6 grams in a shake. Breaking that down even more, an Isalean shake has only 2 grams of unhealthy saturated fat and 6 grams of healthy fats (coming from olive oil and flax seed). Chocolate milk will include about 5 grams out of 8 total grams as saturated fats.

Moving to carbohydrate, chocolate milk will give you 30-36 grams of simple sugars. An Isalean shake will give you 24 grams of carbohydrate, with 8 grams of that total being in the form of fiber and only 11 grams of sugar.

Chocolate milk is often touted as a great source of protein, but in 8 ounces of milk, you get 8 grams of protein. Compare that to the 24 grams of high quality undenatured, complete protein in an Isalean shake it’s not even close. To get the the same amount of protein from chocolate milk, you now need to drink three glasses- which now puts your sugar content at about 100 grams.

Lastly, when we look at vitamins and minerals, chocolate milk contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin d and small amounts of a handful of other vitamins. An Isalean shake contains 40%, or more, of daily values for over 20 different vitamins and trace minerals.

Chocolate milk is great when you are in a pinch, but given a choice, you can see that there are more complete options out there.

Best practices

What are the best practices with using the Isalean shake (or any protein supplement)?

  • Use as a meal replacement. When Isagenix first formulated this shake, I hardly think they were keeping an endurance athlete in heavy training as a baseline! The shakes certainly were meant as a meal replacement for those trying to lose fat weight. Can they serve that purpose for the athlete in heavy training? The best answer is partly. I will use the shake in conjunction with other food (mainly fruit) to complete my breakfast. However, if you are a person who runs after work and needs something of quality a couple hours before your run/workout, then this is the perfect option.
  • Can it be taken as a pre workout meal? Yes, if you are in a window of say 90-120 minutes before a run, then go for it!
  • Post workout is probably the most popular use for my athletes. If you workout in the morning, then getting one of these bad boys in right after is crucial. Add some fruit for more high quality carbohydrate and you have an excellent start to the day. Your recovery is off and running, and your body is getting not only the carbs and protein it needs to refuel and rebuild, but also the vitamins and minerals that are crucial to performance and health.

Want to try a FREE sample? I’d love to send you one. Fill out this form and I’ll have a sample of the best seller Birthday Cake flavor sent directly to you. (I won’t sell/share your info)

Last Month of Indy

October 7-13

Indy Training - Luke Humphrey

  • Another solid week. Took a few days extra, but mileage was still high. Thursday was a big long run with the guys, where we got rolling. Hit a lot of 5:20-5:30 pace during the last 10 miles. Watch died, but 20.4 miles in 2:00:21- 5:54 pace.
  • Sunday was a nice 4×2 miles

Indy Training - Luke Humphrey

October 14-21

Indy Training - Luke Humphrey

  • Been pretty darn consistent with mileage. This week was more of the the same. Did 10×800 with Morgan on Wednesday at the track. Averaged sub 2:30 for 10 of them. Didn’t feel too bad.
  • Finished the week up with my simulator- aka the Detroit Free Press half marathon.

Indy Training - Luke Humphrey

  • Felt pretty solid. Went out conservative. (that split is not right). Handled the Ambassador Bridge and the tunnel well. Those are miles 4 and 7. Really settled into a groove and was moving up the whole way. This was a pretty big confidence boost.

October 21-27

Indy Training - Luke Humphrey

  • Last big long run! Recovered well from Simulator and ripped sub 6 pace for the majority of the run.
  • Finished the week off with a big 2×6 Miles

Indy Training - Luke Humphrey

  • Was a tough, wet, breezy morning. We got it in though! Glad to hit this one. Another confidence boost.

October 28-November 3 (Start of taper)

Indy Training - Luke Humphrey

  • Start of the taper, so was really just about being consistent with work and scaling back volume. Tried to keep intensity the same. Nothing special. A 16 mile long run at a pretty comfortable pace. Finished the week with a 3×2 mile @ MP. Did this one by myself and got it in. I definitely overlooked it though! Was probably tougher than it needed to be.

November 4-10 (Race Week!)

Indy Training - Luke Humphrey

Alright, so nothing special. Leading to the day before the race, I felt great. No complaints about anything. I thought I handled everything well and I was on point. Going into the race, we knew it was going to be cold and it was going to be windy. We were right. It was 28 degrees at the start. The wind was out of the south at about 8-10 mph and increasing throughout the morning. Chilly!

Start

I felt ok, but seemed a little chaotic. The field was huge between the women and men, both half and full. There was a lot of folks wanting to be on the front of the line. But, the race started and all was well. I was a little behind the 2:19 group (probably about 10 seconds) at the mile. There were a few people around me, so all was well. I wasn’t rushed at all. I didn’t feel overly comfortable, but that’s common. I just tried to relax and chip away to the group.

We weaved through downtown and I did gradually reach the group. I am not sure on splits because my Garmin was beeping way before, but after the first mile I do think it was close, but I did end up being about .3 mile long. So, essentially when I caught the group, I just focused on staying with the group.

By about mile 5..

I was in the back of the 2:19 group, right where I wanted to be. Again, not super comfortable- it felt a little harder than I was hoping, but being in the group was where I needed to be. At 10k, we had our first bottle, I grabbed mine as the pack scattered to the 10 tables. We regrouped and settled back in. I began sipping my fluids and it was freezing cold. My bottle held 10 oz and I’d say over the next half mile, I probably got 4-6 ounces in. I also had a gel taped to the side. However, I had two pair of gloves on and getting it off was impossible. So, I tried to focus on the bottle, but something got wanky and my stomach started turning sour. So. I put as much down as I could and had to toss it. This was the start of my problems.

From about 7 through halfway,…

it’s a near straight shot and it was with the wind. I just tried to settle in the back and not panic. My stomach was tightening up and my second bottle at 20,k was only a few sips before I thought I was going to barf. So, knowing it was gonna get rough, I just buckled up and hoped/prayed that I could just get pulled along. We came through 10 miles in 52:40 and then halfway at 1:09:15 (ish), so we were right where we needed to be. At halfway, there was a good 40 people in the 2:19 group.

At halfway, you turn and come back to the city. Unfortunately, the wind is in your face for the vast majority of that time. By now, my stomach was pretty tight and it was causing my back (which is my achilles heel) began tightening up to. Still we pushed on, but the group was starting to break up. At 16 miles, you turn right, by the governer’s mansion. It’ the hilliest part of the race. Not really that bad, but rolling for the next few miles. This is where I started falling back. The math started running in my head and was trying to calculate what I had to maintain, in order to break 2:19. I had about 45 seconds to lose, but it went pretty quick.

The pack gradually pulled away and I saw 2:19 slip away.

I hit 20 miles ..

in a touch over 1:48 and new I needed to be about 1:46 to have a chance. Admittedly, this deflated me. I was bummed, and started having a conversation with myself. Do I push on and sell my soul to run 2:22-3, or live to fight another day? Well, what a moot point, because I wasn’t really able to fight anyway. Ha! I saw Kevin, Keith, and Mike around 22 and they tried to encourage me, but we all knew the 2:19 train was long gone!

As I pulled onto the main drag,…

it’s nearly a straight shot to the finish line and you meet back up with the half marathon. There was a lot of cheering for me as I ran by and I am very appreciative. I definitely was able to pick up the pace a little bit. Rolling in, I was cold, my hands were starting to hurt, and my back was tight. But, we made it. In a way, it was liberating, because I had run 6 marathons in 2.5 years trying to chase the time. This was it. The decision was made for me. It honestly felt like I finally recognized that my service is not running fast marathon, but showing others how to do it themselves… I am a coach now, and Once a Runner.

Now that it’s been a few days, I have thought about some things. In occupational running, there isn’t really a retirement, rather, you just quit running. I don’t plan on quitting running. I don’t even plan on avoiding races. I have goals and I always need a challenge. Plus, once you turn 40, it’s like a whole new career! I just don’t feel a need to chase times anymore.

My training was great.

I wouldn’t change what I did at all. I added strides again. I was very consistent with that. Now, I need to assess what other detail I need to improve. My nutrition was so much better. The best it’s ever been. I feel good. I feel like I can train hard and stay healthy. I do want to do some faster stuff and hopefully, this summer I can race some shorter races. I think that would help me a ton. The stomach thing was a freak thing. I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the temp? Either way, I just wasn’t able to get the fuel in. That cost me, big time.

So, you live, you learn, and you push forward. I truly appreciate the messages I have received, but please, don’t feel sorry for me. My life is good! Plus, getting all the successful race reports more than makes up for my own disappointment!

Late Marathon Fade (but not hitting the wall)

Luke Humphrey Running Books!

This past weekend’s marathon mayhem (The first sub 2 hour marathoner and a new world record in the women’s marathon) provided a perfect opportunity to answer a question some posed to me some time ago-

“How to avoid the late marathon fade?”

Now many of you are saying “Nutrition!” While that might be part of it, the reader was really referring to a smaller loss of time later in the race, which may or may not be directly related to proper fueling. What’s interesting is that you can feel however you want about the sub 2 hour spectacle, the shoes, and doping (I forgot the Al Sal ban!) but along with all that, there’s been a lot of research into how much all the little details add up in order to eek out that last bit of performance. It has led to new revelations and expansions into what really happens in fatigue.

In a July Outside Magazine article titled The real reason marathoners hit the wall, Alex Hutchinson provides some great insight from research regarding critical pace. This article was written after the first sub 2 hour attempt and what researchers had looked at.leading up to the attempt. Ultimately, they found two areas of interest- critical pace and anaerobic capacity.

Now, what is critical pace?

That’s a great question. At its simplest definition, it is really the point that separates really hard work from not as hard work. How is that for muddy water? Now, in 1991, Joyner proposed that

“Running economy then appears to interact with VO2max and blood lactate threshold to determine the actual running speed at lactate threshold, which is generally a speed similar to (or slightly slower than) that sustained by individual runners in the marathon.”

Interestingly, he then proposed that a 1:57:58 marathon is possible by a runner with a VO2max of 84 ml/kg/min and a lactate threshold of 85%- both of which are similar to Eluid Kipchoge. So, for this, you are essentially looking at the pace you can run at your lactate threshold as what your marathon pace may be- if you are an elite.  Now there’s a few tests one can do to determine your CP, but coach Tinman Schwartz has determined that it’s roughly the pace you can hold for 30 minutes. So, so for many of you, that’s somewhere between 5k and 10k pace.

The other aspect being looked at was the idea of anaerobic capacity. How Mr. Hutchinson describes this is that look at it as a tank full of work you can do above your CP. The further above your CP you work, the faster the tank depletes. So, what that appears to mean (for elite runners) is that marathon pace is a percentage CP, anaerobic capacity, and the pace you can run that at.

Now, for the research at hand- the runners CP was tested using a 3 minute sprint when they were fresh, and then after 20, 40, 80, 120 minutes of running below CP. What they found was that at 120 minutes of sub CP running, CP actually started to decline and did so by about 9%. As for anaerobic capacity, that declined steadily from 40 minutes by 10%, down to a 23% reduction at two hours. What’s interesting here is that elite marathoners can run within 4% of their CP for the marathon. What this means is that even if a pace feels comfortable at the start of the race, it may very well reach a sudden point where it no longer does.

How nutrition plays a part

By taking in 60g of Carbohydrate (via Maurteen) per hour, the reduction of CP was minimized. Carbohydrate did not affect anaerobic capacity. As this depletes, you may slow down very minimally, or you may be forced to stop in your tracks.

What this means for the mortal runner

As mentioned, elite athletes can run a pace within 4% of CP, or the pace a person can hold for 30 minutes. It’s safe to say that recreational runners are going to be much less than that. I haven’t seen anything concrete, but I find it that around aerobic threshold (where you first begin to see a major deflect in blood lactate, is a safe bet. The more trained you are, the closer you get to being able to hold a faster pace, reflective of LT.

What it also means is that the slower you are, the easier it’s going to be to cross into the danger zone and start depleting your anaerobic capacity. It’s all a fluid threshold because what is your CP at the start of the race may decline by halfway. The bottom line, any amount you go beyond what you are capable early on will be that amount plus some when you reach the back third of the race. For more highly trained runners, you will “bleed the tank” overtime and your slow down will be much less pronounced.

In terms of nutrition, we know that anaerobic capacity is dependent on glycogen stores already in the muscle, even though it appears that ingested CHO during the event doesn’t alter the capacity. However, we saw that carbohydrate intake during the marathon will reduce the decline of CP significantly.

How do we improve CP and or anaerobic capacity?

  1. Improve running economy.

    This can be done a number of ways. Can be done through losing (fat) weight, improved strength and mobility, better fuel utilization, improving form, and strides.

  2. Training at CP-

    as coach Schwartz has described, CP will affect primarily your intermediate muscle fibers. If you train with a lot of speed, then you’ll make them look more like fast twitch fibers. If you train them more like 10k/half marathon, you’ll get them to look a lot more like slow twitch marathon fibers.

  3. Don’t neglect carbohydrates in replenishing glycogen stores

    and take in 30-60g of CHO per hour during the event. Implement strategies to preserve glycogen stores during the event.

  4. Be careful with your pacing.

    Even if you feel comfortable and you think today’s the day, wait for the second half to be aggressive.

This is an extremely limited look into even the smallest of marathon fades, but it can explain a lot of what happens to runners, even when they get the vast majority of the details right. There’s other factors to look at, but believe me, it’s a rabbit hole. One thing at a time!

Road to Indy: Training up to 10/6/19

Monday 9/16 and 9/17

  • Two days of 12 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. Did get strides in on Monday!

Wednesday 9/18

  • Long 24 miles in 2:22:40 (5:57/mile) Now, before people go, “but, but, but!” I am running well over 100 miles per week, and I’m running for under 2.5 hours, so that’s well within reason. This was pretty nie from a simulation standpoint as I definitely got that “wobbly leg” that you get those last few miles of the marathon.

Thursday-Saturday

  • 10 miles, 10 and 4 Double, and 12 pretty dang easy. Running 24 will put you up on mileage, so took advantage of the situation with not doing some doubles. Did get strength, core, strides in during the three days.

Sunday: 4-3-2-1

  • This was a test as we went to the Tigers game and had a lot of junk food. Got home pretty late too, but the kid had fun! I did adjust because it was super swampy.
  • 18 total for the day.

112 for the week. 


Monday 9/23

  • 12 and 4 easy. Nothing to get worked up over!

Tuesday 9/24

  • Taking a different approach and doing some faster stuff. A few years ago, this would have basically been 10k pace, but now it’s probably more like 5k-8k pace. I just haven’t done anything very fast in such a long time that I feel like some interjections of fast work can do me some good. Did 4 sets of 4×200 meters. So 200 meters in 34-35 seconds with 200 jogs. Did 400 meter jogs after every 4th one. Each set got progressively  harder, but never out of control.
  • Did a shakeout 4 miler in the afternoon because of lower workout volume.

Wednesday 9/25

  • Easy 12 and 4. Nice and easy.

Thursday 9/26

  • The Greenfield Elementary fun run was this morning, so I had to run at 12:30. 8 was all I could manage. Decided to cut my losses.

Friday

  • 3×3 Miles with Mike Morgan! Worked out well to team up. The whole team was out there, so good stuff. Mike wanted to go 5:30-20-10 and we were pretty close. The 5:30’s were a touch quick, but nothing out of control. Averaged about 5:18 pace for the workout.
  • Did a shakeout 4 in the afternoon. Trying to make a little bit up from the missed mileage on Thursday.

Saturday

  • Easy 12 and 4. Easy Peasy.

Sunday

  • Hanson’s Running Shop 16 miler at Lake Orion and Mile wanted to do a long run. 20 miles on the dirt roads and hills. He said he wanted to take it easy but we still ran 6:19 pace for it!

110 Miles for the week!


Monday through Wednesday (9/30-10/2)

  • Nothing crazy here, except two things. One, I was planning on taking three days easy in a row this week because I crammed a lot into last week. I know that if I get overzealous and just keep that train rolling, that it never ends well. Two, it worked out really well that I did that because my right plantar had been a little troublesome the last couple weeks. On Tuesday, I was running from the house. Some guy blew through the cross walk and I had to side step really quick. I felt like a tear in the spot it had been hurting. Of course, I was as far out on my run as I could be so I couldn’t just stop. It hurt for a couple minutes and then kinda subsided. Went home and iced like crazy and waited. On Wednesday it was sore, but not unbearable.

Thursday 10/3: 5×1.5 Miles

  • Mike Morgan is starting to get back to hard training. And has been dipping his toe into some workouts. He was looking at doing 5×1.5 Miles and we talked about paces and what not. He was looking at 5:10’s which is an in between pace. So, just kinda said we’d feel it out and see how it went. Newbie, Larry Char, joined in too. Started out about 5:10 pace, but it felt pretty good to me so I started creeping the pace down. Larry wanted to show us old guys that he was a big boy now, so he rolled too. Mike held on for dear life. Got down to 5:00 pace on the last couple.

Friday and Saturday: More easy running.

  • Sunday: 3×3 miles with Mike. 5:15-5:18 was the plan and we pretty much nailed it. Mile jogs were sub 7, which made me happy, but probably not Mike!

Ended the week with 108 miles. 


That’s 6 straight weeks at about 110 miles/week and 10 weeks at over 100 miles per week. My average weekly mileage is now higher than what my highest one week was this spring before Toledo.

Takeaways this week: I probably tried to change or add too much this segment to get everything to stick. I still do core and light strength regularly, but I haven’t done the heavy lifting or plyos as much as I wanted too. This goes to what I tell my athletes and that is finding easy wins at first and making small changes that will stick. For me that’s strides and my nutrition is the best it has been in years.

Getting into the heart of a plan makes finding time tough. You are tired and sore, and motivation can get tough. When you get to this point, just focus on getting out the door. Don’t mind if that first mile is slow. You’ll warm up, you’ll find your rhythm, and you’ll start to find your way. Now is not a time to compare how you felt when you were fresh, because you were, well… fresh!

Indy Monumental Marathon 9 and 10 weeks out!

9/2/2019

  • AM: 10 miles easy. Last run from the cottage. See ya next summer, Hubbard Lake! (Hopefully, for most of the summer)
  • No afternoon run. After cleaning the cottage and driving home, I’m whooped!

9/3/19

  • Strength Day! Upped it up to an 8x1mile @ MP-10 with 2:30 jog today. All under 5:10 and usually was under 2:30 for the jog recovery. I’ll take that!
  • 17 Miles for the day. Did some light foam rolling in the evening.

Indy Monumental Marathon 9 and 10 weeks out!

9/4/19

  • 10 miles in the morning with the guys. Lots of new faces on that team, except for Mike. They certainly let it rip though. 6:20’s coming back in
  • Appointments in the afternoon and curriculum night at the school. No PM room. One hour of Rolfing with Dawn. I can’t believe I pay for this!

9/5/19

  • Nothing crazy. 12 and 4. Did strides in the PM run and little bit of strength afterwards. The temps have dropped and paces naturally have too.

9/6/19

  • MP Day!
    • 5×2 Miles at MP. Still just kind of feeling it out with pace. Settled in at 5:15 ish. Recovery jogs were solid. I am recognizing that the recovery is making a big difference in these. Will explain later.
    • 19 for the morning.

Indy Monumental Marathon 9 and 10 weeks out!

9/7/19

  • AM: 13 and change.
  • PM 4 and change. PM run was real slow!

9/8/19

  • Another 14 and 4. Did do strides during the PM run. Weren’t very fast, but squeezed in after church lunch and going to in laws. Woof!

108 Miles for the week. A couple solid workouts. Wished I could have gotten another PM run in, but such is life!


9/9/19

  • Feeling the last several days. Here’s another lesson we’ll discuss at the end. Was supposed to do a workout. I actually had a 3×3 mile at MP on my schedule, but switched it up to an 18 miler. I hit at 6:16 per mile pace (getting progressively faster the first to second loop. Staying pretty steady on the last loop. A good opportunity to still get something bigger in, but not dig myself into a hole. I can recover quickly from a long run, so it helped bridge the gap between harder workouts.
  • 18 miles

Indy Monumental Marathon 9 and 10 weeks out!

9/10/19

  • 11 and 4 easy, averaging about 7 minute pace for each. Allowing the recovery to set in. Did do 6×12 second strides on the second run.

9/11/19

  • 12 and 4 easy. Nothing to write home about. Feeling tired, but not overwhelmed.

9/12/19

  • 10×3:00 Hard. I’ll just let you read my log in Strava for the commentary. Good effort though. Under 5 minute pace, so 30 minutes worth of sub 5 work. Warm and humid again.
    • About 15.5 miles for the morning.

Indy Monumental Marathon 9 and 10 weeks out!

9/13/19

  • 12 miles slow. Really warm and humid again.
  • No PM run- took my brother in law to his eye doctor appointment at U of M. Got home and we were in a severe thunderstorm warning. Stayed home and ate pizza instead! Whole family went to bed early.

9/14/19

  • Later AM run because Nikki has her workouts on Saturdays. Didn’t get out til about 10 am. At least last night’s thunderstorms blew in a cold front. Gorgeous morning for 12 easy (6:57/mile).

9/15/19

  • MP Day!
    • Went to Stony since Nikki takes Sundays off and I can leave the house early. Did 3-4-3 at marathon pace. Was honestly thinking that if I could just keep at 5:20’s that would be solid. Ended up averaging 5:15’s. One about 5:20 and a few about 5:12. Recovery jogs were much faster than in the past. I am typically about 8 minute pace and ended up being under 7 minute pace. Cool down was quicker too, but I am really running by effort.
    • 17 for the morning.

110 Miles for the week, which is the most for me since probably 2018. Really finding my groove with life, work, training balance. Not my best week for strength training, but did get some basic work in.


Indy Monumental Marathon 9 and 10 weeks out!


My Two-Week Takeaways:

  1. Recovery time is a simple variable that can be altered a number of ways. We can refer to it as a single run, time between workouts, time between segments, and time between repeats. The latter is what I want to focus on. A simple rule is that the harder the repeat (faster the pace) the more recovery time. So, a 400 meter repeat may be a 400 meter jog, but it might take 100-150% of the time. Example, you may run a 400 meter repeat in 2:00, but your recovery jog might be 3:00- even though you ran another 400 meter. So it’s not necessarily the distance we are looking at for recovery, rather the amount of recovery time. Now, if a 5k rep allows for a 100% recovery time, then a marathon rep should be significantly less. Take for example, my 8×1. I ran hard for roughly 5 minutes and recovered for 50% of that time. Then, this past Sunday I did 3-4-3 and took under 7 minute jogs- roughly 30-40% recovery time. My aha moment is that I have been keeping the recovery distances about the same but keeping the paces a little more steady. What I have noticed is that my repeat times are down a few seconds per mile, but my recovery paces are faster. To me, it has shown more where my true current fitness is, rather than the repeat times alone.
  2. The second takeaway is learning how to adjust without sacrificing. The 18 miler was a perfect example. I modified the planned days to allow me to recover, yet this still was the biggest mileage week I have had in months. I began the week feeling like a wreck and ended the week on a very high note. How? I simply did a workout I knew I could do with less relative effort first. This essentially gave me a few more days of easier running before I came back with two significant workouts later in the week. So, by being flexible, I only “sacrificed” the days I originally had penciled in, but still gained all the workouts that where planned for the week. Recovery doesn’t have to mean missing workouts, but rather rearranging to fit your strengths and weaknesses. So many times we just want to plow through and mark days as completed when they were originally scheduled. Doesn’t have to be that way!

Want to follow my training? Hit me up on Strava!