Commitment

The definition of commitment is “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.”

Whether it is running your first marathon with the goal of just making it to the finish line or a world-class racer in the Olympic Games, having a commitment level that matches required. Taking on something that’s outside our comfort zone is hard. If we are going to venture into that area of uncertainty, then having a commitment to the task is a necessity.

We just said that being committed means having a dedication to the activity, but what does that mean? Below My list of areas that would mean you are dedicated and thus committed.

  1. Persistence/consistency.
    Notice I didn’t say perfection. It has been overused a lot lately, but it is really about showing up, day after day, regardless of the outcome.
  2. Finding ways to overcome obstacles.
    When challenges arise or your schedule for the day gets turned upside down, do you find a way to get something done or is it an automatic- “Well, I guess today just wasn’t my day”
  3. Self-Discipline.
    If your time to run is in the morning, do you get it in, or do you convince yourself that you’ll magically have time to get that run in this afternoon?
  4. The mindset that failure will happen along the way.
    There’s two ways to interpret this. One is that failure will happen at some point of a difficult journey, but I will take the lessons from this and apply to the next time. The second is just assuming that failure will happen because that’s just how things usually work out for you that way.
  5. Appropriate goals.
    Do your goals line up with what your training will allow? With  some of my athletes, they want to run the fast times, but their schedules are not aligned with what they want to accomplish. Setting too easy of a goal can lead to lethargic action. Too big of a goal can lead to frustration and becoming overwhelmed- leading into shutdown mode.

The beauty of everything I just listed is that they can all be worked on. Here are my 5 keys to developing a higher level of commitment.

  1. Find your why/meaning for taking on the task.
    When I started running, the reason was simple. I wasn’t allowed to play football, but I loved sports- especially baseball. Luckily, my algebra teacher was also the freshman football coach (Mr. Pearl). He made it simple- “Humphrey, you aren’t playing football. You’ll get killed. Go to talk to Mr. Noll and run cross country.” So, that’s what I did. Have you ever had a moment in life where you just knew that’s where you were supposed to be or doing? That was one for me. I just remember having this feeling like, I’m home. Now, I am not saying that you need an epiphany, or an enlightenment! I am saying though that you need to know why you do it. Maybe it’s because it makes you a better person, spouse, parent, boss, employee, or some combination of those things! Maybe it allows you to make you feel like you still have limits to chase or adventures to take on. Whatever the case is, understand the why. Even as I close in on a new category (the masters!) I love the challenge of training hard and seeing what I am capable of. I love being an example for my athletes and my kid.
  2. Enjoy what you do.
    I thoroughly enjoy what I do. Not 100% of the time, that’s not even close to being realistic. However, even the days that are a grind are way better than the days that I don’t get a run in. I feel better afterwards and in a much better space. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing on your best days, it makes it tough to want to keep doing it day in and day out. If you find yourself dreading lacing up your shoes for an early morning run, then maybe revisit #1 and find a firm answer in your why. If you can’t, maybe start seeking out what you really enjoy doing.
  3. Become committed to the process.
    Many times people are committed to results and seeing results early on spurs the desire to train hard. But, what if you start seeing a plateau? Is the desire still there. I was thinking about this, and maybe it’s the hack culture we live in today? I don’t know, but our attention spans are shorter these days and when something gets harder or we see a new shiny object, we abandon one pursuit for the next. Ultimately, I don’t know if anything is wrong with that. You certainly may experience a lot of new stuff. But using running as an example, we want to qualify for Boston. We get to within a few minutes but our performance has plateaued, what would you do? For me, early on, I probably would have just said train harder, right? But doing something repeatedly and getting the same results is literally the definition of insanity. So, when that doesn’t work, what next? Now, as I have gone through a career and coached for over a decade, I realize that it’s all about the process. We tend to put our training in a bubble and separate it from everything else in our lives. The truth is, if we commit to the process of getting better, we have limitless possibilities to chase in order to become better. When a person lets go of the results and focus more on the process, that’s when I usually see the biggest breakthroughs. Just like Elsa says, “Let it go!”
  4. Recognize that failures come with the territory, but does not mean you are a failure.
    Not hitting a tough workout, falling off routine, missing a goal are signs of pushing your comfort zones. These should be taken as signs of personal growth, not failure. Sure, be disappointed, but don’t dwell. Instead learn from these and sort out what could be done differently or if it’s just a situation of needing another crack at it. If we look at a failed situation as a reflection on ourselves, that’s pretty depressing. It’s hard to stay committed to something if it doesn’t make you feel very good.
  5. Set the right goals.
    This really encompasses everything we just discussed. Have you ever missed a goal, based on a result, and thought- “Dang, I really need to train harder!” Yet, what does that even mean? More miles? Faster workout? As a coach, I’d say it is usually both. So, what does the person do- they add more miles and more intensity which only causes a further setback and creates an endless loop of pushing ourselves beyond what’s needed, only to be disappointed, AGAIN! Doesn’t seem much like a winning combination, does it? Big weeks, and fast workouts make for great social media content, but are they what’s going to take you to the next level? Not if you don’t have the small sustained habits of hydration, sleep, nutrition, mobility, and strength down pat. If we put our success in the hands of a result, then you take the ability to control the outcome out of your hands. Finding a way to set goals based on what you need and not an uncontrollable outcome gives you power. Having power makes you more committed. Being more committed to the right things allows for a greater chance of success. Being successful in things we had control over makes us a lot more likely to continue on!

Do you feel like you are committed? Take the commitment quiz and see where you stand and where you can improve.

Workout Variables: Strength Recovery Jogs

Last week we discussed recovery repeats for speed workouts. If you missed that post, you can see HERE. This week I want to discuss the next group of repeats in the marathon training- the strength repeats. Traditionally, these are done at 10 seconds faster marathon pace per mile. You will see this written as MP-10. If you are familiar with HMM, you’ll recognize that the workouts are 6×1 mile, 4×1.5 miles, 3×2 miles, and 2×3 miles. The 6×1 has a ¼ mile jog recovery, while the 4×1.5 and 3×2 have a half mile jog recovery. The 2×3 has the most recovery, which is a mile jog recovery.

So if we are looking at the recovery from a ratio standpoint, the amount of recovery we are getting from a repeat is minimal compared to the amount of work we are doing. However, the intensity of the repeat is far lower. The other aspect to consider is the ability of the runner.

The faster the runner, the closer they get to the lactate threshold.

For instance, when I was at my peak, I’d train for 5:00-5:05 pace for the marathon, which would make my strength repeat at 4:50-4:55. My half marathon PR was at 4:52 per mile pace. So, with me, it all tied in nicely. However, I fully recognize that if your goal marathon pace is, say 10:00 min/mile, then there is not a huge difference there. Many of you may be averaging close to 9:50 pace for your marathon tempos!

I think that before we get into adjusting the recovery on these, we have to consider what we are trying to get out of these. For faster runners, it is accumulating volume at just under your LT. By faster, I’d say anything faster than 3:30, or so. For these people, it’d really be in the danger zone of your marathon pacing. You go out at this pace and sustain it, then it’s probably not going to end well. You aren’t at LT, but you are at a point that’s not sustainable. You’ll still be producing a lot of lactic byproduct and burning through carbohydrates.

For runners below that 3:30 range, really the closer you get to 4:00 and beyond, you aren’t producing big amounts of byproduct. We are really stressing the aerobic threshold, which is the point where we start seeing an inflection of lactic byproducts. It is often considered the crossover point of utilizing more carbohydrate than fat as fuel. With these folks, we aren’t working on improving the LT as we would be with the faster runners, but rather, trying to boost fuel efficiency and accumulating harder miles closer to goal MP.

As for recovery, you now see the trend- the faster the repeat will result in shorter repeats with a higher ratio of rest to work.

As you creep down to LT range, repeats lengthen out, volume increases, and rest to work ratio decreases. Once you get close to MP, the work to rest ratio will be the lowest. When I would do a workout like the 3×2 miles, they would be done in about 10:00 per repeat. A half mile jog recovery would be 3:45-4:00, usually. This would be a .4/1 ratio (about)- or 40%. I do see faster runners do similar workouts with 3:00 jog recovery, but I will say this, they usually aren’t training for a marathon. They are usually training for half marathons and under. Let’s say you are doing the same workout at about 20:00 per repeat. A half mile jog might be closer to 6:00-7:00, so we are still pretty close to that 40% range.

So… should we adjust?

When just looking at it by a numbers standpoint, I’d lean towards the idea of shortening these up. However, I keep coming back to the intensity of these, the volume, and the timing of these workouts. I also think about who is doing these workouts. First off, I’d say that if you are new to the philosophy, then don’t make this harder than they are. Now, if you are feeling super comfortable, or your paces are getting way too fast without any effort, then maybe consider it. If we were in that 40% range for recovery, maybe try decreasing recovery to 30% of the time doing the work. Or, even easier, back the 6×1 to a 200 meter jog, the 4×1.5 and 3×2 to a ¼ mile, and the 2×3 to a half mile jog and see how that goes.

I would be open to experimentation if you have been through the programs a few times and you know how you feel when you get to the strength block of the training. In essence, I want to be cautious. My other worry is the timing of the workouts. You’ll be in the peak volume of the training. You’ll be tired and you’ll be fatigued from the training. So, from that standpoint, just because you can, does it mean you should? That’s a decision that’s gotta be thought out. If you try it and fade off or you start flirting with injury, then stop it. There is no need to be a workout hero and not even make it to the starting line.

Going through this, I realize I am more vague on this, but I do think it’s something to explore in the right situations.

I think it’s something where keeping really good track of your previous data is a must.

Knowing how you handled previous segments should guide this decision. I don’t want you to take this as a free pass to just push the pace and take less recovery. I want you to focus more on controlling the pace and recognizing the effort. Then see if you can maintain that pace with less recovery. If inclined, give it a go. Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

Hiring a coach: Pros and Cons

Is having a coach worth it?

The answer is, drumroll please, it depends! Believe it or not, ability is not a prerequisite for myself, or any of my other coaches to work with you. In fact, I’d say ability isn’t ever something I particularly look at when taking an athlete on. When I do, it’s not to determine if the person is “fast enough” to be with us, but rather to determine what coach will be able to serve your needs best.

Work Hard

If ability is not a prerequisite, what is? I do have a few traits that I do look at in potential athletes. The first is the promise to work hard. However, don’t confuse this with training faster or more that’s on your schedule! That’s not hard work, that’s just running as hard as you can without understanding the nuances of training.

Working hard is following the plan to your best of your ability, not finding ways out of doing workouts, skipping runs without reason, and just expecting fitness to come to you.

Buy in

This leads to the second trait is to buy into the philosophy. To follow the plan in principle. I know that things can be out of our control and adjustments need to be made, but just not doing something because it’s different from what you are used to doesn’t help you, or your coach. Going rogue on a plan means you don’t trust me, the philosophy, or yourself. Change in training is uncomfortable, but not believing in what you are doing almost guarantees failure. I am not saying it’s my way or the highway, but there has to be agreement by both parties in regards to what you are doing.

Dialog

Lastly, there has to be communication. You’d think it would be easy with all the technology surrounding us, but you wouldn’t believe how many times I have been ghosted by athletes for weeks. Then like a flair in the night, I get a response (and it’s usually- I am hurt) Talk to me, I promise I won’t scold you like a child! I may give you some tough love, but I desperately want to know what’s going on.

Pillars of a Coach

Of course, the flipside of all of this is, what should you be looking for in a coach? Well, some of the same things. The big thing is communication. With our platform, Final Surge, it’s easy to comment on workouts to put context into workouts. I do my best to at least acknowledge a workout that I get notified about.

As an athlete, it’s good to know that someone is at least looking at what I am doing.

Commenting on workouts is a huge start because we can discuss directly about a workout within your training log. It allows for easy adjustments and teaching points.

Another big thing I feel a coach has to be able to do for you is to explain themselves. They are in charge of your training, your health, and your ability to perform at the highest level. If you have questions, they should be able to answer, or at least, provide resources to give you answers. This allows your ability as an athlete to buy into the system a lot easier, no?

The third thing I’d look for is their ability to modify your situation. In reality, we are unique, but our situations usually are not. Given that, a good coach knows those different situations and can keep their training philosophy, but adjust it to a variety of situations.

To conclude

Overall, having a coach is vital, as long as both athlete and coach are present.

If the athlete isn’t present, the coach gradually just stops taking interest.

If the coach is not present the athlete doesn’t buy in. In both situations it’s a lost opportunity and, more than likely, will end up in a poor experience for both. Now, I recognize that paying for a coach is a big decision, so I would really weigh the things we have talked about today. For us at LHR, we have recognized that paying for a coach can be expensive and so we’ve really tried to provide options for all price points. To see all the options, check out our page www.lukehumphreyrunning.com/coaching We also have a standard first 14 days free with our Bronze, Silver, and Gold options. This is to make sure it’s the right fit for you. If you are thinking about coaching, check out this page and we’d be happy to guide you in the right direction.

 

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High carbohydrate intake and overtraining

Today I discuss an article from mysportscience.com and how even two weeks of hard training with low carbohydrate intake can be detrimental to performance and feelings of well being. A common scenario that I see as a coach is that people train hard for a couple of weeks and since it’s harder than they have trained before (or a big jump back into it), they become fatigued, performance lags, and their mood decreases. The first thing they say is, “This must be cumulative fatigue.” So, they keep pushing for a few more weeks until they go completely off the rails. The problem is, that it’s not cumulative fatigue. Their symptoms of fatigue are occurring way too soon in the program. Plus, with cumulative fatigue, you may feel tired, but the workout times are still there. So, here’s a quick 15-minute recap of the article posted and the study did behind the article. If you find yourself in this situation, this is an easy thing to check out and an easy thing to fix, if need be.

 

MySportScience Post

 

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Runners and Supplements

Yes, it is an age-old argument and the two sides will debate until they are hoarse. This argument is of course, do runners need supplements? If they don’t, how come? If so, why and which ones? It’s certainly a rabbit hole to go down and I have been on both sides of the argument. I certainly understand that we should strive for real food and am not necessarily a fan of getting food from a pill/ However, on the other side of the coin, runners are beating their body up with training and if we don’t get perfect nutrition in every day, then maybe a little help is warranted. Certainly, when you look at the definition of supplement, which is, “something that completes or enhances something else when added to it,” then it makes sense why someone would think that supplementation makes sense.

The main argument I see against supplementation is the idea that we should strive to eat a well-balanced diet and that will cover our needs. It’s interesting because I have heard dieticians (who are usually working with sedentary or recreationally active people) loathe the idea of any type of supplement. Then I have seen nutritionists who work with hard training athletes say that if you want to succeed, you have to be on some sort of supplement. For a long time I was in the first camp but have gradually shifted my position to the latter. Let me explain why.

The 3 E’s:

Essential Nutrition for Survival and Basic Health:

This is what is Recommended Dietary Allowances are built off, but these are government based standards and not meant for achieving optimal health. These standards are based on the average nutrient intake of an entire population. These guidelines make the assumption that everyone is already eating a healthy diet and that all nutritional needs are the same. In essence, it’s the bare minimum.

Essential Nutrition for Optimal Health:

This is the next step and means higher amounts of vitamins and minerals. It also means the inclusion of “non-essential” nutrients (but not unimportant). Things like antioxidants are required in higher doses to fight off our environmental stresses and help us recover. The quantities of these are needed in higher doses than the RDA (or DRI) states for basic survival.

Essential Nutrition for Athletic Performance:

The final level, where athletes are required to perform at a peak level, recover from training and outside stress, and maintain superior health. So, while I may not expect a person training for their first 5k in this category, I certainly would put someone who’s training consistently year-round for high-level competitions.

Some examples

 

Vitamin Men DRI Women DRI Tolerable UL PDI
Vitamin C 90 mg 75 mg 2000 mg 500-3000 mg
Vitamin D 15 mcg-600 IU 15 mcg-600 IU 100-mcg-4000 IU 400-4000 IU
B6 1.7 mg 1.5 mg 100 mg 10-100 mg
Folate 400 mcg 400 mcg 1000 mcg 400-1200 mcg
B12 2.4 mcg 2.4 mcg Not Established 12-200 mcg

I chose these because they are common vitamins that are important to runners. As you can see, there is a big discrepancy between the essential amount needed for survival and what may be required for optimal performance. The same is true for minerals.

 

Mineral Men DRI Women DRI Tolerable UL PDI
Calcium 1300 mg 1300 mg 2500 mg 1200-2600 mg
Magnesium 420 mg 320 mg 350 mg 400-800 mg
Phosphorus 1250 mg 1250 mg 4000 mg 1k-4k mg
Selenium 55 mcg 55 mcg 400 mcg 100-400 mcg
Zinc 11 mg 8 mg 40 mg 15-60 mg

 

The question becomes then if an athlete is training hard and eating the appropriate amount of calories, are they getting the nutrients in the amounts needed for the performance? I think that if things are perfect, then maybe. However, the vast majority of people I work with are not living the perfect life (who is?) and it’s tough to say what they are getting. Plus, we know that individuals vary. We also know that the nutrient food can vary widely, and we know that nutrient content in food has decreased over the decades- check out this piece from the Scientific American. 

So, while I think supplementation gets a bad rap, I don’t think just popping a horse pill multivitamin is the way to go, either. I think that you have to know if you are low in anything and you need to know what’s in the diet you are eating.

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Expensive, but worth it

Unfortunately, the first prong of this can be expensive, but it might be money well spent. If you have a solid insurance plan, you may be able to get out of this cheaper.

It wouldn’t hurt to get some blood work done.

A vitamin, mineral, testosterone (for men), and iron/ferritin tests are done. It’s not going to be cheap though (if paying out of pocket). There’s some great athlete oriented at-home tests like Inside Tracker. I also looked at AnyLabTestNow.com, simply because there is one by my office. You don’t need a prescription and you just make an appointment. However, in both circumstances, to get vitamin and mineral tests done, you are looking at a few hundred bucks. I do think that InsideTracker has a multiple session discounts though. I like that because you’d want to follow up tests every few months. This may not be 100% required, but I like having data and I like having information.

This is especially true if I haven’t felt great, haven’t recovered, and training has been stale for some time.

It’s easy to blame the training because that’s what we have to judge results, but that could be a symptom of the underlying problems.

Time Consuming

The second prong to this approach is less expensive, but it can be time-consuming. Overall, I am not a huge fan of counting calories, mainly for the reasons we talked about with variances. However, when trying to establish baselines, it’s key. I recommend going premium for a bit with a tracker (a quick search showed that there are dozens). It seems like you have to go premo for most to give you micronutrient data.

I think it’s important to track at least a few days to a good week.

That way you can track your nutrient intake for a scope of runs from easy to workouts, to long runs. The first couple days you might adjust to match what you think you should be eating, but over time, we tend to just eat normally, so several days are good to give us averages of intakes. We can take our averages and see where are doing well and where they aren’t. Couple that with any trouble spots our testing shows, we can really get a sense of what is going on. If you want to get some guidance, doing a nutrition consultation with a coach can be a big benefit. They can show you where you might be lagging, options to getting on track, and what supplements to consider.

Decide

If you make the decision that you want to try supplementation, there’s a couple of routes you can go to. One is working with a nutrition coach and making decisions as a team. The other is self supplement through multivitamins or specific vitamins. If you do the latter, you’ll want to make sure that these are the third party verified. Look for a label from the USP or the NSF on the packaging. These are the two most trusted. Secondly, mega-dosing is rarely justified and can be dangerous. Keeping intake under the PDI of intake is key to keeping yourself safe, but it doesn’t hurt to be working with a doctor and/or nutrition coach for monitoring.

Today’s discussion didn’t even get into things like metabolites or botanicals. This includes things like caffeine, L-carnitine, creatine, glucosamine and chondroitin, and nitrates. These will have to be for another day. Today’s topic was all about vitamins and minerals and why the idea of supplementation shouldn’t be scoffed at for athletes. When we look at what government guidelines are providing, we realize that a lot of people need more than the bare minimum.

Athletes may need a lot more!

And in an in-perfect world, perfect nutrition is a dream for many folks. Quality supplementation can bridge the gap between basic essential nutrition and maximal performance.

If you’d like a nutrition consultation, you can check out LHR options HERE

How fast do we lose fitness?

The topic of detraining has come up a lot, lately. At the time of writing this, we are under a stay at home shelter and our spring marathons have been cut short. A lot of folks feel like their hard fought gainZ are lost forever. However, I feel like there is a fair amount of confusion regarding what detraining is and what variations we typically encounter with training. So, today, let’s discuss what is really going on and if those feelings of having to start over are really warranted.

First, there’s full fledged detraining.

This is stopping training all together or reducing so much that a training stimulus is not elicited. This is what you’ll see a lot of blog posts and articles reference and when we talk about “use it or lose it” we are referring to this. The end result of detraining is loss of fitness over a period of time.

The second is the taper.

This is interesting because some folks buy into a very long taper and can actually dip into detraining if they reduce it for long enough time. That’s a discussion beyond today, but an interesting thought to expand on.

The purpose of the taper is to improve performance through rest.

I would define it as a calculated reduction in training through volume, frequency, and intensity, to maximize race performance through realizing the improvements made in previous training.

Third, we have the maintenance.

This would fall between complete detraining and taper. It may or may not be planned, as it may be done to try and mitigate downtime for injury, or, in our case, there’s no race to train for! With maintenance, the training stimulus is high enough to stop the downward trend of fitness loss (or at least slow it). However, it’s not high enough to promote further fitness development. I like to describe it as treading water.

The last one, to me is early rebuilding mode.

Some would refer this to reverse tapering, but I tend to stay away from that term. That would suggest that I am going to taper for may race, run the race, then follow my taper plan in reverse to get back to full training. However, I wouldn’t do that to my athletes! I couldn’t imagine giving an athlete a 10 mile tempo 10 days after their marathon! Early rebuilding, for me, would be the time post downtime (due to injury, illness, planned time off, or race) that takes us from reduced fitness to normal training volume and intensities. How I would approach this would vary on individual circumstances. This is one we will have to talk about later, too.

For now, let’s focus on detraining and maintenance.

During this time of forced shutdown, people have gone from peak training to forced downtime. Like I mentioned, there’s a lot of worry about “starting over” or at least losing a significant amount of fitness. The general consensus is that with a short amount of time off, performance will actually improve performance, but go past a few days and performance will start to decline. Specifically:

  1. After 2+ weeks, VO2max decreases. I’ve seen a lot of numbers, but generally, 5-20% depending on time off.
  2. Ventilation increases 10-14% within a few days. This would make exercise feel harder after a short amount of time.
  3. Lactate Threshold starts to decrease after a few days off.
  4. Capillarization decreases to pre training levels within 4 weeks.
  5. Mitochondrial enzymes decrease 25-45% for up to 12 weeks.

There are others, but the point is made. If you go full stop on training, you will begin to lose fitness. In terms of performance, what would that mean? After 3 weeks off, your times will slow 3-5%.

What’s that look like on the clock?

  • 40 minute 10k: 1:15-2:00 slower (Ouftda!)
  • 1:45 half marathon: 3:00-5:15 slower (Yikes)
  • 4 hour marathon: 7-12 minutes slower (Ouch!)

So that is pretty scary to think about!

However, remember that it is completely shut down.

If we are able to not train as hard or as often, but still getting out there, what’s the damage? If we reduce training, we can maintain our physiological gains and maybe even maintain a very high level of performance over a much longer period of time. On top of that, give our body a much needed break from our heaviest of training.

I looked at three articles regarding reduced training in distance runners. Now, to be fair, these studies were all pretty small in subjects and they were with younger runners. So, take it as you may! With the three studies, there was a period of normal training period followed by a 2-4 weeks block of reduced training. Peak mileage varied, but reductions were 50% to 70% in volume Frequency was also reduced. Intensity varied.

The results were pretty similar.

What was found is that there was a maintenance of primary measures. VO2max, running economy, and lactate threshold all held steady. From a physiological standpoint, we see no changes. However, in two of the studies, performance via 5k times were unchanged. In another, one was slower after the reduced training. However, it is important to note that body fat increased in these subjects from 10.4% to 11.8%. If you were to weigh 150 pounds, that’s an increase of over 2 pounds of body fat. It might not seem that much, but if the adage of 2 seconds per extra pound, that’s 4 seconds per mile, at least.

More importantly, it gives us a clue to our own training reduction.

Physiologically, we may be holding steady, but our weight can certainly fluctuate in a time of reduced training- not that I am speaking from personal experience, or anything! It just goes to show how much nutrition will play a role in all we do!

I did look at a fourth article that was similar to the other three but looked at testosterone, cortisol, and creatine kinase. With testosterone, runners were on the low side during regular training and unfortunately, the levels didn’t improve after the three week reduced volume. I don’t find this as a surprise because rebuilding testosterone (naturally) is a long term process- months of diligence. Cortisol, which is a good marker of stress levels, was also high during the regular training block, but also didn’t change significantly with reduced training.

With testosterone and cortisol, this is just a good reminder that we have to control for these long term and that we have to look at nutritional supplementation if we are going to go big ripper in training.

Lastly, creatine kinase was also high during training (expected), but this did drop significantly during reduced training. Hooray! CK is a measure of muscular damage, so this shows us that we can maintain fitness while allowing our body to recover. Anyway, just something I found interesting while looking through research.

Ok, now the question remains- what is the best way to maintain our fitness?

Glad you asked. There’s three things we can do.

The first two are reducing volume and frequency.

This may come from reducing the frequency to reduce the volume and get a twofer. Or, you can simply reduce the volume of your runs. Personally, I like reducing by 25-35% of my volume. I typically keep the same number of days, just reduce the volume. I will reduce the days if the person wants to cross train instead of an easy day.

Now the third variable is intensity.

This actually needs to stay the same or even increase! This means that easy days remain within your easy range, but more importantly, you shouldn’t abandon doing workouts completely.

Now, instead of doing two SOS and a long run per week, you may cut to one SOS and a long run.

The long runs should be reduced in volume, but if you run these in your moderate to long run range- keep em there. For a weekly SOS day, you can skip the marathon tempo every week. Depending on the break length, I usually just rotate different workouts. However, faster workouts show more promise in maintaining the physiological levels. So, this means keeping LT, 5k/10k repeats, and even mile pace repeats in the rotation. This works out well, because the volume of these are less and fit in better with the reduced volume.

Here’s what a sample for weeks might look like:

 

Week # Monday Tuesday Weds Thurs Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Easy Off 10k Reps Easy Off Long Easy
2 Easy Off 5k Reps Easy Off Cutdown Easy
3 Easy Off LT Easy Off Long Easy
4 Easy Off Mile reps Easy Off MP Easy

Super simple maintenance plan. LT= lactate threshold MP= marathon pace. 

You could honestly repeat this for a couple months, be fully recovered from hard training, maintain the vast majority of your fitness, and then pick up a new training segment for any race distance. The big point of all this, is don’t be scared of scaling back your training. Done the right way, you’ll come out of this a better runner for the long term.

 

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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!

 

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.

NEW!!! Isagenix Whole Blend Shakes in Whey and Plant Based options! 

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 Birthday Cake Isalean or of the new Whole Blend 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!

Nitric Oxide and Running Performance

Nitric Oxide? It makes me think of pushing a button on my car dashboard for a little boost! However, NO is an important neurotransmitter important for nerve signaling, nerve signaling, tissue turnover, and blood vessel dilation

 

Seems like most research focuses on the dilation part and exercise as a performance enhancer via delivery of oxygen and removal of waste products. Along with that dilation comes an improvement in running economy and time to exhaustion. In terms of running economy, I have seen 5% thrown around. To put that in perspective, that’s higher than what the Nike Vaporfly’s claim to obtain and have taken the running world by storm.

 

So, who does that benefit? Running economy will benefit those running long distances (half marathon and above) while time to exhaustion will benefit shorter times. While we do produce NO in our bodies, we often don’t eat the right amino acids, or enough, to see a performance benefit. We also see a drop in natural NO production as we age. 

 

The research can get dicey because of the way it is set up. What worked for older athletes, didn’t have the same effect on younger athletes. The dosages that worked on 1500 meter runners, didn’t affect the longer distance runners. What worked for recreational runners didn’t exactly show promise for elite runners. There’s a lot of factors like dosage, quality of ingredients, and length of studies that come into play. With that said, let’s look at some practical advice.

 

For older and less trained athletes, you should take a single dose of 60-70 ml of nitrates 2.5 to 3 hours prior to your workout or race. Keep in mind that levels of NO will stay elevated for some time. These groups will see more response on fewer amounts, so max the response on the least amount of dose. 

Custom or Pre-Made Training Plans for any distance!

For younger and more trained athletes, you should be at two doses of 60-70 ml of nitrate. You folks have things like naturally higher levels of NO and training adaptations that are going to make seeing a response require a larger dose. The same time frame applies here. 

 

NOTE: Unless you are building up to a goal race, these shouldn’t be taken every day as it can blunt the natural production of your NO. 

 

Ok, so, the second way to do this, is to do a gradual supplementation of 3-15 days, leading up to a goal race. Using the same two groups I just discussed, let’s determine the probable length of time to NO load. Less trained or older athletes may want to stay in a single daily dose for 3-7 days. The younger or more trained athletes may want to do a single daily dose for 7-15 days. 

 

What I will do for a workout: 

 

Night before a workout: 1 60 ml bottle of Amped Nox

AM before workout: 1 60 ml bottle of Amped Nox

 

What I will do prior to my goal marathon:

5 days prior to marathon: 1 bottle of Amped Nox nightly

 

HOWEVER: After reading more into the updated research, I think I am going to extend this out to 10 days prior to the race of a nightly dose and then one bottle the morning of the race. 

 

Interested in what I use? Check out my supplement site.

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!

12 Weeks Out from Indy Monumental

8/19/19 through 8/25/19

Monday 8/19/19

Today was the day following a pretty solid 22 miler I put in. One of the biggest lessons I have learned recently is that if I want to continue training really hard on my workouts then my easy days really have to be a recovery day. 7-8 years ago, I would do that 22 miler and then come back and run the “easy” day at 6:30/mile, or faster. I just can’t do that and be consistent. I probably shouldn’t have done it back then, either!

  • AM: 10 miles @ 7:10/mile pace.
  • PM: 4 Miles, about the same pace. Did get 5×10-12 second strides in. Am surprised that these are hitting 4:20-30/mile pace. Regaining any semblance of speed is going to be a long term process. Saying that as I approach middle age seems like an oxymoron

Tuesday 8/20/19

  • AM: Easy 10 miles at 7:00 pace.
  • PM: Easy 4 miles at 7:20 pace.
    Hot today. Strides on second run. Second run was also from my office/studio, so did my “plyos”

Wednesday 8/21/19

Track Day! 6×800 meters with 400 meter jog. Followed up with 4×200 meters hard. An improvement over a couple weeks ago. 2:30 average for the 800’s. The 200’s were rougher, but still squeaked out 35-36 seconds on the 200’s. Very humid out! 13+ miles for the morning.

12 Weeks Out from Indy Monumental

Thursday 8/22/19

  • Recovery Day!
  • AM: 11.6 miles at an easy 7:14/mile pace.
  • PM: 4 miles from office @ 7:13/mile pace. No strides today.

Friday 8/23/19

  • Easy 12 Miles @ 6:58/mile pace.
  • Easy 4 miles @ 7:13/mile, but did 6×10-12 second strides.
    (Notice the difference in paces between Thursday and Friday)

Saturday: 8/24/19

  • 10 Miles easy in the morning @ 7:04 pace. Family get together didn’t allow to get a second run in.

Sunday: 8/25/19

  • Workout Day! 6×1.5 Miles @ MP (or maybe rather marathon effort) 4 minutes for the jog recovery. Managed 5:19 pace. Really going by feel on these, plus it’s really humid right now. Just getting work in.

12 Weeks Out from Indy Monumental

Week Overall:

102 miles for the week. Two pretty solid workouts I am spacing these out 2-3 days right now because I have a pretty decent amount of time. I get in shape pretty quick, so deliberately drawing out the process. I think the key for people to take away is the recovery on the day following a hard workout. Leave the hard days hard and let the easy days be easy. It would have done no good to go out and try to run harder the day following the workout. For the most part, the next day is a lot slower then the following easy day. So, when you look at my training, you’ll see SOS day, recovery (pace, not low mileage), easy to moderate, then another SOS. This is a good system for me and we can do similar things for you. This really let’s you have more quality workouts, keep your easy mileage high, and be able to be more consistent throughout a training block.


August 26th through September 1

Monday 8/26/19

  • Nothing crazy today- An easy 10 and 4 miles. Average over 7 minute pace on both.

Tuesday 8/27/19

  • AM 12 miles around the hood.
  • PM 4 miles, plus 7 strides. Must have gotten dizzy and snuck an extra one in.

Wednesday 8/28/19

  • Track Day! 8x1k and 4×200. This one hurt a little bit. Humid again. One of those workouts where I literally just had to focus on the one I was in. Told myself to get to 6 and I could quit. Got to 6 and said after 7. Finished 7 and realized I hate odd numbers, so finished it. About 5 minute pace for the k’s and the 200’s were 35 ish. Been a long time since I made a dedicated effort towards speed. Especially trying to run really fast after being tired. I remember in college, we’d do a k workout and then 200’s and I could run 25-26 all day. Can’t think about that though!

12 Weeks Out from Indy Monumental

Thursday 8/29/19

  • AM 12 easy at about 7:10 pace. Left to the cottage one last time before the school year starts! After driving all day, I couldn’t muster a second run. Plus we forgot some things and had to go into Alpena to supply up!

Friday 8/30/19

  • AM 10 miles easy. Weather was cool, baby! About 50 degrees way up north!
  • PM 4 miles easy with 6 strides.

Saturday 8/31/19

  • I finally did it! I have been coming up here for 8 years and finally ran the lake! HILLY, so was just trying to get the mileage in at a decent clip. 6:35 pace with uncertainty about the actual distance. Everybody told me it’s 20 miles. I did see I could avoid Mt. Mariah, but what’s the fun in that? 22 miles @ 6:34/mile

12 Weeks Out from Indy Monumental

12 Weeks Out from Indy Monumental

Sunday 9/1/19

  • Easy 10 and 4 from the cottage at over 7 minute pace. Actually did a good job recovering.

Week Overall:

108 miles for the week. A very solid track workout and a really good long run. Plus I finally did something I have wanted to for a long time. Finished the week off with some nice dirt road running. Proud of myself for being up at the cottage and staying disciplined. I have always struggled with that. I wasn’t as good with core and mobility this week, but training and nutrition was solid.

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