Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chicago Marathon

I signed up as a time qualifier for the Chicago Marathon!
So excited!
And so the count down to October 11, 2015 begins!

Other than that, I am looking to run a half in April. I'm looking at 
Ohio  - but Side-kick says too cold still!
North Carolina - but I'd hafta run on dirt and you all know how I love pavement!
Nevada - Side-kick loves Vegas, but I haven't presented him with this one yet!

Today I train with my Coach for the first time in two months!
It's been an awful winter here in New Jersey! I'm always cold - so even though it got pretty monotonous running on my treadmill for the last two months, running 10 miles in 9*F weather actually seemed worse.

Even my dog refused to get up and 
go out into the cold every morning!
C'mon Jiggy!
But last few days, it actually hit 40*F!
The snow is finally melting, 
and I'm off to the track!
WooHoo!

Train Smart Today!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Turning My Dreadmill into Awesome with Skeleton Runs

Now, I don't profess to be a track or running coach - 
but I do have quite the recent over-experience 
with the treadmill.
We having fun, yet?
If you read my last post you know how much I lovehate, like, feel for my treadmill. Let's face it with the single digit temps and snow that isn't melting but just keeps piling up with every new snow fall, I've had no choice but to run many a mile on my treadmill this winter.

Everyone I talk to, whether it be at the gympilates, or work, gives me the same type of response:
hate running on the treadmill ...
It's awful, - it's sooooo boring!
How can you run 8, 10, 12 miles on the treadmill?
OMG, are you crazy? (yes, but only Half-Crazed)!
I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than run on the treadmill.

Yeah, I know. Believe me, I agree! Nonetheless, the treadmill does serve its purpose. And with Mother Nature being unbearable this winter, what's a runner to do? Out of desperation, I've come up with two Skeleton Runs that I vary depending on my boredom and training goals. These routines have strengthened my legs, helped me maintain my endurance, and helped me to stay motivated this winter. I think they've even given my hammy some time to heal and get stronger. Hope they help you too.

Depending on your level of fitness and speed, start with the speed you're comfortable with. For all my examples, I'm going to use 12mph, which I get by setting the treadmill speed to 5.0.

Run #1: Hill Repeats: 
Alternating Increases in Incline and Speed

Warm Up: 1 Mile @ 12mph 0% incline

@ Mile #2:
Raise the incline by 1%. Run for 1/2 mile (800 meters).
At 2 1/2 miles, increase speed to 5.2. Run at this incline and speed for another 1/2 mile.
Total so far = 2 miles (warm-up and 1st mile)

@ Mile #3:
Raise incline to 2%. Run for 1/2 mile.
At 3 1/2 miles, increase speed to 5.3. Run at this incline and speed for another 1/2 mile.

@ Mile #4:
Raise incline to 3%. Run for 1/2 mile.
At 4 1/2 miles, increase speed to 5.4. Run at this incline and speed for another 1/2 mile.

@ Mile #5:
Raise incline to 4%. Run for 1/2 mile.
At  5 1/2 miles, increase speed to 5.5. Run at this incline and speed for another 1/2 mile.

Continue the same if you need to include more miles in your training or end with a walk at comfortable speed (~3.3) for 1/2 mile at 0% incline.

Run #2: Speed & Pick-Ups every 200 Meters

Warm Up: 1 Mile @ 12mph (5.0) 0% incline

@ Mile #2:
For the first 1/4 mile:
Increase speed to 5.1. Run for about 0.13 miles (~200 meters)
Then, increase speed to 5.2. Run for about 0.13 miles (~200 meters)
Continue to increase speed every 0.13 miles for the next 3/4 of a mile

@ Mile #3:
Increase speed to 5.9. Run for about 0.13 miles (~200 meters)
Then, increase speed to 6.0. Run for about 0.13 miles (~200 meters)
Continue to increase speed every 0.13 miles for the next 3/4 of a mile

@ Mile #4:
Increase speed to 6.7. Run for about 0.13 miles (~200 meters)
Then, increase speed to 6.8. Run for about 0.13 miles (~200 meters)
Continue to increase speed every 0.13 miles for the next 3/4 of a mile

@ Mile #5:
You can continue to increase the speed 0.1 for every 0.13 miles (~200 meters), but if you're starting to get tired, incorporate a small variation:
Start mile #5 with and increase in speed to 7.5, but only run for at this speed for the next 0.13 miles (~200 meters), after that decrease speed to 6.5 for the following 0.13 miles (200 meters).

Continue the same if you need to include more miles with pick-ups in your training or end with a walk at a comfortable speed (~3.3) for 1/2 mile at 0% incline.

You can do any variation of these Skeleton Runs:
You can do the Hill Repeats with shorter intervals. So, instead of changing the incline and speed every other 1/2 mile (800 meters), change the incline and speed every other 1/4 mile (400 meters).

The same with the Speed Pick-Ups. If you need to slow this down, pick-up your speed every 1/4 mile (400 meters) instead of every 0.13 miles (~200 meters).

If you want less challenge, do your Speed Pick-Ups with a little rest by incorporating the variation outlined above in Mile #5. Increase your speed for 0.13 miles (200 meters), but alternate with a decrease in speed. My rule of thumb is decrease speed by 0.5 or 1.0. So if I'm running 200 meters and my speed is 6.5, then I'll slow it down to 6.0 or 5.5 for the next 200 meters.

And if you need more challenge with your Speed Pick-Ups do them with a 1-2% incline.

My latest variation is doing that 1/2 mile cool down with my altitude trainer
Darth Vader is in Da HOWSE!
Guess I've completely lost it!
Don't knock it 'till you've tried it baby!
It can turn your Dreadmill into Awesome too!

Hope you can use variations of these Skeleton Runs 
to stay motivated.
Here's to warmer temps! 
Train Smart Today!