Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Target: 350 Miles in 2016

Did 250 miles in 2015, working my way back up

Monday, April 9, 2012

200 miles in 2013

Cutting back in 2013, but still planning on 200 miles (5 miles/week).
- Roughly on-track except for 4-week terrible cold/flu

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It is Dec, my 2010 goal (520 miles) almost reached

I am doing less in these winter months, but will still reach my 2010 goal of 520 miles in 52 weeks:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aug+Sep Heat+Humidity slowing me down

The heat +humidity have slowed me down, but i still try to go 3 miles every 3rd day (instead of 4miles every 2nd day).  see the 2010 cumulative progress graph at the bottom left.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Aerobic (Low-HeartRate) Training Results (4weeks)

OK, I have been fairly carefully following Aerobic (Low HeartRate) Training for 4+weeks now.  The articles say it takes at least 4 weeks to see initial results, and often 6-8 weeks. 

Aerobic (Low HeartRate) Training is supposed to reduce my effort (my HeartRate at any particular speed) and increase my endurance (ability to increase speed and/or distance).  Has it started to visibly work?

Start: 03-May-2010.  4mile run at constant pace:

 Current: 31-May-2010 (4 weeks later) 4 mile run at constant pace:

Result: I am now running at a constant 0.2mph faster (30sec/mile faster) at a 3 bpm lower average HeartRate (6 bpm lower max HeartRate at the end).  Not bad for 4 weeks, we will see what the next month produces.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Run:Walk Intervals in Training and Races

In each of the Aerobic Training and Warmup posts below, I mentioned the Run:Walk Interval approach favored by some coaches, especially for beginners and intermediates but also for experienced competitors.  Other runners have been asking about it, and expressed interest in it (and some have started using it with good success).  Hence I thought it deserved its own separate post to highlight this approach.

There are several coaches who are strong believers in walking intervals (during training and races):

The above articles described the concept in detail, but in summary the idea is that you can walk for a short interval to massively rest your muscles and reduce Lactic acid buildup and to reduce stress and injury, and then more than make up that time by running slightly faster for the next interval.  The net effect can be little lost time and sometimes even faster overall times, and almost always the overall run has less stress on the body (less injury) and you finish feeling much better (and/or can go further).

For example, in 1984 Stu Mittleman set an American distance record for the 6-day World-Championship endurance event, 578 miles.  He did it by following Dr. Philip Maffeton's advice and alternating 1hour walks and 1hour runs, and was still going strong on the last day when many others had long-since hit their "walls".

I believe that the "Running Room" programs use a 10:1 Run:Walk approach.

In particular, see the charts in my Warmup post to see how such Run:Walk intervals help me lower HeartRate (and Lactic acid and stress/injuries) throughout a run.  I now use this approach during my Long-Slow-Distance weekend run, but not during my slightly faster mid-week speed/strength building runs (where I intentionally want to stress the muscles a little more).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Warmup critical to good run (also: Run:Walk intervals)

Good warmups are key to having a good run, and equally important is not starting too fast during the actual run. If you start your run too fast, your HeartRate goes up too fast and too high, and you also build up LacticAcid in your muscles that slow down the rest of your run and reduce your endurance. If you dont warmup enough but then start a normal run, the effect is the same due to the large transition from nothing (or just walking) to actually running.

1) Here is a normal run for me, proceeded by a good 5-10 minute jogging warmup. Then I stop, reset my Garmin HRmonitor, and start my actual run. The actual run is then done at totally constant pace start-to-finish:

2) Here is a run where I decided to try a 6:1 Run:Walk set of cycles. Foolishly I only did a walking warmup, then started my normal run. You can see exactly the difference, the first cycle is not good and it takes until the second cycle to settle down, Third and other cycles are then fine. Good warmups and not over-doing the start of your run (start slow to finish strong) are really important.

I am not a really experienced nor long-distance runner, but I know about the importance of a good warmup and the recorded charts above capture and show it amazingly clearly

PS:  Some coaches are strong believers in Run:Walk intervals (during training and races) to actually increase your overall speed and endurance while reducing the stress and strain on your body:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Web "Training Log" sites

I have been using several for nearly 6 months, to see which I liked best. To me the main must-have features are:
  • easy (preferrably automatic) upload of Garmin data and show result as nice graph of activity speed/pace+HeartRate+Cadence
  • graph of daily distance for last several months (so I can see how I am doing)
  • ability to send link to others without them having to be member signed-in (but with controllable access)
The sites I am trying, in preferred order, are:
  1. Daily Mile (Garmin import but no workout graph):
    • D.M. Workouts: nice open community for sharing workouts and progress
  2. Running Ahead:
  3. Run Saturday:
  4. Runners World (no Garmin import):
  5. Garmin Connect (no daily charts):

  6. Fetch Everyone (must register/login, nice time predictor):
  7. LogYourRun (must register/login, no daily graph):
  8. MapMyRun (must register/login):
  9. TrainingPeaksPersonal (Poor unless you pay):
So, what sites do you use and prefer? (and WHY)...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A quick note on Chia seeds

I buy mine from  The SuperSeeds site has pages describing Benefits, Nutrition, Recipes, etc.  They point out that Chia has:
- 6x more calcium than milk
- 7x Vitamen-C than oranges
- 3x antioxident than blueberries
- 3x more Iron than spinach
- 2.5x more vegetable protein than Kidney Beans (20-23% protein by weight)
- 8x more Omega-3 fatty acid than salmon
- 15x more Magnesium than Brocolli
- almost tasteless so can be added to almost anything

A good Iskiate (Chia Fresca) drink recipe is:
- 8 oz (1 cup) water
- 2.0-2.5 teaspoons of Chia Seeds
- 1 tsp fresh lemon or lime juice
- 2 tsp sugar or honey
- Mix water, sugar, and juice
- Add Chia Seeds, shake or stir
- chill 10-15 mins, stir,serve

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Aerobic Heart-Rate Workouts to Increase Endurance (then Speed)



I am NOT a skilled professional, but it is my amateur understanding that there are 30+ years of studies which show that exercise keeping the Heart-Rate 0-10 BPM below the Aerobic Threshold (AeT) builds (typically over several months) the endurance base required for all other running/cycling/swimming fitness. Typically over 95% of the energy used for endurance sports (events lasting more than a few minutes) comes from the aerobic system.
- A simple non-laboratory Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Test can be used to measure AeT improvements. One possible MAF test is to run+time 3 or 5 constant distance "intervals" (taking perphaps 10-15 mins each) at 180-minus-age constant AeT Heart-Rate (each interval will be slightly slower than previous one). Over many weeks the total time will decrease (speed will increase) and eventually level off.
- The AeT can be laboratory measured, or it can be reasonably estimated using “180 minus age” for fit individuals (there are +/- adjustments for some fitness factors).

The studies also show that the Lactate Threshold (LT, where more lactic acid builds up in your muscles than there is oxygen to carry it away) then becomes the major factor for extended endurance performance. Once the Aerobic base is established and stabilized, then Tempo+Interval+Fartlek exercise can be used to improve the Lactate Threshold as well as building short-term speed and power.
- The laboratory Conconi test can be used to accurately measure LT, or it can be reasonably determined with a simple non-laboratory Lactate Threshold Test running 10mins warmup then 30 mins constant Distance/Speed (measure HeartRate for each 10 min interval).  If each of the 2nd and 3rd HeartRates are almost identical that HR is your LT.  Otherwise run next weeks test slower or faster.
- NOTE: Initial training LT-HR will likely be 20 bpm below AeT,  somewhere around "Recovery-HR" in the table below. Much later, after Aerobic and Lactate training, it should get to around 20bpm above AeT as shown in the table  belolw.

Zone Description% of LTAge=30
Fit BPM: 
Fit BPM:
Fit BPM:
Fit BPM: 
Fit BPM: 
1(AR) Active Recovery75-84127-142118-132110-123101-113100-112
2(AeT) Endurance AerobicThreshold85-89143-150133-140124-130114-120113-118
3(Tem)(Ae) Tempo AerobicTolerance90-93151-159141-146131-136121-126119-124
4(LT)(AnT) Pace LactateThreshold94-99160-169147-157137-146127-135125-133
5a(An) Interval Anaerobic/Lactate Tolerance100-102170-174158-160147-149136-138134-136
5b(AeC) Speed AerobicCapacity103-105175-179161-165150-153139-142137-140
5c(AnC) Power AnaerobicCapacity106+180-190166-180154-170143-160141-158

Aerobic Threshold:

There are a lot of articles to do with "Maximum Aerobic Function" that strongly claim that FIRST you need to build your Aerobic Threshold (AeT) endurance ("slow twitch muscle", energy burning fat) which is the basis for most energy consumed during medium and long events (Carbohydrates stores are smaller and run out much sooner).
- At bottom of AeT (80% of LT) your energy typically comes from burning 75% fat (everyone has a large storehouse), about 20% from carbs, about 5% from protein (muscle)
- by actual AeT (89% of LT) you typically burn 50% or less fat, 45% is quickly consuming your much more limited store of carbs, and 5% from protein
- by actual LT you are typically burning 75% or more carbs and 10% protein (muscle), and less than 15% fat
- fat supplies around 38kj per gram whereas carbohydrates and protein supply 17kj per gram, so we burn more but get less energy as we shift through and past the Aerobic heart-rate zone, and there are also smaller stores available.

As your Aerobic energy efficieny improves, performance will improve (until you maximize Aerobic capacity). THEN you can build your Anaerobic power ("fast twitch muscle", energy burning carbohydrates) and start to increase your Lactate Threshold and your bodies maximum physical endurance. The focus on AeT seems to be widely agreed for any sort of endurance running. For example, see the following:
The above papers describe in detail the 180-age (+/-fitness) calculation to determine Heart-Rate to use for AeT improvement.

As well, some coaches are strong believers in walking intervals (during training and races):

Heart-Rate Zones (some different ranges and definitions):

Lactate Threshold:

Once you have Aerobic endurance maximized and want to increase your Lactate Threshold and speed+power, there are articles covering adding Tempo and Interval and Fartlek training to your distance/endurance base, such as:

What am I doing in my personal training?

  • I have carefully read various articles to understand the details, and have my doctor's approval for this activity.
  • I have stopped doing training based on the old-school "220 minus age" Maximum-Heart-Rate (train at 60-80% of MHR)
  • I am now doing all my training runs trying to keep Heart-Rate 0-5 BPM below Aerobic Threshold
  • I am recording the average speed/pace over that constant distance run (plotable as my personal MAF)
  • I expect to see improvements over the next 1-3 months, then (sometime) level off
  • I will then add in Tempo/Interval/Fartlek work to increase LT
  • RESULTS: Results are shown in a more recent (June) post

Comments Appreciated

- Have you tried this? Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
- I think additional/separate non-Aerobic activity is OK, it just wont help build the Aerobic base.