Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday, Jan. 31st . . . a "free 3.0" recovery run

A 5 mile total recovery run. This is the last run in my 7 day running cycle when my legs are the most fatigued and it follows my long run. I've learned to take it very easy on this day. I concentrate on form and alignment and I never run fast on this day. In fact, I shuffle more than I run.

I also call this day, "a blood flow" day where I'm just running to loosen up and increase blood flow as part of my recovery from my long run and in preparation for Wednesday's hard session which precedes my one day off each week (Tuesday). I ran in the Nike Free 3.0's and they are a great recovery run tool. The slight arch support use to bother me but not anymore as it allows my foot to rest. And since I'm running so slow, it's not a problem.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday, Jan. 30th . . . I found my stride again

One of my best long runs in a long time. A 10 mile trail run at a comfortable 7:30 pace in the Nike Air Zoom Streak XC's. I was pleased that I was able to control myself and not run faster. I'm also all smiles because everything was clicking but more importantly, I found my stride. It's been about 6 weeks since I stupidly decided to tweak my arm carriage and that altered by foot plant and ultimately caused pain in my right foot (early stage plantar fasciitis). I never thought it would take so long to recover my form but it was a major lesson learned.

It was a long road back to hard coding the key elements of my running form. The last pieces included reminding myself that I focus on "attacking the ground," just like sprinters because that forces the foot back down quickly, shortens the stride and increases stride rate. That still means you land lightly but you get the foot back on the ground quickly (just as Gordon Pirie recommended). Additionally, I returned to my naturally higher arm carriage, around a 65-70 degree angle as opposed to the often referenced 90 degree carriage (if you look at some of the greats lke Haile and Bekele, they have a higher arm carriage which is similar to sprinters and that also helps shorten the stride and increase cadence). You see a lot of us Americans running with our arms around waist level which I think is a critical mistake and can lead to a host of problems including injury.

The real discussion is passive arm carriage vs. active arm carriage. I'm a believer in active arm carriage which probably requires more energy and fitness but is a key element in maintaining proper running form and technique.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 29th . . . return to tempo running

A great 6 mile tempo run at 7:03 pace. Absolutely no pain in my right foot which I'm thrilled about. I've backed off tempo running that last 3 weeks to be very conservative and allow my right foot to fully heal. Although it stopped hurting a while back, that doesn't mean it's fully healed and ready for pace/tempo work so I'm slowly adding it back.

I have a long run scheduled tomorrow which will be nice and easy. I ran in the Nike Katana's and they felt great.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

It's the one thing that's mine. My runs everyday are my thing. It's my therapy, my hour to myself. Nobody can really take it away from me... It's such a huge part of me. I love to say that I'm a runner.

-Summer Sanders, Olympic gold-medalist in swimming

Friday, Jan. 28th . . . starting to really feel good . . .

You can't ask for better weather to run in. It was nice, cool and 45F. I knocked off 5 miles at a nice comfortable 8:30 pace. I wore the Evo II's and I was smiling while I was running because I just love the Evo's. The ability for your foot to land and completely flatten is very difficult, if not impossible in regular running shoes and that's the motion my feet love.

There's still some doubt as to what caused the pain in my right foot last month. I've isolated 4 potential things but it could be a combination of some of them or something very simple.

First, I started running too hard, too often and turned my long easy run into a tempo run for about 7 straight weeks.

Second, on the morning when my right foot was sore, I didn't back off and I did 8 miles at 10k pace and that started the 2-3 days of pain.

Third, I was playing around with my arm placement.

Fourth, I stopped rotating shoes for about 7-8 weeks.

However, I'm starting to doubt whether it was my arm placement or the shoe rotation. It may be as simple as I ran too hard too often and over-loaded the muscles and tendons in my foot. And, that combined with not backing off when the foot was sore and running really hard may have caused the issues.

I'm meeting with my coach and PT today for a gait analysis and they'll take a look at me running barefoot and in Evo's and a couple of my racing shoes. It should be interesting and I'll report back the results. It may be that I should use a racing shoe, which for me is effectively a trainer, for long runs and 1-2 recovery runs and otherwise run in the Evo's. I'll have to play around for the next couple months with defining a good shoe rotation but I want to be very careful because I perfected my form and technique running barefoot and in Evo's and my feet are very strong as a result so I don't want to weaken my feet running in cushioned and heel elevated shoes too often.

Maybe the trick is sprinkling in some regular shoe running to give my feet a rest from time to time.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday, Jan. 27th . . . more hills on various surfaces

I nice easy and very hilly 5 mile run in the Nike XC's. This run was on various terrain including concrete, asphalt, dirt roads and dirt trails. My right foot may be well enough to return to the Evo's tomorrow. I'm still debating but I'll be back in the Evo's real soon. Although I plan to continue rotating shoes, I want the Evo's to be my primary footwear.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday, Jan. 26th . . . snow, ice and intervals

This was a tricky interval work-out. It snowed lightly last night so the trails had a little snow which also covered some pre-existing ice. As such, I had to modify my interval workout and run hard over the dry areas and recover while running over the slippery areas. After my traditional .5 mile barefoot warm-up, I laced up the Nike Katana's and warmed up for 25 minutes, then moved into 3x600 meter surges at a 5:56 - 5:58 pace, then moved into a 1000 meter surge at 6:15 pace. Overall it was a great workout.

I was still cautious with my right foot because although it feels good, when you add back pace work you have to be very careful. I'll do easy runs for the next few days as I conservatively add back the sub 6:00 pace running, but I'm very happy to hit those paces comfortably as this is a sign I'm ready to slowly resume my regular training/running.

I also was able to find a pair of the Nike Zoom Speed Racer 2 which replaced the Nike Katana. The Speed Racer is not available in the U.S. but I was able to find it in China and I ordered a pair. Outside the U.S., minimal racing shoes are quite common but here in the U.S., major shoe companies rarely make their best racing shoes available (the Speed Racer is used by Sammy Wanjiru and it's one of my favorite running shoes, along with the Evo and Nike XC).


Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday, Jan. 24th . . . total recovery with the Evo's

This was a total recovery run. My legs were shot from yesterday's run so I had to be very careful and make sure this was a recovery run and just concentrate on running nice and very easy and working on form. It was a 45 minute easy flat run at a 9:30 pace. It felt like I was walking at times but it was a very smart move as it's at these times that you can injure yourself. I call a recovery run a "blood flow run," because the purpose is to increase blood flood for healing and push any waste through you body that remained from the workout on the previous day.

I ran in the Evo I's which was a smart decision because I was better in-tune with my body and I could feel everything so I just had more control, and when you are tired and sore, you need control. I'm still working on my shoe rotation but the Evo's will be included.

Tomorrow is a much needed rest day then I have a hard race pace workout planned for Wednesday.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday, Jan. 23rd . . . hill after hill after hill . . .

A tough 11 mile run on continuous hills at about 6,000 ft., at 8:03 pace. This is one of my tougher workouts. My legs are pretty trashed as this was not only a hilly run but on all roads and I don't do a lot of hard surface running other than racing. As such, I will need to do a very easy run tomorrow. I also stretched for 30 minutes specifically focusing on the hamstrings, quads and glutes.

Around mile 6, I felt the last of the scar tissue break off in my right foot (plantar muscle area) which was great news and I just smiled because I knew exactly what was going on. It was another reason I did an all hill workout as that would give my plantar muscle and Achilles a good workout. Now I feel great and I can start to really add back my pace work albeit slowly and conservatively. I ran in the Nike Katana's which was a wise decision for this type of workout. I'm also pleased to have found a company in AUS that sells the successor to the Katana so I can buy replacements in the future. I'm very close to returning to full strength.

After all these years of experimenting, I've finally isolated what I must do to stay healthy and continue to race competitively. I can't run exclusively in regular shoes, nor can I run exclusively barefoot or in minimalist shoes. I must do all of it. I must run barefoot and in minimalist shoes and I must train in a couple different racing shoes, all based on the type of workout I'm doing on a specific day as well as the type of surface. At the end of the day, I think answer is in the middle of the two extremes.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 22nd . . . why I really run . . .

A nice 5 mile trail recovery run at 7:46 pace. After my barefoot warm-up, I ran in the Nike Free 3.0's. My legs were a little fatiguted after yesterday's hilly run.

Today was another reminder as to why I run. I don't primarily run to train or race although I really enjoy racing. I run primarily for the way it makes me feel and how it allows me to get through the really tough times. My grandmother passed away last night and she's was quite sick for the last few days which has been very difficult. A lot of crying and being unable to sleep. My safe haven is running and I thought about her while running today. While running I thought about all the memories I had growing up with my grandmother. She was the strongest women I've met and the reason I can run today is because of the strength that she passed along to me.

I have a 10 mile hill run planned for tomorrow which I'll run nice and easy.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday, Jan. 21st . . . back outside tackling the hills

A great 1 hr. hilly run at a comfortable 7:47 pace. I started with a good .5 mile barefoot warm-up, then laced up the Nike Air Zoom Streak XC's and did a hilly road run. The trails are still a bit snow packed and icy so I've been on the roads lately but the sun is out today so I should be back on the trails this weekend. My right foot felt great which is awesome news considering this was a pretty hilly road run.

I'll do a very easy run tomorrow then a long hilly run on Sunday. I'm back to rotating my shoes and it's feeling that that was a great decision.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday, Jan. 20th . . . katana's and the treadmill

One of those cold, snowy and icy days that left me no choice but to hit the treadmill. I warmed up barefoot for 5 minutes, laced up the Nike Katana's and did a nice easy 30 minute run between 8:36 - 7:36 pace. I've decided to go back to my regular shoe rotation for a few weeks and see how it goes and how I feel.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday, Jan. 19th . . . starting to lace in the pace stuff

I'm slowly starting to sprinkle in the pace work. Today, after a .5 mile barefoot warm-up, I ran 5 miles at a comfortable 8:30 pace with 6x400 meter surges on hills at a 6:30 pace. I ran in the Evo I's and they felt good but I did feel some discomfort at the end of the end of the workout. It was discomfort but not pain but I'm still on alert.

I'm still searching for the root cause of the pain that was in my right foot as I've considered many things, thought I identified it, then re-considered and I'm still analyzing it. I'm feeling discomfort earlier with the Evo's vs. Nike XC or Katana's but the Evo's are very minimalist shoes so the obvious answer is I still need to re-build the strength in my plantar muscle for the Evo but the obvious answer sometimes isn't the answer, especially in running.

The other thing I have to consider is whether I've advanced my running to the point where due to the pace, distance and intensity at which I train, that I need to rotate shoes and not exclusively run in Evo's. It's an interesting question. When you look at the elites and ask why they run in the shoes, the obvious answer is because they are sponsored and paid to run in the shoes but, again, maybe the obvious answer isn't the only answer. What if, due to the intensity of the running schedule and training, barefoot and/or minimalist training is not ideal and would lead to injury faster than training in shoes due to the load being placed on the body . . . just something to think about.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday, Jan. 18th . . . the day off

It's my regular day off each week and it comes at a great time as my right foot feels better than it has felt in a few weeks.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday, Jan. 17th . . . a recovery run . . .

A fun 45 minute recovery run at a 8:35 pace. I needed an easy run after the hilly run yesterday. I opted for the Nike XC's as I'm going back to my original shoe rotation. Given my training schedule, it may be that I need to rotate a few shoes based on the type of run I'm doing on a given day.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday, Jan. 16th . . . back to the hills

A good 9 mile "all hills" run at 8:32 pace. When I say hills, I mean hills . . . 200 to 500 meter continuous hills for the entire workout. I also threw in a few 500 meter surges at 6:30 pace.

I did have a little soreness in the right foot but that was totally expected since it was my first all hills run in several weeks. I've backed off hills while my foot healed so I expected some soreness. A few hours after the run, I feel pretty good considering this type of workout so that tells me I didn't overdue it. I'm sure I stretched the plantar muscle and continued to breakup scar tissue. For my shoe choice tomorrow, I'm still deciding whether to go back to a shoe rotation that includes some of my racing shoes or whether to run solely in the Evo's.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 15th . . . feeling good

I very nice Saturday morning run. Great weather (40F) and calm winds. The trails are still snowy and frozen so I had to do another road run. After a .5 mile barefoot warm-up on the treadmill, I laced up the Evo I's and ran just over 5 miles at a nice comfortable 8:15 pace. I will start to sprinkle in pace work next week.

Before starting the run, I was going back and forth as to whether I should run in the Evo's or rotate to a racing shoe but I ultimated opted for the Evo's and I'm happy I made that decision. While I'd like to rotate shoes, I'm not sure if I will be able to do so as my foot has adjusted to barefoot/minimalist running over the past years to the point that every regular running shoe feels weird.

As for tomorrow, it's 8 miles of hills at a nice comfortable pace.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday, Jan. 14th . . . it's why I love the Evo . . .

This was my first long run back in the Evo's since I had the pain in my right foot and it was a very good run. There's just something about a zero drop minimalist shoe, at least for me. Nothing feels as good as running in the Evo (of course, the occasional blisters can be annoying so I did wear toe caps to be save but otherwise it's a great shoe).

I ran for 1 hr., at a nice easy 8:33 pace. I still had to be on alert as there are still icy patches that required me to be slow down to a walk for 10-20 ft. but overall it was a great run (the temperature was ideal at 38F).


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday, Jan. 13th . . . the packed snow

I great workout on packed snow. I ran a bit over 5 miles at 8:25 pace (after a .5 mile barefoot warm-up on the treadmill). It was mostly packed snow but some icy patches remain so I had to be careful. I hit a couple big hills and finished the run with a 400 meter surge at 10k pace.

This was only by 3rd run in the Inov-8 F-Lite 195's and they felt great on packed snow and pretty good on the patches of clear road as I returned home. I think the F-Lite will be part of my shoe rotation for dirt road running but I specifically purchased them for tough mountain trails and I haven't had a chance to test them in that environment yet.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Current Shoe Rotation . . .

I've had several people contact me to ask which shoes I'm currently running in. Well, here's my current shoe rotation (I'm back to rotating my shoes regularly, depending on the surface):

A. Hard road surfaces (i.e., concrete, asphalt, etc.)

1. Terra Plana Evo

2. Mizuno Wave Universe 3

B. Dirt trails/roads

1. Terra Plana Evo

2. Inov-8 F-Lite 195

3. Nike Air Zoom Streak XC

4. Nike Katana

C. Mountain trails/roads (i.e., rocky roads and mountain trails)

1. Inov-8 F-Lite 195

2. Nike Air Zoom Streak XC

3. Nike Katana

* (A) and (B) represents about 90% of my running.

Wednesday, Jan. 12th . . . I found my stride again . . .

A nice easy 5 mile run today over packed snow (boy, it was cold . . . about 7F). I had to run conservatively due to several icy spots but it was an enjoyable run, mostly because I found my stride again. I would never have had to find my stride again if I would have left my form alone and not decided to change my arm carriage, for not apparent good reason (another lesson learned). Anyway, I elected to run in my Nike Katana's due to the conditions outside. On dry roads, the Evo's are my favorite shoes, followed by the MWU3's but on tougher trails and/or snow packed roads, I will also run in Nike Katana's and Nike Zoom Streak XC's.

I've been reminded once again to never tweak your running form when you have no reason to do so. I started to lower my arm carriage after watching some other runners and while it felt good at first, I'm pretty sure it eventually led to the pain in my right foot. The lower arm carriage, for me, caused a slight change in my foot plant and the few degrees difference turned out to be a big deal putting more pressure on my plantar muscle. The pain only lasted a couple of days but it started to subside once I return to my regular running form which included a high arm carriage and a longer stride.

With respect to the longer stride, that may sound wrong as you often hear about trying to shorten your stride, which I agree with but only to a certain extent. I'm a slightly taller runner and if I shorten my stride too much, it doesn't feel natural and it turns into an uncomfortable shuffle. There are great runners that shuffle but I'm not one of them as I'm at my best with a longer stride, even if that reduces my stride rate. While there are "macro" running techniques (i.e., landing softly, good alignment and posture, etc.) that almost all great runners adhere to, after that, the "micro" running techniques that separate each runner are very unique to that runner. Never try to copy another runner but, instead find your own individual form.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Walk With Giants

. . . featuring Haile Gebrselassie . . . he is simply art when he runs . . .

Tuesday, Jan. 11th . . . day off and 99%

This is my day off and it comes at the perfect time. I'm feeling very good and I'd say my right foot is at 99%. I won't proclaim it 100% until I return to all my regular weekly pace work. As it stands, I'm doing about 50% of my normal weekly pace work and there's no reason for me to aggressively add back the pace work since I won't be racing in the next 4-6 weeks.

I'll continue to work on my base mileage and sprinkle in weekly pace work. I want to re-focus on my form, including my stride length, stride rate and arm placement.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday, Jan. 10th . . . back to the future (or the Evo) . . .

I couldn't resist saying "back to the future," since they ran the 3-part movie series on the TV last week and I watched all of them. In any event, I'm back to the Evo's (more on that).

I had a nice comfortable run on the treadmill. I didn't have it in me to head outside into the -3F cold (there was also too many icy spots). After a 5 minute barefoot warm-up, I ran for 5 miles working my way down to a 7:42 pace for the last mile. I've been working on identifying the pace ranges where my heart beat is in the 130 range and I hit 129 when I ran the last mile at 7:42. I want to experiment with Dr. Van Aaken's method that almost all running should be done at a heart beat range between 130-150, so I want to also identify my pace range that correlates to such heart beat range.

This was my first in the Evo's in a week, and I ran in the Evo II's and they felt good. I ran without socks and it was fine except for the last few minutes where I could feel some rubbing on the pinkie toe on my right foot but by that time, the run was over. At this point, I'll likely rotate between the Evo's and MWU3's and see how that goes for a week or so, then decide how to proceed. My desire is to return to the Evo as my primary running shoe and use the MWU3 as a back-up. I'm looking to give the Terra Plana Neo a try since it has a mesh upper which may resolve all rubbing and potential blister issues.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday, Jan. 9th . . . snow, snow and more snow

It's snow, snow and more snow, so it was a treadmill day. Although my right foot feels good, I don't want to risk re-injuring by hitting some ice.

After my regular 5 minute barefoot warm-up, I laced up the MWU3's and ran for 1 hr. at a nice comfortable pace, ranging from 8:00 - 9:00 paces, and ranging the grade to 1.5%. I decided to run with my iPOD and with a good track of songs, and can help you maintain a high stride rate.

I'm continuing to re-focus on my arm placement as I think I've identified the root cause of the right foot pain I had last week which is that my arms had dropped a bit too low over the past month or so. The positioning of the arms can impact foot strike and turnover rate. For many runners, like myself, as the arms drop there's a tendency to over-stride a bit which can be done even with a forefoot strike like I have. As you bring the arms up at slightly more than a 90 degree angle, it forces a shorter and quicker stride.

I was planning to run in the Evo's but opted for the MWU3's to be more conservative before I move back to the Evo's. I should be back in the Evo's shortly.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 8th . . . the "360" workout

I finished what I call the "360" workout because it's a combined easy, tempo and fartlek session.
I started with a 2 mile warm-up at 9:35 pace, then moved into 4x400 progressive intervals at 7:26, 7:11, 6:49 and 6:40 paces with 2:00 minute recovery (the 2:00 minute recovery allows for full body recovery), then I moved into a 10 min. tempo run at 6:47 pace, then back into 4x400 at 6:40, 6:31, 6:29, and 6:22 paces with 2:00 minute recovery, then I ended with a 5 minute warm-down.

The key to this entire workout is that it should be a progressive run, that is, you are getting progressively faster with easy session. This is very similar to my 5k race preparation, just shortened. This was the first hard run I've tried since the initial pain in my right foot and it felt pretty good and I had very slight pain at the end, which is expected given this type of workout.

I have a long run tomorrow which I will run at a very slow pace, and I will back off additional pace work for about 5 days. The key is to slowly add back the pace work. I'm going to wait about 1 month before I start racing again which works great because Dec./Jan. are recovery months for me where I try to maintain a good base and sprinkle in pace work.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Quote of the Day . . .

I will always listen to my coaches. But first I listen to my body. If what they tell me suits my body, great. If my body doesn't feel good with what they say, then always my body comes first.

Haile Gebreselassie

Friday, Dec. 7th . . . running before CES

A nice 5.87 mile treadmill run with with 3x1 min. surges at 6:30 pace. I ran in the MWU3's but I will add back the Evo's to my rotation and see how they feel now that my right foot feels really good.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday, Jan. 6th . . . rhythmically varied endurance running

This was a treadmill day and I started with a nice 5 minute warm-up barefoot, then laced up the Mizuno Wave Universe 3's (MWU3's) and ran for 30 minutes, starting very slowly and working my way down to a comfortable 8:00 pace, with finished the last 1 min. at 6:00 pace.

I pulled out a new pair of MWU3's and they felt pretty good. They don't feel as good as my older MWU3's of course because I need to put a lot of miles on the newer pair to breakdown the EVA then the ground feel and perception improves dramatically. I haven't decided if I'm going to run in the Evo's due to the blister issues but I may try the Neo by Terra Plana which is basically an Evo with a mesh upper which should resolve the blister problems. I think the material on the Evo is the issue as it is not nearly as flexible as mesh and when it bends on the toes, it can cut into the skin whereas mesh is very soft and is virtually unnoticeable, at least that should be the case.

I'm also in the midst of reading "The Van Aaken Method" by Dr. Ernst Van Aaken who was well known for him position that the "classic interval training" method was the best way to run. This is the method practiced by Emil Zatopek although today most people misstate how training approach. Zatopek practiced rhythmically varied endurance running, and rarely ran faster than race pace but would cover nearly 50 kilometers per day.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday, Jan. 5th . . . getting back into the swing of things . . .

It was nice to do some speed work for the first time in 9 days. I felt my right foot was ready for some short speed work so I added 6x200 meter surges as part of my 5 mile easy run at 7:28, 6:47, 6:46, 6:45, 6:37 and 6:30 paces. It felt good and I purposely kept the surges short at 200 meters as I slowly add back the pace work. I'll take it easy for a few days and do some 400 - 800 meters surges on Saturday.

The biggest change since the pain in my right foot has been that I've run in the Mizuno Wave Universe 3's (MWU3) the last 3 days. I can't read anything into it this early but I'm doing "yet another" close analysis of the Evo and MWU3. I have some theories and opinions but I need to do more analysis first.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday, Jan. 4th . . . my day off . . .

It's Tuesday which means that's my "off day" each week. This is good timing as taking today off will be good for my right foot which is almost 100%. After discussions with my coach, I will continue to run easy and comfortable paces and I will not do speed work for at least another week, maybe 2 weeks to be very conservative with my right foot. I've been injury free for over 1 yr. and it's not racing season so there's no reason for me to unnecessarily push it.

I'm also having some issues with my Evo's for the first time in many months. I thought the blister issue was over but it returned a few days ago and I had to switch to my Mizuno Wave Universe 3's. I put some new moleskin in the Evo's so hopefully that resolves the issue but it's frustrating when it happens.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday, Jan. 3rd . . . basically back to normal . . .

I did nice 5.57 mile run in 47:10, a 8:29 pace. It was a mixed run on hard surfaces, on packed show, and through slush at various times. The great news is there's almost no pain in my right foot at all and since tomorrow is my day off, I think I'll be very close to 100% in the next few days.

On another note, I have deviated from my position to never run in racing shoes as I ran in my Nike Zoom Streak XC's last week and I ran in my Mizuno Wave Universe 3's (MWU3's) today and they felt great. As I reviewed my daily notes from my last 3 years of running, all my fastest times were run in Evo's or MWU3's. My current pair of MWU3's have over 400 miles on them and they provide as much ground feel as the Evo. I'm deciding if I should only run in Evo's or if I should rotate the Evo's and MWU3's . . . I'm not sure at this point but I did enjoy running in the MWU3's.

I haven't been convinced one way or the other regarding the value of rotating shoes to avoid repetitive stress injuries. This make sense for those that run in more cushioned and supportive shoes but for folks like me that run in very minimal shoes, there's not much that can be done to the shoe other than further compress the EVA down to the ground in the case of MWU'3 but in the case of Evo's or KSO's, it's just rubber so there's nothing you can do to that material. The closer you get to barefoot, the discussion gets more complicated because you wouldn't get repetitive stress injuries from running barefoot.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday, Jan. 2nd . . . the Van Aaken Method . . .

I split a 9 mile run into two halves: 4.5 miles on the treadmill and 4.5 miles outside, mostly on packed snow. There's very little pain left in my right foot and it's getting better every day. I'll continue with comfortable easy runs for the few weeks. Since I know I caused the pain in my foot by running "too hard too often," so I've started to read about Dr. Ernst Van Aaken who developed a specific long, slow distance approach to running based on endurance training consisting mainly of long distance training plus speed training, however, the ratio of long distance running to speed training was quite conservative.

Dr. Van Aaken believed the classic interval method stressed too much speed and high intensity work. I've order his book, "The Van Aaken Method." The Van Aaken method is similar to Authur Lydiard's method but there are some clear differences. While Dr. Van Aaken agreed with interval principles and speed training he believed that high speed intervals blocked endurance rather than building it and that the continual practicing of high speed, beyond racing speed, was uneconomical and led to a decrease in reserves.

He stressed that the bulk of running should be done at a heart rate of about 130 beats per minute and that doing too much running at 140-200 beats per minute placed too heavy a strain on the cardio-vascular system to allow proper adaption. Endurance running at about 130 beats per minute should comprise the vast majority of a runners' schedule (85%+ of the weekly running) should concentrate on daily average runs at this comfortable pace. He believed the other 15% or so should focus on (1) interval speed runs of 400, 800 and 1,000 meters but not at speeds any faster than race pace with full recovery before the next interval and (2) very short interval sprints of 50 meters with full recovery (i.e., 50 meters hard and 50 "float" for 10 or more track laps).

As for results, one of his students, Meinrad Nagele, that followed his method was 43 years old and ran the 5k in 15:41, 10k in 32:23 and the marathon in 2:37. Meinrad was interesting in that he didn't start running until he was 37 years old and at age 46, ran a marathon in 2:29:45. He was 6 ft. tall and when he started running he weighed over 210 lbs. but by age 43, he was 145 lbs. I've ordered Dr. van Aaken's book, "The Van Aaken Method," as I'm quite interested in this approach.

Dr. Van Aaken was a specialist in sports medicine and physiology and studied the way children run to develop his method and his research showed that if his approach was followed, it allowed runner's to successful run into their 70's, 80's and 90's. I'll definitely be taking a deep dive into his methods.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 1st . . . a time to reflect and a time for new beginnings . . .

A nice easy run day on the treadmill. It's still near zero degrees outside with icy roads so it's too dangerous to run outside. I'm not a huge fan of the treadmill but I'm making it work. I ran for just over 35 minutes while I watched a Twlight Zone episode, "A Game of Pool," which is my favorite TV series of all-time as I remember watching it as a kid with my parents. My right foot is nearly 100% but I'll continue with easy runs for the next week or so before adding hard pace workouts.

I'm basically treating mid-Dec. 2010 through mid-Jan. 2011 as my recovery period. After a lot of racing in 2010 and setting several 5K PR's it's time for me to reward and thank my body for the performances and the best way to do that is to "back off" for several weeks and recovery both physically and mentally.


Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    My Blog List

    My Blog List