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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday hills, Sept. 30th

I woke up with weary legs thinking my body was telling me it wanted a short easy run but after warming up, I hit a hill and my body responded with a clear message that it wanted all hills this morning so I switched my run to all hills . . . total run: 45 min. If you give the body what it wants, it will respond big time.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, Sept. 29th . . . tempo time

Great 50 min. run with last 1.75 miles at 6:25 pace. I started with pretty weary legs after playing 2 hrs. of tennis late last night but things picked up the last 15 min. of the run so I decided to end with a 10 min. 10k tempo run.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday, Sept. 28th . . . easy goes it . . .

Nice easy 45 min. trail run after taking a rest day yesterday. Floated along to some Fleetwood Mac music.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday, Sept. 27th . . . rest day

It was time to rest according to my body so I continue to listen. Took the day off after 7 consecutive days of running.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, Sept. 26th . . . recovery run . . .

35 min. recovery run. Mixed messages from my body this morning. When that's the case, I commit to an easy run and see how I feel after 30 min. It was clear this was a recovery run as I was a bit sore with very loose muscles. This was a recovery run from this weekend's effort.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday, Sept. 25th . . .

55 min. easy trail run.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday, Sept. 24th . . . tempo again

A bit surprised that I had some pop left in my legs given what I've done this week. Muscle tuning is very interesting and I had some tight muscles this morning which is exactly what's needed for speed. While I run by feel, I pay very close attention to muscle tightness . . . tight = fast; loose = slower run.

total run time: 45 min. @ 6:56 pace.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, Sept. 23rd . . . 45 min. run and book cover notification

RW selected my pics from the June article for the cover of a new e-book on minimalist running.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday, Sept. 22nd . . . very easy on easy days . . .

As I expected. After yesterday's 6:10 pace, my body took it nice and easy for this morning's 50 min. trail run. I didn't think I'd break a 9:00 pace today but it felt nice and easy. I strive for a 3:00 min. per mile difference between my race pace and easy pace. It's a bit conservative but it keeps me injury free and allows me to push hard on the hard days and run really easy on the easy days.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday, Sept. 21th . . . tempo day and why Garmin's block your true potential . . .

I run technology free meaning no watch, Garmin or other gadgets as I run completely "by feel." It has taught me to feel the various paces and control my breathing, as 95% of my running is aerobic running which means different things on different days but it means I run within my breath (even when racing other than the last 200-300 meters). As my friend Tuck has pointed out to me, this is similar to the Maffetone method although I admit I've never researched much about it.

Well, today I decided to wear a Garmin for the first time in months just to see if my "running by feel" approach matches reality in terms of how fast I think I'm running. This morning I ran slightly more than 6 miles in 39 minutes for a 6:10 ish' pace. Before I took off, I guessed that I would run in my 10k pace zone which is around 6:15 - 6:20. For the entire run, I was running comfortably hard but in completely control and it was fairly easy running and I was breathing easily. It was a good solid tempo run. I ended up running about :05 - :10 sec. per mile faster than I thought (or perceived) but very close to what I perceived and how the paces felt. To put this in perspective, 12 months ago this would have been a more difficult workout but having spent so much time just running by feel and focusing on aerobic running, this wasn't difficult at all. I could have easily kept this pace for 1 hr.

The other interesting thing is I use to do about 2-3 race pace workouts "per week" but since I started running by feel, I average only 3 race pace workout "per month." That's pretty close to a 75% reduction in my monthly race pace running yet I'm running faster than I was and it's much easier to do. Other than for elite runners, I think the vast majority of folks fail to realize their potential because they over-complicate running. It's so clear why Kenyan children become great runners. They don't have gadgets, but they run every day to school in their aerobic zone and over time, their aerobic pace increases and over time they become great runners. And, again, other than for elite runners, we put way too much focus on speed work and then often focus on the wrong type of speed work.

Well, the Garmin goes back into the basement closet as I don't need it . . . I will just continue to listen to my body. I don't deny data is often critical to solving problems but in this case, the body is the data and I don't need outside data as the data inside my body. The body tells me when, how far, and how fast to run each day and all the pressure created by outside data is removed. I get a thrill when someone asks me, "how fast did you run today," and I can say, "I'm not exactly sure but it felt like . . . "


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday, Sept. 20th . . . a day not to push it . . .

My body never completely warmed up during this entire 40 min. run. I know this feel well so I just relaxed and let it flow. I never pushed it b/c my body just wasn't in the mood today as it just wanted to move along with quick short easy strides. It's just amazing when you listen to your body and how each day is different and unique in its own right. It's why I can run with a watch.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, Sept. 19th . . . day off

After back to back longer runs over the weekend, my body let me know that today was a rest day so I took the day off. In looking at my log, I'm averaging about 8.5 days of consecutive running to each rest day. For me there's a very specific feeling in my quads that tell me when to take a rest day. Can't describe the feeling but I know it well. It's different than soreness as it's a early sign of problems down the road if you don't listen.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

The weekend

70 min. run on Saturday, followed by 60 min. run today. Both were great trail runs.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Why I can't do barefoot on my trails . . .

This is the nasty stuff I pick out of my shoes from the trails I run and why I have to limit my barefoot running to safer surfaces.


Friday, Sept. 16th . . . 800+ miles and recovery time . . .


So this is what racing shoes look like after 800 miles. In this case, it's the Nike Zoom Streak XC's. It goes to show the shoe stores lie when they tell you racing shoes are only good for 200-300 miles. These shoes continue to perform even better as they get older and look how flexible they become.

I used these today on my 40 min. recovery run and I race often in these bad boys.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday, Sept. 15th . . . easy goes it . . .

A light rain last night provided nice soft dirt trails for my 50 min. run this morning. Perfect conditions . . . about 50F with a light cool breeze. Can't ask for more.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday, Sept. 14th . . . easy going on the trails . . .

A nice easy 50 min. trail run. A beautiful morning with fog lifting from the lake as I circled it. It's definitely fall as it was about 50F when I headed out. I'm a wimp and at this point, I'll have to start wearing light running gloves. When it drops another 10F, I'll be in running pants.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday, Sept. 13th . . . some pace today

I could feel my muscles tuning over the past few days for a faster run and today was the day. A solid 10k pace road run . . .

5 miles in 32 minuues (6:20 pace).

Running in a pair of racing shoes with about 800 miles on them and they feel better than when they were new.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, Sept. 12th . . . back on the trails . . .

Quick 40 min. recovery run. Wanted to take it easy after 3 days of treadmill running. It felt great to be back on the trails. I feel another fast run coming in the next 2-3 days. I know that because I can feel my muscles tightening (also referred to as "muscle tuning") which means a race pace running is on the horizon but I'll let my body tell me which day.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday, Sept. 11th . . . treadmill days coming to an end . . .

55 min. treadmill run . . . last day on the treadmill. Can't wait to the back to the trails.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday, Sept. 9th . . . ah, the treadmill

Regulated to the treadmill. Did a fartlex to my iPod music including 5k @ 6:45 pace and 5x1 min. at 5:35 pace. Good overall workout. Just one more day on the treadmill, then back to the trails I love.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday, Sept. 8th . . . easy run

Just running by feel. 45 min. easy run. I'm sensing a pretty fast sub 6:00 pace workout around the corner. I can feel my leg muscles starting to tune for a race pace effort in the next 2-3 days.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday, Sept. 7th . . . just a good run . . .

One of those perfect easy runs. Just floated along for 50 min. and everything was working right.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday, Sept. 6th . . . back at it . . .

I dropped off my daughter for morning tennis and was about to head out the door for my run while she plays as I regularly due when someone asked me to play tennis. I don't play often anymore but I grew up playing competitively so I said what the heck, I'll treat it as a cross training day and I played 1 hr. of tennis.

When I got home I still couldn't resist running, so I knocked off a 50 min. run with about 2k at 10k pace. I feel great.

Taking yesterday off was a great decision. Well, an easy decision since I listened to my body. If you "truly" listen to your body, injuries will be few and far between.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday, Sept. 5th . . . the body says, "not today"

Per messages from my body, today is a rest day. I'm feeling the impact from Saturday's 70 min. of continuous mountain hills and Sunday's 1 hr run. I could have run today but it's not worth it . . . risk outweighs the gains today. I'll hit it tomorrow.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday, Sept. 3rd . . . hills with no mercy . . .

One of my favorite and most challenging runs. 8 miles of continuous hills and even the flat parts (2-4% grade) are uphill from 5,200-6,000 ft. (several 10% grades). Hills provide the perfect opportunity to work on form and technique. It's mentally challenging to look ahead and all you see is hills as far the eyes can see :) but I love this run.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday, Sept. 2nd . . . didn't even feel like a workout

Cut this run short because I like to end some runs feeling very strong. I had a lot left but I'll save it for another day. Very satisfying to get to the point where a 40 min. easy run doesn't even feel like I worked out.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday, Sept. 1st . . . nice and easy

45 min. nice easy trail run. Just simplicity but that's the beauty in it :)


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