Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring Break and Really Chilly 5K

Spring Break
Why do they even bother calling it spring break when it is still winter. I think we should get another break once it is spring so we can actually get some quality sbr in. Luckily I got to go down to Tennessee for a couple days and get some really good running in. It was nice that the break fell at the same time as a "recovery" week for me so I didn't have to try to cram three workouts in everyday. My average day was usually a run in the morning and then spending the afternoon travelling to various bike shops and running stores trying to find some good deals. I ended up getting a couple new bathing suits, racing flats, training shoes, a cycling jersey, and a new bike computer. The first day there I did a 90 minute run on the back roads and there was not a single flat spot during the entire thing. I think it took the whole week to fully recover from that run.

Really Chilly 5k
Today was my first real test of fitness at the Really Chilly 5k. I ran 17:01 which is the fastest open 5k I have run since grade 11 and only 9 seconds of my 5k pb. Definitely can't complain about that result when it was like running through a giant puddle the entire race. I have only been running 3 days a week so I wasn't really sure what my run fitness would be like so I went out with the main group (one guy just took off straight from the gun and ran a 15:38 didn't even have a chance of going with him since some little kids decided to sprint off the start and box me in). I was in a group with maybe 4 guys from London Runner so I just tucked in and let them do the work for the first 2k but I was feeling pretty good and put in a little surge to see how everyone legs were feeling. They came with me so after about 100m I turned off the gas and sat back in the group. At the 3k mark I made my move knowing that I had to break the group up or I had no chance of coming second so I put my head down and hammered for about 500m and no one came with me. At this point I just did not want to look back and kept the legs turning. I was able to break them and finish second which is great for this early in the season. Felt extremely well and wished I would have tried to go with the winner even if I would have blown up. Splash and dash is this weekend so the 10k should be interesting.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Belated Valentine's Day

Happy belated Valentine's day to everyone but if you are like me it was just another day hammering away in the cold. I'm alright with that though since triathlon is my one love and yesterday I did all three what can be better. Started out with a solid swim set in the morning that I completely butchered and I don't think I did a single things right. Swim workouts just get so much more complicated then run workouts when there are four strokes, a million drills, etc and they all have abbreviations. The main set was supposed to be 5x500 but I ended up doing 4x400 and one 500 but I still did the same amount of "hard" swimming so I wasn't going to beat myself up over a couple hundred meters of easy swimming. My swimming is coming along, but I still don't have the strength needed to swim as fast as I would like. A 40s 50 is easy for my cardio system but my arms just can't pull me any faster. In the evening I spent some quality time with my girlfriend (bike). Started off with a 20 minute warmup then did 20 minutes hard, 5 easy, 5 hard, 5 easy, 10 hard, 1:30 easy, 30 hard, 1:00 easy, :30 hard, 1:00 easy, :30 hard, 20 easy. Felt strong throughout the whole thing and really I just can't wait to get outside. I followed this with a 15 minute run where I did a 30 second acceleration every 2:30. My running is really coming around for the amount of running I am doing, but we will see what kind of shape I am in come the 27th when I do my first race of the year (Really Chilly 5k). Hoping for a sub 17 but it will probably depend a lot on the weather.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Christopher McDougall: Are we born to run? | Video on

Christopher McDougall: Are we born to run? | Video on

So I came across this video on today. Not much new to anyone who has been following running the last couple years and witnessed the trend of barefoot/minimalist running. I have heard people that are in love with the whole barefoot thing and others that absolutely hate it, but this is my take on it. If you are in shape and have decent running mechanics you can get away with doing a couple miles a week barefoot on grass. As you spend more of your running time on the hard concrete you are going to need more shoe up to a point. Thousands of years ago our ancestors didn't need running shoes because everything was grass and dirt, the first asphalt road wasn't until 1824. To compact the hard surfaces obesity is an ever growing problem and this extra weight is extremely hard on the bodies. If an overweight person were to run barefoot for a couple miles and not die of a heart attack I think there knees would collapse. This is why I believe a shoe is a needed device to prevent injury and allow you to keep running. If bare foot running is getting more people to run then I am happy, but we will see what happens over the next couple years to the minimalist movement.

As an aside I did my first "hard" run since my Achilles problems in December. I did a 20 minute tempo and did about 5.4k. Not the fastest tempo by any means, but I am taking it as a good note because the only pain was in my calves running up the hill on Viscount Rd. There was still some snow on some of the smaller roads and bits of sidewalk I had to run on and it definitely slows you down a little. I can't wait for the race season to get here. I am hoping for a couple pbs in the 5k and 10k as well as triathlon.