Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Discomfort Zone

I have found, through a LOT of trial and error, the most effective racing strategy for me is: “Find a good, strong rhythm (that I think I can maintain) and just crank away”. This has worked well in the past from the 5k distance all the way up to the 50 miler. My comfort zone. It’s easy, it’s efficient and it makes figuring your splits really, really easy!
Entering the Discomfort Zone
Unfortunately, not all races are set up in a way where this type of racing is practical, or even possible. Such was the case this past weekend at the DH Jones 10m in Amherst, MA. This challenging 10 mile course is one of the most sadistic pieces of tortured tarmac I have ever had the displeasure of running on. I have done it three times now, and have yet to figure out how to beat it. I’m beginning to think it’s not even humanly possible!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tri Outs

Since the beginning of January I have been heading over to the Nashua YMCA a couple nights a week to do some swimming. Nothing crazy. Just an hour of easy free-style swimming as a nice way to get some low-impact, cardio work in on my easy/off run days. It’s also been a great way to burn additional calories at a time of day when I’m usually stuffing my face in front of the TV.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pop Quiz

If races are a true test of a runner’s fitness, then tempo runs are like a pop quiz. Nothing too taxing, just a quick check to make sure you’ve been keeping up and have a good grasp of the material.

If you are not familiar with what a Tempo Run is, it’s a run of varying length (usually between 20- 40 minutes) which is done at, or slightly above, the pace where lactate starts to build up in your muscles - leading to muscle fatigue. Generally, this pace equates to your 15k or Half Marathon race pace. It should feel “comfortably hard” for the full duration of the run, but not all out. Greg McMillan does a pretty good job of explaining it HERE.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Moderately Challenged

As stated HERE previously, I have some big plans for 2013 and January started off exactly as I’d scripted. Week 1 included a couple of nice snowshoe runs, a tempo run and an epic 9 mile run up (and back down) Pack Monadnock Mountain. Then God laughed - and all hell broke lose. I was sick for most for Week 2 (logging all of 12 miles) then messed up my calf when I foolishly tried to run a snowshoe race while severely dehydrated. Week 3 followed much like its predecessor, ie. hardly any running. And, as a result, I ended up with just one quality week of training - out of three! Certainly not the way you’d like to kick off what you hope to be a season of PR’s!