PRs for distance (7.97 mi) and duration (1:10:01) in this one.
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PRs for distance (7.97 mi) and duration (1:10:01) in this one.
I made a 6.81 mile run on Tuesday to close out the month of February. As noted, I expected to make three more runs in the week. but the long Saturday followed by an unplanned Sunday run took some of the life out of my legs. I thought it best to rest on Wednesday rather than risk an injury that would keep me off the pavement for a few weeks.
I ended the month of February with 89.9 miles in the books, all of it running. As the mileage came up throughout the month, I harbored a quiet hope that I might reach the 100-mile mark. And, had February been a normal month of 31 days, I might have made that milestone. Instead, I almost doubled the mileage of January, jumping up from 47.6. At the time, that was the PR for monthly mileage. Even with a short month, February definitely set a new standard.
Welcome to the Complete Running Network 100 Beginner Running Tips. This first top 100 post is the CRN teams first group writing project — everyone chipped in to come up with the list.
I ran this afternoon, completely on the spur of the moment. The original plan was as it has been for weeks – run long on Saturday then rest on Sunday. But, driving down Scott Blvd. after Sunday family breakfast at Midtown Cafe, I started thinking about how I’d like to run in that area. I measured out a route on MapMyWalk. When I realized I could cover a large loop of 5.6+ miles, and that the temperature outside was 54° F, I set out for a 50-minute run.
And, it went pretty well for being completely spontaneous. Scott Blvd. has a long hill that peaks at Muscatine, the point at which I turned. My heart rate was in zone 5 coming up the hill. Then, it’s a short downhill and pretty flat for the rest of the run. I stayed in zone 3 or 4 for the remaining miles and maintained roughly an 8:45 pace. Overall, I ended up at 8:48, with a max heart rate of 166.
With the 7.8-miler yesterday, I do have some tired legs. I felt a little discomfort in the right hamstring throughout the run, but it was more about tightness than pain.
Tomorrow will be a day off. Then, the schedule for the rest of the week will be:
This will leave me just short of 100 miles for the month (approximately 96.7), as Feb. ends on Wednesday. But, it gives me hope that I’ll cover 100 miles pretty easily in March. In January, I covered 47.6 for a monthly distance PR. I’m pretty happy with the progress since then.
I took up running seriously about a year-and-a-half ago. Though I’ve been running regularly during that time, it’s only been in the past few months that I’ve really begun to feel like a runner. I’ve made some real strides, so to speak, in distance, duration and, importantly, my mental approach to running. I’ve also begun to rely much more heavily on technology. I use tech to track and recognize my progress, and to challenge myself. Gadgets for running have become much more than musical accompaniment.
If there’s a downside to carrying a lot of tech, it’s that, well, I’m carrying a lot of tech. For every run, I’m wearing or carrying:
I also rely on tech to dissect the data provided by all the hardware. I’ve been a longtime Runkeeper Elite member. I’ve recently begun using FitBit to track nutrition and weight. I’ve also installed the GainFitness app on the phone to craft and track core fitness workouts. I use the iSmoothRun app to track the pertinent details of each run: heart rate, distance, cadence, steps, time, and mapping. I’m now also using the Pedometer Ultimate app to track steps during the day. Finally, I record sleep with RK Sleep. FitBit, GainFitness, iSmoothRun, Pedometer Ultimate, and RK Sleep are all connected to the Runkeeper account to feed the advanced fitness reports. As if that’s not enough, I also have a Garmin Connect account receiving auto-uploads from the FR60 when a run is complete, and a DailyMile account that’s fed by the Garmin Connect data.
It starts to look like a fitness Frankenmonster when I lay it all out. But, hey – I’m an engineer. I love my data.
The upshot of carrying and using all this technology is that the gains in my health are visible in almost every critical area. That’s highly motivating. My mile pace has come down by 45 seconds per mile in the past few weeks. My resting heart rate is down into the low 50s. I’ve lost 17 lbs since I began using the FitBit site in early January. I’ve increased my long-run duration to 55 minutes from less than 40 in December. I know the proper pace to maintain my heart rate in zone 4. I can correlate caloric intake with activity, both normal and fitness activities. I know my strong and weak running days and times. Virtually all the patterns that can help improve my overall fitness or point to weaknesses in my plan are visible. It’s an approach to fitness for an everyday guy that only would have been available to elite athletes as recently as ten years ago.
In the end, the availability of the technology makes it possible to extend lives, and to extend them with quality, my own included.
What’s your experience with fitness technology and tools? Share in the comments.
That’s a question I was asked at work last week when talking about my running. It’s interesting in that it shows just how competitive and goal-centric we’ve become. Or, maybe it’s just my work environment.
In any case, I’m not all that attracted to the competitive side of running. I don’t want the pressure that comes from running to a training schedule. I don’t really want goals that are driven by an outside event. That’s not to say I don’t have goals – I do. But, they’re internal. I’m finally starting to enjoy the little moments in my runs, to stay clear enough through the exertion to catch them as they occur. And, I’m seriously starting to look forward to that time in the week when I’m just running, feeling a sense of accomplishment I wouldn’t have imagined at 50.
So the short answer to the question was and is, “To live into my 90s.” That’s training enough for now.
83ºF, 89ºF HI, MHR 175, mHR 76.
Good steady run without a lot of effort, unlike the past few weeks. I didn’t make it to my 24:00 target, but ran better than 21:00. I originally planned to run 18:00, but felt good when I started. I also changed up some of the technology, and am certain the change made a difference in the run.
So, the past few months have been mostly about recovery from what I think was a stress fracture in my left shin. I’ve taken things pretty slowly, but am back to running regularly outdoors.
The worst of the injury was on January 6. I’m sure I’d probably already done the damage, but that run (just 16 minutes) was excruciating. Actually, the run was only tough – the walk home from the end of the run was the excruciating part. It was a full-out limping, “I’m not sure I can make it the three blocks” experience. I iced the shin when I got home but, somehow, that only made it feel worse. And, for four days afterward, I could still barely walk.
I’m not ready to start running again, just yet, but today holds some hope. This is the first day that the pain in my left shin has been only a twinge rather than something I notice with every step. That’s promising. The plan is still to wait until I’ve been completely pain-free for two weeks before I start a limited running regimen again, but today it feels like I’m actually on that path.
I really intended for this running log to be about more than my shins, but that’s been the primary issue for the past couple of months.
It’s been since Jan 8 since I ran. I took a couple of weeks off from running during the holidays, then backed off to a time target of 18 minutes. The shins were still extremely sore at that so, for the second run in 2011, I targeted 16 minutes. I ran it, but limped home from the finish in pretty sharp pain. My right shin just felt fatigued, but the left one just plain hurt.
Three weeks later, the right shin is fine. There’s still some pain in the left shin. It’s pretty clear to me that I’ve incurred a stress fracture in that shin. The pain is worst when twisting the leg.
So, the plan is pretty simple. I’ll wait to run at all until I’ve been two weeks pain-free. I’m doing some daily stretching and toe taps to build the muscles around the shin in the meantime, and am staying on the stationary bike to maintain “active rest.” When I do start running again, it’ll be primarily on the treadmill to rebuild endurance on a surface with some give. I’ll move back out onto pavement as the endurance increases, with shorter runs than on the treadmill.
Most importantly, I need to be sure to listen to my legs. When there’s pain, I need to back off and let the healing happen.
With some diligence and patience, I should be able to heal and be better off on the other side.