Tuesday, December 11, 2012

intervals 12/11/12

The VDOT chart can be a fickle master, even though the target paces don't change. Really they don't. No matter how many times I look at them. They are constant, which is basically the opposite of fickle. I think I'm at 61 because I can currently run a 4:53 mile. I don't have, you know, evidence for this, but the idea that I can't do 4:53 is just too awful to contemplate. And I can definitely run 16:48 for 5K. I have evidence for that. Sort of.

1:17:02 half? probably
2:41:08 full? meh who gives a crap about marathons

Like I said, fickle. Daniels does say that it's okay to use your best race and adjust for imperfect conditions. Today's workout goal: 4 x 1200, as close to 4:00 as possible, without going over (equal recovery). Results:


conditions -- cool but humid

Sunday, December 9, 2012

LSD 12/9/12

12mi easy / 1:45:30

Saturday, December 8, 2012

tempo 12/8/12

8K tempo / 28:43

Not my best idea, this workout, as I'm just getting over a stubborn cold. My last speedwork was a full ten days ago. I did an easy six the next day and knew something was wrong. I ran exactly three times Dec 1 - 7 for a total of 22 miles, none of it faster than 7:30. And I had to skip a race.

So I went after this with too much enthusiasm... but the real issue is that it would have been too fast even without the cold. I firmly believe that tempo work should be done at half-marathon pace, and I'm not in 1:15:50 shape. Not yet.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Norton Track Boosters 5K 2012

Did this race today for the first time. Perfect weather and only a couple mild hills. If the course was accurate, and if the 2mi split timer was accurate, I covered the last 1.1mi in 5:40 -- a 5:09 pace. I'm guessing one of those two items wasn't exactly right. Hopefully the latter but probably the former (or both).

My only complaint about races like this, and I understand there isn't much that can be done about it: If you can't break 20 minutes in a 5K, is it really so important that you shove your way to the front at the start? But... it is my own damn fault. If I wanted to avoid that sort of thing I should have trained over the summer and been in good enough shape to enter this race.

Anyway, I lost contact with the eventual winner almost immediately. No hope there. Apparently I've filled my yearly cherrypicking quota. In the first minute I also had to work a bit to get around a group of five, including one very fit looking woman. So I spent almost the entire race in second, playing keep away. I'm planning on getting two or three more of these terrifying events in before I start heaping on the Boston mileage.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

quarters 11/15/12

5 x 400; times were all over the place. I blame it on the wind.
71.8, 72.3, 73.3, 71.0, 71.8

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

intervals 11/13/12

4 x 1200 meters
4:01.6 (too fast)
4:00.6 (... again)
4:04.4 (too slow derp derp)
4:01.4 (gave up trying to get it right)

66 degrees, 85% humidity, breezy

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Camy 5K 2012

Finally noticing some response in the legs, despite pushing myself on this week's Tue/Thu workouts and feeling a demoralizing lethargy during the warm up. Like most DRs I'm a firm believer in the power of the taper, but occasionally I can train right through a race with decent results.

Not that 17:08 is something I should be proud of. In light of what I did eleven years ago a 17:08 carries its own brand of demoralization. Still, progress of a sort. Spent the first 2.5 miles in third place focusing on the "wait... wait..." mantra then gave myself some rein.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

fartlek 11/8/12

45 min w/hill accelerations

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

intervals 11/6/12

3 x 1600 meters / 5:27.1, 5:28.2, 5:26.5

Sunday, November 4, 2012

11/3 - 11/4/12

11/4 -- 10mi / 70:45
11/3 -- 43 min including 5K race

Sunday, May 6, 2012

5K fitness check 5/5/12

Yesterday I did the Attleboro YMCA 5K just to give myself a VDOT guide for the next couple of months. Sadly, this appears to be one of those great old races that is plummeting in popularity. Four years ago I won the 10K and there were 85 finishers, two of us sub-35. This year the 10 only had 43 finishers.

Four years ago the 5K had 158 finishers and this year there were 104. It's too bad, really -- nice flat course, they actually start on time, and there are police cruisers blocking traffic all over the route. Unfortunately I didn't get an accurate read on my current fitness; the race was over after 400 meters. I still can't get completely dialed in unless I'm chasing someone down or playing keepaway.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

tempo 4/22/12

15 min warm-up + 6K tempo / 20:56

Saturday, March 31, 2012

mile repeats 3/31/12

3 x 1mi -- 5:17.5, 5:17.4, 5:17.9
full active recovery between reps
25min warm-up and 22min cool-down 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

LSD 3/25/12

20mi tune-up / 2:21:50 / 18mi easy (2:09) + 2mi brisk (12:50)

Saturday, March 17, 2012


3/17 -- 5mi easy with striders
3/16 -- 8mi easy
3/15 -- zero!
total for week = 49 miles

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


5mi easy with 4 x 200 meter shakeout

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


12mi easy / 88:09

Monday, March 12, 2012


6mi incl. 12 x 100 meter accelerations every 200 meters

Sunday, March 11, 2012


13mi easy today. Cutting the mileage back a bit this coming week so I don't go into NB as wasted as I feel right now... then two more hard weeks, then it's taper time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

mini-progression 3/10/12

8mi with pace change every 2mi / 8:00, 7:40, 7:00, 5:48
total for week = 64 miles

Friday, March 9, 2012


4mi incl. 8 x 200 fast but relaxed, ~37

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


AM: 4mi very easy
PM: 30min easy + drills

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


9mi fartlek / 63:52

Monday, March 5, 2012


5mi recovery run

Sunday, March 4, 2012

20mi progression 3/4/12

Still feeling yesterday's run so this was a modest progression --
8mi @ 7:30 +
4mi @ 7:24 +
6mi @ 7:19 +
2mi @ 6:55 = 20mi / 2:27:20

Saturday, March 3, 2012

MP checkup 3/3/12

yesterday: 6mi easy
today: warm-up + 10mi comfortably hard
total for week = 67 miles

Workout today 2mi easy + 10mi at what JD says my marathon pace should be, which is probably much faster than reality. I'm guessing that my VDOT is 61 because I feel like I could do a 3000 in 9:40. I meant to confirm that estimate a few days ago but the track was snowed under. 61 VDOT is a 2:41:08 marathon (again, I don't think I can do that) = 6:09 per mile, and the workout distance was actually 9.94 miles (16K / 40 laps). I rounded down from the 1600 meter equivalent of 6:06.9 -- I'll not cheat those 9.34 meters -- to a split target of 6:06 flat per 1600.

the result
6:09.07  oops
6:09.20  wtf, pay attention
6:02.63  = 30:32.47 for 1st 8K, 2.47 sec slow
5:54.48  = 30:20.01 for 2nd 8K, 9.99 sec fast

goal time = 61:00.00 / 6:08.2 per mile
real time = 60:52.48 / 6:07.5 per mile
Got a little carried away on the last mile because I was a few seconds behind the goal pace... LSD tomorrow.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


today: 11mi easy / untimed
yesterday: 7mi easy / untimed

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jermaine Wiggins

running today: 11mi easy / 80:25
* * * * * * *
So... former NFL tight end Jermaine Wiggins is a dumbass.

I used to listen to the Felger & Mazz radio show the way some people read JK Rowling or listen to Katy Perry (a "singer" that actually makes my teeth hurt). It's a guilty pleasure. I know it isn't quality entertainment but their heated disagreements are kind of funny, as is their interaction with callers. It's usually worth two or three good laughs every day.

But now I have to vote with my feet and cannot listen to the show anymore because part-time host Wiggins is such a moron. I'm not sure how they got on the topic but today Wiggins declared that "swimming is not a sport." To qualify as a sport, the activity apparently must entail multiple athletic maneuvers of some kind, and a high degree of coordination. In their defense, Felger and Mazz were a little shocked by such stupidity and tossed a bunch of questions at him (paraphrasing here):

So, what about sprinting?
-- Nope. Not a sport.
Usain Bolt isn't an athlete?
-- No.
Carl Lewis wasn't an athlete?
-- Lewis was an athlete, but only because he did multiple events.
What about hurdlers?
-- Yes, because they have to run and jump in coordination.
Are professional cyclists athletes?
-- No.
But decathletes are?
-- Yes.
Marathoners? Is any form of running a sport?
-- Nope. Anybody can go out and run. Doesn't make it a sport.
-- No.
Are you saying Michael Phelps isn't an athlete?
-- Right, not an athlete. Just because the activity is hard

   doesn't make it a sport. Anybody can learn how to swim.
How about figure skating? That requires multiple skills.
-- Yes, figure skating is a sport.

Leaving aside the enormous, glaring logical fallacies in his argument for a moment, the really absurd moment came when Wiggins informed Felger and Mazz that "you guys obviously can't understand my point because you aren't athletes... if you were, you would agree with me. My point about what makes something a sport is a fact, not an opinion."

Ohhh, okay then. So anyone who thinks that swimming IS a sport is either A) not an athlete, or B) an ignorant one. There is a type of person who uses the "you would agree with me if you weren't so stupid" sort of defense. They're called annoying teenagers.

Monday, February 27, 2012


8mi fartlek with 6 x 800m surges, ~2:35 average
full active recovery / 57:00 total running time

Sunday, February 26, 2012


12mi very easy / untimed

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Took a day off yesterday, my first since 1/24/12. If my records are correct I did 269mi in the thirty days 1/25 - 2/23. I don't have an excuse for the rest day other than general fatigue.

today: 15 min warm-up + 13.2K steady-state run / 49:39
total for week = 60 miles even

Thursday, February 23, 2012


10mi very easy / untimed

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

intervals 2/22/12

3 x 1500m / 4:50.0, 4:51.5, 4:52.0
8mi total including warm-up and cool-down

Too fast! I should be doing 1500s in the 4:55 - 4:58 range. The idea behind VO2max intervals is to work at the slowest pace that elicits VO2max and I was definitely beyond that. In other words, "the workout becomes more stressful and the benefits no greater" (JD, 2005). Occasionally pushing into the anaerobic metabolism zone isn't inherently bad, but it is a tool that should be used with excessive caution.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

shoe hunt 2/21/12

running today: 80 min very easy

Still searching for the perfect marathon shoe. I thought the Nike Streak 3 was it. I wore those for Boston last year, no complaints. My concern this time around is that my third pair was DEFECTIVE. I discovered this in the middle of an easy distance session when they already had 70+ miles on them. My head would explode if the same thing happened during a race. Other shoes I considered and dismissed:

Saucony Kinvara -- great for LSD, horrible for racing
adidas Hagio -- yet again, adidas gets the flexibility all wrong
Asics DS Racer -- 7.9 oz is lightweight? meh

I just tried a pair of New Balance 730s. Oddly enough this is my first experiment with NB. The flexibility and weight seem just about right. I'm a little worried about the heel cushion... 16mm could be a bit too far on the minimalist side. There is one more option I'm going to try, but even as I write this I have a hard time believing it: Skechers GOrun.

The con argument: They are made by Skechers. The pro argument: They are good enough for Meb. Pro argument wins!

Monday, February 20, 2012


4mi easy / untimed

Sunday, February 19, 2012

LSD 2/19/12

18mi easy / 2:06:35
Needed to get in two quality sessions this weekend (tempo and LSD) so MV20 was out. A 20mi race followed by tempo is a bad idea. Using the OFTM as tempo was also out because LSD the day before a 10mi race is just as dumb. There was a 10K yesterday that would have worked but I didn't feel like driving to Plymouth. Pleased with the progress so far... the early 7:15 miles felt like walking. Finished with a 6:34.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

tempo 2/18/12

15 min warm-up + striders + 10K tempo 36:04
total for week = 66 miles

Friday, February 17, 2012


4.5mi easy with 6x200 meter striders

Thursday, February 16, 2012


10mi easy / 74:25

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


10mi uber slow death march / 77:39

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

intervals 2/14/12

AM: 4mi very easy / untimed
PM: 15 min warm-up + 5 x 1K at 5K pace, 600 meter recovery, avg split 3:16.8
Acutely aware of running right on the edge of the abyss during these intervals but, as Coach Daniels says, runners occasionally need to visit the overtrained horizon. Today was one of those days.

Monday, February 13, 2012

recovery day 2/13/12

6mi recovery run / 44min

I logged 37mi in the last three days, and because I'm not fully acclimated to that level of work, this was absolutely a "recovery workout" in the more modern and accurate sense: A routine aerobic session done prior to quality day recovery, with the express purpose of putting that recovery in check.

The purpose wasn't to accelerate my short-term recovery in any way, which is how the term "recovery workout" has frequently been used -- the idea being that an easy session could somehow magically help the body recover. Of course, we now know that is nonsense: Workout stress is workout stress is workout stress. If quick recovery is the goal, don't go running. And that holds true for all of the cross-training twaddle.

The purpose here really was to decelerate my recovery. Sustained recovery is how we get faster. In terms of fitness, the body is always doing one of three things: Improving (recovering from workout stress), holding steady, or declining. So when you are building up to a big race and you sense you are approaching the holding steady phase, you have to beat that shit back into submission.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


16mi LSD / 1:55:50

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 ramp-up

first some housekeeping:
2/11/12 - 90 min easy
total for week = 63mi

Been focused on Boston for weeks now but two persistent colds, one in Nov 2011 and another mid-January, put me behind schedule. Base mileage wasn't what I'd hoped for... tomorrow will be the first two hour run of the season. Here is the progression plan:
2/12 - 16mi
2/19 - 18mi
2/26 - 20mi
3/04 - 21mi
3/11 - 13mi
3/18 - New Bedford 1/2 (tentatively)
3/25 - 22mi
4/01 - 22mi (then taper)

Friday, February 10, 2012


15 min warm-up
10K tempo run / 36:45
1mi cool-down

High 40s with a moderate breeze at the start; temp dropped and wind picked up the entire way. But hey it's mid-winter, and I'm getting track work in!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


6mi fartlek / 41:13 --
2mi warm-up + 4x2:20-2:30 surges mixed into easy pace
200 one-leg hops afterwards

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


7mi super slow / 52:10

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


AM: 4mi easy / untimed
PM: 7mi hill workout --
    18:00 easy + 16:00 hill reps + 15:30 easy

Monday, February 6, 2012


30 min easy + 200 one-leg hops

Sunday, February 5, 2012


14mi -- 7 easy, 7 at 6:21 pace

Saturday, February 4, 2012


12mi very easy
total for last 10 days = 85mi

Friday, February 3, 2012


4.5mi easy / 32:20
Wanted to do 2 or 3 more but had two nights in a row of poor sleep. Felt crappy all day and cut it short.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


65 min easy / 9.0mi

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


AM: 4mi easy / untimed
PM: 2mi warm-up + 8 x 300
    52.7, 52.5, 51.3, 50.4,
    49.8, 48.9, 48.9, 49.2

Walkers in lane one... wtf is with the walkers in lane one?? I've been trying to think of an IT industry practice that's comparable to these dumbasses strolling about in lane one. I guess it would have to be developers voluntarily programming in Java.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


50 min easy / 7.2mi

Monday, January 30, 2012


AM: 30 min easy + 200 one-leg hops
PM: 30 min easy + striders

Sunday, January 29, 2012


60 min easy / 8.5mi

Saturday, January 28, 2012


15 min warm-up
6k / 22:10 + 4 min recovery + 6k / 22:01
10 min cool-down

Friday, January 27, 2012


AM: 4mi easy / untimed
PM: 5mi easy / untimed

Thursday, January 26, 2012


40 min easy / 5.5mi + 200 one-leg hops

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

the staple run

This is my running equivalent of 'session beer': 6 miles at conversational pace. It's my staple run, which means I do it 4-5 times per week. Since time doesn't matter (these are 'recovery' runs) I usually don't wear my watch, but always assumed I was maintaining a fairly consistent pace. Apparently not. Out of curiosity I recorded my splits this morning: 7:25, 7:25, 7:03, 7:10, 6:55, 6:42
Oi... well I think one or both of these are happening to some degree: 1) I'm running a consistent effort, which is only loosely correlated to a consistent pace. 2) The observer effect. Not to be confused with the uncertainty principle. I have my watch on, and I keep checking the effing thing, and I observe slow miles, which alters my pace, and I check it again, and faster miles improve my mood, etc.
Okay no more watch during the staple run.