Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Training recap weeks #41 thru #44

Time to concentrate on the NYC marathon! Getting very excited. I have been somewhat delinquint on my postings so I'll try to sum up what I've been doing. The last weeks of my training plan had a reduction in distance for the long runs but not in the weekly interval sessions but I had to try to finangle my work week and weekends to resemble the plan as much as possible while making sure I got the leaves raked, and celebrated Thanksgiving and a few birthdays...

Anyway, the week starting 3 Oct, I ran 4 days in all (2 of which were 10km runs at race pace and I also did a Q2 training). The following week, I only did my 5 mile Q2 training. During week 43, I did my last long run of 14 miles and my 5 mile Q2 training and for the last days leading up to the marathon, I ran 5 miles at T-pace on the Wednesday and a 1.5 mile run at T-pace on Thursday.

My taper was complete and I was ready to drive down to New York. Next post will be a recap of my race experience in the Big Apple!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Learning to run

I have been spending a fair bit of time scouring the net for references and resources on how to learn to run properly. There are many philosophies on training structure and how to work up to and improve race performance or run faster, but surprisingly, I have found very little on actually "learning how to run" properly. Running form is fundamental to efficiency and injury prevention. This is why I have posted the videos on Chi running and the Pose technique. Which now brings me to wonder how somebody who is just wanting to take up running goes about it. The worst thing they could do is slap on a pair of shoes, head out the door and pound out a couple of miles. Don't get me wrong, they could probably do it, although chances are they will suffer, if not immediately, eventually. They will likely feel the impact on their muscles and joints in short order. If either of these likely outcomes happen, the would be runner will most probably figure running is not for them and that will be the end of it. Or, they may keep at it for a while, and develop some sort of injury and eventually give up running because it is too hard on their body. How many times have we heard people say running is bad for the knees? Did you know there is no real hard proof of this claim, but there is evidence to suggest the opposite is true...There are also studies that confirm that most knee problems are a result of injuries related to running (such as overuse) and not the act of running itself. This further supports my position that new runners need to be informed on how to run properly from the get-go in order to ensure that they don't injure themselves and also so that they could really benefit from all that long-term good running has to offer; freedom, fitness, health, longevity, release, meditation, sense of accomplishment, weight control, and on and on the list goes. So having said that, I have found one e-book by Valik Rudd that starts new runners out from the right place, the beginning. Learning the basics and then progressing. If you would like to learn more, check it out here.. And I also found this video that breaks proper form down from head to toe in an easy to understand way. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chi running

I was searching on YouTube for a video to better understand what Chi running was all about and came across Kevin Gianni's video spot from the Renegade Health Show. I enjoyed this video because it easily explained visually some of the concepts that I had read about. I will be trying out this form on my next run so I'll post on how that turned out. I also think there is a way to combine Chi running with the Pose technique, so I will be experimenting with that too. In the meantime, check out Kevin's video and website. I think I will see what other gems I can uncover there as well.

Keep on running ;-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Training recap week #40

On Monday, I ran an easy 5 km. Tuesday, I stayed home from work to go to a dentist appointment and then I took advantage of the afternoon to proof the Harrier Race course. I didn't do the entire circuit but I covered 13 miles in the trails. On Thursday, I did my Q2 training which consisted of a 2-mile warmup, 5x5min T-pace intervals with 30 second rests, and a 1-mile cooldown. It was a tough workout but I am glad I did it. Friday after work, I ran the trails to mark the course for the Harrier Race, I covered about 15km in all but it just got too dark to see anything at one point, and it was raining so I called it a night. I got up early Saturday morning and covered the remaining 10km of the course to finish marking the trails. No Q1 training this week as I have done enough running to compensate.

The Harrier race was a success, the rain held off and the 40 or so participants seemed to enjoy exploring the trails. We had 8 participants for the 20km circuit, about a dozen for the 5 km and the bulk of the participants for the 10km. Most of the feedback was good, but the course marking had mixed reviews; some said it was well-marked while others didn't think so and some even lost their way. Seeing as we changed the formula this year compared to last - last year we didn't even mark the trail, but we had checkpoints to report to..we will have to see if there is a more efficient way that is also simpler for me - because I still have to put up and tear down all the course markers which is a long undertaking in and of itself.

I am disappointed with the t-shirts as well. We only sold one and I gave some away to the volunteers and to the last participants just to not be stuck with them. I don't think we'll do shirts again next year as it is that much less money for the charity if they don't sell. All told, we did raise about $1100 for the Montreal Children's hospital foundation and I want to thank NFOE architects for being a corporate sponsor, Physical Park gym for donating the shirts, the amazing Parks and Recreations staff for all their help and the Community Patrol and First Responders for making sure nobody got lost or hurt on the course. See you all next year!

Total weekly mileage : 51km