Monday, February 15, 2016

Enduring the Cold

Running outside in the cold weather will toughen you up for your spring season.  As someone who has lived in MD for most of my life, the winters here aren't really that bad.  Not if you compare it to, let's say Minnesota, Colorado, or Maine.  There are some tough, tough, runners I have met from those areas.  Many of them are the best runners in the country.  So, here in DC and MD, when it gets down to the single digits or we get 3 feet of snow, it seems epic.  Yeah, it's cold, but it's manageable if you wear the right gear.  Anything in the single digits is certainly manageable.  It's when you get below zero things can get really rough.  Although I can't speak from personal experience on anything colder than zero degrees.  At least not yet.  The one thing that's annoying is when a track gets covered in snow and you want/need to do a speed workout.  I tend to gravitate towards the treadmill when needing to run fast if the roads/track are covered/dangerous to run on.  To me, the risk of injury is not worth it.  The alternative is a parking garage.  Whatever works so you can run fast without interruption.  That is the important thing about speed workouts.  But running in the cold is all about wearing the right gear.  If you don't wear the right stuff, you will suffer.
In addition to wearing running specific apparel for your upper and lower body, there are 3 areas that a runner needs to focus on that are sensitive in the cold:  Head, Hands, Feet.  Our bodies are wired to keep our extremities warm, so all the blood stays near the most important areas for survival.  Towards the left of the photo below, are the sub 20 degree stuff I wear....towards the right you get closer to 40 degrees.  Most specialty running stores will have these, and they come in different sizes.

0-20: Saucony Drylete Balaclava.  I wear this during a blizzard or during extreme cold temperatures.  It protects the skin and prevents chapped lips.  Keeping your head and face warm keeps your body warm.  You lose a lot of heat through your head.

20-40: Saucony Drylete Skullcap.  The skullcap is amazingly warm for how thin it is and I like to wear this in solid 30 degree temperatures.

30-40: Saucony Drylete Headband.  This is also quite warm for how small it is, but usually better for anything above 30.

0-20: Saucony Run Mitt.  This mitten is bulletproof against wind, and bitter cold temperatures.  The mitten is your best friend when it is this cold.  Your fingers are all in one unit so heat is transferred to each finger more efficiently than a glove.  This is why even if you wear thick gloves, they won't work well, and hardly compare to this mitten.

20-40: Saucony Ulti Mitt.  This is the 2 in 1 Glove/Mitt that I love because of how versatile it is.  I like this because it is also very light and great to use during speed workouts.  It is also good to use on windy days.

30-40: Saucony Nomad Glove.  This glove is actually very good in cold rain.  It is ideal for 30-40 degree temperatures.  The Saucony Ultimate Touch-Tek Glove(not pictured) is usually a solid 40-49 degree lightweight glove, good to use in a race with slightly cooler conditions.

Feet: Feetures! Merino Wool are my favorite winter running socks.  I use them when the temperatures are in the 30's or lower.  Feet need to stay warm because it helps other areas like the Achilles stay warm as well.  The pounding from running in the cold also is harder on the feet so even though you have your running shoes on the cold from the ground gets transferred to your feet very easily.

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor/licensed professional.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Workouts Jan 4 to Feb 7

The first 2 weeks after Jacksonville, I took it real easy.  I took 4 days of rest the week after.  My body felt fine, I was just tired.  Terrel( helped work the kinks out from the race.  The recovery really helped.  Below is my progression the last 5 weeks.

RECOVERY 1/04-1/10:

1/04: rest
1/05: rest
1/06: 6 miles
1/07: rest
1/08: 5 miles
1/09: rest
1/10: 10 miles

Total: 21 miles

RECOVERY 1/11-1/17:

1/11: 6 miles
1/12: 10 miles
1/13: AM: 4 miles/PM: 8 miles(paced Michelle in 5 x 1200m workout)
1/14: 5 miles
1/15: rest/strength training
1/16: 5 miles
1/17: 15 miles

Total: 53 miles

After 2 weeks, I got my mileage up during Blizzard week.  Conrad and I had an epic run in the snow blizzard on Saturday.  We ran in the middle of the roads that were packed with snow.  No one was around except an occasional plow we had to watch out for.  We did run into someone who got stuck and we helped push their car out.  It was somewhere between 2:30-2:45 total time running.  We mapped out the course and it was 20 3 feet of snow.  The photo speaks for itself how much fun we had.  I was pretty beat up after that weekend since it got me woken up to train again.


1/18: 15 miles
1/19: AM: 5 miles/PM: 7 miles
1/20: AM: 5 miles/PM: 7 miles(paced Michelle in 3200m, 2400m, 1600m workout)
1/21: AM: 5.5 miles/PM: 5.5 miles
1/22: 10 miles
1/23: 20 miles w/ Conrad in Blizzard
1/24: 16 miles w/ Conrad

Total: 96 miles

After 3 weeks, I got back to speed work.  I had to do a lot of workouts on the treadmill the week after the blizzard, but I got it done at least.  The challenge was finding a treadmill that would go over 12 mph, which I was happy to find at L.A. Fitness.  I must have looked like a madman running 12.3 mph on the treadmill.  People stared.  Yeah, this is what it looks like when someone is training to push their body to its capacity.  


1/25: 6 miles + Strength Training

1/26: AM: Treadmill: 800m, 1200m, 1 mile, 1.75 mile all @ 11.7 mph/0.5% incline (5:07 pace),
(8 miles)
PM: 5 miles

1/27: 6.5 miles

1/28: AM: 5 miles
PM: Treadmill: 4 Mile Tempo 20:32(5:08 pace), (9.5 miles)

1/29: AM: 5 miles
PM: Track: Drills + 8 x 100m sprints @ 95%, (6 miles)

1/30: AM: Treadmill: 4 x 600m, 5 x 800m, all @ 12.3 mph (4:52 pace), (10 miles)
PM: 4.5 miles

1/31: AM: 20 miles

Total: 86 miles


2/01: Track: 2 miles of 50m sprint/float, (6.5 miles)

2/02: AM: Track: 4 x 300m @ 51-52, 9 x 400m: 68-70, (10 miles)
PM: 5 miles

2/03: AM: 13 miles
PM: 6 miles(paced Michelle in a few 800's...her last 800m was 2:35!)

2/04: AM: 5.5 miles
PM: 7 miles

2/05: AM: 6.5 miles
PM: Track: Drills + 4 x 200m sprints @ 33s each, (6.5 miles)

2/06: AM: Track: 2400m(7:37), 2400m(7:33), 1600m(4:52), (8.5 miles)
PM: 5.5 miles

2/07: AM: 20 miles + Strength Training

Total: 100 miles



Roland and I decided that the Indoor 5K at Virginia Tech on 2/20 would be a good opportunity for me to get in a short, fast race to get my legs ready for the real racing in March.  Though not the goal, we are also not ruling out that I could PR actually.  At first I was thinking of doubling the 3K and 5K, but it makes more sense to get the most out of the 5K.  The 3K is just too short right now and it isn't really going to do anything for me, unless I was focusing on short distances.  The 15K Championship in Jacksonville will be 3 weeks after this race, which is a distance I have never raced(minus the weird fluke Cherry Blossom distance last spring-looking forward to racing the FULL 10 Miles this time!).  It will be fun because I will have a good chance at finishing in a pretty good position and my goal is to compete really well, not worry too much about the time.  However, I can get a decent idea from the VTech meet if I run 14:40-14:50 for the 5K(PR is 14:49), that makes 20-30 seconds slower/5K feel a lot more comfortable to me.  3 X 15:10-15:15 doesn't sound too bad.  At the very least, it will give me confidence when the lead pack makes surges that I have the leg speed in addition to the strength I already have.  And the fact that the zone of 45:00-1:00 hour+ racing duration being my sweet spot right now.