Sunday, February 25, 2007

36 miles and counting

I'm not sure what possessed me to run from Los Altos to Saratoga and back, all on trails. I've had the idea in the back of my head for some time to run from Rancho San Antonio in Los Altos/Cupertino to the Pacific. This run on Saturday was an exploration of the first ~18 miles of this route. From Saratoga Gap the route follows the Skyline to the Sea trail exclusively but prior to that the route runs through complex of trails leading up to Saratoga. I looked through the relevant maps online and pieced together the route.

Rancho to Black Mtn. Indian Creek Trail to Canyon Trail. Canyon Trail to Table Mountain trail. Table Mtn trail to Saratoga Gap trail (north). Cross Skyline Blvd to Achistaca trail. How did they come up with a name like Achistaca? I thought I'd ascended to Peru.

As this was an exploration of a future point to point route I headed back whence I came and completed just over 36 miles in a leisurely 7 hours. I'm guessing the climbing totalled around 6000 ft. The route is pleasant even though the weather was cool and fog was blowing a light drizzle. The Canyon trail and parts of the Table Mountain trail are beat to hell by mountain bikes which gives the path the feel of a thoroughfare and takes away the illusion of remoteness. I have to say, in the defense of my two-wheeled brethren, the terrain is ideal for riding.

I didn't feel that strong during the run but I kept going which is good enough.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Running Drills

Here is a good source for running drills. I need to verify these with a few other sources but these are similar to what I did way back when (college days).

Friday, February 16, 2007


I thought it would be useful if before delving into my hard copy files for my coach's training plans from 1998-2001 I identified specific gaps in my current fitness.

Endurance: Definitely by strongest asset at this point. 50K results at Woodside 2/3 are ample evidence.

Lower Body: Reasonably strong from running and yoga but could benefit a lot from consistent (2x weekly) squats and toe raises
-Upper Body: Need to get to another level with my upper body strength. This is historically a weak area for me and it will take a lot of focus and consistency to change that for good. Move forward with pull-ups, push-ups, bench press, inclined bench, dumbbell curls, two arm curls, dips, tricep extensions - high reps two sets.
-Core: Inconsistent training in this area. Should move forward with planks, sculler situps and raised-leg twists (Trevor's e-mail)

Based on 1/26/07 10K time-trial my threshold looks to be about 164 BPM. But based on lap HR averages during the 1-1.5 hr of my 50K it looks like 167 was my threshold. This is probably a fair bet.

This is currently my weakness. I ran 3x1600 this last Wed. and couldn't go any faster than 6:24 pace. Results were 6:27, 6:24, 6:27 w/ about 3:00 recovery. I ran my 10K time trial at 6:48 pace so clearly I have stamina but no speed! What else could be interfering? I ran the intervals on Wed. at 5:50 AM after only a 17 min warmup. I should probably either move my intervals to the afternoon or evening or modify the morning session tinclude a longer warmup such as 40:00 progressing from 8:30/M to 7:00/M.

Currently 142 (4/30/07) down from 154 in January. My ideal race weight is probably closer to 135-138 but I need to rely on high mileage to take this weight down. Restricting my calory consumption too much causes me to lose muscle and become very irritable.

Good due to yoga. I sometimes neglect to stretch after training and that causes me to regress.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Last Marathon

I somehow thought my last marathon was in 2003 the year I broke my ankle. I was wrong. I last ran CIM in 2001.

PR: 2:56:38

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Running Blog Community

I came across Donald's excellent blog through his column in the Monterey Herald. He lists a number of other blogs I'm looking forward to reading through.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Workout Menu

Workout Menu

Track workouts - Speedwork
-For examples see Jim Tracy's hardcopy workouts
Progression Runs
-Advantage is race simulation and speedwork with less fatigue
-Same as above
Tempo Runs
-Time trial, consistent pace work
-See Run like the Kenyans article
Hill Repeats
-See Run like the Kenyans article
-Need more examples
Long Runs
-Can include Tempo, Fartlek, Progression
Maintenance/Recovery runs

Bikram Yoga




The PCTR Woodside 50K took a lot out of me but I am back running much sooner than usual. In the past (pre-2003) I took off at least three weeks after a big race. This proved to be a big hindrance to running year-round as I put on weight and found it hard to get back into any rhythm. I raced 2/3 and was running again 2/6. Just 4.8 miles at 8:30 pace but I didn't feel hobbled as in earlier years. I ran the same loop Tuesday-Thursday. Bikram Yoga was part of the recovery plan but between fatigue and Itir travelling on business I haven't been able to make it. Cycling and/or swimming might speed up recovery in future.

Monday, February 5, 2007

PCTR Woodside 50K Trail Run

Result: 4:13:34 for 50K/30.8 Miles 4500 ft of climbing. 8:08 average pace 4:58 fastest pace (downhill). Finished 4th out of 84. Beaten by Richard Blanco 38 of Redwood City @ 4:09, Tom Flavahan 39 (Officer) @ 4:06 and Michael Buchanan 33 of San Carlos @ 3:57.

Race Strategy: Strategy was to run conservatively on the first climb up to Skyline and stay smooth and relaxed to the base of the climb out of Wunderlich. After that I planned to open up on the Skyline trail and accelerate through the downhill in Huddart to the finish. My A-Goal was 4:16/8:20 pace, B-Goal was 4:37/9:00 pace, C-Goal was 4:52/10:00 pace.

Race Day Events: Weather was perfect ~40 degrees at the start. 5 guys bolted at the gun to make the gate and I decided to try to stay with the leaders. Running down the first trail to Richards road we were at 6:00 pace and my heart rate was up at 170 when it should have been 150-155. I felt good and chalked this up to too much caffeine (drank a Monster energy drink 50 min before the start). I passed two guys on Richards road and then Todd Flavahan caught me on the climb up the Crystal Springs trail. He looked to be running relaxed and was chatting up a storm. It was clear he could take off if he wanted to but we ran together all the way to the bottom of Wunderlich park. The miles just ticked by running with him. I was pounding ultima sports drink from the nathan two bottle carrier and eating strawberry Cliff shot blocks every 20 minutes. Despite good fuelling I couldn't hang with Tom F. when he made his move climbing out of Wunderlich. I struggled a bit on this climb but pulled it together for the traverse on Skyline trail. The Chinquapin section through to the finish was a continuous acceleration and the last 1.7 miles on the Fire Road was a sprint. Last 40 yd was a full sprint. Dad was at the finish which was great.


Race Performance: I ran a lot faster than I thought I could. I'm really proud of 8:08 pace and happy to have broken the course record by 10 min. The new course record is 3:57 which is lot more appropriate for this fast and gorgeous race. I owe Tom F. a lot for his encouragement and the great pace he set through the middle of the race. My decision to go out with the race leaders payed off. Lesson is to run smart & aggressive. Fuelling was great at every 20 min drinking and eating. Water pack needs improvement as it was sometimes too tight and too lose. I also had to switch bottles around which was a hassle. Refills were pretty easy however. Food could have been more conveniently placed on the nathan pack. Race kit was great. No chaffing due to the seamless underwear (Target), running shorts, shirt. HRM didn't bother me much.
Taper was good and hot bath with stretching helped the night before.

Training: Based on my performance my endurance is pretty solid but my calves and hamstrings are pretty sore which makes sense because I didn't do any speedwork, just tempo prior to the race. The long runs over 23 helped a lot and running most of the course plus a few miles to make a 33 mile run was great. Running long runs with some tempo thrown in was a big factor as well. Lifting weights and Bikram Yoga all contributed as well.

I believe I would benefit from greater variety in my running. I focussed only on mileage which is important for me but not at the exclusion of everything else. I plan to follow the recommendations laid out in the Run Like the Kenyans blog I copied. This will mean focusing on form, drills, speedwork, hills. I would like to be able to run 80 miles consistently and do some quality workouts.

Next Steps:
  1. Plan next race
  2. Create training plan for next race
  3. Develop workout kit with examples/options
  4. Plan races for the year
  5. Plan next three years with contingency plans
  6. Set A, B, C goals for next three years.