Saturday, July 16, 2011

Street vs Treadmill

I decided to do a similar post as the one I talked about running with and without music.  Another big division between runners seems to be running outside on a road or trail, or running on a treadmill.  While I prefer running outside more, there are benefits to both, as well as downsides.

Running on a Treadmill
I will start with the treadmill, otherwise know as the dreadmill for those who don't like it!  While I find it incredibly boring to run indoors on a treadmill, I have become more confined to it because of this grueling Texas heat.  That is what got me thinking about this post in the first place.  That brings me to my first point

Running on a treadmill helps beat the heat/avoid the cold.

In certain parts of the world it just becomes unnecessary to run outside because of weather factors.  It will only discourage us as runners and hinder our goals, unless your goal is to run in insane climates.  If that is the case, more power to you!  My second point comes more from a training stand point.

Running on a treadmill helps keep you on pace.

If you are like me at all, I tend to prefer running at whatever pace feels good, not what pace will benefit me the most.  When I run my pace runs, I am able to make sure I am maintaining a constant speed because I would have to consciously slow the treadmill down.  The third point is

Running on a treadmill allows hill training.

Where I live there are no hills.  It is completely flat.  But throwing in some hill training, although simulated, will help with my overall training balance!  So I have come to realize even though my heart lies with running on the road, the treadmill inst all that bad.

Running Outside    
I love to run outside.  I just feel so free!  Its me, my shoes and the open road.  Simplest entertainment there is in my opinion.  But as there are good things in running on the treadmill, there are good reasons to run on the road!
Running outside mentally prepares you to race.

While that is not proven scientifically as far as I know, I think it helps prepare the runner.  Running outside prior to racing outside helps take out some factors that you might not be use to when running on a treadmill (such as wind resistance).  Another good reason to run outside is 

Running outside is an adventure.

The treadmill is so predictable.  The run will almost always be the same, but running outside you have no control over what you will see/encounter.  That can be good and bad, but hey, whats life without a little adventure?  And because I did three points for the treadmill I figure I would keep it even and do just one more for outside.

Running outside will define you.

That one sounded deep, I know.  But I can't think of another sane way to push yourself and find out what your limits/breaking point are.  Its a lot harder to quit when you are miles away from your house/car and it become a difficult time.  Its interesting to see how much we as humans can put up with physically and mentally!

- Do you prefer running outside or on a treadmill? Why?


Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Funday I

I figure since Fridays are the only rest days in my training week I would still write on the blog but not all about my training!  Even though this is the first one I am going to break that rule and talk about my run.  I was supposed to do this run yesterday but I got busy (and then lazy) so I flipped my two days to make sure I at least ran it.

It was a 3 mile easy run, as in about 80% my full speed.  I ended up doing it just under 30 minutes which I think was right on track for 20% slower.  As I stated in my last post I am running on the treadmill now, and it turns out that it was a lot easier to make sure I stayed at a consistent 80% speed, rather than sporadically speeding up because I felt a burst of energy.  It left me feeling really strong and good after I finished.

In Other News
I went and saw the new Harry Potter movie today.  I am slightly sad that it is now over, but alas all good things must come to an end.  I thought it was really good, and so did Haley.  We are both big HP nerds (not big enough to have gone and dressed up for the midnight showing though) so we planned on seeing this as soon as we knew when it was coming out.

It was way more action packed than part 1, which was expected.  They did a great job of including almost everything, and there was never a dull moment.  If you are a  fan, go see it now!  The only sad part was that we ended up in the 2nd row, so my neck became a little sore! :P

- Do you ever have to force yourself to maintain a slower speed?
- What movie/book are you looking forward to watching/reading?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Hamster Wheel

The heat has finally beat me, I did my last outdoor run on Tuesday, at least for a while. I took to the treadmill today(Wednesday) for my 5 mile run.  It was really weird to run a 5 miler in the middle of the week, but now that I am on an actual training schedule my mileage should be greatly increasing over the next 18 weeks!

Tuesdays run was pretty rough with the heat and I had to push hard to complete the three miles.  I ran it about 3 minutes slower than usual so I knew I needed to change something.  Especially because I ran it in the evening so the sun wasn't too big of a factor.  Today I ran in the evening (11 p.m.) but because our treadmill is out in the garage I still have a lot of heat in there with little circulation.  I think tomorrow I am going to go pick up a fan that I can put right in front to keep me cool while I run.  A little heat isn't bad but dripping with sweat isn't ideal!

I will say today's run was a lot better than Tuesday.  I was a little worried when I struggled so much to do something I have been doing repeatedly for the past month.  It was good that I was able to get out there and run 5 miles.  I am looking forward to Sundays long run, kind of!

Well that is all for now, happy running!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Middle of July is Hot? What?

Some things I will never learn I guess.  Why I try and do a long run at 2 pm in July in Texas beats me.  I think today I finally learned my lesson though.  I set out for a 5 mile run, but I cut it short to 2 after when I felt really slow/exhausted/tired/blah.

From now on, I am going to get up and out the door no later than 7 a.m. for runs.

I even put the sentence in bold and on its own so you all can see that I am saying it here.  And I truly hope that if any of you notice me not running before or at 7, to give me unrelenting scolding.  Please, and thank you!

Now that I got that out of the way, I don't want to cheat myself out of the distance, so after work tonight (sadly about 1am) I am going to do 5 miles.  I will walk them if I have to, its going to happen.  I wish it wouldn't had to have to come to this though.  I will just suck it up and learn from my mistake.  The next time I will ever run mid day is if I happen to be training for this crazy race.  Actually, if I ever train for that I am pretty sure I will have gone off my rocker.

And finally, tomorrow is the day my marathon training begins!  And me waking up before 11.  Lots of change on the horizon!  Luckily for me it is cross training.  So I just have to bike, and not run super far or fast.  I do wonder if I should ride a certain time, or distance though. When you cross train, do you do mileage or time?

Well that is all I have today!  I hope everyone is having/had a wonderful weekend, and happy running!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Quick Post Before Work

Decided to run 4 miles instead of 3 today because I missed (a.k.a skipped) my night run last night.  Nice and hot as usual, pretty much the same old story.  I have noticed I have become more comfortable running in the heat though so that is good.

Ran at a respectable 8:44 pace, not nearly as fast as my earlier 4 mile run this week.  I wanted to take it slower to see if I felt more energized at the end, but amazing I felt the same as I did on Tuesday so I don't know if it because I was on point then, or maybe I use the same amount of energy at a quicker pace.  Who knows, I will have to test this theory out for sure!

I watched this before I ran today, because I needed to get a little inspired, and what better way than to watch some of the fastest runners in the world?  It was that last little boost I needed to get my bum out the door. 

- Whats your favorite weather to run in? Indoors or outdoors runner?
- Who/what inspires you?


Friday, July 8, 2011

Late Night Post

Tonight is a pretty late post, even by my standards!  Slept in today, went for a mid day run, went to my girlfriends house then went to see a movie, and now I am back and blogging!  This early morning I though I would start off with a song that I really enjoy, and I think everyone in the world should hear!

It is a little long, but if you just turn it on and listen to it while doing other stuff I do think you will enjoy it!

Today's Run
I went for another 3 mile run today, but I did a little different of a route.  When I finished my 3 miles I was still a mile away from my house, so I took a leisurely stroll back.  It was a nice change of pace and a great cool down!  I was able to see that part of the neighborhood differently than when I am running by at more than twice that speed.  I was able to soak in the sun and hear the birds chirping, so in other words it was really nice.

Only 2 more days before I start the real training so I am excited to see what that has in store for me!  I think it will surely make the blog a lot more interesting to read!

Blog Update
I now have 13 followers! Woo hoo!  I thank all of you for subscribing and following along with me so far, and I hope that you continue to follow for many many more posts!  Hopefully I will also have more followers as I progress, and I think that once I get 50 I might hold a contest!  If I get to 50 and you notice and I don't mention anything about a contest, let me know so I can get on that.  I really do appreciate all of you though, so thank you!

This is a little shorter of a post because I am falling asleep at the keyboard, so I will probably end it here.  Have a great Saturday everyone, and I will probably post again later this afternoon!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kids Say the Darnedest Things!

Sadly I missed running yesterday between work, driving and just being tired!  I figured my body was telling me I needed to take it easy and rest when I was yawning at 7:30.  But today was a good day to run!

I hung out with my girlfriend, Haley, for the majority of the day eating lunch and watching Battle Los Angeles.  It was actually a pretty entertaining movie if you ask me.  But then once the sun started to go down I changed into some shorts, strapped on my shoes and took off for a 4 mile run.

The Run
I was worried that I would still feel a little dead legged but I was happily surprised to find that my legs felt strong and I was able to keep a steady, even increasing, pace as I ran through my neighborhood.  This is my first really "feel good" run over 3 miles.  Don't get me wrong, I love all my other runs that are over 3 miles, but today's felt like I am actually making progress because I know that a month ago I would have been huffing and puffing and crawling at the end.  On the start of the third mile I passed some kids playing in their front yard and the little girl yelled "Hi!" and waved, then her brother turns to her and asks "why is he running?" in which she replied "beats me!"  Ahh, that made me smile and I think helped keep me going strong for the second half of the run!

Now I am down to 3 days until my training starts.  The first weeks long run is 8 miles!  Yikes!  I think that if it turns out the Intermediate I training plan is too much for me I will bump down to the Novice II and try that out.  I want to train hard but I don't want to do something that is impossible for me quite yet.  I do love to run longer and farther though so maybe this will help push me in the right direction!

- Why do you run? Fitness, competition, bored, some other reason?
- What shoe brand do you prefer?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

T-Minus 7 Days

So close to starting my marathon training!  I sort of consider the past month part of my training, but I was really just building up my base and getting into the routine of running so it wont be as daunting once I start.  I think I have become a lot more disciplined in running though, so I hope that will make it a smooth transition to something even more structured.  I must admit, it is a little easier to run when I make up the mileage!

4th of July
Yesterday was the 4th of July, so I wasn't able to run sadly.  The good news though was I had a great time with my family and we had some good food!  And somehow my family managed to grow some pretty big and juicy watermelons!

The pictures are a little small sadly

Today's Training
So I took a day off from running, which turned out to be needed after running 4 strait days ending with a 5 miler.  Today I was able to get out and run again though, so I did a two mile speed training run.  By speed training I mean I just increased my speed from start to finish, which I seem to like to do.  I was sprinting the last 800m which felt horrible while doing it, but excellent once I finished to see that I had a really great 2 mile time! (13:49)  It was a cool 85 outside as well so that probably helped a little as well.

In Other News
I am going to start looking for trails to run around here as well.  I have a feeling there wont be many, but it would be a nice change of pace to run a trail rather than always a road.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE running on the road, but someday I want to run an ultra(and by someday I mean like 5 years from now) and most of them take place on trails.  

I am also looking into running a 4 miler next Saturday, the only problem is I am scheduled to run an 8 mile long run, so should I do it and run two separate 4 miles, or is there a better way to do that?  I would like to get another race under my belt, and it benefits the local fire department so I am sure the T-Shirt will be cool!

- What did you do on the 4th?
- Know any websites that have a database of trails?
- Have you ever ran a race during marathon training? How did you work it in?


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Runner vs. Running

Today sure was an uphill battle.  Heat, humidity, shoes coming untied, did I mention humidity?  Somehow I was still able to finish though, even though it wasn't as I wanted.  Oh well, not everyday can be perfect!  I am just glad I had such a strong week of running!

Week in Review
I started running this week on Monday like usual but I had a goal to run 6 days.  I had a steady increase in mileage and I was able to run my first 5k.  And then I was able to finish off the week with a 5 miler.

Total Mileage: 20
Races: 1
PR's: 1

looking at the numbers I feel great about this week!  I hope everyone else also had a great week with new accomplishments whether in running or the rest of life!

Next Week
I am already looking forward to running tomorrow!  I have 4 days in a row planned (2,3,2,3 miles) with a much needed rest day on Friday.  I am thinking an easy 2 miler Monday, 3 mile run Tuesday, 2 mile speed Wednesday, and 3 mile pace on Thursday.  Something like that to keep it fresh.

- What are your running goals for next week?
- Minimalist or not?

- Brett

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dead Legs Don't Run

A few days back I wrote a post comparing running with and without music.  Even though I came to the conclusion that I would rather run without music, I still enjoy it.  So I figure I would share what I am currently listening to with you all!

Yup, great song.

Today's Run:
It was rough.  My legs didn't feel like moving.  They were heavy when I started and stayed that way for about a mile.  I think it was because I had the 5k Thursday and ran 4 miles yesterday when I should have ran less or rested.  Oh well, I guess its just a lesson I will have to remember!  Once I got to the 2 mile point I was still moving slow and my legs didn't feel fresh at all, but I pushed on and ran the entire 3 miles without stopping.  Somehow I managed an 8:22 pace even though I felt a lot slower than that.  I was honestly just happy I was able to go the entire time! 3 weeks ago I would have quit and walked home.

I still plan to do my long run of 5 miles tomorrow, and then back to 2 on Monday.  This way I can stay on point for running 100 miles in July.  Staring on the 11th I will be starting my actual training plan for the marathon so it will be easier to follow along with my training, and kick me in the butt if I don't follow it.

I am still looking for a local 5k to run this month as well.  I think I may have found one on the 30th, but I need to look into it more.  

Questions for You:
- What song is currently stuck in your head?
- When do you feel most accomplished after a run?
- Do you use others training programs or do you create your own?

Now to get ready for the rest of my day(a.k.a work).  Should be fun standing for about 8 hours...have a great rest of the day!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Goals for July

Since it is July 1st, I figure I would set some goals for myself to achieve!  This is going to be a pretty short post, just some bullet points

July 2011 Goals:

  • Reduce my mile time to at least 6:30 (current 6:47)
  • Run a total of 100+ miles
  • Stay healthy
  • Run another 5k
Its not to long of a list, but I think there is a lot that I have to achieve this month!  I hope I can get them all, but if I only get one I hope its staying healthy.

Today's Training:
I ran a race pace mile to start the workout so I would have a benchmark mile to beat this upcoming month.  After I finished it I took a 30 second breather and did a comfortable jog for another three miles over 27:15.  It was a good run, still quite hot and humid even though it was a bit cooler than usual.  That's actually the reason I ran.  I was planning on resting but I was afraid I would miss out on a good run with this weather.   

What are your goals for July?


Unofficial Guide: First Race

Edit:  Even if you don't need a first race guide, feel free to skim it to see if you have anything to add :)

I was thinking of a way to write a more serious, helpful article rather than just a stream of training updates and I think I found a way to do it!  I am going to write a series of Unofficial Guides to help with running.  While this is still more of an opinion and experience based piece, I do hope that it will help new runners, and possibly even experienced ones as well!

Because I ran my first non school sponsored event yesterday, I was able to experience the process from signing up for the race to stepping up at the starting line.  While this race was pretty relaxed I was able to come up with a few things that I think will happen with any race and how to be ready to handle it so it is smooth sailing from signing up to starting.  Since this is a longer post, I will be adding a break so that it doesn't take up too much room.

If you are still interested, keep on reading!