Author Archives: crossn81

Zen Running?

I am not a Zen runner, nor really a follower of anything Zen. Except for a blog called Zen Habits. Leo, the blogger, provides some great ideas and insights throughout his blog about some of the various facets of Zen, that I enjoy reading. They include things like simplifying your life, motivation, getting things done, etc.

How does that relate to running? Good question. Leo is a marathoner, having completed 2 marathons. He has written previous posts about the importance of exercise and eating healthy. But he just wrote a reflection on completing the Guam Marathon. As a good blogger he created a list of “10 Things I learned from my Second Marathon“. I would have thought he had learned them before, since most of them are common running laws. He did drop almost an hour off his time between the two marathons and that is why he is using it to share his lessons learned.

Here is his list (visit his post for his thoughts and explanations):

  1. Running experience matters a lot.
  2. Pacing is huge.
  3. Extra weight also matters a lot.
  4. Be relaxed and have fun.
  5. Test out your gear beforehand, on a long run.
  6. Keep your upper body relaxed.
  7. Plan your day before well.
  8. Having people to talk to is great.
  9. Have a reason to keep going at the end.
  10. The long run is your marathon training  speed work doesn’t matter (much).

Do you have any advice or thoughts for Leo?

[tags] Marathon, Training, Marathon Training, Zen [/tags]

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March Highlights

Wow, Happy April!! Another month down! It is a little weird to celebrate April’s coming while shoveling off the sidewalk. But that is the joy of the Upper Midwest I guess!

March began with the tragic news that a Wisconsin Marathoner died after finishing the Little Rock Marathon. A few weeks later we finally learned what caused Ryan Shay to collapse and die during the Olympic Trials. Our hearts continue to go out to each family and their friends.

My training for the half-marathon continued in full swing. As part of that I joined the USATF-MN Chapter and ran my first race, breaking my goal time for the event (review). I also joined a USATF stretching study, which is hoping to make a concrete answer about pre-run stretching. I looked into more depth about the different ideas surrounding stretching and even launched a poll. I also talked about the importance of having a race strategy.

With the Olympics coming up I looked at the impact of smog and what athletes think about it. As a big advocate for the developing world I was very excited to learn about Meseret Defar’s support of the ONE Campaign and wearing their bracelet in the 3000m.

As the doldrums of winter continue here in Minnesota, I lamented about having to run on the roads all the time. My love of trail running was piqued this weekend again. I closed the month out with a look at the push-up, a powerful exercise, I never do!

Monthly Mileage – I ran 145.7 miles in March up 17% from February. My YTD total is 348.7. This puts me on track to run about 1400 miles for the year (assuming everything stays healthy!)

[tags] Highlights [/tags]

Catch The Spirit

If you still haven’t seen the Spirit of the Marathon, you still have a chance. At least if you live in select cities. Or live in Canada. I’ve talked about it before and here. They are continuing their focused release parties.

The next one is in Canada on April 9th. Then it will be shown before major races throughout the year before the DVD is released. Highlights of the schedule include:

Boston – April 17st at 4:30 and 7:30 PM

Nashville – April 24th at 4:30 and 7:30 PM

Indianapolis – May 1st at 4:30 and 7:30 PM

Chicago – October 9th at 4:30 and 7:30 PM

Washington DC – October 23rd at 4:30 and 7:30 PM

New York City – October 30th at 4:30 and 7:30 PM

So I guess you may still get a chance to see it, and I would highly recommend that you do. Be sure to check out their website to learn more.

[tags] Marathon, Spirit of the Marathon, Movie [/tags]

Half Training: Week Nine

Well another week down! It was another crazy one as we spent Monday in Anderson seeing some friends and getting up pretty early and by the end of the week I was in Alabama at a wedding!

Monday – Run 4 x 2400 meter repeats at 10K pace. Jog for 800 meters between repeats. Cool down with 800 meters of easy jogging. I took today off, we were exhausted from the traveling and such and I didn’t really have time to fit in a run and be productive.

Tuesday – Run 6 miles easy. Run 5 acceleration strides. So this week was a little off again. I did the 2400’s today. 2400 is 1.5 miles which is a pretty long interval. My plan was to run them around 9:30. The weather was some of the nicest in awhile. I only had to wear one long sleeved shirt! I ran along the Greenway, I went straight out instead of looping around one of the lakes this time. This was the farthest west I had gone to date. My interval splits were: 10:31, 10:52, 10:12, and 10:44. All right around 7 minute pace.

Wednesday – Run 3 x 400/800/1600 meter repeats. Run 400 meters at 20 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace, 800 meters at 5K pace and 1600 meters at goal half marathon pace. Take no rest between the distances. Recover between the sets with 800 meters at an easy pace. Cool down with 800 meters at an easy pace. I was going to take it easy today and run the 6 miles. Sadly it didn’t go as planned at all. About 3/4 of a mile into the run I got some sharp pain in my right shin and some pain in my calf. I stopped and tried to stretch it out and ran for a little more, but the pain kept coming. I turned around and eventually walked home. The total run was 1.75 miles. I iced and took Ibuprofen when I got home. I also massaged my calf a little bit.

Thursday – Run 4 miles easy. Run 5 acceleration strides. My leg didn’t hurt all day yesterday after running, so I thought I’d try and do the workout. It felt pretty good for the most part, I stretched a little more than usual and focused on running on the shoulder of the Greenway trail when possible. I also did more walking during the 800 recovery than normal (which may impact the overall benefit of the workout, but I think helped my leg). The splits were nothing spectacular and I only did 2 supersets instead of 3, by the end my leg was starting to hurt more and more. The total workout was 5.71 miles in 45:08. My splits are: 1:21, 3:15, 7:04 and 1:33, 3:28, 7:02. More ice and Ibuprofen.

Friday – Run 4 miles easy. Run 5 acceleration strides. I took Friday off since I was getting up at 4am to catch a flight to Alabama for a wedding. When I finally made it here it was nice and warm mid-70’s and it kind of made me want to run, but there wasn’t really time and since my legs been hurting it was all good!

Saturday – Run 16 miles. Run the first 11 miles at an easy pace. Run the last 5 miles at goal half marathon pace. I kind of knew that this probably wouldn’t happen, but I came prepared to run the 16. It is kind of funny since this is a wedding with all of my old cross country buddies, but only 3 of us went this morning. We ended up doing 5.5 miles in 43 minutes in the balmy 66 degree weather. I wasn’t sure how 16 would go with my leg, a factor of time, and the fact that another guy is training for a marathon and has had some knee problems.  Is that enough excuses for you??? What about the fact that I’m not sure I need to run 16 miles to perform well at a 13 mile race?

Sunday – Rest!

Totals: 22.1 miles in 2:53:33.

This was a crazy week. Hopefully the next two weeks will go smoothly.

[tags] Half Marathon, Training [/tags]