Tag Archives: Midtown Greenway

Marathon Training: Week 15

Image from stock.xchn.
Taken by phelle

This is it… the last hard week of marathon training. And I felt it! 53 miles of running and last week’s 25K race to help start the week! Good times! I felt pretty solid all the way through but was humbled by the 22 miler – which may be a good thing!

Monday: 4-6 easy miles. A 6.2 mile recovery run downtown in 50:23. Most definitely a little tired and I took it easy on this overcast morning with 51 degree temps. I ran part of the riverfront loop on top of my normal 4 mile downtown loop.

Tuesday: 10 mile fartlek. We met at Fort Snelling to run these on dirt trails in the park. My group ended up running 9.12 miles including 11 hard intervals and finished in 1:10:54. It was perfect weather in the mid-60’s and shady down by the river (didn’t see any vans though). These fartleks were more like what a fartlek should be. 1 person set the pace and distance, and they were the only one that knew how far it was going to be. Each fartlek was supposed to range between 1-3 minutes. Recovery was supposed to be equal to the interval time. This was a lot of fun overall. It was interesting that the intervals I was leading were a lot easier than the ones where I wasn’t – quite the mental game. I won’t bore you with all the details of each interval! It was a good time.

Wednesday: 5-7 easy miles. There was no way I was going to wake up and run after last night’s work out. So I ran in the evening with my wife. We rode our bikes downtown and each did our own variation of the riverfront loop. I ran 5.8 miles in 45:55 and felt pretty good despite the windy weather and 67 temps. We had fun “running together”.

Thursday: Rest Day! I was quite ready for this rest day and my legs were too! They were starting to feel a little banged up I think. I’ve also been dealing with some sinus drainage since Tues or Weds so was glad for the chance to rest-up.

Friday: 10 miles at marathon pace. Some how I missed that this was a MP run, but I think since I raced last weekend that its ok to miss the MP part! No reason to do anything stupid at this point. I ran 9.7 miles and didn’t feel like tacking on the extra .3 on a pretty nice morning, and ran it in 1:16:56. It was 58 and like 90% humidity. I ran down the Midtown Greenway and around the Mississippi River crossing both the Lake and Franklin bridges. I felt pretty good and was happy to run it under 8 minute pace.

Saturday: 20 miles. The last long run of the training cycle!! We met at the finish line of the TC Marathon course and ran out and back on it. I guess it is also a tradition that my pace group tacks a little extra on and makes it a 22 mile run. So I ran 22.2 miles in 2:52:40 (7:46 pace)!! I’ll be honest this was not an easy run to finish and I was ready to be done a few times! My slowest mile (excluding the first) was 8:07 and was mile 21. From there it was cruising to the finish and it was a thrill to come around and know that the finish was just up ahead! I can only image how it will feel right there in a few weeks. My fastest mile was a 7:26 for mile 13. It was a great day to run with temps around the 60 mark and a slight drizzle for the last 10k.

Sunday: Cross-training. I woke up pretty tired and a little sore. Today Higdon said you could cross-train or take the day off… I opted for the latter!

Weekly Mileage:

Running – 53 miles

Biking – 25 miles

Hal’s Tip of the Week: What you do in any one workout doesn’t matter. The most important point of any training program is the totality of that program, and the results it brings. A flash speed workout with quick splits may look good in your training diary, but it could bring you to the edge of overtraining. The same with running the long runs too hard. Your time in the final 20-miler won’t count three weeks later. Your success will be measured by, 1) finishing the marathon, if you’re a beginner, or 2) finishing it in a time that reflects your current capabilities, if you’re an experienced runner. What you did while getting there doesn’t count.

[tags] Marathon Training, Hal Higdon [/tags]

Week 15

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Marathon Training: Week 13

This was a pretty nice week of running with some great weather and camaraderie. This was the highest mileage week of the season and it felt pretty strong. It seems the rest day always comes at the best time! I started running in my new shoes on Monday – Mizuno Men’s Wave Inspire 4.

Monday: 5-6 miles comfortably. 6 miles along the Midtown Greenway, felt pretty good this morning.  The temperature was 57, it was a little humid but at that temperature you don’t really feel it too much.  I just went 3 miles out and back. I ran it in 46:18. The Greenway was a little crowded with commuting traffic, but not too bad.

Tuesday: 8-10 miles at marathon pace. Ran a total of 10.5 miles around Lake Calhoun.  We did three 5K laps and then tacked on a little bit here and there – mostly for water stops. The total run was 1:19:22 (7:32).  Our 5K splits were 23:22 (7:32), 22:57 (7:25), and 22:39 (7:20).  In the last mile and a half we did 6 strides to almost 100% effort for 15-30 seconds.  Those felt really good even as my legs were getting tired from the Marathon Pace running.  It was 80 with no humidity and a nice breeze off the lake.  I went for a quick dip after the run and was almost cold afterwards.

Wednesday: 5-7 miles easy. This morning I ran just with my wrist watch, but I ran the 4 mile downtown course so my 31:45 is pretty accurate.  It had just stormed pretty hard as I was waking up so it was pretty humid and was 67 out.  I felt tired but ok given yesterday’s workout.

Thursday: Rest day! I did rest! I had to take the car to work – can’t carry several cases of pop on my bike!

Friday: 10 miles (some at pace) I decided to run about 10 miles down the Greenway and around Lake of the Isles. Isles is just under a 3 mile loop so I decided to pick-up the tempo around the lake and run home.  The total route ended up being 9 miles. I ran the 2.63 miles around the Isles at 7:20 pace and the overall run in 1:09:30 which is 7:43 pace.  It was 57 but 80% humidity, but it didn’t feel too bad.

Saturday:20 miles. For today’s 20 miler we met at the University of St. Thomas and ran 5 miles out – going backwards on the marathon course.  We turned around, went past UST and ran the last 5 miles of the course before turning around and running to our cars.  So basically we ran the last 10 miles of the Twin Cities Marathon course.  It was a good run with lots of discussion about strategy, especially hitting some of the hills in the final miles.  I ran 20 miles in 2:35:07 (7:45).  It was 60 at the start but humid and the temps rose fairly quickly. If we felt good we could drop to marathon pace at the end.  Well for most of the run we weren’t too far off marathon pace, but in the last mile I did hit a 7:21, despite having almost bonked around mile 18. After the first mile my slowest mile was 8:09 mile 18.

Sunday:Cross-training. Rode my bike to the Midtown YWCA, only to discover that the entire pool area was closed for routine maintenance.  “Crap, now what…” As I was biking home I realized, “duh just go to another YWCA.” So I rode to the Uptown YWCA and did my swimming.  I swam 300 total yards and actually swam 100 yards without stopping!

Weekly Mileage:

Running -49.6 miles

Cycling – 32.5 miles

Swimming – 300 yds

Tip of the Week: Stretching is important for marathoners, who risk losing flexibility because of their high-mileage training. Include some stretching in your daily running routine. The best time to stretch is not before you run. Pre-workout muscles may be tight; the risk of injury is increased. Instead, stretch during–or after–your run, when muscles are warmest. Stretching on the off days also makes sense.

[tags] Hal Higdon, Marathon Training [/tags]

Week 13

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Best of Team Cross for July

What a month! Summer months seem to go by so fast! It seems that we were gone pretty much every weekend this month.  2 of the weekends were at weddings, we should have gone to 2 more weddings and then celebrating my birthday!

Training continues to go well for Twin Cities Marathon.  Weeks 5, 6, 7, 8. Part of my marathon training is raising support for Team World Vision and their great work in developing countries, but specifically in Africa.  I continue to share about my experiences sharing the beauty of Africa, sharing a slideshow of pictures from my 8 weeks in Ghana, the importance of education, the hope and joy found in Africa, and talked about Ryan and Sara Hall.

I reviewed a couple of different things this month, including Blaine Moore’s book on Marathon Preperation and Recovery, running on the Midtown Greenway, Pearl Izumi’s Go Running Shorts, and the Hundred Push-Up Challenge.  Not really a review but I talked about recent research showing that wearing flip-flops can be bad for your legs and feet. And mentioning research, there is a lot of research being conducted on runners right now, find out if you are eligible.

Last Year was a good month of racing for me. I raced a 5K – which turned out much shorter – and a 10K.  I wrote about the infamous and fun to say fartlek run and runners obessions with keeping detailed running logs.

Monthly Mileage: (2008/2007)

Running – 152 miles/143.4 miles

Biking – 85.5 miles/20.4 miles

Swimming – 300 yds

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Midtown Greenway: Recreational Mecca

Image from Flckr

There are hundreds of miles of trails – maybe even thousands across the greater Twin Cities metro area. Some have no real purpose other than winding around, enjoying nature. Some serve as vital arteries of transportation and commerce. The Midtown Greenway falls into the latter category.

Cutting East-West through the heart of South Minneapolis, the Greenway is a major commuter artery connecting the Western Suburbs to the Mississippi River. It is also a three lane recreational mecca of sorts easily connecting with the chain of lakes, Midtown Global Market, West River Parkway, and a variety of other bike trails.

Officially the “Midtown Greenway” is only 5.5 miles long but the trail continues on after leaving Minneapolis and Hennepin County. The Star-Tribune recently reported that for the the quarter ending on June 30th that overall trail usage was up 30% and three-fold since 2003. From a running standpoint this means the trail is quite busy. I would argue that this facility maintained and advocated for by the Midtown Greenway Coalition is invaluable as a paved trail for those who need paved surfaces to recreate.

Living only 4 blocks from the Greenway and 6 from an entrance/exit I use the trail for many of my runs and bike commuting to work.  From a running standpoint it is extremely nice to be away from cars and to have a flat surface to run on – although it does get a little boring and repetitive.  The trail occasionally has a dirt shoulder that I can run on to avoid the pounding pavement but you can’t count on being able to run there.  I said flat, but the newest addition – Martin Olav Sabo bike-pedestrian bridge over Hiawatha Ave – provides a pretty steep incline for both the runner and biker.  However, it can provide some pretty sweet views of downtown at the right times of day.

Winter Greenway
Image from Flckr

In the winter the Greenway is extremely useful because it gets plowed on a regular basis and you don’t need to worry about cars sliding around and hitting you – just a bicycle!

I have really enjoyed being able to utilize the Greenway so much. It wasn’t until I started training for the marathon that I really started branching off and running different routes from my house.  The Greenway is just so convienent!

Hope to see you out there!

[tags] Midtown Greenway, Bike Trails, Minneapolis, Recreation [/tags]

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