Twin Cities by the numbers…

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Esther started coaching me about a year ago with the goal of keeping me healthy and preparing me to break 2:19 in the marathon and qualify for the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials. From October 2017 to July 2018, she gave me a very conservative training plan and we slowly worked out the coach-athlete-spouse relationship which, frankly, was quite smooth. I needed a coach. Esther coaches over 30 clients around the world and I’ve seen first hand how measured and rational she is with her clients regardless of their personal bests.  I know myself and it would’ve been a disaster if I was making all the decisions with my own training. I needed someone to rein me in, calm me down, and get me fit without getting hurt.

My results from last Thanksgiving through July were mediocre but I was beginning to piece together months of uninterrupted training and starting to see glimpses of my old self in training. After running Peachtree and Crazy 8’s in July I took a break then began a very short but focused build up for Twin Cities. Every day was regimented. I made decisions in three areas every day: lifestyle, rehab, and training.

I knew that with the lower mileage I needed to make sure everything else was as “perfect” as possible. In many ways, the running is the easiest part of training, it’s the decisions you make the other 22 hours of the day that can make a big difference.

LIFESTYLE CHOICES
I made a checklist in August of the lifestyle choices I wanted to stick to during the 8 weeks:

-Bedtime 10:00pm or earlier every night
-No sweets
-No bread
-Iron supplement daily
-Magnesium supplement daily
-Foam roll 5 min each morning and before bed
-Massage, stretch, chiropractor appointments weekly

With the exception of getting to bed a few times just after 10pm, I hit 95% of the above checklist every day for 8 weeks–I’m very proud of this. It took planning and commitment but I felt a great sense of accomplishment each night when I had checked every box on my list. And while week 1 was tough, week 7 was easy as it became my pattern.

REHAB/TREATMENT
As far as treatment goes, I got a lot of it! Injuries are always right around the corner for me so I was very proactive in scheduling around work to get in all the treatment my body needed. To better illustrate my daily schedule here’s a sample of what a weekday looked like during this buildup:

6:15AM – Wake up
7:00-7:30AM – Begin easy run or workout
9:30AM – Leave for work
9:45AM-2:45PM – CESA Office
3:00-4:15PM  – 2nd run, treatment, or nap (rarely)
4:20PM – Drive to soccer practice
5:30-8:30PM – Soccer practice
8:45-9:15PM – Dinner, prepare lunch for next day
9:45PM – Foam roll
10:00PM – Bedtime

As you can see, my days were packed but I made it work. Here are all the appointments I got in during this time:

7/25 Stretch
7/30 ART
7/31 Stretch
8/1 Chiro
8/1 Needling
8/6 Chiro
8/6 Massage
8/10 Chiro
8/15 Stretch
8/21 Stretch
8/22 Chiro
8/27 Massage
8/28 Stretch
8/30 Stretch
9/4 Massage
9/5 Stretch
9/12 Stretch
9/13 Massage
9/17 Chiro
9/17 Stretch
9/20 Chiro
9/24 Needling
9/24 Massage
9/26 Stretch
10/1 Chiro
10/3 Stretch
10/5 Massage

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Local runner Frank DeVar opened his own practice where he offers 30 minute stretching sessions taking you through a series of active, isolated stretches meant to sooth sore muscles, loosen muscles prior to competition, and generally get the body back in proper alignment. This has been the best new treatment I’ve found in years and I highly recommend it.

 

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Chiropractor David Jolsen was someone I found near the house who ended up being a valuable asset when I needed a quick adjustment or some ART.

 

 

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Local massage therapist Kelly was very flexible and got me on the schedule quickly whenever anything popped up!

 

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IHP and Dr. Hendry offers dry needling services. These focused treatments were great when I had knots or fascial impingements. I was always quite sore for 48 hours post treatment then felt way better!

 

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I’ve been seeing Brad McKay since 2011 and his practice offers both ART and massage therapy.

 

 


TRAINING
Oh yeah, the training! The goal was to hit around 80 miles each week with 1 day off. With games on the weekends and Sunday often being a travel day it logically became a good day to take off. Esther and I structured each week exactly the same for this reason:

Monday: Quality workout (18-20 miles)
Tuesday: 2 easy runs (7/5 or 6/6 double runs)
Wednesday: Moderate medium long (13-14 miles with strides)
Thursday: 1 easy run (8-9 miles)
Friday: Quality long run (20-24 miles)
Saturday: 1 shorter easy run (5-6 miles)
Sunday: OFF

Below are the workouts I did each week. Please know that I’m not purposely leaving paces out to be secretive. Nearly every quality Monday or Friday workout was at goal marathon pace (5:15-20) or current half marathon pace (4:55-5:00). There was very little pace variation with regards to my quality sessions. I needed to teach my body that pace and we didn’t care if it felt too easy/hard on some days- finding that rhythm was more important.

Week 1: August 6-12
Total: 70 miles, Sunday off
Quality Sessions: 7 to 1 fartlek; 90 minute moderate long run

Week 2: August 13-19
Total: 81 miles, Sunday off
Quality Sessions: 8×1 mile; 3 mile-2 mile-1 mile within 16 mile long run

Week 3: August 20-26
Total: 81 miles, Sunday off
Quality Sessions: 4×2 mile; 24 mile long run

Week 4: August 27-September 2
Total: 80 miles, Sunday off
Quality Sessions: 15 mile progression run; 22 mile long run

Week 5: September 3-9
Total: 80 miles, Sunday off
Quality Sessions: 13 mile fast medium long; 22 mile long run fast finish last 3 (5:05)

Week 6: September 10-16
Total: 88 miles, no days off
Quality Sessions: 6x(600,1000)+400; 20 mile run with 7 miles MP, 5 miles MP

Week 7: September 17-23
Total: 80 miles, 1 day off
Quality Sessions: 4×2 mile; 22 mile long run with 7 miles @ MP

Week 8: September 24-30
Total: 66 miles, 1 day off
Quality Sessions: 4x (1 mile, .5 mile, .5 mile @ MP in 14 mile run; 15 mile long run with 30  minutes @ MP

Week 9: October 1-7 (Race Week)
Total: 65 miles (TCM 2:20:39/7th place)
1st half: 1:10:51
2nd half: 1:09:48

THE RACE
Based on the result of the race, I did not accomplish my main goal. However, I don’t have a bad taste in my mouth after this performance. Perspective is important and I sat in my hotel after the race and realized it was the 1st effort I’ve been proud of since leaving ZAP.

Coming back from injury is about much more than a physical return to form; mentally the mind must trust the body again. At the starting line and during the 1st half of this race I still wasn’t quite sure if I was ready to roll!! If you look at the splits I ran my first 5k in 17:01 which was over 30 seconds slower than I needed. But at mile 13 I decided to run alone and left the group of 3 I was with.

That moment is when I felt like myself again. As I accelerated down the road with confidence I thought about all the early bedtimes, treatment sessions ($$$), and workouts I’d waded through to get to this point. It was much longer than 8 weeks–it was over 2 years of methodically training with the confidence it would return at some point. So, I ran alone from 13 to the finish and while my hamstrings cramped from 22 to the finish slowing me slightly, I had a great 13-21 where I was running free and with purpose to the finish line. Next up is Houston where I am confident my TCM experience will set me up well for a big performance there.

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Training Log: 4/16 – 5/20

I’ve gotten very behind on posting my training the past month so I will do a big data drop today! I’m in the middle of the month-long tryout process at CESA so things have been busy. I’m healthy and continuing to build steadily and safely.  I’ve had 2 races since I last posted. Here’s a brief break down of how each went:

Reedy River 10k (Greenville, SC): 31:38, 5th place. First mile was 4:49 which was the first time I was under 4:50 in over 3 months. Luckily I held up fairly well on the hilly course. My goals heading in were to stay healthy and try to average roughly 5 minutes per mile. I ended up struggling up the last big half mile hill and ran 5:05 pace overall. I’m still learning what my body can do right now in races so I’d say I was slightly too cautious early on.

Governor’s Cup Half Marathon (Columbia, SC): 1:10:39, 8th place. This was, hands down, the toughest course I have ever raced on. Toss in 97% humidity and 75 degrees and it was a suffer fest for sure! My goal was to run under 70 minutes and I missed that by a bit but on the opening 7 miles which had rolling hills I was comfortably averaging 5:12-18 pace each mile. When the big hills came from 7-12 I didn’t fare as well! Another good healthy hard marathon type effort despite it being the slowest half marathon I’ve ever run over 65 minutes (previous 3 were 64:36, 64:30, 64:06)!

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Reedy River: Muscled through it.
Date 16-Apr 17-Apr 18-Apr 19-Apr 20-Apr 21-Apr 22-Apr
Mileage 10.5 10 12 7.5 5.5 11.5 5
Time 44+34 2x1mi/2×800 55+30 50+5×30 pre race 31:38, 5th 36
Details 2 easy workout 2 easy strides strides Reedy River easy
Total
62
Date 23-Apr 24-Apr 25-Apr 26-Apr 27-Apr 28-Apr 29-Apr
Mileage 9.5 9.5 10 10 11 16 5
Time 65 68 68 36+33 50(8×20)+34 1hr 36min 40
Details FLA FLA tired FLA, strides FLA, travel quality long short easy
Total
71
Date 30-Apr 1-May 2-May 3-May 4-May 5-May 6-May
Mileage 8 10 10 13 10 6 16
Time 60 68(4×30) 4xmile 85 43+37 48 1hr 40min
Details rec rec+
stretch
yuck! md long 2x short+golf single conastee long 10×1 min
Total
73
Date 7-May 8-May 9-May 10-May 11-May 12-May 13-May
Mileage 11 10 12 12 9 15 6.5
Time 50+34 69+4×200 4x2k+4×200 84 63 1hr 32min 50
Details 2x slow single grass sesh smooth easy single long 5m-3m short
Total
76
Date 14-May 15-May 16-May 17-May 18-May 19-May 20-May
Mileage 9 12 12 9 6 17 5.5
Time 66+6×20 5xmile 53+44 67 45+4×30 1:10, 8th 43 slow
Details single w/EE workout 2x easy single, tired tired Gov. Cup easy short
Total
71

Training Log: 4/2 – 4/8 & 4/9 – 4/15

Week of April 2nd:
*Moderate Michigan Workout- 1200 in 3:44, 1 mile in 5:18, 800 in 2:25, 1 mile in 5:15, 400 in 70, 1 mile in 5:10

*Quality Long Run-  14 miles total with 8 miles alternating between 5:45-50 and 5:15-20

Date 2-Apr 3-Apr 4-Apr 5-Apr 6-Apr 7-Apr 8-Apr
Mileage 10 10 10 12 8.5 14 5.5
Time 48+31 65+10 strides Mich. 60+30 60 1hr 28min 43
Details 2 runs recovery MeSA 2 runs easy  long short
Total              
70

Week of April 9th:
*Alternating Treadmill Tempo- 6x(600, 1000)+400; 600’s in 4:45 pace @ 2%, 1000’s in 5:25 pace @ 1%; 400 in 4:45 pace @ 3%

*Quality Long Run- 5 miles easy, 3 miles in 5:39-5:38-5:32, 1 mile easy, 3 miles in 5:21-5:19-5:10, 2 miles easy

Date 9-Apr 10-Apr 11-Apr 12-Apr 13-Apr 14-Apr 15-Apr
Mileage 8 13.25 11 9.25 12.5 13.5 5.5
Time 60 easy 60+36 workout 70 slow 52+35 85-2x3mile 46
Details tired 2 runs tread. easy 2 runs quality long short
Total              
73

 

Training Log: 3/26 – 4/1

Tuesday moderate mile repeats workout:
– 5 x 1 mile with 200 meter jog recovery on Swamp Rabbit Trail
-Goal was to get through this workout healthy without any tightness in my calf
-Pace wasn’t a big concern, only really wanted a ‘medium effort’ pace
– Splits: 5:36, 5:28, 5:26, 5:22, 5:10

Friday moderate progression run workout:
– 12 mile run broken up as follows: 4.5 easy, 5 progressive, 2.5 easy
-Goal was to complete 2 medium hard workouts in a 4 day span and stay healthy!
-5 mile splits: 5:45, 5:35, 5:25, 5:15, 5:00

Date 26-Mar 27-Mar 28-Mar 29-Mar 30-Mar 31-Mar 1-Apr
Mileage 9 12 6.5 9.5+5 12 7 16
Time 61 5 x 1 mile 50 68+36 77 53 1hr 54min
Details rec workout short easy 2 runs workout easy long easy
Total
77

Training Log: 3/19-25

Slowly and patiently getting back into faster running. Had my longest run since my calf strain on Saturday in Richmond, VA that turned into a mini-progression run (see below).

Date 19-Mar 20-Mar 21-Mar 22-Mar 23-Mar 24-Mar 25-Mar
Mileage 6 9 11.5 13.5 13 14 4
Time 42 60 52+37 60+33 57+37 86 37 EASY
Details short felt good 2 runs travel RVA prog long short
Total              
71

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Training Log: 3/5-11 & 3/12-18

Date 5-Mar 6-Mar 7-Mar 8-Mar 9-Mar 10-Mar 11-Mar
Mileage 8.5 5 7 9 12 6 12.5
Time 61 40 51 61 52+35 42 90
Details easy strides bad! massage decent 2 runs easy early longer
Total              
60
Date 12-Mar 13-Mar 14-Mar 15-Mar 16-Mar 17-Mar 18-Mar
Mileage 9 12 8.5 10.5 10 8 13.5
Time 62 60+30 65 37+39 69 31+30 1hr 40
Details felt good w/ Esther massage 2 easy massage 2x treadmill Richmond
Total              
71.5

Training Log: Feb 26 – Mar 4

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Still on the outside looking in at being back to 100%  healthy running…
DATE 26-Feb 27-Feb 28-Feb 1-Mar 2-Mar 3-Mar 4-Mar
MILEAGE 9 10 8 6 4 9.5 9.5
TIME 65 69 60 43 30 65  65
DETAILS Tampa Tampa Tampa Tampa Tampa Richmond Raleigh
TOTAL
56

Training Log: Feb 12 – 18 & 19 – 25

It has been a busy few weeks work-wise while so I wanted to post my training for the last 2 weeks in 1 post. I was in Houston for 4 days for an ECNL event. On the first night of the trip we were lucky to have Steve Magness speak to all 4 CESA teams in our hotel about performance and team dynamics. I really enjoyed the talk and I hoped the girls did too.

I was then back in Greenville for a few days before heading off to Tampa, FL for my US Soccer B Coaching Course. I will be spending the next 7 days in Florida working towards my next coaching license. Lots of work ahead.

And my calf is still slowly healing so I’ve only been running easily the past 2+ weeks.

Thanks for reading!

12-Feb-2018 13-Feb-2018 14-Feb-2018 15-Feb-2018 16-Feb-2018 17-Feb-2018 18-Feb-2018 Total
 Mileage 7+4 0 5 8 6 9 9 48
 Time 54+31 OFF 40 58 45 30+40 60
 Details weights busy day sore calf sore calf HOUSTON HOUSTON HOUSTON
19-Feb-2018 20-Feb-2018 21-Feb-2018 22-Feb-2018 23-Feb-2018 24-Feb-2018 25-Feb-2018 Total
 Mileage 5 7+5 8 7 9+4 0 9 54
 Time 40 46+35 60 51  63+31  OFF 65
 Details HOUSTON 2x easy calf still sore Columbia Tampa Tampa

Training Log: Feb 5 – 11

Unfortunately, as so often happens the injury bug has struck again when my fitness was really moving forward. On Wednesday during a tempo+800’s session on the Swamp Rabbit Trail my calf seized up/popped during an interval causing me to stop dead in my tracks. I immediately took 2 complete days off, got some dry needling treatment, and then began eccentric stretching exercises. While it appears to be minor I’m playing it safe and will not be racing the Gasparilla Half. I’ve learned forcing it never turns out well. Patience is only learned after many, many bullheaded years of training!

Monday, February 5:
Running- AM 8 miles
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, Post run drills
CESA- Office 9:30-2:30pm
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 10.9

Tuesday, February 6:
Running- AM 9 miles w/10×20 seconds accelerations
Owl Extras-  Pre run drills, Post run drills, Lifting routine 1
CESA- Office 9:30-2:30pm
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 17.57

Wednesday, February 7:
Running- AM 5 miles easy, PM 9 miles (2 mile, 2×800, CALF INJURED)
Owl Extras- Pre run drills
CESA- Office 9:30-2:30pm, Training 6:30-8:30PM
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 20.06

Thursday, February 8:
Running- OFF
Owl Extras- OFF
CESA-  Office 9:30-2:30PM, Training 6:30-8:30PM
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 5.2

Friday, February 9:
Running- OFF
Owl Extras- OFF
CESA- OFF
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 6.07

Saturday, February 10:
Running- AM 2 miles, PM 3 miles
Owl Extras- NONE
CESA- Atlanta all day
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 9.72

Sunday, February 11:
Running- AM 4 miles
Owl Extras- NONE
CESA- Atlanta all day
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 11.53

TOTAL: 40 MILES, 7 RUNS

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