Tag Archives: fitness

Training Log: 6 weeks until LA

I was able to get in 3 workouts over the past 7 days and thought I’d walk you through each one in detail for this week’s entry. Enjoy!

Workout #1: Long Run on Alter-G (Monday)

The plan was to run 18-19 miles on the Alter-G in Richmond with the last 10 miles or so progressively faster if my ankle was feeling good. I started at 92% of my body weight and then added 1-2% every 2 miles to where I was running the last 9 miles at 100% of my body weight.

I ended up getting in 18.25 miles with the last 10 miles in 56:55. Other than getting two pretty nasty blisters I felt good. I began the final 10 miles at 6:00 and worked it down little by little to 5:10 by the end. Overall, I was pleased with the run and excited to get in nearly 20 miles with no pain.

P.S. The following morning my quads were super SORE! Welcome back to training they said.

Workout #2: Treadmill Progression Run (Wednesday)

The goal for this moderate workout was to run 35 minutes on the normal treadmill and then hop on the Alter-G and run a 30 minute progression run at 94% body weight starting at 5:45 pace and working down to 5:05 pace by the end.

After getting in 5 miles on the treadmill I hopped on the Alter-G and began the progression run. Like I said last week, even 6% less body weight feels amazing and I ended up getting in 6 miles in 32 minutes (5:20 average) with the last 10 minutes at 5:00 pace. Despite the reduction in weight I was happy that I was able get this workout in after the 18 mile long run 2 days before. Baby steps forward!

Workout #3: 1K repeats at Bass Lake (Saturday)

K workout on Bass Lake. (photo credit Tim Meigs)

K’s on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

After the progression run on Wednesday my ankle was slightly sore so I opted to forgo my scheduled morning 10 mile run and instead did a light spin in its place just to be safe.

I’m in a weird place now recovery-wise as I know my stress fracture has nearly healed but I still notice sensations of pain radiating through my ankle at times. I have read that “phantom” pains are common but with this being my first stress fracture I am finding it difficult to distinguish real and phantom pains. Based on what I’ve read the phantom pains are either the result of calcification in that area or a mental fear that I could re-injure myself again. I certainly hope it’s one of those 2 things and not re-injury.

On one hand, I want to be careful not to take any steps backwards with only 6 weeks to go until the OTM but I also need to be running outside and taking risks.

With all of this racing through my head I was both excited and apprehensive for my 11x1k workout on Saturday morning at Moses Cone. I was pumped to be back in the park working out but really nervous I was going to get 5 reps in and have to stop due to pain.

In the end, I ran all 11 reps and while I certainly felt some pain and awkwardness during the run it was intermittent and didn’t get worse as the workout progressed. Pace-wise I was slower on every rep that Pete had hoped but I don’t think either one of us was overly concerned with that.

Initially, Pete had suggested I try to run 3:12-15 per kilometer or aerobic threshold effort (roughly what I could run for an hour). Once I began, I fell into running 3:20-24 and stayed there the entire workout.

I’m well aware that 3:20 for a 1,000 meter repeat is NOT impressive but I don’t care one bit. Talk to me in 6 weeks. You’ll see a different animal, I promise you that. Gotta start somewhere.

Thanks for reading!

K's on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

K’s on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

Here is my last week of training (12/27-1/2):

Sunday: AM: 5 miles   PM: 5 miles

Monday: AM: 18.25 miles Alter-G 92%-100% (last 10 miles 56:55)

Tuesday: AM: 7.5 miles    PM: 4.25 miles

Wednesday: AM: 11 miles (w/30 min in 32:00)

Thursday: AM: 70 minute spin   PM: 7 miles

Friday: AM: 13 miles Alter-G 94%   PM: walk

Saturday: AM: 13 miles (11xk workout)  PM: 6 miles Alter-G 88%

Total: 90 miles, 10 runs, 7 outside, 3 Alter-G runs, 1 spin session

 

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93 miles for the week! (12/20-12/26)

We are now less than 7 weeks to go until the Olympic Trials and I had another solid week of training. I ran 93 miles for the week with 43 miles on the Alter-G and 50 miles outside. Each run has felt better and better and I am truly excited for the next few weeks.

It’s hard to believe that a week ago I ran for 62 minutes in Asheville and felt absolutely TERRIBLE. I would liken it to a baby giraffe first learning how to walk: awkward, ungainly, and really any other word that means the opposite of smooth.

On Tuesday, I did a mini-workout at ZAP before heading to Richmond to spend Christmas with Esther’s family. The workout was 2×3 miles with one 3 mile piece on the normal treadmill and one 3 mile piece on the Alter-G. Pete wanted to get in some slightly faster running at full weight and then hit the Alter-G for the second rep to be cautious. Here’s how it went:

2×3 mile treadmill workout:

*1st 3 mile piece on normal treadmill: 5:42, 5:39, 5:35
*4 minutes rest
*2nd 3 mile piece on Alter-G at 92%: 5:15, 5:10, 5:07

Overall, it was a good session and I felt stronger as the workout wore on. I do have one takeaway: 8% less body weight feels AMAZING. After getting off the normal treadmill I was shocked with the ease I was able to run the 2nd rep. Regardless of the reduced weight I was happy with the effort and to feel that familiar workout ‘burn’ again.

In-Law game strong.

In-Law game strong.

After the workout I hopped in my car and made the trip to Richmond to spend the Christmas holiday with the Erb clan. It was a full house with her parents, 2 sisters, and various friends popping in and out but also very relaxing. Esther’s 6 month old niece Rae and 3 year old nephew Lee were in town as well which was great. Esther and I got in daily naps, lots of great meals, and a few nice runs with current Boulder resident and Richmond Native Guy Alton!

It was great running OUTSIDE with Guy and Esther in Richmond.

It was great running OUTSIDE with Guy and Esther in Richmond.

I will spend the next 10 days in Blowing Rock and then I’m off to Tallahassee, FL for the final 4.5 weeks leading into the marathon trials. Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (12/20-12/26):

Sunday: AM: 3.5 miles (Asheville)    PM: 12 miles Alter-G 87%

Monday: AM: 8 miles    PM: 3 miles

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles (2×3 mile workout, treadmill and Alter G 90%)

Wednesday: AM: 14 miles Alter-G 90% (Richmond)   PM: 4 miles

Thursday: AM: 6 miles Alter G 90%   PM: 9.5 miles

Friday: AM: 7 miles    PM: 5 miles

Saturday: AM: 10 miles   PM: 45 min spin

Total: 93 miles (43 Alter G, 50 outside), 12 runs, 1 spin session

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My last week of training (12/13-12/19)

I spent much of today traveling so I will keep this week’s entry short and sweet. I increased my mileage on the Alter-G to 60 miles for the week and got the weight up to 85%. I did some moderate portions during a few of the runs with no pain to my foot and ankle. Things are moving along nicely and within the next week I will begin workouts in full force.

Right now, I am 8 weeks out from the Olympic Trials and things will need to do everything within my power to get fit. Pete has already warned me that the next 4 to 6 weeks will be HARSH. We will not be reckless but we will be very aggressive with the intensity and frequency of my workouts.

In a perfect world, I’d be 12-16 weeks out from the OT and able to slowly ramp back into intensity and volume, but that is simply not the hand I have been dealt. In athletics as in life, you must do the best with what you’re given.

I will be doing a 2×3 mile workout this week on the treadmill and tossing in a greater number of outside runs. I suspect that in 2 weeks time the Alter-G will become a complementary training tool as normal outside runs will take over the bulk of my training.

My only wish over the next 2 months is to remain HEALTHY and POSITIVE each day in my running. The fitness will take care of itself.

Last but not least, I learned last week that a family at HCSA just had a litter of lab puppies that need new homes, so I went by the house to check them out. Esther, for those that don’t know, has DESPERATELY wanted a dog for the last few years. I’m not joking when I say that at least 2-3 times a week I either get sent a link to Pet Finder or a picture of her doing some activity with the neighborhood dog Lucy. She’s got it bad.

With this in mind, I met Tess (the runt of the litter) and am now considering bringing her home. Check out this picture of one of her brothers (I couldn’t get a picture of Tess; too camera shy):

I have no words.

I have no words.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (12/13-12/19):

Sunday: AM: 2 hrs spin (hard every 8th minute)   PM: 50 min aqua jog

Monday: AM: 10 miles at 83% Alter-G   PM: walk

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles at 84% Alter-G   PM: 55 min aqua jog

Wednesday: AM: 10 miles  at 85% Alter-G   PM: 20 min OUTSIDE jog

Thursday: AM: 80 min aqua jog    PM: 7 miles at 84% Alter-G

Friday: AM: 11 miles  at 84% Alter-G w/35 minutes at 5:40 pace

Saturday: AM: 9 miles OUTSIDE in Asheville

Total: 60 miles Alter-G, 6 runs, 3 aqua jog sessions, 1 spin session

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My last week of training (11/29-12/5)

Last week was another step forward for my stress fracture. I ran on the Alter G 4 times during the week between 65-75%  of my body weight. And with the club soccer season at a lull momentarily, my weekday evenings have been much more open which has allowed me to get in a few more cross training sessions later in the day.

I swam, biked, aqua jogged, Alter-G’d, and even got in a short run on a normal treadmill. This variety made the week fly by and I become more encouraged with each day that I was getting ever closer to stepping back on dry land at full body weight.

Over the weekend, I made the trip to Columbus, OH with Jody and Kiki to watch the Columbus Crew and the Portland Timbers battle for the MLS Cup! It was a fun day and I’m glad I was able to make the trip. We left Boone at 7:45 am and pulled back into town at 2 am! It was a long day but certainly worth it!

20151206_161627

20151206_161923

Also, Esther and I received a short video from our wedding photographer, Brigid. In addition to taking lots of great pictures she was, unbeknownst to us, filming as well! The video is 108 seconds long and truly captures how joyful a day it was.  I must admit that it got me choked up the first few times I watched it. Thanks so, so much Brigid! What a day!

Here is my last week of training (11/19-12/5):

Sunday: AM: 1hr 35 min aqua jog  PM: walk

Monday: AM: 35 min bike+ 35 min Alter G @65%  PM: 75 min aqua jog

Tuesday: AM: 35 min bike   PM: 1hr 30 min aqua jog/spin

Wednesday: AM: 30 min bike+45 min Alter G+20 min bike  PM: walk

Thursday: AM: 35 min Alter G   PM: 1hr 30 min bike (spin class in Boone)

Friday: AM: 1hr 50min aqua jog   PM: 40 min bike

Saturday: AM: 30 min bike+15 min treadmill+45 min Alter G @70%

Total: 23 miles run, 4 Alter G runs, 5 spin/bike sessions, 3 pool sessions

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Weekly Mileage: 8

It has been another week of traveling around the Southeast with my #1 travel buddy Esther. After leaving Orlando on Wednesday we headed to my hometown of Charleston, SC to spend some time with my parents for Thanksgiving. Usually Thanksgiving is a fairly large gathering at our house but this year my Dad was fresh off of a hip replacement operation so Turkey Day was a more low key affair.

On Thursday morning, Esther and I accompanied my mom to the Charleston Turkey Day race in downtown Charleston. Having not raced in several years my Mom decided to come out of retirement for this years edition after getting some expert coaching from my new bride.

For the past 5 weeks leading into the race Esther gave my mom several workouts with the goal of running just over 8 minute pace for the 5k. She ended up running 25:45 (8:17 pace) and finished 3rd in her age group! Esther and I were very proud of her and although I wasn’t racing it was nice to have an Atkins in the mix!

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1 year to the day I proposed to Esther we were back in Charleston at the same spot!

1 year to the day I proposed to Esther we were back in Charleston at the same spot!

From a training perspective it was also a very encouraging week. Last Sunday in Florida I ran for 7 MINUTES on the hotel treadmill. Two days later I was at it again clocking in 10 minutes in Clermont. Two later it was 13 minutes in Charleston. Then 15 minutes the day we traveled back to Blowing Rock.

My ankle and foot are still sore but I can feel the fracture has been healing. These short runs have not been 100% pain free but they are important in my road back to health. It’s unrealistic to expect my first steps on dry land to be painless but I do expect the pain to gradually dissipate as I work back to health. It’s certainly a tough line to walk but I know my body well and am up to the task.

I will not be running outside much over the coming weeks and will take full advantage of the Alter-G treadmill at ZAP. The plan will be to run every other day on the Alter-G somewhere between 65-75% of my total body weight for up to an hour. The G is great resource as it will allow me to run for longer periods of time than I would be able to outside. Even though I ran a bit last week, I was still cylcing, swimming, or aqua jogging everyday. These arduous (boring) cross training sessions will continue all the way up to the Olympic Trials as I try to squeeze in as much fitness as possible before February 13.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (11/22-11/28):

Sunday: AM: 35 min spin+35 min elliptical+7 min RUN!  PM: 40 min elliptical

Monday: AM: 90 minute aqua jog/swim   PM: walk

Tuesday: AM: 70 minute aqua jog+10 minute RUN!

Wednesday: AM: 60 min elliptical   PM: 45 min lap swim

Thursday: AM: 13 minute RUN!   PM: ATE TOO MUCH!

Friday: AM: 1hr 45 min spin   PM: walk

Saturday: AM: 15 minute run    PM: 35 minute Alter G @65-70%

Total: 4 runs, 2 spin sessions, 3 elliptical sessions, 2 swim sessions

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Swim lanes and soccer games

I had a very eventful week on several fronts. From a cross training perspective I was able to swim without a pull buoy and even hopped on a spin bike for a few sessions without pain. Although cycling doesn’t seem like much it was a positive development as it does put a bit more pressure on my stress fracture than swimming and to feel zero pain means it’s healing!

Also, I changed my locale for a few days to Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock as the heater on the Boone Wellness Center pool had broken. It was a nice change of scenery as I attempt to constantly keeps things fresh! Check out a few pictures of my pool sessions Esther snapped during the week:

Fish status.

Fish status (with belt).

 

Circles for dayzzz at Chetola Resort.

Circles for dayzzz at Chetola Resort.

From a coaching standpoint last weekend was the season ending Autumn Blast tournament hosted by CVYSA in Hickory, NC. In all, 9 HCSA teams competed in their various age groups, including my U12 boys and U14 girls teams. Both of my teams have been developing and learning a lot over the course of the Fall season and this tournament is always a great way to cap off the season against some teams from other parts of the Southeast that we may not normally play against during the regular season.

The weekend was very successful for both teams. On Saturday my boys won 8-1 and 6-4 while my girls won 4-0 and 8-1 which secured a spot in the semi-finals for both. On Sunday, both teams won their respective semi-final matches and so it was on the championship games. Unfortunately, both teams were unable to pull out victories and both of my teams ended up as Runners-Up for the weekend.

Although many, many tears were shed on both teams, the final games didn’t put a damper on a very solid weekend. Both teams made big strides forward and it was an exciting and educational experience for all involved (players, parents, and coach). GO HCSA!

HCSA U12 Boys Navy

HCSA U12 Boys Navy

 

HCSA U14 Girls

HCSA U14 Girls

Lastly, Thursday November 5th marked 100 days until the Olympic Trials Marathon in LA. The race organizers sent all qualifiers a card to take a picture with and post on Twitter. Since both Esther and I are qualified we took our picture together. Enjoy!

Thursday makred 100 days out from OTM.

Thursday marked 100 days out from the OTM.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (11/1-11/7):

Sunday: OFF (travel back from IN)

Monday: AM: 1hr 45min swim/jog

Tuesday: AM: 1hr 45min swim/jog

Wednesday: AM: 2hrs swim/jog  PM: 30 min spin

Thursday: AM: 1hr 40 min spin  PM: walk

Friday: AM: 1hr 35 min aqua jog

Saturday: AM: 1 hr spin  PM: soccer tournament all day!

Total: 0 miles run, 4 swim sessions, 3 spin sessions

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My last week of training (10/25-10/31)

I will be very brief this week as I have been busy spending time coaching and getting in my lengthy cross training workouts. As I mentioned last week I have been using the Boone Wellness Center for my pool sessions which have consisted of a combination of aqua jogging and swimming. This is slightly different than past injuries as I usually spent most of my time either using the elliptical or just aqua jogging. Right now my foot is not quite ready for the elliptical and I don’t feel like the aqua jogging always gets my heart rate as high as I’d like. I’ve found that adding in a swimming component to the aqua jogging has made the sessions more challenging but also kept me more engaged and not as BORED!

Essentially, the goal of cross training is to attempt to get your heart rate as high as possible to simulate what outside running does for you aerobically. There are certainly many ancillary benefits of spending time in the pool such as blood flow to the injured area without the pounding of the road while also keeping other muscles in use and strong, but aerobic maintenance is the number one reason to cross train!

There may be runners out there who say they LOVE to aqua jog or swim but I’m not one of them. It is a boring and tedious activity that is only tolerable if you constantly remind yourself that the time spent in the pool will make the return to running much easier. Luckily, Esther bought me a waterproof iPod Shuffle and that has been super helpful in keeping me motivated and focused on the task at hand.

To be honest, there are days that I am amazed to look at my watch and see that I’ve just spent nearly two hours splashing around in the deep end of a community pool. Non-runners may think the same is true about a 2 hour run but I’d take an outdoor run in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains over a pool session any day!

So what exactly have I been doing in the pool? Well, I thought it’d be cool to share some of the workouts Pete has had me doing since I found out I had a stress fracture. Enjoy!

Sample workout 1: Lap swim to pool run…12 lengths medium / harder / all out x 4 cycles then 30 sec sprints x 15 (each with final 5-6 sec holding breath) – do 6 sets of this !!

Sample workout 2: Pool run – 15:00 warm – 20/20 power sprints x 15 – then 2:00 rest after #15 / then 90 sec snowball intervals x 9 (each w 30 seconds rest between and each with final 8-10 sec hands out of water holding breath) – then 2:00 after #9, before – 45/15 x 10 – 2:00 rest then 30:00 lap swim with intervals of choosing

Thanks for reading! Check back next week for more exciting tales from the deep end!

Here is my last week of training (10/19-10/24):

Sunday: AM: 1 hr 45 min aqua jog/swimming combo

Monday: AM: 1 hr 30 min aqua jog/swim

Tuesday: AM: 1hr 30 min aqua jog/swim

Wednesday: AM: 1hr 40 min aqua jog/swimming  PM: 30 min bike

Thursday: AM: 1 hr 30 min aqua jog/swim

Friday: AM: 1 hr 30 min all aqua jog  PM: travel to Fort Wayne, IN

Saturday: AM: 1hr 20 min aqua jog/swim

Total: 0 miles, 7 pool sessions, 1 bike session

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