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I have a goal of placing in a race in 2016.  Now that I have a goal, it is time to start working toward that goal.

  1. Get started. I went for a 5-mile jog at 10:00 minutes per mile.
  2. Analyze ways to achieve your goal.
  3. I tend to eat a lot more than I did five years ago.
  4. I drink less water than five years ago
  5. I exercise a lot less than five years ago
  6. My body is a lot healthier than it was five years ago
  7. I am a lot weaker than five years ago
  8. Create a plan
  9. Realizing that I was frequently injured in the past, I cut down on the number of run days. I am afraid that reducing the amount of running that I do will hurt my chances for placing in a race but I feel that showing up healthy will increase my chances of placing in a race.
  10. The plan that I will post is a running plan. I will post the training plan after Alamedarunners II shows up to teach me how to format an excel document for posting.
  11. I chose a running event in September as my target race.
  12. I am going to race in 3 triathlons between now and the event that I am attempting to place in.

I picked two Brazen Racing events in September for my goal of placing.  I will be happy if I can reach a top 5 in both races.  Reason for my selections:

  1. I love Brazen races
  2. I like these courses.
  3. Both courses are very hot and very hilly.
  4. If I can achieve my hill climbing mentality for training, I have a good chance of placing in these races.

Trail Hog in San Jose

Drag – N – Fly in Antioch, CA

 

 

I just noticed that the wheels fell off the bus.  It has been over a year since my last post.  For various reasons, I got away from running and running related activities and gained about 30 pounds.  I just set a goal for myself to place in a race in 2016.  I am usually humble with my goals and finishing is my goal.  I am moving into a new age group (55-59, if you are wondering), this give me a chance to place.  Placing in a race is very hard.  I may not meet my goal but I am going to try.

Ted’s rules for for a goal.  Note; Ted is Alamedarunners

  1. Create a goal.
  2. It does not matter what the goal is, come up with a goal.
  3. Work toward the goal
  4. I have a lofty goal; I will start by getting out and running.
  5. Find a target event
  6. Create a training plan around my lifestyle
  7. Find ways to implement the plan
  8. Do not give up
  9. Do my best to achieve my goal.
  10. To do my best in achieving my goal, I must do my best in training.
  11. No excuses.

I post my goals because I know that I used to have a lot of readers who followed me and took what I said to heart.  This site was created to help others.  My current goal is to help me.  I hope that my selfish objective will help others in their ambitions to help themselves.

This site was created to help a group of people obtain their goal of finishing the inaugural Oakland running festivals half marathon.  Now, I am using the site to help me with my own ambitions to get back into shape.  I may never meet my earlier standards but I hope to get better than I am today.

  • For the record, the inaugural Oakland running festival was about 6-7 years ago.
  • I could run a half marathon in about 1 hour 40 minutes.
  • I wore a size 28 waist.
  • I weighed about 130 pounds
  • I now squeeze into size 34 pants
  • I weigh close to 170 pounds
  • I don’t know if I can run 13 miles.

I have goal.  It is a start.

American cyclist Carter Jones is jumping from the United States to head to the European peloton, signing with Team Giant-Shimano for the 2015 season.  At just 25 years of age, and with growing climbing legs, Jones should be able to gain more experience, though it’s a shame to see Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies lose such a strong rider.

Here is what Marc Reef, Giant-Shimano coach recently said of Jones (via VeloNews):

“Carter is a talented climber that we have been following for the past two seasons.  He has been improving year-on-year and has already finished in the top 10 in Utah and the USA Pro Challenge.  He’s made another step up this year and with his climbing strength he will be a good addition to support Warren [Barguil] and Tom [Dumoulin] in stage races.  There’s still progression possible with an improved race program and also the opportunities to develop his time trialing, working with the experts on our team, and to improve as a GC rider himself.”

It will be great to see Jones riding on a WorldTour team next season – as he continues to evolve into one of the best American riders.

The Alameda Runners met Jones during the 2013 Tour of California, following a brutal individual time trial (ITT).  Here is Ted with Jones:

Triathlon race check list

Tri-gear
Tri-gear

This is a good post to bring up every year.  I am preparing for another triathlon this weekend and I need a checklist for my stuff.

I was getting my stuff ready for an International distance triathlon when I decided to take a picture and post my plan.  I am packing up to drive a few hours to the race location where I will spend the night in a hotel then ride my bike about 5 miles to the race start area.

It is always a good idea to create a list of triathlon gear you are going to use and how you are going to use the gear.  You can organize the list in any order that suits you.  For this event, I used a towel on the floor, the equipment and a picture as my list.  My list shown below is based on importance of the equipment.  Some things are just required for most triathlons.

Required:
Bike – Tuned and in good working order
Bike helmet – I am not a good one to ask about helmet requirements.  If it fits, I am happy.
Running shoes – I have the added optional upgrades from RoadID and SuperFeet inserts.
Bike shoes – Running shoes will work but your feet will hurt and you will lose power on the hills.
Shorts – I have some Snazzy TYR Tri shorts that work well for all 3 events.  Any shorts will work but I really like the tri shorts.  The pockets are in good places and they don’t chaffe.
Shirt – Required at most races and they protect your back from the sun.

Optional:
Bike pump – I like to pump up the tires right before I leave for the race.
Water bottles – I have 3 bottles
One to rinse my feet after the swim
One for the bike that is filled with an electrolyte mix
One bottle of water for the bike
This course is very hot for me.  I will drink half the electrolyte before I get on the bike and drink one bottle of water on the bike.  I will discard both bottles at the bike water stop for fresh ones, filled with cold water.
Two towels – one for the ground and one to use after the race.
Bike gloves – Just in case I feel like wearing them.
Body glide – Great for preventing chaffing from the wet suit.  It also protects your neck from the sun.
Food – I bring it but I probably won’t eat much.  I will probably eat a stinger waffle after the swim.
Spi Belt with bib hangars – A great place to put your bib and it only takes one clip to put it on.
Socks to help prevent blisters on your feet.
Super thin underwear – Some people like them, some don’t.  I like them.
Swim goggles – tested and adjusted to fit properly.
Multi-tool kit for bikes – In case something goes wrong while getting ready for the race.
Wet-suit –  fit tested with operational zipper.  I like to lubricate the zipper with body glide.
Bike pouch:
Spare tube
CO2 dispenser
CO2 cartridges (2)
Tire levers
Spare tube
Patch kit
First aid kit
Allen wrenches 3,4 & 5 mm
Bag to carry goods to and from the start line.
Sunglasses are in the car and I have not made up my mind on the bike jersey yet.

Prepare for your distance.  For my current level of fitness, an Olympic distance triathlon is a short event where I don’t need to worry about nutrition.  I do have to worry about the heat and water.  Practice with your equipment, including nutrition before the event.

Get off Your Butt and Pedal!



Ride for your health!

People tend to think of riding a bike as a way to exercise, but overlook it as a great way to explore your neighborhood and burn calories at the same time. As I flipped through the May 2014 edition of “Cycle California Magazine,” (PDF) the “Prescription for better health” column added great insight:

“Cycling can conveniently and pleasantly burn calories.  In fact daily 75 minute rides burn enough calories to lose over a pound per week.  So just riding to work may be enough to win the battle of the bulge.  Every 30 to 60 minute ride stimulates both the adrenal and thyroid glands to produce adrenaline and thyroxin.  These hormones act to increase riders’ metabolisms up to 25 percent for 15 hours after the initial exercise.  This increased basal metabolic rate causes an after-burn of calories.  Thus the weight loss process continues even when you rest.  Cycling also strengthens and develops muscle mass, so that weight loss is further induced by thermogenesis.”

I have a lot of casual biking tips to share with everyone in the future – so stay tuned and remember, have fun but stay safe out there.

(Thanks to Monique Rodriguez for the excellent photo.)

I am a fan of Team Cannondale rider Peter Sagan, one of the fastest cyclists in the European peloton.  Not only is he a talented rider, he is a popular draw among cycling fans.

To capitalize, apparel maker Sugoi has launched a custom Cannondale Peter Sagan jersey prior to the Tour of California.  The jersey should be available in the United States by June 15, with a $100 MSRP.

“I wanted a jersey that spoke to my inner drive to win, but also shows off my fun side. Working with Sugoi they quickly understood my vision, and I hope people love the jersey as much as I do,” Sagan said in a company press release.

I look forward to seeing Sagan at the 2014 Tour of California, where he will look to improve his leading 10 career stage wins in the Golden State.

I know the Alameda Runners have owned a few pieces of Sugoi gear over the years, and its products are simply incredible.  (You will pay for that quality however, so don’t get sticker shock!)

The German-based Team NetApp-Endura will ride the 2014 Tour de France this July, after the team received confirmation of a wildcard invite.  Expect to see its riders livening up the race by going into breakaways and trying to take any advantage if the ProTour teams stop paying attention.

Here is what Ralph Denk, Team Manager of NetApp-Endura (in a blog post)

“A dream comes true. We have worked towards this news since the first day of the team’s founding.  That our wish has now become reality is overwhelming, and will put the whole team into a euphoric mood. We could not have hoped for better news shortly before our season opening.”

It’s great to see a team like NetApp-Endura, which was founded in 2010, work their way up to a Tour wildcard invite.  Czech rider Leopold Konig picked up stage wins in the Tour of California and Vuelta a Espana in 2013 while Czech teammate Jan Barta won the country’s road race and time trial championships.

Best of luck in your quest to get to Paris!

The long slow run

For those of you building up for a long distance race or event, I hope you are doing your long slow runs.  The long slow run is what helps us build up to the target distance without getting hurt.  I like to wear a heart rate monitor for my long slow runs.  I have learned that 120-130 beats per minute is my ideal range for the long slow run.  It is okay, if I go up to 140 BPM for short durations.  My long slow run for today was 8 miles long.  I maintained a constant HR of 133 for most of the runs duration.  I went up to 140 for the home stretch because I have that old horse heading to the barn mentality and pick up the pace as I get close to home.  When I realized my heart rate was at 140, I slowed down until my heart rate was 120 then I started to walk for the cool down portion of the run.  It is important to cool down for 5-10 minutes after a long slow run.  There are a lot of arguments about stretching for runners.  I like to gently stretch by bending over for 30-60 seconds.  I don’t do anything aggressive; I just bend over and let my arms hang.  How you want to stretch is up to you.  I recommend reading up on stretching and running and find something that works for you.

One of the standards for determining your maximum heart rate is 208-(age*0.7)
The long slow run is an aerobic run at 50%-75% of your max heart rate.  That is a huge span.  I recommend 50% max for beginners who are just starting to increase your mileage.  At 50% max hr you should be able to converse comfortably and joke around.  At 75%, you should be able to talk but joking around will be difficult.

Here is an explanation of the heart rate theories.  We like to call them rules but people are not created equally so things can vary a lot.
Aerobic training is officially 50%-85% of your maximum heart rate.  The long slow run is typically 50%-75% of your maximum heart rate.  As you progress, the lower number will gradually increase.  My long slow runs are usually at 65%-75% max heart rate.
Long slow runs are fat burners.  The long slow run trains your body how to burn fat.  As your long slow runs increase in time and distance, your body gets better at burning fat and other types of fuel.
They say, you officially start burning fat between 60-90 minutes depending on who you ask.  I don’t care when I officially start burning fat.  I like to look at my watch and tell myself how close I am getting to burning fat.  When I am in the fat burning stage, I tell myself “Burn, baby, burn”.
The higher your heart rate, the higher the risk for injury.

Heart rate example for a 52 year old.  Since this is general in nature, I will use whole numbers.
208-(age*0.7)
208-(52*0.7) =208-36=172 max hr
50%*172=0.5*172=86 lower aerobic hr
75%*172=0.75*172=129 maximum long slow run aerobic hr
85%*172=0.85*172=146 maximum aerobic hr
Ted’s long slow run at an hr of 133=77.5% of max hr.  When my long runs get longer than 15 miles, I will probably lower the max to a max of 130.

I don’t usually eat during any exercise that is less than 2 hours.  When the workouts are longer than 2 hours, I like to practice eating.  I don’t like to eat when I exercise.  That is very bad for endurance athletes so I practice eating all of the time.

I hope everyone who is training for a half marathon is getting out and logging the miles.  I have been doing this for so long I forget to mention how important it is to log your miles.  The miles that you run have to increase gradually.  It is normal to increase your mileage by about 5% per week and never increase by more than 15% per week.20

You can buy the Complete Runner’s Day-By-Day Log 2014 Calendar from amazon.com for about $10 now.  I have used these books in the past and feel they are worth the money.  It is handy to have a book that is designed for runners with little tips on every page.  The book encourages you to take notes and comment on your health and how you felt.  In most cases, you will not go back and read the notes but if you are injured or want to get faster, the notes will come in handy.  I use a plain old open source calendar that works for pretty much any word processing program.  You could draw something up on a piece of paper as long as you track your weekly mileage.

I harp on tracking your mileage because it helps your motivation.  The endurance phase is all about increasing your mileage so you are capable of making the distance.  To increase your weekly mileage, you have to get out and run 4 days per week.  It is okay to run 5 or 6 days per week.  No matter how many days per week you run, track the miles and increase your weekly mileage slowly.  If you are a regular reader, you know that I am training for a 2:15 half marathon in late march.  I am going to carry a pace sign and lead the group.  My training is going to be a little different from the standard plan but it will be close.  My long run this week was a 6 mile run at a 10:30 pace.  I could have gone faster and I could have gone farther but I did not.  It is not good to overdo things.  I am recovering from injuries (from over doing it) and rest (from finding excuses to take it easy).

Use your calendar and try to stay close to the plan.  When you look at your calendar and see a blank where there should be miles, it can give you the extra motivation to get you out for your run.  It works for me, it may work for you.

santic pants

When I stumbled upon the advertisement from jollyoutdoor.com I was really nervous about buying something from an unknown company but I did need some long pants for my morning commute to work.  I poked around the site and found some Mysenian fleece pants to order.  I placed my order for about $50 with free shipping.  A couple of hours later, I received an email telling me the pants that I ordered were out of stock.  I responded to the email with a request for a different pair of pants that were $3 cheaper.  Jollyoutdoor responded back with an order confirmation and a note saying my paypal account was credited the $3 difference.  It was incredibly easy to deal with jollyoutdoor.  My package arrived less than two weeks after my order was placed.  That is pretty good, considering the order came from China during the Christmas rush with free shipping.

The Santic pants are pretty nice.  They don’t have the high end feel like a pair of Rapha pants but they do feel good when you put them on.  They have some nice stitching patterns to make them feel better around the legs.  The padding is nice and comfortable and stays in place while riding.  The pants run a size small.  I typically wear a small to medium pants.  With the Santic pants, I wear a large size.  I am 5’7” tall.  The typical American and European medium pants are really long for me.  They seem to be designed for people who are taller than 6’.  The Chinese pants seem to be designed for people who are my height.  The rear pocket is also nice.  On days that are cold enough for me to wear long pants, I usually wear a sweat shirt or something warm under a jacket.  The warm shirts don’t have pockets so the pocket on the pants comes in handy.

Jollyoutdoor.com is a legitimate business.  I bought a pair of long cycling pants.  The pants are not top quality but I don’t need them to be top quality.  I plan on wearing them for 1,000 to 2,000 miles.  The pants cost about $45 and they should last beyond the 2,000 miles that I want.  I am happy enough with the process that I will buy from them again.  When I do, I will post my satisfaction with the next purchase as well.

A note on security:  When you place an order with a company that you are not comfortable with, send your credit card company or PayPal an email about your purchase and your concerns.  The financial companies are good a keeping you protected from fraud.  They are better at protecting you from fraud if you help them.