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Posted on Mar 06, 2016 under Articles, Training |
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.
- Get started. I went for a 5-mile jog at 10:00 minutes per mile.
- Analyze ways to achieve your goal.
- I tend to eat a lot more than I did five years ago.
- I drink less water than five years ago
- I exercise a lot less than five years ago
- My body is a lot healthier than it was five years ago
- I am a lot weaker than five years ago
- Create a plan
- 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.
- 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.
- I chose a running event in September as my target race.
- 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:
- I love Brazen races
- I like these courses.
- Both courses are very hot and very hilly.
- 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
Posted on Mar 05, 2016 under Articles, Misc |
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
- Create a goal.
- It does not matter what the goal is, come up with a goal.
- Work toward the goal
- I have a lofty goal; I will start by getting out and running.
- Find a target event
- Create a training plan around my lifestyle
- Find ways to implement the plan
- Do not give up
- Do my best to achieve my goal.
- To do my best in achieving my goal, I must do my best in training.
- 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.
Posted on Jun 05, 2014 under Articles, Misc, Training |
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.
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.
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.
CO2 cartridges (2)
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.
Posted on Jan 05, 2014 under Articles, Training |
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-(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.
Posted on Jan 04, 2014 under Articles |
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.
Posted on Dec 31, 2013 under Articles, Reviews |
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.
Posted on Dec 30, 2013 under Articles |
I was out for a swim at the coast guard base this morning when I ran into a group of retirees out for their routine swim. The guy leading the pack was 92 years and was a pilot for the Marines. The youngster was 82. They were all excited to be around me because I was so young. I retired from the reserves over 15 years ago. I stuck around to watch them swim for a little while. They all got in the pool and started swimming laps. This pool has no life guards and they still get out and do it. If something goes wrong, when they are in the deep end, there is no help available.
As I was watching them in awe, they would come and talk to me. They all talked about how lucky we were to be able to retire from the military and have the nice pool available. They also told me that I had a long way to go and I have no excuse to stop going for a long time.
I had to agree with them that I have no excuse to stop. This made me think of the young lady who posted a picture of herself on facebook with the caption “What’s your excuse?”. She got a lot of abuse for being a role model. I wonder what would happen if I went to the local news media with a picture of these nice old guys who were trying to encourage me by saying I have no excuse to stop trying? I was honoured and enjoying myself with these guys. I saw hope in them.
My goal with alamedarunners is to inspire hope and encourage people. I do reviews because they are fun and a change of pace. I was out running yesterday when I saw a guy on his balcony enjoying a smoke. I was feeling pretty tired when I reached that encounter. I wondered if either of us was wrong with our choice. I don’t know which one of us spent more money on our hobbies. I imagine mine would cost more, if I threw in the bike. What ever you do, go have fun.
Posted on Dec 28, 2013 under Articles, News, Training |
I had a lot going on between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My workout routines were and still are all messed up. I had a routine that I followed. The downward spiral from a messed up routine is amazing. I found a lot of reasons to not do my workouts. When I am in a groove, I find ways to squeeze my workouts in. Now that I recognize the error of my ways, I am getting back into the groove. I have a half ironman triathlon to do in July.
I got out for an easy 4 mile jog yesterday and I am none worse for the wear today. My goal is to run the Oakland Running Festival half marathon on March 23, 14. I just set that goal, now I have to register. I found that it helps to have a goal. Goals help us stay dedicated. There are not goals like an Escape from Alcatraz swim. If you can swim, I highly recommend doing that event at least once. There is no goal like swimming from Alcatraz. They San Francisco Bay does not care why you skipped your training. It will swallow you up, if you are not prepared.
Back to running. I did a 4 mile run because I knew that it was well within my limits. When you take time off or messing up your schedule, take it easy. Injuries happen, when we try to make up for lost time. If you lost a month, take a step back and ease into your training. I ran (jogged) 4 miles yesterday. I rode my bike today. I will jog again tomorrow. I plan on running an easy 5 miles with an option to cut it short a mile, if I feel tired at mile 3. I don’t have a running plan yet. I am going to wing it for now. Give me a couple of days and I will have something posted for a 2:15 half marathon training plan.
Get out and run. Take it easy and do not get injured. If you can run a block, do it. Build yourself up and get strong!
Posted on Dec 15, 2013 under Articles, News, Uncategorized |
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calls aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame potassium safe. They may be safe in small quantities but consider portion sizes. A portion is 8 ounces and you usually get 1 to 2 portions per day. How many soda drinkers drink 16 ounces of soda per day? Diet soda has a negative image these days. I did a Google search for “diet+soda” (see below for complete list). The top 15 items were mostly negative. 11 of the top 15 items were negative. I am not sure if the chemicals in diet soda are harmful by themselves but I would rather have the sugar over the chemicals. I don’t think soda is harmful if you drink less than 3 gallons per year.
1. Aspartame Facts – familydoctor.org?
2. News for diet soda
3. Sugar Crush: Why Diet Soda Sales Have Crashed
4. Artificial sweetener aspartame is safe in diet soda, European review says
5. Beer, Diet Soda Sales in Mystery Decline
6. Diet soda – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
7. 7 side effects of drinking diet soda – Health – MSN Healthy Living
8. Diet Soda Doesn’t Help You Lose Weight | TIME.com
9. Diet Soda Sales Lose Their Fizz | Video – ABC News
10. Does Diet Soda Really Cause Weight Gain? What Experts Say
11. Diet soda: Is it bad for you? – MayoClinic.com
12. New study is wake-up call for diet soda drinkers – CBS News
13. Images for diet soda
14. Diet soda news, articles and information: – Natural News
15. Diet Coke: Home
There are concerns and studies showing a correlation between diet soda and obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The Internet has amplified fears. Sometimes the raising the alarm is a good thing and sometimes it is fear mongering for attention. I do my best to eat and drink organic products but I am healthy and I can afford organic food.
The stevia plant is the current sweetener of choice by the diet fad gurus. Stevia is regulated by the FDA under “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) which means the rules of approval bypassed the FDA under the GRAS rules. Hmmm, we went from aspartame that was approved by the FDA to stevia that was not approved but is used under the GRAS provision. I can’t say which is better. I can say that if you have to choose between the two, moderation may be the best choice.
I am a regular reader of Slashdot. They were recently bashing diet pills that are approved by the FDA. I am a believer in things that are approved by the FDA. Congress and big business may push laws through that affect the FDA but I think the FDA does the best they can to look out for our safety and well-being. The diet pills are called Qsymia and Belviq and must be prescribed by a doctor. If that is what it takes to get you started, by all means, go visit your doctor and ask for a prescription and a weight loss program. Going from a dormant lifestyle to a healthy one has to start someplace. If it takes a pill to get you started, take that pill and get started on your way to good health. I am sure your doctor will want you to move to natural alternatives as soon as possible anyway. The cynical people will tell me the doctors want to make money by selling prescriptions but I think it is the patients that want to take a pill to solve their problems.
Don’t take my word for this. Read as much as you can to make informed decisions. It seems like life is a pendulum. If you are extreme in any one thing, you seem to swing the other way and be extreme again in something else. Do the Google search for diet soda and read the links. I am singling out diet coke because they made the list. Contact diet coke and ask them about healthy soda drinking habits. I bet they will give you good answers. They don’t want you to die; they want you to buy soda.
Research and moderation is key. Get started. There is no time like the present.
Posted on Dec 14, 2013 under Articles, Misc, Uncategorized |
It is officially the off season for me. Since I did not plan on running a marathon in December, my off season began in October but I kept on training in hopes of another Rapha 500 challenge in 8 days event around Christmas. I tried the challenge two years ago and failed miserably but this year looks promising. I discovered both Rapha and Strava at the same time for that challenge and I am happy that I did. They are both good organizations and I owe to myself to complete the challenge.
Back to the off season training article. Most of us pick an event as our main or “A” event. Sometimes we do two “A” events in one year but we still have the same feeling when we finish our main event. It is a feeling of accomplishment. We achieved our goal or we did not achieve our goal. If we did not achieve our goal, we will either quit or dedicate ourselves to achieving our goal next year. My message here is for the people who achieved their goal and then asked “Now what?” It is a weird feeling when a mission has been accomplished and you have no follow up goal. Most of us find ourselves in this predicament at one time or another. I am bringing this up because I am in the “now, what” stage myself. Here is a list of things I do to keep myself ready for the next season.
- Find next “A” event
- Maintain core strengths
- Lift weights
- Swim a mile at least once a week
- Ride my bike farther than 40 miles at least once per week
- Run close to 10 miles per week
- I also like to do a couple trail half marathons during the off season to keep my endurance up
- Check your calendar for the last season. Did you get injured? What were you doing before you were injured? No calendar? Create a plan to track your workouts.
- Pick your next event
- Develop your training plan for the event
- Decide what your fitness level should be when the training begins
Picking your next event is usually the most fun part of the process. There are so many events in so many locations; it can be hard to choose. If you are picking one of your first events, it is so exiting when you realize that you are going to be an athlete. I still remember my first race, when the race director raised his bull horn and said “athletes, gather around”.
Developing the plan is not easy. There is no plan that fits everyone. We all have to come up with our own plan. I recommend looking at other peoples plans to use as a reference for your own plan. I do the same thing myself. I can take my own plans from 10 or 15 years ago and tailor them to my current needs. As I get older, my recovery is not the same as it was 15 years ago. My nutritional needs are certainly different from 15 years ago. In fact, the grocery store is different from 15 years ago but that is another matter entirely. I encourage everyone to put at least one rest day per week in their training plans. I tend to be more prone to injury when I am training over 20 hours per week. I used to consider a 2 mile swim day as my rest day. That was not a good idea. Rest means rest.
Whether your “A” event was a couch to 5k or the western states 100, rest up, pick your plan and have fun.