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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!

Los Angeles, CA – Cannondale presented the 2014 team last night at the Canyon Club outside Los Angeles, California. During the night of revelry, that included major music performances and plenty of surprises for those in attendance, the team captains Peter Sagan, Ivan Basso, Elia Viviani, Moreno Moser, Damiano Caruso and the entire 2014 squad were officially introduced to an adoring crowd at the Cannondale Pro Cycling event followed by guests mixing and mingling with the team throughout the evening.

During the team presentation, attendees were given an exclusive look back at the amazing 2013 season and a sneak peek of what the upcoming 2014 season will bring.  After the presentation, guests rocked the night away to an epic concert by The Green Machine, a special Cannondale band made up of rock legends Curt Schneider on bass (Five For Fighting and Richie Sambora), Jared Shavelson on drums (BoySetsFirst and Purelove), Michael Ward on guitar (Gogol Bordello and The Wallflowers), John Rubano on the vocals (Jim Belushi and The Blues Brothers) and Matt Rollings on the keyboard (Fiona Apple and Richie Sambora).

Highlights of the event included a surprise musical performance by rider Moreno Moser who showed the crowd that his musical chops might just rival his skill on a bike when he popped up on stage to perform “Molly’s Lips” by Nirvana with The Green Machine. Also getting in on the action was Cannondale General Manager, Bob Burbank, who rocked the stage with the band for his rendition of the Bon Jovi classic song “It’s My Life.”

This year, to bring our fans closer to the excitement, Cannondale Pro Cycling partnered with select SoCal Cannondale dealers offering consumers the chance to win a Golden Ticket to the team presentation and launch party. The 50 winners each were able to bring a guest and meet their favorite riders live and in-person to share in the excitement of the team presentation.

The 2014 team promises fans an incredible year of racing coming off of the team’s successful inaugural season. The official roster will continue to develop a stable group of young, talented international riders with a flair for winning and world-class camaraderie. The “Green Machine” team boasts 28 riders including four recent signings, four neo-professional riders, and twenty returning riders from the 2013 squad.

“The entire team is getting ready for great things from Cannondale Pro Cycling for the next year,” said Peter Sagan, Cannondale Pro Cycling athlete. “I feel good about our squad and the quality of each rider this season. We want to give our fans a strong performance again this year showing our passion at being a part of Cannondale Pro Cycling, and having fun along the way.

The 2014 team presentation is part of a four-day team camp in Los Angeles, CA. The members of the Cannondale Pro Cycling team in attendance are training on and around the local roads of Thousand Oaks, preparing for the rapidly approaching start of the 2014 season.

“With the combination of the ‘best bikes in the world’ and the awesome talent of our Cannondale Pro Cycling team, we’re looking forward to an unforgettable 2014 season,” said Rider Ted King. “Kicking off the season with a sweet launch party event wasn’t half bad either.”

On the road, the Cannondale Pro Cycling season starts in just one week with riders heading to the Tour Down Under and the Tour de San Luis.

ABOUT CANNONDALE

Founded in 1971, Cannondale is a global industry leader with a strong heritage in design, development and manufacturing of high performance bicycles, apparel and accessories. With a reputation for continuous innovation and quality, Cannondale corporate headquarters is located in Wilton, Connecticut, USA, with offices in Brazil, Canada, Holland, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, United Kingdom, Taiwan and an assembly/manufacturing facility in Bedford, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.cannondale.com.

Cannondale is a premium brand of Cycling Sports Group, part of Dorel Industries, Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A), a world-class bicycle and juvenile products company.Dorel creates style and excitement in equal measure to safety, quality and value. Dorel has annual sales of US$2.6 billion and employs 6,300 people in facilities located in twenty-four countries worldwide.

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.

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.

It is time to start training for the Oakland Running Festival half marathon again.  I may be carrying my 2:15 pace sign once again this year. I am a bit out of shape right now. If I can regain my form, I will carry the sign.

Completing a 13.1 mile run in 2:15 requires an average pace of 10:20 per mile.  In reality, it takes a 10:03 pace to make up for the walk to the start line and walking through the water stops. To finish at a clock time of 2:15, you will need to train for a 10:03 pace.

To make training easier, I wrote a training plan for you to follow.  I know a lot of people do not want to run four days a week.  Running four days a week will certainly make things easier for the half marathon but days can be skipped.

It is very bad to skip long runs (need to build up those miles) or tempo run (which is when you build your speed and endurance).

The main training begins in January.  I started with a month of run/walk for people who are just getting into running or getting back into the swing of things.  It is a good idea to be able to run 4 miles before you start your half marathon training plan.

I like to do my long runs on Saturday.  Sunday is fine for long runs too.

Long runs – During the long runs there should be no hard breathing.  You should be able to hold a conversation for the whole run.  If you start to breathe hard, slow down.

Cruise runs are a bit faster than the long runs but do not need to be too fast.  These runs are just to add miles to the legs.

Runs are random things that are a bit faster than cruise runs.  You can vary the pace of normal runs to change things up.

Tempo runs are where you build your speed.  They hurt.  You will need to build up to 9:00 to 9:30 miles for 30 minutes.  It is good to start out by jogging for about 10 minutes then pick a target a few hundred yards away and run towards it.  You should be breathing hard when you get there.  Slow down and repeat the process.

It is tradition to tell yourself to go get a physical before you start a running plan.  If you have good luck with getting a sports physical, let me know who your doctor is.

Get to training and I will see you on March 25th.

Week :    Mon                  Tue             Wed             Thur          Fri          Sat         Sun
12/30| 30 min run/walk | Cross train| 30 run/walk  | 30 min jog| cross train|2-4 mi|Rest
01/06| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|4 mi|Rest
01/13| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|5 mi|Rest
01/20| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|6 mi|Rest
01/27| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|8 mi|Rest
02/03| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|7 mi|Rest
02/10| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|9 mi|Rest
02/17| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|10 mi|Rest
02/24| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|11 mi|Rest
03/03| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|12 mi|Rest
03/05| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|13 mi|Rest
03/10| 30 min up tempo| Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min run| cross train|10 mi|Rest
03/17| 30 min easy run | Cross train| 40 min cruise| 30 min easy| cross train|rest  Half Marathon

Note: This is a generic training plan.  I will write up my own training plan soon and post that as well.

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!

Benefits of Kinesiology Tape

Injuries happen along the way, whether during training or on race day, and it is demoralizing to be sidelined with a major injury. Using kinesiology tape is a popular technique that aids in injury recovery and can be used during intense training – or on race day – to help make sure your body effectively holds together.  Instructional video available after the jump: Read more… »

Image Compliments of Amazon.com

Image Compliments of Amazon.com

The stick is one of those items you run into at a marathon registration expo and buy or want to buy.  I first saw the stick around 10 years ago at the CIM expo and often wished that I had one.  I finally decided to buy one when I was shopping at the Sports Basement a couple of months ago and I love it.  I am a triathlete who is always doing some type of physical activity to stay in shape for the summer triathlons.  The various workouts always cause something to be sore.  It does not help that I am always changing my workout routine in the winter.

I usually use the stick on my legs.  When I am massaging the smaller muscles at the bottom of my calves, I use the middle of the stick.  When I am on the larger muscles like the quads, I use the edge of the stick to really push into the muscle to relieve the tension.  For sore hamstrings I will lie down on my back, place my calf on a chair then roll out the hamstring or I will use the foam roller.  It does take some practice to find the sore spot and roll it out properly but it is worth the effort.  Take the time to learn how to roll out your sore muscles and you will recover faster and learn where the sore muscles are located.  When you find the sore muscles, is it up to you to figure out why they are sore.  It helps to do a Google search for muscles of the leg to find out what muscles you hurt.  After you figure out what the sore muscles are, you can ask a trainer or do a search on how that muscle works.  With practice, it gets easy to differentiate between stress soreness and injury soreness.  I don’t recommend practicing how to get injured so stay in the injury prevention phase.

The stick is basically a flexible rolling pin that is made of PVC.  I look at thing and marvel at how I move it around on my skin at varying angles and pressures without pinching myself.  I have the Marathon Stick at home, it goes for about $32.00 on Amazon.   I am thinking about getting the The Stick Little Stick for work.  It cost about $24.00 at Amazon.