Thursday, January 29, 2009


So on my new training plan, Thursdays are speedwork days -- that means either a tempo run or intervals. I had planned on doing two tempo runs and one intervals run during each three week "on" training cycle. (More about training cycles in a future post, I'm sure.) Well, last Thursday I tried an interval workout I had downloaded from the "Get Fit Pod" podcast. It basically goes like this:

  • Warm up for however long... I think the podcast has you warming up about 5 minutes as it introduces the workout, etc.
  • Find your base jogging pace. This is pretty much the pace you runs on a "normal" weekday run -- quicker than your long run pace, slower than an interval pace. I set this at 5.9 mph on the treadmill, or about 10:10/mile. Do this for 2-3 minutes.
  • Then the intervals start. The first is one minute all-out running.
  • Rest for one minute at your base pace (5.9 for me).
  • 2nd interval - 2 minutes of all-out running.
  • Rest again for one minute at your base pace.
  • 3rd interval - 3 minutes of all-out run-as-fast-as-you-can go-go-go running (see a pattern here?)
  • Another recovery jog - this time 2 minutes.
  • 4th, and longest, interval - 5 minutes as-fast-as-you-can-for-that-long.
  • 3 minute recovery period. They let you walk if you need to on this one. How generous.
  • 3 minute interval
  • 2 minute rest/recovery
  • 1 minute interval
  • 30 second recovery
  • 30 second interval -- this is the absolute fastest you can go.
  • Cool down.
I stretched out the warm-up and cool-down periods so that the entire run would be 5 miles for me today. Last week when I did this, I just extended out the cool down into a 4.5 mile run. Today I added to the front side of the workout as well. Let me tell you, this workout is KILLER, and it's fun to do on the treadmill. It definitely breaks up the otherwise monotonous 50 minutes that would be a ~5 mile run. I highly recommend it. I like to call it a "Spin Class For Runners." Try it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Saturday's Run

Saturday I went out for a 12 mile run, with an icky long false-flat section that stretched for miles. One cool thing was, right at the end of this long uphill grade (We're talking like 6-7 miles of constant 1-3% uphill), I saw this very large bird take flight off the top of a power pole about 100 feet ahead of me. As it swooped down over the field to my left, the sun caught its head, and it was a gleaming white. The bird crossed over the road behind me and landed atop another power pole about 150 feet behind me. I had to stop and just stare, my mouth gaping open. I couldn't believe that I had just seen a freakin' bald eagle while out for a long run. I had only ever seen one in captivity before, never in the free wild. It gave me a boost to finish out the last 3.5 miles. What a sight!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Meteorology 101

Okay, basic physics: Hot air rises, and cold air falls. Typically, the higher in elevation you go, the colder the air gets, right? To escape the heat of a hot summer day, you head to the mountains, where it's cooler, right?

So, in a typical environment, the hot air near the surface of the planet rises, and as it does, it cools, which in turn makes the air fall (colder air is denser, but we've been over this already), so you get this stirring action (called convection) that keeps the air, shall we say, "fresh."

Well here in our high mountain valleys, it snows in the winter, which tends to keep the air around the ground area cold. Cold air falls, as we've discussed, but this air is already on the ground... so as warmer air aloft moves over us thanks to a nice "ridge" of high pressure, the cold air is trapped, because it's colder than the air above it, instead of warmer like it usually is (hence the term "inversion"). That was a long run on sentence, but if you read it a few times, you'll get what I mean -- if you're still awake at this point, that is.

Anyway, in this nice layer of colder air near the ground that's not going anywhere because it's colder than the air above it exist all the cars, factories, oil refineries, furnaces, fireplaces, etc. (and sublimating snow, which adds to the visibility issues), and since the usual convection isn't happening, all the particulates, pollution, water vapor from the snow, etc., just hangs in the air, and all of a sudden you have Salt Lake City doing its best Los Angeles impersonation, like this:

My point? You really don't want to be out running in that gunk if you value your lungs. So, I'm relegated to this:

*Sigh* 5 miles today. Here goes nothin'.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I had a great run last Saturday. I went out for the best 10-miler I've had in a long time. I managed to hold a 10:30 average pace, which I would LOVE to be able to maintain for 26.2 here in another couple months. It was cold outside, but nothing a few layers, a fleece vest, and gloves couldn't fix. Here's my splits:


You can tell where the long uphill mile was, eh? :)

Sunday is (always) a rest day, Monday I ran 4 on the treadmill, and Tuesday I ran 5 and change outside at lunchtime. It was PERFECT running weather... just over 40° and mostly sunny. I ran the hilly City Creek + 1 route, and finished in 50:35, which for 5.1 miles equals a 9:54 pace. A PR for that course, for sure.

Wednesday was a biking day on the Cycleops Pro 300 PT indoor cycle. I was reading a book and in about 38 minutes I went 13.45 miles. I really want to work on my cycling and get to the point where I can hammer out more watts on a more consistent basis. I average about 165 watts on a good ride. I'd like to get that up to over 200 sooner rather than later. We'll see how that goes, but I'm going to focus on it on my cross-training days (like tomorrow). I have 4 easy miles on tap today -- it's a cutback week on the training calendar for SLC. Tomorrow's another bike day, and Saturday will be 7 more miles runnin'.

Ya gotta love marathon training. You just gotta love it!

Friday, January 9, 2009

2009 Training Plan

Here it is, if you want to see what I'll be doing from now until the triathlon in September. I did forget to note the Art City 5k on here, but I'll definitely be running it... I believe it will be June 6th. So I may trade my cutback week and make that my shorter Saturday, and run 13 miles the week before, when I'm scheduled to bike 16.

I'm curious to know anyone's opinion. :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

2009 Plans

These aren't the New Year's Resolutions... these are the plans.

I'm planning on trying something a little different and running the Salt Lake Marathon in April this year. This is only 14 weeks away, so I'm kicking the training into gear now. If all goes according to plan, I won't have a week of less than 23 miles of running for the rest of the season. And only very few weeks of less than 30 miles.

There will be some biking (and maybe even swimming) thrown in there as well. I really want to do the Daybreak Triathlon in September. It may be the sprint, it may be the Olympic distance, but I'd really like to get it done. It will depend on the funds available at the time.

I also plan on doing the Art City 5k with the family, and entering the lottery for the St George Marathon in October. And with any luck, I'll run the Hobble Creek Half Marathon in August. That oughta keep me busy for the year, eh?