A Tale of Two Books

The other day a fellow runner commented on my blog post about How to Make a Training Schedule That’s Right For You. He mentioned that I might want to check out the book Meb For Mortals. I did, and I have been meaning to order the book. So I quickly went to Chapters.ca before I forgot and purchased that book, and another book I had been meaning to buy.

They came in the mail today and it wasn’t until I opened the box that I made a connection that made me chuckle:

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If I ever wonder what is holding me back from reaching my full potential as a runner … It was summed up in one little box from Chapters.

I’ve quickly paged through Meb’s book and it looks fantastic. It seems very descriptive yet uncomplicated, well laid out and interesting. I can’t wait to read it. I like how he not only tells you what exercises to do, but gives you full page pictures of how they are to be done.

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Sometimes a book can be overwhelming with its options, details, charts and explanations. This book has a simple, straightforward theme:

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Did you pick up on it?

By the way, You Gotta Eat Here also looks amazing. And, I may as well be honest and tell you I also ordered You Gotta Eat Here Too. It has awesome, although not healthy, not healthy at all, recipes from the show with great stories to go along with them.

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Yes, there is a burger in there – and yes it is covered in poutine. Oh..my.

Both books seem sure to please. With any luck, Meb will have more power persuade me to run, think and eat like him than John Catucci has to make me make that burger…

Have you read Meb for Mortals? (Or You Gotta Eat Here)  What holds you back from reaching your full running potential?

Jackie

Jackie

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Yeah…I’d Run That – Photo Inspiration – Mountains

Ever since my trip to British Columbia when I didn’t get to climb Grouse Grind, I’ve been dreaming of mountain running….

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Oh yeah… I’d run that. (Okay, maybe not the third one though…scary)

Hope you can get out running today. 🙂

Jackie

Jackie

What I Saw Running, Dipsea Challenge Update and The Grackle is why I haven’t posted….

First of all, this charming little fellow is the reason I haven’t had time to blog about running this week:

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Last weekend I was doing some gardening a couple days after a big wind storm and I found this little guy on the ground. The nest was nowhere to be found, his little siblings were already dead, and after observation I found that his mom wasn’t looking after him. The kids and I couldn’t leave him behind, so we took him home and have been feeding him hourly all week. Our next task is trying to figure out how to teach him to fend for himself so he can survive. (any suggestions?)

So between the hourly feedings, I managed to get some running in, at the cottage and at home. I’ve been taking pictures more often as I run because I find it helps me to not get so caught up in my performance and to enjoy my running more. So, here is my week and a half in running – and some things I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t been out running!

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A beautiful morning to be out running in Bayfield.

I had a beautiful run in Bayfield, I ran past The Black Dog Pub (man wish I could have gone in for a burger)

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and saw the smallest library ever :).

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I also tried out some new shoes. They felt comfortable, but after my run, my foot looked like this:

notagoodsignI showed my husband and he said “you probably already took a picture of it, right?” Hmph. It turned out that it looked worse than it was. For a few days the blister on my middle toe kept making a dramatic blood stain on my shoe, but after a few days in a row of no running (feeding a baby bird) it healed up.

I’ve been doing the Dipsea Challenge on Strava for the last couple of weeks, trying to do 6600 feet of elevation while running over a 3 week period. I have one week left and I am at just over 4000 feet. I wasn’t sure I could complete it, but I think I may just get it done! The good news is, whether or not I complete the challenge, I’ve already noticed that I’m getting much faster at my hill segments. So it was worth the effort.

Some new Lululemon tights always brighten up the week as well!

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I hope you had a good week running!

(I have to go for a run – raising a grackle is stressing me out – I’m having dreams of giant gaping baby bird beaks…)

Jackie

Jackie

 

Gearing up for a new STRAVA challenge – the Dipsea Climbing Challenge

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Run up 6,600 feet in three weeks!

Strava.com is the site that I use to upload my runs off my Garmin. I love analyzing my runs, seeing my pace and elevation and giving “kudos” to my fellow Strava runners. I find it really keeps me on track with my training.

I also find Strava’s monthly challenges very motivating, and this month is no exception. The Dipsea challenge for runners, that started this past Saturday, is named in honor of one of the oldest and wildest races in the US, the Dipsea. The challenge is to run up 6,000 feet of elevation during your runs over a three week period.

I figure I’ll be lucky to run half that, but the calf muscles I get attempting this challenge will be well worth the effort. The Dipsea sounded interesting, so I decided to do a little research. It is the oldest cross country trail running even and one of the oldest foot races of any kind in the US. Located in Marin County, California, it is 7.5 miles (12k) long and has about 2200 feet of elevation gain. It has been held almost every year since 1905, and June 14th will mark the 105th edition of the race.

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The unique handicap system allows the oldest and the youngest racers to get up to a 25 minute advantage over the fastest competitors. That couples with the permissible secret shortcuts, make it possible for the winner to come from any age group. Previous winners include children as young as 8 and women as old as 72.

 

The first of several sets of stairs.

The first of several sets of stairs.

As of this morning, I have 642 of the 6600ft covered and 20 days left… We’ll see how close I get to the goal, but already I’ve been seeking out the hills in my neighborhood that I usually avoid. Win/win.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

What challenges are you doing? Would you ever consider a race like the Dipsea?

Jackie

Jackie

How to Make a Training Schedule for Running That Fits You

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Some of my many running books.

How I made my schedule in the past:

1. Buy many running books looking for magic tips on how to run.

2. Put running books on shelf in library dedicated to running books.

3. Dust off books (trying to figure out who you lent the missing ones to).

4. Ask your running friends what schedule they are using.

5. Use whichever running friends’ schedule sounds easiest…

So, my approach has kind of worked in the past, but I’m hoping to do a better job this year. I’d like to get a PB in a half marathon this fall. So, I dusted off my running books again. I figured out where the missing one is (it’s okay Tab – I don’t need that one). Then I started looking at the training programs and comparing them to what has worked for me in the past.

I’ve tried running 5-6 days a week, like the programs in the book “Running” by Jim Stanton, and although I got good results as far as time, I ended up with injuries and I wore myself out. Mainly I think this is because I am now an over 40 runner.  What I did like about it was that it was very structured, and I need that or I slack off. Last year I tried programs from the Runner’s World “Run Less Run Faster ” book. I liked this program because you do 3 key runs a week, which is great for my old lady body. The speedwork workouts were really effective, but if there was any workout I would ever skip, it would be that one because, well, they are hard. I was also supposed to do cross training two other days, but I’m not a swimmer, or a biker, or a rower, so I kind of failed at that part of it. I think it is a very effective program – and a couple of my friends use it and really like it, however, I think I need something a little different.

So, what’s my plan for this year?

Well, I purchased a book in the last couple of years called “Run Faster, From the 5k to the Marathon” – how to be your own best coach. It talks about “adaptive running” and finding out what works for you.  After looking into it again, frankly, I decided I needed to stop being lazy and take the time to do a specific plan that works for me.

The book has many training plans, most that include 6 days a week of running, and it has a large section dedicated to schedules to get your Boston Marathon qualifying time. Near the back of the book, however, I found a chapter on “Adaptive Running for Youth and Masters Runners”.  There was a 10k training schedule that had 3 runs a week, a day of cross training (I can perhaps hike, bike or do a fun trail run) 3 days of core work and a day off. I combined this schedule with their Intermediate level Half Marathon training schedule by swapping out the long runs in the 10k training for the long runs in the Half Marathon training. I also decided to add a session of Yoga on two of the Core workout days. I already have my favorite yoga video picked out:

Now I just need a core strengthening workout…

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A sample page of my training schedule.

The 3 main reasons why I think this plan will work for me are:

  1. The 3 key runs are incorporated, but they are varied. There are long runs, progression runs, anaerobic hill intervals, ladder workouts, threshold runs, speed intervals, fartlek  and specific-endurance intervals.  Having variety in my workouts makes me dread them less. If I can’t anticipate the pain, it doesn’t feel as bad. 🙂
  2. I have a detailed plan with all my workouts penciled in every day. Having my core workouts and yoga planned along with my runs makes it more likely that they’ll get done. That’s just how I am, I love checking things off… I NEED to check things off…
  3. The idea of “adaptive running” includes knowing when you should switch out one workout for another. If you wake up feeling terrible, then your long run or speedwork won’t be very productive. Alternatively, waking up in the mood for a big workout and only doing a core session isn’t productive either. This training method encourages you to be comfortable with rearranging your runs when necessary as long as you get it all in. This is good for me, because I normally end up feeling like I failed if I don’t do things when my plan says to do them.

The bottom line is, there are many great books out there and many great training plans. I would recommend all 3 of the books I mentioned above. But, by taking into consideration your personality, your past experience and your abilities, you can – with a little work – devise a plan that is perfect for you and find your true running potential.

You can figure out how to be your own coach and, perhaps, run faster than you ever thought possible! (that’s the plan anyways 🙂 )

SO… what training schedules or tips have you benefited from. And does anyone know of a good YouTube video for core strengthening they can recommend?

Jackie

Jackie

My Running Week in Pictures – what I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t been running.

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Pioneer Tower in Kitchener

My first 2 runs this week weren’t too eventful. The most interesting thing I could think of to take a picture of was my t-shirt.

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On Friday, however, I went on a long 15k run with a friend and we took a new route. We started from my place, but ran somewhere I’ve never gone before, and probably wouldn’t have gone if I wasn’t running.

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Foot Bridge over to river

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Pioneer Tower

This weekend I finally got a chance to do some “cottage running” in Bayfield.

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Stairs down to Bayfield Beach

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Pretty pink tree – wish I knew what it was…

I’ll be wrapping up my long weekend with a 15k run with another friend tomorrow morning.

Oh yes, and I started off my runner’s tan early this year…runningtandummy

How was your week running? Did you see anything you wouldn’t have seen if you weren’t Out Running?

Jackie

Jackie

Check In: Half way through my C25K

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After a break from running, I’ve finally gotten back into a regular routine by using a couch to 5k app on my phone.  This week I finished week four, and I’m now officially half way through it!

For the most part, I’ve been enjoying the program.  Running is definitely not as easy or enjoyable as it used to be for me, so having a simple structured schedule to follow has been helping me to get motivated.  The first couple of weeks it was a struggle to get myself out the door, but I’m starting to look forward to getting out for my run.  I usually go in the evening, once my little babe is down for the night, and it’s a great way to relax and end the day.

Last night, I met up with my sister-in-law, Tabitha for my run.  Tabitha is also doing the C25K program.  When I was getting groceries earlier this week, I drove down a street lined with blossoming crab apple trees, and I kind of obsessed about how beautiful it was.  We both have been running the same boring routes over and over again close to home, so we decided to drive to this neighborhood for our run.  It was worth it.  It even smelled great!

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-Amanda

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