Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Running 101

Every runner should keep a daily training log!  A training journal from 5 or 10 years ago is not only fun to look back at but the past training X's & O's can be a training tool to help with your current training. Just keep in mind that there is no single "exact same training block" compared to a past training block or race build up. This comparison is true when everything is going right or not so hot.  No single training block/period leading up to a race can be compared exactly to a previous block of training, because there are so many other variables that come into play like age, current fitness, or just outside of running stresses. Learn from the training log of the past but do not let it rule you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

ThunderDome Athletes Roll at the Chicago Shamrock 8k

Over the weekend ThunderDome runners raced in the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago the world's largest 8k.  The 2012 edition of the Shamrock Shuffle was a deep year in terms of competition & fast race times so it was a great March test of fitness for everyone.  In the 34,000+ race field ThunderDome runner's Keith Mullholon (Lake Geneva, WI) & Marek Kotrly (Brookfield, WI) placed 2nd & 3rd respectively in the master's race field with times of 25:31 & 26:43.  Those times were good for 64th and 98th overall. Marek's time was a massive PR and both took advantage of the competition and awesome race weather. 

This was the fourth year the Shamrock Shuffle 8k had an Elite club team competition. The Elite club competition features teams from all over the United States made up of 4-5 runners with the top 4 runners finish times added up for overall placing.  For the first time ThunderDome Running sent a team to the competition and placed 11th overall.  It was a deep race field with the Hanson's Olympic Development team winning the overall team competition.  Thunderdome was led by Matt Thull racing to a time of 24:17 & placing 22nd overall.

Continue to follow what ThunderDome Runners are up to this spring as ThunderDome has runnners racing in Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Alabama, & in the Boston marathon over the next 2 months.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ThunderDome Running- Don't Call it a Comeback-Uphill Battles

The running world is full of beginners, veterans, and Olympians and they all want to and do make it to the starting line in different ways facing varying challenges and obstacles.  That training & self awareness journey is the awesome part about running and somehow we all end up not only on the starting line--but rolling through the finish tape.

Just wanted to share a story of a ThunderDome runner I worked with this past summer and fall from Connecticut. Frank was one of the hardest workers I have had the opportunity to work with and this is a summary by Frank of his journey as his season wrapped up with his key 5k race.

What a great Sunday and what a great way to end my season.  After not racing consistently since 2006 I vowed that 2011 was going to be a comeback year and I'm glad to say with the completion of today's Saybrook Point 5K the mission was successfully accomplished.  Since my hamstring injury on July 4th my goal was to run a 5K race schedule for the remainder of the year with every race being faster than the last and to ultimately run one or more of those races under 20 minutes.  I'm glad to say all of the above took place capped off with today's 5K in a time of 19:39.  In my last two races I finished in the top 10 (9th two weeks ago and 6th today) and today I won my age group.  I couldn't think of a better way to end things.

A quick race report today before I get into my thank you's.  Cold and windy down by the shore this morning, low 50's but by race time things warmed up.  Off right at 8:30 am on a real flat course.  Started off about 10th and before the first mile settled in to the 6th position which was my final finishing spot. 6:13 for the first mile about 12 seconds faster than I had hoped for so I backed off a bit in order to have plenty left at the end.  Mile 2 was done in 6:24 which told me right there I would have enough left to finish strong.  As usual I forgot to hit the lap button on my watch at mile 3 but the last 1.1 was done at a 6:19 pace.  I had just enough left at the end for one last 1/2 mile kick to bring me in at 19:38.  I don't have all my race records from years past but I'm pretty sure this is one of my top three 5K performances.

I sent a text to Matt (my coach/trainer) right after the race with my results and the text he sent back was just what I needed.  Here it is:

"Frank that is awesome. You had to have been rolling out there--no let up ever for 19:39. You put in all the work--enjoy it.  In a way this is just the beginning.  U freakin started this with a run/walk!"

What Matt is referring to is how I started back running on March 29th, 2011.  My first workouts were 15 minutes of just a run/walk combo.  From then until now I've lost 30 pounds and logged over 535 miles.  A lot of work but well worth it in the end with today's result.  "Only the beginning" refers to the long range plan of running the Boston Marathon in 2013.  A plan that originally scheduled for 2012 but my hamstring injury delayed that.

Now to the thank you's.

To my trainer Matt.  I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am I found your services on the internet way back in March.  I have had a number of online trainers during my time as a runner but none of them has been more attentive to my needs and written better training programs than you.  I know you always say I'm the one putting in the work but honestly without you there planning it for me and helping me through some really tough times this year there is no way this season would have been as successful as it was.  What I've written here just doesn't seem to be enough to truly thank you but please know I have appreciated everything you have done for me.  I'm taking a little time off but can't wait for us to start all over again next month.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Let's Play A Game

Do you ever get to the point where you feel that you cannot work any harder in your runs, workouts or races?  A lot of times outside of improving your actual training plan-nutrition is the hardest and many times the worst habit runners have working to improve.   I am not going to get into any hardcore nutrition habits changes for example not eating processed foods, eating only whole grains, or staying away from high fructose corn syrup; we can all tackle the nutrition game beginning slowly so start with an individual mini-challenge.

I started a little game with my running & nutrition two weeks ago. I stepped onto the scale and was motivated to be faster by being way more healthy with my diet. I took out 3 things that I was eating/drinking that I knew I was not supposed to be doing....but really enjoyed eating/drinking. Deep into mile repeat workouts I felt I could not push any harder, and there was something holding me back at that point to hit my goal times so I came up with a big 3 list.  I put soda, ice cream, and those addicting Reese's peanut butter eggs on a do not eat list.  The Reese's eggs are the most tricky because they change with the seasons. Those things are Christmas trees, Valentine's hearts, and Easter eggs so that junk food vices does not go away from the stores ever.  By giving up those 3 big food vices for me, I finally made a positive baby step with some nutrition stuff.

As I mentioned earlier there is a ton more we all can do by just cutting out the garbage foods from our diets but you have to begin somewhere small.  In my case I have been losing 1 pound per week since starting this little game...the duration of the game for me is 35 days which wraps up with the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k in Chicago on March 25. From that point the hope is to just be smart about things after I get some of these better eating habits in place leading up to a big race.