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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Medtronic Global Heroes Program Seeking Candidates

Posted by scott on February 9, 2009

Medtronic is currently seeking candidates for our Global Heroes program for the Twin Cities Marathon and 10 Mile races.  If you are a runner with diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain or a spinal or a neurological disorder you should take a look.  There are program guidelines to review on the site (if you are aware of some controversy over the guidelines last year, that has been corrected).

Benefits are a paid entry into one of those 2 races, covered travel expenses for yourself and guest, a $1000 donation to a nonprofit patient organization that educates and supports people with your condition, and an incredibly memorable experience with a group of runners from around the world.  Last year the team captain was Alberto Salazar – a unique experience to be able to train with a great like that.

If you fit the bill and are interested, I can submit a recommendation if you contact me.


Posted in Life, Training | Leave a Comment »

Glute Strain – Week Who Knows

Posted by scott on January 23, 2009

I am in the doldrums.  I officially stopped any sort of training plan last November 1st, planning to take a couple weeks to let my sore glute heal up.  I have run a total of 6 times since then, no more than 2 miles each time, and I still sit here with my sore glute.  I’ve been to a great running doc, and done about 9 physical therapy sessions.  I have a whole battery of physical therapy exercises I can/should be doing according to my PT to strengthen muscles that were weakened by injury, or overstrained by injury compensation.  PT convinced me that I need to cross-train seriously, which I never did.  But I’m also convinced that PT exercises are exceedingly boring!  And I’m hearing from more and more athletes that they don’t think long term PT is an answer – they suggest chiro, osteopaths, acupuncture.

But I’m climbing the walls and want to run.  In my search for something interesting to do besides PT, I discovered Yoga, which is a Good Thing.  I also re-discovered lap swimming.  My upper body strength is better than it’s been in several years.  All of those are good, but none of them scratch the itch that running scratches.

My 2009 race plans are now just race dreams.  The Sawtooth 100 is definitely out the window for 2009.  The Superior Trail 50 is probably a fantasy, but I can’t quite let go yet.  I will be lucky to get a 50k in this Spring.

My only plans at this point are to get a few more pool sessions in to build up a bit of cardio, then starting running again but very short easy distances – maybe 2 miles, maybe a few times per week.

Posted in Injuries, Training | 4 Comments »

Back to Basics, Core

Posted by scott on November 19, 2008

After Day 1 of physical therapy, I can already see that I need some real core work to get back running again, and need this to be part of my regular program.  It was most apparent at two points – the first was during the assessment when I was standing on a platform about 6 inches off the ground.  I was supposed to lift one leg off, then lower myself with the other so as to tap the floor in front of the platform with my first foot.  Lowering on my right side was OK, but my left was seriously weak.  The contrast between the two sides was amazing.

The second time it became obvious was when I was doing bridging exercises.  I made it through about 5-6 when my hamstring started cramping, almost feeling like it would seize near the top.  After 1 more rep, I could barely lift up without a cramp in my hamstring.  My PT explained that this indicates my glute is weak and my hamstring is ineffectively trying to cover for it.  Very obviously need some additional strength.

So I came home with a bunch of boring but very practical core strengthening activities that I’ll be doing.  I also picked up a Bosu, and love it (so do the kids).  Adam caught my attention with his recent posts about Spartan training and some more low brow and creative fitness aids.  I bought materials for a couple water tubes, and am looking into some other aids.

I really should have been doing this all awhile ago, so it’s probably a good thing that I was given pause to get organized for core work.  This will be a good thing!

Posted in Injuries, Training | 2 Comments »

Gluteus Medius Strain – On the Bench for Another Week

Posted by scott on November 14, 2008

After taking a couple weeks off running to try to kick some glute pain that has come and gone since my end-of-August 22 mile training run for TCM, I finally decided to go to a doc.  Based on recs from some local runners I went to the Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s Running and Endurance Sports Injury Clinic.  So I would rather not be there in the first place because it means I’m injured, but what a fantastic experience!  Dr. Marie-Christine Leisz was fantastic and totally understands running and endurace activities.  She did video gait analysis of me on a treadmill and a variety of other exercise and stretching assessments.  She even thought the FiveFingers were a good idea!  I highly recommend her and this clinic if you are in the TC area.

So I’m on the break for another week, doing some basic stretching and strenght exercises, and going to PT a few times.  This is made me realize again that I need to be adding more core and strength activity.  But it’s also nice to have a break and spend my running time instead doing research on 100s.  I am seriously thinking about the Superior Sawtooth 100 for next fall.

Posted in Injuries, Training | 1 Comment »

Speed Work in FiveFingers

Posted by scott on November 5, 2008

Until now I have been taking it easy in the FiveFingers and not worrying too much about pace.  I have probably been running easy 8s and 9s for pace.  But last week I re-joined the work runners, and tackled intervals.  I was initially planning to again take it easy, but got caught up in the fray and booked around a 6:40 on the way back from a “social” run.  I was amazed that it felt fine, I was sure that I would have more aches and pains.  Wednesday we did some moderate 7:00 miles, but then Thursday decided to hit it hard with three 1 mile intervals.  My splits were 6:44, 6:41, and 6:45 – incredibly fast for me!

46 mile interval on the Garmin 205

I was totally amazed that I could run 3 miles that fast in them.  I never really intended these to be speed footwear, really more of just an alternative to build leg strength.  So I was pleasantly surprised to pull of some of my fastest running in them.  They continue to amaze me.

I also pulled off my first blister, and for the first time and wondering if maybe I went too big on them.  I did 7 miles of single-track trail last weekend, and have a souveneir on my big toe.  I think the sweating and extra foot movement on terrain caused a bit too much rubbing.

But we’ll see – maybe these will callous up just fine.  I also have some Injinjis to try out when the weather gets cool.  This week is a rest week as I try to finally kick the piriformis problem that has hung around since my 22 mile training run before Twin Cities Marathon.  Next week might be rest too.

Posted in FiveFingers, Training | Leave a Comment »

Vibram FiveFingers Do San Francisco

Posted by scott on October 27, 2008

Delayed posting – notes from 23 Oct 2008…

I had another debate this morning about whether to go out in the Vibram FiveFingers or not.  I was really excited to run in them, but just before bed last night was finally starting to feel the aches from yesterday morning, including an incredibly tight right calf.  But I rationalized that warming everything up with a VFF run would just let me get good and stretched out!  So I squeezed into the toe pockets and took off towards Coit Tower.

It was a little over a year ago in this very town that I first laid eyes on what I thought was the most bizarre footwear I had ever seen.  I took note after hearing an odd foot slapping sound approaching me from behind on the Embarcadero.  I came home and mentioned them to fellow runner and POSE practitioner Jeremy who immediately told me they must have been FiveFingers.  I just laughed when I first checked out the web site and shook my head.  But now a year later, here I am pleased to hear that familiar footslapping sound in the town where I first discovered them, coming from my own feet.

I passed through the Chinatown gate on Grant, and ran straight over to Lombard, then turned to attack the hill.  I took the roads up to Coit Tower, and was surprised to see a couple other runners on stairs.  As I got around to the other side, I naively realized that I would be taking stairs down the other side, and quickly got a bit lost.  There is quite a rabbit warren of staircases on that hill!  I caught the same runner I had seen now going down, and he helped me get back on my route.  That dude does 45 minutes of stairs in the morning – what a great workout!

Back through the financial district and I was still loving the FiveFingers the whole way.  The financial district is quite boring to me compared with North Beach and Chinatown – I would opt for the latter if you are a visting runner in San Fran.

I had a good long stretch when I got back, careful to work the calves and the piriformis stretches.  I still don’t know how much is VFFs vs. San Fran hills, but I’m definitely feeling those 2 relatively short runs!  Good times, though.

Posted in FiveFingers, Training | Leave a Comment »

San Francisco Running, Part 1 – Lombard Hill Repeats (a little)

Posted by scott on October 22, 2008

Delayed posting – notes from 22 Oct 2008…

If San Francisco has one thing, it is wicked hills! This is the first time I was in San Fran as an active runner, and couldn’t wait to check out the sights. I still think there is no better way to see a place than to have it rolling by you at 7 miles per hour at ground level. I was psyched to get out. With busy days, I had to get up early which meant I was running in the dark, but the city was quiet and the weather was perfect.

My first destination was the winding hill on Lombard Street. I knew that was going to be a challenge, but I was ridiculously naïve to the challenges before and after. I planned out a route on Powell, Sacramento and Hyde that looked great on MapMyRun, but I was totally ignorant of the hills involved. I mean these hills are insane when you are running them. And my ignorance of the streets meant that after conquering a 2 block demon on one street, I would be rewarded by turning a corner to see another one looming.

Lombard was a bit gimmicky for running, but still fun. I came at it from the top and did the downhill, but turned around at the bottom and did a round of repeats just to say I did it! The most treacherous part was just watching out for the running water from early morning sprinklers. And little did I know what I was in for on Jones street at the bottom – a completely crazy 3 block scramble uphill. A real thigh burner, but I pulled it off. I came back through Chinatown, which fostered pleasant memories of Shanghai.

In the end I did just under 4 miles, but learned that you cannot count miles in this town! It’s all about time and elevation. Was debating whether to go out in Vibrams this morning, and glad I didn’t as I am still in ramp up with them. Coit Tower tomorrow.

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Thoughts from Alberto Salazar

Posted by scott on October 2, 2008

I had the chance to hear Alberto Salazar speak today, and he was great.  He had some great stories about the heydays of American distance running (at least on the world stage) during the 80s.  He also talked about his terrifying, but incredibly fortunate in terms of outcome, experience with sudden cardiac arrest.

His comments around the current dominance of Kenyan runners are what really stuck with me.  He said that it will likely be decades before the US competes with Kenya in a meaningful way in distance events, and that’s largely a numbers game.  He cited the common anecdote that so many Kenyans spend their youth running to and from school that they have years of training in the bank when they reach a serious training age.  He shared a stat that by age 18 the average Kenyan schoolchild has run around 30,000 miles more than the average 18 year old runner in the US.  He has visited Kenyan training camps where 300 runners are doing 200 miles a week each.  At the Nike camp in Oregon, they have something like 12 runners doing that.  So his current assessment is that we just need to do the best we can with the few that have the greatest potential.

He also said the best thing we can do to help the US compete with Kenya in the short term is send them buses!

Posted in Training | 2 Comments »