Thursday, May 28, 2009

Training Day 7: 6 Kms. End of week two

I hit the road at 5 am today and ran for about 40 mins. I am still taking it easy and my interest right now, which I have achieved so far (which is to be able to run 4 times a week whilst meeting my weekly mileage goals.)
At any rate, I have done my 24 Kms for the week. Next week I do 28 Kms.
I am traveling but will carry my running gear for my Monday run which should be about 8Kms.
So far so good.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Training Day 6: 6k

I was up in the morning today and hit the road at 5:20am. It rained last night so the tarmac was wet and the pavement muddy and the streetlights weren't working so I had to slow down lest I enter a manhole and break a limb. Unlike the past, I feel much calmer during my morning run and the run is so sweet, placing one leg in front of the other and pumping my fists in the air is like sucking sugarcane juice out of a succulent cane.
I ran for 40 minutes as per schedule and from my relaxed pace, it mustave been about 6Kms.
I will prolly do another 6K tomorrow and wrap it up for the week.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Training Day 4 and 5

Yesterday I did 15 laps on the track at a moderate pace. Took 34 minutes. My knee is acting up but since I gave myself enough time to heal (8 weeks), I am not entertaining that manure again. So I will be strapping a bandage as knee support but no retreat from my plans. Its time I asserted my mind over my matter. Lets go gad demit!
At any rate, I was up today at 5am and ran for 40 mins - about 6Kms. It was good to be on the road again - the early traffic, the cold air, smell of gasoline, the feeling of apartness, a sense of warrior ship, solitude and just the rugged earth made me feel like a runner again.
I will rest tomorrow and resume running on Thursday. This is my first week of running 4 times a week so I will be taking it easy. So far so good.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Training Day 3: 7Kms

I did 7Kms in 42 Mins yesterday. Still taking it easy. Increasing my pushups and crunches and the distance for my heel/toe walk to ensure shin splints are history. I am doing pretty well so far.
Next week I will start my 4 days a week programme but will be traveling to a new town on Tuesday so Monday (PM) and Tuesday (AM) I will run then Thursday morning and Friday Morning.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Training Day 2: 6K

Yesterday I did 6K in 36 Mins - nearly 2.25 mins per lap for 15 laps. Even though speed is not a concern right now, this is still pretty slow because I have been able to average sub 2 mins laps for 40 laps or more. At any rate, I want to bring it down to 2:10 or 2:15 and maintain that pace as I concentrate on accumulating volume.
Everything is excellent as far as my training and body are concerned.
Tomorrow I will do a 7K.

Enter Bells Palsy

Unbeknown to me, the stinging eyes I had some days back marked the onset of Bell's palsy in my neurological system. Yesterday my left lip was numb. Today its my left eye and cheek. My forehead muscles are okay though. My right eye cant wink.
At any rate, I have gone and seen a doctor and I have been given a regimen of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) drugs, corticosteroids, antibiotics and painkillers. The prognosis is good because many people (80%) who suffer from Bell's Palsy, whose cause is unknown, recover spontaneously and completely between 2 weeks to 3 months without necessarily using drugs.
I have some painful pimple in my ear whose swelling is probably pressing the seventh nerve and the resulting trauma is fucking up the right side of my face.
Lets hope the drugs work coz I am not exactly eager to start looking like half of my face is falling off or rushing to the back of my head.
Today's run, like all other runs, is on. Bell's Palsy or no Bell's palsy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Started Well

I went and did some 15 laps yesterday at a slow pace - took me about 52 minutes. It felt good to sweat again. Then I did crunches, situps and some dorsiflexes and plantar flexes for my shins. Tomorrow I will repeat the same whilst increasing the number of pushups, crunches and the flexing for my shins.
So far so good my weight is steady at 79Kgs. My eyes are stinging though and I am wondering what kind of animal disease I may have contracted - since its not swine flu or avian flu, maybe dog flu?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Okey Dokey

Today I start my first run out of about 80 runs that are intended to take me to the next level. I didn't have a very good nights sleep: I got cold and had to get up and wear a T shirt and had a dream-filled night. So I am feeling tired and my eyes are feeling irritated and all.
At any rate, I am set, just a little dull ache above my knee that has got nothing to do with running.
Lets do it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hadd's Training Approach - What I have Adopted

The Marathon Training Approach that I have attempted to Adopt is Hadd's training approach. I combine it with my inability to run 7 days a week and will be observing what results I get and what I can indeed do. His advice is available here and here. I have seen the strong, muscular, hard and tough legs our long distance runners have and I think Hadd's training approach explains why I have ordinary legs and why I am relegated to an admirer of people who run fast marathons whilst not running fast myself.

I would highlight what Hadd says regarding LT VO2Max and how more pain more gain doesn't work below.

Everything in the text below is excerpted from Hadd's write-up, none of it is mine (yes, I am lazy sometimes). [Emphasis is mine]

"VO2max (essentially the stroke volume of your heart) is NOT the same training as that required to raise your LT (increase capillaries, mitochondria and aerobic enzymes in your muscles). The speeds required are totally different. LT training is one case in which faster is NOT better.

Your LT is dependent on adaptations in your leg muscles caused by training.

Since your LT measures at what pace you change over from aerobic to (increasingly more) anaerobically-fueled running, it is also a measure of when you stop being economical and become more and more uneconomical. So, we can also say that a low (poor) LT also means poor fuel economy.

Many of you will be able to give examples of guys (I know at least two) who can crank out 20 mile long runs at 6.00m/m and yet not finish a marathon at that pace. Why? Because, due to their precise fuel economy (or lack thereof) they cannot store enough CHO to get them through the final 6.2 miles. Their fuel economy, and therefore their LT, is too low.

Time to exhaustion is directly related to mitochondria development (which itself was directly related to time spent training).

We need to train slow enough for our slow twitch fibres to become stimulated to build huge amounts of mitochondria.

To improve your LT (which will have a direct impact on your race performances), you must increase the motochondria in your running muscles (in a neat move, the optimal training to improve mitochondria is also the optimal training to improve capillary density).

The more mitochondria, the less lactate at every running pace. But mitochondrial adaptation in each fibre type is training-intensity dependent. If you want to maximise the number of mitochondria in each fibre type, you must rain at the correct pace for that type. (remember; the more mitochondria, the less lactate; the less lactate, the faster the racing pace and the more economical you are at any pace, meaning you can keep that pace up for longer.)

There is a huge improvement in performance that can be made from purely aerobic training, if you get it right. A huge improvement wayyy before any faster work is done.

A prime function of your heart is to deliver oxygen to your active muscles. Your muscles then use this oxygen combined with glycogen or fat to create energy to run. If your muscles are inefficient at doing this, you will not get as much running energy per unit of oxygen as you could.

Think of your heart as a pump that is told what to do by the muscles. "We need more oxygen!" say the muscles and the heart beats faster. "We have enough", they say and the heart rate stays low.

To break one unit of glucose down into energy anaerobically (WITHOUT oxygen) you get two units of energy (let’s say that you get 2 paces/strides up the road before you need more energy). If you break that self-same unit of glucose down into energy aerobically (WITH oxygen) you get 36 paces up the road before you need more energy. Obviously this is much better. So if you can make what used to be an anaerobic pace into an aerobic pace, you are a much superior runner and can keep this pace up for much further.

But even better, if you were so efficient that you could break down one unit of fat into energy (instead of glucose) you would get 460 paces up the road before needing more energy. And your HR would be wayyyyy low at the same time.

Working just at the optimal pace/effort to stimulate his muscles to become better at providing energy at this rate. This would cause the effort at that pace to drop, to become easier and the HR at that pace to fall (and usually the pace at that HR to improve/drop). He would then slowly be ably to work at higher and higher HR's while still remaining fully aerobic and working under his LT.

A ~6 week period is required for mitochondrial growth."

I think I have all the knowledge I need. Now I need to get to work. And something else: Presdnt Obama said in his ASU speech some days ago, Obama said youth entails "a willingness to follow your passion, regardless of whether they lead to fame and fortune"


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Preparing Psychologically for another Journey

Now that my 24 Week training plan is ready and out, I know the real work starts next week. I constantly find myself mulling over the journey I am about to undertake and the challenge of balancing that with my personal and professional life. Will I succeed? How will I balance it with a second job that I am seeking? Where will I get the time? What times will I be running? Where? What if I meet that leopard that people say has been chewing goats and sheep in Buruburu?

I will be running more than I have ever run before and running more than anyone I know has ever run. Many will think I am mad. Many will question my dedication and will see it as some disorder or obsession. Many will even fight me and some may even cry. But it is a journey I must travel and discover who I am and what I am made of. I have to do it for me. This is a journey that will test my will, my dedication, my passion and my commitment. I see this as a test of my will and my heart to see something through once I have picked it as a goal. I know it will shape my character, test my courage and my staying power. I know it may give me a serious beating and even injuries. But it will make me better for it.

I have just realized that the training period is quite short so perhaps it actually translates to 19 weeks of training (because Ndakainishould be somewhere in September). If Physiological changes take about 8 weeks to surface....well, you do the math.
My weight has been steady at about 80Kgs. This is unlike last year when I started training weighing 10 Kilos heavier. This year at most I may need to shed off 5Kgs . Which is easy as pie (and it is not even that necessary). I wont even have to think about it.

Besides my weight advantage, I have a 102 min Half under my belt and a 127 min Ndakaini half under my belt. So I am starting at a very good place in terms of experience, in terms of the terrains I have ran, the biting cold dawns I have run in, the wet pools and steep hills I have run in, the scorching suns and dusty fields I have run in,...the works.

I am also in better shape generally (more capillaries and mitochondria and glycogen stores). What I now need to do is to gradually train myself to run 4 days a week then 5 days a week. This should hopefully make me evolve to have the following:
1. Stronger legs and torso.
2. More mitochondria.
3. More red blood cells - for carrying oxygen.
4. More capillaries - to help carry more oxygen as I will place a fuckin load on this body.
5. More glycogen stores - as they will be getting depleted as a matter of course.
6. More enzymes for burning fat and glycogen.
7. Better posture, stride and pylometrics
8. Higher Lactate Threshold as a result of the above and therefore,
9. Faster speed.

Yes. Faster speed. Come to daddy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I am Fully Healed: Training Plan Ready

Yep. Its been what, seven weeks? I have rested fully. No push ups or squats or walking or jogging. Just a nice little clean, unadulterated hiatus. Just eating and resting and now I am fully healed.
So I have prepared a plan and I am working it from next week. These are the Key points about my plan:

End Objective: Run a Sub 90mins Half Marathon
Training Goals: Manage 70Kms a Week by August 2009.
Increase mitochondria and capillary density in the running muscles because the more mitochondria, the less lactate at every running pace. Avoid Injuries. Gradual increase and Periodicity. Run 5 X a week. Sub 20mins 5K and Sub 41Mins 10K
Training Phases: Base Mileage Phase, Speed Phase
Training Period: May 18th 2009 - Oct 25 2009.

The mistake we were making earlier, going by Hadd's approach to marathon training, is that we were running very low mileage and running them too fast. I want to evolve and change my physiology via this training plan.

Wish me Luck!