Tuesday, July 28, 2009

returning to Jack

This morning was the first speed workout in the 8 week cycle for the Chikin Run. I'm using the Jack Daniels program. This will be the first time I've used this program for the 10k distance, but I've used it successfully for 5 miles. This mornings session wasn't to bad, 3 x 1,200 meters at I pace and 3 x 800 meters at I pace.

First time using this program for more than 5 weeks. That's the buildup I've used in the past. One of these days I'll start at the beginning of the cycle. But, maybe that's why its worked so far. It just sharpens what ever speed I have at that point in my training.

Running streak is still intact at 161 days. I deleted the old counter on the blog because it started to run ads continually. The new counter is pretty simple. Got it here. It appears to be without any type of advertising or malicious content.

Tour de France is over. Pretty exciting tour this year, as compared with the last couple of years. Next year should really be a show. Lot's of new young talent and the old guard that continue to hang on and make it interesting.

Friday, July 24, 2009

V02 max

Doping has finally been thrown out to explain Alberto Contador's performance on stage 15 of the Tour de France. Greg Lemond openly questioned his performance in a french newspaper column. Reporters from the same newspaper asked Alberto the question in a interview. According to Lemond, Alberto's V02 max calculates to 99.1. Greg has the highest ever recorded by a cyclist at 92.5.

I used the following calculator to estimate mine at 52.5.

From the same website:

MAX VO2 functionally represents the maximum amount of oxygen that can be removed from circulating blood and used by the working tissues during a specified period. World class endurance athletes generally have high readings. Maximum Oxygen Update (Max VO2) values for selected groups and individuals are as follows:

  • General Population, Female, Aged 20-29: 35-43 ml/kg/min
  • General Population, Male, Aged 20-29: 44-51
  • US College Track, Male: 57.4
  • College Students, Male: 44.6
  • Highest Recorded Female (Cross-Country Skier): 74
  • Highest Recorded Male (Cross-Country Skier): 94
  • Steve Prefontaine,US runner, 84.4
  • Frank Shorter, US Olympic Marathon winner, 71.3
  • Grete Waitz, Norwegian Marathon/10K runner, 73.5
  • Ingrid Kristiansen, ex-Marathon World Record Holder, 71.2
  • Derek Clayton, Australian ex-Marathon World Record holder, 69.7
  • Rosa Mota, Marathon runner, 67.2
  • Jeff Galloway, US Runner, 73.0
  • Paula Ivan, Russian Olympic 1500M Record Holder, 71.0
  • Jarmila Krotochvilova,Czech Olympian 400M/800M winner, 72.8
  • Greg LeMond, professional cyclist, 92.5
  • Matt Carpenter, Pikes Peak marathon course record holder, 92
  • Miguel Indurain, professional cyclist, 88

    Although precise measurements are done on a treadmill with equipment measuring oxygen uptake, you can estimate yours from a recent running race. The race distance should be between about one mile and a marathon (or about 1500 meters to 50 km). Distances outside this range will not give meaningful results, since performance is limited by factors other than VO2 MAX.
  • Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    changing of the guard

    Bernard Hinault shoves a spectator off the podium.

    Photo credit © Roberto Bettini

    Out with the old guys, the young bucks are showing who's got it. Alberto Contador put on a show Sunday on the first test of the Swiss Alps on stage 15 of the Tour de France. He really laid down the hammer and no one else could respond. Secured the yellow jersey for Team Astana and relegated Lance to domestique in second place in the general classification. Still lots of racing left in the alps. Stage 20 should be another great stage on Saturday.

    Hate it that Lance couldn't stay with Contador. The excuses have all been thrown out; age, training, broken collarbone. Lance came into this race to win the yellow jersey. I just hope he can be a true professional and help Team Astana keep Contador in the yellow. Hope he doesn't become a bitter old man, like the "badger" Bernard Hinault.

    For us older runners we can use age graded results to see how we fare compared to the youngsters. I've been using Pete Magill's road rankings on his site "Younger Legs for Older Runners". I'm still middle of the pack, roughly in the lower 70% range. FM is in a whole other playing field, mid to upper 80%. Interesting stuff.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Run Chikin Run 10k course preview

    The course as I ran it from General Bragg HQ's toward the starting line. The official map is here.

    Really excited about having a 10k here in Murfreesboro. Seems 10k's are a rarity in the last several years. I've only run in less than a half dozen in the last 10-15 years. The biggest would be the Peachtree Road Race. But, I've only run in two 10k's in the last few years here in Tennessee. What I really want is to place 1st or 2nd in my age group to get some Chik-fil-a sandwiches for a year. That's way better than any age group awards I've won in the past. BUT, it's going to mean alot of my age group fast guys will have to stay home and I've got to run a fast race.

    This morning I decided to run on the course of the Run Chikin Run 10k. It's starts at the pavilion on the new section of the greenway and goes out to Stones River Battlefield and back. I started out from the parking lot across the railroad tracks from the General Bragg Headquarters trailhead. From this point it's around a half mile or so to the start/finish area for the Chicken Run. I started around 4:30 am, so it was still dark. The sun didn't start coming up until around 3 miles in and didn't rise completely until I was finished.

    I found a few of the mile markers, but never did find the start or finish. Looks like the markers are done with duct tape, temporary perhaps. Didn't stop to see if they were nailed down or not. Did notice loose pieces of duct tape around spots where a mile marker should have been.

    Wished I'd have brought my camera to take some pictures. I really enjoy the Batttlefield loop. It's the spot where EB and I do a lot of speed training. Also, one of the loops that gets incorporated into at least a couple long runs each training cycle. Several wildflowers in bloom; blue chickory and black eyed susan and Queen Ann's lace were a few. Don't know what will be blooming on race day. Doubt the deer will be out either. They were out in numbers this morning. At least a dozen or so.

    The course is mostly flat. From the starting point on the new portion of the greenway towards General Bragg HQ trail head is all open. Nice shaded portion for a half mile or so before you cross Old Nashville Highway and enter Stones River Battlefield. Lots of shaded sections in the battlefield. Mostly smooth asphalt until you get to the half mile section on Van Cleave, roughly around 1.5 miles into the race. This section is old asphalt that is slowly turning back to nature. A quick 100 meters or so of grass, adjacent to the Slaughter Pen area gets you on to the main 2 mile loop around the battlefield. Course continues toward the visitor center for the battlefield. Past the 3 mile mark is the start of the only rise of any significance on the course. It only rises about 90 feet or so. Shouldn't really slow anyone down enough they wouldn't get it back on the downhill on the other side. After you past the 4 mile marker you go back onto the 100 or so meters of grass and back the way you came. Slight rise just before the 5 mile marker, but the same amount of fall in the last half mile.

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    beyond category

    The Tour de France rolls on Tuesday. Monday is a rest day. Most teams will just ride for 2 hours instead of the usual 4 or so hours. Sunday was the end of the first week of racing. The real fireworks haven't really happened yet. I'd expect the battle for the yellow to begin on stage 13. That's the first stage in the coming week with some mountains. Team Astana should have someone in yellow by stage 13, before the individual time trial or team time trial.

    The stage to watch is going to be stage 20. This is the last chance for someone to take away the yellow jersey before the ride into Paris the next day. The finish will be on Mount Ventoux. The climb is the final "hors categorie", beyond category climb of the tour. 21 kilometers at an average grade of 7.6%.

    From wikipedia: Mont Ventoux has become legendary as the scene of one of the most gruelling climbs in the Tour de France bicycle race, which has ascended the mountain thirteen times since 1951. The followed trail mostly passes through B├ędoin. Its fame as a scene of great Tour dramas has made it a magnet for cyclists around the world.

    The only other mountain stage in the tour more famous is Alpe d'Huez. The tour didn't include that route in this years tour. Probably because Lance Armstrong has been in the yellow jersey 4 times the tour has included Alpe d'huez as a stage finish. He has also won the stage on its summit twice.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Revenge of the burrito

    Don't know why any runner would ever need any kind of colon cleansing. I'm sure you've seen the infomercials about the need for a clean colon. Jeez, all you need to do is eat a burrito. For me, usually within an hour the cleanse process has begun. This morning, even after one trip to the bathroom, the urge hit me less than a mile from the house. I wasn't prepared, so I had to adapt,improvise and overcome (Clint Eastwood, Heartbreak Ridge). No gory details. Don't know any runner that hasn't had to do the clamp down run because of mother nature or just took care of business. They're lying if they haven't.

    If you haven't watched any of the Tour de France this year, you're missing out. Lots of drama, beautiful scenery and exciting finishes. It's on daily on Versus, usually live in the morning or then a recap show in the evening for those of us who have to work. The weekend usually has a recap show of the prior week. Lance Armstrong is showing that he and team Astana are the team to beat. Today is stage 5, they'll be racing for another 2 weeks. Lot's of time to catch at least one stage or the recaps.

    My running streak continues. I'm at 140 or so days straight running. I've decided to change the recovery runs away from the golf course. (to much risk of a sprained ankle) Plus, instead of just a slow slog, I've been running the recovery runs within a minute of marathon pace. Actually feels better to run at "my pace". Sadly this is the pace my long runs were a few years back.

    One thing about the increase in mileage and streaking, without any speed workouts, the speed goes away quickly. The base is still in place to start the speed again. I'm still averaging 55 miles a week. Guess the adage if you want to run fast, you have to train fast holds true.

    Glad they've finally put the "king of pop" to rest. Hopefully, the media can now move on to something else. I never really was a fan, danced to my share of his music back in the day. Never had any respect for him when his appearance started to change and he started weirding out. The abuse allegations and his move out of the country just sealed the deal. No respect for him as individual. They music, yes.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    Wildflower duathalon

    Rode in my first ever duathalon this morning. Temperatures were in the lower 60's to start, so I wore the arm warmers. The bike route was an out and back from the house to Old Fort Parkway. The first transition wasn't to bad. I wore my running shorts under my bike shorts. (not a real tri-guy, huh) Carried my running shoes, locks and camera in a small back pack.

    The run went really well. I've only run after riding the bike a handful of times. This time the pace clicked in really quickly. Before I knew it seemed like I was clipping along about 30 seconds per mile slower than marathon pace and it felt great. I'd brought the camera along to take some pictures of the the wild flowers along the way. Ended up only stopping a few times on the way back. Most of the flowers were either with the sun directly in the lens or the flowers had already bloomed.

    T-2 was quite a bit longer than the first transition. I went to the restroom to change out of the running shorts and into the bike shorts. Felt great to have the wind in my face and cooling me off after the run. Headed back out on the greenway with plans on doing a few loops of the Stones River Battlefield to get some extra miles on the bike. Changed my mind rather quickly after a swarm of walkers, runners, bikers and dog walkers had descended on the greenway. Only had one close encounter. One of the big benefits of the greenway is the shading effect of the trees and bushes, but they also block the view around corners. I was coming around some walkers and headed right towards a couple of kids running at a pretty quick pace, I had to grab a handful of brake and the back end of the bike skiddes sideways about a foot to avoid the collision. I was going slow enough that I was able to do this without a crash. But, I'd bet some of the bikers who blast down the greenway a little bit quicker wouldn't have been as fortunate. (I know I've been that biker on one occasion, lesson learned.)

    Ended up with only a total of 12 miles on the bike. Six miles out and back. The run was 6.7 miles.