Monday, November 13, 2017

Bakersfield Marathon race report, Obsessed with the Process

Yesterday I finished my first competitive marathon in 3 hours, 3 minutes and 7 seconds.  I was 3 minutes and 8 seconds off my goal.  I wanted to go sub 3.  It didn't happen....  My goal is still sub 3 and I will continue to push towards that goal. 

After taking a bit of a break from running earlier in the year, I picked back up training in June, setting my sights on the marathon.  You can read about what I was doing in those few months in a previous blog.  

Fast forward to September and training was going well.  I was improving my endurance and building the marathon fitness needed to compete. 

Here are a few workouts that were completed over the final weeks before my event:

October 5th: Yasso 800s
I did this routine a couple times leading into my marathon.  This is a workout that supposedly gives you a prediction of where your marathon time should be.  You run 10x800, with 3 minutes rest in between each one.  Whatever you average for the 10 repetitions that should predict your marathon time.  I averaged 2 minutes 50 seconds.  That means, according to this workout, I could put together a 2 hour 50 minute marathon.  Eventually….

October 7th: 10 x 1 mile steady repeats
This workout’s goal was to sustain my marathon pace each mile with no more than 90 seconds recovery in between each interval.  Patience was turning into my mantra.  I was able to stay between 6:38-6:47 every mile.  Mission accomplished. 

October 15th: Judgment Day Half Marathon
This was a race to test my fitness.  I had not raced since February, so I wanted to put on my race kit and give it a go.  I ran a strong 1:25 that day (6:36 per mile).  With minimal soreness the following day, I knew my fitness was moving in the right direction. 

October 21st: 18 mile run with 12 miles at marathon pace or slightly faster (5-10 seconds)
Coming off the half marathon race the previous weekend, this week was my highest mileage week and I was feeling fit.  This was a key workout to see how my endurance and strength tested out.  I would feel strong during this workout, running nice even splits.  I was even able to finish the workout with a fast 6:06 mile.  I was on track. 

October 22nd:  The following day I wanted to get up and run an “easy” 15 miles.  This should be a conversation pace run, nothing hard.  I stuck to the plan and ran for 2 hours and felt strong.  Now it was time to start to taper to prepare for my November 5th race. 

October 28th: Progressive mile repeats, 6 x 1 mile
I am eight days from my race and the goal is to sharpen the blade but allow my body to fully recover so I can be 100% on race day.  I did this workout on the treadmill.  After a good build warm up, I would run my miles in 6:40, 6:30, 6:24, 6:24, 6:19, 6:07.  I felt very controlled, strong and smooth during this workout.  The plan was working and I was reaching my peak. 

Wednesday, the 1st, four days till my marathon, I woke up to flu like symptoms. 
Chills, body aches, headache, fever… 
I thought “Noooo!  Not on race week.”  The sickness lingered through the weekend.  I was couch and bed ridden for five days.  I did not race on the day I was supposed to.  I was a bit discouraged. 

Monday, the 6th, I woke up feeling a bit better.  My energy was slowly coming back and I started thinking, “Maybe I could run the Bakersfield marathon this Sunday.”  My whole goal was to see if I could tune my body back up to be ready to race.  Tuesday, I was back to work, and completed a very moderate 7 mile run.  My legs were flat but it was good to get outside and shake them out.  Wednesday, I did 10 x 1 minute on the treadmill, trying to “dust off the rust” in my legs and get them moving fast again.  I started feeling better.  Thursday was a 10 mile progressive run that I wanted to do just to feel some miles again.  It had been awhile so I needed this, probably more mentally.  Thursday evening, I signed up for the race.  I quickly had to get into race mode and start thinking of my race plan. 

Going into the race, the goal was to go sub 3.  Mentally I am pretty strong, so I wasn’t allowing my focus to wane.  But I am a realist and I understand the trauma my immune system went through the previous week being sick.  Was I a bit more sharp and ready to race before I got sick?  Of course.  Was I going to let that derail my performance or make it an excuse?  Absolutely not! 

Race morning started at 5:15 am with my usual routine of eating a banana and a bagel and I started to drink fluids.  I went through a few mobility drills in the hotel room to wake up the body.  I showed up to the race at 6:15 am.  Race starts at 7:00 am. 

After a 1 mile jog warm up and some drills to get the blood flowing, I was ready to shed my sweats and head over to the race start. 

Since there was also a half marathon race going on, my initial goal was to stick with the 1 hour 30 minute half marathon pacer.  The first seven miles went perfect, 6:47, 6:48, 6:47, 6:46, 6:50, 6:49, 6:45.  I was controlled, smooth and no concerns.  My mantra: Be patient. 

The pacer and I parted ways and I was left to fend for my own.  Miles 8-12 went 6:44, 6:53, 6:52, 6:49 and 6:55.  On track and still feeling strong.  Miles 13-16 were tough.  Those are the hills that looked easier on the course map.  I wasn’t expecting such sustained climbing during these miles.  I fought through them, keeping my composure.  Those miles went 7:09, 7:25, 7:20 and 7:21. 

Here I am coming up to the 2-hour mark in the race.  Holding this type of pace, this late into the run, this would be unfamiliar territory.  I was able to get my legs going again after the hills.  Miles 17-19 went 6:57, 6:52, and 6:51.  Back on track. 

Mentally, at this point of the race, my mind started to wander.  I felt the burning sensation in my legs.  My feet were sore.  My knees were hurting.  I still have a 10k to go.  I am still on track to go sub 3.  I need to run 7:00 minute miles to hit my goal.  I need to hold on for dear life.  Miles 20-24 went 7:03, 7:18, 7:22, and 7:28.  I am not going in the right direction.  My cadence slowed, my pace dropped, my mind was in battle mode.  At this point, I am reaching my physical and mental limitations.  It’s hard to explain the internal warfare going on.  I am literally eye-to-eye, staring at my deepest self.  I wasn’t going give in and stop and walk, though my legs were screaming to do so.  I was going to fight and finish this damn thing running with everything I have.  Miles 25 and 26 respectively was a methodical 7:43 and 7:56. 

Marathon done in 3 hours 3 minutes and 7 seconds.  A pace of 6:59 per mile.  

A few bullet points of consideration:
·     I need to add a few longer duration runs leading into the next marathon build up.  I have the speed.  But I need more endurance.  I want my legs to have more stamina to withstand those last few miles of a marathon.
·     Experience is so crucial in endurance sports (really anything you want to improve upon).  This was my first marathon and I am committed to building experience in this specific distance. 
·     My training went very well leading up to this event.  Getting sick put a little bit of a wrench in things but I was able to comeback and put together a good race.  Remember, you can handle setbacks, you just have to keep your mindset positive and supporting your goals. 

There is something so ruthless and exhilarating at the same time when finishing a marathon.  The endorphin rush was euphoric.  The physical pain was excruciating.  As I slowly and gingerly walked to my car post race, I thought about the enduring journey of the past 6 months.  When going after particular goals, one must become obsessed with the process.  The journey is where the magic happens.  The process is where you become stronger.  I put races on the calendar as “carrots” to chase after.  They are not the end all be all.  I love the process.  I love the journey of getting fit and pushing my limits.  I will continue to push my fitness and improve upon my performance.  This is my life! 

On to the next journey….

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Answering questions about mobility, marketing, post workout nutrition and more!

Hint: if you are rushed for time, just read the bold print... Appreciate you making it to my blog.

Q: Should someone add a little bit of mobility to a strength workout?  Should it be worked on separately? 

A: This depends on the movement individuality of the person. Some people are just more predisposed to mobility restrictions: sit down jobs, long term poor posture, previous trauma or injury, poor lifestyle habits, etc. A properly designed strength program can do wonders to someone's movement and mobility capabilities. Vice versa, a poorly designed and executed program can devastate mobility. So, with that said, we have members work on their movement EVERYDAY. Whether the main workout is more strength based or conditioning focused, daily we are implementing specific mobility drills into the routine. If there are major restrictions, I encourage daily work to remold the skill. It takes good repetitions to unlock mobility issues. I also recommend that you stay proactive regarding specific "mobility/flexibility" drills. Learn what your limiters/restrictions are and consistently work to improve upon. Don't wait until pain surfaces.

Q: What's the best way to market a new business and bring in clients?

A: HUSTLE YOUR ASS OFF! Constant FB ads targeting your specific demographics, local speaking engagements, ask your current customers for referrals, putting out valuable content showcasing your skills, video marketing (tip of the day or showcasing your business in action)... ABM...ALWAYS BE MARKETING if you want to grow your business from the ground up. 

Q: Is it better to have protein before or after a workout?

A: It is important to have a small amount of protein before the workout but coupled with adequate carbohydrates. Strength workouts 2:1 ratio carbs:protein (slice of toast w/2 tbls peanut butter), endurance workouts like running 4:1 ratio carbs:protein (cliff bar). But these numbers are just guidelines. Start here then adjust according to how your body feels.  It's usually about the same post workout as well. Whether you use a protein powder or not, it's key to ingest protein pre and post workout.

Q: Is it better to get protein from food sources versus a powder supplement?

A: A supplement replaces food sources so it is best to use whole foods as much as possible. I use a protein powder a few times a week to "supplement" when I may need a quick and easy protein source. I also like to add a vegan protein to a smoothie.  For me, it’s easier on my digestion versus whey.  For the most part though, the majority of your calories should come from natural food choices.

Q: What should eat/drink pre/post workout? 

A: So many options and it is key to find what works for you. But here are some ideas: cliff bar or powerbar, slice of sourdough toast w jam, banana w/tbls of peanut butter, 2-3 oz of orange juice w/small scoop of protein powder, small bowl of oatmeal w/crushed almonds, a banana with 1-2 scrambled eggs, etc. You want just enough calories to give you energy but not too much where you feel bloated.

Q: What are the benefits of foam rolling?

A: Anecdotally, I have used the foam roll in the training of myself and others for over 10 years. "Foam rolling" is really muscle tissue work. I think if you know what you are doing and working towards, it can be very beneficial to your mobility and tissue health. If you are unsure what to do, you could harm yourself.  I like hitting my quads, hip flexors, glutes, thoracic spine, lats and calves with the foam roll. I use other tools like lacrosse balls, rolling sticks and pvc pipes for more deliberate work. Benefits: blood flow, tissue suppleness, wakes up the nervous system, movement flow, etc.

Q: Is there an absolute right way to split up muscle groups for weight training?

A: Nothing will ever be "perfect". The key is that you are getting results. The way you get results is by consistently training, staying injury free and making slight changes to your program time to time. So really, it's key to "change it up" every so often so the body does not completely adapt to what you are doing. But these are slight changes to the program. Tempo of the lift, set/rep schemes, 1 limb/2 limb variations of exercises, different order of routine, etc. For example, for 3 weeks do 4 sets of 10 repetitions of your main lifts at a 3:1 tempo (3 seconds eccentric:1 second concentric). Then for 3 weeks do 6 sets of 7, little heavy weight, tempo is 3:3, 3 seconds eccentric:3 second concentric. Time under tension when weight lifting is probably the most important component as this is what creates the muscle fiber change. Again, the key is CONSISTENCY w/ slight changes.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Mental Conditioning, it’s not what you think, or is it

Conditioning your mindset to be resilient, focused on the positive and open for growth is something anyone can achieve.  This is not a generic, pop out of bed, skip around the house, and “life is perfect” idea.  You take each day head on and express your potential.  You go after your goals.  Building a strong and confident mindset is possible.  You can achieve some amazing goals by developing a tough mental muscle. 

Here are some strategies to start with:

1.     Acknowledge, then rearrange negative self-talk.  Everyone, I mean everyone, experiences some form of negative self-talk.  Whether it’s self-limiting beliefs, useless complaining, or self-deprecating abuse, this mentality will drain your energy.  You have to be very self-aware of your thinking and how it is affecting your Life.  What do you see yourself doing in 1-year?  3 years?  5 years?  10 years?  If you want to begin a plan to move in the direction you see yourself, IT. All. STARTS. WITH. YOUR. THOUGHTS.  How you manage your internal dialogue will directly determine your path.  As you go through your day, be attentive to all of your thinking.  Catch yourself and acknowledge when a negative thought comes into the head.  Pause, think about what you said, then rearrange that thought to a more supportive and positive one.  Example: “I can’t do this last repetition.” Instead, “This last repetition will be tough, but I got this, dig deep, in fact do one more.”  Simply acknowledging the thought is the catalyst to conditioning the mindset to think in a more positive manner.  Here is another example: “Gosh, why can’t I lose weight?”  Instead, “I will stay consistent with my healthy habits and focus on my fitness in the gym.  The weight will come off if I am patient and nutritionally aware.”  If you can stay in the present and are self-aware of your thoughts throughout the day, over time, you will condition your mindset to be more positive, proactive, resilient, courageous and supportive to all of your goals. 

2.     Meditation.  Many people tell me they “are not good at meditation, I can not turn off my thoughts.”  Just so you know nobody can completely turn off their thoughts.  Even when we are sleeping, we are thinking.  Meditation can create mental clarity, less brain fog, release tension and anxiety, and improve your memory.  Meditation can be any form that you choose to stick to consistently.  You can do guided meditation (look up on YouTube), unguided meditation (quiet, calm environment), transcendental meditation (mantra repetition) or visual meditation (looking at paintings or picturesque landscaping).  All of these variations have value.  I recommend if you are just starting out, find a guided meditation you like and be consistent to form a habit.  Once you build the routine to stick, then you can explore into other variations.  Be patient during your session.  If all you have is 5 minutes, be committed for those 5 minutes.  Do your best not to cut it short because, “you have other things to do.”  Doing this meditation will improve your productivity and output in your “other things”.  Once you improve and see the benefit, then you can increase your time.  Fifteen to twenty minute sessions seems to be the sweet spot to really tap into the subconscious mind and release tension and negative energy.  If you are not there yet, that’s ok, stick to your time frame.  To simplify even more, practice taking 10 deep, mindful inhales/exhales 3-4 times throughout the day.  This simple daily practice will release anxious nerves and give you a sense of optimism and serenity.  Just like building any skill, it takes time to improve, so be patient through the process. 

3.     Exercise or train for a sport.  Through the process of getting fit and gaining performance, you will condition your mindset.  They go hand in hand.  Many people come into the fitness world wanting to improve their body.  And there is nothing wrong with that specific desire.  But the mental change that transpires is something that surprises people.  Exercise releases stress, disperses endorphins (“feel good” chemical) throughout the body and improves your mood.  All of these biological happenings will help you strengthen your mindset.  I will take it a bit further and encourage you to compete and challenge yourself in a sport or activity (running, triathlon, cycling, Spartan racing, bodybuilding, crossfit, etc).  The journey of competition and consistently pushing yourself to be your best is such a mental process.  The mindset is challenged along the way.   Through the journey, the mental strength and resilience that you will create will be life changing.      

4.     Circle of influence.  Who you spend the most time with will directly influence your mindset.  If you are consistently around negative, energy sucking people, it will be a tough environment for you to strengthen your mindset.  Instead find a positive and encouraging group of people to be constantly around.  I understand that sometimes this is out of your control (who you work with, teammates, bosses, etc.).  Who you spend time with outside of those negative environments becomes even more important to your mental health and vitality.  Find a gym, a fitness coach, a running group, a few workout partners, a life coach or mentor, a group of friends, or a church group, basically any group or individuals that encourages and supports your goals and journey.   

Don’t just focus on the physical; go build that mental strength also.     

Thank you for reading! 

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Friday, September 22, 2017

5 Biggest Myths in Fitness

Myth #1: Diets have to be perfect. What does “perfect eating” even mean?  I am not sure I can even tell you.  The diet world makes us believe that if we enjoy some ice cream or a bowl of pasta, that we have failed in a particular diet or we are “cheating”.  This is the farthest thing from the truth.  I think the key question regarding individual nutrition adherence is, “can I sustain what I am doing?”  According to an article on, 45 million Americans go on a diet each year.  Unfortunately nearly two-thirds of Americans are also considered overweight.  Many people go through this “yo-yo” dieting and it is unsuccessful in the long-term weight loss journey.  Whatever level you may be at, a solid nutrition plan should be sustainable for you to follow over a period of time and eventually stick as a lifestyle pattern.  Because let’s face it, that is how results are achieved.  If you despise being on the “diet” you are following, you will not continue.  “Perfect” and “Clean” dieting needs to be redefined.  How about sustainable, flexible, and consistent?  Nutrition should not feel like you are doing everything wrong.  I say master the basics: drink plenty of water, eat vegetables and fruits everyday, eat adequate amounts of protein, eat a smart amount of whole grains and limit your junk and processed foods.  Go from there.  If you want to improve your physique, sure, you need to improve your nutrition and become more detail oriented.  But you do not need some unrealistic and extreme plan to be successful.  What you need is consistency.  Consistently eating nutrient dense foods and paying attention to your calories most of the time will lead you to your results.  Don’t over think it. 

This is not "perfect" for everyone.  Find what works for you, then it will be sustainable.  That's what we want
Myth #2 Lifting weights make you “bulky”.  How you lift weights and what extent you take it to will dictate the changes you will see in your physique.  Proper nutrition adherence and a focused lifting program is what leads to increase muscle size and volume.  We want lean muscle on our frame.  Now, not everyone needs to compete in bodybuilding, but I do believe everyone can benefit from some sort of strength training.  In a study published in the journal of Preventative Medicine, researchers at Penn State College of Medicine found a link between strength training and a longer life.  So in essence, consistent strength training may be the key component to slowing down the aging process.  In my opinion, everyone needs to strength train in some sort of fashion.  The frequency of workouts will depend on the goal of the individual.  For general fitness and strength, I recommend at least 2-3 days per week of hitting the weights.  The more definition and sculpting you want to see, the more you need to be “under the bar”.  Strength training done correctly, will improve your lean muscle definition, increase your total body strength, boost your metabolism, protect your bone and joint health, help you to keep your coordination and agility and plays a vital role in preventing certain diseases.  When lifting weights, focus on controlling the weight and perfecting your technique.  This will give you more return on investment.  Haphazard strength training can increase your chances of injury so it’s very important to learn how to lift weights correctly.  Invest in a qualified coach to teach you how to strength train in a safe and effective manner.  It can be simple, do something for the quads (squats or lunges), do something for the backside (single leg deadlifts or deadlift patterns), push something (push ups or bench press), pull something (inverted rows or chin ups) and hit your core (planks, side planks, or farmer walks).  Mix and match your sets and repetitions; one week complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.  The next week perform 5 sets of 7 repetitions with a slightly heavier load with a change in the tempo of the lift.  There are multitudes of ways to create variety with the above basic patterns.  Strength train to move well and be strong.  

Myth #3: A workout should be grueling every time you train.  I don’t care if you are the fittest person in the world, training to your maximum, training to failure, and training at high intensities every training session is a recipe for bad things to happen.  If you train 2-3 times a week, you can add appropriate intensity into each of those training sessions.  Since you are only getting in a few workouts, you need to be efficient and keep the tempo of your sessions high and focused.  If you train more than 4 times per week, you need to balance in low, medium and high intensity training sessions appropriately.  It can be a simple design like a high/medium/low training split.  As you gain fitness and improve your performance, a smart and balanced program design becomes crucial to your success.  Adding in active recovery sessions that incorporate tissue work, mobility and flexibility drills and dynamic movements are highly beneficial for the longevity of your functional performance.  Smart and focused training leads to consistent results.  Hard and random training leads to injury and burnout.  Choose wisely. 

It's ok to work hard, and push yourself, just be smart about the overall game plan.

Myth #4: Carbohydrates are the enemy.  Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients us humans need for survival.  Fruits, vegetables, grains, breads, pasta, rice, and beans can all be healthy carbohydrate options.   Candy, soda, pastries, and other sweets are considered “unhealthy” carbohydrate foods.  How you choose and how much you consume, and how active you are, all play vital roles in energy breakdown.  If you have gained excessive weight over the past 5-10 years, you may have blamed carbohydrates because they are the easiest foods to over consume.  Then the mindset turns against this macronutrient and you think drastically limiting them in your diet will be the answer.  As that may work, you have to ask yourself, “is this sustainable to follow?”  Weight gain happens because you have been in a calorie surplus over the years.  Whether you have consumed too many carbohydrates, proteins, or fats, the key component is that you have been in a surplus.  Sure, lowering your late night chips and pizza can be a good starting place, but look at the big picture.  It’s not necessarily carbohydrates’ fault.  It’s consuming too much food.  Period.  Before you eliminate one of our important macronutrients, think about rearranging your approach.  Look at everything.  How much steak did you eat?  How much oil do you use when you cook?  How much peanut butter did you spread on your sandwich?  How many salted cashews did you eat?  How often do you go out to eat?  How much alcohol do you drink each week?  How much salad dressing did you use?  How many chips did you eat?  How many sodas are you drinking each week?  How much rice pilaf is on your plate?  It’s a big picture and blaming one macronutrient is poor logic.  Move and exercise more and be mindful of all of your calories and you will get leaner. 

Myth #5: That your journey is linear.  Going after your goals is more like a deranged roller coaster.  Up, down, sideways, crooked, back, forward… The journey to your best self is not a linear line to your goals.  It is a path of  overcoming obstacles and hardships.  The key is to be resilient, persevere, and learn from your mistakes.  Understand that there will be days when you may not feel like getting out of bed for your 5:30 am workout.  But you know you still have to do it.  It is not a sexy, “motivated all the time” mindset.  It is a strong mental attitude that you have created that is obsessed with the process.  You recognize that action is required to achieving your goals.  You do not allow discouragement to ruin your ambitions.  You must fight for the things you want to accomplish.  You must get back up when you have fallen.  You must never give up.  This type of mindset and philosophy will lead you to massive success. 

Appreciate you reading.  I am grateful. 

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

My training log

I haven’t run in a race since February.  For about 12 weeks after that race, I lifted weights and ran less.  I actually gained about 15 pounds pretty quickly due to me running less mileage (burning less calories), eating more dense and protein rich foods and lifting weights basically everyday.  It was refreshing to take a break from competitive running and not have a race on the calendar.  I enjoyed getting “under the bar” and smashing out the weights in the gym.  But, running is my serenity and my medicine so I methodically made my way back.  My first few runs had no purpose or structure, but to simply stay in conversation pace and enjoy the moment.  This was my catalyst to regaining my running mojo. 

In mid-June, I really started to get back into a running schedule.  I committed to a weekly track workout with my buddies and started doing some “semi-structured” workouts.  This got me back into a routine.  I honestly haven’t missed a Tuesday “speed workout” since starting the habit. 
(FYI, that is the key to instilling a particular habit: DON’T MISS!)

Once July came around, I was now ready to start building back my weekly mileage.  I started off very conservatively with the first week in July (3rd-9th) being at 24 miles.  The 2nd week I hit 30.  It was a good preparation period to just getting back on my feet again.  I think this is where many runners go wrong and end up hurt; they start with too much volume.  Their body is not prepared for the pounding and injury happens.  I made sure to ease back into training.  

At the end of week 2, it was time to light a fire under me, I signed up for a race.  And I said “F it” and signed up for my first competitive marathon.  (For those that know a little about my career, I have raced everything from 5ks to Ironmans.  I have run self-supported marathons but not a true competitive marathon.)  My thinking: “Why not come back to something that will totally take me out of my comfort zone?”  Boom!  I registered. 

Now the sense of urgency was created….

I log all of my training on

Here’s how the next few weeks mileage looked like:

July 17th - 23rd: 47 miles
July 24th – 30th: 47 miles
July 31st – August 6th: 52 miles
August 7th – 13th: 47 miles
August 14th – 20th: 60 miles
August 21st – 27th: Recovery week 27 miles
August 28th – September 3rd: 44 miles 

7 weeks – 324 total miles, that is an average of about 6.6 miles/day.  Accept for one day that I was under the weather, I have not missed a scheduled workout. 

I am an advocate of a lower mileage plan.  As a “nonprofessional” runner who has many other tasks in life, I have to utilize the time I allow for my running lifestyle in the most efficient way.  So my workouts are created with the concept of “minimum dosage required”.  Why run more if I can attain the result I am looking for with less?  Quality miles are the key.  With that said, my plan is to build my mileage to peak out at 75-80 miles, two weeks before my main race.  Marathon training is different than half-marathon training in the fact that you just need more volume under your belt.  The workouts are similar, the quality is there, but literally, you just have to run more miles. 

With the scorching hot weather and poor air quality this summer, many of my runs have been on the treadmill.  I can get a quality session in without the demands of the hot weather/air quality.

Here was a treadmill workout I completed in late July:
20 minute warm up, starting off at an easy pace (8:30) and building pace (7:30 pace)
1 minute easy jog
6x2 min steady hill repeats, a pace that stays controlled
(90 seconds easy jog recover in between each set)
15 min steady pace (started at 7:30 and built to 7:00)
1 minute easy jog
8x2 minute tempo (wanted to do these at half marathon pace: 6:10-6:30)
10 minute steady (started off at 7:30 and built to 7:00)
*the goal of this workout was strength/endurance as you can see by the volume of hill repeats; I accumulated 12 miles in this workout.

Here is a track workout I completed in early August:
20 minute warm up
Dynamic warm up drills and striders to get loose
5 sets of this: (400/800/400), 200 easy jog in between each rep and 3 minute jog in between each set

1st set: 1:31, 3:02, 1:27
2nd set: 1:24, 2:56, 1:22
3rd set: 1:22, 2:54, 1:22
4th set: 1:24, 2:51, 1:19
5th set: 1:15, 2:43, 1:11

This is how I like speed sessions to go.  Start controlled and get faster as the workout progresses.  If you add this up, it accumulates 8000 yards of quality work.  This type of session is how you build your speed and stamina.  I accumulated 9 miles in this session.  

On August 22nd (happened to be my birthday), I wanted to test my fitness a bit so I scheduled a 10k hard tempo.  After coming off a few weeks of solid training, I wanted to do this 10k on tired legs to see what I could push out.  I ended up running at 39:22, which is an average of 6:21 pace.  I was satisfied with my progress up to that point.  See mile splits below.

In regards to strength work during the week, I spend 1 day doing an upper body lifting session, 1 day doing bodyweight exercises like push ups and inverted rows and 1-2 days doing mobility and core work.  These workouts keep my frame strong and honestly, I do not want to be the typical “skinny runner”.  I like having muscle and I feel it gives me a solid foundation for my running.  Since I am running everyday, my lifting sessions have decreased throughout the week. 

What’s next?  I will run a tune-up half marathon on October 15th, which is three weeks out from my marathon.  Since I haven’t raced since February, I wanted to tow the line before the marathon.  I will go into this race to compete but I will run smart knowing that the marathon is the priority. 

Last point, after seeing 155 lbs at one point on the scale in May, I am now back to my “fighting weight” of 140 pounds.  I fluctuate five pounds up and down from that number but usually stay right around that 140 mark.  I like this weight during the bulk of training.  If I am too light, I sacrifice power and risk sickness.  So I do my best to stay between 138-142 as my “racing weight”. 

Thank you for reading.  If I can answer any questions for you, please leave a comment. 
Appreciate you!

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