The weather here got nasty and cold again at the end of this week, but I managed 59.5 miles, closing things up with a 14 miler in sub 20 temps yesterday. Had some really good workouts this week, including 4 x 5:00 w/ 3:00 rests on Monday (weather was ok then) and 6 x 90-second hill reps on Thursday. This was the first time that I did long hills since before Club Nationals so it took a few reps to adjust and remember the rhythm of that workout. When I get in an easy 6 miler later today, I'll end up with 263 miles for the month. This has been by far my best January since I started running again. Solid mileage and a really good mix of workouts every week. It's definitely helped that I've had the Compex Racing Team's base training schedule to follow over the past month. I've got some workouts I'm really looking forward to coming up next month and hopefully, before I know it I'll be toeing the line at some races.
To paraphrase the name of the third Buzzcocks album, Manchester, England's Chameleons were a "different kind of tension." Their roots were definitely in the post-punk tradition -- one listen to their debut single "In Shreds" and the early demos compiled on The Fan and the Bellows collection is all the proof you need -- but that's only one aspect of the band's mesmerizing sound. Like Echo and The Bunnymen and the early U2, The Chameleons were proponents of epic, guitar-effect heavy rock 'n' roll. Their 1983 debut Script of The Bridge and 1985's What Does Anything Mean? Basically have both been given the deluxe dual-disc reissue treatment by Blue Apple Music. The remastering on these releases sounds amazing. I know some of you out there swear by vinyl, but the sound on these CDs is much better than the original wax put out by Statik (yeah, I still have them). Script is the slightly better of the first two Chameleons albums, mainly because the sound is just a tad grittier and there a few more songs! Tracks like "Don't Fall," "Monkeyland" and "A Person Isn't Safe Anywhere These Days" floor you like a prime time Mike Tyson punch. The Bonus disc contains a scorching 1983 concert. What Does Anything Mean? is equally essential, containing two of my all-time favorite Chameleons tunes, "Intrique in Tangiers" and "Return of the Roughnecks" (see video above), plus tacking on the debut single "In Shreds"/"Nostalgia". The bonus disc is well worth it too, a collection of demos from this album that are at times even more potent than the album versions.
The weather definitely cooperated with me this week as I finished up with 60.5 miles, my third straight week right at 60 on the nose. Not really intentional as I plan my three easiest days of the week totally by feel and those runs can range anywhere from 5-8 miles give or take. Every day was in the 30s more or less with it hitting a 'balmy' 43 or so when I ran a 13 miler in the park this morning. Other highlights of the week included 20 minutes of tempo work on Monday, a nice easy 11 miler on Wednesday and some short hill sprints on Thursday. Next week should be a good one as I have 5 x 5:00 w/ 3:00 rests on Monday, 6 x 400 meter hill reps on Thursday, and a 13-14 mile long run on Saturday penciled in as the key sessions. On a side note, just picked up a pair of the Brooks Launch as the main lightweight trainer in my rotation and man, do I love these. Only 9.3 ounces but lots of cushion. Highly recommended if you're a neutral foot striker.
I came across this article, entitled "Weight and Performance," by British running coach/guru Frank Horwill a little while ago and thought it was quite good. Seems like this is a hot topic these days, based on the buzz about Matt Fitzgerald's new book Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance, which a few friends have recently recommended.
Horwill points out that while weight can be a touchy subject, the fact is that:
No man six feet tall and weighing 176lbs (79.8kg) will ever win the London Marathon, and it is unlikely that a woman five feet six inches in height and weighing 130lbs (58.9kg) will ever do so either. Why? To answer this we must consult Dr. Stillman's height/weight ratio table. He fixes the non-active man's average weight for height with a simple formula. He allocates 110lbs (56.2kg) for the first five feet (1.524m) in height and 5 1/2lbs (2.296kg) for every inch (0.025m) thereafter. He is harsher with women, giving them 100lbs (45.3kg) for the first five feet and 5lbs (2.268kg) for every inch above this.
According to Stillman's formula, while the 'ideal' weight for a 6 foot man is 176 pounds, his optimum racing weight should be one of the following, depending on his speciality:
Sprinters (100-400m): 2 1/2 per cent lighter than average (6ft/176lbs - 2 1/2% = 4lbs)
Hurdlers (100-400m): 6 per cent lighter (or 9lbs)
Middle-distance runners (800m - 10K): 12 per cent lighter (or 19lbs)
Long-distance runners (10 miles onwards): 15 per cent lighter (or 25 1/2lbs)
From personal experience, I find that I race best at right around 15% less than my 'ideal' weight range, which is just right for a 5K - 10 mile - cross country specialist.
What's the best way to maintain your racing weight? According to Horwill:
If you are in the overweight category, this is the procedure to follow:
1. Don't go without food. Every four hours eat meals that include the Basic Four - skimmed milk, lean meat, fruit, vegetables, whole-grain cereal and bread
2. Avoid the following high-fat-content foods: cooking fat, lard, etc (253 calories per ounce); margarine (218), butter (211), bacon (128), chocolate (148), pork (116), cheese (117), sugar (108), mutton (94), cream (325 calories per cup), excessive alcohol (spirits, 115 calories per oz, wines, 85 per 31/2oz, beer, 150 per 121/2oz).
3. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, fish, veal liver and fat-free beef
4. Do the type of running that burns fat. That is below 80 per cent of your maximum capacity, which is about 85 per cent of your maximal heart rate for less than an hour run and around 75 per cent MHR over this period
5. Add five minutes a day per week to your workload. If you are doing 35 minutes a day now, within six weeks you will be doing 65 minutes
6. Avoid mid-meal snacks. If you're desperate, eat fruit
7. If you are a teenager, ignore all the above advice! You are growing and need all the good food you can get, but that rules out crisps, sweets and takeaways. Learn to cook vegetables and meats
8. If you drive daily, or use the bus or train, consider running or walking to your destination at least once a week.
The second week of my 10-week pre-season training block went really well. After a frigid start to the week (it was sub 10F when I did my 5 x 4:00 fartlek session on Monday), the weather definitely cooperated for a change. Not that the 30's are all that pleasant but wearing shorts (well, half tights) on yesterday's long run was nice. Outside of those two workouts, my other key session was 8 x 10-second hills on Rockcliffe with a 3.5 mile warm up and 5.5 mile cool down. I enjoy the short hill sprints as they seem to especially help a 'medium' twitch guy like me. The other four days were just very easy recovery runs. Once again I hit 60 miles on the nose for the week. This next week will have a tempo workout replacing the fartlek and if the weather is decent I'll do a set of technique drills on Thursday (otherwise hills). Next Saturday, my long run will be in the 1:45ish vicinity. I've been sticking to the 100-pushups program and am happy to say that I can do A LOT more now than I could 5 weeks ago.
I've been pretty lazy with this blog this year, but my last two weeks of running have gone very well. Hit 60 miles on the nose last week, the first of a 10-week pre-racing season training block. Mainly EZ distance, but each week has three key workouts that tend to consist of a longer fartlek workout (stuff like 5 x 4:00) or tempo, hill reps or technique drills, and a Saturday long run. I'm planning on opening my racing season with the St. Malachi 5 miler on March 13. This is the first 'big' race in Cleveland and the field is always pretty deep. Not the funnest course in the world (very hilly) but a good rustbuster to set you up for faster races down the road. I'm also planning on doing the Meteor 10K in Dearborn, Mich. in April. Last year I ran my PR there (fast certified course) and I would like to run a good race there again as a baseline for the USATF Masters 10K championship in Ann Arbor, Mich. on June 6. Despite the usual crappy January weather, I'm feeling very good. I'm sticking to the pushups and I've been doing them 3-4 days a week. My size Small t-shirts are pretty damn tight now so I think I've transitioned into Medium now since I don't go for the Emo tight t-shirt look.