Training Data.

data

Nowadays, there are lots of fancy ways to keep track of running information. You can track distance, speed, vertical, maps, heart rate, calories, etc. Each year, it seems like there is a new thing to track! Not only that, social media allows you to share your workouts with others.

strava

I don’t use Strava, although I’ve been considering it. I do like looking at other people’s info on Strava. For example, click here to check out Rob Krar’s splits from Western States (Mile 89 – 6:36 LOL). Click here to see Ian Sharman’s splits from Western States.

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I do use MapMyRun occasionally. I usually take my phone with me when I run and MapMyRun is a really simple app to use. The GPS/speed/vertical aren’t that accurate, but they aren’t terrible either. MapMyRun will store your routes for you and you can try and improve on your times.

garmin_connect_logo

I do have a Garmin and I use it occasionally. I never look at it while I am actually running but I do like to put my workouts on my computer and look at splits, hills and maps. It is particularly useful if I’m going to be doing a trail race and I want to know where certain markers are on the course.

Nathan-Training-Log-Plus

This is my go-to method of tracking my information. This training log is available here for $7.95. You can’t beat that!

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I spoke too soon! You can beat that! Old school. Most of you are probably too young, but all of us used to keep track of our workouts this way! I definitely still have some of my old “records” around somewhere.

How do you keep track of your runs?

Do you share the info with others or is it for personal use?

How often do you go back and look at it?

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Weekend Recap.

Howdy! I hope you had a great weekend. Here are a few stories from the last couple of days – some pretty interesting stuff that you definitely won’t see on ESPN!

Jenn Shelton

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Jenn Shelton has been on a mission to run the FKT (fastest known time) on the John Muir Trail (read about it here). She finished the 220-mile trail in approximately 4 days, 9 hours. This was not the FKT, but it is still a major accomplishment. To check out the FKTs on the John Muir Trail, click here.
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Michael Shelley

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The Commonwealth Games were this weekend and the men’s marathon was won by an Australian! Michael Shelley ran 2:11:15. He used a surge around 35k to drop Kenyan runner Steven Chemlany. Chemlany, who has a PR of 2:06:24, finished second, 43 seconds back.
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Steve Way

Steve Way (before)

Steve Way (before)

Steve Way (after)

Steve Way (after)

For me, this was the story of the weekend. Steve Way was 33 years old, 230 pounds and smoking about a pack of cigarettes a day. Steve said:

“I needed to find something I could focus all my attention on that was going to help me lose weight and keep me off the cigarettes. In order to bury your vices, you need to find an equal and opposite addiction. You need to find passion.”

In 2006, he signed of for the London Marathon, trained for a few weeks and ran a little over three hours for the race – not bad! After that, he didn’t do much for a year and a half. Then, he started training again. Seven months later, he ran 2:35:26 in the London Marathon and finished 100th overall.

In this year’s London Marathon, Steve started behind the elite field but managed to move up throughout the race, and he finished 16th overall in 2:16:27 – he qualified for the Commonwealth Games by 33 seconds. Amazingly, the London Marathon was not his goal race! Steve was trying to set the national mark in the 100km – which he did. In May, he ran 6:19:19 for 62+ miles (6:06/mile).

Finally, this weekend, Steve (now 40 years old) had a go at the Commonwealth Games. He took the lead early on (because why the heck not?!) and ultimately finished 10th in 2:15:16. It was a personal best and the fastest time ever by a British athlete over the age of 40.

What is next for the former overweight smoker? Only time will tell!
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Tereza Master

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Tereza Master, of Malawi, also ran the marathon at the Commonwealth Games. She finished 15th overall and set a national record of 2:50:54. Oh, and she ran barefoot!

In the past, Tereza has been critical of the goverment and the Athletics Association of Malawi, stating that the athletes are not getting adequate support. To her point, prize money at the national cross country event in Malawi ranged from $29 to $115. The athletes did not have uniforms and most did not have shoes.

Perhaps her performance at the Commonwealth Games will provide the impetus for change.
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Bruno Brunod

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Bruno Brunod, a two-time Skyrunning World Champion and a legend in the sport, was in action over the weekend. The 51-year-old Italian who still holds many ascent/descent records placed 6th in the Cervino Vertical Kilometer.

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Elise Cranny & Alexa Efraimson

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At the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, Elise Cranny placed 4th in the Women’s 1500m (4:12.82) and Alexa Efraimson placed 6th (4:13:31). Dawit Seyaum, of Ethiopia, won the race in 4:09.86).
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Emelie Forsberg & Kilian Jornet

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photo credit: Ian Corless

photo credit: Ian Corless

Finally, Emelie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet will be acting as race directors in September (they will also be running, according to Forsberg). The race will take place in Tromso, Norway. The Skyrace (42km) has 4300m of vertical and the Mini Skyrace (19km) has 1600m of vertical.

However, if you’re not already signed up, you’re out of luck. The 2014 race sold out in 5 minutes!!
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You’re all caught up!! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

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Talk Ultra, Rob Krar and a Couple of Workouts

Rob Krar photo credit: The North Face

Rob Krar
photo credit: The North Face

I am a big fan of Talk Ultra, hosted by Ian Corless. For those of you who are not familiar with Talk Ultra, it is a free podcast that covers ultrarunning throughout the world. It includes news, reviews and interviews. The show is available every 2 weeks on iTunes and it can be found on the web here.

Each show is several hours long. Past shows have included Ryan Sandes, Anna Frost, Ellie Greenwood, Scott Jurek, Timothy Olson, Hal Koerner, Dean Karnazes, Tony Krupicka, Max King, Stevie Kremer, Mike Wardian, Sage Canaday, Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg, Rob Krar, Ian Sharman, Stephanie Howe, Zach Bitter, Kasie Enman and on and on!

While the podcast is focused on ultrarunning, it is extremely interesting and entertaining, and I think it is beneficial for anyone that is interested in running, fitness and health.

That brings me to today’s topic: speed. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the importance of speed workouts, and it probably isn’t the last. But for today’s post, I won’t be dishing out the advice. Instead, I’m going to defer to Rob Krar. In the most recent episode of Talk Ultra (available here), Rob Krar talks about the speed workouts that he uses to prepare for races. In particular, he focused on two workouts:

1) repeats of anywhere from one to four miles with short rest in between reps

2) hill repeats – 8 x 3 minutes with 90 seconds rest in between

Rob said that he tries to do at least one hard workout per week. Even though Rob is training for ultras, these workouts are certainly applicable to those training for shorter races. In fact, these workouts are modest compared to the ones done by most competitive marathoners (although I’m guessing they aren’t modest the way Rob does them).

Anyhow, I encourage you to check out Talk Ultra. You can get great advice from Rob and many others in the sport. Listen to it during your workouts – it’s very motivating! Not only that, there are currently 66 episodes in the archives, so that should keep you busy for a while.

Happy listening and happy running!

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TGIF.

salad

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m not a big salad eater. But the salad I made yesterday was… beautiful – and delicious!

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Ingredients:
spinach
kale
swiss chard
carrots
tomatoes
cucumber
broccoli
flax tempeh
Goddess salad dressing

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Some of this salad goodness was from the CSA and some of it was from Syracuse Real Food Co-op.

Syracuse Real Food Co-op

Syracuse Real Food Co-op

I ended up making a ton of salad. I could have been on Man v. Food: The Salad Edition.

Anyhow, I hope you have a great weekend! Eat healthy and run far!!

What are your favorite salad ingredients?

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200.

Everybody, listen up! Today is my 200th blog post!

I’m going to keep it short and sweet today! I’m not sure how it is where you are, but it’s 70 and sunny here today – now that is running weather!! Here is a little running inspiration for you:

The Winners of Farm to Feet socks are:

Holy Crap! Training for my first marathon!

To a 5K and beyond

hellyontherun

Karen Goes Running

Masher Runs

EpidemioLogical

Sub-15 Minutes

And three other blogless folks (Tim, Dan B. and Mike).

***Winners, I emailed you – just hit me back with your address and I will send out the socks!***

If you are sad you didn’t win, check out my other giveaway.

Happy Thursday! What is the nicest thing you have ever won?

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Farm to Feet Socks Giveaway

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Great news – today is another giveaway!

Farm to Feet was one of the sponsors of the Cayuga Trails 50. Honestly, I had never heard of the company until that point. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I checked my race packet and there was a pair of socks included! As you know by now, I love race swag.

I tried the socks out after I had recovered from the race, and they did not disappoint. They fit well, had a seamless toe closure and provided just the right amount of cushion.

I checked out the Farm to Feet website to find out a little more information. The socks are 100% made in the U.S.A. of 100% U.S. materials. Not only that, Farm to Feet offers a variety of options! On the site, it recommends air-drying them, but I throw mine in the dryer (on low) and they’ve been holding up great! These socks can be used for training or racing and I’ve found them to be great in hot weather (I suspect they will do just fine in cold weather too).

For a more extensive review, check out this post from outdoor gear tester Layne Oliver.

Still not convinced? Simon Donato and Paul Trebilcock wore Farm to Feet socks on Boundless when they tackled the Caballo Blanco Ultra (this originally aired on ESQTV on June 3rd – it will be shown again on July 27th at 2pm and July 28th at 7pm).

I get it. You want the giveaway. Here it is. I contacted Farm to Feet and they generously hit me back with ten pairs of socks (five for the fellas and five for the ladies).

Greensboro 1/4 Crew Large (Fits Men's Size 9-11.5)

Greensboro 1/4 Crew Large (Fits Men’s Size 9-11.5)

Greensboro Women's Low (Fits Women's Size 7-9.5)

Greensboro Women’s Low
(Fits Women’s Size 7-9.5)

Here is what you need to do to get a pair:

1) Click through to the Farm to Feet website and check out their socks – you won’t be disappointed.

2) Leave a comment below – tell me your favorite race and why. Also, include whether you want a pair of men’s socks or a pair or women’s socks.

The first three fellas and first three ladies will get a pair of socks!

But wait!! There’s more!! At the end of the day (11:59PM EST), I will pick two more fellas and two more ladies to also receive a pair of socks. All of the sock recipients will be mentioned in tomorrow’s blog post. Get it? Got it? Good.

Restrictions:
1) No more than one pair of socks per person
2) I won’t ship internationally – sorry!

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The Giddy Up Bar & The Chia Squeeze

Giddy Up Bar

Giddy Up Bar

Giddy Up Bar

INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC SPROUTED QUINOA, CASHEW BUTTER, NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER, ORGANIC BROWN RICE, ORGANIC SORGHUM FLOUR, ORGANIC BLUE AGAVE, ORGANIC GROUND FLAX SEED, ORGANIC DATES, RAISINS, CAROB POWDER, WHEY PROTEIN, PUMPKIN SEEDS, CINNAMON, RAISIN JUICE CONCENTRATE, HONEY PURE VANILLA EXTRACT, ORGANIC ALMOND EXTRACT, TART CHERRIES, SALT.

The Giddy Up bar is the creation of cyclist/ultrarunner Tim O’Shea. I met Tim at the Cayuga Trails 50 and I ran into him again at the 4th of July 10-miler. He uses organic sprouted quinoa as the main ingredient – and it’s delicious! I’ve been eating these nearly every morning and I think they just get better and better. If you are looking to try a new bar, definitely check these out!

You can shop for Giddy Up bars by clicking here.

Chia Squeeze

Chia Squeeze

INGREDIENTS: HYDRATED ORGANIC CHIA SEEDS, ORGANIC BANANA PUREE, ORGANIC APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE, ORGANIC STRAWBERRY PUREE, ORGANIC BEET PUREE, ORGANIC NATURAL STRAWBERRY FLAVOR, ORGANIC BERRY FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID

I’m always looking to try new gels – mostly because getting a gel down during a race is no small feat – and doing it over and over again.. well, let’s not even go there.

First, I noted that these packets were a bit larger than I was used to. That had me a little worried because it’s tough enough to get them down (and keep them down) as it is! Second, I noticed that these have a little screw top. Nice! When I’m doing ultras, I have a lot of trouble opening packets. My hands simply don’t work well enough. I think these might be a little easier to open!

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. It was sweet and rather delicious. Not only that, it went down easily! The consistently was more of a juice (with chia seeds in it) than a gel. That was definitely a plus. On the downside, these only have 70 calories in them – that makes them great for a snack, but not as great for fuel during an ultra.

The verdict is: I’ll have to try these again. I think they would be a little bulky in a handheld or pocket and I’d prefer they be closer to 100 calories. With that being said, they were pretty delicious, and for that reason alone, they warrant another try!

You can shop for the Chia Squeeze by clicking here.

Have you tried any new foods/gels/drinks lately? What did you think?

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