Showing posts with label Hill Training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hill Training. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lose weight with high-intensity workouts

So I've plateaued in my running.  I haven't been able to lose weight but I am running comfortably...and injury free.  Still though, I know I need to ramp it up.  I've incurred a lot of injuries over the past few years so this time I'm taking it easy with the high-intensity workouts.  

Benefits iof a high-intensity workout: Increased VO2 Max, stronger and faster running and continuing to burn calories at a higher rate well after the workout.  Now that's the way to loose weight! Although because I'm a salty snack fanatic, I often fall to the temptation. Oh well, that just means another high-intensity workout.

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Running up that hill

With thanks to Kate Bush, I was humming the song, 'Running up that Hill' on a recent morning of hill repeats.

The line I kept singing in my head over and over, "And if I only could, I'd make a deal with god, and I'd get him to swap our places.  Be running up that road, be running up that hill...with no problems".

Thanks Kate.  I had a great session!

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Training for Reggae Marathon December 7 in Jamaica

It started with a 10K.

30 years ago the goal was to finish a 10K run.   It was called the Speedy Baycrest 10K and it was flat rectangular route in Toronto's North West.  By the time I ran this race, my first ever, I'd been running consistently for about 6 months.  I'd never run the distance.  I figured I could tough it out.  I was wrong.  Not only did I start too fast, I had the wrong clothes (cotton shorts and t shirt) and running shoes that were way past their best-before-date.  I finished.  Well over an hour.  But I finished!  And I was hooked on racing.

Fast forward a few years:  racing through the streets of Toronto nearly every second weekend in 10K races that were the rage back then.  Finishing medals were not popular then, T Shirts were.  I amassed quite the collection of Q107/Coors Light branded shirts...thankfully that have long ago been re-cycled.

A few years later I ran into (pardon the pun) longer distance races the first of which was the Bread & Honey 15 Miler in Streetsville.  Back then we ran along roads north and east of Streetsville Highschool (where the event started and finished) that were farmland. A few weeks ago I drove through the neighbourhood...when did all those houses get built?

I ran a few Half Marathons after that but was fearful of the full Marathon convinced that I could never finish the distance.  That proved correct in my first attempt through the streets of Toronto.  Not until Reggae Marathon in 2009 did I finish my one and only full Marathon.  Reggae Marathon 10K in Negril, Jamaica on December 7.
Waiting and waiting...then waiting some more for
my big Finish at Reggae Marathon 2009.

So while I'm a long-time runner or 'Seasoned' as my friend Dan Cumming often reminds me, I prefer the shorter distance race events such as the 10K. And after running the Sporting Life 10K this past spring, my first race after the broken foot, I've found my running sweet spot once again.  And that brings me to my training for the

I'm obsessed about speed.  Finishing time actually.  I blame that on Dan Cumming who said a good goal would be to finish the Reggae Marathon 10K in the same time as my age:  I'm 55 so that would translate to 55 minutes.  I don't like that one bit so I've been training...hard!  Speedwork and hills the past few weeks with increased weekly frequency in the upcoming 2 weeks before the taper.  So far I've been injury-free so 'touch wood', I should burn up the course in Negril.  I've got a few more pounds to loose as well so the combination of intense workout and lower weight should 'git er dun'.  Plus, I'll need to look good on the beach in my bathing suit.

So if you see me on the streets of Etobicoke racing early morning, don't'l break my focus.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scatterbrained Running

Some mornings I'm not sure how I make it through my run.

It's dark outsode.  Pre-dawn with only the occasional passing bus to brighten up my route through Central Etobicoke.  I put on my 'dark' running gear, walk down the 4 flights of stairs into the cool morning air.  I do love fall!

After a minute or so of brisk version of warming up...I break into a slow jog.  That lasts for a few minutes until my brain and legs begin to talk to each other:  "Crap...he really is serious about running again this morning".

Most days I get to the sweet spot quickly:  legs turning over rapidly (160 times a minute is the goal), breathing deep and regular, mind blank.  But some days no matter how hard I try, not so much.  On those days I go scatterbrained:
  • Why did that raccoon cross the road?  Dam...that's a big raccoon!!  Hope he's more scared of me than I am of him.
  • Will I be  delayed on the TTC this morning?
  • My son is getting married!!  Yikes...when did he grow up?
  • Gotta loose some weight...carrying this extra Muffin Top around sucks.  Running with it sucks even more.
  • I should walk for a few minutes.  Nope, keep running!
  • I've been running for 30 years...why doesn't it get any easier.
  • Will my client make my candidate an offer today?  Will my candidate accept it?
  • "Stop thinking about work!"
  • Why are my lungs screaming for air?
  • Oh, comes that hill again.  Why did I pick this route?
On those mornings running isn't fun...thankfully though it's over relatively quickly.  What keeps me running is knowing that tomorrow is another day...

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Speedwork and Hills!

I used to just go for a run.  Then one day I decided to race.  It's been a battle against time ever since.

That wasn't necessarily a bad thing when I was young and foolish.  But now that I'm on my second half century it's become a bit more of a challenge.  On two fronts actually.  First, the work it takes to run faster and second the challenge to stay healthy and un-injured.  So speedwork and hills.

On the speedwork front, I use the local high school dirt track.  Prior to the recent hurricane level rain it was a lovely oval of hard-packed red clay.  It's suffered some damage recently that I hope will be addressed before the new school season starts in September because it's really messed up my weekly speedwork sessions.  Normally I head out from home at a faster-than-usual pace for the 1 mile distance to the track.  Then I do a series of 'Repeats to Failure':  sprinting the straights then walking/slowly jogging the curves to catch my breath.  So far I'm up to about 6 laps of this torture (about 1 1/2 miles) before I'm spent.  The really hard part is the slow 1 mile jog back home.


Then there are the hill workouts! 

Where we live there aren't too many real hills.  We do have the descent/ascent down to the Humber River however and it's become my nemesis! It's a steep, narrow, uneven dirt path up the side of the ravine.  It starts steep then gets really stupid for the last 5 metres.  I know 5 metres doesn't sound like a lot but after my 3rd repeat my thighs are burning and my lungs are trying to do an 'Alien'!  Again, I try to do these hill repeats only once every other week.  These photos are of the trail but they really don't do justice to the steepness of the incline.  You'll just have to trust me when I tell you that after my 5th repeat I've invented some new swear words to go along with the burning in my quads and searing in my lungs.  The beauty here though is that it's a quick walk back home and the relief of a cold compress on my knee.  Yeah, there's some pain but I've been looking after it carefully.

The big benefit of all this pain is that my regular runs have become fun again.  While it may only be in my mind, I feel as if I'm running faster.  For sure I'm running more comfortably with the mid-foot running style. We'll see how fast I really am this fall in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon where I'm running the 1/2 Marathon and again in Negril in Decemeber at Reggae Marathon where I'm running the 10K.

Until next time...


I'm raising funds for the Heart & Stroke Foundation in 2013.  My goal is to raise $2,000 by December 31.  My planned races in 2013 include:
Please join me on Facebook at Run for Heart.