Posts Tagged ‘treadmill’

My wife rocking her Inov-8 F-Lite 195s

A detailed training log for the week is here.

What can I say?  Running is proving to be quite the motivating and contagious activity.  About 4 months ago my wife started walking on the treadmill 5 days per week after watching me catch the running bug.  She claimed outright, “I don’t like running, but walking is ok.”  So fast forward to last weekend and my wife decides to steal a bit of my daughter’s well earned thunder by running a 5k after my little girl took 2nd place in her 75 meter sprint event.

This weekend we celebrated my wife’s birthday and I purchased a weekend trip for two to the Marriott, Los Sueños Ocean & Golf Resort, in Playa Herradura, Costa Rica.  I decided to up the ante however, by timing the trip with the resort’s annual 10k event, the ECO RUN.  My plan is to run this event like any other training day, maybe even a little slower, to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere.  I also wanted to give my wife a new goal to shoot for.  It doesn’t matter to me if she walk/runs the event or whatever other method she might choose, as I don’t want her to feel pressured to run farther than she is prepared to.  But I did want to dangle a new carrot out in front to see how she responded.

Game on!

My training is progressing nicely thus far, knock on wood.  I am four weeks on my feet post injury and seem to be gaining a little clearer insight into my body’s likes and dislikes after each run.  It’s becoming easier to know when I can go for it, when I need to back off, and when following the schedule exactly is what’s called for.

I got off of the treadmill and ran a 10k on the road last week.  It was slow, but the pace proved to me that finishing was never in question as I long as I was honest about my fitness level.  I’ve been running many of my runs too quickly, and eventually burning the speed and distance candles at both ends will catch up with me.  Finally getting a grasp on reality (and my ego) my road runs are ultra slow, and I’m feeling much more confident in my ability to extend them in distance, towards my goal of 13.1 miles.

Tracie over at Run Inspired has a timely post on running at the proper pace and within a specific percentage of your heart rate max on longer runs.

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Don’t Stress Over Changes – Just Adapt

Since finishing my rehab and recovery I’ve completed three full weeks of running in preparation for the ING Miami Half Marathon in January 2013.  I made a decision to run only on the treadmill until I was covering distances of 10k or more, in order to give my body time to strengthen after the six weeks of mostly non and low-impact recovery.  My plan was to swap out a single weekly run to the road, and every other week I would swap out an additional treadmill run for the pavement.

Today my wife returned early from our association’s gym to inform me that the treadmill was dead.  Out of order.  No mas.

Lacking choices, I laced up the Inov-8s and headed out the door, eager to finish before the sun had a chance to rise too high in the sky.  I am already sunburned from attending my daughter’s first track and field event on Saturday. Honestly, I wasn’t excited about running on the road.  I’m paranoid about all of the different variables that could have contributed to my original injury: too many hills, running  too fast, shoes that are too minimalist, overpronation, muscle imbalances.  The list goes on and on.

But sometimes a lack of choices is just what you need.  The ING Miami Half Marathon is run on the road after all, not on a treadmill.

First road run in over 2 months

The challenges were immediate and pronounced as I took my first steps.  I use a metronome to help me lock in an efficient cadence of 180 strides per minute.  This is also a great tool to prevent over striding and makes mid or forefoot landing more natural and not something you have to waste a lot of energy focusing on during a run.

It literally took me the entire first mile to find the proper rhythm, stride and cadence.  By that time it was too late, I had already burned my powder.  I ran three progressively slower splits. No clearer evidence exists of a runner who leaves the gate too fast, finds the pace unsustainable and eventually labors through the finish of the run.  And I still had 3 hill sprints waiting for me at the finish, courtesy of Jason Fitzgerald.

So how does the death of my previously preferred training device impact my race preparation?  Simple, there are a few key areas I need to adjust and monitor:

stride cadence

stride length

pace management and awareness

recovery ability

The simple truth is that I eventually had to face this transition at some point in my training anyway.  So I choose to embrace it now, earlier than planned or expected, but inevitable nonetheless.

The only constant in life is change.

 

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This week I made my first attempts at running again after about 5 weeks of battling a strained Achilles tendon and receiving the news that I also have bone spurs in the same foot as the Achilles injury.  I rehabbed mostly via the stationary bike, a few brief pool running sessions and a series of corticosteroid injections.

You can read a detailed breakdown of daily training here.

treadmill

Finally off of the bike and back on the run

Unfortunately, my version of the iconic Willie Nelson tune refers not to my 5 foot, 10 inch frame striding at an efficient 180 steps per minute down a picturesque trail, or even my uncoordinated flailing that probably tempts any unlucky onlookers to call 911, as I struggle down the final stretches of asphalt during a longer run.

No such luck for me.  On The Road Again simply refers to my current travels which find me back in Miami, the city of my collegiate experience and afterwards, about roughly 15 years of pondering why I lived there for so long.

I arrived at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) at a very bleary eyed 5am this morning in preparation for a 7:15am flight to the Magic City, Gateway to the Americas, aka The Capital of Latin America.  And here I am, sitting in my hotel room, nursing an Achilles tendon strain that has been slowly improving day by day, until now.

My hope was to use these fours days in Miami as my final rest and recovery effort, and maybe even sneak in a test run or two on the hotel’s treadmill.  I let out a rather loud, and possibly rude chuckle when I took a tour of the hotel to inspect the fitness center.  Instead of an array of ellipticals, treadmills and the like, I discovered an otherwise abandoned hallway located beyond the hotel’s restaurant and en route to the pool (another victim of heavy handed Photoshop enhancement.)

One treadmill, one stationary bike and one out-of-service elliptical machine stood in ragged formation as if they were the last survivors of an unseen battle.  And perhaps they are.  Veterans of the hotel’s budget wars.

The F-Lites earned frequent flyer miles but aren’t racking up any road or treadmill runs.

My desire to complain however, was tempered both by my sleep deprived state, and more importantly, by the fact that my Achilles tendon and ankle are now slightly swollen, a condition that neither had displayed at any previous time since my injury.

I’m writing this entry as I my heel wedges its way deeper into my hotel room’s ice bucket.  Word to the wise, if you’re ever in room #514 ask for a new ice bucket!

I haven’t panicked yet because I am going to remain positive and attribute this slight swelling to the airplane travel and a fairly common case of foot and ankle edema, exacerbated by the preexisting injury.

But to be 100% honest with you it’s mentally tough.  I’m trying to convince myself that all will be fine, and that I should go ahead and book my return trip to Miami for the 2013 ING Half Marathon.

I guess in a worst case scenario I will have front row seats to an exciting show on the beach.

On the road again.  But when?

 

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To be a great comic, they say that timing is everything.  I believe in that theory, and not only as it relates to generating laughs.  Today is day 2 of recovering from an Achilles tendon strain.  My plans were for a relaxed and lazy day around the house.  A little cooking for the kids when they get home from school.  Testing out some new tennis ball massage techniques for my hamstrings and calves.  And maybe an hour of talking to my laptop while navigating a Rosetta Stone lesson plan in German.

An email arrived that took me completely by surprise.  My new running shoes had arrived and were ready for pick-up.

Inov-8 Road-X 233

Weird angle. I promise that neither my legs nor my feet are that stubby.

A few months ago when I began my latest attempt at running again I was inspired by all of the information I was digesting regarding barefoot and minimalist running.  So I did about a month of barefoot walking and walk/jog training on the treadmill.  Once I began running 3x per week for at least 30 minutes I transitioned to a pair of minimalist kicks, the Inov-8 F-Lite 195.

I love those shoes, and although I don’t have experience with any other minimalist models to make a comparison, I can’t imagine I could be much happier with another brand.  Well done Inov-8!

The shoes that arrived today are the Inov-8 Road-X 233.  I ordered this pair for several reasons.  I wanted a second pair of shoes to alternate runs in, so as not to destroy either pair too quickly and also so that whatever tiny differences existed in my gait with different shoes could help avoid repetitive motion injuries.  I know that’s probably a generous stretch of logic, but it’s nice to rationalize a luxury purchase when you can.

In addition, I wanted to add some diversity and flexibility into my choices, depending on where I might schedule my runs.  As the name suggests, the Road-X is designed specifically for road work,  and the F-Lite 195 is a general purpose fitness shoe that has some light trail capability with its slightly raised tread pattern.  The Road-X sports a 6mm heel to toe differential and weigh in at 8.2 ounces.  Not quite as minimal as the F-Lites  but well within my comfort zone.

Most likely I will not be writing up any type of review for these shoes other than to say that thus far I am very impressed with Inov-8, and would recommend their shoes without hesitation.  I don’t feel I posses the technical knowledge or running experience to dive further into discussing fascia bands, lateral this, and medial that.

After all, the only testing I will be doing in the immediate future is walking around the house.

Timing is everything.

 

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