Monday, December 26, 2011

My next Ultra Trail (230 km, 5 days, 35-45 degrees, lots of climbs and no shadow)

I'm currently training under the guidance of one of the best ultra trail runners in the world. Mentally we are very similar and I'm a little sad that I didn't start running earlier but that is life ;) It is not often that I meet someone who I trust without any hesitation.

The training so far has been hard but great and I'm sure it will become even harder. Running full throttle in the dark with a dim head light on a slippery wet forest trail by a lake is a very revitalizing feeling.

This is my only target. For now all other races have been cancelled for the next 6 months.

I've had a set back though. My right knee is constantly sore. I've hurt it 3 times (1 running, 1 sleeping and 1 at work) the last 1.5 month and now it tells me that it needs a break. Sadly this comes at a time where I'm totally hype about running but as my mentor said "If it hurts STOP and call me right a way!"

I'll do what ever it takes .. even taking a break.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Interval training - Just lost my virginity

I've never really tried interval training. Speed has never been a priority for me other than I've constantly improved it little by little simply by running 'normally'. Another thing is that I've found it extremely complex actually I still do but yesterday I decided to read up on the subject and give it a go.

SO many variables and people saying different things. I'm the binary type that likes stuff that are black or white, I'm not really fund of fuzzy gray stuff. These are the steps as I've understood them (

Step 1 (option 1) - Find the zones in your heart rate reserve. My resting heart rate is 37 bpm and my max is 185 bpm. Which converts into these zones:

Step 1 (option 2) - Find your VDOT value and let that be your guide finding the correct pace for the training you want to do. For this I've used my 5 k @ 23:22 as a source for the VDOT:

Step 2 - Decide what you want to do with your training. Do you want to go for VO2max training or AT training.

Step 3 - How far do you want to run / how many repetitions do you want to make. Here you also need to take into consideration that you shouldn't be running more that 8% of your weekly distance as part of VO2max training.

Step 4 - Estimate how long your resting repetitions should be. It needs to be long enough for your heart rate to drop to 60% of your heart rate reserve. As a guideline the length of your resting repetitions should be between 50-90% of your working repetitions.

Step 5 (optional) - Program your GPS watch to aid you with the training. My Garmin 310XT didn't have the heart rate zone based interval training option that I had hoped for but instead let me choose between distance or time based repetitions.

A little confused? I know I was.

Anyway, I decided to aim for 4 repetitions of 4 minutes running at a pace of 4:33 with 3 minutes resting between each repetition.

So today I dressed up and went for a fairly flat path around a local lake. First some warming up and then hitting the 'lap' button to start the repetitions. The path was more crowded that I'd thought it would be and I had to evade both other runners but also 'normal' people out for a Sunday walk. I quickly realized though that the 4:33 pace wasn't fast enough for the zone 5 training I had hopped for so I ignored the pace limit and focused on keeping a pace that keep to borderline to zone 5 instead. The Garmin 310XT have a display field specifically for this so it was easy to monitor. I welcomed the first resting repetition but realized that I wasn't sure if I was meant to stop, walk or just slow down. I decided for some slow running and just reached the 60% limit when it was time to start running fast again. A few repetitions later I was done.

The result for my first interval training
Next time I'll add one more repetition and aim for a slightly higher heart rate but overall it went smoothly and I had no problems of any kind with the arm, knee or anything else for that matter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I LOVE running! :D

It's been three weeks since the accident and today was my first chance to REALLY run again! The sling is history and the arm is nearly back to normal! Today's track was the same 7 km track as last which is a city course involving some traffic and a lot of pavements. I was eager as a little child the night before Christmas to get back in the running game! Plus I really wanted some redemption ;)

Just as last I ran with a colleague of mine who is a fair bit slower than me so the first 6.5 km wasn't that speedy but the joy of using the arm again and being able to focus on technique and feeling that you really ran was great! The real climax though was the final 500 meter sprint! The last 500 meters are run on a badly lit, narrow and very bumpy pavement with large trees on one side and houses on the other. It was there I tripped 3 weeks ago and fractured the elbow joint but I really really really felt that I had to redo the sprint and prove that I could do it without falling \o/ :)

With 500 meters to go I went all in and running even faster than last time keeping my focus on the pavement in front of me. I had to evade a bike cycle at one point but I kept the pace well below 4:00. Man what a feeling! Being in 'the zone' feeling like a hawk diving on a prey cutting through the dark as a beam of light feeling that no energy is going to waist but feeling nothing but perfection reaching the finish without being even close to falling .. man I LOVE running! I'm back :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I've had a little treadmill action since my half a marathon a week ago (see Failure) but nothing more. Looking forward to get out there again. My right knee has been a little sore and I would like to test it soon to seen if it is OK

The arm is hurting less and less. Funny how a small fracture can totally make your arm unusable. I still can't straighten it all the way out but its getting there I can feel it :)

I've signed up for a little local marathon on the 26th December. If my knee is okay it will hopefully become my 8th marathon.