Records breaking left and right… You can make it happen.

Indoor season is in high gear across the US. This weekend will go down as a fast one. To start things off, my former college, Oklahoma State to their team to Arkansas where Coach Smith had 4 of his runners run under 4 minutes in the mile.  Not many college teams have that kind of depth.  I guess anything is possible.  Next we can head over towards the east coat where there were several stellar performances. Mary Cain who is probably the top high school girl miler out there set a new American high school record for the indoor mile, completing the race in a time of 4:32. Chills rush down my spine when i see girls run fast times. It just proves anything is possible. Finally on the professional level, Galen Rupp went out to astonish us all with his attempt to break the american record in the mile. He was just 1 second short of the record, capturing a time of 3:50.92. What was so amazing to watch was Galen’s Finish. He raced the last lap all on his own, pushing himself to his limits. Once again this proves anything is possible.

Michael Jordan once quoted, ” Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

Of course most all runners have goal. We say things to ourselves and our coaches such as…
“I want to break 1o minutes in the 2 mile.”
or….
” I wish I would break 10 minutes in the 2 mile.”
However, very few of us actually say things like…
“I WILL break 10 minutes in the 2 mile.”
How do you set your goals. To you want or wish things will happen? Most of the time we want  to run fast. We even hope and wish we will just wake up one morning and BOOM.. we just magically preform the way we have always dreamed.  In reality wishing and wanting do not get you very far. In order for dreams and goals to come to life you have to plain out make it happen. 
This week do not tell me what you want or hope to do. I want you to show me what you will do! Everything counts. Putting in the right kind of effort matters. Put in a little bit more sweat and tears in some areas, whether it is in practice, school, or wherever… MAKE IT HAPPEN. OSU, Mary, and Galen all made things happen for themselves  Therefore make something happen for you!
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Tempo runs: Week 3

This week we went about our tempos a little differently. The goal was to run more even splits. Ultimately I wanted to see negative splits. We did a 2 loop step down which implies that each loop gets faster. Each loop was roughly 1.75 miles. Once the runners came through the 2nd loop, they were to pick up the pace significantly to cruise through 800 meters making the run a full 4 miles.

2 loop step down with an 800 meter finish.

1st loop: 9:57

2nd loop: 9:56

Andrew:  Last 800 meters–2:34… Total time– 22:28

Seth:  Last 800 meters–2:38… Total time- 22:32

Winter Gear

We are in the heart of winter. January always brings the coldest runs. Yesterday, Maria and I went out for her very first tempo run. It was such an awesome experience running in 8 degree temperatures. Unfortunately we were not blessed with the best of weather. The wind was around 15 mph with gusts up to 25mph, making it feel as if it was -8 degrees. BURRRRRR!!!!

For Maria’s first tempo run, I am very impressed. Like most things in life, you just have to experience it first hand to really know what it is all about. I have juggled with different ideas on how to effectively teach a runner to run a tempo properly.  In previous posts I have discussed how a tempo should be run. Yesterday Maria and I ran a 2 loop tempo which turned out to be 3.5 miles. A little longer than I wanted for her first attempt, however, she ran very well. The goal was to average between 6:50 and 7:00 minute miles. We ended up coming through averaging 7:02 for a total time of 24:32. Great Job Maria!! You will only get better. I am so excited to see how she runs this tempo in a few weeks. Once she has a few tempos under her belt and warmer weather she will soar.

Today, Andrew and I will be headed out for his tempo. The weather will still be fidget but the wind will be mild. Running workouts in these temperatures can be daunting. My advice is to dress accordingly. Rumor has it that you should dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer. Once you get running and the blood gets circulating you do warm up fast.  According to yesterday we needed to dress for 28 degree weather once we added on 20 degrees to the 8 degrees forecasted.  28 degrees sounds much warmer, but it is still freezing cold.  I am no expert when it comes to running in temperatures like these; however, I have my top 3 clothing suggestions to help these runs seem warmer than they actually are.

1. My favorite running tights are the Insulator Expert Tights by CW-X. Not only are these tights warm they also have built in support. THis particular pair has optimal support around the knee and the surronding muscle.

2. Nike makes a Dry Fit Wool running top which makes a great base layer. I will typically wear something similar to this top with a jacket over for extra warmth.

3. GLOVES….. To me gloves are the most important part of cold weather running. My  secret is to pick a mitt over a glove. In my opinion a mitten keeps your hands much warmer. Saucony currently has a great Ulti-Mitt on the market. Go grab a pair before they are sold out!

Does you have any cold weather gear that you can not live with out? Tell me.

And dont forget to STAY WARM!!

What’s for Lunch?

salad and fish What did you have for lunch today?  For me, I had a cilantro Spiced Tilapia Fillet, Rice Chips and a Salad. My secret ingredient … Dried Cherries … I have been topping most of my salads with either dried cherries or blueberries.  I must say it makes all the difference.

I want to talk about the importance of lunch time. Breakfast is typically viewed as the most important meal of the day, don’t get me wrong, it is very important. However, many people tend to overlook lunch. People believe that if they had a great breakfast that they can use lunch as free ticket to eat whatever is readily available. For some running into McDonald’s for a double cheese burger is on the menu. Others may prefer a 6 inch subway sandwich with chips and a drink. Whatever is in your brown bag special, remember to make it a healthy option. Lunch is not a free ticket to eat candy bars out of the vending machine or to engorged yourself with a plate full of fries. You still have to eat a well-rounded meal.  With practice just 3 hours away, you do not want to feel bloated or nauseous due to a greasy unsatisfying lunch. WIth this being said, I have provided a view pointers when it comes to LUNCH TIME.

LUCKY 7 LUNCHES

1. Pack left overs. Most people consume fairly healthy dinners. Chicken, brocoli, and rice make a nice lunch. I like to call lunches like these, mini dinners.

2. People are afraid to bring their lunches to school and work because they have no place to store them. Buy an insulate lunch box. Problem solved.

3. Healthy Lunchables.  Typically Lunchables are not very healthy. However, I do love the convenience of them, So we have 2 choices here. Make your own lunchable. Pack your own cheese, crackers, and lunch meat, or  check out these new healthy lunchables, gopicnic.

4. Sandwiches can get very boring. Try spicing up the sandwich. Use variations of breads. Make wraps using lettuce, pita bread, or tortillas. Do not stick to turkey and swiss. Spice it up … ham, tuna, salmon, humus and veggie. The possibilites are endless.

5. Couscous or quinoa salads. These are my favorite. Mix diced chicken, feta cheese, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, olives, and a splash of dressing with the quinoa or couscous and you’ve got a nice filling salad full of protein and whole grains.

6. SOUP. I love vegetable based soups. Typically low in fat, and high in vitamins and minerals. Add a slice of whole grain bread or crackers and you have a nice lunch.

7. If you are in a pickle and the only option is to go out to eat, try to choose a healthy option. My all time favorite fast food meal is Wendy’s Chili, just skip the frosty.

Tempo Runs: Week 2

January 15, 2013

Andrew:

4 mile track tempo.

1:20  
1:23 2:43
1:23 4:06
1:24 5:31
1:25 6:57
1:26 8:23
1:26 9:50
1:27 11:17   5:44
1:26 12:44
1:28 14:12
1:27 15:40
1:28 17:08    5:49
1:28 18:37
1:26 20:03
1:26 21:29
1:20 22:38    5:40

 

Seth:

4 mile tempo

Time- 22:20

January 17, 2013

Andrew:

6 mile tempo ran on road. Mile 3 is a long hill mile. It was a great effort.

5:37

5:42

6:17

5:34

6:07

5:47…… 35:07

Seth:

4 mile tempo

Time: 22:16

January 19, 2013

Andrew: Raced a 1600 meter run at the Big River Running High School Indoor Series.

Time- 4:46

Seth:

4 mile track tempo

1:17  
1:18 2:36
1:20 3:57
1:24 5:21
1:23 6:44
1:25 8:09
1:26 9:35
1:26 11:02     5:40
1:27 12:29
1:28 13:57
1:28 15:26
1:28 16:55     5:51
1:28 18:23
1:29 19:52
1:28 21:21
1:24 22:45     5:49

 

What would you do if you were not afraid?

After a long day I sat down at my computer to check emails, Facebook, ect. I ran across this question,

“What would you do if you were not afraid?”

This question really stuck with me. When I went to bed last night it was the last thing on my mind.  I have been pondering this question all night and day. I looked back at the past couple of weeks. I started to think about the teams last few workouts and races. I even thought of my own running and life.

It is funny how most people want to do so many things in their lives and never do. People want to play professional ball, attend college, become doctors, and run a new Personal Best. Honestly the list could go on and on. We will always have a desire to go the extra mile, but do not. In my opinion, we develop excuses for our one true fear.  We come up with some pretty crazy excuses to ease our minds and bury our fears deeper into the ground.

“What are you afraid of?”

“Why is it so hard to each your goal?”

“What are your excuses?”

Think about these questions. I know each and everyone wants to do something great. So do it. Stop making excuses. The excuses are not helping you. They are inhibiting you and your full potential.

I don’t want to say much. I mainly want you to ponder these same questions.  Every goal you set is obtainable. Do not let fear be your battle. You cannot be afraid to lose. Because sometimes loosing gets you what you have always wanted.

Tell me what you are going to do this year, because you will not be afraid to do it!

Never Satisfied

I will start this post off with a quote from George Sheehan, “THE OBSESSION WITH RUNNING IS REALLY AN OBSESSION WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR MORE AND MORE LIFE.”

As a runner growing up, I was constantly asked

WHY DO YOU RUN?

At times people would even joke about all the running I did. They would say things like,

“Ha-ha… I would only run if my life depended on it.”

Or

“I would only run if the cops were chasing me.”

I would smile awkwardly not knowing exactly how to respond to comments like those. People just did not believe that I truly loved to run. They did not understand the deep internal gratification running brought me every day. Rather than running away from something, like cops or death, I was running towards life and self-discovery. I don’t think they understood what running could do on a deeper more personal level.

Runners have this deep desire to constantly outdo themselves/perform better. Whether it is your first race or 50th race, it doesn’t really matter. You will constantly have the craving for another race.  If you performed well, you will want to preform even better the next time and if you raced horribly you will want to prove to yourself that you can do better. It is a never ending cycle for more and more life.

On Saturday Andrew raced his second indoor race of the season. Both races were run very consistetly. If I were to convert his 3000 meter times from the previous week to a 3200, he would have run roughly 10:12. This week Andrew ran the 3200 indoors in a time of 10:10. Any amount of inprovement is something to be proud of. He ran right behind the class 4A 2012 Cross Country State Champion, Simon Belete, who placed 2nd in a time of 10:00. Before the race started, Andrew looked at me, becasue we both knew there was going to be some tough yet fun competition.

Seth definitly surprised me this week. Every time I spoke with Seth this week he infomed me on how good he was feeling. If you have never run indoors before, it is a unique experience. Seth has never run indoor track before; therefore, I was a little nervous about how he was going to handle the experience.

As the gun fired Andrew took off, as usual. Seth was supposed to go out slower than Andrew, and he did until lap 3. At which point he decided he could hang with the top guys. I was a little anxious at first, but looking at him run, he seemed confident. Lap by lap, Simon, Stephen, Andrew and Seth raced one by one. Throughout the first 13 laps all 4 ran a very even pace. With 3 laps to go (600 meters) Simon and Stephen Muegche picked up the pace.  I looked down to jot down the splits, as I looked up with 500 to go, I saw Seth creep into 3rd place. I told both runners before the race one bit of advice.

“With 2 laps to go I want to see a change in pace, I want you to look different. You are no longer cruising. I want you pumping your arms a little faster, lifting those knees a bit high and pushing off of those toes a bit harder. Even though, out there, you feel as if there is a different in your pace, I can promise you I don’t see it. You will think you are moving faster, trust me you are not, you are tired, so at this point you just have to put in that much more effort. I want to see a different runner out there.” 

Seth heard my words and switched gears. He looked like a different runner. He kept it up and even picked up his pace the last lap to finish in a time of 10:04 (official time).  As I mentioned earlier, Andrew’s finishing time was 10:10 finishing in 4th place.

I am so lucky to be able to coach two runners who have the passion to develop into the best runners they can possibly be. It is still very early and a lot more work is yet to be done, so stay tuned for an exciting season. I am looking forward to seeing them get faster and faster.

meter

Big River Running Indoor Track Series, 3200 meters Results

Yesterday, the boys and I headed to Columbia, Missouri to partake in the Big River Running High School Indoor Track Series.  What is a bit unusual about these races is how the runners get to run the full 3200 meters. Most indoor races runners will run the 3000 meter event. I was thrilled to have both runners run the event which they actually compete during the outdoor season. There results gave me a good indicator of where both runners stand at this point. They just finished their base phase a week ago, with only a couple of workouts under their belts I am pleased to say we will have some great PR’s this upcoming track season.

The 200 meter lap splits are posted below. Later today I will discuss details of the race. I know you all are eager to hear about the actual race!

Andrew Seth
33 35
1:08,  35 1:10,  35
1:45,  37 1:46,  36
2:24,  39 2:24,  38
3:02,  38 3:02,  38
3:41,  39 3:41,  39
4:20,  39 4:20,  39
4:59,  39 4:59,  39
5:38,  39 5:38,  39
6:16,  38 6:16,  38
6:54,  38 6:54,  38
7:33,  39 7:33,  39
8:12,  39 8:12,  39
8:51,  39 8:49,  37
9:31,  40 9:27,  38
10:10,  39 10:03,  36

To eat or Not to eat? … That is the question.

When you wake up in the morning what is the first thing you do?
Just about every morning I wake up, eat ½ a Larabar, drink a bottle of water, and head out the door for my run. After my run I will start cooking my breakfast which usually consists of either a bowl of gluten free oatmeal topped with cinnamon and honey or a plate of eggs and Udi’s toast paired with my favorite cup of tea. Once my morning routine has been accomplished I am ready to tackle the day.
Over the years I have tried a variety of morning rituals. There have been mornings I take off running without even a sip of water. I have also tried eating a full breakfast then waiting around a couple of hours before hitting the trails. It was all trial and error trying to find what worked best for me. While I was in college learning about nutrition and exercise, all of my professors encouraged us to eat before and after exercise. Most studies even say there is a 30 minute window immediately following a workout where one should consume a ratio of 4:1 carbohydrates to protein in order to restore glycogen and aid in muscle recovery. Based upon my own experiences I believe those scientists are correct. It is very important to fuel our bodies before and after a workout. You will have less muscle soreness and will not feel as sluggish the following day.
People joke about how we should treat our bodies like vehicles fueling them with high grade oile/ fuel for optimal. The question is why do we take better care of material things instead of ourselves? We are running more miles at a time than most people even drive to work. So why is it so difficult for us to treat your body better?
Take it or leave it, but from my own experiences I suggest making it a priority to fuel your body efficiently. According to the Mayo Clinic it is very important to eat prior to exercise. In my case, I wake up first thing and run.  When I wae up all off the food I ate for dinner has been metabolized over the 8+ hours. If I head out the door without replenishing my stores I will have a sluggish performance. It doesn’t take much. I typically stick to between 80-100 calories to get my metabolism started. A tiny bit of food is all it takes for a more satisfying workout. Once you have finished your run, you have only a 30 minute window to optimally absorb nutrients. “The Verdict“, you ask…that’s easy, EAT. Do not be afraid of food causing cramps or inhibiting your workout. You are more likely to have an unproductive workout if you do not fuel your body properly.  It may just be trial and error for yourself, trying to find what works for you.

Remember your goals and what is important. Remember how you HAVE to do the LITTLE things in order to get BIG payoffs. BE SMART!!!

Top 5 pre run foods:
1. A nutrition bar of any sort; Cliff bars, Lara bars, Kind Bars, ect..
2. 6oz container of yogurt
3. 1 piece of toast with peanut butter and a drizzle of honey
4. Applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon
5.  8 oz. of Gatorade.
*PS. don’t forget to drink some water.
Top 5 Post run foods:
1. Oatmeal
2. Omelet packed with vegetables
3. High fiber cereal
4. Smoothie
5. String cheese with a piece of fruit
***BONUS… Homemade Hot chocolate is my winter time favorite post run drink.
1 TBS. Raw Sugar
1TBS Cocoa Powder
1 cup Fat Free Milk
1tsp. vanilla………YUMMY!!!downsized_0110131015

Tempo runs are in fact bittersweet

Tempo runs can be defined as a fast sustained pace for a prolonged period of time or miles. A runner would typically incorporate a tempo style of run once a foundation of miles has been laid. Even to this day when I think about tempo run, I get Goosebumps. It means time is near. They are the first intense runs someone would do does prior to the competitive racing season. You will do tempo after tempo… after tempo. There will be weeks of never ending tempo runs. When the day comes to do another tempo you will cringe thinking “didn’t I just do one of these”? There will be days were you just do not want to do another tempo run. You will get frustrated. Some days you will even feel as if you were in slow motion. But then you will have one tempo run where you literally felt as if you were flying. As if you were a tiny particle floating through space. You will feel effortless. That one run will make all the others worth it. When it comes time for track season all of your hard work will pay off. Tempo run are in fact bittersweet. You will hate them, yet love them all at the same time. Just keep in mind, you will not reach your track goals if you skip these runs. Do not loose site of your goals and all the little things you have to do to accomplish them.quote
Moving on to our first tempo of the season, Andrew and Seth had a stellar performance. I was not present for Seth’s tempo, however according to him, it went wonderfully. He tackled the snowy track and still managed to run a faster time than I projected. He did it all alone too! Big Applause goes to you Seth!!
On the other hand, Andrew and I debated for a while on where to run his tempo. My biggest fear was Andrew slipping on an icy patch on the track busting his tailbone. After driving around half of Kirksville, Andrew ended up running around the high school, which is a 1.8 mile paved walking/running path. Both of us forgot out GPS watches, so we estimated on the 4 mile mark. Andrews run was also a success for the first one of the season. GREAT run ANDREW!
As their coach I was thrilled to see how both runners preformed. Especially since training has had a bit or a rocky patch, unable to run outside due to the wintery wonderland.
One down, and how many to go…?