Soft on my knees, but I might need to strap myself up a little harder

It snowed all night and most of the day too. Made a soft and nice coating on today’s run. I still feel something in my left knee at some of my runs (don’t really know why, but I try to work it away with my strength training), which hopefully got a little better caring today when the ground was soft as wool πŸ™‚

One thing that nagged me though, was that my Garmin was playing games with me again. It was ok most of the run, but during the end it started dancing around again :S

You know that when your heart rate start jumping 5-10 beats up and down at a time while keeping a steady pace, it’s either time to see a doctor (or maybe a Shaman) or your gear is trying to make you nuts for some reason.

It seems it usually happens when it’s around 0 degrees outside.. Might be a coincidence. Another thing might be that I strap the heart rate monitor too loose, because when I pressed it against my chest today it got much better immediately.. I’ll try to strap me up a little harder in the future πŸ˜€

About the time trial on Saturday I’ve been adviced by TheEd to do it on a treadmill instead of slippery surface. Don’t know how to lay it up yet, but… Maybe to start out at 3:40 the first km and then try to increase.. Well, we’ll see about that πŸ˜‰

Day 15, 2nd build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 10.99 1:04:40 5:53 133 164 89

PS. Today I bought a new Olympus system camera, which hopefully will be put in use soon so that I’ll get some more photos up here.

Managed to keep myself upright in spite of everything

Back to work today. Felt a little sad to once again be away from the family, but I noticed that it was good for me to get up in the early morning as before. During the Christmas holiday I’ve managed to get used to get up as late as 9 am many of the days. Some of the nights I’ve even slept for 9 hours – very rare for me. I usually only sleep around 5 hours – 6 at most. Strange is, I think it feels like I get more tired from sleeping more. Last night I thought I would never be able to keep my eyes open on the commuter-train to work, but on the contrary I felt more brisk than I’ve done in quite some time. So I sat and studied the Analysis Calculus for the physics university course I’ve applied for. Refreshing! πŸ˜€

At lunch I took a 75 minute run. It was slippery almost everywhere, but at some places I even needed to slow down not to fall. In the end I luckily had managed to keep myself on the feet. Fortunately I don’t run so fast during my easy runs πŸ™‚

Moments ago I also did the Bodyweight 500 workout once more. I think this will be the last time I will do it before the 4k time trial on Saturday. I wouldn’t want to spoil my performance with sore muscles. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find an indoor track to do the run, so hopefully it will have snowed some until then, making the surface a little more convenient.

Funny.. Just as I sit here and write it started to snow – Fortune smiles upon me πŸ™‚

Detailed Garmin data

Day 14, 2nd build up
75min easy and totally relaxed – time on feet

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 12.84 1:15:02 5:51 132 146 90

Longing to be unleashed

Anyone had any New year promises? I have promised myself to try not to overdo everything like I sometimes do – I swear, one very beautiful day my wife will go nuts on me πŸ˜€

One thing I really hope for during the coming year is that one charity running project me and my wife plan will become successful. I will tell more of that later…

Now to the running.

Yesterday I had a resting day. It was well appreciated since it had thawed on New years eve which made the thick layer of snow half melt. Then it froze again :(. So we can say I was grateful not to run yesterday.

However, today unfortunately, it was quite the same. I was supposed to do run in rolling hills which is for making the body recover better after uphill work. As it was the icy ground wanted me to kiss many times enough, so I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. Instead I ran on almost plain ground, which still made it hard enough without dancing quick step. To make the heart feel like it had hill-work I made short fartlek sessions followed by easy intervals until the heart rate was down to around 130 again.

One great thing was that I felt fully recovered now from the strength training earlier in the week. I even felt much stronger. When I speeded up during the run I felt that I wanted to do a lot more. It was like all the muscles in my upper body wanted to be unleashed in an explosion. Fantastic! I can only hope that it will feel similar during the 4k time trial later this month πŸ™‚

Detailed Garmin data

Day 13, 2nd build up
40 to 50min over rolling hills – work the hills

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 8.54 47:48 5:36 138 164 91

An appreciated change on New years eve

Today we celebrated New years eve here. I went running during the afternoon.

It was a nice run apart from the fact that I needed a pit stop in the woods (hope I didn’t scare any stroller off). That’s why my 3rd lap became so messed up as you can see from the detailed data in the link below. Don’t really know what I was doing with the watch then. Actually many of my evening runs gets interrupted in the same way. I don’t know exactly the reason why, but maybe it can be that my digestion has trouble dealing with all the whole food I stuff myself with.

Since I started running I have become obsessed with healthy food. So none of our carbohydrates at home are processed or white. I often bake our bread to keep it that way and even when making pancakes I put in a cup of rye flour just to keep it rich in fibres. Every morning the whole family eats oatmeal porridge and our children have reallly come to love it. Well, there’s a lot to say when it comes to foods, but I really believe in making the body work to process it. Just think on how long we’ve existed and how long there has been processed food. Which do you think our body is most adjusted to?

Anyway, I felt really recovered in the legs today. My back and pecs felt same as sore as yesterday, but my legs were full of energy. I didn’t feel like at 100% capacity, though. But better. A great improvement from yesterday that is.

In the evening I took the kids down to a field and shot some fireworks. They loved it πŸ˜€ A great end of a great year and hopefully a great start of a really giving year for my running progress. But most of all I hope everything will turn out in the best way possible at all fronts. But then again, who doesn’t?

Link to detailed Garmin data

Day 11, 2nd build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Min HR
1 1.74 8:01 4:37 157 167
2 0.343 1:49 5:48 147 159 141
3 1.82 8:46 4:49 160 165
4 0.331 2:00 6:05 147 163 141
5 1.66 8:07 4:53 160 167
6 0.304 1:51 6:06 147 160 142
7 1.62 7:59 4:56 160 174
8 0.320 2:00 6:14 152 165 144
9 1.6 8:00 5:00 163 172
10 0.320 1:59 6:12 153 162 147

How much in need of recovery can one possibly become?

Well, today it has been very obvious that I have sore muscles as an effect of my strength training yesterday. Mostly in the thighs and back. I didn’t think it would have such a big impact on my performance, but it did. I had a very hard time keeping the heart rate even below 140 on plain ground. And the pace speaks for itself. But said with my own words I don’t think my body, especially my legs have ever felt heavier. Like pulling around a couple of logs. And when it comes to my pace I think I was very close to running backwards :S

But I made it around and hopefully my efforts to keep it slow and low gave me some of the recover I’m apparently in very good need of πŸ™‚

If you want to see for yourself, have a look at my detailed Garmin data

Day 10, 2nd build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 9.71 1:00:18 6:13 138 152 90

Getting work done

After the run today I did the Bodyweight 500 workout just to build up some muscles for the coming season. I asked TheEd when I should start with it and he said now is fine. Last time I did it was in China some time in early November, which I felt today πŸ˜‰

I did it in over 26 minutes, while back then at around 21-22 minutes if I’m not mistaken. I also got really worn out from it, to be honest even felt a little sick in the stomach a couple of minutes afterwards.

For those who don’t know the Bodyweight 500 workout is mainly made up of strength core exercises which are done as fast as possible to also gain the cardio training effect. There are a lot of leg exercises in it which I believe can be good for running improvement.

It is made up by Craig Ballantyne who claims it to be similar to the 300 workout, famous of being one of the workouts the actors did to get in shape for the movie 300 – only that you are supposed to not need a lot of gear for the Bodyweight 500 workout. Read about it here

Bodyweight 500 workout

Today I did the 1 hour run with last 15 min at 65 %. It feels good to switch to a little higher pace. Makes me long for even higher paces later on πŸ™‚

Link to detailed Garmin data

Day 9, 2nd build up
1hr easy with last 15min of 1hr at 65% effort

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 7.93 45:01 5:41 132 143 90
2 3.49 17:41 5:04 152 160 91

“Run until your eyes bleed!”

I’ll start about my plans for the upcoming races. TheEd wants me to take a 4k time trial in the end of this build up period to see how fit I am and at what pace to go for at the 1 and 2k sessions in the sub program. That should be on Sunday 9th January. I really look forward to that, because I’m very curious about it myself. Last time I ran an exactly measured track was at Kretsloppet in September. After that I’ve only been running on treadmills and after my Garmin and I really don’t rely on neither of them when it comes to measuring distances :S

So.. I will have to find a nice indoor 200 m or 400 m track until then. I’m sure I will find one in Gothenburg.

Yesterday I had a resting day and today I did an ordinary 1 hour relaxed. I ran late in the evening and it was all quiet outside – and very cold! One funny thing was, when I got home and looked in the mirror I got the feeling that something looked a little strange about my looks. Then I noticed that my eye whites were all red. When looking closer I saw that there were plenty of fine veins visible everywhere in the eyes. Strange. It must be the cold weather, but I haven’t noticed it earlier ;D

Link to detailed Garmin data

Day 8, 2nd build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 10.81 1:00:44 5:37 131 148 91

Recent memories and thoughts about the near future

Today when I downloaded all our photos from our digital camera (Don’t know if you do the same, but we end up with an overpacked camera with not a single byte of memory left at the moment where you need it to be empty the most)

Christian Schmeikal after Midnattsloppet 100821, Gothenburg
Me after Midnattsloppet 100821, Gothenburg

I found a few pictures of me taken after Midnattsloppet 21 August this year in Gothenburg.It’s nice to look back at something with a smile, still pleased about the performance back then. Now, of course my aim is much higher than what I managed then, but then again, I didn’t have professional coaching to lead the way then either πŸ™‚

Recently I’ve been thinking about which races I should run next year. I know that me and the family most probably will move to China in around May. I’m about to sign up for 13 months of work there for the company I work for. Until then I really want to get through a couple of races to see what I’m able to achieve. I have a few in mind, which right now are:

  • Sun 20 March GΓΆteborgsVarvets seedningslopp … 10,55 km
  • Sun 27 March PremiΓ€rmilen 10,00 km
  • Sat 2 April Startmilen 10 km 10,00 km
  • Sat 30 April Lerumsloppet 10 km 10,00 km
  • Sat 7 May Springtime Mariestad 10,00 km

I’ve asked TheEd how he think I should plan for them – when I should start with the sub-program and so on. I’ve also asked him if the Bodyweight 500 strength training I did regularly during the autumn is beneficial for the running performance and if, when I should do it. Anyway, there’s a lot of good things to look forward to πŸ˜‰

I ran the 75 minutes run today. It was during mid day and it was really bright outside, so the snow almost made me snow blind.
Another thing I’ve been thinking more and more of is a technique detail. I’ve read that it’s better for both running economy and preventing injuries to have a midfoot step. I think I do. I’m not sure, but it feels most at the midfeet and almost nothing at the heel when I step down. Last year I read that most elite runners have a running cadence of around 90 strides independent on which speed they ran. To get to that, they adviced to try to take baby steps. Recently I’ve read that having a high cadence is beneficial for mid foot step since it forces you to step down underneath your body instead of forward it… Anyway, when I read it last year I thought I should give it a go, so I started to take smaller and smaller steps. It really felt great and I think that I still have that in some way to thank for my progress during the first year..

Link to detailed Garmin data

Day 6, 2nd build up
75min easy and totally relaxed – time on feet

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 13.52 1:15:13 5:34 133 148 90

Nice to be back on the road

When getting stuffed by all the Christmas food and sweeties and all the bad conscience as an effect of it, it feels really refreshing if not necessary to get back in the running mode.

Don’t get me wrong – I love all everything about the Swedish Christmas celebration, including all the food. But since I have been leading myself toward a somewhat healthy lifestyle of improvement in running among other things, I feel like very little can ruin it all. Of course it probably hasn’t got a that very big impact on my fitness, but it feels like every piece of chocolate adds at least one second to my pace/k πŸ™‚

Today was a hill running day. I have a hard time finding rolling hills, so I try to simulate it by finding slopes which I run upward and then down again πŸ™‚

If you’re interested in the detailed graphs of HR, pace etc. follow this link: Garmin Data

Day 5, 2nd build up
40 to 50min over rolling hills – work the hills

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 8.41 48.22 5:45 140 169 89

Days of self control and christmas all around

During the last three days I’ve followed TheEd’s advice about not running when sick. Even if it hasn’t been an awful cold and I could run without problem he thought it would be bad to risk it getting to something far more worse. And since it’s wintertime and I’m in a long build up period anyway it shouldn’t have a big impact on my fitness (hopefully).

So.. In a way I let my cold hold me back, differently than what I wrote in my earlier post. This is something I need to learn. If I hadn’t got the advice from TheEd I would kept going, which sometimes isn’t good. My experience with myself is that I most of the times can push myself very far and hard without suffering any consequences..

This has been a difficult test for me needing a lot of self control. The running has become like a poison that I need to feel that I’m going somewhere. One day off doesn’t matter much to me, two days is alright, but three took the edge of it all.. If I hadn’t been running today I would be climbing on the walls right now. πŸ˜‰

Tomorrow it’s christmas. I actually haven’t got any wishes about presents – doesn’t it sound grown up? Well, that’s an effect of having an income and be able to buy the things you want sooner or later. I just came up with one thing I want – another happy and fortunate year with my lovely family, being my beautiful wife and two wonderful daughters and, of course, a smooth delivery of our third child in the beginning of February πŸ™‚

Todays run went well.. Felt a little slow, but else it felt fine.

Day 3, build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 10.73 1:02:13 5:48 132 146 90