Day 3 Week 5 – Finding My Training Niche

6 miles easy + 4 x 20 sec strides, 63-68 degree

My legs have recovered from the Monday’s hill sprints.  They felt good for today’s 6 miles (9:30 pace) and the striders.  And tomorrow’s steady run will continue the aerobic strengthening workout.

Aerobic strengthening takes time.  The rate that I am increasing my running intensity is gradual and comfortable enough for me to run by feel and avoid injury.  I take my time to warm up, cool down, and feel every step in between.

Often people get impatient at this point of the build up.  They start to run too fast or long before their muscular structure is ready.  The result is all too predictable in injuries. And that sucks when it happens because the setback is more than physical.

Similarly, holding a training schedule sacred, mindless following the schedule just to check off the mileage or pace are common mistakes that have detrimental effects and negate the training benefits.   Being there. Done that. And no more.

How do you receive feedback? before or after the fact?

 

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Day 2 Week 5 – Net Neutrality Is About Fairness

6 mile easy recovery run, 67 – 69 degree

Nice and cool this morning for my recovery run.   It was an easy pace of 11 minute mile as my connective chain from lower back, buttocks, to my legs were all feeling the effect of the hill sprints the day before.

Net Neutrality is not only about keeping the internet accessible but also the equality of access.  It provides a leveled playing field for all and promotes innovation without preferential treatment.

But now the current administration and its hatchet-man, Ajit Pai, the FCC Chairman, a former Verizon lawyer, want to change all that.  This is bad news.  U.S. can’t afford to stall out on the net neutrality.  If anything, losing the Net Neutrality will create barriers to entry to the digital economy.

How do you feel about the Net Neutrality? 

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Day 1 Week 5 – Hill Sprints

6 miles including 6 x hill sprints (10 sec) w/walk down rest & 2 min rest

Today’s hill sprints was much improved as compared to last Monday.  I felt my legs’ explosive drives up the hill, engaging my short twitch muscles.  As a distance runner, I seldom fire up those muscles. So this was a good cross training.

Another benefit of the hill sprints was the opportunity to improve my running form.  I ran as fast as I could without worrying about over-striding.  Nevertheless, not wanting to over-do-it, I stopped after 6 sprints.

Even though the hill was about a mile from my house and my legs on the return trip felt only slightly tired, I sensed that I will sleep well tonight. And the true test will be tomorrow morning after I wake up.

When is enough enough?

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Week In Review – 23 Jul 2017

Total 39 miles this week.

It has been 4 weeks since I started my marathon training.  Most of the runs up to now have been at easy pace – easing into the higher running volume while building my aerobic threshold.

This week’s workout, however, increased intensity and introduced hill work and cutdown as transition into aerobic strengthening.  I also tried out my trail sandals for the long run and felt comfortable with them.

With the increase training load, recovery becomes even more key to maximizing the training benefit.  My appetite has grown, and I snack often to stave off the hungry feeling.  My sleep pattern has also improved, and I take naps as supplement.

All these changes are manifestations of the marathon training and will continue as my training progresses.  While familiar, they are once again evidences of my intention to commit to running a marathon.

Last, but not least, is my favorite topic of the big data and internet of things.  The digital economy will transform our life. Specifically, the quality of products and services and their impact to consumers.  Not everyone is taking advantage of it.  But the trend continues nevertheless.

Have a good week.

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Day 6 Week 4 – A New Beginning

11 easy miles, in sandals.

Tried out the thicker sandals on the C&O Canal Towpath today and the sandals handled well. These sandals have 10 mm soles, almost double the thickness from my previous pair.   I will be wearing them for the long runs.  Potentially, training in them for the Harrisburg marathon later this year.

Granted, I injured my foot during last year’s marathon wearing sandals.  So why sandals again?  Two reasons:  one, I believe in minimal shoes. They are better for my feet.  And two, I plan to avoid making the same mistake thru run by feel.  That is, instead relying on mileage, time, and other metrics, it will be my body telling me – if and when I am ready.

To others my marathon injury may seem a defeat,  but to me it is learning.  Learning to adapt. Be it the shoes, gears, or myself, I have the opportunity to apply my experience and improve my running at the Harrisburg marathon.  Today’s positive outcome is a great start.

How do you renew yourself?  What do you do for fun?

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Day 5 Week 4 – The Digital Economy

 

Rest Day, no running.

Using the internet as a global platform, digital economy was introduced less than two decades ago.  Now companies like Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook  are household names.  They represent the top 5 players in the digital economy according to the World Economic Forum.

The digital economy has taken the traditional business model to the next level.  Namely the speed of transaction brings about a more efficient system, up and down the supply chain. Whether it’s information, logistics, manufacturing or whatnot.  One can order a book from the Amazon and get it in 2 days (as a Prime member).  Completely cashless.

With such efficiency, one would think everyone is standing ready to leverage the digital economy.  However that is not the case.  The conversion from the traditional business model to the digital economy is paved with challenges.  As an example, in 2013 85% of the world’s transactions were still in cash according to the same World Economic Forum article.

For sure, the digital economy does not guarantee a digital planet.  At least not yet. Countries like UAE and Egypt while geographically close are on the opposite ends of this digital evolution. US, Germany and Japan while early adopters to the digital economy are on the borderline of stalling out.

What are your take on the digital economy?

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Day 4 Week 4 – Cutdown The Vanity

6 miles cutdown with 1 mile warm up & 1 mile cool down.

Just because I could does not mean I should.  Today’s cutdown workout was a good example of this saying.  It also reminded me the difference between being fit and being healthy.

My splits for the 6 mile cutdown were 8.35, 8.23, 8.14, 7.56, 8.23, 8.05. Clearly on the fifth mile, I made a decision to throttle back.

Had I not, my split would keep going down, and I would crash. Because the 7.56 pace was pushing my anaerobic threshold, and I did not want let the speed monster taking over my base run phase.

Running faster would have given me the euphoria of fitness. But my health is more important.  Besides, for marathoners it’s not the speed but the pace over the 26.2 miles that matters.

The cutdown workout and hill sprints (Monday) are meant to increase my training intensity.   They are intro to speedwork which will come later, after I have built a healthy base.

When do you know to set boundary or hit the brake?

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Day 3 Week 4 – Intention Of Marathoners

8 miles easy + 4 strides, 74 – 78 degrees

Are marathoners gluts for punishment?  It may appear that way to the bystanders but if you ask the marathoners themselves, I bet you will get a different answer.

In fact, each marathoner intends to achieve a goal with the 26.2 mile race.  May be simply completing the race or to qualify for the Boston marathon, whatever the goal, the intention is the same – self determination.

The task of running a marathon is well defined, specific, and objective.  And the finishing results are down to the seconds, age group ranking, etc.  Participating in a marathon entails physical, mental, emotional commitments, and more, all wrap in one.

How apropos, if self determination is what you are looking for.  Some choose to scale the Himalaya.  Same difference.  Set a goal and work diligently towards that goal.  I see marathon blogs where folks in different parts of the country or the world taking on this quest.

To that, I congratulate them.

What is your intention?

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Day 2 Week 4 – The Importance of Recovery

5 Miles easy, recovery run.

“Recovering from hard workouts is as, if not more, important than the actual workout itself.” ~ RunnersConnect.net

In fact, our fitness level diminishes through workout and  improves during recovery.

Sounds counter-intuitive?  But logically, workouts depletes our body energy supply, and hard workout breaks down our muscle fibers.  It is the recovery process that rebuilds and strengthens our body.

Three key components of the recovery process are fueling, resting, and stretching.

  • Fueling – proper nutrition not only replenish the calories that was depleted during the workout but also the nutrients that our body needs to repair and grow.
  • Resting – adequate sleep  provides the opportunity for the body to rebuild damaged muscle fibers.  Short changing our sleep is unfortunately common and deprives the body’s natural restorative process.
  • Stretching – targeted stretching like massage or yoga aids our body in removing waste byproducts from the the workout and expedites our body’s recovery.

What is your favorite recovery practice? 

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Day 1 Week 4 – Hill Work

 

7 miles easy w/ 4 hill  (20-30 sec)

Originally, today’s run was 3x hill sprints (i.e. at 95% effort for 10 seconds each with walk down & rest).   But they turned out more like hill runs than hill sprints .  Why?  No power.

When launched into the hill, I ran as hard as I could.  But after 10 seconds I realized there was no explosiveness in my legs like if they were coming out of starting blocks.  Instead, I extended the run just to give my legs a work out.

Don’t get me wrong, after four trips up the hill, my legs still got tired.  And with 3.3 miles on the return,  I was worried that I had to walk back.  Luckily, that was not necessary.  I will need to find a hill closer by, so I can try the explosive hill sprint again in the future runs.

How do you add power to your legs?

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