Day 2 Week 6 – Keeping It Fresh


5 mile easy recovery (10:00)

Switch up the distances from 6 miles back-to-back today and tomorrow to 5 miles and 7 miles respectively.  Variation is good.  Also with today’s shorter distance, I get to concentrate on on my running form and active recovery.

Monotony is one of the common complaints about distance running.  Repetitive arm & leg motions plus seemingly endless road can easily put anyone to sleep.  How to keep it fresh while running miles after miles is a challenge that all marathoners face.

One option is to run with a partner. But that option is often easier said than done. Different pace, schedule, and personality are obstacles, just to name a few.   Self help options include listening to music, book on tape, or whatever capture your attention.

For safety reason I don’t listen to audios.  I prefer to pay attention to somebody who is approaching me.  Thus switching title track is not an option for me.  To keep it fresh, I vary my routines, run by feel,  or focus on different techniques of running.

How do you keep it fresh?

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Day 1 Week 6 – Active Recovery?

8 miles easy pace + 6 x 10 sec hill sprints

Are rest & recovery synonymous?  Not exactly.  According to Elizabeth Millard, rest is passive and a subset of recovery.  Because recovery also includes active components such as sleep.

Yes, despite its look, sleep is a form of active recovery.  It provides “much-needed repair work within your body . . . because when you sleep, your body releases growth hormones and works on muscle regeneration.”  So don’t skimp on sleep.

Another example of active recovery is recovery run.  According to the, a recovery run can speed up body’s recovery process by flushing the waste products out of the fatigued muscles.  Hence the saying, run slow to run fast.

And a third example of active recovery is nutrition.  Foods with high glycemic index replenish body’s glycogen faster.  Here is a quick reference published by the Harvard Medical School on the glycemic index (as well as the glycemic load) for a listing of 100+ common foods.

What recovery works the best for you? 

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Week In Review – 30 Jul 2017

Total 40 miles this week.

As the month of July drawing to an end, a quarter of my 20 week marathon training is now complete.  My training thus far has been base running – building a base by increasing mileage.

Additionally, to keep my legs nimble, my training includes hill sprint, steady run, and stride. They not only help change of pace but also prepare me for the speed work later in the training.  And of course, there is my favorite exercise, yoga.

For marathoners, the base phase is the foundation and pre-requisite to running a marathon.  Yes, the base phase takes time and patience.  And there is no substitute nor short cut.  But investing in the base building is the secret ingredient to a successful marathon performance.

To me executing the training becomes easier if I know the why (the purpose).  Further, having purpose builds confidence in the training for me.  I adjust my training schedule weekly based on progress. No training is one size fits all.

Lastly, if you haven’t heard, an alert on the Net Neutrality which is under attack.  Let’s work to keep the internet open.

Have  a good week.

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Day 6 Week 5 – Don’t Worry, Part 2


14 miles, overcast, 67 degree

Part 1, here.

People worry.  Some more than others.  In truth, worrying is unproductive.  It robs our attention and energy away from the real important, the present moment.

Psychotherapist and author Andrea Wachter explains, “Worry makes your body feel as if the circumstance you are worried about is actually happening when in most cases it’s not.”  In other words, worry can wear you down.

Given our imagination can be super creative when it comes to worrying,  here is a suggestion – ask this question: can you do something about the matter?  If the answer is yes, act on the ones with the biggest payoff.  If the answer is no, let it (the worry) go.

Less worry means less stress and better quality of life.

Anything that is keeping you worried? And why?

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Day 5 Week 5 – Yoga

Rest/ Off day – no running.  Yoga today.

When it comes to yoga, many choices exist.  My favorite yogi is Adriene Mishler.  Her Youtube channel Yoga With Adriene is hugely popular, close to 2.5 million subscribers. But YWA, to me, does not come across commercial like.  In fact just the opposite.

I find yoga instructor makes a difference in how much I get out of the practice.  Adriene’s style fits me well.  Not only is she easy to follow but her instructions covers many of the yoga nuances that has benefited my learning and exercise.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Below is a review of the YWA by a fellow blogger and a certified yoga instructor herself, Elysha Lenkin. Enjoy.

# # #

If you’re someone who doesn’t do yoga because you think it’s not a real workout then this review of a yoga strengthening class is for you.

Source: Yoga Strengthening Class For Your Holistic Fitness Routine

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Day 4 Week 5 – What Am I Good At?

1 mile warm up, 6 mile steady ( 8:40), 1 mile cool down, overcast, 73 degree

I believe I am good at many things, but  . . . I can’t  to tell you any.  The act of such telling has always been hard for me.  It feels contrived and not me.   Perhaps it has something to do with how I was brought up.

But as anyone being in the workforce knows, if you don’t toot your own horn, you may not get dinner. It is real world and a competitive environment.  Consequently, we look to behaviors that are rewarded and emulate them.

We say things like attention to details, a quick study, tenacious drive, etc., whether they are us or not.  These kinds of behaviors make performance review an agonizing ritual that I endured until I retired.

But asking the question, what am I good at? not as evaluation but reflection, as self discovery, what do I yield?  Well, here is what I have been told that I am good at – Building Trust.  Specifically:

  • cares about the people working for me,
  • operates with integrity,
  • shares thought, feeling, and rationale so others understand my positions

What are you good at?

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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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