Monday, December 31, 2007

Running Tunes

One of my key pieces of running gear is my ipod Nano. I love music and I love listening to tunes while I run. The right mix can add additional juice to the batteries as well as keep your mind in the zone.

For many of my runs I listen to a awesome mix made specifically for runners called PodRunner.

What I really love is that the DJ (DJ Steve Boyett) does a mix that is usually about 40-60 minutes long and he keeps the mix at a steady beat. The length is good since my runs average 30-90 minutes.

Now what about the beat? Why is that important? Well, research (originally by the famed running coach Jack Daniels, yes love the name) shows that the optimal foot strikes per minute for a runner is 180-182 for the average runner. The great thing with PodRunner mixes is that each mix tells you the BPM (Beats Per Minute) so you can choose a mix that is suited to your running style and/or the intensity of your training session.

As for using BPM that are lower than 180-182, you may want to read up on the research by Jack Daniels in his book "Daniels Running Formulas" since he indicates that this number should stay the same no matter the intensity of the training the session. The length of stride being the indicator for how hard the training session should be.

1/2 Marathon Plan

I have worked out a training plan for a 1/2 Marathon which I will run in about 7 weeks on my Birthday.   I have been running for the past three months so this might be a bit of a short training plan for most.  I work out my training plans using the Smart Coach over at the Runner's World website, in case you are looking to setup a plan.

Here's the overview of the training plan:
  • Monday - Short Run
  • Tuesday - Rest or Cross Train
  • Wednesday - Speed Work/Tempo Training/Medium Run
  • Thursday - Rest or Cross Train
  • Friday - Rest or Cross Train
  • Saturday - Long Run
  • Sunday - Rest or Cross Train

Saturday, December 29, 2007

8 Weeks To A 1/2

Today was the first long run of my training regime for a 1/2 Marathon on my Birthday.  It was a nice day (4 degrees Celsius), a little windy, but a good day to run.

Even when it's a good day to run it doesn't mean the mind is always willing.  That when you have to just put the mind aside, put on your running clothes and get out there.  That was today.

After a nice warm coffee during the ride to my Father-in-law's house, my wife dropped me off on the side of the road just as we entered Grandpa's community.  Brrrr...cold.

Ok, turn on the tunes with my Nike+ ipod and start running.  Today's music is Led Zeppelin's newly remastered "Mothership," which provides a nice steady beat for a good run.

Couple minutes in and getting warmer.  One of the benefits from a new snowfall is that snow adds a little cushion (if you don't mind the little slipping with each step).  Thankfully there was only about 4 centimeters on the ground, so my shoes are not getting wet.

53 minutes later and I've completed my first 10k in a few months.

By the way, you can follow along with my past 5 runs with the Nike+ applet to the right.  It may require you to download some plugins to work correctly.  Tell me what you think of the feature.

The Goal

It was a good year for running for me.  I completed my first 1/2 Marathon (21.3km=13.1mile) and ran about 500km in total.  That's the good part.

I did hit a slump after my 1/2 Marathon and pretty much didn't lace up the sneakers for about 3 months (July to September).   So the goal is to come up with something that keeps me on track with running for the entire year.  

The solution, 1000km in a year.  That's just a doubling of my 2007 milage for 2008.  2008 being a leap year, this works out to 2.733km/day in 2008 (hence the name of the blog).

Now, I don't expect to actually run each day since I will be training for at least one 1/2 Marathon, amongst other goals that come up.  But at only 19.31km per week this should be very doable with my current running regime.

Let's see how the journey goes.