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Fracking the system

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Post  Nick Morris Thu May 29, 2014 10:14 am

Pace bunny, huh? No wonder you were able to pick up so much in the second half. Looks like a pretty good run, though. How's the humidity?
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Post  nkrichards Thu May 29, 2014 1:04 pm

I haven't had a chance to stop in recently but it looks like you've been getting in some nice runs!  I'm especially impressed with you cadence improvement.  I wouldn't worry to much about the plateau you seem to have reached.  It may take some time for your body to adjust completely...that's a pretty big change.
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Post  ounce Thu May 29, 2014 2:08 pm

B
Nick Morris wrote:Pace bunny, huh?  No wonder you were able to pick up so much in the second half.  Looks like a pretty good run, though.  How's the humidity?
Yeah, twice it was a girl and once a guy.  Dewpoint was 65 degrees.
nkrichards wrote:I haven't had a chance to stop in recently but it looks like you've been getting in some nice runs!  I'm especially impressed with you cadence improvement.  I wouldn't worry to much about the plateau you seem to have reached.  It may take some time for your body to adjust completely...that's a pretty big change.
Plateauing could be a definite reason.  Maybe a long run needs to be a couple of steps slower, like 170.  I think 172 could be a good plateau, though, you know?  Ha!  3 rhymes.
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Post  ounce Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:22 pm

Friday's long run idea of 14 was fine, except my body had 4 on its mind.  Back on Saturday, May 24, I was closing the car door and needed a little extra umph to close it.  My body was already out of position, so I whipped my back around to give it the momentum to close and I felt a little twinge in the muscle between the ribs on the left side, below the scapula.  It was a dime sized pain area.  Last week's runs went fine.  But when I went to bed Thursday night, I couldn't get too comfortable all night.

I went to run and the afflicted area started whining, then it started crying, and at mile 4 it was screaming.  So, I stopped and walked by home.  At work, I had to push my back into the chair's seatback to give it a little support (a.k.a. no pain).  I took a Meloxicam 15 mg on Friday night through Sunday night.  The pain lessened on Sunday to the degree that I just might be able to run, this morning.

So, I went out with the intention of running 1 mile, then maybe more...5 tops, depending on the level of whining or direct pain.  I ended up running 6.66 miles.  No pain.  I even went wild and bumped up the cadence from 172 to 174.  I got the usual out of rhythm, but I was doing okay with it.  I looked down at my feet a bunch to see the stride.  One foot barely clears the other foot.  It's really strange to see.

Stats later.
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Post  Mark B Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:45 pm

ounce wrote:
Mark B wrote:Those times are looking pretty good, Ounce. I think you are making good progress. Don't worry about cadence, because that sort of thing can take time. Keep it up!

Yeah, going through the 160's was pretty straight forward, but going through the 170's are not as easy.  One wouldn't think that going from 171 to 172 would be that onerous.

It just occurred to me to ask: are you heel striking? Because if you are, it would be a lot more difficult to boost the cadence. Faster cadence tends to mean a more forefoot landing.
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Post  ounce Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:54 pm

Mark B wrote:
ounce wrote:
Mark B wrote:Those times are looking pretty good, Ounce. I think you are making good progress. Don't worry about cadence, because that sort of thing can take time. Keep it up!

Yeah, going through the 160's was pretty straight forward, but going through the 170's are not as easy.  One wouldn't think that going from 171 to 172 would be that onerous.

It just occurred to me to ask: are you heel striking? Because if you are, it would be a lot more difficult to boost the cadence. Faster cadence tends to mean a more forefoot landing.

An excellent question, sir.  I was taught to land more midfoot, specifically a 3 point landing on the ball of foot (lateral and medial edges...2 points of 3) and the forward most part of the heel bone (3rd point).  When I start getting tired or sloppy (lower cadence), I find that I'm hitting more towards the rear of the heel bone. 

As a reward, you get to do 200 calf raises!
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Post  ounce Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:34 am

So, this would be an 8 mile run, this morning, at 174 cadence.  It was 72 muggy degrees with the same dewpoint and no wind.  Last night, my back was a little whiny and this morning, too.  I would just go out there and see how it goes. 

As the run was going along, I decided that I was comfortable to stay at 174 for a month or two or longer.  After all, that's 87 strides per minute.  My heart is no longer being taxed, as the average HR was 137 or 68% of max.  My breathing is really not being taxed, either.  What takes some time is getting the legs used to the shorter turnover.  The legs are tiring from the turnover, not the distance.

From prior cadences, I know the legs will start to lengthen its strides, when they get comfortable with the turnover.  Gradually, my cadence of 174 on the metronome will be the Avg Run Cadence +/-1 and the stride will lengthen.  Speed will increase.  Comfort will come, HR will go down more, then speed will increase and HR will go up.

I signed up for the Houston Half Marathon on Oct 25.  I ran this race last year, too, but it was only 1 week removed from the start of the PT stuff for my calf issues and I ran it at a comfortable 13:28 pace, as not to disturb the grumpy calves.

I slowed as the run went along, today.  I think some of it was running 6.66 yesterday and the mugginess and, of course, the cadence.  But that will all sort itself out, as long as I stay healthy.  I am thinking of running tomorrow morning.

Stats later.
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Post  Nick Morris Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:47 pm

Nice, a race to work towards. Do you have goal for this half marathon or are you just running it for fun?
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Post  ounce Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:57 pm

Nick Morris wrote:Nice, a race to work towards.  Do you have goal for this half marathon or are you just running it for fun?

Hey, Nick.  Saying this nicely, ask me in September, when I have a better idea of how I have progressed.  My PR is from 2007 at 2:48:39 or around a 12:50 pace.  If training goes well, I should blow through that pretty easily.

Two weeks ago, I did 12 at a 12:26 pace, when it was 72 degrees.

I am also going to register for the 30K race in December.  My PR for that is 3:43:22, or a 11:54 pace, set last year.  (I'm writing this down so I won't have to search for it later  Smile )
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Post  Nick Morris Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:08 pm

ounce wrote:
Nick Morris wrote:Nice, a race to work towards.  Do you have goal for this half marathon or are you just running it for fun?

Hey, Nick.  Saying this nicely, ask me in September, when I have a better idea of how I have progressed.  My PR is from 2007 at 2:48:39 or around a 12:50 pace.  If training goes well, I should blow through that pretty easily.

Two weeks ago, I did 12 at a 12:26 pace, when it was 72 degrees.

I am also going to register for the 30K race in December.  My PR for that is 3:43:22, or a 11:54 pace, set last year.  (I'm writing this down so I won't have to search for it later  Smile )

So I guess it is safe to say that your goal is to make it to September healthy to make a race goal.
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Post  ounce Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:34 pm

Nick Morris wrote:
ounce wrote:
Nick Morris wrote:Nice, a race to work towards.  Do you have goal for this half marathon or are you just running it for fun?

Hey, Nick.  Saying this nicely, ask me in September, when I have a better idea of how I have progressed.  My PR is from 2007 at 2:48:39 or around a 12:50 pace.  If training goes well, I should blow through that pretty easily.

Two weeks ago, I did 12 at a 12:26 pace, when it was 72 degrees.

I am also going to register for the 30K race in December.  My PR for that is 3:43:22, or a 11:54 pace, set last year.  (I'm writing this down so I won't have to search for it later  Smile )

So I guess it is safe to say that your goal is to make it to September healthy to make a race goal.

Yes, healthy with a severe aerobic base.
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Post  Mark B Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:46 am

ounce wrote:
Nick Morris wrote:
ounce wrote:
Nick Morris wrote:Nice, a race to work towards.  Do you have goal for this half marathon or are you just running it for fun?

Hey, Nick.  Saying this nicely, ask me in September, when I have a better idea of how I have progressed.  My PR is from 2007 at 2:48:39 or around a 12:50 pace.  If training goes well, I should blow through that pretty easily.

Two weeks ago, I did 12 at a 12:26 pace, when it was 72 degrees.

I am also going to register for the 30K race in December.  My PR for that is 3:43:22, or a 11:54 pace, set last year.  (I'm writing this down so I won't have to search for it later  Smile )

So I guess it is safe to say that your goal is to make it to September healthy to make a race goal.

Yes, healthy with a severe aerobic base.

Healthy+severe aerobic base = Oz2 = Awesomeness
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Post  Nick Morris Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:00 am

Mark B wrote:

Healthy+severe aerobic base = Oz2 = Awesomeness

NICE!!!  Approval 
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Post  ounce Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:18 pm

Nick Morris wrote:
Mark B wrote:

Healthy+severe aerobic base = Oz2 = Awesomeness

NICE!!!  Approval 

Thanks, you two.  The plan is to work on 30-40 mile weeks at 174 cadence to get everybody happy, sprinkle in some speed, and get some extra mitochondria workers on board over the next 3 months.  The good Lord willing and the Creek don't rise ('Creek' refers to the Creek Indians).
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Post  ounce Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:07 am

This morning, it was 76 degrees with a dewpoint of 74.  I ran 8 miles again, the 3rd time this week.

I'm going to presume that my body is not used to running back to back 8's because my legs were not really all that motivated to do another 8, not to mention being able to do it at 174 spm.  Whereas yesterday's 8 mile run, I was able to hit 5 miles at 170-172 spm (Wednesday was a rest day), today I could only do 1.  Yesterday was a 13:20 pace and today was 13:59.  Mileage for the week was 31. 

So, I think there are a couple of reasons for the slower performance today:

  1. Muscles not fully adapted to 174 spm cadence, so the quick turnover is laborious.
  2. Cumulative effect of 31 miles and back to back 8's.
  3. Weather, but it's small factor.


My plan to correct for today's performance is to do the same running schedule again, next week.  Monday and Tuesday 8 miles each, Wednesday rest, Thursday and Friday 8 miles each.  I'm not hurting at all, indeed I ache less with a faster cadence than I did with my other cadence.  That's mostly because of the change in posture and being more stacked on my frame.  My hip sockets don't ache anymore.  All of my thigh muscles do get tired.  They've ordered manufacturing of mitochondria with a delivery over the next 6 weeks.

Staying the course.  As I endure more, my cadence should become closer to 174 across more miles and my times should decrease.  Then, I can lengthen my stride a bit at the same cadence and get still faster.  Diabolical!  Twisted Evil 

Stats later.  Thanks for stopping by and commenting.  Y'all have a good weekend.

8.01 miles, 1:51:53, 13:59 pace, 136 avg bpm, 148 max HR during mile 3, 163 avg spm

  1. 13:22, 135 bpm, 172 spm
  2. 13:41, 137 bpm, 168 spm
  3. 13:57, 137 bpm, 165 spm
  4. 13:39, 141 bpm, 166 spm
  5. 13:57, 136 bpm, 164 spm
  6. 14:30, 132 bpm, 155 spm
  7. 14:22, 133 bpm, 157 spm
  8. 14:22, 136 bpm, 157 spm


Last edited by ounce on Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Nick Morris Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:56 am

Coincidentally, that is how my legs felt earlier this week. I think that you are correct in your thoughts that your body has not adjusted to running back to back 8s, but that's why we train, right? To get our bodies accustom to the beating we give them while racing.

You have a great weekend, too!!!
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Post  ounce Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:52 am

I failed to write something about Thursday's 8 mile run.  It was 74 degrees with a dewpoint of 71.  I had rested Wednesday.  This was the first day of serious sweating, as in the insole lifting with my foot.  I don't think these Kinvaras will squish.

Since this was after a rest day, it showed, when you compare it to Friday's 8 mile run.

8.07 miles, 1:47:38, 13:20 pace, 146 bpm, 170 spm

  1. 13:06, 143 bpm, 172 spm
  2. 13:07, 146 bpm, 171 spm
  3. 13:15, 146 bpm, 170 spm
  4. 13:18, 148 bpm, 171 spm
  5. 13:31, 145 bpm, 171 spm
  6. 13:42, 145 bpm, 168 spm
  7. 13:39, 144 bpm, 168 spm
  8. 13:00, 147 bpm, 168 spm


Simply comparing the data, one could derive that a day's rest (or running 8 miles back to back) helped Thursday or hurt Friday, depending on from which direction you are looking.  And in this instance, simply comparing the data is accurate.
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Post  ounce Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:18 am

For the week ending June 7, I ran 31.87 miles.  Cadence goal and setting was 174 spm.  First week at 174.
June 2, 6.7 miles, 1:26:35, 12:55 pace, 141 avg bpm, 169 spm
June 3, 8.09 miles, 1:48:33, 13:25 pace, 137 avg bpm, 166 bpm
June 4, rest
June 5, 8.07 miles, 1:47:38, 13:20 pace, 146 avg bpm, 170 spm
June 6, 8.01 miles, 1:51:53, 13:59 pace, 136 avg bpm, 163 spm

Going to run 8-8-rest-8-8 at 174, next week.
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Post  ounce Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:26 am

This morning was the start of week 2 of two 8’s, rest, two more 8’s.  The purpose is to get my body comfortable at running 174 steps per minute, build some aerobic capacity until after Labor Day, when I start training for Houston, and to lose some weight.  Comfortably running 174 spm will result in faster paces, my heart and body will become more efficient, build up my upper quads, and will also allow me to increase the distances. 

It was 76 degrees, 74 degree dewpoint, with a 5-10 mph south wind at 3:30 a.m.  I had no afflictions at the time. 

8.03 miles, 1:42:57, 12:49 pace, 145 avg bpm, 158 max bpm during mile 6, 172 spm, 1st half pace 12:48, 2nd half pace 12:50
1.       12:50, 136 bpm, 173 spm
2.       12:37, 141 bpm, 172 spm
3.       12:45, 142 bpm, 173 spm
4.       12:44, 149 bpm, 173 spm
5.       12:49, 146 bpm, 172 spm
6.       13:13, 147 bpm, 171 spm
7.       12:44, 149 bpm, 172 spm
8.       12:50, 150 bpm, 172 spm 

I was quite pleased with the cadence, today.  I had two days of rest since Friday and I didn’t have much quad discomfort, as a result.  In order to describe where my upper quads tire, if have a pair of shorts or Dockers, put them on, then stick your hands in your front pockets all the way.  That area of the quad that is on the other side of the pocket from your palms is the area that tires.

Since I only ran 6.66 miles, last Monday, today’s run is not an apples to apples comparison to that run.  But when you compare it to last Thursday’s run, you get a Rome apple to a Yellow Delicious comparison, in that Thursday was done on 1 day’s rest (Wednesday) versus today’s 2 day rest.

I was pleased that I was faster, higher cadence, and a slightly lower average HR over last Thursday.  All 8 of the splits had a >170 cadence, when last Thursday it was just 5 splits.

Tomorrow, I’ll be able to compare a pretty exact comparison from last Tuesday to tomorrow.  Thanks for your time.
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Post  Nick Morris Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:42 am

Look at that consistent cadence! It looks like you are progressing well.
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Post  Mark B Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:49 am

Yup! I can definitely see improvement across the board. Paces, heart rate, cadence. Nicely done!

So the quad that tires out is on the inside of the leg, or outside? The pockets in my Dockers® may not line up with yours.
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Post  ounce Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:33 am

Nick Morris wrote:Look at that consistent cadence!  It looks like you are progressing well.
Thanks, Nick.  It takes a whole lot of concentration to keep in pace with the metronome.  I look forward to it being set enough that I can start listening to music again.
Mark B wrote:Yup! I can definitely see improvement across the board. Paces, heart rate, cadence. Nicely done!

So the quad that tires out is on the inside of the leg, or outside? The pockets in my Dockers® may not line up with yours.

Gracias.  Well, if you stand up and place your arms at your side with your hands comfortably flat aginst the sides of your legs, then move your hands 1 hands-width medially then slide your hand up by the length of your index finger, then those are the spots.

***
One thing I forgot to mention was at what point do I start increasing mileage?  Do I increase when the Friday run is at 173 (because I seem to come 1 step short on the average, meaning I run an average of 168 spm, when the metronome is set at 169) or do I increase the following Monday, when I hit 173 today?

Either could work (as long as Friday doesn't take forever  Smile ) because on Mondays and Tuesdays, I could work on lengthening my stride at the same 174 spm pace, while waiting for Friday to get on board.

But tomorrow will be interesting because I will have run today and I want to see how tired my legs might be.  If the delta is not too much, then I'll be faced with the decision from the previous paragraph in 2 weeks.  Nice problem.
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Post  Mark B Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:48 am

ounce wrote:
Nick Morris wrote:Look at that consistent cadence!  It looks like you are progressing well.
Thanks, Nick.  It takes a whole lot of concentration to keep in pace with the metronome.  I look forward to it being set enough that I can start listening to music again.
Mark B wrote:Yup! I can definitely see improvement across the board. Paces, heart rate, cadence. Nicely done!

So the quad that tires out is on the inside of the leg, or outside? The pockets in my Dockers® may not line up with yours.

Gracias.  Well, if you stand up and place your arms at your side with your hands comfortably flat aginst the sides of your legs, then move your hands 1 hands-width medially then slide your hand up by the length of your index finger, then those are the spots.

***
One thing I forgot to mention was at what point do I start increasing mileage?  Do I increase when the Friday run is at 173 (because I seem to come 1 step short on the average, meaning I run an average of 168 spm, when the metronome is set at 169) or do I increase the following Monday, when I hit 173 today?

Either could work (as long as Friday doesn't take forever  Smile ) because on Mondays and Tuesdays, I could work on lengthening my stride at the same 174 spm pace, while waiting for Friday to get on board.

But tomorrow will be interesting because I will have run today and I want to see how tired my legs might be.  If the delta is not too much, then I'll be faced with the decision from the previous paragraph in 2 weeks.  Nice problem.

Ah, those upper quads! Interesting that they're getting sore. If you're not doing it, I'd suggest doing some work on the 'ol gluteus maximus. If they're weak, the quads end up taking more of the load.

I think you could start gradually increasing the mileage now. I see the cadence as more a coordination and form thing than endurance, and you've made a good start on your base already.
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Post  Nick Morris Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:08 am

I agree with Mark, now is as good a time as any to start increasing the mileage to gain more endurance.
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Post  ounce Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:11 am

Mark B wrote:
ounce wrote:
Nick Morris wrote:Look at that consistent cadence!  It looks like you are progressing well.
Thanks, Nick.  It takes a whole lot of concentration to keep in pace with the metronome.  I look forward to it being set enough that I can start listening to music again.
Mark B wrote:Yup! I can definitely see improvement across the board. Paces, heart rate, cadence. Nicely done!

So the quad that tires out is on the inside of the leg, or outside? The pockets in my Dockers® may not line up with yours.

Gracias.  Well, if you stand up and place your arms at your side with your hands comfortably flat aginst the sides of your legs, then move your hands 1 hands-width medially then slide your hand up by the length of your index finger, then those are the spots.

***
One thing I forgot to mention was at what point do I start increasing mileage?  Do I increase when the Friday run is at 173 (because I seem to come 1 step short on the average, meaning I run an average of 168 spm, when the metronome is set at 169) or do I increase the following Monday, when I hit 173 today?

Either could work (as long as Friday doesn't take forever  Smile ) because on Mondays and Tuesdays, I could work on lengthening my stride at the same 174 spm pace, while waiting for Friday to get on board.

But tomorrow will be interesting because I will have run today and I want to see how tired my legs might be.  If the delta is not too much, then I'll be faced with the decision from the previous paragraph in 2 weeks.  Nice problem.

Ah, those upper quads! Interesting that they're getting sore. If you're not doing it, I'd suggest doing some work on the 'ol gluteus maximus. If they're weak, the quads end up taking more of the load.

I think you could start gradually increasing the mileage now. I see the cadence as more a coordination and form thing than endurance, and you've made a good start on your base already.

Yes, those upper quads.  I haven't done any lunges or step up/step down in 3 weeks, but that spot has always been the spot where new mitochondria need to be produced.  My stride is much shorter than before.  I estimate the heel of the leading foot is only 2 inches forward of the trailing foot when the leading foot's heel hits the ground (and with a 3 point landing, the whole foot lands about that time).  Garmin says that my average stride is around 0.7 meters.  Michele's stride averages around 1.0 meter (I looked on GarminConnect).

So, I'm really not surprised the upper quads are taking it like they are.
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