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Date: Monday, 06 Oct 2014 13:46

After last week’s step back week, this was a build week. It included the first 20 mile (of 6, 20 miles or longer) run between now and April. I have another in two weeks and then the week after that is Santa Clarita Marathon, the second training race on the way to Leona Divide, Bulldog 25k was the first back in August.

This is how it all fell into place;

  • Monday. 5.55 miles recovery, nice and easy on the treadmill.
  • Tuesday. off. Yup check!
  • Wednesday. 10 miles. Nice long midweek run, I was out the door by 5:30 and back before 7am. Needless to say very happy to have clicked this off at just over a 8:00 pace.

image

  • Thursday. 5.76 miles. Nice and easy on the treadmill.
  • Friday. 8.13 miles at race pace (8:35), more on my goal in another post.
  • Saturday. off. That was easy!
  • Sunday. Forecast was for crazy hot temperatures and so I was on the road by 5:45am! I made a point of getting up early and having breakfast, a cup of tea and let nature take it’s course and that set me up for a solid run. Goal was to average race pace for the run. While the terrain is rolling and there are couple of tasty hills at the beginning and towards the end. I hit it square on! Becca came out to cheer me on in the last mile and that helped with a strong finish. Missing the heat of sun made the run very doable and compared to a couple of long runs ago this was very manageable! A telling sign is how I feel later and while I was a bit tired I think this was more a function of the alarm clock of than the run.

image

A couple of doozy hills; Mile 2-3 and 16-18.

image

Very happy with the consistency of the splits for the middle miles.

IMG_0711 IMG_0712

Sunrise and long shadows!

So the week’s totals;

5 runs, 7:02:16 and 50.15 miles in the bank! This week sees a difference with the long run being split over a back-to-back days so recovery will be important!

Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Santa Clarita Marathon, Training Plan"
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Date: Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 13:20

You might think that Ultra Running is a fairly new endeavor but In fact it’s been around for a long, long time. One of the earliest versions was the Trans-American Footrace or as dubbed by the press “The Bunion Derby. The Bunion Derby was conceived and planned by CC Pyle a somewhat flamboyant and flashy sports promoter who had organized the inaugural race the year prior form Los Angeles to New York. A year later, in 1929, the second and final running took place over the reversed route from New York to Los Angeles. This book focuses on the second year of the race 1929 and specifically on Johnny Salo and his competition to the finish line with Englishman Pietro `Peter' Gavuzzi.

The book is well written and engaging and does a great job of describing the day to day activities of the runners and the travelling caravan and convoy that moved from town to town supporting them. In addition there is a great deal of detail capturing the overall feel of the times. 1929 was the year prior to the Great Depression. The Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked at 381.17 in September a height it would not reach again until November 1954 as the country toppled over the precipice of change when Wall Street crashed in October that year. Underfunded from the start Pyle was reliant on towns paying for him to “come through” so he sell tickets to the traveling vaudeville company which contained dancing girls and minstrels. Ticket sales funded the day to day operations of the race.

It’s hard to imagine that this is 85 years ago but the difference between then are now is staggering. The challenges that face long distance runners today are multiplied over and over again. Gu and Gatorade are replaced with Coffee Mate and cold steak. Lycra clothing with wool and flannel and your favorite pair of runners with leather soled shoes and long socks! The race started in March and completed in June, this left the runners running through a wet spring in the East Coast and running through the early summer heat of the West. Without giving the game away, although the result is listed below, the race leaders changed often and it was a race of both speed and strategy. The final day was a marathon race in Los Angeles to determine the winner!

Rather the go into massive descriptive detail here’s a short video with some great coverage from Pathe News, unfortunately there is no audio but you get a real sense of what the times were like

Overall I really enjoyed the book, it’s well written and the pace of it makes you want to turn the page. Unfortunately it’s taken me some time to finish it as life, work, kids, training and all that good stuff have generally y got in the way!

Available on Amazon and other good outlets it’s one you should add to your reading list.

Other praise for this book;

"Charles Kastner is an expert without peer on the great bunion derby races across America. No one knows more about their rich history and these men, who ran extraordinary distances under uniquely trying circumstances. Kastner's book is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of athletes who not only transcended the boundaries of human endurance but remain mentors for all of us who want to achieve more in our lives." —Marshall Ulrich, Extreme endurance athlete and author of "Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner's Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America

"This book reveals how C. C. Pyle and so many others who are part of our strong national ultramarathoning history persevered in such challenging times! Wonderfully inspiring."—Gary Theriault, ultramarathoner and ten-time Kona Ironman triathlon finisher

"It reads like a tale of shipwreck survivors adrift at sea. Yet these men could end their suffering at any time. They chose not to because they saw a better future, a chance to deepen their human experience, or both at the finish line. Kastner’s commitment to accurate historical documentation combined with gripping personal accounts of the race make for a compelling and motivating story."—Kevin Patrick, Washington, DC, reporter and ultramarathoner

A film was made about the 1928 race, here is the trailer, you can watch it for free here, below is the trailer;

Additionally there is a really good talking-book which is based on the TransAmerican Footrace available here

<Spoiler alert> Finnish-born Johnny Salo (1893-1931) was the winner in 1929 in 79 days, from 31 March to 17 June. His elapsed time of 525 hr 57 min 20 sec (averaging 11.12 km/h (6.91mph)), that’s a 8:40 pace in case you were doing the math in your head. It left him only 2 min 47 sec ahead of Englishman Pietro `Peter' Gavuzzi (1905-81). Told you it was close!

This book was provided free of charge by the author’s Publicist. See previous gear reviews in the tab above. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at quadrathon@gmail.com.

Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Book, Review"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 17:22

Today is a rest day so I can write this up with the risk of the numbers changing.

What can I say it’s all about the run, run and run.

  • 21 workouts, 26:22:59 for 170.50 miles. There is one more run not showing on the graph below which was yesterday, the first run of Week 10
  • Run, well see above basically. Compared to last month that’s 2 less runs and 8.49 miles more
  • Bike zip!
  • Anything else…nope nada!

As I am monitoring the terrain training this is how it’s shaping up.

image As you can see overall a drop in trail running, this is really a function of life more than anything, as you can see Week 7 is over 50% treadmill, that’s just the way it is some weeks. I have a 20 miler coming up this weekend which is the first of many and the following week is the Pt Mugu 18k race, I will have to tack on some extra miles to keep to the plan and it’s only a tune up race, the Marathon is 5 weeks away.

Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Training Plan"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 19:29

This week was a step back. It’s pretty standard practice to build for 2 – 3 weeks and then step back to rest and capitalize on the gains. It’s come on the back on a solid three weeks of 40+ miles each and also coinciding with a pretty busy and stressful week at work so it was well timed;

So this is how it shook out;

  • Monday. 5 miles Recovery. I decided to have some fun in my neighborhood

image Round and round and round…

  • Tuesday. Off, check
  • Wednesday. Oops missed.
  • Thursday. 6 miles. Ran my local 6 mile out and back on a teeny tiny single track trail. It was much harder than it needed to be, reflective of bad week at work and not such a clever diet

image

IMG_0384 Playing with Google Photo Sphere, click on image for link…it’s pretty cool!

  • Friday. 4 miles. Fudged up the first mile with my Garmin and then just muddled through the last 3 miles…really blargh!
  • Saturday. 6 miles. Another run on the treadmill, actually felt good for this one and felt that my mojo was coming back
  • Sunday. 14 miles. After a tough trail run during the week I knocked these out on a local trail. I followed my nose and made up a nice loop with a fair bit (2720’) of climbing

image IMG_0463 And that was the week. Back on chain gang next week. Pt Mugu race in 2 weeks and Santa Clarita Marathon in 5 weeks!

Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Santa Clarita Marathon, Trail running, T..."
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 19:19
I came across and it made it me laugh...
Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Fun Stuff"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 19:14

This week was basically a rinse and repeat of last week although it cooled off some so I managed to avoid the treadmill with the exception of one day!

  • Monday. 6 miles Recovery
  • Tuesday. off
  • Wednesday. 7 miles. Nice and Easy
  • Thursday. 5 miles. Pyramid run, a couple in the high 7s
  • Friday. 7 miles on the Treadmill, nice Tempo run and back into the mid 7s
  • Saturday. off
  • Sunday. Same route as last week, managed to get out 30 minutes early and it was cloudy! So much better!

 IMG_0305 IMG_0373

Next week is a rest week…phew need it!

Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Santa Clarita Marathon, Training Plan"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 18:54

Another build week. Just racking up the miles. This week the temperature went up a notch, the week got warmer and warmer as we got closer to the weekend! Additionally it was just one of those weeks from work when all you can do is fit stuff in around it, as a result 4 out of 5 runs were on the treadmill!

  • Monday 5 miles. Recovery, nice and easy
  • Tuesday off!
  • Wednesday 7.66 miles on the ‘mill. Started off easy and then picked it up and eased off at the end
  • Thursday 5.6 miles. Hill-work on the treadmill. I used one of the built in workouts and managed 1700’ of gain! The weather was freaky and I was hoping that the rain would last…it didn’t!

 image IMG_0263

  • Friday Pushed today’s run over to Saturday
  • Saturday 7 miles easy
  • Sunday 18 miles. Was good through M14 then got hit with the heat and probably a bit underfueled. I was very happy to have finished my run by around 10:30am…it got crazy in the afternoon!

IMG_0293 IMG_0305 IMG_0308

Onward to Week 7

Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Santa Clarita Marathon, Training Plan"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 18:12
A bit of backfill as the blog has been somewhat neglected this month;

  • Monday. 6 miles Recovery. Took Becca out on my local trail…I think she had fun?
      image
    • Tuesday. Rest
    • Wednesday. 7 miles. Nice and steady mid Tempo run.
    • Thursday. 5 miles. Quicker and shorter Tempo run, happy to click of miles in the mid 7s
    • Friday. Missed it and pushed to Saturday
    • Saturday. 7 miles. Very easy.
    • Sunday. 16.33 Miles Pt Mugu recon run. Lots of hills and lots of climbing. Got pooped out around mile 13/14 but pushed through to the end.
    • imageIMG_0220 image IMG_0166

      Much the same next week…let’s get this done!

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)"
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      Date: Friday, 26 Sep 2014 11:06
      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Bike"
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      Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 14:15
      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Fun Stuff, Video"
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      Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 13:17

      Summer is drawing to a close, at least from a calendar point of view, there is no break in the weather around here although all things being equal we have had a pretty mild summer! Not surprisingly August became a run focused month with my training for Santa Clarita Marathon, starting on August 4. So the tally for the month went like this;

      • 24 workouts in 28:02:27 for 180.61 miles
      • Run 23 workouts 27:02:28, 161.99 miles…yes, there is no rounding up!
      • Bike 1 workout 59:59, 18.62 miles

      Obviously a significant bump in run miles, my previous biggest month this year was 91 miles so I am getting close to doubling it…yeah about that 10% rule!

      In terms of the terrain for the month it broke down as follows;

      • Road; 75.22 (46%)
      • Treadmill; 18.82 (12%)
      • Trail; 67.81 (42%)

      image

      Trail mileage in terms or a percentage was a less than I hoped for, I was really trying to stay above 50% . That being said I did have a great race at the Bulldog 25k. Week 1 was actually pre training plan which skews the numbers a bit but trail miles are trail miles!

      September is really more of the same, three weeks of build and a step back week and the totals should be something similar to August.

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Training Plan"
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      Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 12:43

      This week was a step back. It’s pretty standard practice to build for 2 – 3 weeks and then step back to rest and capitalize on the gains. The fact that it coincided with the kids going back to school and my Birthday was also a bonus and having the extra time during the week was nice.

      So this is how it shook out;

      • Monday. Off. With the Bulldog 25k on Saturday my Back to Back run was on Sunday
      • Tuesday. 5 miles. Ran this as a pyramid. I am enjoying throwing in some simple speedwork like this and getting my splits into the early 7s is very rewarding
      • Wednesday. 3 miles. Easy run on the Treadmill, I ran one of the built in runs. The first 15 minutes were uphill and the second 15 minutes downhill.
      • Thursday. 5.4 miles. Another Pyramid, this time I was a bit more accurate than Tuesday’s run with the coming down splits!
      • Friday. 3 miles. Easy run on the Treadmill
      • Saturday. Off!
      • Sunday. 14 miles. Knocked these out on the road as my next big race is actually a road marathon so getting some solid black-top miles is good for the legs. Also broke out a new pair of Kinvara 5s without any problems, my old ones had 240 miles on them, not bad seeing as I had predicted a life of 250 miles!
      image image
      Tuesday Thursday

      So no Trail miles this week, the split between the Road and Treadmill was;

      • Road; 24.42 (78%)
      • Trail; 6.80 (22%)

      image image

      Back on the trails this week, I am hoping to get a chance to get out onto the Xterra Pt Mugu course which is 6 weeks away. This coming weekend’s long run is up to 16 so my mileage will be back in the early 40s.

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Santa Clarita Marathon, Training Plan"
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      Date: Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 18:33

      Kit usually can be categorized into two buckets; stuff you wear (shoes, clothing etc) and stuff you use (water bottles, GPS etc). There are, however, some things that fall into the very thin gray area in between, headphones…to be more specific ear-buds are one of those items. Clearly it’s a thing you use but you need it to fit your body otherwise all end of problems can arise!

      IMG_9430 The folks at Yurbuds hit me up to see if I wanted to try out a pair of Inspire Pro in-the-ear headphones. Becca is a huge fan and has been using them since she picked up a pair at the Portland Marathon in 2011Ironman and they have certainly been round the block a few time which speaks to their robustness. The other nice things is that they come with a bag, I love products that come with something to keep them in. The Ironman branding is pretty standard as they are an Ironman event Sponsor, not to be confused with long course non-Ironman triathlons. Basically there are three main features;

      1. The newer versions are fitted with a built in mic which allows you to not only control the volume of the speakers but also allows you to use Siri or other voice control features. The inline mic is also water/sweat proof which is crucial if like me you tend to keep you cables inside your shirt.
      2. The other key feature to note is that the Yurbuds have is “TwistLock”, this is a feature that is designed to embed them speaker into your ear and not let them fall out when exercising, clearly this would be a pain.
      3. Finally the other feature is sound quality, it’s no good having all these bells and whistles when the sound quality is poor. I am obviously not equipped with a laboratory to measure decibels, overall sound quality and the like and so it’s subjective and really based on my, well, ears!

      So in reverse order here are my thoughts;

      1. I have worn these for the last three months while running and cycling. My listening range varies from talking books to Podcasts to streaming Artic Monkeys from Spotify. The sound quality is great, bass is nice and deep, mid-tones clear and high notes are crisp.
      2. I have had to take an occasional phone call and no doubt that the inline control is easy to use. Using the Siri feature I have also been able to make a call or two when required just by asking. One thing I would say about the mic is that it’s a bit bulky, is significantly larger than your typical Apple product although some of this is due to the “ruggedizing” of it. The bulk also adds some weight so there is a little tug on your ears, more so on the run than when on the bike.
      3. Finally the fit. There is no doubting that they do not fall out, the TwistLock feature works and to be honest it works almost too well, these thing are in your ears and in there good and proper. They came with two sizes of silicon covers #5 and #7 I have really tried to make the 5s work but they are just too tight for me, finally this week I reached out to Yurbuds to get a smaller set but I am waiting to hear back (no pun intended). I don’t think I have teeny ears, quite the opposite in fact, but I just find them a bit uncomfortable. I am hoping that a smaller size will work, if not I know that Becca has her eyes on them for sure!

      Here are some photos, the final one compares them to your standard Apple headphone and my other headphone of choice Sony’s now discontinued and hard to find MDRED12LP Headphones.

      image    image IMG_9433

      Available online or through multiple brick based retailers these will set you back $59.99 a pair, given the features that’s not a bad price although a smaller mic would be nice and hopefully I can resolve the Silicon cover issue. I’ll update about smaller covers when I get a response.

      These headphones were provided free of charge by the good folks at Yurbuds. See previous gear reviews in the tab above. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at quadrathon@gmail.com.

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Music to my ears, Review"
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      Date: Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 11:12

      This was a big week, last build week before Week 4 which is a step back, it was skewed as it actually was 6 runs when normally I would have 5. That being said I am not having any issues from the volume and hopefully it will remain that way. This is how is broke down.

      • Monday. 5 miles Recovery. Nice and easy around a local loop.
      • Tuesday. Off.
      • Wednesday. 7 miles easy. Should have been 6 but rounded the time up to an hour and hit 7 in total.
      • Thursday. 6 miles easy. Nice and chatty with Becca at 5am.
      • Friday. 5 mile pyramid. Happy with this, was working for sure but pleased to see a low 7 minute mile, see the data below.
      • Saturday. Off.
      • Sunday. Bulldog 25k Race.

      image

      Totals 6 runs, 6:55:19, 43:11 miles

      • Road; 28.26 (65%)
      • Trail; 14.85 (35%0

      With a down week this week it looks like this month I should tap out just over 160 miles, so far so good. I’ll be springing for a new pair of shoe as my Knivara 5s will blow throw 250 miles and they’re feeling a bit flat. This week’s long run will be on the road so that should just about kill them.

      IMG_9956 IMG_9958

      In other news this month I hit 120 posts for the year so 2014 becomes the 4th blogiest year since this blog started in 2007!

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Santa Clarita Marathon, Trail running, T..."
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      Date: Monday, 25 Aug 2014 16:27

      This race wasn’t on my original revised race calendar that I posted back mid-July. I think I saw a post on Facebook that reminded me about it and I didn’t sign up for it until I ran the course (kinda…I missed the last 3 miles) at the beginning of the month as a “dry run”. Since then I had been following my training plan and getting in some solid trail miles but however you slice or dice it my run base was a little thin as noted in the post about it. Given that my expectations were pretty low and I thought that my finish time would be anywhere between 3-3:30 hours. While the trail would remain that same much of the time added could be a factor of the weather. That being said it was a training race, somewhere I could get my long run under my belt and have some fun.

      Without any hoopla. I arrived picked up my number, said hi to a few friends, listened to the brief and was off.

      The weather was clear but not too hot and my strategy was to get to the top of the main climb, within reason, as quickly as I could. From there keep a steady pace along the top and downhill saving a little for the last climb. After the first 3 miles that ran mostly along the canyon floor the climb starts proper and the tried and tested method of “purposefully walking” set in. I passed some people and few people passed me. Mostly I was with the same group of folks and we seemed to be an “unspoken pace group”. I am not a chatty runner, beyond your typical “good job” I don’t tend to strike up conversations with people. I blew past AS1, wearing my Wasp pack meant I was pretty much self-sufficient for the day. Around the hour mark I sucked down a Gu gel. At the top of the climb (almost Castro Peak) the main descent led down to AS2. I had to stop a couple of times during this to simply to wipe the sweat and sunscreen from my eyes. Ever thinning top cover requires a pretty liberal smearing of SPF50 on my head and of course that combined with sweat resulted in an look from my eyes that I had been chopping onions for the last hour!

      image

      A couple of cups of water rinsed most of it away and I was on my way for the second half of the race. It’s not quite true to say that the second half of the race is downhill. You roll along the summit ridge before dropping down back towards the canyon floor. The downhill is not easy running, it’s steep! Steep can mean a good place to fall and it can be somewhat punishing on your quads. With that in mind I took it reasonably easy going down. It takes a fair amount of time building up to a point where you can fly downhill. A couple of people flew past me only to be picked up again once we got to the bottom. On the way down I chewed up a bag of PowerBar chews around the 2 hour mark.

      At the bottom there was some zig-zagging and I was at AS3, a cup of water was all I wanted with a fist bump from the every cheering Jimmy Dean Freeman I was on my way for the last climb. Before I started the uphill I stopped and sat on a log to get a stone out my shoe. Experience has taught me early intervention is best? I ran walked…mostly walked up the last hill and then ran the rest of the way down the other side. The trail spits you out onto a road which you follow back towards the check in area and finish line.

      With that a slight pickup of pace…actually I was trying to catch the woman in front. So with my nose streaming the last remnants of a 48 hour bug from earlier the week I crossed the finish line, took my medal and flopped onto a chair to catch my breath.

      I was aware from the halfway point that I was in good shape for a PR, the last time I ran this race was in 2008 and I finished in 2:55:13. This year 2:43:03! AG 15/56 and OA 69/297. Needless to say I am happy. Charitable conditions certainly helped but running a sensible race and following my strategy made the biggest difference.

      I didn’t stop for any photos along the way although I got this rather good one after I sat down. I call it Headsweat!”

      image image

      Oh in case you’re wondering why it’s a 2011 Tshirt, there was a SNAFU with the printer, 2014 shirts are on their way!

      This is a great local event, it’s well planned and is now in it’s 23rd year. The Race Director is renown for running a tight ship and puts together a top notch event. While not the easiest of races it has a generous cutoff time to allow for the elevation and season. It takes an army of volunteers to put on any race and a trail race adds complexity to that but yet there was no shortage of people there to help!

      Up next, well in 7 weeks, is the Xterra Pt Mugu 18k

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Race Report, Trail running"
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      Date: Friday, 22 Aug 2014 17:32
      Got this funny Info-Graphic from Pro-Form, how to not run a marathon. How many of these mistake have you made...I know I am guilty of a few!
      Proform - How not to run a marathon infographic

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Fun Stuff"
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      Date: Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 14:53

      You are invited to join Clif’s Facebook chat Monday, August 25 at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT hosted by triathlon elites Linsey Corbin and Timothy O’Donnell

      Linsey and Timothy will answer any and all questions related to triathlons, running, cycling and swimming (from first-timers to seasoned veterans). Ask questions and win prizes, including a CLIF SHOT Toolkit packed with SHOT products and gear for training and race day. Anyone who posts a question during the chat will have a chance to win a Toolkit as well as gain valuable information from these triathletes.

      Save the Date and start thinking about the questions you would like to ask.

      image

      These are a lot of fun and there is always some valuable information to be had…and doesn’t need an excuse to spend some time on Facebook!

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Triathlon"
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      Date: Monday, 18 Aug 2014 15:54

      Check! While not to diminish Marathon training, it is by comparison to triathlon training, well a bit of a doddle! Becca will hate me for this, I get reminded many times a week how jealous she is of my training as she battles to keep balanced and coming back from her bike crash in preparation for Ironman Arizona. Gone (for me) is the struggle of pool times, car drivers when cycling and the general faff (faph?) of kit. So with that said my week shook out like this:

      • Monday. 6 miles Recovery. Nice and easy on the Treadmill. The joy of the treadmill is consistency, and these splits just reinforced that; 8:12, 8:12, 8:11,8:08, 8:05 and 8:09
      • Tuesday. Should have been off, but went out with Becca for a nice 6 miler.
      • Wednesday. Tuesday’s off day
      • Thursday. Back on my local trail 6 mile run. With a rest day the day before I had a spring in my step and was able to run the entire circuit, including the 40% incline!
      • Friday. 5 miles nice, steady in the afternoon heat. Was aiming for a 8:30 average, came in at 8:31
      • Saturday. Off.

      Sunday. Hot and hilly 14.5 miles on the Backbone Trail. I need to get my ass in gear earlier on the weekend to avoid running in the midday sun. I know it was going to be hot and paced myself accordingly. I still ran out of water with a couple of miles to go. A fair bit of walking for sure! Very happy to have an “at-home” massage booked for later in the day!

      So the weekly numbers tally up as so; 5 run, 6:42:23 and 38.11 miles. 4734’ of gain 

      • Road: 11.52 (30%)
      • T’mill: 6.1 (16%)
      • Trail: 20.51 (54%)

      Happy to keep the trail running to >50% although it’s been pointed out that I should do some long runs on the road.

      Here are the best of the photo stops from the weekend;

      IMG_9784IMG_9821IMG_9844 IMG_9842    IMG_9823 IMG_9837IMG_9834 IMG_9849   IMG_9848 IMG_9824

      Onwards to Week 3. Bulldog 25km on Saturday and cold coming on…perfect timing!

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Backbone Trail, Trail running, Training ..."
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      Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 14:02

      I have been writing a blog long enough that I can dig through some of my posts and pull out a post for a “throw back Thursday”. Additionally I have reviewed a ton of stuff during this time and while some things wear out or are versioned and retired (clothes and shoes) or were a bust and are never used again (EnergyBits) Others just keep going and are used over and over (ProWash). With that in mind I was drawn back to something I had used a lot of in the past and had just forgotten about; RecoverEase!

      So rather than rewrite here is the post I posted in July 2008…over 6 years ago! As a disclaimer, back then I applied for some free samples. This time around I purchased them. Do they still work…yes they do!

      Note Where possible I have updated links from the original post as they were broken, this is the link to the original review. Also this post has a new photo.

      I first came across RECOVER-ease through therundown.net; pitched as used by Michelle Barton and Keira Henninger two Southern California ultra runners who are tearing up the local 50k and 50 mile trail races and Rob Cowan who had a monster 2007 race season completing 27 races of marathon distance or longer (in fact most were longer!). As well as the eternally attractive offer of "Free Samples",(Marcy!) I fired off a quick email. Within a week my freebies were delivered and I was good to go. I received from memory about forty tablets split into blisters of four.

      IMG_9744So first here’s the sciencey stuff. RecoverEase is a proprietary blend of L-glutamine, L-leucine, L-valine, L-isoleucine, papain,bromelain, beta-sitosterol and bioflavonoids, the serving size is 4 tablets and equals 2900mg. And here’s the marketing blurb: Accelerates tissue repair, Reduces muscle soreness, Reduces muscle breakdown, Improves hormone function. Also it contains no stimulants hormones or USOC/IOC/NCAA banned substances. Of course as a supplement none of this has been evaluated by the FDA.

      Here's the science pitch:

      BCAAs & Glutamine: The proper 3:1:1 patent-pending balance of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) with Glutamine (in a patent-pending research-proven 3:2 total AA ratio) benefits athletes by maintaining immune function and reducing URTIs (upper respiratory tract infections).

      Beta-sitosterol: Normalizes the ratio of cortisol (a stress hormone) with DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), to reduce muscle breakdown & accelerate connective tissue repair (muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage).

      Proteolytic Enzymes & Flavonoids:Reduce inflammation and oxidative free radical damage, resulting in less exercise-induced tissue damage, accelerated rates of tissue repair, and reduced post-exercise pain & stiffness.

      Ok so this is my translation based on some web research:

      • L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid it has for the last 10-15 years been associated with muscle growth and development
      • L-leucine is an essential amino acid which has been shown to slow the degradation of muscle tissue by increasing the synthesis of muscle proteins
      • L-Valine is considered critical to glucose metabolism, protein synthesis, and regulation of the immune system. It is needed for muscle metabolism and tissue repair
      • L-Isoleucine is important in hemoglobulin synthesis and in the regulation of blood sugar and energy levels. It also increases endurance.
      • Papain is a protein-cleaving enzyme derived from papaya and certain other plants, it has multiple uses but for our purposes it effect on inflammatory processes are the more pertinent
      • Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found naturally in the juice and stems of pineapples. Called a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain is believed to help with the digestion of protein
      • Beta-sitosterol appears to reduce cholesterol levels by blocking absorption of cholesterol, the purported benefits of Beta-sitosterol include boosting immunity and normalizing blood sugar, relieving inflammation, healing ulcers, enhancing uterine tone, and alleviating cramps. However, these health benefits of beta-sitosterol have not been substantiated by scientific evidence.
      • Bioflavonoids are a class of water-soluble plant pigments. While they are not considered essential, they do support health as anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic, and anti-viral agents

      Some other information: there are 8 essential amino acids + 14 non-essential amino acids that can be fabricated by the human body from the eight essential amino acids. From these 22 amino acids, being combined & arranged into varying specific chains, all amino acids are fabricated by the human body. Simplistically the distinction between essential and non-essential amino acids is that the human body can produce some amino acids from other amino acids. There are also conditionally essential amino acids that under certain conditions (hard exercise) that cannot be fabricated in sufficient quantities from other aminos. All essential amino acids may be obtained from plant sources.

      So if you read through the list of ingredients there is an emphasis on amino acids; good for muscle development and recovery, protein digestion, boosted immunity and anti inflammatory properties.

      My usage: I have slowly used up my free batch. I took 8 tablets after my century (read 88 miles) bike ride and the next day had zero aches and pains the same for several 50 mile bike rides. I have typically taken 4 tablets after long runs (which in fairness aren’t that long) ranging from 1015 miles and have had little or no soreness etc the next day, having said that I do make an effort to stretch before and after a run and have been giving my foam roller some summer lovin’.

      My conclusion: I have to say I am impressed, while there is no golden bullet for recovery; this seems to come pretty close, minimized soreness, aches and pains after long runs/rides is always a benefit allowing you to turnaround quickly and get out training again. Previously I was taking Recoverite from Hammer Nutrition which I think is a great product with the exception that its taste is really, well to be honest, not good, additionally there several other advantages of tablets; easy transportation, no need for refrigeration and quickness. I definitely recommend that you check them out, at a minimum to see if they are still sending out samples, to see if they will work for you.

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "#tbt, Recovery, Review"
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      Date: Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 14:42

      Week 1 in the bag, nothing much to report to be honest. It follows two weeks spent transitioning to a running based program. Wetsuits and bikes are now gathering dust in the closet which is more than can be said for my trail running shoes. Given that long term I am targeting an ultra in the Spring, (yes the Spring) , I am trying to get as many miles as I can on the trails along with elevation and decent!

      So this week broke down as follows

      • Monday; off. Sofa so good!
      • Tuesday; Road. 5 miles recovery…yeah that 7:56 pace, not so recovery!
      • Wednesday; Trail. 6 miles 1125’ gain. Nice local run which has 4 miles on a local ridge trail, yeah I wasn’t quite a STRAVAsshole but I pushed hard for the KOM and that’s fair, right?!
      • Thursday. Treadmill. 6 miles easy, my Garmin and TM miles always disagree so I tend to go a bit long on the ‘mill and it’s set to 2% incline
      • Friday. Road. 6 miles. Hot and slow, mad dogs and Englishman and all that, started around 4:30pm and had to stop several times to get my HR down!
      • Saturday; off. 2 rest days in a week…marathon training is easy! 
      • Sunday; Trail. 12.14 miles long and slow(ish) local trail with some solid climbing over a 3-4 miles, another 2293’ of gain in the bank

      Totals; 5 run, 5:41:37 and 35.25 miles. 4074’ of gain 

      • Road: 11.02 (31%)
      • T’mill: 6.01 (17%)
      • Trail: 18.15 (52%)

      I’ll be happy if I can keep the trails above 50% of the miles on a per week basis.

      Here are a couple of the best photos from the weekend;

      IMG_9689

      IMG_9675  IMG_9691 IMG_9692

      Week 2…coming up!

      Author: "Stuart (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Trail running, Training Plan"
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