Tuesday, January 9, 2018

1/1 Fartlek Workout!

I am a huge fan of fartlek runs as after a long day at work I find them less stressful then typical track or tempo workouts. I find I don't stress about covering a certain distance as I just focus on listening to my body and running by feel. A lot of the time I actually get a better overall workout in then if I did a straight tempo or track workout. My favorite fartlek session is the 1/1 fartlek that is used regularly by a lot of the Kenyan training groups. Athletes like Eliud Kipchoge use this workout and he is known for doing 25-30 repeats of one minute fast/ one minute easy. A lot of the time he will average up to 12 miles during that hour of fartlek running. The most commonly used version of this workout for most runners is 20 repeats of one minute fast/ one minute easy. Although if you have never done this before I would recommend doing 10-15 repeats of  this. If you are a high mileage runner I feel you can do 20-30 repeats of this workout once you get used to it. It can be implemented into a training program for the 5k all the way up to the marathon. This will be a great workout both physically and mentally. 

The first time you do this workout do not worry about how fast you do the recovery jog. However, the more you do this workout try to run the recovery jog a little quicker each time. The goal should be eventually to get the recovery jog down to your normal training pace on your recovery runs. When I am able to do 25-30 repeats of this workout and average marathon pace then I know I am really fit and ready to go! So next time you have a scheduled workout on the  schedule give this workout a try and I promise you will get a great workout in!

Versions I typically do:
20 by min on min off
25-30 by min on min off ( Kipchoge favorite)
5-20 minute tempo/ 3 min jog/ 20 by min on min off
20 by min on min off + 20 by 30 seconds on 30 second off( Moses Mosop/Abel Kirui workout)

Any questions on this workout or if your interested in a training plan for a specific race shoot me a message at coachbrendon229@gmail.com . Thanks for ready and happy training!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Year in Review!

End of the year Reflection

2017 was a challenging year for me running wise. I had a lot of setbacks and obstacles that I had to overcome. I was having persistent heel pain from a Haglund’s deformity and insertional Achilles tendonitis pain from December 2016-May 2017. This injury caused me to miss 45 days of training during this time period. It was a constant struggle and nothing seemed to be working. The first doctor I went to told me it was the largest bone spur he has ever seen and that  I needed surgery to fix it. I wanted nothing to do with this as haglunds surgery can be a long recovery process and some people claim the achilles is never the same after that. I then went to  Michaud chiropractic in Newton as they specialize in running injuries. After a few months of going there they found weaknesses in my big toe and calf which  was causing the swelling and pain in the heel. So after two months of visits I was finally able to start running consistently again. It was at this time I decided to run the New York City Marathon.  I ended up placing 67th at NYC , which was not the time I was looking for but I was just grateful  to be healthy! Last winter I was not sure if I would ever be running competitively again at a major marathon so this was a gigantic victory for me.  This past year showed me that we should be grateful for every race we compete in and to not take them for granted. Even a bad race day is better then no race at all  so cherish all those races that you take part in!  I ended up running 4, 125 miles for the year which was a bit down from the past few years but it was my 7th straight year over 4,000 miles. 

As I look on to 2018 I have set some goals already. The first is to try to stay healthy and stay on top of my heel issue. As this is an injury that will flare up from time to time so I have to stay on  it and not skip the little things in the treatment plan of it. My main goal as of now is to have a strong showing at the Boston Marathon. I missed this race last year of injury and I really want to take a crack at a sub 230 again. My pr is 2:29:18 and my last few marathons have been in the 2:33-2:35 range so I would love to try to crack that 2:30 barrier one more time. I want to give the marathon one more good shot before I look for that new challenge! After Boston I have a goal of moving up to the ultra marathon distance during the summer or the fall . I have always had the desire to run an ultra and I feel like as I get older and find it harder to PR at the marathon distance that I want to test myself with a new challenge. 

Outside of my own running I have a goal of building my own coaching business. I currently coach a dozen athletes online but I would love to take this business to the next level. Coaching has brought me so much joy as seeing an athlete PR brings me so much joy. Running is such a big part of my life and making a career out of it would be a dream come true for me.  It would also be my way of giving back to the running community which has given me so much!

So if you have ever though of taking your running to the next level shoot me a message and I would love to help you achieve your goals! Good luck to everyone in 2018 as I hope you all achieve your running goals. 

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!
Coach Brendon

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Benefits of Having a Running Coach!

Benefits of a Running Coach

There are many training programs online for runners to follow. Programs like couch to 5k, 16 week half marathon, and full marathon training programs that are free for all to use. There are a ton of programs out there that any athlete could follow. So you may be thinking why should I hire a personal coach if I can just follow a program for free online. There are many answers to this question that I will answer below.  I feel a personal coach is a sound investment for runners of all abilities whether you are a beginner just getting in shape or an advanced marathon runner.

  1. Personalization-  A coach will design a plan that will fit you best. Every athlete is different as some athletes can handle higher mileage while others can not. Some athletes recover more slowly than others, therefore they may need more recovery days in between hard efforts. A personalized plan will also be designed to fit your schedule as our family, work, and daily lives can be very crazy sometimes. A coach will adjust the training program to fit your lifestyle!
  2. Motivation: A coach will be able to give you encouragement in your daily training. Some days will be a struggle so having a coach to give you encouragement and hold you accountable is one of the keys to reaching your goals!
  3. 2nd Set of Eyes: Sometimes you just need someone else to take a look at your training as they may pick up on an area you need to work on. A coach will also be able to push you when you need it and have you ease up if  you are overtraining/sick. Distance runners can be very competitive and we have a tendency to over train so having a second set of eyes to oversee the training will prevent this from happening. 
  4. Let someone else do the hard work: Coming up with a good training program can be very time consuming and stressful. If you have someone else do it for you then you can focus on your training/racing more. And let’s face it that is the fun part! 
  5. Staying on top of the little things: A good running coach will make sure you are doing the little things that we tend to skip. Things like stretching, foam rolling,  strength work,and core work done regularly will help keep  you healthy!
  6. Strategy/ Race Goals/ Mental Game: A personal coach will also help you come up with race strategies. Having someone else do the hard work of coming up with the race strategy will allow you the runner to just focus on your training and not stressing about the little things. Having a coach help set a tough but attainable goal is also a benefit of a good coach/athlete relationship.

Those are just a few of the benefits of hiring a personal running coach. Running is an important part of our daily lives that we enjoy doing. We don’t realize how much we miss it until we get hurt, sick, or life gets in the way. So why not make the most of it and hire an expert that will help you stay healthy and do the thing that you love to do!  I believe it is an investment that will pay off and you will not regret it!

If you have an questions or want to explore this option I would love to hear from you! Even if you have never run before and just want to get in basic shape  message me as we can design a program that will motivate you to succeed!


Monday, November 6, 2017

Recap of New York City Marathon 2017 (2:35:27 67th overall)

After thinking about this race for the last twenty four hours I am still in awe of the experience I had. Even though I was short of my goal time I am very pleased with the performance as I went through a lot of adversity during this race. Sometimes in running and life we have days that are a struggle but it is important that we hang tough on those days. If every race went according to plan then racing would be easy! I learned a lot about myself yesterday and I know I grew as a runner and more importantly as a person.

First of all I want to thank the New York Road Runners for the sub elite program that I participated in. They go above and beyond to treat the sub elites like pros and the experience is unforgettable. It starts with a police escort to Staten Island where we are kept warm at the the indoor track. We are sharing the track facilities with the pro runners. There I was sitting in the infield next to the likes of Meb, Abdi, Wilson Kipsang, and Shalane Flanagan. Then after the race we get escorted to the V.I.P. tent which again we are sharing with the pros. These are memories that I will never forget so for that I am very thankful to the New York Road Runners for this program. 

Here is a brief recap of  my race. It was a windy, drizzly, and humid day which made for some tough conditions. I really struggled with the humidity and headwind as I found I had trouble breathing. I was getting congested and was never able to get into a comfort zone. Through 8 miles I was still running an okay race as I was on pace running low 5:40’s. However, I did not feel good and at that time I started getting lightheaded and dizzy. This scared the hell out of me as I was not sure if I was going to end up in a medical tent. At that time, I made the decision to ease of the pace and focused on hydration and trying to stay relaxed. My pace started slipping into the 5:50’s but I was okay with that as I stopped looking at splits and just ran by feel the rest of the race. From Mile 8-18 it was a struggle as I battled a lot of negative thoughts in my head. I was saying things like, “ I don’t want to run marathons anymore, as it’s time to move to ultra’s”. I also thought about dropping out but I knew my uncle was waiting for me at mile 17 and I told myself, " I have to get to First Ave as he came all the way to New York to see me".  I was also getting really worried about my heel as I could feel it with almost every step especially on the cement bridges and grooved pavement. So as you can tell my mind was drifting all over the place. I just tried taking it one step at a time and before I knew it I was at mile 17 and passed my uncle which gave me a boost! I started going by some other runners at this point and when I saw the clock at mile 20 I realized I still could run a decent time. So for the first time since mile 8 I started to get that competitive fire again. I started passing a few runners and was feeling decent until the mile 23 uphill on Fifth Ave heading to Central Park. My quads started cramping on me but at this stage I knew I was almost there. The last two miles through Central Park I was attacking the downhill's as  it helped my quads loosen up.  I closed pretty well and ended up running 2:35:27. It was my slowest New York time yet but I was very happy with it since it did not come easy.  

 I just want to share one piece of advice I learned from this race. I think we should listen to our bodies more and not run by the watch all the time. This is especially true on days that are struggle. If I was looking at every mile split during the race I think I may have given up totally and I would not have been able to put together a solid race. When you’re having a great day looking at splits is fine as it can be encouraging but on other days I think you may be better off not focusing on every mile split.

 I am extremely proud of this performance as I don’t think I have ever faced this much adversity in a race before. I was just happy to be out there running after last spring’s injury as sometimes just doing the thing we love is more important then if we hit our goal time or not. So when the going gets tough during a race hang in there and just take it one step at time and be grateful that you are doing the thing  you love to do!

Thanks for reading this blog and thanks to everyone who supported me during this training cycle!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Weekly Training October 23-29

One week until the NYC marathon and this was a big taper week. After running 95-110 miles a week for the last 12 weeks this week was down to 80  miles and the legs are starting to feel pretty good. Time to rest up and starting watching the weather forecasts!

Monday- Easy 11 mile recovery run at 7:10 pace before heading in to Newton to see the chiro.

Tuesday-  AM: Easy 4.1
                 PM: 8.5 miles with 8 by 20 second strides at 6:47 pace.

Wed-       10.3 miles very easy as tomorrow will be a workout. Pace was 7:24.

Thurs-      3 mile warmup/ 2 mile cooldown. Last hard workout. 12 by 2 minutes with minute rest. 6.15 miles in 35:00(5:41 pace). Jogged for 5 minutes then did 8 by 30 seconds on 30 seconds off. 13.2 miles total on the day. y

Friday-  AM: Easy 4.1 miles
              PM: Easy 45 minutes which

Saturday- 14.4 miles with 6 by 25 seconds strides. 6:41 pace as the legs were pretty lively today.

Sunday- Easy 9.6 miles in 68:00( 7:05 pace).

Weekly Total: 81.4 miles.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Weekly Training October 16-22

2 weeks to go to NYC! Another solid week in the books and I am glad to get my last big workout done. After Sunday's tempo I am starting to believe that I am in close to PR shape. I am not expecting to at New York since its a tough course but I definitely think a 2:30-2:32 range and a NYC PR is possible if conditions are right. Time to taper and start resting up! Also got my new pair of EVO racers for the race as they arrived Friday from Hoka. They had 3 miles on them as they were tested by Matt Llano of Northern Arizona Elite. Pretty cool to be wearing the same shoes that a 2:12 marathoner has worn.  Maybe they will bring some good luck to me on race day!

Thanks for reading!

Monday- PM: Easy 4, chiro appointment in Newton so using today as an off day/ light shakeout.

Tuesday- AM: Easy 5.5 miles.
                PM:  Leg Speed. 12 miles in 1:23:45(6:59 pace). Did 10 by 20 seconds at the park with minute jogs in between each rep.  Daily Total: 17.5 miles.

Wed-     AM: Easy  5 miles.
              PM: Easy 11 miles in 78:20(7:08). Daily Total: 16 miles

Thurs-   PM: Legs kind of dead today and never felt great. 4.2 warmup/ 4 cooldown. Workout was 20 by min on min off= 6.95 miles in 40:00(5:45).  Daily Total: 15.2 miles

Friday-  AM:  Easy 6 miles
              PM:  Easy 7.5 at 7:24 pace. Focusing on taking it easy! Daily Total: 13.5 miles

Saturday- AM: Easy 10 in 74:30(7:27).

Sunday-  AM: 3.8 warmup/ 4.2 cooldown. 12 mile tempo no gels/no water. 12 miles in 66:20(5:31 pace). Sluggish to start ran by feel and by the end was getting faster and felt in controlled. Very excited after today's tempo. (536, 536, 533, 533, 536, 538, 539, 524, 523, 528, 529, 529). So I negative split and ran the last five miles at 527 pace feeling controlled. First 7 I just tried staying relaxed and not running to fast. Daily Total: 20 miles

Weekly Total- 96.1 miles on 6 real days of running!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Weekly Training October 9-15

3 weeks to go until the New York City Marathon. This was a great week of training as I had two longer workouts go pretty good. Thursday's tempo run felt incredibly easy and I think if I kept going I could of been 1:10-1:11 for a half marathon which would be a PR so that was a great sign. It was also my sixth consecutive 100 mile week and 11 out of the last 12 weeks have been over 100 miles! Anyways here is the training for the week and thanks for reading!

Monday:  AM: 11.2 no time on it just easy recovery.
                 PM: 5.1 miles at 7:30 pace.   Daily Total: 16.3 miles

Tuesday:  AM: Day off from work. 12.2 miles at 6:50 pace with 6 strides.

Wed:        PM: Held off on the workout tired! Easy 12.5 miles no time on it.

Thursday:  AM: Easy 3.5 mile shakeout.
                   PM: 5.1 miles of warming up/cooling down. Workout 11.2 miles in 62:00(532)
                   Workout was 7 miles 37:30(521 pace) 1/2 mile jog then 11 by min on min off.
                   Daily Total: 19.8 miles

Friday:      AM: Easy 5.8  mile morning run.
                  PM: Easy 8.2 miles at 725 pace. Legs dead! Daily Total: 14 miles

Saturday-  AM: Easy 10.5 miles with 5 strides in 77:00( 7:20). Quads sore.

Sunday:   AM: 97% humidity to start and legs dead so I went with pickups by feel today. 6 easy, 14 by 3 minutes on 2 minutes off(11.8 miles which was 5:55 pace), 5 easy. Total 22.8 miles in 2:30 (6:35 pace)

Weekly Total: 108.1 miles.

1/1 Fartlek Workout!

I am a huge fan of fartlek runs as after a long day at work I find them less stressful then typical track or tempo workouts. I find I don...