Run440plus's Blog

from one runner to another pass it on

Archive for the category “Mountain Running”

Dog Run Too Far

My favorite long run trick is what I call a Dog Run. Run on an out and back course and run beyond your comfort zone like a dog running away from home without much concern of making it back. Sometimes everything works out and other times even if I had 4 legs I’d still be in trouble. The point of the dog run is to leave yourself without an out. Worst case, you have to stop and walk and still cover the prescribed overall mileage set by the distance traveled to the turnaround.

The most important thing is to gauge how you feel on the way out. If it is just not your day, don’t push it. You have to make it back alive. Well duh. Sunday, I planned on doing 12 miles as I had done 11 the week before in an 1 hour 41 minutes. It was much hotter this week than last so I started off  a bunch slower than normal. The heat was taking its toll on the way out, so I decided to cut it short and turned around at 5.5 miles to at least cover the mileage of the week before.  To help ensure I didn’t die, I told my wife to come out to get me at the 2 hour mark.

I started walking at the 9.4 mark as I didn’t feel terrible, but I did feel like it was the wise thing to do. I checked the time and I had been out 1:48 at that point. I really need a drink, so I really hoped to see my wife soon. I got to the drinking fountain in town  before my wife made it to me at roughly the 2:04 point.  She brought cold water that tasted a lot better than fountain water. She asked if I wanted a ride, but I wanted to get my mileage and felt like there was no risk to walk the rest of the way home, so I did.

Try a dog run sometime, if  you haven’t already, but be smart about it. It is a great way to push your limits.

Song suggestion of the day: Rocky Mountain High – John Denver. This song takes the listener away from the time and place unless of course you are running in the Rocky Mountains.  Not every run can be in/at such a beautiful place, so music can take over for a peace of the mental side of running.

Advertisements

Since You Probably Won’t Read This Away….

For 40 plus years I have searched for the perfect workout to both satisfy my fitness goals and keep me entertained at the same time. Well, I finally found it…..Homeless Person Hurdles. Yeah, it’s in really poor taste and illegal in some countries, but heck why not give hope to the hopeless by bounding over a few on your morning run. Better yet carry loose change in our pockets and some might fall out mid-flight. Can you say BONUS!

This was a really poor attempt at humor, but nobody has been reading this blog lately, so I doubt I hurt too many feelings especially since the homeless probably don’t have working laptops with an active internet connections. But if you are homeless and read this blog after stumbling into a library, I am sorry.

If you actually read this far, I will say that a very high percentage of the contents of this blog are intended for the promotion of good healthy activities. Please take a look at the other 158 blog entries and I am sure if you give it a chance, you will find benefit from most of them. Peace. No humans nor any animals were harmed in the making of this blog.

Running a Love Affair

Running in the mountains, by lakes, through the woods, by historical landmarks, along rivers, on the beach, over bridges, on soft paths, on city streets, by great architecture or any where you find interesting is always a plus when running, however the running part should be enough.

Motivation comes and goes, yet when running becomes a love the environment really doesn’t matter. Rain, cold, wind or anything that can be thrown at you shouldn’t matter when you love to run.  Maybe you are not there yet with the whole love thing. Maybe you just met running and are taking it slow. Not that you are playing hard to get, but just can’t commit to the relationship until you know for sure that running is your soul mate.

I wasn’t a young man when I fell in love with running. I was in my mid 20’s when I started to run, but it wasn’t until my 30’s that I finally used the L word and have been in love ever since. Not everyone will get there, but those who do know what I am taking about.

Running Song of the Day: Walk Don’t Run – Dropkick Murphys. Title will throw you a bit, but the song has a good beat with aggressive lyrics to give you that push.

Bix 7 – Run Hills for 7 Miles

Fast and flat used to be all the rage. Down hill even better. Now the trend as flipped to the tougher mudder races. Well there is an old fashion tough race called the Bix 7. No need to fabricate a tough race, the Bix 7 has hills that have been there for hundreds of years. The city streets of Davenport, IA provide the tough the natural way without the mess.

Olympic Gold Medal Winning Freestyle Wrestler and Hall of Fame Coach Dan Gable pushed himself and his teams beyond their talent level. Running up the stairs at the arena and pushing themselves to the brink of puking (sometimes beyond) gave them a competitive advantage. There wasn’t any other team in better condition.  Racing over hills equates to pushing yourself beyond what the average runner is willing to do. Sure training over hills is advantageous, yet competing gives one a mental advantage over someone who merely trains over the same terrain.

The Bix 7 is one great way to challenge yourself and the enjoy the spoils at the best post race party anywhere. That is of course if you have the guts.

run 440 plus facebook and photos

The run440plus blog has been around for a few years and so has the run 440 plus facebook page. Since the blog is free, it has  limited ability to feature photographs. Please visit the run 440 plus facebook page for photos of places I have run and feel free to share photos as well. The run440plus brand was established to share all things running related and to motivate others.

Mile High and Higher

As kids, my parents took us to Colorado on a family vacation. We found a basketball court and played around for a short while. Short because we felt the effects of the thin mountain air. Today the experts call it “altitude training” back then we just called it “sucking wind”.

My best marathon was after some mountain runs, so I feel like it helps to work out at altitude, however there were several other bonus attributes (lowest weight and overall conditioning) at that time, so the results are not scientific. I can attest to running in the mountains to be much more difficult than running at sea level, so that is all that is important. Like riding an old heavy steel bike compared to a new high-tech light one, the hard makes all the difference. I’ll take the hard every time in training to make the final event feel easier in comparison, which does wonders for the mental aspect of competition. To struggle in training makes it much easier to be run relaxed when it counts.

I was fortunate enough to hit the mountains of Truckee, CA over the weekend for the first time in about 10 years. My lungs burned as I ran up from 6,600 feet to around 7,600 feet. I got in about 15 miles over 3 runs (pulling a double on Sunday) in 2 days. Not a lot of miles for a weekend, yet the inclines were brutal, so the miles weren’t my main objective, survival was.

I have a cousin who lives in Monmouth Lakes, CA, which is where many elite marathon runners go for their altitude training. 8,000 feet in city and only up from there in the mountains. He says he can feel a big difference from Truckee to Monmouth Lakes. I sure would like to visit and give it a test. Maybe next year.

Now I am back home to 95 degree heat. Will have to see if heat is more of a challenge than hills and thin air.

Off for a run. Talk to you all soon.

Mountains as Motivation

As the sands of time blow away the desire to race/compete, the need to find reasons to get out the door become important. Nothing motivates me more than the thought of running through, by or within sight of cool stuff. Lake Michigan and the Chicago Skyline comes to mind. The thing that really gets me going is a run in the mountains.

It could be that mountain running is such an infrequent endeavor for me. I live in the flat Midwest with Denver, CO 800 miles away. I was fortunate enough to have a career years back where I traveled to Denver several times with enough free time to run over to the foothills of Golden, CO. As a child my family camped in Rocky Mountain National Park. Plus on those family vacations we listened to a lot of John Denver. Mountains really pump me up.

Next weekend I am making a trip to the Lake Tahoe, CA area. A little research on Google Maps and this trip looks promising for a few mountain runs. Of course the preparation leading up to the trip is key. I have been ramping up my mileage over the last few months, however one thing I can’t simulate is the altitude and thin air. When I ran in Golden back in 2002, I was full in marathon training mode and really didn’t notice a difference. This time around I am heavier and my mileage (though above average) is not anywhere near 60 mile per week. Extreme care will need to be taken.

I can hear John Denver now with a medley of great mountain songs…..Almost heaven…..Rocky Mountain High…..eagles fly….

Post Navigation