Run440plus's Blog

from one runner to another pass it on

Archive for the category “Training”

Mental Game Running Goals

On today’s 11 mile run I was focused on every aspect of my successful marathon experiences vs. the unsuccessful ones. The result being in the training before my Boston Qualifing marathons I was able to fight through fatigue. I would feel awful, but would resist the temptation to walk and keep thinking “once I am past this hill, things will get better”.

The body can do more than mind tells you from time to time and it is your job to override those thoughts to get where you desire to go. Training is as much mental training as it is physical development. The BQ goal can be lost week 1 of training if you are not focused on it from the day you start. That is not to say that one bad day will defeat you, but it is how you recover mentally from a bad experience and use that knowledge to not repeat mistakes.

Mental preparation is something that can be practiced at other times off the course. Driving to work, writing a running blog, a lifting session, etc are great opportunities to  focus on your goals and train your brain to not except less. When I have failed, I wasn’t willing to fight poor mental feelings to reach my vision.

Be strong mentally and you will find your kick.

A Few From Fifty

Wow, it has been a few years since I posted last, a few years since   I last ran a marathon and just a few months before I turn fifty. I suppose it is as good time as any to get back in the swing of marathon training and writing about it.

I entered the Chicago Marathon lotto and will find out Thursday April 21st if I got in (or not). If that falls through the back up Marathon is the Quad Cities Marathon. The  QC is only 2 weeks earlier than the Chi so my training schedules are pretty compatible.

Winter training has laid down a stable foundation and my long runs have been at over 10 miles for more than a month now. Feeling healthier than the last couple years heading into spring training, so this should be a good year.

Looking forward to more of these updates. Talk to you all soon.

Bix 7 2014

After missing last year’s Bix 7 due to reasons other than physical injury, you could say I have been waiting 2 years to return and run my favorite race. 10 years in a row was a good run and I am looking forward to another 10 as I approach 50 years of age (T minus 2 and counting).
Last year physically was a pleasure. I ran the entire year without pain in my knees yet didn’t run a single road race. This year started off with hamstring and knees issues putting me on the shelf for all of February.
It seems like I have to warm up longer and pay more attention to the little things than the younger me who could fly out the door and run for 2 hours without much thought of stretching or proper hydration.
This being Bix Eve Eve (2 nights prior) I look to hit the sack early and get those z’s that will more than likely elude me tomorrow night as Bix Eve’s tend to do.
So excited to be back, but I am concerned about a goofy hamstring and I strongly hope I have no issues on the hills of Davenport, IA Saturday morn. For the love of running and for the love of Bix.
Plus I looking forward to seeing Meb since he ran past me as I watched him win the Boston Marathon 2014. It will be cool to see him long before I get to the half way point as he hopefully has a large lead. Best part of an out and back course is seeing the elites running toward you. Participant and fan all in one.
Peace.

Run 4 What? The Hard

In less than 3 years this old runner will turn 50. Does the name of the blog need to change names then? Run 450 plus doesn’t quite cut it for me. Some have never caught on that the name of the blog was intended to indicate that the primary audience is the 40 plus runner, but then again it wasn’t supposed to be so obvious that it scared off younger runners. Oh well, a lot of things shouldn’t be so obvious that just anyone can do it. Like Tom Hanks character in A League of Their Own speaking of the sport of baseball, “The hard is what makes it great.”

Running marathons whether you are a 40 or 30 or 20 year-old are not easy endeavors. It’s almost impossible to complete one without feeling it during and long afterward. Whether you are slow or very fast, the distance will take its toll and you will know you have done something great by completing one.

This blog as long as it continues to be thrown out there by this old runner, will always be dedicated to being dedicated to running far. Slower than ever, yet still about the hard as always.

Clearly Running Through

When the kids come home from school it is interesting to find out what they have learned and what they can teach you as well. Rarely does it relate to running, but this weekend, my son told me about the Urine Hydration Charts above the urinals at school. Though I have been aware for years that the lighter the yellow is better, it kind of blew me away that the school system went to that length to teach the importance of hydration where the evidence is presented daily.

Distance running more than any sport depends on the wise consumption of water.  Cramping and dry mouth would be tell-tale signs that not enough water has been taken in. What are the signs that too much water has been consumed while needed sodium and other necessary minerals are omitted? Marathoners have died or have been hospitalized for drinking too much water and have become water intoxicated also known as Hyponatremia. Now this blog is written by a runner with no medical training, so please read up on this subject, seek out your trusted medical Doctor and know that I provide no medical advice.

What I can say from my own personal experience is that I have had success by drinking a balance of Gatorade (or the provided energy drink at the respective marathon) and water. I tend to drink slightly more Gatorade than water, but will make adjustments according to the weather conditions. Knowing your body is key. Train with energy drinks and water to find what works best for you. Error on the side of caution.

Be safe and live to run another day.

Chicago Marathon Prep

It’s an exciting time as the fall marathon season begins and the marathon training programs wind down. Usually by late August/early September the weather in the Midwest mellows from the exasperating heat to a comfortable range to allow for those final 20 milers to be completed before the big race. This year has been a reverse of that pattern. Early August the temps cooled off, but the heat came back the last two weeks and look to continue for another week at least.

The best plan to beat the heat and still get those long runs in is to get up really early, as in before the sun comes up. 2011 was an especially hot summer and if I didn’t get up at 4:30 and hit the road by 5:00 the temps were in the high 80’s/low 90s by 9:00 and close to the 100’s by Noon. Avoiding the midday sun is always a wise choice, but that year it was an absolute necessity.

Though I hate to drive/waste gasoline to get a run in, the wise thing is to put out water/energy drink on your long run course. My usual course provides a few hiding places for the drinks, so as not to be disturbed by ill-doers. If your course is not so well equipped, the next best plan is to carry your beverage of choice. Personally I don’t like to carry water for several reasons, but the placement of beverages that are the same as the ones that will be provided at your marathon is optimal. As an example: The Chicago Marathon provides Gatorade Endurance formula and water. The Fargo Marathon provided PowerAde the year I ran it, so that year I started my marathon training using PowerAde (which I don’t like) up to Fargo and then switched to Gatorade after and then all the way up to Chicago. You always want to condition your body for all the variables you will be hit with at your respective marathon. The same can be said for energy gels.

Studying your marathon of choice’s website is key to any successful marathon pursuit. Limiting surprises is always a good idea. The more that you know going in, the less opportunity to have the unexpected trip you up on race day.

Fall Marathon Post 2013, Chicago Marathon 2013

To Watch or To Run

I feel like going for a run, yet my favorite College Football Team is playing right now. In years past the decision would be easy watch the game and then go for a run. Today the choice appears to be leaning toward just going for the run. Really why does a 40 something year old man need to watch a football game? Why watch anything on television anyway. Why would watching anything have a prior level over doing something?

So I found a bit of solution: Write a blog while watching a bit of the game then go for a run. Doing while watching seems like multi-tasking. Anyway I still feel silly watching, so the run looks better after every passing minute. See you later. Got to run.

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, Pass It On

Over the last few months, my teenage daughters have been distance running. Not with the regularity of appointment runners, but at least with a modicum of consistency. As a parent there some habits you hope your kids don’t pick up on, but by the title and subheading of this blog, you can guess that running is not on the con list.

Whether it be friends or family, maybe even strangers that become friends, running is one thing that most (if not all)  runners want to share with others. Runners are very proud to be runners and in our runner minds sharing running is a gift we can’t deny the rest of the world. For some the discovery of how awesome running is not an overnight process. It wasn’t for me.

I never ran more than an 800 meter dash in high school until one fateful track meet where the only available varsity spot open was the 2 mile run. I volunteered so I could attend the meet even though I had been training as a sprinter. Yeah, pulling the 100 meter/2 mile double has never occurred at the Olympics nor at any level for that matter for obvious reasons.

There was one 2 mile heat before mine and I got benefit of watching my teammate go out too fast in his heat and bonk pretty early. I said to myself that I wasn’t going to do anything crazy, just take it easy and finish the race. What I found is that I  could (without training) cover miles plural. After getting lapped on a 200 meter indoor track (twice by several contestants) I didn’t jump at the chance at running 2 miles in a competitive environment ever again, but when 5Ks and other distance races crossed my mind years later, I didn’t automatically discard the thoughts as outside the realm of possibility.

The point of this all is to think about how you got into running and share that story with others. Maybe your friends will then think hey that is something I could do as well. If you haven’t made the jump to runner yet, maybe this blog will inspire you to give it a shot.

2 years ago, I didn’t think my daughters would get interested in distance running, yet it has happened, so the surprises in life are truly great joys.

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.

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