one Man of a Certain Age's journey to a healthier lifestyle

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Welcome to my fitness blog. I started running in early 2012, having set my sights on the Walt Disney World Half Marathon which I ran in January 2013. (You can read about that in my other blog). I intend to update this blog weekly with training progress and run reports. Please follow and join this blog (links below) for updates. If you want to share please feel free to, there are links to share via Facebook or Twitter below as well. You can also follow me on twitter. And please comment letting me know what you think!

My upcoming races: My recent races:
NYCRuns Central Park Half Marathon February 23, 2014 2013 Year in Review
Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon - DC March 15, 2014  

My Blogs Thompson Family Web (Travel, Disney and fun) The Runner of a Certain Age Blog

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A few trial runs - February 16, 2013

As I mentioned in my first post, I am training for the (very hilly, or so I'm told) Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon by doing practice runs on the roads around my neighborhood, which are quite hilly. Today I did 3 "laps" around the lake which I figured would be about 5 1/2 miles. On this run there were a couple of specific things I wanted to do (besides just doing a practice run). First, I wanted to determine exactly how long one "lap" is. Second, I had been thinking about different ways to attack running a hilly course and I wondered which would provide the best time, so I wanted to try out a couple of different approaches.

OK, First the stats:

Total distance 5.35 mile (3 laps)
Total time: 1:13:03
Average time per mile: 13:46

So, this means that one lap is 1.78 miles (approximately).

Now, I have been following the approach to running marathons recommended by running expert Jeff Galloway. Using Jeff's "run/walk/run" method you determine an interval that is right for you (usually based on your experience and how fast you run) and then you alternate running and walking. (Or in my case, jogging and walking). The interval I use is 1 minute of walking to 2 minutes of running.

OK, so I wanted to try a few things on this run. As I wrote, I did 3 laps. What I did was to do the first lap in my standard run/walk/run interval pattern. For the second lap I ignored the intervals and instead I walked up hills, jogged going downhill and ran as fast as I could (believe me, that's not very fast) on the flats. For the third lap I went back to my run/walk/run intervals, but when I was in a run interval on a flat area I kicked it up a notch and ran as fast as I could. Here were my times:

Lap 1: 25:19
Lap 2: 24:43
Lap 3: 22:58

Bear in mind it takes me a bit to get situated in a run, and the first lap bears the brunt of that extra time. Still, the time differences were significant. I was actually surprised that lap 2 was as slow as it was and how much faster I was in lap 3. And that was after I'd already put almost 4 miles behind me. I'm probably going to try this experiment again next week to confirm my findings, and if this holds up then the line of attack I used for the 3rd lap will be how I approach the remainder of my training for this run as well as the run itself.

On a different note, I did not mention in my first post that I am also actively working on losing weight. I started to work on it a bit while I was training for the half marathon I ran in January, but I found I was better off focusing all of my attention on my training. Now I feel more confident about my training and want to refocus on my weight. I'd like to lose at least 23 pounds and as much as 33 pounds. I am a lifetime Weight Watchers member and I have found that, if I can stay "on program", I can keep my weight where I want it to be, Anyway, I started strictly following the program last week and so far I've lost 3.2 pounds. I don't expect to lose that much every week - the first few pounds always come off more easily. Still a good start and I'll keep updates on this blog.

Next week I'll write a bit more details about my cross training regimen.

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