Archive for November, 2007

  Today I went to see my pulmonologist.  She cares for about 90% of my CF related issues.  First, my Pulmonary Functions Test scores were up significantly.  It’s partially due to the running, but mostly due to a research study drug I’m on.  It’s an inhaled antibiotic called Azteronam.  I take it 3 times per day for a month at a time.  My FEV1, the amount of air I can get out of my lungs in the first second, starts at about 2.50 liters when I start the med.  By the time I finish, I’m usually around 2.70 – 2.80.  Today, half way through the month, I’m at 2.78.  Pretty good for an old man.

  Second, we discussed a few concerns that my wife has about me trying to run a marathon.  After Ryan Shaw died in the Olympic Trials, she’s been concerned about my hypertrophy.  Hypertrophy (hi-PER’tro-fe) is a thickening of the heart muscle.  It’s not unheard of in CF patients because our hearts need to pump harder to get blood to the scared lungs.  My pulmonologist is only concerned about the hydration and hyponatremia issues.  But, in order to make sure that there is as little risk as possible, I’m going to have a consultation with a Cardiologist.  It’s better to make sure, and I may be able to get a VO2Max test done, which would be cool.

Other than that, I’m cleared to begin training officially for the full marathon.  Our long runs are already up to 10 miles, and we’ll go either 11 or 12 this weekend.  I’m up to about 30 miles a week, and am trying to find a way to run a longer mid week run.  I may be able to run on Wednesday nights, and get that to 7 or 8 miles.  I still would like to hit 40-45 miles per week by the time we start official training on January 4th.

  This blog is going to start transitioning to Flying Pig Training content.  I’m very excited, but very nervous.  The full is twice as long as I’ve ever run.  I really hope the Heart Rate Training pays off in the endurance department.


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  This could also be a race report, as I did run the 98th Annual Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day Race on Thursday (10k).  Anyway, I’ve been Base Building using Dr. Phillip Maffetone’s Maximum Aerobic Function method for four weeks, plus one week at under 70% HRR.  I’ve worked up to about a 12:00 – 12:15 min/mile pace on my training runs.  Note, this is incredibly frustrating, because I know I can run faster.  However, the goal is the marathon in May, not training runs in December. 

  I decided on Thursday to just run the race, and not try to PR, etc.  I met with a few friends and we ran it together.  It was cold and windy, and the course has a fair number of medium hills.  Anyway, with 1.2 miles to go, my friend Victoria decided that she wanted me to try to get her in under an hour.  So, we went and went fairly hard.  My last mile was a 8:58, which is good for me.

  So, I decided to compare the 10k to the first 6 miles of my Half Marathon in October.  The only real difference was that the half was a much more flat course.  I ended up running the 10k about 20-30 seconds per mile slower than the half, but the interesting part is my HR data.  The HR was significantly lower during the 10k, and I don’t think it’s because of the slower speed. My comparison is listed below.  BTW, I did PR by 21 seconds.  But, we didn’t break 1 hour, although we could have easily if we had tried to from the beginning.  So, tomorrow, I’ll go back to my slow running, under my MAF and continue to work in a few neurological (read downhill intervals) runs a week.  Also, I’ll continue to build the mileage.  This week was almost impossible to run due to an addition being started on my house.  But, that’s a different story.

 Dayton River Corridor Classic 10/14
Mile 1: 9:26 162 Avg 170 Max
Mile 2: 9:16 170 Avg 173 Max
Mile 3: 9:12 172 Avg 175 Max
Mile 4: 9:37 171 Avg 175 Max
Mile 5: 9:37 171 Avg 176 Max
Mile 6: 9:32 171 Avg 174 Max

98th Thanksgiving Day Race 11/22
Mile 1: 10:11 147 Avg 157 Max
Mile 2: 9:44 148 Avg 153 Max
Mile 3: 9:36 159 Avg 168 Max
Mile 4: 9:45 160 Avg 168 Max
Mile 5: 9:45 163 Avg 170 Max
Mile 6: 8:58 164 Avg 169 Max
Mile 6.28: 2:14 169 Avg 177 Max (8:05 Pace)

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Update 2: Base Building

  Today is my wife’s birthday, so, I got my daughter out of bed at 5:30 (that’s when she usually wakes up) and let Kristen sleep in.  It’s also the weekend that my son’s school does a major fund raising effort, so we’ll be there today.  Looks like no running for me today.

   That’s ok, because Victoria and I are putting our long runs back in starting tomorrow.  We’ll just run 8 this week, and then probably go to 10 next weekend.  I’ve been able to manage 20-25 miles per week without the long run.  So, I should be able to hit 33 or so next week.  Again, the goal is to hit 45-50 by the time we start training for the Pig.

  As far as progress on the HR Training, I think I’m progressing.  First, I’m able to run my 5 milers without stopping.  I give myself 3 alerts on my Garmin before I walk.  If it goes off the forth time, I walk.  But, I’m not sure if I’ve I just understand when to slow down, or if my body is doing better.  Second, hills.  I’m able to run the hills without walking now.  I do have to slow down quite a bit, but I don’t have to walk them.  I know that is an adjustment, but also an improvement.  Finally, my times for file miles have dropped.  When I started, only three weeks ago, it was taking 65-67 minutes to run 5 miles.  The second week, I was down to 62-63.  This week, I was at 61 three of the four days.  So, I think that I am truely progressing, although slowly.  We’ll have to see on Thursday when I run the Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day Race (10k).  We are just going to run it with some friends, but not race it.  However, I should be able to compare my HR from last year.

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Update: Base Building

  In my previous post, I said that I was going to follow the Karvonen method for computing HRR.  Well, I’ve changed my tune.  After some conversation on CoolRunning.com, I’ve decided to use the Maffetone Method.  Basically, this method has the same goal, build a solid aerobic base by staying under a target HR.  I don’t think I can give the formula here, but my Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) works out to be 144. 

   To this point, I’ve put in about 45 miles with my HR under 144.  It’s a little frustrating because I know I can go faster.  I also have to stop and walk several times on a run, but it’s usually only for a few seconds.  The interesting thing is that I feel better after a run.  Actually, I feel almost nothing, as if I’ve not run at all.  In fact, I’ve already run four of the past 5 days, and will run again tomorrow.  But, usually by now, I’m sore and tired.  Other than a minor case of shin splints on my right side, nothing hurts and I feel fresh.

  It’s taking me a little over an hour to run 5 miles, but I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I can just imagine my body building more mitochondria, getting my slow twitch muscle up to speed, and getting the fat burning engine running.  I’ve also been able to start running without eating in the morning, which is nice because it saves me 10 minutes or so.

   I should hit 25 miles this week, and hope to hit 30 next week.  At that point, I’ll put my long run back into the program, probably 8-10 miles and then start working up.  I’d like to see a few 40’s or 45’s before we start training for the Pig.  If all of the miles feel this easy, which is the allegation, I can get there no problem.  That’s assuming I can find the time to run that much.  That would be 8 or 9 hours a week at this pace.  Maybe my pace will pick up also, that would be nice!

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Base Building

   I’m now officially in Base Building mode for the 2008 Flying Pig Marathon.  I completed my last big race of the year, the Dayton River Corridor Classic, almost three weeks ago.  I’ve only got one more race planned for the year, the Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day Race.  I’ll probably just run it, not even try for a time, etc.  I know I can easily PR it, since the 6.2 mile mark of the DRCC was around a 57:00.  That’s over 3 minutes faster than my 10k PR.

  I’ve decided to really try the low heart rate training.  There are several schools of thought on this, Maffetone, Hadd, Parker, et. al.  I know my Max Heart Rate is 191, or at least that’s the highest I’ve ever seen.  My plan is to do all of my base building at under 70% of Heart Rate Reserve, aka Karvonen Method.  So, Target HR = ((Max HR – Resting HR) * 70%) + Resting HR).  Mine works out like this: ((191 – 52) * 70%) + 52) = 149 BPM.

   I’ve set my Garmin Forerunner 305 to alarm if my HR goes above 149, which has only been happening if I’m going up a hill, or if I get carried away with and forget to run slowly.  So far, I’ve run two 5 milers at an average of 142 HR, which is about 65%.  The runs feel good, although slow.  I’m a little sore at the end, but I think that’s just the nature of slowing down.  I did run at this HR level for about 3 weeks before the half, and was able to keep my Pace at about a 174 HR through the entire Half.  I ended up with a 2:06:20, which is a 9:49 pace, and a 5 minute PR from my half in May.  So, I think it did help. 

  The goal of Low Heart Rate training, from what I understand, is to build a strong aerobic engine.  This engine will support an endurance athlete through, say, a marathon or much more.  Also, it is all about getting your body to run fast while burning more fat than carbs for fuel.  A side benefit is that injuries are fairly uncommon, because your doing everything at a lower hr.  Now, some people just think you end up getting slower.  I guess it will be an experiment.

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