Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Want to go run a 5K race this weekend?  Want to run this half-marathon next month?  Want to do this 10k?  Those are the questions I have received over the last couple of months from some friends.  My answer for each person, is "No, thanks."  Why is that my answer?  I am trying to stay away from races right now.  I am completely restructuring my running and training routines.  So what am I doing now?  What am I training for?  Good questions. 
(I am also including some random +Google Glass pictures (#throughglass) I took during and/or after runs over the last week or so.)

40 Mile Bike Ride and 40 Mile Run On My 40th Birthday Weekend

A few weeks ago I decided to start following a 20 week training plan so I will be able to ride my road bike for 40 miles and run 40 miles for my 40th birthday in March 2014.  The total time will not matter to me.

The bike ride will most likely be on my cycle trainer in my basement because the weather can be questionable in March.  Regardless, I plan is to start really early because the run/walk will take quite a bit of time.  My goal is to do both sessions on the same day.  However, it will depend how the training goes and how the body is holding up, so it might be split up over 2 days.

Why am I doing this?  Basically I just wanted to try something new and challenge myself.  I wanted to do my own supported event.  I also figured doing this in early spring will keep my training and food practices strict during the long winter.  I was also inspired by my brother +Lucas Lechuga who completed his first Ironman in November.  

In the past I have seen others run a certain # of miles depending on their birthday, but I have never seen them add the bike ride part, so since I just recently started cycling, I added it in.  Oh I am sure I am not the first person doing this, but I figured I would give it a shot.

I might do a live stream of the 40/40 event, but I need more people to subscribe to my YouTube Channel before that can be a consideration.

Training Schedule
So how do I train for this?  I am basically taking a 50 mile run training plan and adjusting it according to my schedule and goals.  I have added cycling 4x per week to the plan and have adjusted the days to make sure I get in enough miles for both parts of the event and to try to not peak before the event.  So far the training has been good because the total miles are not too high yet and my body recovers pretty quickly due to the aerobic zone training I am following.
 (Here are the first 12 weeks of my training plan - work in progress.)
  Maffetone Aerobic Zone Training
I have referred to this quite a bit on Google Plus and during my video clips so let me explain what this is and why I am training this way...

One day I came across a blog where a 4:11 marathon runner (wow, same as my best marathon) followed the Maffetone Aerobic Zone Training Plan and reduced his marathon time to below 3 hours.  That's right folks, sub 3 hours (2:55).  

If you look at his post, the guy is normal looking (not a genetic freak or anything).  He believes he was able to drastically reduce his time was due to the fact that he stayed in the aerobic zone Training for the majority of the marathon training plan and of course improving his nutrition.

The goal of this plan is to stay in your aerobic zone to teach your body to burn fat and not sugar and eventually to increase your speed while staying in this zone.  This prevents over training and improves your endurance because you will delay your body tapping into your sugar reserves which most people go into right from the start.  What if I could one day run a 8:50/mile pace while in the fat burning zone?  That would be a huge improvement.  I know when I was running my 8 minute paces my heart rate was in the high 160s.  I felt fine while running, but eventually my body would break down.

Since I have dealt with injuries on and off over the years and since I was not going to race anytime soon, I decided..."what the heck, lets give this a shot."

This was going to be a good way to slowly come back from my injury and to teach my body to burn fat during runs and not sugar.  I used to run pretty fast, over train, do too many speed sessions and it always led to injuries.  My method was not working, why keep doing it?

 How Is The Training Going?
Overall I would say it is going as expected.  I started over a month ago and to keep my heart rate between 131-141 (according to Maffetone's formula), I had to do a LOT of walking and dragging feet to stay between those numbers.  

Overall pace on that first run/walk was 13:10.  It was hard to figure out when to run or walk during that first session because I had to make sure the heart rate did not go over 141.  According to Maffetone, you are not supposed to go over your max heart rate (based on his formula, not the standard one).
The runs and bike rides since then have been hard to stay in that zone because some days I start out too fast.  Other days are frustrating because I felt I was going too slow, yet heart rate was up.  However, for once I am not being stubborn, caring only about the heart rate number and just following the rules because I am hoping this all will pay off.

I am on about week 5 and I finally saw some solid progress.  My speed during bike rides improved quite a bit and my run pace on November 20th averaged to be 11:41.  That is almost 90 seconds cut off from where I started.  I am at this 'speed' while now keeping an average heart rate of about 136 and my walking breaks have been reduced.  This is great news and will help me in future long running races/events.

Keep in mind back in June/July I was running paces in the 8 minute range so going this slow...IS A CHALLENGE.  I am completely recovered from my injury so some days I want to let it loose, but  I can't.  Some days I do not want to walk.  Again, I am following the rules, for now because my old method did not and I want to improve my overall aerobic fitness.

If you want to learn more about this training, click the links above but also do searches on "Maffetone" in iTunes podcasts so you can hear shows where Dr. Phil Maffetone talks about this training.

So now you know my training plan and what I will be training for during the next 4+ months.  Now onto my other new adventure...
 Google Glass Explorer as a Runner
As of November 12th, I am a Google Glass Explorer.  I decided to go into this program because I am a runner and newbie cyclist.  I wanted to see what this new device can offer runners and cyclists.  

I also wanted to capture some great pictures and videos before, during and after runs and bike rides.  I want to share my adventures with others.  Videos will be posted on my YouTube channel.

So far the device has been great.  I will give a more detailed review in the future (pictures are amazing).  However, I was extremely excited when Strava came out with the first official running Glassware (app) for Glass.  I used it for the first time on November 20th and it was great.  It even gives you an audio update every half or full mile to tell you the distance, time and pace.  

These are the type of features I was looking for when I made the Glass purchase.  The Strava Glassware is also available for cycling but I will not be able to test that out until it gets warmer.   
Image of Strava app during the run is in the picture below.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to ask any questions about my training and/or Google Glass experience.  Please remember to enter the free Reebok Spartan Race giveaway and if you make any Amazon purchases during the holidays, please use the banner on my homepage.

Thanks for the support and Happy Thanksgiving!

By: Fred Lechuga

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By: Fred Lechuga

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