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Old 02-12-2012, 10:18 AM   #1501
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Bibs rock, nice score.
i picked up my first bibs a few years back, when i was looking for new shorts. they were on sale for less than decent shorts cost, so i grabbed 'em. and fell immediately in love with them. truly, i don't see myself ever going back to regular shorts again.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:06 AM   #1502
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So yesterday, some exercise guru woman who hawks Newton shoes for a living (and the reason why she was in the store doing a clinic) said that to maximize elastic recoil of tendons/foot structure to your benefit, you want to hit a running cadence of about 180 steps/min.

I tried it this morning and found myself puffing hard while doing my 1.3 miles, now that my calves have mostly recovered from last Sunday. Think it's going to be awhile before I can hit 180.

Picked up a few other tips though. Like I need to remember to lean forward more and keep my eyes/head up.


In other news, is mlw getting the Borat bicycling outfit?
I've heard that before, especially in triathlon if your bike cadence sits around 90 - then you are essentially keeping the same tempo from bike to run. It's interesting. I know things work differently for everyone but I'm nearly talented enough to test it on myself
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:31 AM   #1503
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I've heard that before, especially in triathlon if your bike cadence sits around 90 - then you are essentially keeping the same tempo from bike to run. It's interesting. I know things work differently for everyone but I'm nearly talented enough to test it on myself


I don't know if leg length enters into it? I'm used to more of a lope from when I was doing heel-strike - maybe I'm just lazy? - so it feels like I'm doing some epileptic spaz to hit 180. Especially with knees up and feet aiming towards the butt on the kick back. Even at 171-172, it's clear I'm going to need to condition not just my calves but also my lungs/endurance.

The same guru / shoe rep also said it takes around 8 weeks for tissue to repair itself when your calves are sore. I hope I'm not re-aggravating anything, but geez, I'm already down to one short run a week, and even that's not enough to make me feel optimal through some brutal work weeks.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #1504
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So yesterday, some exercise guru woman who hawks Newton shoes for a living (and the reason why she was in the store doing a clinic) said that to maximize elastic recoil of tendons/foot structure to your benefit, you want to hit a running cadence of about 180 steps/min.

I tried it this morning and found myself puffing hard while doing my 1.3 miles, now that my calves have mostly recovered from last Sunday. Think it's going to be awhile before I can hit 180.
You were huffing and puffing because the exercise guru is dead wrong -- 180 is the stride rate that most elite runners hit (Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor, Meb, Geb, etc...) but that stride rate comes from a lot of miles on their legs. The guru's thinking is that, if we adopt a similar stride rate, that our running will become more efficient and that's simply not the case. Put a lot of miles behind you and your body will find it's most efficient stride rate, trust me (and Matt Fitzpatrick) on that one.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:21 PM   #1505
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I've heard that before, especially in triathlon if your bike cadence sits around 90 - then you are essentially keeping the same tempo from bike to run. It's interesting. I know things work differently for everyone but I'm nearly talented enough to test it on myself
See my above post. I run at around 170-172, the more I miles I put in each week, the quicker my stride rate becomes. For cycling, when I'm riding a lot, I'm right around 88.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:48 PM   #1506
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You were huffing and puffing because the exercise guru is dead wrong -- 180 is the stride rate that most elite runners hit (Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor, Meb, Geb, etc...) but that stride rate comes from a lot of miles on their legs. The guru's thinking is that, if we adopt a similar stride rate, that our running will become more efficient and that's simply not the case. Put a lot of miles behind you and your body will find it's most efficient stride rate, trust me (and Matt Fitzpatrick) on that one.


Thanks! I figured 180 was optimum, and she did say it would take a bit to get there, so we shouldn't expect to get there without some work.

Frankly, I can see myself doing 150...maybe...for awhile...
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:28 PM   #1507
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I'm buying "The Primal Blueprint" today with intentions of following a full Paleo diet (+ some dairy; Cottage cheese, greek yogurt, butter).

Next up, I'm going to go and try out some Vibram shoes as my running shoes are about out of their service life. I started working in some HIIT this past week and find myself really enjoying the challenge (and the shorter cardio sessions).
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:40 PM   #1508
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Thanks! I figured 180 was optimum, and she did say it would take a bit to get there, so we shouldn't expect to get there without some work.

Frankly, I can see myself doing 150...maybe...for awhile...
If you really want to hit that magical 180, just put in 80+ mile weeks for about a month and a half, you'll be there in no time!

It's interesting though, it's pretty common for me to see a runner who's obviously a newbie. Every once in a while though, they'll stick with it and, as the months pass, a very noticeable thing happens to their form -- it's like they go from the ugly duckling to the swan as their body adapts to the exercise and becomes more efficient. It's a pretty cool thing to watch.

Personally, I was nearing the end of my long run yesterday and feeling pretty good about my effort. I then got schooled by a girl who looked like she was in high school. Think I'll trip her with my cane next time.

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Next up, I'm going to go and try out some Vibram shoes as my running shoes are about out of their service life.
At the risk of sounding pedantic, take it slow with the Vibrams. I think they have some pretty strict recommendations about how to break them in and get your body used to them, heed their warning and follow their advice. A few Ortho's that I know are already falling in love with the minimalist fad, ranking it right up there with inline skating, skateboarding and skiing.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:52 PM   #1509
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Personally, I was nearing the end of my long run yesterday and feeling pretty good about my effort. I then got schooled by a girl who looked like she was in high school. Think I'll trip her with my cane next time.


I'm still working out the clumsiness / kinks / unfamiliarity, that's for sure. Sometimes I have fleeting moments of grace.


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Next up, I'm going to go and try out some Vibram shoes as my running shoes are about out of their service life. I started working in some HIIT this past week and find myself really enjoying the challenge (and the shorter cardio sessions).

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At the risk of sounding pedantic, take it slow with the Vibrams. I think they have some pretty strict recommendations about how to break them in and get your body used to them, heed their warning and follow their advice.
I haven't seen those recs, but per my Vibram post upstream, I've been taking it easy (under 1.5 miles) until my feet and calves ease into the new shoe / forefoot-strike. A stress fracture would really set me back.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:59 AM   #1510
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FWIW, I don't count my stride in running. I'm in base building mode. I don't care what my number is right now as I am just keeping at it low and slow. I did a nice easy 4 miler yesterday as my long run for the week. I've got 12 miles scheduled for this week. I'm in no hurry.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:53 AM   #1511
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FWIW, I don't count my stride in running. I'm in base building mode. I don't care what my number is right now as I am just keeping at it low and slow. I did a nice easy 4 miler yesterday as my long run for the week. I've got 12 miles scheduled for this week. I'm in no hurry.
I'm right there with you. I was off the road for about a month in November/December because of gallbladder surgery (they found a hernia and fixed that as well) and I still feel like I'm getting my legs back under me. Nice and slow for a few months and then back to speed work.

On another note, I haven't been working my upper body at all and have noticed that my lats have shrunk fairly significantly. Time to hit the gym again. I hate weights.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:02 PM   #1512
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I'm right there with you. I was off the road for about a month in November/December because of gallbladder surgery (they found a hernia and fixed that as well) and I still feel like I'm getting my legs back under me. Nice and slow for a few months and then back to speed work.

On another note, I haven't been working my upper body at all and have noticed that my lats have shrunk fairly significantly. Time to hit the gym again. I hate weights.
God, I haven't done weights in a year. I need to get back into Yoga but since I've been working with a swim coach, my swimming has transitioned to heavily upper body so I know I'll be making big changes in that arena over the next month.

Good for you to take it slow, so many people feel they need to hit it hard with running when it's just not necessary.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:10 PM   #1513
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God, I haven't done weights in a year. I need to get back into Yoga but since I've been working with a swim coach, my swimming has transitioned to heavily upper body so I know I'll be making big changes in that arena over the next month.

Good for you to take it slow, so many people feel they need to hit it hard with running when it's just not necessary.
Ya, when I was younger, I could go out and work as hard as I could day in and day out and I'd only get faster. Now that I'm in my 40's though, I've been forced into learning more about proper base training.

Swimming and surfing are amazing for upper body work! I officially envy you.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:13 PM   #1514
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Ya, when I was younger, I could go out and work as hard as I could day in and day out and I'd only get faster. Now that I'm in my 40's though, I've been forced into learning more about proper base training.

Swimming and surfing are amazing for upper body work! I officially envy you.
Ha! What I cannot wait for is late May/early June when I can start my open water training in Lake Michigan. I'm spending the next three months purely on technique, form and nailing my 2 beat kick. Then once the water is warm enough for a wet suit - I'll be doing a mile a week! So excited for my race season this year. I *might* actually be competitive!
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:25 PM   #1515
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Ha! What I cannot wait for is late May/early June when I can start my open water training in Lake Michigan. I'm spending the next three months purely on technique, form and nailing my 2 beat kick. Then once the water is warm enough for a wet suit - I'll be doing a mile a week! So excited for my race season this year. I *might* actually be competitive!
I think that you'll be faster just by weight-loss alone and just being able to go the distance is huge. Like many runners, I'm absolutely fixated on Boston. I really wanted to qualify this year but I think the month off set me back too much. Oh well, there's always next year. Weird how addicting this stuff is.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:56 PM   #1516
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I think that you'll be faster just by weight-loss alone and just being able to go the distance is huge. Like many runners, I'm absolutely fixated on Boston. I really wanted to qualify this year but I think the month off set me back too much. Oh well, there's always next year. Weird how addicting this stuff is.
I know!!! I'm an endorphin junkie now!!!

I'll my fingers crossed on a BQ for you....If my half marathon goes well in May I'll be looking to do a Half Iron in 2013 which I hope is as far as I will take this but as you know.....i keep wanted to up the ante!
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:36 PM   #1517
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I know!!! I'm an endorphin junkie now!!!

I'll my fingers crossed on a BQ for you....If my half marathon goes well in May I'll be looking to do a Half Iron in 2013 which I hope is as far as I will take this but as you know.....i keep wanted to up the ante!
Any time in particular that you're shooting for?
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:07 PM   #1518
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Any time in particular that you're shooting for?
I don't know....I had been thinking of doing a local one but damn....if I'm going to go through all that work....it may as well be somewhere new and vacationy.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:13 PM   #1519
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Weird how addicting this stuff is.
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I know!!! I'm an endorphin junkie now!!!
this is the state i need to attain. more often than not, i'm pretty "meh" about whether or not i ride. and then i wind up cheating myself by not riding hard enough to do much of anything more than spin the back wheel.

i really need to get off of the trainer and GTF outside
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:04 PM   #1520
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. Oh well, there's always next year. Weird how addicting this stuff is.
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I know!!! I'm an endorphin junkie now!!!
I like the endorphin feeling and general all-day feeling of "damn, I feel great" - but that used to be about the only thing that kept me running beyond getting halfway fit and wanting to look better for wimminz.

Now I'm learning to love running for its own sake. I never had that with heel-strike running.


Just iced my calves after running again today (1.37 mi. at a more reasonable pace), to make up for a short stop yesterday while puffing away trying to hit 170-180. I figured, dammit, maybe I can run through the stiffness in my calves. I'll find out tomorrow. They already seem a little cranky despite the ice.

If I can just get past the adjustment of teaching muscles and tendons to do what they have not done for 30+ years, all will be well.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:19 PM   #1521
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Just iced my calves after running again today (1.37 mi. at a more reasonable pace), to make up for a short stop yesterday while puffing away trying to hit 170-180. I figured, dammit, maybe I can run through the stiffness in my calves. I'll find out tomorrow. They already seem a little cranky despite the ice.

If I can just get past the adjustment of teaching muscles and tendons to do what they have not done for 30+ years, all will be well.
Aw man, I remember those days -- lots and lots of calf stretches, sometimes in very public places.

Just got through (hopefully) with a round of tight glutes and hamstrings. Last week, I could hardly sit for 10 minutes because my glutes hurt so much, seems a lot better now though. And no, there were no pre-sitting "backrubs".
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:21 PM   #1522
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I don't know....I had been thinking of doing a local one but damn....if I'm going to go through all that work....it may as well be somewhere new and vacationy.
If you're doing 12 miles this weekend then you're pretty much ready to go. Get the first one out of the way for a baseline time and go from there. I think the Chicago Rock n Roll Half is in July, those are really fun races. Definitely try to do that one if you can.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:21 PM   #1523
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And no, there were no pre-sitting "backrubs".




The older I get, the less I care about massaging my ass in public...
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:30 AM   #1524
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ok, for those of you who have made significant improvements over a longer period of time...

how the hell do you stay motivated? i'm having a hard time getting past the need for instant gratification and being able to "settle on" or be ok with working toward the long term improvement.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:12 AM   #1525
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ok, for those of you who have made significant improvements over a longer period of time...

how the hell do you stay motivated? i'm having a hard time getting past the need for instant gratification and being able to "settle on" or be ok with working toward the long term improvement.
For me, it's more about habit than motivation. My motivation is to simply look good in a T-shirt, in all honesty. But to get there, in my case, requires that I develop a habit of changing into my workout clothes immediately when I get home. Otherwise, I'll pour myself a stiff drink and another day will go by that I've not worked out.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:23 AM   #1526
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I have set a very firm long term goal. I go through periods of breaks and maintenance but I have a clear idea of what I want. Between that and seeing what a waste it was for me to get as bad as i was ajd all the work require to fix it.....I will never let that happen again. No food, beverage or tv show is worth letting my health suffer.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:21 PM   #1527
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I haven't been doing this as long as Kate or T. Alan, but...

To stay with the exercise, I need to identify an activity that satisfies my constant need to learn something new, or feel some progress over months, or is just plain exhilarating when I get it right -- or all of the above.

I can fall off the wagon pretty easily when I'm bored / not mentally stimulated, or in pain without the promise of at least foreseeable exhilaration.

As I've said above (I think) - the externalized goals are good if they get you to exercise at all: look better, attract potential mates, be able to show off your skills/body.

But with running I needed to find a way to enjoy doing it for its own sake, as something natural - a motion that is fascinating and uplifting in itself. Something that humans are supposed to do biologically, by instinct, that also just happens to carry tremendous benefits: better mood, better immune system, etc.

I wasn't getting that with heel-strike running - my body doesn't enjoy the doing of it for its own sake, so it used to be more about getting rid of office butt and attracting chicks and feeling better all day long. Don't mean to be sappy at all, but now - having changed my technique - I start getting in touch with the groove of how I move, how the wind blows, how the scenery goes by, how I feel young again in the fresh air. I think about getting home and just getting out there - I can't wait to do it and I get frustrated if I get home too late. I won't hit that high all the time, while my body works to get in shape, but I have my moments.

And I needed to give myself permission to improve gradually, at my speed, not someone else's, and definitely not at some 20-something gym rat's speed (i.e., out of envy). I figured I'd better do something and get moving at 40 - 41 before I can't do it at all.

Intermediate goals may help; I'm not sure I have a final goal except to make it easy, then light, then smooth, and eventually fast. I sometimes think about doing races, but I might not ever do that. Doesn't matter. I just like the motion.

Meanwhile, even when I have to rest with running, I get my deep learning itch satisfied with martial arts, which I've been doing far longer, though not as steadily as I'd have liked. Side benefit from that is good balance and feeling more in tune with myself, so there's a virtual loop going on. And I'm not putting all my eggs on one thing if it doesn't work out.

Keep tweaking what you're doing until it feels right for you. You get a Zen-like "aha!" moment when you realize you are in the groove with your chosen thing.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:23 PM   #1528
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Emprov - when you were changing over to forefoot-strike, did you just run through the stiffness of your calves some days, or did you scrupulously wait for the stiffness to go away before going for your next run? Did you ever get the sense that the first option was not wise?
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:37 PM   #1529
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I have lost 7 pounds since New Years.

So far the 'no plan' plan is working. I hope I can continue fooling myself for a few more months. I'm off my thyroid meds and am doing this au natural.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:40 PM   #1530
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Emprov - when you were changing over to forefoot-strike, did you just run through the stiffness of your calves some days, or did you scrupulously wait for the stiffness to go away before going for your next run? Did you ever get the sense that the first option was not wise?
I don't think that wisdom ever applies to my running.

Over time, I've learned to tell the difference between pain that can be run through and pain that requires a day off. I can't say though that stiffness ever kept me off the road. I did however, find a stretch that really helped though the transition -- it's the third stretch in the video, the static stretch:



I'd do this several times a day whenever my calves tightened up and it worked wonders for me. If you've never tried it, give it a go and hopefully it'll work similarly.

And, as far as stride goes, I've turned out to be more of a mid-foot as opposed to fore-foot. I think that's one of those things that, given enough miles, your body will eventually put things where it needs to be in order to be efficient and that seems to be where my body has landed...for now at least.
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