high-minded drivel

high-minded (adjective) - refined; cultured; particularly civilized. drivel (noun) - senseless talk; nonsense.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A training plan, for running AND life

With a dog sled and a pack of eager huskies, a whole new
cross-training element could be added to your running this
time of year
It all started with a question about buttermilk.

Running has been going well since picking up with a true training plan a couple months ago.  Right now my approach is to run a minimum of four days per week, maximum six, and as you might expect, things tend to average out to running five days per week.  Sunday I view as the most significant run of the week, because that is when I do a run at my goal pace.  Monday night or Tuesday morning I'll just do some miles, Wednesday night I'll do a longer run with hills (to the extent that I can find them in Columbus), Thursday night I'll do some more miles, and then Saturday I'll do a slow mid-range run as I look ahead to the pace run the next day to start the cycle over again.  Friday is pretty much always going to be a day off, but Monday morning could involve a run if I really feel like it for some reason.  Although I'm trying to stick to this schedule fairly regularly, at times there will be a day when a refresher is needed, so on those days I'll do some jump rope in lieu of a run.

Hal Higdon's training plans recommend running slower than your goal pace on the Sunday run (which is the day of the week when you end up doing your longest runs), but I've found that I have to actually train at my goal pace if I'm going to then run at the goal pace on the day of the race.  Intuitively, my approach seems to make sense.  I think Higdon's perspective is that your body naturally ramps up for the day of the race due to a trained ability to conserve energy for when it's needed, but whether it's because I don't get "amped" for the day of the race or something else, this doesn't seem to work for me.  I'll feel most confident going into the day of the race believing I can run my goal pace if I've already run at that pace for significant distances in training.  The principle of starting slow and picking up the pace as you go along is sound, but running a full minute and a half slower than your goal pace while you're training?  Obviously Higdon is the expert (he's the one with the website about training plans, numerous books, and any number of disciples), but it's also important to customize with the things that work for you.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

This post would be good to read at 10:00 and 2:00

The first snowfall, a yearly event closely followed by the
first complaint about people driving in the snow
The impetus for the topic of this blog post has not really come about in full force as yet, and the reason is global warming, or at least what people refer to as global warming whenever there is a relatively warm day from December through March.  As everyone knows, with a rising average temperature comes less snow year after year, because if it isn't cold, then there can't be snow.  Well, it has not yet snowed in Columbus this year.  As a result, a time-honored tradition of office conversation, social gatherings, and lone individuals talking to themselves everywhere has been put on hold.  This is the tradition of indignantly pointing out how people can't f*cking drive.

I'm sure you are familiar with this phenomenon regardless of your location, because it seems to me that everybody everywhere believes that their city, town, or village is a city, town, or village full of horrendously bad drivers.  Each year when there is a first snowfall, it is only a matter of time before someone feels compelled to point out that "there has been a first snowfall, and now we're all in for it, because when there's the least bit of snow on the ground people around here act likes it's a big deal and well, there's simply no other way to say it, people can't f*cking drive."  Usually it is the same person each year who makes this proclamation, followed by some self-satisfied laughter.

While this phenomenon is most prevalent during the winter when it snows, much like the Christmas spirit it need not be limited to just one season.  No, such statements can be bandied about year-round.  Whenever there is a bit of springtime rain, for example.  Or perhaps during the summer vacationing season when there is more traffic on the roads.  Another common occasion is when you're a bit late for work and people aren't going fast enough for your taste.  Also much like the Christmas spirit, such thoughts and feelings can be spread from person to person.  This could naturally culminate in everyone in a particular city, town, or village talking about how people in that particular city, town, or village can't drive, and everyone agreeing with each other on this point.