August
29
Posted on 29-08-2011
Filed Under (Training) by Brian

I confess that I’m one of those people who likes to wear his medal around the theme parks after Disney races. I don’t often try to call attention to myself, but you really never get a chance to actually wear your race medals around that often. I’ll also admit that while I’m walking around feeling like the proverbial shit, it does take a little wind out of my sails when I see someone sporting three medals after running the Goofy challenge. I of course vowed to never, ever do the Goofy challenge – ever.

These 3 medals will be mine!

Then, I decided to put a team together for the Walt Disney World marathon weekend. Then, I decided I should run the race with the people I train. Then, I realized that some people are running the half marathon and other people are running the full marathon. Then, I decided to run the Goofy challenge.

It was a remarkably easy decision to make.

“I’ll just pick my slowest runners and pace them to their own personal records”, I thought, “It’ll be a piece of cake and I’ll finally get to strut around wearing those three medals!”

Then, a few weeks ago it hit me. 39.3 miles in 24 hours at any speed is not easy. Unless I want a repeat of my first marathon experience, I need to prepare. So, I’m working on it.

I’m also coaching cross country, which makes it a little more difficult to stick to a training plan. The head coach designs the workouts for the day and I basically end up running that workout with the team. The “kids” challenge me and I’m getting good workouts, but they’re not necessarily specific to a Goofy. At this point, I’m going with the flow and trying to work with my weekend long runs so that I hit mileage goals for each week. I’m getting some pretty intense speed work during the week so if I add the distance on the weekend, I think it will all work out in the end.

Today, however, cross country practice was cancelled. Since I was volunteering at a 5K over the weekend and missed my long run, I decided to solo for 10 miles today. Considering it was 4 PM, 83 degrees and about 99% humidity, my 1:28:10 was a pretty nice time. I felt strong in the last few miles, but I was most certainly happy to be finished at 10. I looked like I ran through a sprinkler. I’ll spare you the picture.

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August
03
Posted on 03-08-2011
Filed Under (Food) by Brian

***Editors Note: While I’m busy putting together teams for the the Digital Running Club in the next few weeks, I’ll have a few guest bloggers. Today’s guest is my old college friend, Juan Roberto. ***

When it comes to the diet of a distance runner, carbohydrates are typically the most often mentioned form of fuel. Terms like “carbo-loading” are familiar not only to dedicated runners, but to the general public as well. While carbohydrates are the fuel of choice for a hard workout, most coaches and doctors agree that protein is required to build muscle and recover after that hard workout.

The use of protein supplements by runners is often debated with some claiming that typical runners get all of their required protein simply by eating a normal diet and others saying that runners must focus on taking in enough protein or risk damaging their muscles. In many cases, protein rich foods can be high in fat (or just plain filling), so it’s easiest to get the extra calories and protein by using protein powder.

Most athletes make their protein powder as a shake, but there are other creative ways to work the powder into your diet. Professional marathoner Ryan Hall, for example, uses Muscle Milk in his Pancake Batter. This balances the carbohydrate rich meal both by adding protein and reducing the need to use sugary syrup for flavor.

Runners who specialize in sprint distances can benefit from the fast twitch muscle building power of creatine supplements. These are typically used for building muscle mass and are common among bodybuilders. So, creatine supplements should probably be avoided by most distance runners.

Though most popular protein supplements are synthesized from animal sources, there are some good vegan options as well. You can find vegan protein powders made from hemp, pea, brown rice and flax seed proteins. Vegan protein powders are thought to provide the short term benefits of animal based protein powders without the long term risks of heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.

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