Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tabata training work out!

I have been researching the high intensity interval training and especially the Tabata method. I described it in an earlier post but basically the Tabata method is 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 repetitions for a grand total of 4 minutes total effort. The exercise can be anything that involves the larger muscle groups; sprinting, dead lifts, swimming, etc. According to the information among the websites I visited you can make some dramatic increases in your VO2 maximum and your anaerobic capacity in as little as 6 weeks.
I went out today (July 27th) to give it a try. I have to admit I ended up wimping out a little. I started off with a 2 mile warm up. I added some butt kicks and some high stepping into the run. After the run I stretched out a little to loosen up. I set my Garmin for 8 repetitions of 20 seconds with 10 second intervals. I then let loose with my first sprint. Well, since I have aged I don’t sprint too often unless someone or something is chasing me. A 20 second sprint is a looooonnnng time! Conversely a 10 second rest period is a short time. When the Garmin signaled the 20 seconds were over and I slowed down to a walking pace, the 10 second rest was done! After about 6 repetitions I had to take a 30 second break instead of a 10 second break. My last couple of sprints was more of a slow run. I think I need learn to take the pain and crash through my lactate threshold. I was not satisfied with my performance at all. Next time out I need to give my all for that brief 4 minutes.
Has anyone else out there tried any high intensity training? I like the idea and plan on incorporating it into my work out routine. I must say that I don’t necessarily look forward to it. Hopefully I can bump up my running ability some. I have been stuck at a little above 7 minute mile pace for a 5K for about two years now. I would really love to get below the 7 minute mile for the 5K and also break a 6 minute mile pace for 1 mile.
We will see what happens. I plan on doing the Tabata twice a week.

PS: Another thing about sprinting is it is hard on your body. I was amazed at how my legs, knees, and ankles were sore. If you have not sprinted in a while you might want to start out slowly.

Have a great day!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Test run on Paris Mountain 7K Trail Course

Last Sunday (July 18th) I decided to drive out to Paris Mountain to run the course for the upcoming 7K trail run. I have not been running much in the Vibrams and not much in my running shoes either! Actually my running has really dropped off due to work, travel, and medical conditions. I figured I should do a test run in the Vibrams before the actual race on August 14th.
After arriving on site I noticed that I did not bring a course map so I decided to start off at the park entrance and run the 6K course from memory. After the brief ½ mile run on pavement I turned right onto Mountain Creek Trail. The beginning of the trail is full of rocks so I had to be careful but then it quickly turns into dirt and the going was easy. After about a mile or so you turn left onto Sulphur Springs trail, you then cross the paved road and start up the trail to the right near the picnic shelter. This section of trail as you head towards the dam probably gave me the most difficulty. It is full of roots so I had to really concentrate on my foot placement.
I continued on Sulphur Springs and unknowingly took a short cut. The last time I ran the Paris Mountain Run it was a 6K and we turned up at this small shelter before the dam. However, now the run is a 7K and you go to the dam. Nevertheless, I continued on down towards the paved road then took a left on the paved road and headed up hill. For me this is probably the toughest part of the run because it is a steep grade. I have seen many people just walk up that road and I have to admit it is exhausting. But I managed to continue a slow pace up the hill and turned right onto Archery Range trail, and then connected back into the Sulphur Springs trail.
At that point I believe you are about ½ done with the run but most of the remaining part of the trail is downhill so that makes you feel a little better.
About 1/8 mile past the connection to Sulphur Springs trail I got stung on the leg by a yellow jacket or some other sort of wasp. I did not see what it was but it put a good sized welt on me. Of course that helped me to quicken my pace a little!
Sulphur Springs connects back into Mountain Creek trail and I finished off the run at the Ranger Station Pavilion.
Due to the fact that I cut a corner my run only came out to 4.13 miles instead of the 4.35 miles. Total time was about 36 minutes which is an okay time I suppose.

Conclusions: The 7K trail run is tough on your ankles and feet, however, with the Vibrams on I must admit my feet where feeling a little more beat up then usual. I did not do any ankle twist but I did step on a couple of painful roots and rocks. All and all I was satisfied with the run and plan on going out there for another test run this Sunday. The Vibrams are starting to look a little worn and have developed a foul odor. I have been washing them thoroughly after runs to help reduce the smell. Some of the stitching is coming loose too. I am not sure how many miles I have in them but I did expect them to hold up a little better.

Have a great day,


Friday, July 9, 2010

Barefoot running on News Channel 4

I am not sure if anyone was watching but News Channel 4 in Greenville, SC has been airing a series on barefoot running. Go to this link and the latest barefoot running story should pop up.

Scott Murr is in the story and he is the coauthor of the book Run Less Run Faster. He has been doing some barefoot running along with shod running. He believes that the barefoot running helps to strengthen your feet. I liked the story and it all is very positive towards running barefoot. Check it out if you get a chance!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New neat barefoot running site and running in the Outer Banks

I was reading the Sunday paper and lo and behold there is an article on barefoot running. If you get a chance, look in the July 4th edition of the Greenville News on page 4D. The article has input from both the believers and non-believers. In the article they mention two really good websites to visit. One is from Harvard University ( and the other is from a person named Ken Bob ( Both are good websites. The Harvard one has a lot of good videos about heel striking as compared to mid-foot and forefoot striking. According to the study, most people that run with shoes on tend to heel strike and many that run barefoot tend to mid-foot and fore foot strike. According to the studies the barefoot impact has less force than the shod foot impact. Of course this does vary with the person and the shoes.
At this point in my bare footing career I can't tell whether I prefer barefoot or shod. Due to my rash of recent heart troubles, my running frequency has dropped. I did have a decent running week at the Outer Banks.
During my family Outer Banks visit we stayed on Roanoke Island in a little resort village named Pirates Cove. They have condos and houses for rent. We rented a little cottage on the canal. It was a great week of relaxing. On Sunday I did a quick 3 miler with my Nikes near the cottage we stayed in. The weather was very humid so I was sweating profusely at the end.
Tuesday I drove down to Nags Heads Woods and did a 4 mile trail run with the Vibrams. This turned out to be more of a complete aerobic work out involving all muscle groups because of the deer fly harassment. I forgot to bring bug spray and was literally attacked for the duration of the run. I call these little buggers deer flies, some people call them yellow flies. Whatever they are, they have a very painful bite! They tend to fly around your head and enjoy actually bumping into your head. Of course when they bump into your head you tend to smack yourself while trying to hit them. I am sure I looked a little crazy running through the trail dodging and weaving and hitting myself in the head. Because of the frenzied running I missed my turn and actually ended up on a dirt road for about 2 miles, I doubled back and completed my run. As far as the Vibrams went, I had a good run. The trail was very sandy in some areas and was difficult to run through. My pace was a little quicker than I had anticipated because of the attacking deer flies.
Thursday I went for a "dock" run. The Pirates Cove village is cool because they have canals all throughout the village. On each side of the canal there is a continuous dock. I actually did a 4 mile run mostly on the docks. The views are beautiful and the run was fun. The joke about taking a long run on a short dock doesn't work there.
I had planned to do a beach run one day but I just ran out of time. I have not run on the beach in years. We returned home from our vacation on July 3rd.
On the 4th I went out for a long run to see if I could still do it. I have not gone over 4 miles for about 3 months! I decided to try it. I made it about 7 miles before I pooped out. My pace was 9 minute miles and I ran that with my Nikes.
To get back into the barefoot grove I have been taking easy 1 mile runs with my daughter. She has taken an interest in running and I really enjoy jogging around our neighborhood with her. She is doing great and progressing well. I have been wearing my Vibrams during these runs.
Well I better stop writing now. I have some more interesting heart stuff to talk about but I need to learn more from my doctor about it. I will be wearing a heart monitor for a while starting next week. More on that later.

Have a great day and God bless you.