"Believe you can do it. Think no other way but "Yes you can." The human body is capable of considerably more physical endurance than most of us realize." PAUL REESE
Uh! Get your runs in early due to the freezing temperatures that will be arriving later on in the week. CW, E and I were wizzing by...we chatted as ways, mostly about CW's wedding that will be coiming up sooner rather than later...
We talked about the upcoming races and made our usual conversational talk about the upcoming elections. E has a chance to change the elections as of now, no one is running against anyone.
But, we also discussed about the party that tiff had the weekend before and the usual suspect...
We finished off with a sprint in the end as E could not keep up with us and CW and I dueled it out...CW won of course and we waited for the rest to finish up. But here is the kicker, in the end it was JM, CW, E and JB...we all discussed about changing of shoes and differentiating between shoes if you have the same pair. The topic came up when I noticed that E had a safety pin on his shoe lace and I was wondering if it was for his laces. I had done that in high school with my flats, that is why I was wondering. He told me that it was to differentiate between his two black pairs of shoes. The topic changed to naming your shoes, CW writes on his shoes and JB said that it would be interesting to basially stick those labels on your shoes. (you know, the ones where you can label items to keep organized and such)
Then we switched topics to where you would pit the label, it had to be waterproof and how would you lable your shoes...
JB said it would be interesting if you could call your shoes and name them like they name them on boats...since the label would be in the back (like boats) you can name your shoes after that...
It was a funny subject, hillarious even. although it brings up the subject of still...differentiating the difference between the many shoes that we have...
So...how do you differentiate between your rotated shoes?
(Different color, brand...etc) Also, are your shoes even on rotation?
What kind of runner are you?
Were you born to run a fast 5-K, a strong marathon, or something in between?
Here's how to find out—and how to realize your full potential.
By Christie Aschwanden
From the January 2009 issue of Runner's World
For years, Gordon Wright was a long-distance junkie. The 44-year-old enjoyed adventure racing and posted a 3:48 marathon, but he never got near the front of the pack. Then he did a 400-meter race on a whim, having not done speedwork in years, and won in 59.7 seconds, not far from the best in the nation for his age group. "I really am meant to run fast after all," he says. "That was a shock."
Wright is hardly alone. As he found out, success in some events comes more naturally than in others. In fact, few runners have the same potential to be outstanding at all distances. Some people have the innate gift of speed, while others are natural-born long-distance runners. In the end, your physiology, temperament, and priorities will determine your ideal racing distance.
You may be surprised to find out where your true strengths lie. "Everyone thinks the marathon is the Holy Grail, when a lot of people should really be doing the 5-K," says Jason Karp, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and coach in San Diego.
For better or worse, the physiology you're born with determines how well you'll perform your first time out, and how much improvement you'll be able to make in training. The good news is that with the appropriate training strategy, you can make the most of whatever you were born with.
So how do you determine whether you were meant to be a speed demon or a multiple marathoner? You could turn to pricey lab tests to measure factors like VO2 max and lactate threshold, but that probably would be overkill. Your running habits reveal plenty about what distances you're most suited to excel at now.
Read on to learn which physiological factors help shape your running identity. Then examine your training, racing history, and tendencies to find out which distances are the perfect fit for you. Finally, learn how to tweak your training routine and set realistic goals to better match your newfound specialty. Who knows? Like Gordon Wright, you might discover talents you didn't know you even possessed.
The Speed Racer: These athletes are built to go fast-not long. Consequently, the 5-K and 10-K are ideal events to target.
The Middle-Distance Specialist: These people are best at sustaining a tough pace. So they're well suited to run strong 10-milers and half-marathons.
The Long-Hauler: These runners were really meant to go the distance. Though they may lack speed, their true calling is the marathon.
Natural Selection 1: Know Your Physiology
Each of these four qualities influences how fast and how far you can run-and which distance will suit you best
Lactate threshold (LT) pace is the fastest pace that you can sustain for an extended period (roughly 30 minutes or more) before lactate-a by-product of the fuel burned during hard exercise-starts building up in the blood. Marathon winners often have high lactate thresholds, which help them hold a strong pace for a long time. With targeted training-maintaining a certain intensity over a distance-you can raise your lactate threshold.
Muscles are made of slow- and fast-twitch fibers. An elite marathoner's muscles might be 75 percent slow-twitch; an Olympic sprinter probably has a high proportion of fast-twitch. Most runners are born with a modest mix of both. You can't change the muscle composition you inherit, but you can train your muscles for speed or to sustain steady paces over long distances.
VO2 max measures the maximum amount of oxygen that can be consumed per minute while exercising. Runners with a naturally high VO2 max often find it easier to run faster because their hearts can deliver more oxygen to their muscles. There are many ways to boost VO2 max, including speedwork, which forces the heart to pump blood at a higher rate. Beginners can improve it by about 20 percent. In fit runners, it can only be fine-tuned.
Running Economy measures the amount of oxygen you need to run any pace. It reflects how efficiently you run. Other physical factors impact running economy-if you're overweight or have a sloppy gait, for instance, you're going to need more oxygen than a leaner person with a cleaner stride. As you run more, and improve factors like VO2 max, weight, and biomechanics, you'll develop better running economy.
Natural Selection 2: Identify Your True Calling
Examine your own training and racing habits, and learn about what kind of running will give you the most satisfaction-and the best performances
1) How many hours a week can you devote to training?
A. 2 to 3
B. 4 to 5
C. 6 or more
2) How would you describe the perfect training run?
A. It brings a surge of adrenaline and a feeling of power-it feels like kicking into high gear.
B. Running right at the edge of your abilities-not backing off from a difficult effort, but not pushing so much that you run out of steam.
C. It's getting into a meditative rhythm, where you can zone out or get absorbed in your thoughts, a conversation, or your surroundings.
3) If you could skip any workout each week, what would it be?
A. Any run that takes more than an hour. It's just too exhausting and boring.
B. Workouts that don't feel long enough or fast enough.
C. Any run where there's pressure to hold a fast pace. At that moment it feels too hard and ceases to be enjoyable.
4) When you're out on a group run, you stand out from the pack by:
A. Surging to the finish-no matter how hard the group has been running.
B. Managing to stick with the lead group, no matter how much they're pushing the pace.
C. Feeling pretty fresh at the end of a long run-no matter how far you've gone-even when other runners fall apart.
5) When you get injured, what typically precipitates the problem?
A. Total mileage. Overdoing it always seems to trigger some ailment-like plantar fasciitis or a screaming IT band.
B. A muscle pull, a tendon tweak or something that got twisted or torn while trying to keep up or dash to the finish.
C. No major injuries.
6) What's your philosophy when it comes to spending money on racing?
A. With all the races I do, it's hard to justify shelling out more than $30 on one event.
B. Spending $50 or so on a race is okay, as long as there aren't a lot of other costs for travel and logistics.
C. No one likes to part with hard-earned cash, but for a few big events each year, it's not a huge deal to spend $100.
7) When you're choosing a race, what matters most?
A. Convenience. Running shouldn't take time away from family, work, or other important commitments.
B. Getting a decent workout-and a good test-without having to deal with a lot of travel or race-day logistics.
C. It should feel like a big deal. Whether the race is a large, well-known event or is in a beautiful vacation spot, it should be something to circle on the calendar and look forward to, and it should feel like a reward for all the hard work of training.
8) What are the race distances where you had your best finishing times? (To answer more authoritatively, see "The Best Online Prediction Tools.")
B. 10-mile or half-marathon
Answer Key (give yourself points as noted below)
1. A=2 B=4 C=6
2. A=1 B=2 C=3
3. A=1 B=2 C=3
4. A=1 B=2 C=0
5. A=1 B=2 C=0
6. A=2 B=4 C=6
7. A=2 B=4 C=6
8. A=2 B=4 C=6
Interpret your score
Your tally says a lot about you-about your strengths, the distances you were born to run, and your ideal training strategy.
11 to 18 points: You're a Speed RacerYou may not have thought about 5-Ks and 10-Ks since you first started running, but since you seem to be able to pick up speed with ease, that may be the place to stand out. On any weekend, you'll probably have your choice of races to test your mettle. And the best part is, you can put your all into training and racing without feeling like it compromises other parts of your life.
19 to 26 points: You're a Middle-Distance SpecialistIt may feel like the world revolves around the marathon, but you may not have to go that far to experience greatness: 10-milers and half-marathons could be for you. Some brush off middle distances as "practice." But running them, you'll find out how far and how fast you can run. And you'll be part of a renaissance-as 13.1-milers become the most popular races, many have taken on the big-league feel of marathons, and they don't require as much money and time.
27 to 35 points: You're a Long-HaulerWhile some people could never imagine "looking forward" to a few hours of running, you savor the long, slow distances that let you spend long stretches of time outside as you prepare for the big event. The marathon is for you. You may get left behind in a 5-K, but that shouldn't matter. For you, three miles is barely a warmup.
Natural Selection 3: Train Like a SpecialistTarget Your Strengths
Once you know your strong suit, you can develop the traits that will help you excel. Of course, with focused training, you can fulfill your potential at any distance. "Our bodies are remarkably adaptable," says Bill Pierce, Ed.D., an exercise scientist at South Carolina's Furman University and coauthor of Run Less, Run Faster. Work out with purpose and gradually adjust your workload, he says, and "you can reach your goals." Here's how.
Be a Speed Racer (Run fast 5-Ks and 10-Ks)
YOUR GOAL: Build VO2 max, recruit fast-twitch muscles, hone running economy
YOUR STRATEGY: Get lots of practice running fast. Intervals, which involve working near maximum heart rate, force the heart to move as much oxygen as it can to the muscles, which boosts VO2 max. The bursts of speed get your fast-twitch fibers firing. And as your legs and feet turn over at a quicker rate while you're running fast, you'll shed sloppiness in your stride and run more efficiently.
KEY WORKOUT: Speedwork. Run intervals about 10 seconds faster than 5-K race pace, or the quickest pace you can sustain and repeat. At a track, run 400- to 1600-meter intervals, or on the road, run fast for two to five minutes at a time. Between intervals, jog for two to three minutes to recover. Start with three intervals (or 10 minutes of fast running). Be sure to warm up and cool down.
EXTRA CREDIT: Work your legs. You'll need strength-especially in your quads, hamstrings, and calves-to make powerful strides and avoid injury. Twice a week, try moves like squats and lunges, which work the major muscle groups in your legs.Be a Middle-Distance Specialist (Run fast 10-milers and half-marathons)YOUR GOAL: Raise lactate threshold
YOUR STRATEGY: Master the art of running comfortably hard. Do workouts in which you hold an intense pace for 20 to 45 minutes-this delays the time it takes for lactate to start building up in the blood and for fatigue to set in. It also builds mental stamina. If you practice sustaining tough paces, you'll have more confidence in the hardest moments of the race. Don't drop your speedwork and long runs-they make tempo work feel more manageable.
KEY WORKOUT: Tempo run. Start with 15 to 20 minutes at a pace that's 15 to 45 seconds slower than your 5-K pace. Build up to 30 to 45 minutes. As you get more comfortable, gradually increase the pace.
EXTRA CREDIT: Learn to breathe and relax-even during maximum effort. When you're pushing your pace, it's natural to tense up, which steals energy your heart and legs need. In workouts, scan your body for tension-in your jaw, shoulders, and back-and release it. Running on a treadmill in front of a mirror can also help you evaluate your own form and identify any spots where you're tensing up.Be a Long-Hauler (Run a strong marathon)
YOUR GOAL: Improve running economy
YOUR STRATEGY: Pile on the miles. The more you run, the more economical your form will become, and you'll feel stronger on your feet for longer stretches of time. Also, your body will become more efficient at utilizing fuel and preserving energy for later in the race. This is not an invitation to slack on the speedwork and tempo runs-a strong heart and higher lactate threshold will help you stay strong during the final miles and the surge to the finish line.
KEY WORKOUT: The long run. Start with a one-hour long run and gradually build up to three hours. Aim to run about 30 seconds slower than your goal marathon pace. As you get more comfortable covering the distance, start using the long run as a rehearsal for the race. First, work on picking up the pace in the middle miles of the run. Then, try to shift into a higher gear in the last segment of the run.
EXTRA CREDIT: Work on your waistline. Build a strong core, and your form will be less likely to fall apart when you're fatigued. Being at your ideal weight can improve your running economy, too-the lighter you are, the less oxygen you'll need to carry your body over any distance.
Natural selection 4: Set Reachable Goals
Online tools help you find the right pace and best raceBy Bob CooperRunners have lots of questions. Is the marathon really for me? Is a 25-minute 5-K realistic? Prediction calculators can provide some answers. These tools forecast how fast you can run one distance based on a time for another. Plug in your 5-K time, for instance, and you can find out what marathon performance that would translate to. These tools can also help you get an indication of where your racing strengths lie. Say you ran a 3:30 marathon, and the 5-K time the calculator shows is five minutes faster than your PR. That's a sign that you'll perform better at long distances. The predictions are based on algorithms that include factors like race statistics and the natural tendency to run slower at longer distances. They can be accurate if you've trained properly for each distance you're evaluating, but way off if you haven't.
Here are some of the better online prediction tools.
(We, of course, are partial to the one at Runnersworld.com; see "At Runnersworld.com," below).
Remember: They only predict potential. Whatever the numbers say, how well you race will also be determined by factors that don't fit into any formula-grit, luck, and good, old-fashioned sweat.
The Best Online Prediction Tools At Runnersworld.com
Runnersworld.com/tools is loaded with resources that can help you gauge how fit and fast you are-and figure out how to make your mark.
Training Calculator This predicts how fast you could run 11 different distances based on your performance at one race distance, and suggests training paces based on your results. It also links to SmartCoach, a tool that lets you tailor a training plan to your ability and racing goals.
Pace Calculator This shows the pace you need to maintain at various distances to reach your goal. Then you can create your own marathon pace band listing your splits for race day.
Age-Graded CalculatorThis lets you compare your times with runners of the same age and gender. Use it to set goals and move up in your age group.
On Other Sites
Mcmillanrunning.com has a tool that converts any race performance to equivalent times at 27 other distances and suggests training paces for 18 workouts.
Runworks.com has a calculator that predicts times at 12 distances and adjusts paces for temperature, hills, and altitude.
Jeffgalloway.com has a calculator that's especially helpful for beginners or anyone who hasn't raced. The site details a time trial and a "Magic Mile" formula that estimates times for longer events.Don't Know Your Pace?
The 5-K pace is a good benchmark to help you assess your fitness and set doable training and racing goals-whether you're running 3.1 miles or 26.2. If you haven't raced before (or not for awhile), this time trial will help you ballpark your 5-K pace. It was developed by Bill Pierce, Ed.D., an exercise scientist at Furman University, and coauthor of Run Less, Run Faster.1. At a track, run 3 x 1600 meters at a challenging but not all-out pace. Jog for one to two minutes between intervals to recover. The goal is to run each of the segments at an even pace.2. If there's more than a 10-second variation between the 1600s, scratch the results. Try the workout another day.3. If the times are similar, take your average pace for the 3 x 1600 and add 15 seconds.
That time is a good estimate of your 5-K pace.