Monday, October 27, 2014


Unbelievably beautiful fall weather here in Sewanee.   Lower 70ºs at sunset, dry for days and the color of the leaves near peak.   I finished my session tonight under the lights as I was sharing the stadium with the lacrosse team.  

I didn't feel like running long tonight.  I hadn't run 200s in a while so I did the "run a 200m / walk a 200m" thing.   However, after running the first three in around 27, I was walking very slowly (in lane 8) to the next rep.  I took some extra time before the last rep.  
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
8 x 200m - 27, 27, 27, 29, 29, 28, 29, 27
It didn't feel real good.   I'm just too heavy and a bit tight from the resistance I've been doing.   My diet hasn't been great, and lately my weight averages around 148-149.  

With my schedule the way it is, I probably won't be able to train again til the weekend.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

resistance, plans, thoughts

Despite lingering ham soreness from Thursdays speed work, I hit the gym tonight and did the usual lower body routine.   I think it is working for me, seeing some development in the glutes and thighs, probably helped by a diet richer in protein and carbs.
3 x 10 each leg - single leg squat jumps with 70 lbs  
4 x 15 - squat jumps with 80 lbs 
3 x 25 - calf raises with 270 lbs 
3 x 15 - ham / glute raises with 25 lbs 
2 x 15 - leg extention/ hip flexor with 60 lbs each leg 
2 x 35 - glute machine with 150 lbs
My present thinking is that exercises that isolate a a specific muscle are not useful to me.  If I were interested in body building, perhaps, but exercises that are explosive and use the same muscle groups that a sprinter uses, seem to be the way to go.  In the real world, athletes never isolate muscles in athletic events.   That's why I prefer squat jumps and leaps to simple squats.  I remember working out as a kid and doing slow muscle-isolation type lifting.    I don't see the point.   Sprinting is explosive, so why would I want to go slow and isolate ... (except sometimes for the negative in prehabing the hams.  That 'eccentric movement' thing).   When I use the leg extension machine, I deliberately lift my thigh off the bench to recruit the hip flexors in addition to the quads.  (I've seen Usain Bolt do this in workouts).

I've also read that explosive training, especially HIIT (high intensity interval training) is the best way to produce hormones like hgh and testosterone.  Studies confirm, it's far better than steady state cardio-type training in that regard.

Hard to believe but the first indoor track meet is just 6 weeks away.   I'm thinking I'll have fun at this first meet and not run the 400m, just the 55m and the 200m.  It would be a good test to see if I'm maintaining speed while I age.

Speed, baby.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Tonight felt good, invigorating.  Upper 50ºs at the Dean Hayes track tonight after sunset. Brad and Jacob came out to join me for some short speed work.

Got the spikes on tonight.  I started with a near race pace 300m and then some short repeats at near 100%.
400m warmup, stretches, drills, striders 
Saucony Showdown spikes on 
300m - 40.5 
7 x 50m - 90-95% 
100m - 12.5
I need to do more speed workouts like this one.  The explosive element needs to be practiced and I did feel fast tonight, despite weighing 148 lbs.    Maybe Jacob wasn't trying very hard tonight but I beat him in every rep.   The last 100m felt strong an I started it on a beep from a set position without blocks.   It was not timed precisely but was definitely under 13.  Good way to end the evening.  Felt high afterward.

Monday, October 20, 2014

tempo 400s

The dreaded 4 x 400m workout today, then some.   I usually don't like working out in the noon sun but it was cool enough ... low 60ºs.    So I put on the sunscreen and went.   Sewanee was quiet as usual, just had to move the team benches off of lane one.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drill 
4 x 400m w/ 2:15 rest in between - 69, 69, 74, 78  
Saucony Showdown spikes on 
200m - 26.5
It was hard, especially the last 200m of #4.  I brought my spikes and felt like running one fast 200m, which I did in sub 27.  Felt good, considering I'm heavy, about 147 lbs.  Need to start doing some short speed work.  50s.  

Maybe I'll hit the stadium stairs tomorrow instead of weights.   I need to practice for my concerts so it's a juggling act.

I spend a lot of time in this position...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

speed ladder

Did a long sprint ladder down tonight.  It was much cooler at the Dean Hayes track tonight, 52º with a breeze.  Felt cold.  It reminded me that winter training is going to be hard... out in the freezing weather.

I had a free hour today so I went over to the MTSU track practice and said hello to Dean.   I said, "There he is... 50 years!" (referring to this season - marking the coach's 50th year of coaching).  He responded, "That's me!"   He told me Coach Kelly left and is now at Birmingham Southern.   I liked him.  Sorry to see him go.  Good to see Dean.  I think he's obsessed with triple jump.   That's what he always seems to focus on at practice.   His 400 guys have been doing 8x300m workouts, almost every day.  I wonder how many of them actually do them?  They seem really unsupervised.

A good solid foundational workout for me tonight.  Nothing full blast, but good and hard.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:35 
600m - 1:49 
500m - 85 
400m - 65
Next week will be my last week of regular workouts then I'll have to get them when I can, as I am on the road for a few concerts.

Should probably start doing those dreaded 6 x 300m or 4 x 400m workouts with 2 min rest.   Good when pressed for time, but the most painful.

Coach Page said it would be painful... back in '11.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday 600s / 300s

It looks like the Kentucky Co. Day School got a new track resurface...  it was warm Sunday afternoon for Oct.  Near 70º and party cloudy.

It seemed harder today.  I think running 600s is in some ways harder than 800s, since I'm aiming at 17-18sec/100m at 600m pace compared to around 20-21sec/100m at 800m pace..  and for 300's, 14-15sec/100m pace.
Saucony Rider trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 600m - 1:47, 1:51 
2 x 300m - 44, 44
Roya pushed me on the last 100m on the 300s.  She can definitely run in the 15s in 100m, very impressive.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

track night

After a resistance workout Tues, a track workout tonight under a nearly full moon and mild weather.   This evening, both my students copped out so I went at it alone.  It was unseasonably mild, low 70ºs and humid.   I 'one-upped' myself from the previous workout and stayed a very consistent pace.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 800m - 2:45, 2:46, 2:46, 2:43 
400m - 65
A 3600m workout.   It wasn't too bad because I took a lot of recovery.  Unlike a 400m race where I can push my heart rate into the160s, these 800s pushed my heart rate only to the upper 140s - near 150 by the end, but perhaps for longer duration.

I am heavy... 148.5 before workout, 147.2 after.    Probably 5 - 6 lbs over race weight,  not too bad for the off season.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

quantity foundation work

Crisp and cool this evening on a very quiet Sewanee track, 60º, clear, and breezy.   Fall break, Sewanee is a ghost ship, even quieter than usual.

Did some relaxed but tiring 800s and ended with an up tempo 400 strider.
 Saucony Ride trainers on
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 800m -  2:45, 2:49, 2:51  
400m - 65
Didn't push anything real hard, it's early.   Still sore in the haunches from the weights Friday night.  I'm planning on only doing 2 track days and 2 days of lifting per week this month.   May also throw in a day of stadium stairs and weight sled work.  It will be hard to workout during the 2 weeks I am doing concerts - last week Oct., first week, Nov., but I'll try.

Friday, October 3, 2014


Back to an off season regime.   Eating a bit more to build some muscle.  Weigh about 147 lbs.

Tonite ...

3 x 10 - single leg squat jumps with 60 lbs each leg 
3 x 20 - calf raises with 250 lb 
3 x 15 - glute ham raises, slow negative 
3 x 25 - glute machine with 230 lbs each leg 
2 x 15 - hip flexor machine 150 lbs each leg
15 squat jumps with 70 lbs
adductor machine, rowing, chest, and pullups

Tomorrow I'll do some abs and hit the track for some 800m repeats.  It's supposed to be very cool tomorrow, probably in the low 50ºs by tomorrow afternoon.   I always like doing quantity workouts in the cold.  Seems to lessen the pain.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Last post season meet and forward...

It was pretty much a bust.  I forgot about the time zone change (central to eastern) and missed the 100m race.  Not only did they not go on schedule, they started the 400m ahead of schedule.   I got to the McMinn Co. HS track right after the start of the first heat of the 400m.   So they put me in the second heat.   I asked them to wait for me while I jogged a half mile to a badly needed men's room, did a few leg swings, no real warm up and went.  It was totally stupid.  No blocks, starter said 'set' before I put my hands down, no starting gun, just a hand clap.  I went out too fast and really dragged my ass in the last 50m, a total rig up.   Running in lane 5 against 4 older guys, of course I never saw anyone.  I won the heat by about 150m.  It was a joke.  I had to tell the 'official' where the finish line was.  I think they actually used the blue line that starts the mile as the finish for the first heat!  They actually ran a 390m... not a 400m.  Unbelievable.


I was surprised that it was even that fast, considering the circumstances and my weight (145+).  This was the only 400m race that I've ever got physically sick after.  Good thing I didn't eat this morning, had a few dry heaves, but then was ok.  My warmup only consisted of a half mile jog to the mens room and that was about it.   Normally, I like to warm up, do a few striders up to race speed, then chill out for a while before I race.  Not today.   Despite the unpleasant feeling it was a good workout.

These 'post season' races overall were not particularly rewarding or fast.  In a way, probably a set back to the rather aggressive weight training program I had begun and foundational (longer distance) running.

Forward .... thoughts
I was chatting with a collegiate distance runner who was volunteering as a timer.  He agreed with what everyone says about the 400m race ... it's a bitch, probably the most painful event in track.  Today, it reminded me that the path I've taken is a tough one, if I am to race at the level I want to.

I understand so few people my age have essentially no understanding for why I work so hard for this, and I'm fine with that.   To follow the 'path of least resistance' and to 'enjoy life' ... like many people through daily base indulgences in rich food, booze, pot, sedentary lifestyle, etc...   It's a trend - Americans are getting fatter and less healthy.  It would be sooooo bloody easy to live like that.  I have been there and done that.  Not that I won't enjoy these things from time to time, but to live like that?   That lifestyle is not the way I want to enter old age.   I'm definitely a lone wolf in my area.   Track, like most of my pursuits has been a solitary endeavor.   I've never been one to train with music in my ears and rarely with company.  There is a meditative quality to training, the rhythm of the pace, the breath, heart beat, the air rushing past, the sunset, the sweat, and after the pain...  the endorphin high, that wonderful feeling of 'getting it done.'

There are a few things I need to change.   I really need to stop consuming so much sugar.  Just ordered some green tea which I drink without sugar.  There is no need to binge on rich food just because I'm not racing.  Yes, some carbs for muscle building are OK... but it's so hard to get to race weight, getting off those last 5 lbs is hard if I'm ballooning up 10 lbs in the off season.

Also, I want to acknowledge those of you who read my ramblings on this blog.   A few hundred people per week visit this blog, including some regular readers, in total - readers from 19 countries.  It's good to know I have some like-minded brothers out there, willing to take this path less traveled.

“Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can’t handle!” - Sanya Richards-Ross