Tag: run (page 1 of 2)

Racing a Half Marathon with Power: What I learned

A little less than two weeks ago I raced my first stand alone half marathon. The first time I had raced 13.1 miles without first swimming and cycling beforehand. There was a lot I learned both during that race, as well as in the lead up to that race. The majority of that came from my first training block based solely on running power. Here’s what I learned:

1. Most people run at a more variable power than you think

This one surprised me. In the transition from basing my tri air on pace to passing it on power I learned a lot about holding consistent power over different terrain. I knew I needed to back off on the uphill and push it on the down hills to keep the same power. What I didn’t realize is how variable most people are when it comes to power.

I train on fairly flat terrain here in Eastern North Carolina. My race was more towards the central part of the state and was described as “rolling.” At one point a man I was running along side simply looked over at me and said “up and down, up and down!” I noticed so much in this race how, when I would hold a steady power over the hills, so many people would pass me going up, and then I would pass them right back going down. And I was towards the front of the race where you would expect the more experienced pacers to be.

2. Consistent Effort is King

The focus on consistent power is all about effort. A variable effort wears you down more. Cyclists and triathletes who train with power on the bike probably have heard of the metric called “Variability Index” or VI. The VI tells you how variable your effort is. So if the workout is multiple 400m repeats, it will be highly variable. If it is 90 minutes at Tempo, it will be less variable.

In a race situation, keeping a consistent effort allows you to have more gas in the tank at the end. This race was probably my best paced race ever. At the 5 mile mark I picked up the pace (power) slightly and then again at the 10 mile mark. That last 5k was focused on a consistent uptick in pace ever mile or half mile. That last half mile was all uphill until the final .1 where I gunned it to the finish. I am not sure how many people I passed in that final 5k, but It felt good to finish with a strong kick and not have anything left in the tank when I crossed that line!

3. Run Downhill!

I mentioned this before, but taking it easy on the downhill makes no sense. It is harder on your quads. You spend energy braking yourself. You miss the advantage gravity give you!

I stated before that I passed so many people on the down hill. If you look at my power file, I also never got up to my goal power on those down hills either. I simply opened my stride and let gravity do it’s thing. Next time you are in a race, Run down the hills!

4. Train top end speed

This was more from the lead up to the event, but I spent a lot of time working on my top end speed. Speed drills, VO2max drills, miles repeats, you name it, I did it. These all are at the opposite end of the effort spectrum from where I was racing, but they improved my economy. The better your efficiency, the faster you run. Which leads me to my last point:

5. You’re faster than you think you are

This was eye-opening to me. I finished with an average pace of right around 7:30/mile. With that as an average for 13.1 miles that just blew my mind. I had paced shorter legs of a triathlon much slower than that before. I’m sure part of it was the top end speed work I did, but I believe part of it was the mental disconnect between power and pace. I had tri and without ever looking at pace. I raced without ever looking at my pace. I just held the watts because I knew I could. In the end, I was faster than I had ever run for such a long distance.

I think some of us, my self included obviously, keep a mental tab on how fast we are going and when it reaches a certain point our brains tell us to slow down for fear of imploding. This is really discussed in detail in Matt Fitzgerald’s book “How Bad Do You Want It?” There is a huge mental side to suffering during a race. When I took my mind off the speed numbers and put them on a power number, suddenly holding that pace felt easier. It allowed me to dig deeper and unleash more of my potential.

Going into this next season I am looking forward to training with power and I’ll keep sharing the lessons I learn along the way. If you don’t want to miss any of them, make sure you sign up to get my posts sent directly to your email! You’ll also get a FREE 5k or sprint triathlon training plan, and you’ll be the first to get my new Half Marathon POWER training plan!

Running with Power: A Crash Course

I’ve been running with a power meter for several months now. My first impressions were great, but I never went “all in” on training with it… until now.

It’s “off season” which means taking a break from the normal  structure of training, but not from exercise all together. I did take a bit of a break, but a Thanksgiving day Half Marathon is calling my name! For 6 weeks I thought it would be a good idea to train with running power alone and not even look at pace on my training runs. I’ll let you know how it goes after Thanksgiving, but for now, let’s get a bit of a crash course on training with running power.

1. Running Power is not measured same as Cycling Power

This is the first thing you need to understand. Cycling power is now a very mature technology. Almost all power meters for cycling measure direct force (the amount of force you are directly putting into the pedals/crank/rear hub). A Running power meter, however, is a different animal. Most running power meters measure movement or force in a 3 dimensional plane. In other words, not all of your running power is used to propel yourself forward. Side-to-side, up-and-down, and forward motion all add to running power.

This can help us see that as our pace goes down but we go up a hill, there is less forward progress, but we can still measure our work consistently (see next point).  It also tells us that as we bounce or wobble we are using power but not going any faster (see third point!)

2. Running with Power keeps your effort consistent

Many times we get a workout that prescribes running at X pace for X minutes. That is great, but what about going over a hill? What if the course we are running is rolling? Our effort going up the hill will need to increase to keep the same pace, and it will decrease when we are going down the other side. Multiply that by numerous hills on course and you many be spending half the prescribed amount of time in the prescribed zone.

Running power can help us stay on track when we are going over hills. Slow down going up and speed up going down. Too many people slow down running down hill and that only is wasting energy, fighting gravity, and trashing your quads!

3. Running with Power puts more emphasis on form

Form is so vitally important. The goal of a triathlon is not to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. It is to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. Efficiency not only makes you faster, but it also helps you go further, faster. As a race progresses, running form usually goes out the window. This is true in straight running races too!

My first run with a power meter opened my eyes to this more than ever before! The longer the run was, the slower I got and the more watts I was putting out. Both bad things!

One workout I found online was a form run where you hold a set wattage and try to up the pace through weeks in form. Something you couldn’t quantitatively measure before without a power meter!

So that is a simple explanation of running with power. A crash course if you will. Obviously pace and great rate are still very important metrics, and running power is still in it’s infancy, but it is a game changer for sure! I’ll be running solely off power until Thanksgiving, and I’ll pace my Half Marathon solely on power. Stay tuned for the results and my thoughts along the way!

If you like what you are reading, why not subscribe? I promise I won’t spam you, but you’ll get my future posts in your inbox and you’ll get access to a free 6 week 5k training plan, and a free sprint triathlon training plan! So sign up now!

Running Power Meters… First Impression

Being on the bleeding edge is exciting. But you can also get cut deep (hints the “bleeding” part). Power meters were once bleeding edge technology, but today they are common sights. Ask experienced cyclist or triathlete the best upgrade they can make, and they will (should) tell you to get a power meter (If you don’t already have one). But running power meters? That’s bleeding edge!

There really are only a few names in the game right now as it comes to running power meters. The big name is Stryd, now on their second gen unit. The other is RPM2. A few others are out there, but they are more fringe and aren’t specifically power meters like Lumo run and SHFT. The biggest question hanging over running power meters is, are they worth it? Continue reading

HotShot Review

Every once in a while, someone in story looks at an age old problem and comes up with an brilliantly unique solution. Example, increased aerodynamics through ditching the traditional double diamond frame shape like Dimond or Ventum bikes. Obviously, only time will tell if these ideas will work out in the long run. Questions abound from the stability, stiffness, and recently even the safety of such designs. There is a reason traditional designers have stood the test of time!

But on the nutritional side of things, the age old dilemma that has plagued about every athlete at one time or another is that of cramping! The team behind HotShot is looking to be that radical solution that challenges the traditional approach to cramping.  Continue reading

Free 6 Week Triathlon Training Plan

Earlier this week I wrote about 3 ways to jumpstart your fitness for the new triathlon season. Well, here’s a 4th.

Today I’m releasing a FREE 6 Week training plan to get you ready for your first (or next) triathlon. The plan is primarily focused on those training for a Sprint Triathlon, but it will work just as well for the 6 weeks leading up to your next sprint before diving into some intermediate or long course racing.

In this plan I use all the same philosophies I use in my coaching and especially the 3 main workouts for time crunched triathletes. This is a great resource for you as you dive back into training or if you are just getting started. I hope you find this plan useful and that it helps you learn from my mistakes!

 

So get your FREE 6 Week Triathlon Training Plan!

Review- Balega socks

Socks… not something many triathletes spend time thinking about unless it’s under the topic of transition time. Usually the thought is either to wear socks or not to wear socks, and not usually which socks to wear. As must long distance runner know, and triathletes making the jump to long distance find out quickly, your socks matter. That thin layer of fabric separating your shoes and your feet can make or break a long run.

That is where Balega steps in. I’ve been running in these socks since Balega sent me a couple pairs to try out 2 months ago, and honestly… I haven’t even noticed them. And that’s a good thing. A good pair of socks need to disappear when you put them on. And that’s what these socks do! Continue reading

Winter Running Basics

It’s winter here in the northern hemisphere, and that means one of two things: either you are out running in less than ideal conditions, or your are on a treadmill. (or not at all… but that would be 3 things). Most of us don’t like treadmills, and since there is not the plethora of apps to make it as enjoyable as indoor cycling (although Zwift is changing that!!!) most of us are more inclined to brave the elements for our runs than we are for our bike rides. So here is my beginner’s guide to winter running! Continue reading

2017 Sponsor: Brooks Running

As the 2017 season begins, It’s time to start making the announcements about certain new (and returning) sponsors! The first one, I am super excited to have come on board to support my racing this year, and that is Brooks Running!

I get to be a part of the Brooks Pro program this year, so I’ll do my running in the Wonderful Brooks shoes! I’ve been in the Launch 3 since late September and I’ve been loving it. I’m not sure whether I’ll try out some other models or not, but the bit I’ve seen of their line up, I’m sure any of them would be a great!

Continue reading

#OptOutside this Black Friday

It’s Black Friday… and by the time this gets posted (Usually my posts go up at 12:05 AM) you may have already been out shopping and back home. But maybe you are considering a little Black Friday shopping trip after the crowds clear out a little.

May I propose another option?

#OptOutside

Continue reading

Turkey Trot: Thanksgiving Day= Race Day!

The day we’ve been looking forward to has finally come! Yes, Thanksgiving day! And what does that mean? Yes, turkey… stuffing… football… but more importantly, RACE DAY! That early morning Turkey Trot is calling your name! Here’s how to make the most of the day you’ve been training for.

Continue reading

Older posts

© 2017 Triathlonpal

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑