Monday, December 29, 2008

Laundry List

Good to be home! Got in very late last night, and have got a long list of things to get accomplished this week! Short post today, check the updated training plan for this week's activities. Pretty similar to last week, except most of the distances are longer. Make sure to get those miles in before we start running fast on Monday!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nordic Skiing

Yesterday afternoon, when Beth and I were driving back to my parents house, I noticed that the local golf course had been groomed for some Nordic skiing. So, when we got home, my Dad and I dug out some old skis, threw some wax on them, scrounged around for some warm clothes, and threw the boots by the pellet stove to warm up.

This morning, with the temperature hovering around 10 degrees, my Dad and I left the house in the dark at 6:30 to get some exercise in. It was pretty fun, even though the trails were pretty rough, we couldn't see anything for the first twenty minutes, and we ended up bushwhacking through thigh deep snow to get back on the main trail. But, the both of us did get some good skiing in up the last hill, with my old man going a pretty good imitation of Olympic champion Bjorn Dahlie. (Right before he caught a tip and took a digger right at the crest of the hill.)

Finally, we hiked back up to the car, drove home carefully, and then spent the rest of the day shopping at the outlets. A great day overall!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas tomorrow, and we wish you all a relaxing peaceful day.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Break Training

We are leaving for Boston in a couple of hours, (Adam is coming to pick us up, then dog/house sit for us) so I have posted the training you should do in the sidebar.  Couple of quick thoughts while before I forget, then I gotta try and get some sleep!

You have trained very hard for the month of December, don't let it go to waste by not being intrinsically motivated enough to go out and run on your own.  Make it easier on yourself by making plans to run with your buddies, it is harder to not run when you have people expecting you.

No hill work, no bounding, no plyometrics this week.  You can run hills during the course of your long run, but no stand-alone hill work.  Save that for January.

Any speed you do should be no faster than 5 km race pace and no longer than 30 seconds.  There is no need to burn yourself out now.

Other than Thursday, if you want to run longer than the prescribed time, go for it!  Just make sure you don't run yourself into the ground Monday, and then can't run Tuesday.  Consistency is the key, make sure you get a consistent amount of running from day-to-day.  

Double sessions for the advanced kids are a fine idea.  Getting 30 minutes in the morning, then the normal work-out in the afternoon is no problem.  

Stay hydrated, even in the cold.  If anything, staying hydrated when it is cold is extra important!

If you need anything, email me!  And have a great break!    

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Running in the Cold

I just got in from shoveling the driveway, it was a whopping -3 degrees! I love the bitter cold, reminds me of ski racing back home in New Hampshire. Extra cold green wax, sharp rills int he base, it was a true test of who was really the toughest racer out there. (I just heard on the news that they are NOT canceling the 5 km Jingle Bell road race this morning in Wash. Park, I wonder how many hard-core runners will come out for that?) I have only experienced one situation where it was too cold to ski race. I was cross country skiing in Alaska, and it was -20 or something ludicrous like that when we woke up for the morning races. The race directors had to wait until it warmed up to -18 for USSA rules to let us race. We had to tape our cheekbones, noses and foreheads in athletic tape, and then coat our entire faces in Vaseline to prevent frostbite. I think I raced pretty well that day, must have been the Vaseline. So don't let anyone tell you that old wives tale about "It will hurt your lungs to go out and run at this temperature." Antarctic explorers, Iditarod dog sled racers and world champion Nordic ski racers would vehemently disagree, as well as every study ever done on the subject. Just make sure to wear the appropriate layers, be extra cautious with your footing, and be super-hydrated, and you will have a great recovery run. You know me, if we go to a track meet and it is this cold, I am voting to race. Might as well get used to it now!! To repeat, the cold does not affect your lungs, so get out there and get a good run in! Think to yourself, no one else is running right now, you are getting an extra leg up on everyone!


P.S. The new weekly schedule is posted, I plan on practicing as normal, hope to see you all at the bottom of the stairs.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Just a reminder of your on your own (O.Y.O.) work-outs for this weekend.

Friday-Easy aerobic run. Faster than a shuffle, but not so fast you are dead by the end. Try to get 30-45 min in, depending on how you feel.

Saturday-Long easy aerobic run. The team will be meeting at my house at 8:00, (for directions, email me) and we will go on a 45-60 min run. Again, the pace will be easy, but not too easy.

Sunday-Recovery run. Similar to an active rest day, but a little longer in duration. Run for about 30 min, then go home and stretch really, really well.

Monday-We will meet at the bottom of the stairs to do an outside workout at three o'clock.

Make sure to stay hydrated at all times and I hope to see lots of you on Saturday!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eating Right, One Letter at a Time

Coach Monfre forwarded me this article, and as soon as I noticed that it was by Nancy Clark, I knew it would be good. Nancy Clark is a dietitian and a nutritionist for endurance athletes, and she writes some amazing stuff.

This article is titled "The ABC"s of Sports Nutrition." Here is the first part of it.

"Eating a performance-enhancing diet isn't easy, and for many athletes and active people, nutrition is their missing link. If that's your case, here are a few ABC’s to get you started on the path to winning with good nutrition.

Always eat breakfast; it's the meal of champions! Within three hours of waking, fuel-up for a high-energy day. Not hungry in the morning? Trade evening snacks for a nice breakfast the next day.

Breakfast of champions? I vote for whole grain cereal + milk + fruit—an easy, wholesome, carb-protein combination.

Carbohydrates are essential to fuel-up and refuel your muscles. Do not “stay away from” pasta, potato, bread, bagels and other carbs that have wrongly been deemed “fattening.” Excess fat gets easily converted into body fat, but not carbs.

Dehydration needlessly slows you down, so plan to drink extra fluids before you exercise. The kidneys require about 45 to 90 minutes to process fluids. Allow time to tank up, eliminate the excess, and then drink again pre-workout.

Energy bars are more about convenience than necessity. Bananas, yogurt, fig cookies and granola bars offer convenient fuel at a fraction of the price. Yum!"

The rest of the letters can be found at I really like this format, short little paragraphs that are easily "digestible" by the reader. (Get it?) Try doing one of these each day, and in a month, you will have tried each one of them. I bet you will have transformed your diet to one that is much better than it was before the month started. Do I smell a New Years Resolution??


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Full Utilization

One thing that I have always tried to stress is that athletes need to utilize their time spent practicing 100% if they want to realize their potential. If an athlete wastes time during practice, slacks off in the exercise during practice, or even just shows up late to practice, they are really not getting the chance to be as awesome as they could potentially be.

It takes self-discipline and a strong will to be able to do this on a consistent basis. The more you practice being full aware and engaged during your training, the easier it gets, but it is tough to do. I understand, it is hard to do every hill as perfect as possible, or every squat 100% correct, but the more you can do this, the closer you get to fulfilling your potential. I had a coach growing up who said, "Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent. "

If you practice things poorly, you will perform poorly, that's why you need to be giving everything you got when training, so you have something to call upon when you are racing.


P.S. I know I didn't post it in the weekly training, but what do people think about a 45-60 min run from my house on Saturday? (Then a trip to Einstein's.) If there is interest, we will do it, let me know at practice this week!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekly Results

Gender Grade Dec. 3
(1500 m)
Dec. 4
(400 m)
Alex Balsiger Male 12th 4:32 :56
Derek Eidt Male 12th 4:33 :57
Keagan Vargo Male 10th 4:48 1:08
Taylor Eidt Male 12th 4:54 :58
Brendan Burt Male 11th 4:59 1:06
Trey Cottingham Male 12th 5:05 DNS
Josh Lake Male 11th 5:11 1:07
Patrick Barringer Male 11th 5:18 1:04
Nathan Purdue Male 10th 5:18 1:07
Ryan Bull Male 11th 5:23 1:17
Tyler Brost Male 10th 5:27 1:03
Justin Bills Male 10th 5:27 1:05
AJ Kade Male 9th 5:29 1:09
Caroline Hine Female 11th 5:38 1:14
Kelli Hanrahan Female 12th 5:43 DNS
Melanie Bergen Female 12th 5:55 1:13
Liz Ryan Female 9th 6:12 1:19
Brianna Nelson Female 9th 6:13 DNS
Kendall Waite Female 10th 6:20 1:20
Travis Batt Male 12th DNS 1:00
Katelyn Wojan Female 11th DNS 1:12
Cameron Heitmeyer Male 10th DNS 1:18

Those are the results of the running we did this week. Very impressive, considering the conditions we were fighting through. I was also very happy with the strength work we did, and I am very, very happy with the parking lot hills you all did yesterday.

Now, the speed work is done for a while. It is time to build an aerobic base. Long runs, recovery runs, and more long runs are what's on tap for the next few weeks. A lot of this will be on your own, so you need to be disciplined enough to carry out the work-out. We will know in January who got their long runs in and who didn't, because Spenst Hill never lies! Have a great weekend, get some recovery running in, work your self up gradually, and Monday will be a fun creative run through the neighborhoods.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Even though it is turning into winter, fluids are still very important for all athletes. Just because it is cold does not mean you are not losing fluids. Staying hydrated is not something you cannot do the day of a work-out, you have to stay hydrated ALL THE TIME. You should be carrying around a water bottle all throughout the day. To get better in competition, you need to get better in practice. To do well in practice, you need to stay hydrated. Click below for a page from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. It offers some good guidelines for how much you should actually drink.

Sure, they say to drink Gatorade, but any type of fluid is better than nothing. Although, I know lots of world class runners who drink water and nothing else.