Monday, February 28, 2011

Finding The Right Training Plan For Me

My current training plan has been going great. I posted on a few message boards about my situation and am waiting for some responses. Here's what I wrote:
To anyone that has helpful suggestions, I really appreciate it.
Background I recently had an injury, took time off, went to the physical therapist, got some tips, and now feel great when I run. Before the injury I was able to run ~40 mile weeks. I started a ridiculous training plan and had the overuse injury mentioned above. Now I am being conservative. Too conservative? I dunno.
My current schedule On the first week I did 1/4 mile runs and 2 1.3 mile bike rides on MWF. On TRS I did cross training.
My runs have been increasing my 1/4 a mile each week. I am now at 1.75 miles.
My bike is a fixed gear BMX bike. The 1.3 mile ride includes a very steep hill that is half of the distance. This ride takes me about 15 minutes. I have not changed my riding distance since I started my plan, but I can definitely feel a workout in my legs!
My cross training consists of hip workouts, squats, pushups, and situps. Follow the 100 pushup challenge, 200 squat challenge, and 200 situp challenge plans.
I have also changed my diet. I have focused on eating more natural foods with very little meat involved(Wednesday is my cheat day). I am essentially aspiring to be vegan with many slipups along the way.
This has been GREAT for me. But, I honestly feel I am more challenged on my cross training days than my run days. I keep my runs at the 10/11 minute pace. I focus on running light and smooth to prevent injury. Since my goal is to run a 50k I figure all speed training can come when I safely reach my desired mileage.
The Dilemma Even though my plan is feeling great, my 50k is in January. This is 44 weeks away. 44(0.25)+1.75 = 12.75 miles which is much less than 50k. This means that I need to increase my mileage at a faster rate. According to my calculations for me to be able to run 30 miles by January I need to increase my distance ~0.7 miles per week. Is this feasible with little chance of injury?
If so, should I stick to my same training plan or look towards other training plans? The main problem I see with other plans is the days that they make you run. I need to run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Thanks in advance.
So this is where I am at right now. I need more miles in less time. I'm not quite sure which plan to follow. If any of my readers have any suggestions feel free to chime in. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Every Time I Run

Just kidding... only sometimes. :)

Thanks /r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu/ for the inspiration.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers Review

I recently got a new job which requires me to dress a little more professional. Not completely professional, but at least not in a tee-shirt and shorts. I was not liking my current Vans slip on shoes, so I set out to find something more minimalist that I could wear to work without socks.

After hours of searching my mom mentioned some shoes that I "probably won't like because they did not look minimal enough."
Luckily this was not the case. After trying on countless shoes we went to our last resort, "Those shoes at Mountain Crossings." These "shoes" were the Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers.

First, a little background on Sanuk. They write,
"Sanuk, which means "Fun &; Happiness" in Thai, was started by a southern California surfer with a whacked out taste in footwear. Whether you're a surfer chasing the perfect wave or a rock climber seeking the perfect line, our goal is to offer you sandals that are as much about funk as they are about function."
The first thing that stood out to me with the Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers was the slogan: "These are not shoes (They're sandals)" Interesting concept. When I first put my foot in the Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers I noticed the  minimalistic design of the shoe. There was no arch support or elevated heel. Perfect! One of the tags on the shoe even read,
"Unlike stiff shoes, our patented sandal construction allows your feet to bend and flex the way nature intended. Walking with this natural motion strengthens your feet, enhancing both your balance and your performance."
I'm glad they have their minds in the right place!

The next thing I noticed was the amount of room that I had in them. The designers created them to fit loosely. This allows for high breathability when wearing without socks. Though they are a little bit warmer than barefoot or sandals, they are much cooler than my Vibram Five Fingers KSO and other shoes that I commonly wear socks with. Another benefit of the ample room is that they allow your toes to splay naturally, unlike my Vans and other western shoes.

As far as ground feel goes they feel the same as a pair of flip-flops. They don't have as much ground feel as my Vibram Five Fingers KSO. Although this doesn't really bother me, this is my only caution to other barefooters that are looking for a decent looking minimalist shoe with a ton of ground feel.

The material of my Sanuks are all-organic hemp. I like this because it feels good against my skin and lets air flow in. It also feels durable. I have ran, biked, and spent many hours walking in them and they are holding up nicely. Since they fit loosely, I wouldn't recommend running far in them unless you have experimented with barefoot running first. The way you have to run in them to avoid blisters involves having good barefoot running form, as you have to lift your feet straight up and stepping directly below your hips.

The grip on the bottom is what you would expect from the sandal-like design. I have slipped a few times on ice with them, but that was more due to my poor ability to judge ice.

While most of my time in them is spent behind a desk, I feel they are a great shoe that gives my feet some freedom at work. At the end of the day I still kick them off, but not many barefoot runners don't
kick their shoes off even with the most minimal of shoes.

To learn how to say "Sanuk" and check out what they are all about, give them a visit at Also check out news and updates about Sanuk on Twitter.


Saturday, February 12, 2011


I decided to get a Twitter. I feel like my blog is just a bunch of run reports that could easily be written in 140 characters or less. This way, my blog can have more blogs about things that other people may find interesting.

If you look to the right, you will see my Twitter box. Feel free to follow.

Valeo Yoga Kit Review

I have been doing a lot of floor exercises. Previous to this I was doing some foam rolling. The carpet was uncomfortable for both. When CSN Stores contacted me about their inventory I went in search for a yoga mat.

The yoga mat that I ended up buying was pretty cheap in price compared to the other ones. It also came with a cotton strap buckle and 2 foam blocks. I don't really use them but I'm glad that I have them.

When I first looked at the mat online I thought it was going to be flimsy. This is not the case. I have used it every other day for about three weeks and it feels just like it should.

The texture feels like it is made out of layers of the rubber that you put under cups and dishes in your cabinet. It has nice grip and doesn't attract junk off the floor.

I was also weary about the bag that it comes with. Thankfully it works great and I haven't had any problems with the quality.

The following are a few of my complaints:
  • I wish they had more colors. Purple is okay. It actually reminds me of Barefoot Ken Bob's shirt when I met him, which was also purple.
  • The box CSN sent this in was not economical at all. It was roughly 4 times the size of the Valeo Yoga Kit box and filled with bags of air. This seemed a bit excessive. I did take into consideration that they may be reusing a box, which is somewhat resourceful.
I really like my yoga mat and would recommend it for someone who needs a yoga mat but is on a budget.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Black Beans in the Crockpot(Slow Cooker)

There's only so much I can say about cooking black beans in a crock pot. They are simple and much cheaper than buying them in a can. So far, this is how I have been making them:

  1. Buy the cheapest black beans you can find from *Mart. Honestly, I really don't think organic is going to make a big difference here.
  2. Decide on how many beans you want to make. I typically make 2 or 3 cups at a time(I eat a lot of 'em). 
  3. Pour them into a drainer and rinse them off for about 2 minutes. Dig through them so the ones in the middle can be reached. I have heard people say to pick out broken ones. I don't bother.  Most of the Great Value kind look good and clean right out of the bag.
  4. Dump you beans into the bottom of the crock pot and fill it up with water. Set it on the low setting and cook for 5 hours.
  5. Check them to see if they have the right consistency when they are done.
  6. Pour into a seal-able container and fill the remainder of the space with the water. It makes them a little more like what the canned version tastes like.
  7. Eat

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rainy Day

Even though I said I was going to, I decided not to run yesterday. I was tired and it was dark and cold out when I came home. Hmm... maybe I'll put $5 in my jar...

I was still feeling crappy today, but decided to hit the gym. It is rainy and cold here, so the gym was the best option for my current condition. I rode the stationary bike for 1.9 miles, as I would if I rode out to my spot. It shows you the mountains you are about to go up and lets you pick an intensity. I switched back and forth from the 11 and 15 setting.

I then ran around the indoor track. Man that track drags. They are 1/10 mile laps. I had to wear my VFFs(they asked me to put my shoes back on last time), which was odd. I tried to keep my form and ended up running it at 4:05. Not bad considering all the right hand turns I had to muster.

I hit the stationary bike once more and did it for 2 miles. I still kept the same intensities, but switched back and forth every 1/4 mile instead of every half mile. It felt a bit easier.

I feel a lot better than I have all day after all the exercise. I noticed about midway through my exercise that my nose wasn't running anymore. Now the runny nose did return after a while, but it was a nice break.

Until next time...

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Of course, a few days after I start a training schedule that I enjoy and look forward to every day I get sick...

I took yesterday off(The previous blog was actually written a week ago) and got some well needed rest. Thankfully, it worked and I feel much better today. I was debating whether or not I should continue like I trained yesterday, but I decided to just do what I missed today and be one day behind for the rest of the week. This just means I won't have a rest day on Sunday, since I have already had one this week.

So today... CARDIO!

Charity Dollars

Inspired by a Harvard Graduate's Gym Plan(You gotta read that), I have decided that every day of training that I miss is going to cost me $5. There are some stipulations.

  1. If I feel I will injure myself or impede my health I will not train.
  2. Training will be scheduled in advance to account for races, tapering, and recovery.
Short list. 

So far it has worked. When I finally get some money(I hope it's not too much) I will donate it to charity. So the question is... Am I disgracing humanity by exercising?