Saturday, July 28, 2012

Earthwise Gardens

We buy some of our produce and meat from this guy at the Denton Community Market. We bought a weekly share of his CSA in April at the start of our Primal Challenge. The Denton Community Market is every Saturday May – October, 9am – sellout.
He reminds me of my Counsin Stephen.

C5W7D6 - 5k

I have been running on the treadmill too much recently. This morning I decided to run a 5k to see how my actual speed is progressing. I set my alarm for 5am but I did not get up until after 6am.

I did not look at my watch for the first 0.75mi and just ran at pace that felt hard but sustainable. When I finally looked I was going at a 8:30 pace so I sped up. I reached 1mi in 8:05. I picked up the pace to around 7:45 and ran another 0.55mi then turned around to run back. I finished mile 2 right at 16 minutes and was feeling good. I ran at a 7:30 pace until I reached the big hill on Spencer and pushed to keep just under 8:00. On the downhill I began to run just under 7:15 and kept the pace for 0.45mi. With 0.25mi left I pushed harder and got up at a 6:45-6:55 pace and finished in 24:14. I had not run an outdoor 5k in 15 days. I beat my PR by 11 seconds and was a sweaty mess.

On Thursday I downloaded an app on my phone called FigureRunning. I read about it in a Runners World magazine a co-worker gave me while Ellen was in surgery. Basically you can doodle on google maps with different colors and thickness using your GPS and running to do the drawing. This was my first time to try it and all I did was an out and back and I changed the color as I reached the turnaround.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

C5W7D3 - LBWO + 2 Miles

Continuing my week of being unable to wake up early and exercise before work I got to the gym around 7pm due to working 15 min late and traffic. A few weeks ago I added running 2 miles to my strength training workouts on Wednesdays. It was 100f outside so I figure the treadmill is a safer option.

I am in the third week of my current LBWO routine and have been able to add 5 to 20 pounds per set each workout. The week of August 6th I will switching to a new 4 week routine to finish out my BFL challenge. I plan to use as many free weights as possible.

I felt strong despite being hungry on my drive home. My training intensity is very focused and I do my best to use good form. This is the first time I have done Barbell Squats using the Smith Machine since I had a personal trainer 3 years ago. I remember he put on 50 lbs and it used to kill me and I hated it. I still hate it but I can lift more now. I completely gave up doing any lower body lifting from April 2011 to April 2012 and I can feel my strength coming back. I have read the lower body lifting helps runners stay injury free.

I was able to cut my LBWO 2 minutes short. I got on the treadmill and set it to 8.2 mph. After 0.75mi I changed it 8.3. At the mile mark I bumped it up to 8.6mph (6:58 pace) and kept that speed until I had 0.25 left and switched it to 9.0 and with 0.1 left up to 9.5 finishing 2 miles in 14:08. Checking my spreadsheet stats I figured out this was my first 2 mile run on a treadmill. I keep stats on my PR by distance and keep treadmill runs separate. This is my first treadmill 2mi and my outdoor 2mi PR is 14:55. My treadmill time tend to be 4-7% faster than outdoors.

I am taking off tomorrow as my rest day so I can be there for Ellen's surgery. She is nervous and will need me there for her for 24 hours after surgery. I am glad it is finally happening and hope/pray everything goes well.

Monday, July 23, 2012


This morning I woke up with zero energy and it felt like every muscle in my body was sore. I slept in Ellen cooked a nice breakfast. After work I got to the gym around 6:45pm and had a good UBWO. I feel better now.

Body for Life - Google Insight

BFL is slowly losing google search intrest over time with a bump up every January

Sunday, July 22, 2012

C5W6D7 - 6.5mi Outdoors 1.5mi Treadmill

When my alarm went off at 4:50am I drank a 5 hour energy and hit snooze. I woke up 4 hours later and decided to run 9 miles in the heat. I got in bed before 10pm last night so I could run before the sunrise and beat the heat. The treadmills at the gym will only let you program them for 60 mins. I think mentally the treadmill is harder on long distances and I prefer to do less than 30 minutes on them.

I started my run at 9:30am and it was 84 degrees with a nice breeze and no clouds. I began a little slower than a 10 min pace for 2 miles. I picked up the speed for the next 0.75 mi then the heat got to me. I pushed myself up the hill to the square then walked for a bit. I decided to run to the convenience store and get a Gatorade. I got the the Mid-Way Mart at 3.25 mi and paused my Garmin watch.

Being in the A/C felt nice and I cooled off. I looked around for a snack but nothing looked very healthy. I went back outside and started back on my run moving at a sub 10min pace for 0.5mi. I got back on the trail determined to do at least a 10k outdoors and finish my run on the treadmill since I started from my gym parking lot. I kept a good pace for another 0.75 mi then walked for a little big. There was a big hill ahead with a long downhill afterward so I decided to push some more and ended up going 1.15mi then took my last walk break. I was at the big hill on Spencer road and I had less than a mile back to the gym and half a mile to a 10k. I gave it everything I had only getting up to a 9 min pace but I just kept going finishing 6.5mi in 1:07:29.

I walked straight into the gym, refilled my water bottle, and got on a treadmill. I started out at 6.5mph thinking I had 1.5mi to go but soon remembered I needed 2.5mi to reach 9 miles. I got discouraged and slowed down. I decided due to sleeping in 8 miles was good enough as I would put me at the same mileage as last week. I have two long run left before I start my training program. I ended up doing 1.5 miles in 14:46. That makes a combined total of 8 miles in 1:22:15

This coming Saturday morning I will attempt 9 miles and I hope to get in 10 miles the first weekend in August. We will be visiting San Marcos so there will be lots of very big hills. I did 10.25mi there when I visited Easter weekend.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I have heard that the middle of the afternoon is the ideal time to do a strength training session since testosterone levels are the highest. My routine is off by a day this week because I used Thursday as a rest day. Tomorrow will be my long run day.
My right leg was sore from Monday's LBWO so it was nice to have an extra day to recover.

Friday, July 20, 2012

C5W6D5 - 4 Miles Treadmill

Yesterday morning I went into work early and last night I went to the Midnight Premiere of The Dark Knight Rises so I missed my run. I got home around 3am and slept till noon today. I decided to run on the treadmill due to the heat. I did 1 mile instead of 2 on Wendesday so I decided to do 4 miles instead of 3.1 today.

 I started out at a 10 min pace for half a mile. I bumped up my speed every 0.25 to 0.5mi. I finished 3.1mi in 26:16. I started out the last mile at a 7 min pace and increased the speed finishing 4 miles in 32:35 beating my 4 mile treadmill PR by 1:42.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

D5W6D3 - UBWO + 1 Mile

This morning I was tired. I wanted an energy drink but we didn't have any. I powered through my upper body workout but it ended up taking 3 minutes longer than usual. Ellen got off the treadmill right as my weight workout ended and we headed outside to run. I had planned on doing 2 miles but 0.5mi in my legs were SUPER sore from Monday's lower body workout so I turned around. Ellen reached 0.25mi as I turned around. She saw me and headed back too. We finished at the same time, 7:30, with Ellen going a half mile and I finished a mile.
Afterward I was worn out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hitting The Training Pace Sweet Spot

Hitting The Training Pace Sweet Spot

Submitted by SSM-ed on Thu, 04/02/2009 - 15:05

April/May 2009/By Mike Arenberg Not so long ago VO2 was the physiological measure that was considered the best indicator of running performance. If you read enough training articles, you’ve seen the term VO2 about a thousand times. VO2 is simply a measurement of your body’s ability to deliver and use oxygen. VO2 max then is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can process in the production of energy. Factors that influence this are your cardiovascular and muscle capacity. VO2 max is quantified in milliliters O2/kilogram body weight/minute, or ml/kg/min.

For runners without a personal exercise physiologist and human-performance lab readily available, this number is not very helpful. However, just knowing your running pace when working at VO2 max, can help you to structure a training program to make the best progress in speed and endurance with the least danger of over-training. This pace is known as vVO2, the running velocity that you produce when you are at your VO2 max. It has come to be regarded as not only the best indicator of your racing fitness, but also one of the most accurate ways to determine ideal training intensities for specific workouts. This is because different athletes who can process the same amount of O2 might have different muscular strength or running economy. vVO2 factors in cardiovascular and muscular capacity and running economy, and gives you a practical number you can use every day to guide your training.

Recently I attended a clinic where the keynote speaker was Dr. Joe I. Vigil, exercise physiologist and three-time Olympic distance coach. One of his primary topics was the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand). The idea here is that an athlete’s body will make specific adaptations to the demands placed on it. If, for instance your goal is aerobic development, then your training must focus on that adaptation. The problem has always been accurately calculating training intensities to accomplish specific goals. That is where accurately establishing your vVO2 comes in—it turns out that the best way to ensure optimal results from your training is to base your running pace on your vVO2.

You don’t need a laboratory to accurately calculate your vVO2. You can do this by going to your local track and running a mile time trial. The pace at which you run this distance hard is your velocity at vVO2. Because maximum velocity at VO2 max for most athletes corresponds closely with race ability, we use this to determine training paces for aerobic training, lactate threshold development and VO2 max development. This time trial should be done when you’re rested, feeling good and not adversely affected by weather conditions.
Do some simple math with this number (your mile time trial) and you can calculate your ideal training intensities for every kind of session from aerobic running to tempo training and VO2 max training. For aerobic development, simply stick to a pace between 65–75% of your vVO2. A more fit or advanced athlete will run toward the upper end of this range. If you’re a beginner, start at the lower end. Calculate this range by taking the time in seconds divided by the desired percent of pace. 

For example, using a 6:00-minute mile time trial performance.

6:00-minute mile = 360 seconds
360 ÷ 65% = 643 seconds or 9:13 pace
360 ÷ 75% = 480 seconds or 8:00 pace

This athlete’s aerobic training range thus becomes 8:00–9:13 minutes. Continuous runs at this pace range for this person from 20 minutes to several hours will train your aerobic system to use fatty acids as your primary fuel source and allow your body to conserve glycogen. In addition, training in this pace range will develop 0more and lar­­­­ger mitochondria, as well as further capillary development.

For lactate threshold development (anaerobic threshold) there is a wide range of literature out there indicating a wide range of running intensities (and terminology) for the development of your lactate threshold. We use tempo runs, or tempo intervals, to bring about this adaptation. The ranges I prescribe and terminology I use may be different than what you read in other articles. One tempo run we use is called an aerobic threshold run and it’s run at 75–80% of vVO2. This is closely related to marathon pace. The second tempo run we use is called a threshold run, and is run at 85–88% of vVO2. Both of these tempo paces will help develop a tolerance to accumulation of lactic acid. Using our 6:00-minute mile time trial result we get the following pace ranges

For aerobic threshold pace (75–80% of vVO2)

6:00-minute mile = 360 seconds
360 ÷ 75% = 480 seconds or 8:00 mile pace
360 ÷ 80% = 450 seconds or 7:30 mile pace

For threshold pace; (85–88% of vVO2)

6:00-minute mile = 360 seconds
360 ÷ 85% = 423 seconds or 7:03 per mile pace
360 ÷ 88% = 409 seconds or 6:49 per mile pace

Threshold runs are of shorter duration than aerobic threshold runs. The duration of tempo runs also depends on the race distance you’re targeting. If you’re training for a 5–10K, then take 20–30 minutes for threshold runs and 30–40 minutes for aerobic threshold runs. For the half marathon to the marathon, use 25–40 minutes for threshold runs, 40–70+ minutes for aerobic threshold runs. The great thing about tempo runs is they can be done year round. They are an effective training tool for races from 800 meters to the marathon.

The rate of O2 consumption during aerobic training, and even during lactate development training, is too low to fully develop your VO2 max. For that, a higher training intensity is needed, and it, too, can be calculated accurately based on your vVO2 pace. The best return on investment is to run repeats of 3–6 minutes’ duration at 94–98% of vVO2, with rest periods of 2–3 minutes between repeats (less for fitter athletes). This is a standard approach to further develop your vVO2, although the exact lengths of the runs and percentages of vVO2 can be varied in consideration of personal factors (running programs, genetics, general fitness levels, goals, etc.). For some beginners running as low as 90–94% of vVO2 max can bring about substantial gains in vVO2 development. The key here is accuracy. Running too slowly will not elicit enough stimulus, while running too fast may overload the system and miss the desired adaptations—and render you burned out, injured or susceptible to niggling illness.

A major physiological benefit of this training is the enlargement and strengthening of the heart (left ventricle), improving its ability to transport blood and oxygen to working muscles. Another benefit is further development of lactic acid buffering capacity of the muscles. Again, using our 6:00-minute mile time trial we can calculate the following workouts of various distances:
For VO2 max development (94–98% vVO2)

6:00-minute mile = 360 seconds
360 ÷ 94% = 323 seconds or 6:23 pace
360 ÷ 98% = 367 seconds or 6:07 pace

For various repeats distances the following paces would be used:
600m repeats = 2:17–2:23 with 2 minutes rest (8–12 repeats)
800m repeats = 3:03–3:11 with 2–3 minutes rest (6–8 repeats)
1200m repeats = 4:35–4:47 with 3 minutes rest (4–6 repeats)
1600m repeats = 6:07–6:23 with 3 minutes rest (3–6 repeats)

Nothing is written in stone when it comes to running a good repeat workout. You can start out with an even lower number of reps than are listed. As I’ve stated in many columns, be careful about trying to do too much too soon too fast. Small steps.
Calculating training intensities using vVO2 is one of the best methods to determine training intensities. It’s simple, accurate and flexible. It can be altered over time based on your current level of fitness. You can do a mile time trial at various times during the year and make changes to the training intensities. If you want to hit the right training paces-those sweet spots-go to the track and get to know your mile time trial.

— Coach Arenberg

Coach Michael Arenberg has an M.B.S. in exercise physiology from the University of Colorado. He has been a competitive distance runner and triathlete for 39 years, completing 25 marathons and 13 Ironman triathlons, including 3 times qualifying for the Ironman World Championships. He has coached U.S. men’s and women’s Olympic Trial qualifiers in the marathon and two top-10 finishers in the U.S. Men’s Marathon Championships, as well as multiple Ironman World Championship qualifiers.
Coach Arenberg is available for coaching and can be contacted at
If you have a training question for Coach Mike, send him an e-mail at the above address. While he is unable to personally respond to every question, answers will appear from time to time in upcoming issues of Missouri Runner and Triathlete.

C5W6D2 - Treadmill HIIT/5k

This morning I ran on the treadmill for the first time in over 6 weeks. I did a BFL style HIIT for 20 minutes finished out to a 5k. I found out after going to the same gym for almost 3 years that the max speed on the treadmill is 10.0 mph. I reached 2.7mi in 20 minutes beating my old treadmill distance by 0.1mi. I finished 3.1mi in 22:44 beating my treadmill 5k PR by 64 seconds. 22:44 makes 21 minutes seem closer in reach.

Maybe I should run on the treadmill more to work on high speeds or should I just build up my speed outdoors?
Red = Race, Blue = Training Run, Grey = Treadmill Gym

Blue = Treadmill, Green = Outdoors

Saturday, July 14, 2012

C5D5D6 - 8 Mile Run

Even though I ran yesterday to makeup missing my run Thursday I did my long run today. It will give me two day off from running and time to recover.
I decided to run from Lowes to Cool Beans as I know it is a little over 4 miles and I planned to run 8 miles continuing adding 1 mile each long run.
I ran at an easy pace for two miles then stayed around a 10 pace for the next two. At the halfway point I started going a little faster until I slowed down midway thru Mile 5 to drink water and down an gel pack. I reached 6 miles right around 60 minutes and decided to push the final 2 miles. I finished in 1:17:44.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I miss my run Thursday so I ran this morning. In order to reset my routine back to normal I decided to also do my scheduled UBWO this afternoon.

C5W5D5 - 5k

I run for fun and this is one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

C5W5D3 - LBWO + 2 Miles

In order to increase my weekly volume while increasing my speed I will be doing a 2 mile run on Wednesday after my strength training. This means I need to be at the gym right when it opens at 5am to be "on time" to work. Ellen joined me even though her right hand was swollen from a kitten scratch. What a trooper!
I was shooting for a sub-15min run but my legs were burning from all the lifting. My legs felt like they usually do on the last mile or 2 of my long runs. Next Wednesday is an upper body workout so I will have more leg strength. I was still able to finish in 15:12.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


We both got out of bed before 5am again today. Ellen whipped up some breakfast and threw it in the oven to bake while we workout. We drove to the gym parking low and Ellen went inside to use the elliptical while I headed to the sidewalk for an outdoor HIIT/5k run.

 It was nice and cool at 5:30 this morning when I started my run. I set out with the mindset "This is a training run not a race" due to all the new PRs I have been setting lately. I pushed hard at my high points and let myself recover at the low points. After the first mile I knew I would not beat my previous best distance. Each training run is a building block on the previous and I am working toward a long term goal, 26.2 miles. I just enjoyed the nice breeze and kept going at a level above comfort but below max effort. I did 2.4mi of HIIT in 20 minutes then finished out to a 5k in 25:37.

 This week I am moving up from running 3 days a week to 4 to prepare myself for the training volume increase in 4 weeks. I have been running 8-12 miles a week for the last month and even less than that during my 8 weeks of "Barefoot" Training. I will be working up to running 19 miles my first week of marathon training. I start August 7th.

Here is my new running schedule for the rest of the month.
Tuesday: HIIT/5k
Wednesday: 2 miles race pace
Thursday: Normal 5k run
Saturday: 7-9 miles

Monday, July 9, 2012

6 Month Progress Pics (Week 4 C5)

This morning a took my monthly progress pictures. These are my Week 4 pictures for my 5th BFL Challenge and my 6 month pictures for my 12 month fitness jounrey. I have packed on some pounds/fat in recent weeks but it was planned and I am still making progress in my 12 Month Challenge. Gone are the days of working hard and eating well for 3 months only to fall back during 2-5 weeks of poor eating. This is a 12 Month Long Personal Fitness Challenge. Up until Thursday I managed to stay under 172 for 16 straight weekly weight-ins. Thursdays weight in came the day after July 4th so I am not surprised 4 pound gain. I packed on 6 pounds Celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary with no regrets. I have drank beer regularly the past 16 days but today I am going back to weekend only. I have a feeling the bloating will drop by a large amount this coming Thursday.

I am miles ahead of where I was a year ago. (No pun intended)

11 Months (8-7-11 to 7-9-12)
11 Months (8-7-11 to 7-9-12)

Here is part of my blog I post a year ago (7-7-12)
"Still no workout yet. I forgot how easy it is to get out of a routine. Luckily I do not work Fridays and there will be nothing to stop me from a hard UBWO tomorrow. This heat is hurting my desire to run. yesterday it was 103f (39.4c) and today the high is 101 and 99 is the lowest temp in the 10 day forecast, it must be July (feels like August). I know I should run around 5am when it is a cool 79-80f (26c) degrees or just hit the treadmill at the gym. 19-20 days is the longest I have done with no workout since 2008. I did my weekly Thursday morning weight log in my spreadsheet and I am up 3 pound of fat my last log on 6/16. I am not looking for sympathy I am more doing a state of the union of my fitness world."

1-9-12 to 7-9-12
1-9-12 to 7-9-12
I was in the best shape in March and May
Better posture than last month


Success!!!!! Today we both got up before 5am and went to the gym together. This marks my first Monday morning pre-work workout since March. I am so excited to have Ellen with me and starting an new UBWO routine today.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I got started 4 hours later than planned this morning. I decided to go to the nice shady Greenbelt Trail and do a 7 mile out and back. I felt great the first half but the heat got to me in mile 3 as I ran in a clearing in direct sunlight. I took a gel pack but I was overheated. I took 4 or 5 walk breaks on the way back. I had planned to finish in 63 minutes but once I slowed down I was just aiming for 70min. At 6.75mi in I got a call from Ellen checking on me and it gave the motivation to keep going strong. 
31:42 out and 38:16 back finishing 7 miles in 70:10. The outdoor heat beats an hour on the treadmill any day.
It was 86-88f during my run.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Monday I skipped my lower body workout and Thursday I was too tired to run so my workouts are shifted a day late. This is the final LBWO of my 4 week cycle. Next Wednesday I will be changing up my routine for another 4 weeks. 
Workouts 4 and 5 I switched from Horizonal Calf Press to Seated Calf Press due to crowded gym.

Books I have read since January 2009 (Primal Blueprint by Mark Sission is missing)

Friday, July 6, 2012

C5W4D5 - 5K

This morning I woke up on a mission, set a new 5k PR. I skipped my workout yesterday so today I am running in the morning and lifting lower body in the afternoon. I need to do laundry and my only clean underpants are my flash boxers and I only wear them to celebrate setting new running personal bests.

I decided to reverse the 5k route I have been running to give me 2 mile of flat and 1 mile of hills at the end so it is more like the Rahr 5k course. I started from my gym parking lot and ran up the side of Loop 288 in the grass for half a mile then turned on to Shady Oaks Dr. I was running right at an 8min pace I finished mile 1 in 8:03.

 I kept my pace and focused on my form and posture making sure to lift with my foot and not push off. I finished mile 2 in 8:01 right as the base of the the biggest hill. I sped up and pushed hard but I had slowed down to 8:25 when I reached the top. I used the downhill to get to a 7:15-7:30 pace and I felt good.

I came up on the second smaller hill with 0.25mi to go. I kept saying to myself "You can do this" and "Just do it" so I would not slow down. With less than 0.1 to go I gave it everything I has left and finished in 24:24 beating my PR by 38 seconds.

I am excited to see what I can accomplish in the next 4 weeks before I really increase my mileage. 21 min 5k does not seem that far off and 12 weeks until the Rahr 5k.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


We slept in until 11:30am today. An hour later I was headed to the gym so I could relax and enjoy the rest of the day. I missed my lower body workout on Monday. 

After my seconds set of chest I spilt my water bottle on the crotch of my shorts. During my 12 rep peak of dumbbell shoulder press my left shoulder gave out and I dropped the 50 lb dumbbell. I was pushing my limits since this is week 4 and I an changing up my UBWO routine on Monday.

Volume Charts

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I overslept this morning so I got to run in the nice sunny 97f weather. I took off too fast and had to walk for 30 seonds after 0.5mi to catch my breath. I sped back up and finished mile 1 under 8 minutes and kept going telling myself, "This is what sleeping in really feels like." I finished 2 miles 3 seconds faster than last Tueday morning. My goal is to get my 2 mile run under 14 minutes in the next 4-8 weeks.