Thursday, June 21, 2012

A so/so running week and a few sub 5:00 follow ups

Well, Twitter seems to be down today and I’m eating a tube (stick?) of gogurt for lunch so I figured I might as well respond to a few comments and questions about the mile that I ran this weekend as well as a few other tidbits of information and goings on.

Running this week has been sort of so/so. I’ve had late meetings followed by early meetings which has meant that up until today, runs have been an hour or less.  One of my “solutions” was to cut out my warm up and cool down and blast through 4 miles of tempo at 6:11 pace. It essentially went against everything that I coach, but it was a good way to get in a good speed session in half an hour.  This week, I’ll take it!
Coach Adam’s disclaimer.... Don’t be a dummy. WARM UP before speed.

A friend busted by balls about my sub 5:00 mile video saying... “Soooo, don’t take this the wrong way, but it doesn’t look like you’re going all that fast”.  To which I of course responded with “ok, fine. Want to race?” Honestly, it is totally a valid comment.  The reason that I look like I’m running slow is because of chronic corn cob butt stride cadence.  I’m likely running at approximately 170 strides/steps per min (I didn’t / don’t ever count) but my stride LENGTH is likely close to 6’ long. TWSS.  (In fact, just used math to confirm that it is that long – details at the bottom of this post!) So, while my foot hits the ground at the same rate as most other runners, while running fast I gobble up a lot of ground.
Coach Adam’s disclaimer..... trying to consciously lengthen your stride is the fastest way to say “stress fracture”, “sore knees”, or “shin splints”. Your feet should land UNDER you when you run not out in front. As you get faster it’ll lengthen it automatically. Just like breathing....your body just sort of figures that shit out.

Cool video of Ryan Hall's 7' stride length

Emily H wondered what the band things were on my knees.  Simply put: chicken legs.  Or, maybe better stated they are to correct my weak little quad muscles.  I have chronic runners knee because my quads aren’t strong enough to make my kneecaps track correctly.  So, I could either strengthen my quads or wear the straps around my knees.  And...well...I guess you can see my choice.  Let’s be honest, if my legs can make me run a sub 5 mile, you’d think they’d be able to make my kneecaps work correctly?!

Laura is Undeterable and Nelly asked if I would ever run a real mile road race.  I would LOVE to.  In fact, I honestly was going to about a year back.  Fortunately, I stalked the prior year results and found out that it was TOTALLY a kiddie fun run!  While blasting a mile with 40 eight year olds in my wake sounds fun, and would make for an AWESOME blog post, I’m still on the hunt for an actual mile race as they seem to be pretty rare.

Finally, I’m going to be honest.  We all do it, but we never admit it.  For that matter, we rarely say what we’re all thinking: “If you have time to take a picture while running, shouldn’t you be running faster?”  What do you think? Do you take pictures while running?

Picture this spring from my "normal" short mileage running route
I can tell this was at the 3 mile mile point. Sad.

Jamoosh wanted me to post the details behind my stride length math. So, math nerds behold! Orrrr, maybe just like 5th grade story problems.  If two trains left stations in Chicago and St Louis, one traveling 60 mph, the other traveling 80 mph, how many bananas will the train engineers eat?
  • 5280 feet in a mile.  Horray english measurements.
  • I ran for exactly 5 minutes, so I ran 1,056 feet in a minute (5280/5 = 1,056)
  • If I assume 170 strides per minute, that means that my stride length is 6.2’ (1056/170  = 6.2) Assuming anywhere from 160 to 180 strides per min still means it was somewhere between 5.9 and 6.6 feet.


Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

How difficult do people really think it is to snap a picture while running?

Bev said...

Come run the Mile Of Truth on August 5th! Okay, granted it is all the way in Pleasanton, California, but the winning purse is $2,000!

The Real Deal said...

"TWSS" lol Always love the blog, man.

Runners Fuel said...

I have a mile road race about 40 minutes away from me. I did it a few years back. It's pretty cool and people our age usually race it. I have that knee problem too. I decided to strengthen my quads. It's so much better than wearing those on my legs. they would always get too sweaty and end up falling off.

Anonymous said...

Love your tweets and blogs

Meghan said...

If you ever feel like dropping some major cash for a mile race... there is the Fifth Avenue Mile held in NY every September -

Same organization that runs the NYC Marathon.

Meghan said...

Oh - but you could win your expenses back with the 1st place $5,000 1st place prize!

Jeff Irvin said...

Look at those quads, yet another reason why you should get on a bike!!!

My question is not how people take pictures in the middle of runs but how and where they stash the camera? I have trouble stashing gels. And I'd also need to have one of those underwater cameras surrounded in a plastic box to keep my sweat from destroying it.

Andrea said...

um, I am totally sharing that Ryan Hall video on my blog tomorrow - that is SO COOL!
I thought the same about the first place finisher at the 5K I did last weekend - he didn't look like he was going that fast, but when we ran into each other, MAN it hurt. Someone going 5 min miles will give ya a buise fo sho :)

AllisonFay said...

EVERY time I watch a marathon, I think (and say) that. "They don't look like they are going that fast" But of course, they are.

You totally have to run that kid's race. It makes me LOL just thinking about you throwing some 'bows to get ahead of them.

Amanda said...

The Twin Cities has a 1 Miler, it's by Twin Cities in Motion I believe.

Hannah said...

I prefer people to take pictures of me whilst I run ;).

Oh, and there's a mile race here:

BrianFlash said...

According to my extensive research, 180 strides a minute is supposed to be about what all the elites do. Plus, when you barefoot or minimalist it, you are supposed to quicken your stride.

I tested mine on several recent easy runs by wearing a pedometer and then dividing # of steps by time of run. On every test I was between 168 and 171 - surprisingly consistent. I guess I've got some work to do on quickening the turnover.

Laura said...

I can't remember where, but I've definitely read an article on how those knee bands actually have more of a placebo effect than an actual effect... have you done much research into them?

Also, NYC has a legit 1 mile race (for fast ADULTS) if you ever want to come...

Shinianen said...

This is an old one, I know. Someone above mentioned the Twin Cities. It's true - in MN we do have a 1 mile race every spring. Some people can even finish it in around 4 minutes! Crazy! Plus, they offer tickets to the spectators with elite racer numbers on them... so you can win a prize if your "pony" makes it to the finish line first.