What was the secret? They wanted to know, in a thousand different ways they wanted to know THE SECRET. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottom of his running shoes. - John L. Parker

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rite Aid Cleveland 10k Training: Week 17

Hard to believe it but the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is now less than a month a way.  Today marked the end of an inadvertent 22 day run streak.  I wasn't really meaning to go this long without a day off but it just sort of ended up that way.  I had to juggle workouts this week since we got snow(!) on Tuesday.  I changed up the track workout this week, doing a faster workout (400's) with longer recovery but running the recovery at tempo pace.  The goal was to get used to some faster pacing but still keep the workout aerobically focused.  Between these different track workouts and my Summer of Malmo plan, I've really been experimenting with a lot of new things in my training.  It has paid off already with a big PR at Malachi.  Hopefully, it keeps paying off in the coming month!

This week begins the start of serious spring racing.  I'm planning on running four races over the next five weeks and then I'll be taking two weeks off before I resume training again for the fall season.  At this point it's all about staying healthy, refining speed and racing fast!

This weeks runs:

Monday: 5 mi easy
             
Tuesday: AM - 5 mi easy
               PM - 5.5 mi tempo, 7.5 mi total

Wednesday: AM - 5 mi easy
                    PM - 6.8 mi easy

Thursday: AM - 5 mi easy
                PM - Track workout: 6x400m w/ 400m tempo pace recovery: 74, 77, 75, 76, 76, 74
                       - 4.8 mi total

Friday: AM - 5 mi easy
           PM - 7.8 mi easy, 5x 10 sec hill sprints

Saturday: 10.3 mi long run

Sunday: rest day

Total: 62.0 miles

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rite Aid Cleveland 10k Training: Weeks 15 and 16

I finally got back on track these past two weeks (pun intended).  I got my mileage back into the 60's and I did my first track workout of the season.  I'm trying a new approach for my workouts this training cycle.  Inspired by this article, the plan is to mix in workouts where I go on shorter rests but run smoother more relaxed intervals.  Hopefully, this will keep things more aerobic and help in longer races.  The first week I ran 800's mostly in the 2:45-2:50 range but with a quick 200m recover (all the recovery 200's were 55 sec or less).  The old Brian would have tried to hammer each one in 2:30 and then slow jogged a 400 in between.  Hopefully, this approach will work better and keep me healthier.

My next race will be the Cleveland 10 Miler in two weeks.

Week 15:

Monday: AM - 5 mi easy
               PM - Track workout - 6x800m w/ 200m recovery - 2:47, 2:45, 2:47, 2:49, 2:52, 2:49

Tuesday: AM - 5 mi easy
               PM - 3.1 mi easy

Wednesday: AM - 5 mi easy
                    PM - 7.8 mi easy

Thursday: AM - 5 miles easy
                PM - 3.3 mile tempo, 5.3 mi total

Friday: AM - 5 mi easy
            PM - 4.8 mi easy

Saturday: Bob Kahn Invitational - 1500m: 4:33, 800m: 2:16 - 5.5 mi total

Sunday: 5.7 mi easy

Total: 62.6 miles

Week 16:

Monday: AM - 5 mi easy
               PM - Track workout - 6x1000m w/ 200m recovery - 3:36, 3:34, 3:32, 3:29, 3:30, 3:26

Tuesday: 5 mi easy

Wednesday: AM - 5 mi easy
                    PM - 7.8 mi easy, 5x 10 sec hill sprints

Thursday: 5 miles easy

Friday: AM - 5 mi easy
           PM - 5.5 mile tempo, 7.5 mi total

Saturday: AM - 4.8 mi easy
               PM - 7.8 mi easy, 5x 10 sec hill sprints

Sunday: 10.7 mi long run

Total: 69.7 miles

Race Recap: Bob Kahn Invitational

Last weekend I ran in the Bob Kahn Invitational.  It'd been about a month and half since the Kent State Tune Up and I was excited for another track meet.  This time I was running the 1500m and the 800m.

Going into the meet I knew that my speed was far from optimal.  I really just wanted to put in a good effort and give myself a chance to race fast.

First race up was the 1500m.  I was in the 2nd of two heats.  Once the gun went off I just tried to hang on to the back of pack.  We came through 400m in 70 sec.  I didn't get any of my other splits for this race.  I was really just focused on trying to maintain contact and not let the race get away from me.  I managed to pick off one person on the last lap to finish 11th out of 13 in my heat and 21st out of 23 overall.

Next up was the 800m.  Again, I was mainly trying to just run fast and hope for the best.  The 800 is a tough race mentally since the optimal way to run it is to just go hard from the gun and hang in for dear life.  I sprinted out the first 200m and tried to hang on to the pack but I just did not have the same kind of speed as everyone else in the race.  I did manage to beat one guy, so I came in 6th out of 7 in my heat and 19th out of 20 overall.

There are no more track races on the docket for this year.  I think that both of them were very good experiences and very humbling experiences.  I know that I have a lot of work to do to get my speed to a level where I can run some really fast times either on the track or the roads.

Next race will be the Cleveland 10 Miler in two weeks!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rite Aid Cleveland 10k Training: Week 14 and Giveaway Winner

More traveling and a still ailing foot meant that this week turned into an impromptu rest week.  Just a few easy runs scattered here and there.  This week I am looking to pick things back up again and start getting into track workouts.  I also will be running another track meet this Saturday, so stay tuned for the race recap.

But more importantly, the winner of the free race entry is........ #2 Birant!

Email me to claim your prize!  Eric, there is still one more chance to win.  Renessa should be having her giveaway soon!

This week's runs:

Monday: 5 mi easy
         
Tuesday through Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4.8 mi easy

Sunday: 4.2 mi easy

Total: 14 miles

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Race Entry Giveaway

The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is less than 8 weeks away.  If you haven't registered yet, do not despair! You have a chance to get into the race for free!

As promised, this week I will be giving away one free entry into the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon race of your choice.

There are two ways you can get entries into the giveaway:

1. Leave a comment telling me which Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon race you want to run (5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon).

2. Tweet: I want to run the @clevemarathon with @BrianMichal6 http://tinyurl.com/jwtvdxw
And leave me a comment letting me know you tweeted

The giveaway will end at midnight on March 31st. If you don't win, take note that there is a registration fee increase on April 9th, so make sure you get yourself registered by then.

The winner will have 48 hours to contact me via email to claim their prize (my email is at the bottom of the column on the right).

Good luck and happy running!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rite Aid Cleveland 10k Training: Week 13

This week I was in Dallas for the American Chemical Society spring meeting.  Ironically, after never resorting to the treadmill during one the most brutal winters I can remember, I finally had to use the treadmill when I was in Dallas of all places.  But that's the price you pay for safety and I wasn't going to risk running alone at night in a city I'm not familiar with.  Tuesday's tempo run was awful.  I really don't know how the treadmill people do it.  I was originally going to go for 6-7 miles but I just had to stop at 5.  It was so boring and tedious.  Also, my right foot was pretty sore from Malachi and I think the hill workout on Thursday kinda aggravated it to so I didn't double on Friday and went for a relatively short long run on Saturday.  Hopefully I will be able to get the mileage back up in the next week or two.

There is still time to enter Beal's free race entry giveaway!  My own giveaway will start once his has finished so check back on Tuesday for that!

Hard to believe it but it's only 8 weeks until the Rite Aid Cleveland 10k!

This week's runs:

Monday: 3.5 mi easy
           
Tuesday: AM - 5.25 mi easy
              PM - 5 mi tempo, 7 mi total

Wednesday: AM - 5.25 mi easy
                    PM - 6 mi easy

Thursday: Hill workout - 4x 1 mile hill circuit, 7.5 mi total

Friday: 5 mi easy

Saturday: 10.7 mi long run

Sunday: rest day

Total: 50.2 miles

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rite Aid Cleveland 10k Training: Week 12

This week the mileage was a bit lower with there being a race on Saturday.  Specifically, I shortened Thursday's tempo and there was no long run.  I continued to work on hills though and was very pleased with how my hill workouts are going.  I with the snow starting to melt off the sidewalks I was able to even get some strides in on Friday.  I hope to continue that in order to work a little on my speed.

My giveaway will be pushed back to next week, so make sure you check back then for a chance to win a free race entry.  This week's giveaway can be found at Beal's blog.

This week's runs:

Monday: AM - 5 mi easy
               PM - Hill workout - 5x 1 mile hill circuit, 8.5 mi total

Tuesday: 5 mi easy

Wednesday: 5 mi easy

Thursday: AM - 5 miles easy
                PM - 3.3 mile tempo, 5.3 mi total

Friday: AM - 5 mi easy
            PM - 4.8 mi easy, 6x strides

Saturday: St. Malachi 5 Miler- 27:10, 8 mi total

Sunday: rest day

Total: 51.6 miles