Maintaining a regular running schedule when you have you kids

My daughter turned one today and it made me think about how things have changed over the last year since I have certainly been able to maintain a regular running schedule.

The biggest change for me in terms of my running has been in terms of how I manage my time. It has meant being more disciplined about when I go running by scheduling my runs when the opportunity presented itself. For me that resulted in many early morning runs and evening runs home from work.

The best change is that I now have a running partner for my weekend runs. I have been running with my daughter in her Chariot stroller as soon as she was old enough to ride in it. Watching and listening to her keepning herself entertained as I complete 20-30 km runs has made my longer runs more enjoyable and provided me with a nice change from my solo runs during the weeks.

Of course the most important element to being able to maintain a regular running schedule after you have had kids is a supportive spouse who supports whatever crazy ideas you come up with (running two marathons this year, bringing running gear on vacation, returning home from a vacation to New England via upstate New York so you can run the Boilermaker in Utica etc.) and who is at the finish line to support you at the end of every race.

Long Runs

Sundays are generally the day for my long run of the week. I thought this would be appropriate topic today since I recently came across the following article from Runners World.

The article outlines three different approaches to long runs. The traditional long slow distance run (lsd) where you maintain a steady pace up to a mile slower per mile than your goal pace, the progression run where you start slow and gradually get faster and the dress rehearsal where you insert a few miles at race pace towards the end of your run.

During my training for PEC I ran five 30+ km runs. I did the first couple of runs using the lsd approach. For the remaining runs I picked up my pace to my race pace or close to it with about 10 km left in the run. The approach seemed to work me as I was succesful in hitting my goal on race day.

Currently I am not training for a goal race and will probably return to the lsd approach for my long runs but once I start training for a marathon again, or even a half-marathon, I will likely return to the approach of trying to hit my intended race pace at the end of my long runs.

Running Connection to the Chilean Mine Rescue

Unless you have completely avoided the news for the last two months your are probably familiar with the story of the 33 Chilean miners who were rescued yesterday. It is hard to imagine how the miners were able to keep themselves going for 69 days while stuck nearly half a mile under the earth’s surface.

It turns out Edison Pena kept himself going by running approximately 5-10 km daily. Not only did he have to contend with the heat and humidty in the mine, he also had to deal cigarette smoke when rescuers decided to provide Pena’s fellow miners with a ration of 40 cigarettes per day.

After hearing of the story, the CEO of the New York Road Runners decided to invite Pena to take part in the New York City Marathon as a participant or a guest. Hopefully he is able to take them up on the offer!

Do Marathons Wreck Your Knees?

The following article caught my eye, Do marathons wreck your knees?

As with many claims about whether running causes damage to your body, it seems like the research so far is inconclusive but it is an interesting debate to follow. I can’t say that I have had any serious problems with my knees so far but then I have only completed three marathons. Maybe that will change in a few years after I have completed more marathons.

What do you think?

Best Run of the Year

I just came across this article about the author’s final run before before the Chicago marathon. He describes that run as his best run of the year.

There is no question that the last run before a marathon feels different than all others. Your last run before a marathon does not have the added pressure of making sure you complete a certain distance or stick to a certain pace as you are just getting out to keep your legs loose after all of the mileage you have completed in training.

I can also relate to the emotions the author says he felt as he completed his last run. It is a great feeling to get out for that final run knowing that you have survived the months of training and 100’s of kilometers of training in order to make it to race day. When I completed my last run before PEC just over a week ago I probably had a big smile on my face the whole time partly due to a sense of pride in what I had accomplished in my training over the summer and also due to being excited about the fact that my next run would be the marathon I had spent four months training for. It is a feeling that makes you realize how rewarding an experience training for a marathon can be.

Getting back on track

I just went out for a 9 km run this morning. The weather was perfect as it is a cool, about 7-8 C, and sunny day here in Ottawa. Since I have the day off work I was also able to head out later in the afternoon which is a nice change from my usual schedule of running at the crack of dawn or in the evening after work.

I plan on running starting to run regularly again this week. Not sure how much mileage I will do. I do not currently have any races plans so my mileage this week will likely depend on how busy I am and how much time I have for running. It will be nice just to run for the sake of running and not worrying about my distance or pace as there will be plenty of time for that later.

What makes an elite runner

Ever wonder what it would be like to be an elite runner? This article describes what sets elite runners apart from everyday runners.

The article isn’t really surprising although a couple of points caught my eye. The first being how quickly they go through shoes. At 2.5-3 months I thought I was going through quickly while training for a marathon but elite runners go through a pair of shoes every 2-4 weeks.

The other point was that elite runners tend to be injured once a month. I guess it really shouldn’t be surprising when they are pushing themselves as hard as they are in training.

Looking Ahead

Four days after PEC and my legs feel fine. I think some of the quick recovery tips I followed helped as I have recovered quicker than I did after my previous two marathons. I am planning to head out for a run after work tomorrow. It will just be an easy run since I am just coming off a marathon.

In two weeks there will be a half-marathon in the Ottawa area, the 9 Run Run. I found out today that they still require a couple of pace bunnies. I have submitted my name and am currently waiting to find out if I was accepted. I figure doing this run would be a good way to get me back on a regular running schedule.

Beyond this I am not quite sure what my running schedule will look like over the next few months. I do plan on continuing to run through the winter again this year. My winter running will be likely geared towards getting ready for a marathon in 2011. Next year a Boston qualifying time will be 3:15. Coming off a time of 3:22 at PEC I am more confident than ever that my goal of qualifying for Boston is realistic. A lot of work remains for me to make up the extra 7 minutes needed for a Boston qualifying time but I do think this is an achievable goal for 2011 and I would like to take at least one shot at qualifying for Boston in 2011.