Training plans for the next 30 days!

My current training plans for the next thirty days includes running and weight lifting. My weight lifting will be using dumb bells. The exercises are 3 sets of 15 of each of the following:

  1. Curls
  2. French curls
  3. Shoulder shrugs
  4. Bench press
  5. Flies
  6. Push ups
  7. Sit ups (20 instead of 15)

I will be expanding the strength training in about a week after I get used to the current plan.

Here is my current training plan for running. It is a half marathon plan generated from Runner’s World Smartcoach system. I selected a “hard” plan so that it would incorporate speed training.

WEEK 1: 17 Mi
Tue Apr 9 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:23
Thu Apr 11 Tempo Run Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:44; Cool
Fri Apr 12 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:23
Sun Apr 14 Long Run Dist: 8 Mi @12:23
WEEK 2: 17 Mi
Tue Apr 16 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:19
Thu Apr 18 Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2×1600 in 10:04 w/800 jogs; Cool
Fri Apr 19 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:19
Sun Apr 21 Long Run Dist: 8 Mi @12:19
WEEK 3: 19 Mi
Tue Apr 23 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:15
Thu Apr 25 Tempo Run Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:36; Cool
Fri Apr 26 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:15
Sun Apr 28 Long Run Dist: 10 Mi @12:15
WEEK 4: 15 Mi
Tue Apr 30 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @12:11
Thu May 2 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @12:11
Fri May 3 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:11
Sun May 5 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @12:11
WEEK 5: 20 Mi
Tue May 7 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:11
Thu May 9 Tempo Run Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:32; Cool
Fri May 10 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:11
Sun May 12 Long Run Dist: 10 Mi @12:11
WEEK 6: 21 Mi
Tue May 14 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:07
Thu May 16 Speedwork Dist: 6 Mi, inc Warm; 3×1600 in 9:53 w/800 jogs; Cool
Fri May 17 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:07
Sun May 19 Long Run Dist: 10 Mi @12:07
WEEK 7: 23 Mi
Tue May 21 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:03
Thu May 23 Tempo Run Dist: 6 Mi, inc Warm; 4 Mi @ 10:30; Cool
Fri May 24 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:03
Sun May 26 Long Run Dist: 11 Mi @12:03
WEEK 8: 19 Mi
Tue May 28 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:58
Thu May 30 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:58
Fri May 31 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:58
Sun Jun 2 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:58
WEEK 9: 24 Mi
Tue Jun 4 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:58
Thu Jun 6 Tempo Run Dist: 6 Mi, inc Warm; 4 Mi @ 10:25; Cool
Fri Jun 7 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:58
Sun Jun 9 Long Run Dist: 12 Mi @11:58
WEEK 10: 26 Mi
Tue Jun 11 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:54
Wed Jun 12 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @11:54
Thu Jun 13 Speedwork Dist: 6 Mi, inc Warm; 3×1600 in 9:41 w/800 jogs; Cool
Fri Jun 14 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @11:54
Sun Jun 16 Long Run Dist: 13 Mi @11:54
WEEK 11: 27 Mi
Tue Jun 18 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:50
Wed Jun 19 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:50
Thu Jun 20 Tempo Run Dist: 6 Mi, inc Warm; 4 Mi @ 10:18; Cool
Fri Jun 21 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @11:50
Sun Jun 23 Long Run Dist: 13 Mi @11:50
WEEK 12: 29 Mi
Tue Jun 25 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:46
Wed Jun 26 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:46
Thu Jun 27 Tempo Run Dist: 6 Mi, inc Warm; 4 Mi @ 10:14; Cool
Fri Jun 28 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:46
Sun Jun 30 Long Run Dist: 13 Mi @11:46
WEEK 13: 23 Mi
Tue Jul 2 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:43
Wed Jul 3 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:43
Thu Jul 4 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:43
Fri Jul 5 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:43
Sun Jul 7 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:43
WEEK 14: 30 Mi
Tue Jul 9 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:42
Wed Jul 10 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:42
Thu Jul 11 Speedwork Dist: 6 Mi, inc Warm; 3×1600 in 9:30 w/800 jogs; Cool
Fri Jul 12 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:42
Sun Jul 14 Long Run Dist: 13 Mi @11:42
WEEK 15: 32 Mi
Tue Jul 16 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:39
Wed Jul 17 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:39
Thu Jul 18 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 10:12; Cool
Fri Jul 19 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:39
Sun Jul 21 Long Run Dist: 13 Mi @11:39
WEEK 16: 33 Mi
Tue Jul 23 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:35
Wed Jul 24 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:35
Thu Jul 25 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 10:08; Cool
Fri Jul 26 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @11:35
Sun Jul 28 Long Run Dist: 13 Mi @11:35
WEEK 17: 35 Mi
Tue Jul 30 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @11:31
Wed Jul 31 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:31
Thu Aug 1 Speedwork Dist: 6 Mi, inc Warm; 3×1600 in 9:20 w/800 jogs; Cool
Fri Aug 2 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:31
Sun Aug 4 Long Run Dist: 13 Mi @11:31
WEEK 18: 28 Mi
Tue Aug 6 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @11:27
Wed Aug 7 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @11:27
Thu Aug 8 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:27
Fri Aug 9 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:27
Sun Aug 11 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @11:27
WEEK 19: 37 Mi
Tue Aug 13 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @11:27
Wed Aug 14 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:27
Thu Aug 15 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 10:01; Cool
Fri Aug 16 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:27
Sun Aug 18 Long Run Dist: 14 Mi @11:27
WEEK 20: 38 Mi
Tue Aug 20 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @11:24
Wed Aug 21 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @11:24
Thu Aug 22 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 9:57; Cool
Fri Aug 23 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @11:24
Sun Aug 25 Long Run Dist: 14 Mi @11:24
WEEK 21: 40 Mi
Tue Aug 27 Easy Run Dist: 7 Mi @11:20
Wed Aug 28 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @11:20
Thu Aug 29 Speedwork Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 4×1600 in 9:10 w/800 jogs; Cool
Fri Aug 30 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @11:20
Sun Sep 1 Long Run Dist: 14 Mi @11:20
WEEK 22: 23 Mi
Tue Sep 3 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:16
Wed Sep 4 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @11:16
Thu Sep 5 Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2×1600 in 9:07 w/800 jogs; Cool
Sun Sep 8 Half Marathon Race Day 13.1 Mi @9:42 Time: 2:07:07

 

Thirty days until battle!

Thirty days from today, I will be doing the Texas Spartan Sprint. This will be the second time I have run the Spartan Sprint. The first one was a tough race. I expect this second one will still be very tough, but I have been working toward improvement over the last year. What have I accomplished? This is what:

  1. I have lost 15 lbs. of fat, i.e. from 212 to 197. I still have a long way to go, but I am very pleased with where I am.
  2. I have run a lot more. In fact, I have focused on running more than preparing for obstacles. In the last year, I have run over 800 miles. Back when I did the Spartan Sprint last year, my maximum distance was 10 miles. This year, my maximum is 17.5 miles. My pace has improved from around 12:51 (long) and 11:04 (short) all the way to 10:39 (long) and 9:25 (short). I know that isn’t fast, but it is improvement and I am happy about it.
  3. I have learned a lot about running. I have had injuries and recovered.
  4. I have run two half marathons and a bunch of other races.
  5. I have run a few obstacle races. The best was “Run for your Lives!” the zombie obstacle race. That was a ton of fun. The obstacles could have been better, but it was a blast.

It was a good year overall! I didn’t accomplish some goals due to injuries. For example, I didn’t run a marathon, but that is fine. That milestone and others will happen in time if they are meant to be.

Over the next thirty days, I will be ultra focused on getting ready for the Spartan Sprint. I will be exercising every day. I will be working on the obstacles I failed, i.e. three different obstacles that resulted in a total of 90 burpees! I will be blogging and doing some video over the next thirty days. I will be covering my workouts, my diet and my results with this focused prep as I sprint toward this race. I can’t wait for it! If you are going and you happen upon this blog, let me know which wave you are in. I am in the 11:30 am wave on Saturday.

The hardest obstacle course on the planet

I love running obstacle races and courses. I expect I will always do them, but lately I have been more focused on overall health, nutrition, weight loss and the components of running. There is a lot too it. I plan on sharing what I have learned. However, the one thing I have learned that I think is the most important is that the toughest obstacle course you will ever face is the one in your mind. On this epic odyssey that we are all on, we have to overcome our own little quirks, habits, desires and addictions. That is tough. For me, the toughest ones have been around food. I love good food. Love it. I also have poor impulse control and eat very quickly. That is a terrible, terrible combination. Anyway, I gained a lot of weight. So far, thanks to running, diet and my desire to be better at running and obstacle races, I have lost over 40 pounds. I am very happy about this even though I still have more to lose, but I feel I am on the path that will lead me there. Likewise, when you are on that path to where you want to go, you are going to face obstacles. It could be your love of bagels or candy or margaritas. It could be lack of motivation in training. It could be a recurring injury. I think the key to success in facing such obstacles is to think of ways to overcome it like any other obstacle. How can you manufacture the motivation or desire to overcome it? Once you do that and do it enough, you have changed and that is a very good thing indeed.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th everyone! I hope it has been a great one for all!

Since it is the 4th, and I am very task oriented, I decided to review the year so far. The fact that it is half over is amazing to me. Tempus fugit.

From a physical perspective, I have had a great year so far. I am very thankful to my friends on dailymile for helping me stay motivated and accountable. I am not sure I would have done so well if it were not for all of them.

So, here is my dailymile year in review so far:

  1. Weight lost: 25 lbs (226 lbs to 201 lbs)
  2. Body fat percentage: 6% lower
  3. Muscle percentage: 2% higher
  4. BMI: 4 points lower (from obese to overweight)
  5. Completed two obstacle races and two 5Ks
  6. My overall running pace has improved by a couple of minutes per mile this year. I average 11-13 these days, which is a great improvement over when I started running 13 months ago, when I averaged 15-17 minutes per mile.
  7. My farthest run was 10.01 miles.
  8. I have put in 1843 miles (411.5 of those were running).

Overall I am very happy with these improvements because my numbers went the direction I wanted them to go!

I almost didn’t include pace because I think runners worry too much about that. In fact, I believe this one stat is responsible for most injuries. I really think it’s a good stat to care about a only a very little, instead of caring enough that you kill yourself trying to improve it. I have stopped worrying about it as much as I used to, and now I’m focusing more on building my aerobic base by lowering my workout intensity. As the saying among the experts goes, “You have to go slow to go fast.”

I still have many miles to go to reach this year’s goals. Here’s a look at what I am hoping to accomplish physically for the rest of the year:

  1. Continue to lose weight – my goal for the year is to reach 190.
  2. Improve body fat, muscle and BMI.
  3. Train for a marathon to be run in February.
  4. Run a Tough Mudder (12-mile obstacle course).
  5. Run a few more races just for fun.

I am looking forward to the rest of the year! I hope your goals are going as well!

Joining the Ultra list

There is a mailing list called the “Ultra” list. It is a list for ultrarunners. According to Wikipedia, an ultrarunner is someone who runs races that are longer than a traditional marathon which is 26.2 miles. I am not an ultrarunner yet, but I aspire to be one. My wife thinks I am insane. She is concerned that I will end up spending most of my time out running. At my current pace, that is closer to the truth that I like, but I am getting faster. So, right now, I am building my base and will continue to do so. Will I ever be an ultrarunner? Maybe…maybe not, but I hope so and I am working toward that title. Right now my base is at 20 miles per week so I only have another 80 or so to go. :) I mean, heck, if you can run a marathon, you can run a 50K. If you can run a 50K, you can run a 60K and if you can do that, you can probably do a 100K. If you can do that…well, you get the point. That is the wonderful thing about running, id est, you can go as far as you want.

Here is the profile I had to post when I joined the Ultra list:

Name: Matt Pardo
City/State/Country: Austin, Texas, USA
Occupation: IT consultant
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 211
Birthplace: Detroit, MI
Date of birth: December 8, 1966

Years running: 1 (I know…I can feel eyes rolling from here!) I have been trying to be a runner for decades on and off but never could run beyond a couple of weeks due to shin splints, knee issues and back pain. That is until I discovered minimalist shoes at a local running store, i.e. when I started using them my shin splints, knee and back issues went away. I have been steadily increasing my mileage over the last few months.

Years running ultras: 0
PRs: 5K 27:57, longest distance so far is 10 miles

Shoes I run in: Brooks True Grit and Vibram Spyridon
Favorite running surface: Trails
Some ultras I have completed: None
Ultra achievement I am most proud of: N/A
Typical training week: 18-20 miles running per week, 100-160 miles cycling per week, crossfit 1-3 times per week
Injury history: Avulsion in left foot, broken ankle, shin splints, IT band and lower back pain

Favorite ultra foods: N/A but I can’t wait to read some of the other bios to find out more
Favorite ultra beverages: N/A but I can’t wait to read some of the other bios to find out more
Things I like most about ultras: N/A
Things I hate most about ultras: N/A
What got me started doing ultras: Not doing it yet, but the idea of running very long distance has always appealed to me. When I was a child, I loved the idea of being able to run all day. As I got into jogging and running, I heard more about Ultrarunning and started looking into it. One of my favorite podcasts (3 non joggers) talks a lot about it. So, I have set my sights on ultras.
Why I do ultras: N/A
Where I found out about the list: I was watching a youtube video called “Sh*t Ultrarunner’s Say” and the guy in it mentioned the Ultra List. A search later and I found the information about it.

Short-term ultra goal: Within 1-2 years, I would like to be able to run a 50K
Long-term ultra goal: Within 5 years, I would like to be able to run from sunrise to sunset. I don’t care about distance, but being able to run all day has been a dream of mine for some weird reason.
Fantasy ultra goal: Run one of the 100 mile races

Favorite ultra quote(s): I am not sure what an ultra quote would be, but one of my favorite quotes and one that seems applicable is “a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

Favorite running podcasts

I really like podcasts. I listen to a ton of them on a wide range of topics from business to physical fitness. I really enjoy the TED talks, but I don’t listen to those while running. Usually when I am running, I listen to books, music or running podcasts.

Here is a list of my favorite running podcasts in random order:

Some are serious and some are very funny. They all help me if the run is getting boring.

Enjoy!

Have a checklist for your runs

Ok, I go through a mental checklist before I run. I get my “gear” together.

Here is what I usually take besides my clothing (shorts and technical shirt):

  1. Hat
  2. HTC Android 4G
  3. Nathan Bottle
  4. Pack of Gu per hour out
  5. Nanopod
  6. Band-aid for blisters
  7. Fuel belt to hold my license, phone and key to the house
  8. Garmin 610 and heart rate monitor
  9. Glasses
  10. Sunglasses – magnetic clip-on
  11. Vibram Five Fingers

In fact, here is a photo of my gear:

My running gear - garmin 610, gu, fuel belt, nanopod and vibrams

My running gear - garmin 610, gu, fuel belt, nanopod and vibrams

However, I now believe you should have a paper checklist posted somewhere to review before you go. Why? Because I forgot a very important item on the list, i.e. sunscreen.

It was cool and overcast when I left, but when that burned off, I could feel my skin burning in the bright Texas sun for miles 6 through 9. Aaargh.

A lesson learned…make a checklist and check it each time. You will be happy you did.

My 60-day plan for preparing for the Spartan Sprint

Over 60 days ago, I decided I needed a plan to prepare for the Spartan Sprint I am running on May 19, 2012. I realize I needed a plan because I had just run the Warrior’s Dash obstacle race North of Houston, Texas. That race was supposed to be a warm up for me, but it was tougher than I thought. I realized I needed to improve my endurance mostly but that some strength work would be good too. I started doing daily video updates on youtube. While I am not doing those daily any longer, I have kept true to my training plan.

Here is that plan.

First, I came up with a running plan. I used Smartcoach on Runner’s world to do this. I didn’t pay for the service and only used the free service. Since I had been running 3-4 miles I decided to train for a half marathon. I decided this would help build my endurance because it would up my weekly mileage and get me used to do much more than a 5K which is the length of many of the obstacle races. Here is how this plan turned out for me and my prior running times:

 

WEEK 1: 8 Mi
Thu Mar 22 Tempo Run Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2 Mi @ 11:15; Cool
Sun Mar 25 Long Run Dist: 4 Mi @13:00

 

WEEK 2: 12 Mi
Tue Mar 27 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:57
Thu Mar 29 Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2×1600 in 10:39 w/800 jogs; Cool
Sun Apr 1 Long Run Dist: 5 Mi @12:57

 

WEEK 3: 13 Mi
Tue Apr 3 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @12:50
Thu Apr 5 Tempo Run Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2 Mi @ 11:05; Cool
Sun Apr 8 Long Run Dist: 5 Mi @12:50

 

WEEK 4: 15 Mi
Tue Apr 10 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @12:44
Thu Apr 12 Tempo Run Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2 Mi @ 10:59; Cool
Sun Apr 15 Long Run Dist: 6 Mi @12:44

 

WEEK 5: 13 Mi
Tue Apr 17 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:39
Thu Apr 19 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:39
Fri Apr 20 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:39
Sun Apr 22 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @12:39

 

WEEK 6: 17 Mi
Tue Apr 24 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:38
Thu Apr 26 Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2×1600 in 10:22 w/800 jogs; Cool
Fri Apr 27 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:38
Sun Apr 29 Long Run Dist: 8 Mi @12:38

 

WEEK 7: 18 Mi
Tue May 1 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:32
Thu May 3 Tempo Run Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:53; Cool
Fri May 4 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:32
Sun May 6 Long Run Dist: 9 Mi @12:32

 

WEEK 8: 20 Mi
Tue May 8 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @12:27
Thu May 10 Tempo Run Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 10:48; Cool
Fri May 11 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:27
Sun May 13 Long Run Dist: 10 Mi @12:27

 

WEEK 9: 18 Mi
Mon May 14 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @12:21
Wed May 16 Speedwork Dist: 3 Mi, inc Warm; 1×1600 in 10:06 w/800 jogs; Cool
Sat May 19 Half Marathon Race Day 13.1 Mi @10:59 Time: 2:23:56

 

Note that the day I am supposed to run my Spartan Sprint is the day for the “Half Marathon.” So, in theory, I should be ready to run 13.1 miles on the day of my Spartan Sprint which is only 4 miles long. I should have decent endurance and my speed should be better.

Next, I wanted to come up with a plan for increasing strength. I wanted to focus on upper body and core muscles since I figured that the running would take care of lower body strength. Here is what I came up with for strength training:

Sit-ups 3-5 sets of 20 each
Push-ups 3-5 sets of 20 each

Pull-ups 3-5 sets of as many as possible each time

3-5 sets of 15 of each of the following with 25 lb dumbbells:

–Rows
–Bench press
–Curls
–French curls
–Bench flies
3-5 planks at 30 seconds each
3-5 sets of kettle bell swings 10 reps each
3-5 sets of burpees with 10 reps each

The number of sets would depend on the day, my energy levels and how much time I had available.

Of course, I did as many as I could. The early sets I would do the full amounts and near the end I would do fewer.

I also ended up adding cycling to the mix and would do 5-30 miles per day on a stationary bike. I did this to strengthen the muscles that running do not strengthen   as much like the quads, gluts and calves.

All my workouts are tracked on Dailymile.com. If you are on that site, feel free to friend me, my username is matthew_s_pardo.

Here we go again…again

If you can name the movie that quote comes from…I would be impressed. Rules…you can’t look it up and you can’t be my wife because I know she knows.

I am starting to blog here again.