Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Let it Rain & Let it Snow today

Since I started to work with Andrew my training changed quite a bit. I run every day and can't allow myself to have a day off. Coach is always there!
I'm pretty sure that I'm right in the middle of my best week.
Let's see:

Mar 25, Sun, AM: 120 min long run
12.34 miles, 09:44 pace, avg.HR 131, max.HR 147
Tough, tough, cough... Using Olga's terminology I did "walkajogs"
and even simple "walka". Coach said - now he knew my barriers.

Mar 26, Mon, AM: 90 min EZ run
10.31 miles, 08:44 pace, avg.HR 140, max.HR 152

Mar 27, Tue, AM: 60 min Hard run (60 min of incessant Rain!)
7.75 miles, 07:45 pace, avg.HR 150, max.HR 160
Slower than we did with Eric, but Hard 60 min is really "Hard" early in the mornings. Feel truly beat up.

So, I'm having this sort of a "ladder" 120 - 90 - 60 min which is a normal routine.
Thomas is having an ULTRA soon! Very soon!!!
This is the most interesting and expected run I eager to hear about.
Go Thomas, Go!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Running with Erik

Sat, March 24th, PM.
Had a great "Hard" run, which is 60 min keeping HR in the range 150 - 160. "Hard" turned into "Fun" cause one Running pal - Erik, young runner, 23 from New Hampshire (currently lives in Astana which is a Capital) came to my city. He's here in Kaz as a member of "Student Life" organization (they're sort of religious Peace Corp). He is really fast at 1 mile having PR about 4:40. Before that work he announced that rather "run in shorts"! Officially it is Sping here, but no, No! Forget about it, it's too cold. Having nothing but running shorts, he finally found something decent to put it on beneath the shorts. Went to "EthnoPark" which is a place where I run currently, cause my "Stadium" is full of melting snow. We kept and average pace (around 7:30) and even chatted from time to time. Somewhere in the middle of work we ran along the street which surrounds Park and heard a Police Siren wailing. So I teased him this way:

R.: Hear that wailing siren? Police is chasing a mad american, who's running too fast on Karaganda streets!
E.: Right, but you're running also fast.. so Nobody is Safe here.
R.: yea, Run for Your Life etc.

See more pictures on my Flickr account tagged "Running with Erik".
Hey Man! In case you read this lines - I will visit Astana next month, so Get Ready!

P.S. There are rumors and even a project at my work to send me to a business trip to China for 1 week, soon in April. Oh No. I Love China! Great country. I like to visit this country. But. It mess up with my training plans.. or I'll be there using hotel mills at nights trying to fulfil all running works.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Working with Coach Andrew. Week One

Originally uploaded by rus_runner.

I started to work with a Coach! And this is Great! Andrew definitely knows what to do. Once he pointed that I got to my best times in a Random manner – True. Last fast Half I did was a pure experiment, thank you Thomas for comments, but I wasn’t even sure I was doing a Half. My aim was to do "something about 10 miles". But legs felt so good, so.. All my random / experimental works are in the Past now. My first week with Coach Andrew started observing the sequence of Hard / Easy runs and I shall say – it wasn’t that easy, I even failed twice (!) this week trying to fulfill one Hard run and the other morning doing Easy 90 min run. But, summing up past week’s work I gotta say I’m really satisfied.
Weekly mileage (Mar, Sun 18 – Sat 24, 2007) 55.15 miles.
See details on the picture (Garmin snapshot, res. 1024 x 738).
P.S. Nearly every day, I make reports to my Coach of work done, so almost forgotten about my blog existence.

P.P.S. Just remembered one funny episode - in the July 2005, first time in my running life I reached mark about 80 km (which as about 50 miles) for the … whole July month! I emailed about it to one my Russian-Korean friend and she replied like: “Rus, you’re absolutely Crazy! How is it possible to make FIFTY miles per month!!! That is a pure madness!”

– That’s right baby! How do I make 55 – 65 miles per week? I have no idea!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Birds of a feather ...

Flock together.
So, this is why I like Internet community. It helps me to understand all pros and cons of my work. I found an online coach!!! Absolutely Ready to work! Meet my Coach - Mr. Andrew!
All experiments with repeats and fartlek runs are in the past.. and in the future. Not now. We're working on Base Aerobic training. Although I made this morning 5 miles running on the streets (! never did it before) and in local "EthnoPark" I will start "90 min easy" with HR 140 - 145 beats per minute, tonight.
So it goes.

I am On It

sorry my Dear Reader, I wasn't feel like blogging recently.
Terrific volume of dirt, friable / crumbly melting snow in last two-three days cut down my running volume of work. I finished my week
Mar, Sun 11 - Sat 17 with average 35 !!! miles.
Here's what Thomas said recently:
"45 miles. One year ago that would have been an average week. Now I don’t know how I will survive on so little running."
Me either. In his best weeks Thomas is 20 miles ahead of me, in worst weeks - still 10 miles ahead. .. so little running...
The only good thing I did was a Half marathon I ran on Wed eve and clocked with Personal Best 1:44:28

Mile 01: 07:58
Mile 02: 07:38
Mile 03: 07:38
Mile 04: 07:36
Mile 05: 07:39
Mile 06: 07:44
Mile 07: 08:06
Mile 08: 08:03
Mile 09: 08:14
Mile 10: 08:19
Mile 11: 08:27
Mile 12: 08:12
Mile 13: 07:58
Lap 14 (0,11m): 00:49 (pace 07:38)
Total for Half Marathon:
Mar 14, Wed, PM: 13.11 miles, 1:44:28, 07:58 pace, avg.HR 146, max.HR 158

I was really surprised seeing average pace 07:58 at Garmin Software Training Center.
I didn't mean to make sub 8:00 run.
Not bad, not bad.

P.S. Personal thanks to Great Guys:
- Assylzhan, thank you Man!
Olga, fantastic supporter!
Thomas, almost unreal runner. Happy St.Patrick's Day to you Ireland!
Mark, for linking to my Coach!
Andrew, it's an honor to work together. I'm READY!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Week, Spring is Almost here

Mar 11, Sun: 0 miles
Mar 12, Mon, AM: 2.0 miles, 09:43 pace
Mar 13, Tue, PM: 12.0 miles, 1:54:38, 09:33 avg.pace, avg.HR 133

I'm not trying to create an excuse but there was something wrong - not really cold (-7 -8C) but with unpleasant cold wind or I was too tired after work .. it was a Grueling Struggle!
My legs feel really great after past weekend.
Wonder what can I do tonight. Let's see how it goes.

Monday, March 12, 2007

My stadium

Originally uploaded by rus_runner.
Made this photo several days ago. Still the same. So called "stadium" is located right on the border of Karaganda city in a real Steppe. The good thing is that the air there is really clean and fresh. I do not understand those who run along city roads, never did it and will never do. There were so many articles about it. You try to consume more and more oxygen on the run but instead you get more and more exhaust - Ewwww!! vehicles' gas.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

3 Personal Bests

3 Personal Bests
I made yesterday, on Sat 10th. Sorry I brag again.

1. Fastest Winter Half-Marathon: 13.11 miles
2. 8 x 1600 repeats as a final accord I made on the Sat eve. (never did those nutty repeats in the GYM before) plus 1600 as a Cool-Down.
3. Longest milage I clocked for the week (Mar, Sun 4 - Sat 10) about 65 miles !

Sat, morning. Stadium. Forget about Spring, it was such a ***ing cold, I bet -17C.
Somewhere in the middle of Run I found that my long nose was completely covered with frost.. eyelashes as usual bore a "layer" of frost and snow, there were moments when all I saw was 3 - 4 meters distance ahead of me...
And there's such a nice exercise to warm up your hands - clamp/unclamp your fingers so fist and fingers to be unfrozen (that's what I did first two miles)
Positive side - No Wind at all.
I would call this
a Steppe of the Rising Sun
cause the Sun was rising and it was getting warmer and warmer...

Mile 01: 08:17 / avg.HR 133 / max.HR 146
Mile 02: 08:08 / avg.HR 145 / max.HR 147
Mile 03: 08:12 / avg.HR 146 / max.HR 149
Mile 04: 08:01 / avg.HR 149 / max.HR 156
Mile 05: 08:15 / avg.HR 149 / max.HR 151
Mile 06: 07:56 / avg.HR 151 / max.HR 154
Mile 07: 08:04 / avg.HR 153 / max.HR 155
Mile 08: 08:23 / avg.HR 152 / max.HR 156
Mile 09: 08:23 / avg.HR 152 / max.HR 154
Mile 10: 08:30 / avg.HR 152 / max.HR 155
Mile 11: 08:35 / avg.HR 152 / max.HR 154
Mile 12: 08:29 / avg.HR 152 / max.HR 154
Mile 13: 07:56 / avg.HR 152 / max.HR 155
Lap 14 (0,11m): 00:47 (pace 07:13) / avg.HR 156 / max 157

Total for Half Marathon: 1:48:02 with pace 8:14 miles per min
Remember - it is a winter training, it means I still wear heavy winter shoes with fur inside, a lot of jackets, I was without my bacalava though

So Saturday afternoon I had in my bank about 56 miles and I made up my mind, that IT IS a time for my personal Best Week ever. 65 miles. Let's see how "about 9 miles indoor run" happened.

Sat eve, "Manege" Gym, 1600's:
1. 07:08 (pace 07:10)
2. 06:59 (pace 07:01)
3. 07:04 (pace 07:06)
4. 07:03 (pace 07:05)
5. 07:07 (pace 07:09)
6. 07:00 (pace 07:02)
7. 07:04 (pace 07:06)
8. 06:57 (pace 06:59)
It took me 1,5 hour for eight tough repeats.
9. 07:43 (pace 07:45) Cool it Man!
Never did 8 x 1600 repeats with my MP (marathon pace, which I consider now a range 06.45 - 07.15)

(today on Sunday, my quads, my ass, my calves Are Sore)

Mar 9, Fri, PM: 5 miles, avg. pace 8:38 per mile - nothing special ...
Mar 10, Sat, AM: 13.11 miles, 1:48:02, 08:14 pace, avg.HR 149, max.HR 157
Mar 10, Sat, PM: 8 x 1600 + 1600 to Cool down.

Weekly mileage (Mar, Sun 4 - Sat 10): 65.49 miles, avg. pace 08:27
avg.HR 144, max.HR 174

Friday, March 09, 2007


March 8th is Women's Day here.
Such a special Day created in Soviet times and spread all over former socialistic countries - Russia, CIS and even in China.

This is my week, I know I won't give up making this week better and reaching to a new PR. Did I do anyhting special? Not really.

Tue, Mar 6, PM made total 7 miles.
Wed was really tired after Crazy Celebration of the Women's Day at work. We spent several hours preparing Cakes, Flowers, champagne etc. Though I didn't drink anything but juice, I felt like a crap in the Eve. Bench me! I'm off.

Another good news is that March 8, 9, and 10th are days Off for the whole country! We will start working since Sunday, Mon ...

Thu, March 8, made 2 sessions at lunch time and one in the Eve.
A simple Fartlek + 5 miles with 2 strides 112 meters each (0.07m) and 4 miles in the eve.

I heard and read a lot of "Fartlek" and here's what I did yesterday:

"Fartlek is a Scandinavian term meaning "Speed Play." This type of workout is usually conducted by choosing landmarks on the horizon and then picking up your speed until you reach that landmark before backing off to rest while you search for another target..."
Template by: http://www.trainingpeaks.com/

1. Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 1.
2. Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 2.
3. Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 3.

4. Repeat the steps below 2 times:
4.1. Repeat the steps below 2 times:
4.1.1. Go 0.1 Miles. Try to keep my speed in zone 7 (Slow Run).
4.1.2. Go 0.1 Miles. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 2.

4.2. Repeat the steps below 2 times:
4.2.1. Go for 00:00:10. Try to keep my speed in zone 8 (Run).
4.2.2. Go for 00:01:00. try to keep my heart rate in zone 2.

5. Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 2.
6. Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 1.

I LOVE it, Fartlek is a pure fun.
Technically this workout is nothing special, I know I shall modify it and make it harder but this simple version made my heartbeat runs up to 174 beats! At those strides i reached to sub 5:00 pace at 10 sec strides.
I'll do it more soon.

ok, that was an experimental part of running. And yes, I erased those 1,2,3 warming and 5,6 cooling down steps before transfering my work to G.Training Center.

Summing Up:
For this week (Sun, Mar 4 - Sat, Mar 10) I banked 38,44 miles total so far.
Today and tomorrow I will have to do a lot.
Run More, Talk Less.

Thank you Guys for all your Comments!
Personal Thanks to Olga - it was Great to talk to you!
(Sovetchina / Sovok Rocks sometimes :)
Good Luck in Chuckanut 50k March 17

Thanks to Robert, I guess i took a link for your site from comments on Thomas' page.
I never did 200+ miles but it's getting warmer out there and it makes me feel too confident...

Assyl! Thank you Man!
ok, I'm back to the Track


Tue, Mar 6, PM: 2 miles, 17:21, 8:40 pace, avg.HR 123 Ouch! Micro-sprain again
couple minutes later
Tue, Mar 6, PM: 5 miles, 42:35, 8:31 pace, avg.HR 144, Max.HR 155
do I run faster after sprains??
Wed, Mar 7, OFF
Thu, Mar 8, PM: Fartlek, 1,31 miles, 11:18, 08:39 pace, avg.HR 155, Max.HR 174 !
Thu, Mar 8, PM: 5,14 miles, 40:41, 07:55 pace, avg.HR 156, Max.HR 165
Thu, Mar 8, PM: 4,0 miles, 34:38, 08:39 pace, avg.HR 141, Max.HR 152

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Yes Mark, you're right, I do. I do likes numbers. They simply show where we are now. 245.51 miles in February is a serious work. Thank you Mark. Good Job!
(For those of my readers who's not familiar with Great Runners - Mark, one of them and he is from Canada, Alberta and since November 2006 I noticed that his weather conditions are so close to mine. Yes I should admit it, his results are one of samples to me and yes I try to reach the same)

Here's what I did this week.
Sunday Morning run I made running on empty stomach as described here.
Yes this is Thomas' influence, but I won't do it more than 15 - 20% of my total monthly volume. And of course they were slow miles.
Mon, PM. As every day we feel warmer temps, running under the moon light is still as cold as usually. It took more than an hour an half, so weather was gradually decreasing. Again I had coherent eyelashes and I saw a picture on the Tool which I see when it's really cold outside.

Suddenly Mr. Garmin shows unclear picture and you may see on the top of that "Shutdown" and "Stack". It is not that regualr message "Battery Low". It is different. Not sure about the meaning of that unclear message, but in the middle of 12 miles run I can't allow my Tool to Shut Down. Pushing "Up" and "Down" arrows on the right side doesn't help. I push "Mode" button and it helps, I go back to normal figures: Pace, Distance, HR ... I use my Tool since September 2006 and never had "Shutdown/Stack" situation in the Fall. The only explanation now is when temps go down to -18C -20C the Tool is "nervous" and shows me this Warning message. May be I'm not right. Still love my Tool!

12 miles I did yesterday PM with incredibly round and bright moon was also a slow run. All I saw was 141, 142 Heart beats. Such a shame to have those lower 140's.
Somewhere closer to the end I clocked one mile with 08:55 and 138 HR.
Aggresive "Rus Coach" said:
- You're a Fat Lazy A.., Move it! Do it faster. It can Not be slower than 9:00.
I finished last mile with 08:24 avg.HR 144 and max.HR 153
Glad I did.

My Plan for this week (Sun 4 - Sat 10) to make a "Slow PR".
Something around 65 miles which I desperately tried to get in February.

Sun, Mar 4, AM: 9 miles, 1:26:30, 9:36 pace, avg.HR 144, Max.HR 150
Mon, Mar 5, PM: 12 miles, 1:45:22, 8:46 pace, avg.HR 140, Max.HR 153

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Spring is Coming Up

Mileage, Feb 2007:
Dallen - about 320 miles
Thomas - 292.5 miles
Mark - 245.51 miles

Recently I reread this Post by Mike and his coach.
It made me think about strides seriously. Here's what Mike said:

"...I was a complete idiot not to have included some higher-end aerobic work in my winter build-up. It may not have cost me anything...hell"

STRIDES. I knew I couldn't do them in the winter season. But February is over and now it's time to make my work better. And harder.
I love Advanced Workouts and love to programme them. Hmm, not always love to fulfil them :)

I made it for my Tool a long ago and decided to try on March 1st.
8 simple miles including 2 strides only. 0.05miles I suppose is equal to 80 meters. Pro guys might say that 80 meters is not a "Stride". I read somewhere that Stride should be more than 100 meters. Whatever, this is only an experiment for me. I want to do a better quality work.

1. Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 1.
2. Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 2.
3. Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 3.

4. Go 1 Miles. Try to keep my speed between 9:15/mi and 7:30/mi.
5. Go 0.05 Miles. Try to keep my speed between 7:30/mi and 5:30/mi.
6. Go 1 Miles. Try to keep my speed between 9:15/mi and 7:30/mi.
7. Go 0.05 Miles. Try to keep my speed between 7:30/mi and 5:30/mi.
8. Repeat the steps below 6 times:
8.1. Go 1 Miles. Try to keep my speed between 9:15/mi and 7:30/mi.

9. Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 3.
10.Go for 00:02:00. Try to keep my heart rate in zone 2.

One more. Step 1,2,3 is a Warm Up. We have to respect our body and cardiovascular system!Step 1 - Hear rate in Zone 1 means you simply Walk or start jogging. And so on. So after fulfilling a workout I "filter out" steps 1,2,3 and 9,10. I erase them. Not sure about it, but I guess I do it right.

Thu, March 1, PM: 8.10 miles including 2 strides 80m (262.47ft or 0.05m) each, 1:09:53, Avg.Pace 08:37, Avg.HR 152, Max.HR 159

Fri, March 2, PM: 4.0 miles, 36:39, Avg.Pace 09:09, Avg.HR 140, Max.HR 153 beats(after visiting a pub and having a half of 0.33 liter glass of beer "Derbes")EZ run

Sat, March 3, PM: Track and Field "Manege" (this is a Franch word we use in Russian) or simply indoor GYM. 200 meters lap. All indoor Track & Field championships they run in the "Manege" GYM. Intervals that I really Love. 1600's. 8 laps. Indoor running makes me feel that I'm doing absolutely different kind of things. As a warm up I had EZ mile and found it sub 7:00! Almost with no efforts. With the same efforts I make 9:30 at my stadium with my beloved winter weather.

Sat, March 3rd, 2007
Work: 3 x 1600m. 12 - 15 min rest. Yes, Slacker.
1. 06:11
2. 06:09
3. 06:15
WooHoo! Nice job. 1600 meters is 9 meters less than 1 mile. So I suppose is 2 second slower than if I would make a mile. I kept 1600's in sub 6:15. Glad I did.

Mark compared his work with what he did 1 month ago.
Let me do the same.

Sat, Feb 3rd, 2007.
Work: 4 x 1600m.
1. 06:22'9
2. 06:35'0
3. 06:23'0
4. 06'22'2

I made this time only 3 intervals, but a progress is too evident.

Friday, March 02, 2007

End of February. End of Winter 2007?

Tons of snow with lower than -25C temps, -31 in the nights.Blocked roads, cars, trains (?!) and my weatherbounce workouts.On the Last day of the February, I was absolutely calm. I sort of gave up. Didn't care about my monthly milage. I knew that I couldn't do what I had planned to do, 205 February miles.8 easy miles. Coherent eyelashes right from beginning - it's a sign that temps are lower than -15C. Due to frost eyelashes, ability to watch is about 60 - 90% of your normal. This is fun. All you see is such a kaleidoscopical effects, digits on Mr. Garmin and a track.
So, all I did in January and February was building an aerobic base mileage.No strides, No hill repeats, some intervals in the GYM.It has to be different. I'm excited about coming Spring. (In fact Official Spring starts from March 21st, I guess - everybody consider March 1st as a beginning of Spring)Despite that I'm slightly disappointed with February runs, i think this Winter was truly Great.

I shall be thankful for Big Things:
- Longest monthly milage I did this winter;
- Thanks to God, I wasn't sick through Dec - Jan - Feb. This is fantastic, after an hour or two of running, having hot and sweaty body, wearing wet sports-jersey inside and truly cold weather outside, as cold as bigger part of my bacalava or simply mask is white cause it covered with frost; how is it possible not to get sick in those circumstances? It takes about 10 min to walk on the city streets to get to my house. I do not run on the streets, just walk. I wouldn't feel myself comfortable running on the streets or in crowded places.

Also, shall be thankful for small things. Thousands of them.
There were Good Runs..
There will be even Greater Runs.
Happy Running to Everybody!
Peace out

Mileage, Feb 2007: between 160 and lower than 170.Need some time to calculate, non-Garmin indoor runs.