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The Hadfield Advanced Marathon Training Plan: Who’s It Good For?

I’ve previously brought up Jenny Hadfield’s Advanced Marathon Training Plan. Hadfield is a coach and a writer for Runner’s World. I found the structure of Hadfield’s plans to be very accessible and up to speed with the base training centered approach I currently want to follow.

If you provide an email address, Hadfield’s website allows you to download this and other training plans. Each plan includes a detailed Page 2 explanation of any terminology on the Page 1 schedule.

Obviously, Hadfield is available for personal coaching, and this would lead to a more personalized training plan. The described plan is a template, but can be followed to the letter as-is.

The various plans Hadfield offers vary which midweek workout goes where by day. So to simplify, and because it’s probably the best fit for many experienced runners, I’ll cite the Advanced Plan’s schedule. The easier plans do have more cross training days and do switch some workouts around, though the schedule layout is mostly similar.

The Basics of the Hadfield Advanced Marathon Plan, in a nutshell:

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How much faster running do you need in base training?

A primary concern with Osler/Hadd style base training is that the lack of hard/fast running will cause you to slow down.

With Hadd training, this is a partially valid concern. One effect of the training is that, while you can improve and maintain threshold-level speed, your ability to kick or surge is limited. Your cruising speed in the short run will improve, but it’s hard to speed up from there.

Osler style base training avoids this by having you do a time trial or race once a week every week. This one hard short-medium run serves as your speedwork. Eventually, once you switch to sharpening training, you work on repeats and other speed frequently ahead of a goal race. But the weekly time trial helps work on and maintain your fast running during the lengthy base training cycle. (It also allows you to quickly take up speedwork, as you’ve been practicing it some each week)

One of the drawbacks of common marathon training plans that include speedwork is that the speedwork not only limits your base aerobic development, but your body can actually burn out on the repeated hard stimulus after about 3 months, very counterproductive if you’re planning to run a marathon in 3-5 months. (And no, a solid taper alone is not enough of a break to refresh those reserves)

Both Osler and Hadd agree that an ideal base training focused phase should last around a year or more before you begin any serious speedwork, and that most runners simply don’t do this because of their own lack of patience, not to mention short term ambitions of goal races. Most simply cannot fathom thinking, planning or executing that far ahead.

I realize one of the reasons my performance improved so dramatically in 2017-2018 was that I made a point to run easy almost all of the time. Most times it was out of necessity, running home from work and needing to guarantee completion of the run and arrival. I ran as easy as I needed to. Often, admittedly, fatigue from the workweek and rest of my life compelled me not to push it on most runs. I covered mileage and got home. It not only allowed me to pile a lot of weekly mileage, but the sub-aerobic-threshold running gradually pushed my aerobic threshold upward, as Hadd’s explained at length.

Most runners don’t do this. Most coaches wouldn’t recommend this. But my obsessive unrelenting focus on easy aerobic base running led to my lactate/aerobic thresholds consistently improving, which showed in my race results. I occasionally did some fast running, but I didn’t need to do much at all to see improvement during this period, even when the Racing Team was out of season and I was only running easy on my own.

A few training plans do lean exclusively on easy running, at least for the first couple months. IronFit doesn’t program any fast running until 7-8 weeks in. Hal Higdon’s easy plans are all easy running, and even his intermediate plans only include a slightly-harder-than-easy marathon pace run once a week. (I’ve mentioned before that while Hansons programs only easy runs for the first 3 weeks or so, I don’t really count that in such examples as that pre-speed base period is relatively short.)

But most plans ask for speed or tempo work right off the bat, holding that pattern through the entire 16-20 weeks. Perhaps that’s too much? Not because a runner can’t handle it: Obviously, most can. But it may be too much because, as Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns or Tom Osler have pointed out, such running is best employed in brief 1-2 month periods right before key races, when its benefits are needed. (In that respect, IronFit somewhat gets it right, only programming speed/tempo in the last 9 weeks of training… though even that’s a little long.)

One of the reasons I’ve found Osler training a good fit is because I think he found the right combination back in 1967 when he wrote The Conditioning of Distance Runners. Run easy, except for one hard run/race a week. Build that easy mileage for 3 months. Then pile on speed workouts in the 7 weeks before your big race or racing block.

In my experience, more speed/tempo each week than that can be too much after a few weeks. This may be why so many serious runners get injured or flat-line their performances so much.

In my experience, less speed/tempo each week than that can indeed stagnate your faster running and make it hard to kick. My long stretches of easy training did improve my cruising speed. But the best racing results only came when I was also doing speed and tempo work in training.

I realize Hadd avoids speed training entirely. However, Hadd’s Phase One base training places top priority on troubleshooting and building your aerobic base fitness only months, only gradually adding harder running once you’ve reached a suitable run volume and shown aerobic threshold base improvement. His training aims to troubleshoot your aerobic shortcomings first and foremost. You only worry about running faster once that’s been suitably addressed.

And it goes back to what both have pointed out about most coaches’ and runners’ general lack of patience, of wanting to see results now. We go to the speedwork right away because we want to see ourselves running fast. And we often default to the (somewhat faulty) common sense that you can only get faster if you practice running faster.

Chicago Marathon Once Again, and The Summer Challenge

I entered the drawing for the 2023 Chicago Marathon not expecting much, having heard (that allegedly) spots would be (more) limited to out of towners and that the drawing might be a bit tighter across the board.

Well, they drew me once again!

So I’ll be heading out there next October, just a few months after Vancouver 2023.

Obviously, I’m running Vancouver in May, so this means not only a 2nd 2023 marathon but a relatively quick turnaround, as marathons go. After a couple weeks off from Vancouver, I’ll have only 20 weeks before Chicago.

So, sorry Frank Shorter, but I won’t be in any position to forget about my last marathon by the time I need to resume base training for the next one.

Of course, in the weeks leading up to this, I had still been planning long-term just in case, presuming I was going to run Chicago. I drew up different schedules, measuring their build, the estimated marathon shape in October, to see what would work. I had also formed plans for what to work this summer on if I didn’t draw in and the summer was free, but that’s a moot point now.

Much like the injury-failed Indy Marathon campaign last year, my big challenge is to endurance train effectively during the Vegas summer. The difference now is I learned and now know a lot about training in these circumstances that I didn’t know last year. (And also, knock on wood, that I have a 100% hamstring and hip flexor complex that’s better built to handle training)

I’m now training at 3000′ altitude along significant hills on weekdays, with similar hills at lower altitude (2300-2500′) on weekends. I’ve focused a lot in the cooler weather on nose breathing on the run as much as I can reasonably handle, only mouth-exhaling or even mouth breathing if the going (usually an extended hill climb) gets tough enough to justify it. My Osler-style base training and the resulting gradual mileage build has been reasonably comfortable. I’ve also scaled back my cross training and walking, sticking mostly to brief walks and some backward walking.

Already, Runalyze has showed my measured VO2max has jumped a great deal, and I’m not even into the real (midweek 8 milers and 3+ hour long runs) meat of training yet. I’ve barely done any fast running, other than a Turkey Trot 10K that went well on no race-specific training and despite not having run farther than 6 miles on any run.

Osler training and the progression has gone quite well, and I’m probably going to stick with it going ahead. Ultimately, after months of easy base training with one tempo or time trial a week, I’ll follow his advice and add in sharpening work towards the final couple months. I may not add as much as he recommends, as March and April tend to add their own stimulus: Increasing temperatures. People tend to forget that’s an added training stimulus in spring! So, if my base runs in hotter weather are suitably tough, I may just keep them the same.

Going back to Chicago could be weird, as a tourist this time. I’ve found (and paid a pretty penny for) a good centralized hotel with a kitchen. The city’s a lot harder to deal with when you don’t have a home base away from the main drag you can retreat to. Unlike Vancouver, I probably won’t stay terribly long following the marathon, though I’ll at least stay the following day.

Meanwhile, it’s rather premature to put a ton of thought into Chicago 2023. I still have to train for and run Vancouver! More to come as it becomes relevant.

The Fitness Run and the Real Meaning of an Easy Run

“Easy Run” is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied terms in running, and not for the reasons you’d think.

Yes, people often do go too hard on their “easy” runs. But to me the issue is the broad over-application of the term “easy run” to most training runs.

Most runs beyond 30 minutes aren’t necessarily easy. The effort and intensity desired may be “easy”, but beyond the 30-40 minute mark the body is now being stressed beyond the comfort zone. Your body isn’t going to come down from that effort as easily as, say, hurrying across a street, or doing a simple 20 minute workout that leaves you refreshed. The oxidative stress is higher over a longer period, and markers like your heart rate variability will remain abnormal for some time afterward.

Related: This is a reason the Pete Magills of the world strongly recommend you never go on a recovery run lasting more than 40 minutes. You’re defeating the “shakeout” purpose of such a run.

Some wisely avoid the term for base training runs (referring to them by training zones, e.g. a Zone 1-2 run, for example), or use a different term entirely (as Matt Fitzgerald does when he calls them Foundation Runs).

I consider recovery runs the true Easy Runs. They’re short. They’re not done to stimulate an endurance training effect. Usually, they’re done for circulation or to activate hormone production that will further drive recovery. Or, like a “shakeout run” the day before a marathon, it’s done to expend some energy as it feels better than just resting entirely.

I posit that what coaches call Easy Runs should instead be dubbed Fitness Runs. The difference is that the terminology makes the intention of the workout clear. Any run done at an easy effort, but for longer than 30 minutes, or at more than a 75%-max average heart rate, is by my definition a Fitness Run.

By my definition the recovery runs are the only ones that should be labeled Easy Runs.

And since it will come up, any run longer than 90 minutes, or longer than the longest run I can do during the workweek, is by my definition a Long Run. It’s fairly hard for me to do more than two of these a week, since I work full-time and on those days I can’t by this definition do a long run.

(In my case, the longest workweek training run I can manage to do is basically 90 minutes. If my workweek limit was 60 minutes, then any weekend run lasting 61 minutes or longer would be in my case a Long Run.)

I decided to label my training runs this way, and it’s way more useful and less confusing for workout tracking than the old Easy/Recovery/Long labels.

Some examples (all of these examples are what most would call an “easy run”):

  • I go on a training run after work that lasts 45 minutes, and my HR averages 71% of max. This is a Fitness Run.
  • I go on a work break run lasting 12 minutes at 74% HR. This is an Easy Run. It lasts less than 30 minutes, and the average heart rate is below 75%. I should bounce back pretty quickly from this.
  • I go on another work break run that lasts 10 minutes at a 79% HR. This is actually a Fitness Run, because my heart rate went beyond the 75% threshold, meaning this run was a bit harder. Though it was very short, the effort will impact my fitness.
  • I go on a training run after work that I have to cut short at 28 minutes, and average a 73% HR. This is an Easy Run, even though I intended it to be a Fitness workout, because the run did not hit the 30 minute threshold.
  • On a Monday holiday, two days after a Saturday 2 hour Long Run, I go out for a lengthy easy run that lasts an hour and 35 minutes (95 minutes). This is also a Long Run, even though I just ran one on Saturday. Many will only label their longest run of the week the long run, but again I have a clear threshold of 90 minutes for long runs, and this one qualified.
  • And of course, if on a subsequent weekend I go for a long run, but I have to to cut it short at 80 minutes, this run is only a Fitness Run, as it did not reach my 90 minute threshold. (Side note: If I run farther than 8.1 miles on this or any other non-long run, Runalyze will classify this as a long run for Marathon Shape calculations, whether or not I label it as such, since that’s their default threshold for long run calculations.)

A couple of added finer points:

  • If I have to drop out of a race, I don’t label this as a race. I’ll give it the appropriate label, whether a Long Run or a Pace Run (I lump all my under-90 minute tempo and marathon-pace runs, or Zone 3+ runs, anything steady and harder than “easy”, in as Pace Runs). For example, when I DNF’d the Vancouver Marathon this year at mile 19, I labeled that a Long Run. Only races I complete are labeled as a Race.
  • If I decide randomly on a Fitness or Easy Run to run hard, whether intervals or a time trial or a fartlek, it gets labeled accordingly to what I ended up doing. Regardless of intent, the run is labeled based on what I ended up doing.

So now I label my regular runs as Fitness Runs and my recovery-type runs as Easy Runs. I like this definition of Easy Run far better than what everyone else uses.

Enough of keto for now

After 30 days of keto, and initial dabbling with restored starchy carb intake, I decided to revert back to my prior lower/slow-carb diet going forward.

Keto worked well for what I needed at the time. It pushed my body to better utilize stored body fat. It helped kickstart fat burning that had stalled in recent months. It helped me hormonally readjust, which helped get my sleep patterns back on track (though the cooling Vegas weather combined with increasing daytime darkness may have also helped with that).

Now that I’ve adjusted to nose breathing and thus improved the quality and efficiency of my aerobic endurance workouts, which was also part of why I went keto, I think the whole project have served its purpose. The Vegas weather has cooled and I can once again easily train outdoors. I ran a 10K easy this weekend and was fairly pleased with the results.

My weight loss did slow after starting keto, though it did stabilize a few pounds below where I had started. Now that I’m ramping up run training again, my overall calorie requirements are going to increase dramatically, and I’m already maxed on how much protein and fat I can reasonably take in per day. Even if I had good reason to stay keto, it wouldn’t make much sense to pound more steak and more coconut oil.

Going forward I’m going to eat carbs without restriction, though again my normal intake was lower than most, in the 100-200g daily range. I still have done a good job of keeping my aerobic heart rate lower than before, even as I’ve reintroduced carbs and even as I’ve began picking up the intensity on some of these base runs.

The growing volume of run and cross training, combined with a greater need for daily overall calories and the predominantly slow-carb diet I generally eat already, will help spur subsequent weight loss.

I’ll probably still have some keto days where I eat low carb, high fat/protein. But now instead of being a mandated habit it can be employed incidentally.

Updating max heart rate with a random time trial

After taking basically the whole weekend off from training, I had planned on an easy Monday. But after losing morning training to stomach issues (that went away once I got to work, go figure), and having no big training plans tonight, I decided on a whim at my 10am break at work to try a Hadd HR-max test:

  • You run 800 meters as hard as you can manage. Your time isn’t relevant.
  • You rest for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • You run 400 meters as hard as you can manage. Your time isn’t relevant.
  • Your max heart rate out of the whole thing is probably your actual current max heart rate.

Not a bad way to start out year 45, I guess.

Though I got it done without wishing death, let’s just say breathing was hard for a little while afterward, and even now (breathing better and able to function) I still feel like I’m recovering from the experience. I’ll probably need a good night’s sleep before I feel totally fine.

Also important, my max heart rate was 180, a couple ticks below my prior estimates. This makes sense as I haven’t been training like I was in Chicago, where my max frequently exceeded estimates.

As for HR training zones, I had historically warned against conventional 50-60-70-80-90% HRmax training zones (e.g. Zone 1 is 50-60% of HRmax, Zone 2 60-70%, etc). Those 50-60-70-80-90 zones were originally meant to be used with the Karvonen formula, which were based on a percentage of heart rate reserve (the difference between your resting HR and HR max), not a percentage of HR max itself!

As most people run, the zones are far too low for running, even if they work fine for other cross training. Most of us running naturally quickly exceed 70-75% without trying. With those zones, most wouldn’t be able to run at all! (For other cross training, they’re fine, as most don’t go hard enough to exceed 70-80% of max.)

Since reading Douillard and starting serious nose breathing, however, I’ve been able to jog at 60-65% for the first time ever (albeit very slowly). I still think for most the zones I recommended (65-70-80-85ish-90ish% of max, or using 50-60-70-80-90 of heart rate reserve) are the best ones to use.

Right now 60-70% is 108-126 bpm. If I get on a treadmill and go super slow, I can probably hang there for a good while, at least 30-45min. The pace is obviously not much of a problem. That’s not a bad starting point for building volume.

This past week, between any running, cross training, walking, I logged over 12 hours training, the most I’ve done since Vancouver this year. And it was probably the least stressful block of training I’ve done in a while. Sure, it still tired me out, but I didn’t feel run ragged after any of it like… well, after this time trial! This is sustainable.

Meanwhile, now I’m approaching a block of Saturday races, three in a row starting this weekend (the first two are 10K, the last is currently a Half Marathon, though I’m open to dropping down to that event’s 10K if not ready).

So now’s not the time to pile on volume. In fact, not being able to go this morning helped a bit with tapering for this Saturday’s 10K. But the trial did give me a bit of hard running stimulus ahead of the race, plus gave me an idea of what intensity I can do this weekend.

More to come as I start putting pieces together on training, but the real meat and potatoes probably won’t come before November, when this race block is done.

Forty Four.

Today is birthday number 44. Trip #45 around the sun begins today.

Let’s do this a little differently this year. Usually on my birthday I write about what I’d done and where I think I’m going.

This time around, I incidentally just went through a month or so where in training I learned and changed a LOT. Basically, I’m doing things a lot differently right now than I was a month ago, decidedly for the better I think. The light bulb went on for a lot of things all at once.

DIET

I started doing keto… though to say ‘started’ is a bit of a misnomer, as my diet generally has been somewhat high fat, high protein, low-moderate carb. I’ve had days in the past where I went real low carb, and it wasn’t a big deal.

But after reading Sky Waterpeace’s Lazy Man’s Guide to Marathoning, where he detailed that keto was a key factor in his being able to run well for distance, I decided in late September to go all in for a bit, see how well it worked, and if working well stick with it for as long as it worked well.

Each day on pure keto I rapidly lost weight without feeling worse for wear, outside of being a bit generally sluggish (which happens time to time anyway), and my running slowing down a lot, though I now could comfortably maintain much lower heart rates than ever before and felt like I could go on forever.

The weight loss did stall out over a week ago, and as I began adding more training (offseason’s over, folks! In fact, I have a 10K next weekend!)… I started feeling more peckish, more often.

So without fanfare I just re-added carbs again. I had a big bad starch-rich meal here or there. But mostly I just added peas/carrots/etc back into a couple meals, and stayed keto otherwise.

What was 10-20g net carbs per day is now more like 30-60g, and a day or two back at the old 125-150g. I had been eating eggs or a steak for breakfast a lot of mornings since I’m going to the gym most mornings now, but now some mornings I’m just fasting like before. A couple of pounds came back on since getting away from pure keto, but weight’s mostly steady.

So now, I’m mostly keto or slow carb. I don’t really worry going back or forth between either. If my weight starts creeping up again, I can just go pure keto for a bit and there’s a good chance the weight comes back down.

MORNING WORKOUTS

I joined the gym near my work on a good one-year-paid deal, which makes working out before work a lot easier and more practical (I’m still keeping my Planet Fitness membership, but going on days off from work). I wanted to cut down on my coffee intake anyway (I was going to coffee every morning before work, and while work has coffee it’s in decidedly smaller quantities).

And it still allows me to avoid the rush hour commute by working out before and after work (I cross train easy after work most days).

So now most mornings I commute to the gym, work out, change clothes and go to work afterward. It’s worked out great, it’s felt great, I get to work feeling really good (if not a bit physically worn from the training). It clearly fits me a lot better. And it’s considerably cheaper than going for coffee every morning.

NOSE BREATHING

The book’s been around forever but after multiple recommendations I finally caved in and read John Douillard’s Body Mind and Sport.

Douillard’s a bit out there, classifying people into three season-based body types (Winter, Summer, Spring) based on their lifestyle, body type and tendencies (you take a lengthy quiz, and it indicates I’m a Winter-Summer type).

Based on this seasonal mindset and typing, Douillard believes you should pick certain modes of training, eat certain foods, even train and eat at certain times of the day over others. I’m understandably skeptical, especially because I’ve had positive results and experience doing quite a few of his no-no’s out of season. It seems akin to basing your training on numerology or astrology, or condemning yourself to one of the somaotypes (e.g. mesomorph, endopmorph).

Douillard appears to be an avid vegetarian, and like many doesn’t believe anyone should eat much meat or protein, or eat big dinners, or egg yolks. So, grain of salt with that.

But Douillard’s recommendations on nose breathing, dialing back your training to a much lower intensity than most recommend (50-60% max heart rate), and warming up or cooling down with a balancing practice like yoga, do seem sound none the less.

So on his recommendation I test-drove doing some brief runs with my mouth closed, breathing only through my nose. It worked very well! It even worked beyond the effects of keto on my heart rate and ease of running. This is the first time I’ve ever been able to maintain anything like a 60-65% max heart rate on a training run. Even in my best Chicago days I couldn’t get it lower than 70% on an easy run.

And unlike prior runs, where my heart rate would climb and just keep gradually increasing, my heart rate would rise a bit but then come back down several beats per minute and stay. I was able to recover from spikes, instead of the increases just staying.

I used to finish my brief work break runs hot, breathing a bit hard, struggling. Even though these new work break runs had to go a lot slower because of the limited nose breathing, I came back feeling calmer, refreshed, and none of the run was a huge struggle. In fact, the biggest concern I had on these runs was my heart rate actually creeping towards the 70% range in the warmer conditions towards the end of the runs.

So I’ve once again made peace with running really slow for now, as I train myself to get comfortable with the nose breathing for steadily longer runs. I think this plus my lower/slow-carb diet approach will do wonders for building my aerobic capacity. And as he mentions, eventually I should naturally speed up as I get used to training like this.

That said, I’ll probably open my mouth and run somewhat harder in my upcoming races. I have some ideas to how to incorporate the nose breathing and harder efforts. We’ll see how they go. Worst case scenario, I’m just slow in these races, and I learn a few things, albeit with less strain than before.

WARM MORNING TREADMILL RUNNING

Thanks to this, I was able to get on the treadmill at the gym (which thanks to my new portable thermometers I now know is typically 73-75°F with 37-40% humidity), and comfortably run slow at 60-70% of max heart rate for over 20-30 minutes, without too much of a heart rate climb. My spin bike workouts are also more comfortable, though those weren’t super harsh to begin with.

Runalyze tells me the TRIMP (stress) on these workouts is now about 20% lower. What this means is I can probably handle a large volume of these workouts without wearing myself out as much. I certainly don’t feel sore or worse than generally tired the day after these workout days.

This week I’m still taking days easy and off from training, especially ahead of upcoming races. But now I feel very confident that I can handle high volumes of easy running that previously would tire and burn me out.

I have three race weekends in a row. Once the last of this series of race weeks ends I’ll train mornings and sample a full marathon training week ahead of Thanksgiving (nothing crazy, more like the lighter first week of a training plan) and see how that feels, how much more volume I can capably take on, how many easy days I need, how many double days during the week I can do, etc.

I also notice that my sleep is better if I don’t run in the evening. Apparently the stress of running is now inhibiting my body’s ability to fully relax overnight. It’s a bummer to not be able to run outdoors during winter after work, and because parks I run at open at 7am, it’s not practical to run there in the mornings. It makes the most sense to train in the mornings on the treadmill.

Before, there was almost no way I could mange training mornings on a gym treadmill. Now? It should be a lot more manageable because my nose breathing should improve my oxygen intake and heart rate management.

Plus, as much of a bummer as morning treadmill runs might be, it’s not only better for pace/effort management, but it’s way better for heat/humidity acclimation for Vancouver 2023. One factor that might have added to my Vancouver difficulty over the years is training all winter in ideal cold conditions, then running a marathon in 60°F+ and 80% humidity. My body’s not heat acclimated.

But if I’m training indoors in 72-75°F with 35-40% humidity, that closes the gap a great deal. In fact, the Perceived Heat Index for 60° and 80% is lower than 73° and 40%! I’d be acclimated for the conditions!

NOT WORRYING ABOUT TRAINING MONOTONY ANYMORE

I’ve been mostly strict about game-planning around avoiding high training monotony. But if I follow all of the above, it’s going to push my monotony over the 1.50 threshold.

That said, much of the research around Monotony is predicated around conventional training methodology, and a lot of what I’m doing is based on work from John Hadd Walsh, Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns, Phil Maffetone, and the aforementioned John Doulliard, which violates a lot of that conventional wisdom and has you training day over day at a far easier intensity than most.

So along with working with the nose breathing to maintain lower intensity, I’m going to ignore training monotony stats going forward. I’ll listen to my body, and intuitively cut workouts as needed if I’m feeling run down.

As for Workload Ratio, however, I’m still going to avoid exceeding that 1.50 threshold. But the plan I have as written does a great job building gradually and won’t come close to exceeding that threshold.

SLEEP

Amidst all of this, I am sleeping substantially better, more consistently. I don’t get more than 6-7 hours but they’re better hours now.

Even if I wake up during the night, I’m way more effective at getting back to sleep most nights. I’m not waking up with short sleep too often anymore.

The diet’s a factor. The training changes are a factor. Better focus on my micro-nutrient intake (making sure I hit requirements with everything) is a factor. Improving my overall health profile and losing a bit of weight is probably a factor. Keto’s effect on brain activity and recovery is a factor. It was all working before I cut down on my coffee intake but I’m sure that’s a factor too.

In fact, I undertook a lot of this recent stuff with the primary intent of improving my sleep. Improving my fitness and losing some weight were other intents, but none above getting better sleep. Sleep in fact is a key factor in improving all of the above, and I’m glad it’s starting to work better.

SO THINGS HAVE IMPROVED A GREAT DEAL

I’m going to roll with all this going forward, and see how the races go. These are basically glorified workouts at this point. The big focus will be expanding my training base and building on the improvements from the nose breathing, the keto/slow carb diet, and the better gym setup.

I made a point this past year to just work on myself, training, diet, finding consistent and repeatable habits. I like to think I’ve gotten better and smarter with running, even after having lost so much of the fitness I had in Chicago. Sure, a bunch of that was Covid in 2020, but that period was a break I probably needed across the board.

I’ve spent the last year or so beating my head against the wall to figure out how to train sustainably, and all of a sudden I figured a lot of things out, for the better.

44-45.

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