Sunday, December 9, 2007

I Picked the Wrong Day to...

So here it is, a week after I decided to start training for a half-marathon and so far I've only done two workouts--one kilometer each. Not a good start.

I was also looking over my past entries  and it seems like it was always work that got in the way. Well, it is like that once again. I was hoping that working in Jerusalem would be much more laid back than in a Hollywood studio. You'd also think that working in animation is something that you really take your time doing. However, we did the first story reel screening in four weeks, that's very quick, and then they replaced the director and we are doing a complete redo in just two months. I would have never thought it possible, but here I am doing it. Needless to say, it is taking up all of my time and there is just no way that I've got the energy to train right now.

Guess I picked the wrong day to start training. I'll get back to it after the screening.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Time Shifted Workout

We're recording dialogue in Los Angeles this week so that means that I'm having to work at night here in Jerusalem. I got up at 11:00am local time and did a short workout. Yesterday was a crazy day on the job, working from 9:00am until 5:00am the next morning. Needless to say I didn't have the time or energy for exercise.

I did the same lap as a couple of days ago and timed myself around the loop - 6:45. It starts with a quick downhill followed by a long gentle uphill for half the loop and finally a shallow decline that gradually gets steeper at the end. My heart rate averaged around 165 and at one point in the uphill got as high as 185 so I backed off. It seems that I got my heart rate up too fast too soon and the run was too short to do much good for half-marathon training. Still, I got out there and that's an accomplishment considering that I'm starting this training on a work crunch time.

Total distance of the loop? Measured by car odometer it is: 1.1 kilometer. So, let's see, that would be 6:08 minutes per kilometer or about 9:52 minutes per mile. Not a very fast run, but faster than my average racewalking pace--and with hills. Now I've got to keep running at this pace for 2:09:24 in order to cover a half-marathon. Considering that I walked it at 2:30:56, that should be doable.

Finally, here is a shot of the guys in Los Angeles, Gavin Goodvach (sound editor) in the foreground and Doug Wood (director) in the background. That's me in the picture in picture on the Skype screen. The picture was taken around 2:30am Jerusalem time.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lightning and Thunder and Rain... and Running

I decided that this morning I would start training for the Jerusalem half-marathon. I laid out all my gear, except for the Polar watch that I sent back to the states with Rosie because it wasn't reading the heart rate monitor. I woke up before the alarm went off because of the lightning and thunder. Humm--can't let that stop me, so I got suited up. Then the rain started--can't let that stop me either, put on a waterproof wind breaker.

The route I took was a short loop by the Jerusalem Theater and the president's residence. I started the stopwatch shortly after leaving the apartment and the total workout was about 10 minutes. I used my simple Polar B1 heart rate monitor and it looks like I went from 140 bpm to 165 bpm. Not much of a workout, but I did manage to get started--and I ran it all the way!

Now why would I start running if I hurt myself several times in the past? Well, after reading the books on Chi Running and the Pose Method I found out that it was my technique that was hurting me. Of course 10 minutes of running won't hurt me, but how about over two hours on a half-marathon? Stay tuned.

Finally--it will be interesting blogging from the other side of the globe. Note that the time posted is in West Hollywood, 10 hours later than Jerusalem time.

The Journey Continues

It has been almost six months since my last post but I haven't forgotten that I've got this blog. Like I mentioned in my last post, I'm working in Jerusalem on an animated feature film. There have been ups and downs on this job but overall I'm quite happy that I made the decision to take it. My wife Rosie came with me for a couple of months when I started and she returned recently for another month long visit. Next month, in January, I'll be making my first trip home since I started. It will be just a quick two-week visit mostly for some personal appointments then it will be back to Israel for another stretch until Rosie comes to visit me in the Spring.

So, what's the purpose of this post? Just to get back into it I guess. My servers are running in the garage back home in West Hollywood and I'm on the other side of the globe trying to manage. It hasn't been easy, the "High-Availability" pair of servers went down and I had to switch over to the workstation that I use to experiment around with various open source programs. When the last of the "High-Availability" servers died it wasn't too hard to switch over, though I do owe debt of gratitude to my friend Tim Serda for helping out with the technical glitches over these last several months. Fortunately, I'm using the current system to back up all my other computers so there wasn't much lost data during the switch--even my blog ended up intact!

Now that things are settling down at work and I don't have all the day-to-day distractions that I had at home, it is time to start doing some of the things I always wanted to do. I'd like to learn how to play the guitar, but my instruments are at home, darn. I'd also like to take some more photos, draw and write. Of course I'd also like to do a little bit of computer software programming too. So what's first? How about another race--yippee!

Will I be racewalking or running? I'm not sure yet, but whatever I do, I'd better start training soon, it has been too long since I've trained for a race.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Last Racewalking Post for a while

My last race was on June 9th and I've been so busy at work that I haven't finished posting the results.

The race was Southern California Masters Track & Field Championships held at California State University at Long Beach. There was only racewalking event, a 5K, and 5 entries but one was a no show. I came in second overall, but one guy was disqualified and the other one was 21 years my senior. Pedro Santoni won the race and my age group, now that he's 50 it will be nearly impossible to win races. Here's Pedro and me after the race.

Oh well, I'll be moving to Israel for the next two years for a job at The Animation Lab so I don't think I'll be entering any club races in a while!

Here are the results:
M45 5000 Meter Race Walk
Name Age Team Seed Finals Points
-- Kurtzman, James M45 So Cal Track DQ
1 Santoni, Pedro M50 Southern Cal 27:04.00 26:41.77
2 Fort, Daniel M52 unattached / 32:35.00 32:38.36
1 Rolle, Arvid M73 Easy Strider 36:25.00 36:26.02

I didn't get close to doing it under 30 minutes, though I gave it a good effort as the Polar software chart shows:

Although I was feeling pretty good, I wasn't completely recovered from the marathon I did earlier in the week. Oh well, at least I got in a few races before the craziness of finishing one job and starting the next--I haven't been able to work out since this race. All of my energy is going into my next adventure, two years in Jerusalem working on the first animated feature to be done in Israel--The Wild Bunch.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

One step at a time

First picture around the 1/2 marathon mark, second photo at the finish--ugh! Chip time was a little better, 5:37:01. It was a personal record, but way off of what I was hoping for.

The moment I crossed the finish line at the San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Marathon I was already thinking about the next race, a 5K in Long Beach. Will I have enough time to recover and get my speed back up? I took Monday off, did a "recovery" 5K on Tuesday and another 5K on Wednesday for training. Here's how it went:

Tuesday - 40:41
HR 133bpm Pace 8:11 min/km (13:10 min/mi)

Wednesday - 40:31 (4.9 km)
HR 148bpm Pace 8:13 min/km (13:11 min/mi)

Yikes--what happened? It turned out that this time the Polar RS800sd sent me much further than what I had marked as 5K in my neighborhood course. These past few weeks it was measuring much less and that was giving me false hope of doing a 30 min 5K and 1-hour 10K.

Although I was hoping to do a 10K workout on Thursday, my job had other plans for me and I wasn't able to get a workout in on Thursday or Friday. Next walk will be on the track at Long Beach.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Alone in a Crowd

So I was crazy enough to do it. I did the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon on Sunday. The week leading up to it was very stressful at work. We worked so much overtime that I had no time to work out, zip, nada. I was hoping to do it around 5 hours but I was willing to settle for a 12 minute/mile pace which was my original goal. However, that was not to be, not this time at least.
Bib   FName  LName City           State  Age  Sex ChipTime ClockTime Overall SexPl DivPl AgeGrade pace  ttlrace ttldiv ttlsex 10k      half     21_mi
16941 Daniel Fort West Hollywood CA 52 M 5:37:01 5:47:11 11806 6492 491 42.1% 12:52 15958 611 7729 1:12:52 2:37:45 4:21:52

The splits show how badly I fell off my pace:
10K     = 11:56 min/mile
Half = 12:02 min/mile
21 mi = 12:28 min/mile
26.1 mi = 12:52 min/mile

Even though I carefully calibrated the Polar RS800sd, it was once again way off showing 44.5 kilometers when it should have recorded 42.26 kilometers.
Data                  Value  Unit
Duration 5:37:00
Sampling Rate 5 s
Running Index 41
Energy Expenditure 3847 kcal
Number of Heart Beats 53933 beats
Recovery -39 beats
Minimum Heart Rate 123 bpm
Average Heart Rate 160 bpm
Maximum Heart Rate 172 bpm
Standard Deviation 5.8 bpm
Minimum Pace 15:47 min/km
Average Pace 7:35 min/km
Maximum Pace 4:22 min/km
Distance 44.5 km
Minimum Cadence 49 rpm
Average Cadence 72 rpm
Maximum Cadence 90 rpm

However, it does show graphically that the biggest change happened in the last quarter of the race.

Oh well--here is another nice metal to add to my collection.

I'm a bit tired, somewhat disappointed, but already thinking of the next race--a 5K racewalk at:

SAT: JUNE 9, 2007
CSU Long Beach

Monday, May 28, 2007

What's Next?

It is official, I'll be going to Jerusalem to work on an animated feature film for the next two years. So what's the next, and last race that I'll be doing at home for a long time? Maybe the San Diego marathon or a local 5K next weekend, I haven't made up my mind yet.

In any case, I did calibrate my running watch at the track on Saturday and met with some racewalking buddies on Sunday at the Valley Greek Festival. John Magnussen was there and he told me that the results and photos from the Palos Verdes Half-Marathon were up. I found us on page 17 and ordered a couple of shots.

.                                                                     Page 17
. Official results by PRIME TIME
===== === ===== =================== == = ===== = ============ ======= =====
. 818 48 1870 Daniel Fort 52 M M5054 West Hollywo 2:30:56 11:32
. 819 49 2227 John Magnussen 54 M M5054 Winnetka 2:31:00 11:32

If I can keep up that pace over a full marathon and with a few less hills, maybe I can do a 5-hour marathon. Seems like a challenge. In any case, if I don't do all my workouts this week I can say that I'm tapering!

Here are some more photos with John.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Way out of Calibration

This morning I did an easy 15 kilometer walk. This sort of makes up for Wednesday when I did such an easy 5k with Rosie that I didn't didn't bother turning on the running computer and yesterday when I skipped the morning workout because I had an early eye doctor appointment.

The stats look great:
Data                  Value   Unit
Duration 1:40:00
Sampling Rate 5 s
Running Index 60

Energy Expenditure 976 kcal
Number of Heart Beats 14512 beats
Recovery -15 beats
Minimum Heart Rate 95 bpm
Average Heart Rate 145 bpm
Maximum Heart Rate 159 bpm
Standard Deviation 9.1 bpm

Minimum Pace 17:08 min/km
Average Pace 5:52 min/km
Maximum Pace 4:20 min/km
Distance 17.0 km

Minimum Cadence 53 rpm
Average Cadence 73 rpm
Maximum Cadence 86 rpm

But--I walked my usual 15k route and it ended up measuring 17k. It is also averaging in my warm up and cool down but still coming up with a pace of under 6 minutes per kilometer. I wish this is true, but it has got to be way off. Tomorrow I'm going to the Cal Tech track and that will be my chance to calibrate the foot pod.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Oops--left the watch running in my back pack

This one got a good laugh at work:

Somehow I didn't turn off the watch after completing this morning's 10k walk. Of course there was no cadence, stride, heart rate measurements but it did record me driving over the Hollywood hills and into Glendale to work.

It was a good workout, 10 kilometers in 59:18 and kept going faster every kilometer.
Lap      Time         Lap Time     Speed   Avg of Lap    Avg from Start    Dist     Dist from Start
1. A 0:06:50.7 0:06:50.7 5:36 7:29 7:29 0.935 0.935
2. A 0:12:40.2 0:05:49.5 6:40 5:56 6:41 0.997 1.931
3. A 0:18:28.8 0:05:48.6 6:40 5:46 6:22 1.011 2.942
4. A 0:24:40.2 0:06:11.4 6:15 6:18 6:21 1.005 3.948
5. A 0:30:29.8 0:05:49.6 4:50 5:43 6:13 1.019 4.966
6. A 0:36:26.4 0:05:56.6 6:44 5:58 6:10 1.020 5.986
7. A 0:42:20.9 0:05:54.5 4:28 5:58 6:09 1.004 6.990
8. A 0:48:10.4 0:05:49.5 5:33 5:56 6:07 0.997 7.987
9. A 0:53:45.0 0:05:34.6 4:52 5:37 6:04 1.008 8.995
10. A 0:59:18.9 0:05:33.9 5:21 5:24 6:00 1.033 10.028

Monday, May 21, 2007

Easy Five

I just took an easy 5k walk this morning. Average heart rate was 124bpm and the time to complete 5k, including warm up, was 36:06. That's 7:13 min/km or 11:36 min/mile. I also kept it running during cool down and the heart rate recovery seemed pretty good. After the walk I did a full session of strength training and stretching.

However, I can't say I'm trusting the distance readings after the Palos Verde half-marathon. I got a reading of 23.4 km but this was a USATF certified course and the half-marathon distance should be 21.097494 kilometers. That's over a mile off!

Darn, I thought I was really picking up some speed while all the time the Polar RS800sd was miscalibrated. How can this be? A kilometer checked out fine on the Cal Tech track and it was actually measuring the 200 meters on the short side instead of adding distance like on the half-marathon.

Guess the foot pod is nice for cadence and stride length but it isn't accurate for long distances. I'll try to calibrate it when I get back on the track.

Then again they are coming out with a GPS accessory for the RS800. Maybe add another piece of equipment to the tool kit?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Palos Verde Half-Marathon

A group from Southern Cal Walkers and L.A. Roadrunners and L.A. Leggers decided racewalk the Palos Verde half-marathon and it was great fun. I decided not to hang out with the group and socialize so I took off early. By mile 5 John Magnussen caught up with me but he confessed that he ran to catch up. We helped each other and kept trading leads. His goal was 2:35 and I was hoping to do better than 2:30. By the turn around we were at 1:16 so I was close to my pace. The Polar RS800sd seemed to agree with the halfway mark but was off at the finish--probably because of that big downhill where I spent way too much time in the air.

Finishing time? I marked it at 2:31:20 (no chips on this race) but according to John the "official" time was 2:30:51. I'll update this post when the results are posted. However, 13.1 miles or 21.1 kilometers at 2:31 gives me an average pace of 11:31 min/mile or 7:09 min/km, that's almost a 5-hour marathon pace and is still better than the 12 min/mile I was shooting for as my marathon pace a while back. Of course the question is if I can hold that pace for twice as long as today. It was a tough course, just check out this chart.

That hill at mile 2 was too steep to racewalk up or down so we all took "running breaks" to get through it. It was all in fun and there were no judges. We all finished and it was great fun. Afterwards we went to Ports O'Call in San Pedro for a hearty brunch.

Friday, May 18, 2007

What I'll be Doing Tomorrow

May 19, 2007: 41st Annual Palos Verdes Marathon

Start Times:
7:00 am Full Marathon
7:30 am Half Marathon
8:00 am 5K Run and Community Fun Walk.

So tomorrow is the Palos Verde Marathon, 1/2 Marathon and 5K. I'll be doing the 1/2 Marathon with a bunch of local Racewalkers. The course promises to be very scenic.

But with that beauty will be some tough hills:

So I did my speed work, long workouts and hills--tomorrow we'll see how well prepared I am. No guesses on my finishing time because is all depends on the weather, how I'm feeling and just how challenging those hills really are.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Want to Walk with Olympians?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Weighty Decisions

This morning I did strength training and stretching. Earlier in the week I was thinking about scheduling a couple of hill workouts but I don't want to take a chance at injuring my knees and coming down that hill abuses the whole body. Tomorrow will be another strength training day because it seems to help me recover from any lingering muscle or joint ache--though I'm feeling great right now.

I'm not going to do anything different right now because it isn't a good idea to change the routine just before a race, but maybe the weights or the reps should go up. I might be getting stronger because the strength training exercises seem a little too easy.

For Friday I've got planned--nothing! One full day of rest before the half-marathon on Saturday.

Of course try to tell the guys at work that it is a rest day. The schedule is to work overtime through the weekend. Speaking of work, I've been offered a job that will bump me up to supervising editor at a new animation studio--in Israel for the next two years. The stress level is getting high, do I take the offer or stay in my comfy but meaningless job? What is the racewalking community like in Jerusalem?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm Not Quite Over The Hill--Or Am I?

This morning I went up the hill on La Cienega Blvd. to Sunset and back down San Vicente. It is the same hill work that I have done before, just over 5 kilometers total distance. I started out slowly to warm up before attacking the big climb. The last 100 meters or so is just too steep to keep the knees straight so I ran it. That got my hear rate up to the "hard intensity" range, about 166 bpm. Other than that, it was an easy walk.

So how did I do? By the end of the 5K mark my average pace from the start was 7:26 min/km, that's 11:57 min/mile. Funny, that was my marathon goal a few months ago. Not bad for someone who was a couch potato just last year.

Here are the altitude recordings, I'm not quite sure what to make of them yet:
Lap   Time        Lap Time   Altitude Avg of Lap  Ascent  Grade % VAM 
1. A  0:08:16.5  0:08:16.5  4  2  0  0.4  0 
2. A  0:15:41.4  0:07:24.9  28  12  24  2.4  194 
3. A  0:23:17.2  0:07:35.8  60  55  38  3.2  300 
4. A  0:30:07.3  0:06:50.1  26  46  0  -3.4  0 
5. A  0:36:52.5  0:06:45.2  -3  9  0  -2.8  0 
6.  0:42:24.9  0:05:32.4  -6  -3  0  -0.5  0 

Monday, May 14, 2007

15 Kilometers at 1:28:30

A while back I set a goal to do 5K under 30 minutes and 10K under an hour. I already achieved that first goal but today I reached the second and one I didn't even think I could do, 15K under 90 minutes. I turned off auto lap counting on Saturday and took Sunday off so I forgot to turn it back on, but here are my 5K splits:
5K  -   30:20    6:04 min/km    9:46 min/mile
10K - 59:30 5:57 min/km 9:35 min/mile
15K - 1:28:30 5:54 min/km 9:30 min/mile

I started out slow to warm up and kept going faster throughout the workout. I calculated the cumulative average pace, of course the pace of each 5K split would show an even more dramatic speed up:
1st 5K - 30:20   6:04 min/km    9:46 min/mile
2nd 5K - 29:10 5:50 min/km 9:23 min/mile
3rd 5K - 29:00 5:48 min/km 9:20 min/mile

This will be my last long walk before the 1/2 marathon in Palos Verde on Saturday.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Racewalker Tribute

On Saturday evening Chris Rael hosted a special evening for racewalkers. Here is what the invite said:
 You are invited to a very special evening that will honor the dedication,
hard work, and legacy created by our very own Elaine Ward. Elaine has
been the driving force behind the success of race walking in Southern
California and with the North American Race Walking Foundation she has
created an institution that will ensure its continued success for the

 We will be having a special dinner to raise funds to purchase a
Perpetual Trophy that will be awarded the winner of the race walk at the
Southern California Track & Field Championship meet. The trophy will
officially be called the Elaine Ward Race Walk Cup and will be awarded
each year to that year's champion.

Adding to the prestige of the evening will be the presence of two-time
Olympic 50km Race Walker Philip Dunn, just back from the Pan American
Race Walk Cup, where he finished as the top American and helped the USA
mens team win first place for the team award. Philip will talk about
his trip to Brazil and his experiences as an Olympian.

Philip Dunn going to speak at an event to honor my coach? I was in.

It was a very enjoyable evening and a nice way to relax after a hard workout at the track, and a Saturday at work--yep, we're working overtime to get the movie done in time.

One of the best bits of advice from Philip about training for a 50K is to get used to take fluids every 2 kilometers, even on shorter workouts. Indeed, I seem to do better on the longer walks partially because I'm taking in fluids and even nutrition in the form of gels to keep me going. I'll certainly take his advice on the 15K I've got planned for Monday and start carrying my hydration belt on all future workouts.

At the end of the evening he handed out these cards with his statistics. He said they were a bit "cheesy" but what the heck--here it is. Click on the image to see it in full glory.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

200 Meter Repeats

On Friday I just did a lap around the neighborhood with Rosie and Natty (my wife and my dog) so there is nothing training wise to report, though I did wear my fancy heart rate/speed distance monitor so it got recorded.

Saturday was a good hard workout of mostly interval work. Check out those curves on the chart:

There are some 30, 40, 50 intervals then an easy warm up followed by 200 meter repeats. Here's how it went:

1 - 55.8

2 - 56.7

3 - 54.5

4 - 57.7

5 - 54.4

6 - 57.5

Whoopi--all of them under 1 minute each. Just to get an idea of the pace, the fastest time, 54.4, equals 4:32.0 minutes/kilometer or 7:17 minutes/mile.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Half and Half

This morning I walked one lap of the neighborhood course with Rosie and our dog, Natty, and another lap by myself. This graphic shows the difference between a leisurely walk and racewalking at a good effort.

I put the cursor on kilometer 4 where it seemed that everything was moving along nice and steady. Note that the pace was well under a 30 minute 5k.

Afterwards I did strength training and stretching, a nice finish to an easy workout.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

10k at 1/2 Marathon Pace

Today I decided to do 10km at what I felt will be my half-marathon race pace. Maybe my schedule is a little off, but I put in a good effort. That average pace includes about a 1/2 kilometer warmup, I'm happy. Tomorrow will probably be an easy day--best not to overtrain before the next race.
Data                    Value   Unit
Duration 1:04:40
Sampling Rate 5 s

Number of Heart Beats 9971 beats
Recovery -30 beats
Minimum Heart Rate 94 bpm
Average Heart Rate 154 bpm
Maximum Heart Rate 164 bpm
Standard Deviation 9.2 bpm

Minimum Pace 14:38 min/km (23:33 min/mile)
Average Pace 6:23 min/km (10:16 min/mile)
Maximum Pace 4:50 min/km ( 7:46 min/mile)
Distance 10.1 km ( 6.21 miles)

Minimum Cadence 51 rpm
Average Cadence 74 rpm
Maximum Cadence 87 rpm

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Go Team Sixkiller!

One of my work buddies from the Northern California campus of DreamWorks Animation, PDI--Pacific Data Images, is training to do a charity bicycle ride around Lake Tahoe. Here's the link to donate to the cause:

Welcome to our Team In Training home page.

We are training to participate in an endurance event as members of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training. We'll be riding 100 miles around Lake Tahoe in June to raise money for this amazing organization. We are all raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. We are completing this event in honor of dear friend of ours, Diane LaCroix, whom recently passed away from cancer in January, 2007, and in honor of Marty's grandfather, Hunter Glass, who also passed away from cancer in 1991. We need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!

Almost another day off

Monday was a day off. It was hot and I didn't even do stretching or strength training. Today should have been a 10km day but Rosie wanted to come out and walk and I didn't feel like walking alone. It was a very light workout but I followed it up with strength training and stretching. It is a bit too early to start tapering for the half marathon on May 19 so I've got to put in some hard workouts this week,
Data                    Value     Unit
Duration 0:43:50
Sampling Rate 5 s

Number of Heart Beats 4216 beats
Recovery -19 beats
Minimum Heart Rate 77 bpm
Average Heart Rate 96 bpm
Maximum Heart Rate 107 bpm
Standard Deviation 4.2 bpm

Minimum Pace 11:45 min/km
Average Pace 9:50 min/km
Maximum Pace 8:41 min/km
Distance 4.5 km

Minimum Cadence 52 rpm
Average Cadence 61 rpm
Maximum Cadence 67 rpm

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Walker Unfriendly Los Angeles

Today was my long workout so I decided to go 10 kilometers out and 10 back for a 20k walk. The forecast was for heat, possible winds and dry--not ideal conditions. There is a good walking, jogging path along Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills that has trees for shade and houses to block the wind so I headed out. However, 10 kilometers out turned out to be the middle of UCLA. I didn't turn on the altitude feature which was a mistake, there were lots and lots of hills along the route. To make things interesting I decided to return via Sunset Blvd. Another mistake, the sidewalk cuts in and out and walking on the street was somewhat dangerous.

I took along 4 bottles of my honey/salt drink and a single packet of Crank e-Gel. I took in one 8 ounce bottle per 5 kilometers and the e-Gel at the 10 kilometer mark. I was taking it slow and keeping well hydrated but it never got all that hot. Here's how it went:
Data                   Value   Unit
Duration 2:28:35
Sampling Rate 5 s
Running Index 48
Energy Expenditure 1367 kcal
Number of Heart Beats 20813 beats
Recovery -31 beats
Minimum Heart Rate 89 bpm
Average Heart Rate 140 bpm
Maximum Heart Rate 160 bpm
Standard Deviation 10.4 bpm
Minimum Pace 33:20 min/km
Average Pace 7:24 min/km (11:54 min/mile)
Maximum Pace 4:28 min/km ( 7:11 min/mile)
Distance 20.0 km (12.43 miles)
Minimum Cadence 40 rpm
Average Cadence 69 rpm
Maximum Cadence 91 rpm

Lap     Time         Lap Time   Speed Avg of Lap Avg from Start  Dist     Dist from Start
01. A 0:08:57.4 0:08:57.4 7:19 9:25 9:25 0.963 0.963
02. A 0:16:34.0 0:07:36.6 7:41 7:45 8:35 0.988 1.951
03. A 0:24:04.2 0:07:30.2 7:24 7:35 8:15 0.998 2.949
04. A 0:31:32.6 0:07:28.4 7:19 7:37 8:05 0.995 3.943
05. A 0:39:03.7 0:07:31.1 7:53 7:36 7:59 0.997 4.941
06. A 0:46:59.6 0:07:55.9 7:53 8:09 8:01 0.981 5.922
07. A 0:54:09.7 0:07:10.1 6:27 7:23 7:55 0.982 6.903
08. A 1:01:17.0 0:07:07.3 6:58 7:16 7:50 0.998 7.901
09. A 1:08:32.6 0:07:15.6 7:24 7:19 7:47 1.001 8.902
10. A 1:16:04.7 0:07:32.1 7:08 7:35 7:46 0.999 9.900
11. A 1:23:52.3 0:07:47.6 7:30 8:05 7:47 0.978 10.878
12. A 1:31:22.5 0:07:30.2 8:00 7:35 7:46 1.000 11.878
13. A 1:38:35.3 0:07:12.8 8:00 7:23 7:45 0.992 12.870
14. A 1:46:07.4 0:07:32.1 7:35 7:33 7:44 1.003 13.874
15. A 1:53:03.7 0:06:56.3 6:15 6:52 7:40 1.018 14.892
16. A 1:59:53.6 0:06:49.9 5:36 6:46 7:37 1.021 15.913
17. A 2:07:00.8 0:07:07.2 5:00 7:14 7:35 1.001 16.914
18. A 2:13:54.4 0:06:53.6 6:49 6:47 7:33 1.017 17.931
19. A 2:20:42.5 0:06:48.1 6:23 6:47 7:30 1.019 18.951
20. A 2:28:12.7 0:07:30.2 9:13 7:31 7:30 1.008 19.959

Although I felt that this was an exceptionally slow workout, especially with the hills and waiting for traffic lights, (I kept walking in circles while waiting for the light to change) it appears to be a fairly decent walk. In fact I was faster than the marathon goal pace I originally set for myself when I started racewalking about nine months ago.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

200 Meters at 54 Seconds

Speed work with the Southern Cal Walkers at the Cal Tech track. Pretty much the same as most Saturdays. Once again we got video taped. I started doing 200 meters repeats but only got through one before being called in to help out with the camera. Elaine Ward showed me a problem, I'm picking up my feet too high and wasting energy. I spent the rest of the workout concentrating on this technique tweak, doing easy laps and being sociable.

There was one high point in the day, I walked 200 meters in 54 seconds. That translates to 4:30 min/km or 7:14 min/mile.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Head for the Hills

Today I started walking up LaCienega Blvd. to Sunset and came back down San Vicente. That's quite a hill. Here's what it looked like on the Polar software. Note that the altitude feature is turned on.

Pretty cool. Just past 5k I really opened it up and got my speed to under 5 min/km, about 8 min/mile. Now if I can only hold that speed and keep going further and further!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Unscripted 10K

Today I didn't really have a plan other than to complete 10 kilometers on the morning walk. It started with a very easy kilometer followed by a run, then easy, I saw Rosie walking the other way so I changed direction and walked with her for a while then headed up a gentle hill and sped downhill. It was a very enjoyable workout and even though I wasn't going for a hard workout, I did get in a few minutes of good speed work.

Here's how the Polar software shows it. Compare it with yesterday's steady 5K walk.

I put the cursor on kilometer 2 where I did my run. I didn't feel like I was pushing myself very hard or going fast, but I haven't worked on my running in a long time so I'm inefficient and my heart rate shot up. Last time I measured a run I was close to a 9 minute mile, this time it was 5:18 minute kilometer. What does a 5:18 min/km translate to in minutes per mile, miles per hour or other units of measure?

Looks like my running has improved but I should be able to walk a kilometer at this pace. In any case, it was a fun workout. Tomorrow I'm going to hit the hills in preparation for the Palos Verdes half-marathon.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Back to Normal

I was going to replace the battery on the foot pod but couldn't find the right type in the local store so I cleaned up the contacts with a pencil eraser and put it back together. It worked! I'm also pretty much recovered from Sunday's long walk so this is what a "usual" 5 kilometer morning workout looks like these days:

It is fun playing around with the software. Maybe I'll figure out how to turn on the temperature and altitude settings, though that doesn't seem to matter too much these days. The weather has been perfect every morning and there is virtually no elevation gain in my neighborhood course. However, hill work is in order if I'm going to do the Palos Verdes half-marathon.

For this workout:
Average Pace:   6:36   min/km  (10:37.3 min/mile)
Best Lap, km 3: 6:22.4 min/km (10:15.4 min/mile)
Max Pace: 4:27 min/km ( 7:09.7 min/mile)
Average Heartbeat: 144 bpm

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Equipment Malfunction

This morning I set off to do my usual 10km workout. Oh boy, I was feeling that 30km Sunday workout. Not to worry, it takes a few days to recover from a long walk and even though yesterday was a rest day, I did do my strength training routine. I thought I'd check my old mile markers and see if the RS800sd would give me a vastly different pace but the autolap feature wasn't working. In fact it wasn't reading the footpad at all. At about 8 kilometers I decided to cut the workout short. The watch read a workout time of 53:51 but the distance covered was only 0.33 kilometers, obviously an equipment malfunction. Anyway, the distance, cadence, stride length and anything else that needs the foot pad wasn't recorded this morning. It did record heartbeat, Max 150bpm, Min 120bpm and average 138bpm. That seems a little on the low side but I've noticed that my heartbeat has been slowing down while my speed has been going up--I take it that's a good thing.

So--I'm feeling pretty good and haven't been suffering from blisters, knee pain, muscle soreness, etc. for several months now. It wasn't changing shoes, getting orthotics or tinkering with some other equipment that I believe is keeping me injury free, it seems that good technique finally did the trick. Too bad that the doctors that I saw because of my knee problems when I was running didn't read this article from

EB: Correct Runners' Gaits, Cut Injuries with Sound and Mirrors

By Crystal Phend, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
April 30, 2007

aykIcon2 Add Your Knowledge™Additional Orthopedics Coverage

WASHINGTON, April 30 -- Retraining runners' gait patterns reduces or eliminates common injuries, researchers said here.
Action Points

  • Explain to interested patients that although the studies used specialized equipment in a laboratory for biofeedback, the same techniques can be taught without it.

  • These studies were published as abstracts and presented orally at a conference. The data and conclusions should be considered preliminary because they have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed publication.

Runners with knee pain from tibial stress fractures or patellofemoral pain syndrome who underwent an eight-session biofeedback program reduced pain by 50% to 100%, said Irene Davis, Ph.D., of the Running Injury Lab at the University of Delaware in Newark.

She noted that 76% of runners injure themselves in a year. "We know that this is related in part to how they run -- their mechanics."

To prevent reinjury, changing gait mechanics is key, Dr. Davis said. She reported preliminary outcomes of gait retraining from two small studies here at the Experimental Biology meeting.

Both studies included five runners who were having or were at high risk for two of the most common running-related injuries -- tibial stress fractures and patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Each patient first underwent a gait analysis. Then, at each of eight sessions, participants ran on a treadmill while connected to biofeedback equipment. The sessions lasted 15 minutes initially and built up to 30 minutes over the two- to four-week study period.

Over the final four sessions, the feedback was gradually removed. Runners were not allowed to run outside the laboratory during retraining to prevent them from reinforcing their old gait habits.

The first study used this protocol for patients with tibial stress fractures, which the researchers had previously linked to hitting the ground hard on each footstep.

These participants wore a shock-measuring device on their lower legs while running on the treadmill. A monitor displayed the force of each footstrike measured against what normal force should be.

The patients were asked to constantly adjust the hardness of their footsteps to stay at or below normal force.

Although all patients reported that the new gait pattern felt strange at first, by the end of the training program they had reduced the force of their footsteps by 50% on average.

Follow-up visits at one month showed that the changes persisted. One patient who came back at one year had also maintained the new gait pattern, Dr. Davis said.

The second study enlisted patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome, characterized by pain under the kneecap. Prior research indicated that these patients' hips rotate inward producing a knock-kneed running style.

As these patients ran on a treadmill, markers on their legs provided feedback on the position of their knees. Again, patients watched their gait on a monitor compared to a normal gait and were told to keep their knees apart without letting them collapse inward.

After the eight sessions, patients' kneecap pain dropped from five to seven points on a 10-point scale -- to zero in every case. At a one-month follow-up, all retained the new gait pattern despite returning to their normal running schedule.

Many patients are prescribed cushioning footwear or orthotics to change the way the foot strikes the ground, but these are going to be ineffective if the cause is at the hip, Dr. Davis said. And cushioned shoes typically improve shock by only 10%, she noted.

"As humans we are very adaptable," she said. "Retraining is better than foot wear or orthotic modifications."

Although few clinicians have access to the kind of biofeedback equipment used in the studies, Dr. Davis said the same techniques can be used without it. "You don't have to have high tech equipment," Dr. Davis said. "Both of the protocols, I think, can be translated into the clinic."

She said she has used a mirror for patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome. They watch the position of their knees as they run in place.

"For people who are hitting the ground too hard, tell them to listen to their footsteps and ask them to try to make them softer," Dr. Davis added.

She suggested enlisting the help of a physical therapist for gait analysis.

Dr. Davis said one patient she retrained using a mirror had good results, but she said it is too early to speculate whether the results outside the lab would be as good as inside.

She said her group hopes to complete a study comparing the two methods to see if the outcomes are similar. Meanwhile, the two studies are continuing to accrue patients with the goal of 60 runners.

While gait retraining in the clinic may rely on patients' motivation to practice these techniques, Dr. Davis said she has seen no problems with willingness.

"Runners are such a good group," she said. "They are so motivated to continue to run."

"The hardest part of this, though, is keeping people [from] running outside the program," she said.

The research was funded by the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Davis reported no conflicts of interest.

Additional Orthopedics Coverage

Primary source: Experimental Biology meeting
Source reference:
Davis ES "Running: A Threshold For Injury" EB meeting 2007; Abstract 189.2.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

30km on Somewhat Tired Legs

This morning I finally did a quality long walk, 30 kilometers. I liked the route from yesterday's bike ride so I decided to walk it. I had to go to the end of the pier in order to make it to 15k before heading back. However, I took a couple of extra turns on the way out so I also had to add a lap around the parking lot in order to make it to 30k.

Now that the software is working I pulled a load of data from this walk and edited it down to some statistics that might be useful.
Average Pace = 6:49 min/km (10:58 min/mile)
Best = km 14 5:18 ( 8:31 min/mile)

Data Value Unit
Duration 3:24:30
Sampling Rate 5 s
Running Index 53

Energy Expenditure 1847 kcal
Number of Heart Beats 28437 beats
Recovery -42 beats
Minimum Heart Rate 103 bpm
Average Heart Rate 139 bpm
Maximum Heart Rate 154 bpm
Standard Deviation 5.9 bpm

Minimum Pace 12:46 min/km
Average Pace 6:49 min/km
Maximum Pace 4:34 min/km
Distance 30.0 km

Minimum Cadence 44 rpm
Average Cadence 72 rpm
Maximum Cadence 87 rpm

. Heart Rate Speed Stride
km Time Lap Time Max Avg Min min/km Avg Cadence Length
01. 0:06:16.5 0:06:16.5 135 125 103 6:49 6:49 72 111
02. 0:13:07.7 0:06:51.2 139 135 130 6:45 6:47 70 105
03. 0:20:33.2 0:07:25.5 142 136 129 7:25 7:00 70 96
04. 0:27:52.8 0:07:19.6 140 135 130 7:25 7:06 71 96
05. 0:34:44.1 0:06:51.3 142 135 128 6:53 7:03 71 102
06. 0:41:33.4 0:06:49.3 141 136 132 6:55 7:02 71 103
07. 0:48:25.5 0:06:52.1 152 135 128 7:04 7:02 71 102
08. 0:55:46.2 0:07:20.7 153 139 129 7:23 7:05 71 95
09. 1:03:17.6 0:07:31.4 144 137 129 7:36 7:08 71 93
10. 1:10:12.7 0:06:55.1 139 134 127 6:55 7:07 71 102
11. 1:17:54.9 0:07:42.2 142 135 130 7:43 7:10 70 92
12. 1:25:30.3 0:07:35.4 147 135 126 7:49 7:13 72 91
13. 1:31:25.7 0:05:55.4 149 141 134 6:01 7:08 73 115
14. 1:36:43.6 0:05:17.9 151 146 140 5:20 7:00 76 124
15. 1:43:06.4 0:06:22.8 150 139 131 6:27 6:58 73 108
16. 1:48:51.9 0:05:45.5 149 141 137 5:53 6:54 74 116
17. 1:54:27.4 0:05:35.5 144 140 136 5:40 6:50 74 120
18. 1:59:59.2 0:05:31.8 146 142 135 5:34 6:45 74 122
19. 2:07:12.9 0:07:13.7 145 140 133 7:16 6:47 70 99
20. 2:14:25.8 0:07:12.9 147 141 133 7:14 6:48 71 98
21. 2:21:50.3 0:07:24.5 148 138 128 7:32 6:50 70 95
22. 2:28:10.2 0:06:19.9 143 136 129 6:22 6:49 72 110
23. 2:35:29.8 0:07:19.6 142 138 133 7:18 6:50 71 96
24. 2:42:30.9 0:07:01.1 144 138 132 7:15 6:51 72 99
25. 2:49:32.9 0:07:02.0 145 141 135 7:04 6:52 71 100
26. 2:56:37.0 0:07:04.1 144 139 134 7:11 6:53 72 98
27. 3:03:18.4 0:06:41.4 154 146 139 6:36 6:52 72 103
28. 3:10:49.8 0:07:31.4 152 146 141 7:39 6:54 74 90
29. 3:17:41.1 0:06:51.3 150 145 138 7:01 6:54 72 101
30. 3:24:19.4 0:06:38.3 151 147 140 6:39 6:53 74 101

Yikes! That's lots of information!

The bottom line is that it was a good workout, especially considering that yesterday I did speed work and went on a 30k bike ride. There were a few hills so that might account for some of the variations in speed but the fastest kilometers I recall that I was trying to chase down a couple of runners. I didn't catch them but felt that I could have pushed a little harder had I not been thinking that I was only halfway through the walk.

Note that there is a discrepancy between the lap time and the pace. I think it is because it doesn't always auto mark the laps at exactly the same distance, but it does average out over the course of several auto laps.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Little of This, A Little of That

Today I was sort of a Triathalon day. Sort of because instead of running I racewalked, instead of riding a racing bicycle I tried out a recumbent and instead of an open water swim I soaked in a jacuzzi.

I am very courious about recumbent bicycles, probably because they aren't mainstream, and today I finally got to experience riding one. The bike, a custom made Haluzak, belongs to a friend. We rode it on the beach bike path between Marina Del Rey and the Manhattan Beach pier. It was a blast and quite different from my old Trek diamond frame "city" bicycle. No danger jumping in and ordering one of these--the news on the recumbent bicycle blogs is that the maker closed shop and the plug was pulled from company website.

It started like most Saturdays, speed work with the Southern Cal Walkers. Today we did an easy lap, the next lap at a good 75-80% effort and a lap at race pace. We got videotaped so we'll be able to check out our form when we find the time to gather in someone's home. I left the watch on auto lap and "free" run. Instead of trying to break down today's workout I'll just post the graphic from the Polar software--now that I've finally got everything working.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Found Last Saturday's Workout

It is a little lame to be posting this almost a week late, but I figured out how to access last Saturday's workout. It started with some 200 meters repeats followed by a couple of 300 meters and finished with a 400 meters. It was a good time to check the accuracy of the RS800sd's distance measurement. I think that some of the variations were more my fault not starting or stopping the watch exactly on the mark so I'm not sure whether to believe the watch's readings or my pace calculations. In any case, it was a good workout.

1st 200 meters Pace=4:41.0 min/km 7:32.2 min/mile
Start Time:     7:27:18
Total Distance: 0.14 km
Total Workout: 0:56.2
Heart Rate: 164 bpm
Cadence: 67
Stride: 109cm
Pace: 6:00 min/km

2nd 200 meters Pace=5:31.5 min/km 8:53.5 min/mile
Start Time:     7:29:37
Total Distance: 0.20 km
Total Workout: 1:06.3
Heart Rate: 175 bpm
Cadence: 83
Stride: 107cm
Pace: 5:24 min/km

3rd 200 meters Pace=5:42.5 min/km 9:11.2 min/mile
Start Time:     7:32:01
Total Distance: 0.19 km
Total Workout: 1:08.5
Heart Rate: 174 bpm
Cadence: 84
Stride: 98cm
Pace: 5:54 min/km

4th 200 meters Pace=5:31.5 min/km 8:53.5 min/mile
Start Time:     7:35:31
Total Distance: 0.19 km
Total Workout: 1:02.9
Heart Rate: 164 bpm
Cadence: 85
Stride: 107cm
Pace: 5:33 min/km

5th 200 meters Pace=5:12.0 min/km 8:22.1 min/mile
Start Time:     7:39:04
Total Distance: 0.18 km
Total Workout: 1:02.4
Heart Rate: 170 bpm
Cadence: 90
Stride: 96cm
Pace: 5:17 min/km

6th 200 meters Pace=5:02.0 min/km 8:06.0 min/mile
Start Time:     7:43:13
Total Distance: 0.16 km
Total Workout: 1:00.4
Heart Rate: 164 bpm
Cadence: 78
Stride: 96cm
Pace: 5:51 min/km

1st 300 meters Pace=5:33.7 min/km 8:57.0 min/mile
Start Time:     7:47:41
Total Distance: 0.27 km
Total Workout: 1:40.1
Heart Rate: 169 bpm
Cadence: 79
Stride: 101cm
Pace: 6:07 min/km

2nd 300 meters Pace=5:30.0 min/km 8:51.1 min/mile
Start Time:     7:52:36
Total Distance: 0.27 km
Total Workout: 1:39.0
Heart Rate: 165 bpm
Cadence: 79
Stride: 103cm
Pace: 6:08 min/km

400 meters Pace=5:19.0 min/km 8:33.4 min/mile
Start Time:     7:59:24
Total Distance: 0.36 km
Total Workout: 2:07.6
Heart Rate: 173 bpm
Cadence: 77
Stride: 109cm
Pace: 5:48 min/km

I'm not sure why there are discrepancies between my calculated pace and the watch's pace even when the distance measured the same as on the track markings--like on the 2nd 200 meters.

In any case, this morning I did an easy walk with Rosie. Nothing to brag about but I did wear the watch so here's what we did:
Start Time:     6:38:59
Total Distance: 4.48 km
Total Workout: 44:06.4
Heart Rate: 100 bpm
Cadence: 58
Stride: 86cm
Pace: 9:51 min/km (15:51.1 min/mile)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

5K at 29:37.6

I was falling way behind in my training because of all the workouts that I missed this week so I decided to do a 15 kilometer walk to make up for it. I was feeling pretty good and here's how it went:
Start Time:     6:00:29
Total Distance: 15.04 km
Total Workout: 1:31:06
Zone 1 = 00:00:16 very light ( 50-60% HRmax)
Zone 2 = 00:00:42 light ( 60-70% HRmax)
Zone 3 = 00:05:54 moderate ( 70-80% HRmax)
Zone 4 = 01:24:14 hard ( 80-90% HRmax)
Zone 5 = 00:00:00 maximum (90-100% HRmax)
Average Pace: 6:03 min/km ( 9:44 min/mile)
Max Pace: 4:14 min/km ( 6:49 min/mile)
Best Lap= 9 at 5:48.1 ( 9:20 min/mile)
Kilometer ## - Lap Time - Average Heart Rate - Cadence - Stride Length
1 - 6:10.2 141bpm 72 113cm 6 - 5:56.1 162bpm 76 111cm 11 - 6:24.6 163bpm 75 104cm
2 - 6:06.5 158bpm 74 110cm 7 - 6:06.5 160bpm 74 110cm 12 - 6:19.9 157bpm 73 108cm
3 - 6:07.5 160bpm 74 109cm 8 - 5:49.8 161bpm 76 113cm 13 - 6:02.6 159bpm 75 110cm
4 - 5:52.4 160bpm 75 112cm 9 - 5:48.1 160bpm 75 115cm 14 - 5:53.3 159bpm 76 112cm
5 - 6:14.2 159bpm 74 108cm 10 - 5:57.1 162bpm 76 111cm 15 - 5:59.9 163bmp 77 107cm

After writing down all my splits I noticed something interesting from kilometers 6-10. Plugging the numbers into a spreadsheet, that second 5K split time was 29:37.6. So I reached another goal--5K under 30 minutes. I never thought I'd do it in the middle of a 15K morning workout!

Since this was longer than my usual morning workouts I took along a couple of 8 ounce bottles of my homebrewed honey/salt concoction* and a packet of GU. Before starting I drank 16 ounces of the concoction* and took sips every lap, about 2.5 kilometers. At the halfway point I swallowed the GU and took some more fluid. Overall, it was a good combination and I had plenty of fluid left at the end of 15 kilometers. This would probably be just the right amount under the same conditions on a half-marathon.

*1/4 cup honey and 1/4 teaspoon lite salt dissolved in one quart of warm water, refrigerated overnight.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Good Quality, Not Much Quantity

The issue of the time and energy devoted to work taking away from the amount of racewalking I can get in the mornings continues. This time it isnt' so much my job but Rosie's. She has been getting up way too early and coming home very late. It isn't always work that's a distraction--Tuesday we had a DreamWorks Animation night at the Giants/Dodger baseball game.

I did get a good walk in on Tuesday morning:
Start Time:     6:27:50
Total Distance: 5.02 km
Total Workout: 31:15.6
Zone 1 = 00:01:05 very light ( 50-60% HRmax)
Zone 2 = 00:00:56 light ( 60-70% HRmax)
Zone 3 = 00:08:00 moderate ( 70-80% HRmax)
Zone 4 = 00:21:14 hard ( 80-90% HRmax)
Zone 5 = 00:00:00 maximum (90-100% HRmax)
Average Pace: 6:13 min/km (10:00 min/mile)
Max Pace: 4:19 min/km ( 6:56 min/mile)
Best Lap=3 at 6:05.3 ( 9:47 min/mile)
Kilometer ## - Lap Time - Average Heart Rate - Cadence - Stride Length
1 - 6:19.5 134bpm 72 109cm
2 - 6:23.4 152bpm 76 102cm
3 - 6:05.3 159bpm 77 106cm
4 - 6:08.2 158bpm 77 105cm
5 - 6:13.5 168bpm 81 98cm

Almost to that 30 minute 5K. I would have gotten even closer if I would have started timing after warming up instead of including the warmup kilometers. I've got to get used to the idea that I can start when ever I feel ready and walk where ever I want and the Polar RS800sd will keep track of all the statistics. That's quite a freeing sort of feeling.

Bottom line, I'm not getting in all the workouts that I'd like, but the ones that I'm doing are pretty good quality.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lost in Time

Well--not really lost in time like in a science fiction story, but I can't figure out how to get today's workout statistics out of my new running watch. I did speed work with the Southern Cal Walkers and kept up with Pedro Santoni for a while longer than usual. That's because it was a shorter workout, 5x 200 meters, 3x 300 meters and 1x 400 meters. I turned off auto lapping at 1 kilometer intervals and instead started and stopped a new workout on each of the repeats. The distance was pretty accurate for the most part but I can only read the last 400 meters statistics--where did all the other repeats go? I can't even find the workouts that were stored from earlier in the week.

Oh well, that ends a rather crazy week where I worked so much overtime that I didn't have time for my Thursday and Friday morning workouts. The good news is that the distance measurements on the RS800sd seems pretty accurate, the most it was off was on the last 400 meters, which is the only repeat that I can retrieve right now.
Start Time:     7:59:24
Total Distance: 0.36 km
Total Workout: 2:07.6
Heart Rate
Min = 131bpm (68%)
Max = 181bpm (94%)
Avg = 173bpm (90%)
Max = 106
Avg = 77
Stride Length Avg = 109cm
Pace min/km
Max = 03:34
Avg = 05:48

That's what the watch says, but it was 400 meters, 0.40 kilometers so the pace was actually 5:17 min/km or 8:30 min/mile. Too bad I don't have the times for all the repeats, I did one of the 200 meters under a minute. That's better than 5:00 min/km or 8:02 min/mile pace. This is the fastest I've ever racewalked--though not very far!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Post on Racewalking yahoogroups

Things got crazy at work. We're having a screening Saturday and I was at work late last night and had to get back early in the morning so no time for today's workout. However, it was hurry up and wait so during some idle time I answered a post on the racewaking forum at yahoogroups.


Been a semi lurker,begining racewalker trying to learn from the
really fast folks in this group.
I just made a personnel goal of breaking 10 minutes per mile for a
road 5K. 31:01 at 52 years old and 4 years of racewalking. Endurance
athlete for 40 years-ex-runner - too many knee surgeries.
Anyway. My question for the fast folks. Was there any kind of
specific workouts or drills that really took you to the next level
of speed in racewalking ? I am use to running track drills. I view
racewalking as being similar to X-country skiing and swimming. In
that it is mostly technique and the better your technique the faster
you go. That technique has more effect on speed then being in shape.

Any input from the fast folks ? Am I just dreaming about a silver
bullet - and I just need to "walk faster to walk faster" ?

Thanks in Advance
Mike "wannabe a fast racewalker" Madigan
Hi Mike,

I'm also a lurker on this dicussion board but your comment brought me out of the woodwork:

> I just made a personnel goal of breaking 10 minutes per mile for a
> road 5K. 31:01 at 52 years old and 4 years of racewalking. Endurance
> athlete for 40 years-ex-runner - too many knee surgeries.

I'm also 52 but have been racewalking for less than a year. I turned to racewalking after injuring my knees running but even with the more "knee friendly" walking gait I've managed to over stress my knees whenever I broke that 10 minute per mile barrier.

> Anyway. My question for the fast folks. Was there any kind of
> specific workouts or drills that really took you to the next level
> of speed in racewalking ?

Just recently I was able to get the that "next level" without the pain. You are probably experienced enough to know about properly warming up before and stretching after every workout, that's even more important for us 50 something athletes, but here are some other tips that helped me out.

1. Take a class. I took Dave McGovern's beginners clinic but there are others too. Philip Dunn and Jeff Salvage also teach some classes.

2. Join a group. The group I joined, Southern Cal Walkers, meets every Saturday and they vary their drills so it isn't boring. One of my favorite games is trying to keep up with the fastest racewalker, even if it is only for a lap or two. Our fastest guy is Pedro Santoni and just by following him around the track I've gone faster than I ever dreamed--short sprints close to a 6 minute mile pace.

3. Get a good running watch. Something that can give you constant feedback of your heart rate and pace is very helpful. I just got a Polar RS800sd and it gives real time information about cadence and stride length along with speed and distance. Although I haven't figured it out yet, it can also send alarms if you are above or below a set pace or heart rate--probably not legal in a race but very useful for workouts.

> ...That technique has more effect on speed then being in shape.

That brings up the next tip:

4. Concentrate on technique before speed. That's what messed up my knees, I wanted to go faster with poor technique and pounded the heck out of my knees. Racewalking should be a smooth and flowing movement. In fact it wasn't running but bad running technique caused my knee problems in the first place.

> Am I just dreaming about a silver
> bullet - and I just need to "walk faster to walk faster" ?

One last tip along those lines--at least for me there was a silver bullet:

5. Strength training. I do a quick set of 30 reps for each exercise. When I injured my knees I was referred to Dr. Robert Klapper who authored a couple of books, Heal Your Knees and Heal Your Hips, and instead of prescribing rest for orthopedic patients he emphasises strength and mobility exercises. I got a simple bench with a leg extension, leg curl attachement, some some ankle weights and an elastic band and do strength training two to three times per week. And don't just do legs, abs play a big part in proper technique and saving your back.

These tips probably won't get you into the Olympic 'A' standard pace, but a 10 min/mile for a 52 year old on a 5K, 10K or even a 20K, should be a reasonable goal. By the way, at 51 Mark Green kept up an 8:55 mile pace for 50K, but that's a master's record.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

5K "Light"

This morning I did an easy walk using my 3-mile course and it came out to longer than 5 kilometers, just like yesterday's experience with the 6-mile course being longer than 10 kilometers. It looks like I'm going to have to check the calibration at the track this weekend.

According to the RS800sd this was mostly a "light" workout.
Start Time:     6:38:29
Total Distance: 5.45 km
Total Workout: 40:33.3
Zone 1 = 00:01:06 very light ( 50-60% HRmax)
Zone 2 = 00:27:33 light ( 60-70% HRmax)
Zone 3 = 00:11:40 moderate ( 70-80% HRmax)
Zone 4 = 00:00:00 hard ( 80-90% HRmax)
Zone 5 = 00:00:00 maximum (90-100% HRmax)
Average Pace: 7:29 min/km (12:03 min/mile)
Max Pace: 5:00 min/km ( 8:03 min/mile)
Best Lap=4 at 6:47.3 (10:55 min/mile)
Kilometer ## - Lap Time - Average Heart Rate - Cadence - Stride Length
1 - 8:42.6 121bpm 67 85cm
2 - 7:27.6 126bpm 69 97cm
3 - 7:27.5 132bpm 70 95cm
4 - 6:47.3 133bpm 71 104cm
5 - 7:00.2 134bpm 72 99cm

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Out of Whack Walk

This morning I did my usual 6-mile course but the Polar RS800sd indicated that I went 10.52 kilometers. Something is out of whack because 6 miles is less than 10 kilometers. Last week when I did the 3-mile course it marked a little under 5 kilometers, as it should. So what is off? Probably when I measured the course. No wonder all this time I was faster on the track than around the neighborhood. Then again, I still have to check out the new running computer watch on a measured track.

It didn't take me long to warm up and since I had a day off from Sunday's 15 kilometer long walk I was feeling pretty good. Yesterday I did strength training and that seems to aid in recovering.
Start Time:     6:24:11
Total Distance: 10.52 km
Total Workout: 1:07:29
Zone 1 = 00:00:44 very light ( 50-60% HRmax)
Zone 2 = 00:02:27 light ( 60-70% HRmax)
Zone 3 = 00:06:03 moderate ( 70-80% HRmax)
Zone 4 = 00:58:15 hard ( 80-90% HRmax)
Zone 5 = 00:00:00 maximum (90-100% HRmax)
Average Pace: 6:25 min/km (10:19 min/mile)
Max Pace: 4:21 min/km ( 7:00 min/mile)
Best Lap=6 at 6:06.0 ( 9:49 min/mile)
Kilometer ## - Lap Time - Average Heart Rate - Cadence - Stride Length
1 - 7:15.2 132bpm 71 97cm 6 - 6:06.0 164bpm 78 105cm
2 - 6:13.6 154bpm 76 105cm 7 - 6:20.2 162bpm 77 102cm
3 - 6:24.2 161bpm 76 102cm 8 - 6:16.5 163bpm 76 104cm
4 - 6:21.3 163bpm 77 101cm 9 - 6:18.5 163bpm 77 102cm
5 - 6:23.2 164bpm 78 100cm 10 - 6:09.8 160bpm 77 105cm

I hope that the RS800sd is measuring accurately--I really do want to believe that I've improved this much. At the 10K mark I was at 1:03:48, this was a personal record for me.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

15 Kilometer Long Sub-Threshold Walk

Sub-threshold means going slow enough not to build up lactic acid. I didn't want to call it a slow distance walk because it wasn't all that slow.

I really wanted to do 20km but I got up a little late and the family wanted me to take them out so I cut it down to 15km. It felt like a good workout and it was fun to click through the different settings on the Polar RS800sd. I set it up to record every kilometer and it was a relief not having to remember where the mile marks were at and having to hit the lap timer. It looks like I'll be able to do a workout outside my comfortable little neighborhood course. Here's some data about today's workout:
Start Time:     8:02:47
Total Distance: 15.03 km
Total Workout: 1:43:07
Zone 1 = 00:00:42 very light ( 50-60% HRmax)
Zone 2 = 00:07:42 light ( 60-70% HRmax)
Zone 3 = 01:16:16 moderate ( 70-80% HRmax)
Zone 4 = 00:19:09 hard ( 80-90% HRmax)
Zone 5 = 00:00:00 maximum (90-100% HRmax)
Average Pace: 6:52 min/km (11:03 min/mile)
Max Pace: 4:36 min/km ( 7:24 min/mile)
Best Lap=14 at 6:06.4 ( 9:49 min/mile)
Kilometer ## - Lap Time - Average Heart Rate - Cadence - Stride Length
1 - 8:13.1 127bpm 71 86cm 6 - 6:43.9 149bpm 75 99cm 11 - 6:35.8 152bpm 74 102cm
2 - 6:30.5 142bpm 74 104cm 7 - 6:49.2 147bpm 73 100cm 12 - 6:43.0 151bpm 75 99cm
3 - 7:11.5 146bpm 72 96cm 8 - 6:21.6 154bpm 75 104cm 13 - 7:08.9 145bpm 74 95cm
4 - 7:11.7 143bpm 72 96cm 9 - 6:41.0 148bpm 74 100cm 14 - 6:06.4 149bpm 76 108cm
5 - 7:18.7 144bpm 71 96cm 10 - 7:08.1 151bpm 75 94cm 15 - 6:14.4 154bmp 75 106cm

That's a lot of information to digest but the bottom line is, it was 15 kilometers, about 9.32 miles, at an average pace faster than my 10 miler race pace just 3 months ago. (11:27 min/mile then vs. 11:03 min/mile now.)

I also like the switch to kilometers. It is easier keeping up a good pace for a kilometer rather than a mile--and the kilometers go by much faster too.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Truck Load of Data

This morning I did speed work with the Southern Cal Walkers. The workout was some quick intervals, about 40 seconds fast and 40 seconds recovery, followed by 800 meter repeats. Instead of taking lap times I set my new Polar RS800sd on "free" and let it gather data throughout the workout. It recorded the intervals along with the recovery--pretty much everything except the initial warm up. Here's a bunch of data from the workout:
Starting time: 7:29:23
Total distance: 2.99 km
Total workout: 26:24
Heart Rate
Max 180 93%
Min 98 51%
Average 158 82%
Most of the workout was in "sport zone" 4 followed by zones 5 and 2.
Zone 1 = 00:08 very light ( 50-60% HRmax)
Zone 2 = 04:32 light ( 60-70% HRmax)
Zone 3 = 03:14 moderate ( 70-80% HRmax)
Zone 4 = 12:48 hard ( 80-90% HRmax)
Zone 5 = 05:42 maximum (90-100% HRmax)
Pace min/km
Max 03:48
Average 08:50
297 kcal
Running Index 38
Max 108
Average 60
Stride Length
Average 94 cm

So what does all this mean? For the most part it was a fairly hard workout and I reached a maximum speed of 3:48 min/km, that's 6:06 min/mile! My cadence got as high as 108, that's 216 steps per minute. Yes, this is very fast, but I can only hold it for those short 40 second intervals. The only way that I was able to do it was to walk with Pedro Santoni--I was able to keep up with him for 400 meters this time, that's an improvement over last week's 300 meters. I didn't time the 800 meter repeats this time, I just had fun and let the watch gather data.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Slow Walk with Rosie and a New Toy

Last night a new toy arrived--a Polar RS800sd. I haven't learned how to use it yet but wanted to try it this morning. I did the scheduled 3-mile walk with Rosie and was able to get some information out of the watch but I wasn't able to figure out how to get the average heart rate, cadence, stride length, etc. that it is capable of recording.

It looks like I'm going to have to install the software on a Windows computer in order to take full advantage of the system. Funny thing is, I don't have any Windows systems at home and I don't think I want to do all my data analysis at work--I do enough work at work!

Total Distance - 4.92 kilometers
Total Workout - 49:28
Average Pace - 10:03 min/km (16:11 min/mile)
Yes, I set up the watch for kilometers so I'm in sync with the international racewalking distances. And yeah, we went really slow.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Windy Walk

The wind was very strong this morning and it has been blowing all day. I was planning on an easy day and the wind helped me make up my mind.
Mile 1 - 14:10                     (8:48 min/km)
Mile 2 - 12:41 (7:53 min/km)
Mile 3 - 12:57 (8:03 min/km)
Mile 4 - 13:06 (8:08 min/km)
Mile 5 - 13:08 (8:10 min/km)
Mile 6 - 12:55 (8:02 min/km)
Total Workout - 1:18:57
Average Pace - 13:09 min/mile (8:11 min/km)

Since I recently increased my weekly distance I should keep it easy for a while to avoid injury. Of course I wasn't following my own advice yesterday. Tomorrow we'll see if I can take it easy two days in a row.