A Pretty Decent 5.0 – RunLog 7-9-18

This morning’s run was supposed to be an easy miler for distance and I just changed up how I am looking at my training, so I am not doing two hard days in a row. I gotta be a bit more smart about things and keep the weekly totals between 30-35 miles per week, which seems to be my sweet spot.

It seems that my old idea of doing speed work on Monday’s and then a trail race/run on Tuesdays was just a little too much. Although I don’t run that fast during my Quarry Road Trail Races, I am putting out a lot more effort than I do at those speeds on the roads. So it was two hard days in a row and it was too much.

Enough of the background crap.

I decided that I wanted to work more on Leg Swing and Ground contact time, so I wasn’t sure about how my pace would be. My belief is that in order to do this, the metrics that my Milestone FootPod measure, would mean that I do have to go a bit faster than a slow, slog.

Oh well, according to the app, I am still 100% with my heel first, although 98% of the time my rate of impact is in the low range (which is good), so I am not going to mess too much with attempting to change where I land on my foot.

During the run a few times, I was able to get my leg swing into the high range, which is where I should be more of the time. However, I had to change my mechanics quite a bit to get that 8% let me tell you and I didn’t feel intuitive while running that way at all. I will have to work at it a lot more to make it feel natural, but it was a quicker and probably the way that I used to run, when I wore a younger man’s body. 🙂

I knew how to do it, but it will take a bit of time to get the muscles up to being able to hold it for longer than just short periods.

There is a pretty direct correlation between leg swing, stride length, cadence versus how fast you are running. However, I can see attempting to change these metrics too quickly leading to injury, so it is probably a good thing that I only have one of these footpods right now to track my progress. I have a feeling that I will be moving the footpod from my recovery/long run shoes to my speedwork/race day shoes. I think it will give me better data that I can use to see how I am improving – or not.

Plus I will not be as tempted to trying to run more “efficiently” every run – err too fast every run.

I am liking the earpod cover & earhook setup I got last week for my Apple ear pods. I couldn’t keep the damn things in my ears before I got them, so I didn’t use them for running at all. Which has it good and bad points. Depending on your point of view.

However, I am finding that I enjoy running with music more now with decent ear pods on the run and just have to get Apple Music figured out, so that it doesn’t keep saying that I didn’t download certain songs, when I have done so previously. I want to try out the pods in a race tomorrow night and see if I do any better with the music to keep me focused on my cadence and not worrying about who is behind me so much.

I won’t be able to hear them. Sometimes hearing the people behind me is more of a pain in the butt than a good thing – well at least until the last quarter-mile. 🙂

Overall, I was pretty happy with how the run went, the last couple of miles, were a bit of a sweat fest, but I had done what I wanted by then, so I sort of coasted for the most part back how. I had thought abut doing some strides after I finished, but it was pretty hot and the body, just didn’t see the sense. So I didn’t.

I did have my acupuncture appointment and got stuck in a few new places, it does seem to help relax me and while I had planned to go run on the rail trail after, with the temps in the high 80’s, I decided to skip the extra run. It wouldn’t have been any fun, so I drove straight home.

I did get to see that Mary finished up painting the new shed doors, while I at acupuncture – she does great work, now if her husband was half the carpenter she is as a painter, it would be great 🙂

Surprise – I Ran 10.0 Miles – RunLog 7-7-18

I was scheduled to do a 10 mile long run this morning, but I wasn’t feeling all that great about it, but I decided that I would go into Waterville to run, just because there are a lot more course options and I could start out, then figure it out from there. Initially, I thought about doing 7.0 up around Colby – it seems about right for how I was feeling.

The temps when I started were in the 70’s, a nice breeze and low humidity – actually a pretty nice way to start out.

Once I got going, I felt a little better and focused on attempting to run with a higher cadence and getting my feet off the ground a bit quicker. When I got over by the drug store, I suddenly decided to do my 10 mile Winslow loop and crossed 4 lanes of traffic on JFK. Luckily no one was coming in either direction. I have a feeling that if traffic had been its normal busy self, I would not have gotten in the 10 this morning, but things worked out traffic wise.

I did take a couple of photos on the bridge looking out over the Kennebec. It is one of those views that we don’t really stop and appreciate all that much when driving across it at 40-50 mph. Continue reading

Milestone Footpod – Initial Thoughts July 2018

Even though I ordered the Milestone Footpod by accident from Amazon, it was something that I was interested in looking at closer after reading a little about it and how it was recently acquired by Zwift. I was putting on my Wishlist, but when I made an order the other night, it showed up in the same package.

I had lost my Garmin Footpod last spring and was looking for a replacement for running on the treadmill and the Milestone seemed like a pretty good option to replace it. My Garmin 230 is not very accurate when I am using the run indoor activity setting. At about half the cost of the Garmin Footpod, the MilestonePod was a better value and looking at the website a few more metrics were being measured.

It seems that I was supposed to have the MilestonePod sooner rather than later.

Sometimes things happen for a reason – now to figure out what the reason was.

Enough background, let’s get to what I think after my first couple of runs with it this morning.

Unpacking and setup was quick and easy. Syncing between the pod and IOS app was done quickly. It was probably one of the easiest setups that I have done in a long time. It was intuitive and any questions I had were quickly answered on their website.

I did do a lot of reading of Milestone blog’s posts to get an idea on how things really worked and how to interpret the data that was going to be provided. I just wanted to learn more about the device and how it was supposed to help me with my running.

Today

This morning I wanted to run a mile to calibrate it to my Garmin 230’s GPS. The Garmin came in at 1.01 and Milestone pod 1.11 (out of the box), so that is pretty close.

I have a feeling that I will calibrate my runs a few more times for my own peace of mind. Although I imagine that I will have to re-calibrate when I move it onto the treadmill at some point. Which is the real reason that I looked at the Milestone Footpod in the first place.

So what did I learn from the first runs using the Milestone Footpod?

I am a heel striker – yeah, no news there.

Rate of Impact – Surprisingly I did a lot better here than I thought I was, especially when I was bombing down the big hill.

Leg Swing – this is something that I have to work on. I need to get things into the high range and I am primarily in the mid range – not quite an old man shuffle, but it means that I am not using my gluteus (my butt) as much as I should and extending the legs. I knew this, but to see in graph form really make it obvious what I am doing.

Cadence – Was over 170 – right about where I have been for a while. If I am running faster my cadence is faster. Although I was surprised at how well I maintained my cadence going up the big hill.

Stride Length – When I have a longer stride length – I go faster. No surprise there. When I shortened the stride to go uphill with a higher cadence my pace slowed. 🙂

Ground Contact – The lower the better, I did pretty good until I started going back up the big hill and then as my pace got slower, the ground contact time got higher and then when I picked the pace back up the ground contact got lower. While it wasn’t bad for the 8:00 minute or so pace I had for most of the run, it did show that I can improve, though I will never get to that elite level of sub 200 ms.

Runficiency – This is Milestone’s overall scoring of your run and it gives a score that can be used for comparison purposes.

So far the Milestone Footpod and app have piqued my interest and make me want to see if I can change some of the metrics for the better, even when I am running slower??? I don’t know if that is possible, but it will be interesting to work on.

I did run into one glitch – when I attempted to upload my data to Strava, I got the spinning wheel of death and had to send an email to support to see if I was doing something wrong or if there was a bug.

Other than that, not having to rely completely on a GPS watch as much, is something that I think is a good thing. If I want to use my Ironman watch, I can and still get mileage states that I like. Also it gives me some information on other things that I have wondered about, but never figured out how I could measure them.

The MilestonePod lets me do this to a certain extent – no I just have to figure out how reliable it is for me. Like anything else that is new, you have to gain confidence in it. So far things seem pretty promising and I am looking forward to using it.

By the way it is waterproof, after this morning’s runs in the rain it still works just fine.