Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

26×1 Mile Results for MRC

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Below are the results for the MRC members at the 26×1 mile relay.


Also I’ve included some analysis including an age graded time and % of WR.  These  can be used to compare times across ages and genders, theoretically Ryan’s 5:22 is roughly equivalent to Ginny’s 6:56, both being 69% of the WR for their age and gender.

Time Name Age Sex Age Graded % of WR
6:13  Emily Anderson 31 F 6:11 68%
6:17  Katherine Kulig 36 F 6:08 68%
6:29  Katie Sinnott 38 F 6:14 67%
6:29  Audrey Paradis 31 F 6:27 65%
6:31  Gabriella Howard 28 F 6:31 64%
6:31  Kristen Dorsky 35 F 6:24 65%
6:37  Judy Tilden 37 F 6:25 65%
6:49  Marlene McGunigle 47 F 5:57 70%
6:56  Ginny Rowe 47 F 6:03 69%
7:43  Jessica Crispin 36 F 7:32 56%
7:43  Lois Parker Carmona 46 F 6:49 61%
7:52  Sarah Winslow 11 F 6:59 60%
5:04  Adam Cook 15 M 4:41 79%
5:22  Ryan Burke 26 M 5:22 69%
5:25  Chris Hancock 40 M 5:07 72%
5:32  Duncan Locke 17 M 5:17 70%
5:35  Robert Busby 34 M 5:29 68%
5:39  Tom Gorman 50 M 4:56 75%
5:48  Jeff Cook 48 M 5:09 72%
5:53  Joe Winslow 49 M 5:11 72%
6:00  Mark Rosenblum 55 M 5:02 74%
6:08  Cameron Locke 20 M 6:04 61%
6:17  Paul Locke 53 M 5:21 69%
6:22  Donald Cranley 49 M 5:36 66%
6:33  Bilal Ozaslan 44 M 6:00 62%
6:36  Andy Nagelin 49 M 5:49 64%

Mile Racers

Friday, June 7th, 2013

I am super excited at the number of people opting to try racing a mile for the first time at the 26×1 mile relay.  I’m only disappointed I won’t be there.  Some of my regular workout participants have asked me to put together some pointers for first time mile racers, which I’m more than happy to do.  Also next Thursday, we’ll focus our workout toward people racing the Mile, it will give you some indication of what the pace should feel like.


You’ve never raced a mile what should you pace yourself at?

The best way is to pick your most recent race time and plug it into a calculator, the shorter the race the better.   If you don’t have a recent race or they are all long, estimate what you would run a 5k in if it took place today.

I like this calculator.

Lets take Kristen Murphy as an example

She has 3 recent races to choose from

05/26 Bostons Run To Remember 5m 5.0  35:56 7:11
05/19 Harpoon Brewery 5m 5.0  33:18 6:39
05/05 Twin Lights Half Marathon 13.1  1:41:34 7:45

Two 5 milers and a half marathon.  We’ll use the faster of the 5 milers.  Since they are only a week apart I suspect the second one was either very crowded, hot or just a bad race.

The calculator returns a 5:47 mile, since I know that 5 miler is a PR for Kristen, I suspect this is a pretty close approximation.  Though since the mile takes place under pretty ideal conditions, perfectly flat etc it wouldn’t surprise me if she exceeded the estimate of the calculator.

If we divide that by 4, that gives us a per lap average of 86-87.  Memorize your intended splits.  Get someone to yell them to you as you pass the finish, you don’t want to have to look at your watch.

Lap 1 86 (1:26)

Lap 2 2:52

Lap 3 4:18

Lap 4 5:44


Pre Race:

It is extra extra important that you are fully warmed up before the race.  Please see my prior post about pre race routines.  Run at least 15-20 minutes very slow, and do some (4-6)  fast strides on the track or grass.

Racing a Mile:

The best way to run a fast mile is to run all 4 laps at the same pace.  This is easier said than done.

Don’t go out too fast!  Let me say it again…Don’t go out too fast!  It is much easier to recover from a too slow first 400, than from a too fast one.  I’m going to re post my instructions for those who did a mile time trial a few weeks back, if you’ve already read it then skip this bit.

Lap 1: Control your pace, don’t go out too fast.  Know what split you want to run take 1/2 of that and check it at the 200 meter mark, ideally a friend can yell it out to you at 200.  If your off, there is still time to recover.  Don’t over adjust, slightly more or less effort will be enough.  Kristen is going to target 86 for her first lap, the 200 should pass in 43, if she’s at 45, just ratchet up the effort slightly, if at 41 back off just a touch.

Lap 2: The effort that had you breeze through lap 1, is going to need some extra effort here.  You should need to push some to maintain your pace.

Lap 3: This is where you will need to use all your reserves, this is the hardest lap in the mile.  Extra focus, extra effort.  At the same time keep your form together, even when you’re fatigued.  Think focused and relaxed, and push like hell.  Don’t save anything.

Lap 4: This will be a blur, you will be so tired you don’t believe you’re going to make, but it is only 400m to go.  If you’ve got anything left start winding up a kick with 200 to go, with 150 to go unleash it.  You don’t need oxygen anymore, you can go into debt.  Use the form we’ve been working on during strides.  Swing those arms as far as they will go, they will carry you down the final stretch, don’t let your head get wobbly.  If you time it perfectly, you’ll nearly pass out as you cross the finish line.

Congratulations you’re a miler.

It can take many attempts to do this race correctly, don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake or two on your first attempt.

Next Thursday, we’ll do some mile paced training for those who are interested.

Pre-race routines

Friday, June 7th, 2013

I’m always surprised at the number of runners that don’t warm up before their races.  I see lots of runners chatting with friends and almost get surprised when it is time to start the race.  It should not be surprising, that their first mile or two are not optimal, they haven’t given their body a chance to be ready.


I developed a race routine over the years that works for me.  You should develop your own, but whatever you decide stick with it, and don’t get distracted by an encounter with an old running friend.  By having a set routine every time, you will train you body and mind to be ready for the race.

My Pre-race routine:

This applies to all non-marathon races, marathons are their own logistical nightmare.

I like to arrive 1 hour before the start time.  That is earlier than most people, but I don’t want to feel rushed on race day.

Get my number, scope out the start finish area.

40 Minutes before the race:

Start my warm up, very slow jogging.  Sometimes I have company during my warm up, most often I do it alone.  I do at least 15 minutes.  If it is cool out I’ll do 20-25 minutes.  If it is a short race and I want to pad my miles I’ll do as much as 30 minutes.


20 Minutes Before the race:

Change into my racing gear.  Singlet, racing flats etc… I pay particular attention to make sure my socks have no wrinkles, those turn into blisters later.  I want the tension on my laces just right, nothing is more annoying than shoes that are too loose or tight during a race.  I double and triple tie the laces.

I do some strides, trying to feel out race pace.  If I feel any tightness I do some stretching.  If it is an important race I’ll try to relax, close my eyes and visualize the race.  I will play through in my mind where I need to focus, how I’ll be feeling at each mile etc…  I will have mentally run the race in my mind, beforehand.


10 Minutes Before:

Decide on any last minute changes to clothing. Make my way to the start.


After the race:

Depending on the length of the race I’ll do a warm down of varying lengths.  The shorter less demanding the race, the longer the warm down.  Recovery wise there is really no benefit to a warm down, I use them mostly to add more easy miles.

A warm down is basically free miles, you can add to your weekly total.  Take advantage.


You can use whatever race routine works for you, but at a minimum it needs to include 15- 20 minutes of easy running.  The routine we use before every track workout is a good starting point.

Pace Differentiation

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

One of the most common traits of beginning runners, is all their paces are the same.  Easy pace is the same as race pace is the same as Tempo pace etc…

The reasons for this are straightforward.  When you’re beginning, running is so hard that the idea that running is anything other than agony is foreign.  What develops is a sort of in between pace that is hard enough to tire you out but not really hard enough to push your VO2 max or Lactate Systems.

By coming to  track workouts, you will get a feel for different fast paces, mile, 5k, 10k, LT all feel a little different and tax different physiological systems.

The purpose of days that are not intervals, or long runs or tempo runs is to build your aerobic base and help you recover so  you can do your next challenging workout.   They should be slow, easy and not fatigue you unnecessarily.

What I’d like to encourage is when you’re not running hard during a workout, you run easier than you usually do.

Here is your homework:

I want you to feel some fatigue in your legs, while doing this.  So the day after either a track workout, race or long run.  Go for a run much slower than you’re accustomed to, if you usually do 8:30 miles do 9:30 miles.  If you have a GPS, turn it off.  Run by feel, keep slowing down until you feel like you can’t go any slower.  Run for 25-40 minutes depending on your fitness.  You should finish feeling refreshed.  I want you to feel how to recover and still run.