Friday, July 13, 2012

I Owe Jill An Apology

Okay, I admit it ... Jill (of Run With Jill) was right ... and I was wrong!  Jill's very smart ... I am dumb.  Jill's very attractive ... I am fairly hideous.  Etc ... etc ... etc!    In fact, I fully apologize to her.  What am I apologizing for?  Jill is a huge forefoot/midfoot strike proponent.  And as you know, I tried changing to this method from my heel strike last November ... and frankly struggled with it for most of the time since.  I made it work, but every time I wrote about it ... I didn't really give it a ringing endorsement.

But I've gotta be honest, this marathon training cycle has gone like no other.  I feel healthy.  I'm logging more miles than ever before.  And I'm putting up my fastest times ever.  And dang if I don't have to finally admit that it's mostly because of the new foot strike.  And more specifically because the forefoot/midfoot strike has kept me healthier than I've ever been due to the reduction in impact on my joints.

Now, notice I said the new foot strike was "mostly" responsible.  There are also a few other reasons.  Above is a chart of the last four weeks of my training schedule.  I'm still about 14 weeks away from my marathon, but this is what I've done so far.  It couldn't be going better - but here are a few bullet points as to why ...

  • The forefoot/mid foot strike has helped me stay healthy which allows me to workout more efficiently, stronger, and longer.  I just don't have to take as much time off for little aches and pains.
  • I had a base of 75 miles per week before I started this 17 week plan, so the mileage is not that big of a jump
  • I only do one or two hard workouts per week right now (Tempo, speed, hills, etc)  all of the rest of my runs are about a minute to minute & half below my marathon pace - this reduction in pace on my recovery days is maybe the second biggest key to feeling good
  • Core work ... core work ... core work!!!
  • I do double workouts 5 days per week with either a second run or weights or plyo in the evenings
  • Most of my evening runs are trail runs which has really cushioned the impact of running
  • I massage my legs every night - Michael bought a vibrating massager for her back, and I've hijacked it - it is friggin' amazing!  I has really helped my legs recover more quickly and feel strong the next day.
  • I'm eating better than I have in a long time, maybe ever - I've increased my calories to support the additional workouts, but I rarely eat added sugar, NO fried foods, and try to stay away from wheat products.  I really focus on a lot of veggies and especially high protein and anti-inflammatory foods like cinnamon, blue berries, almonds, salmon, and a lot of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
So there's where I'm at so far.  The increased mileage looks like a lot, but the only significant change is the added runs in the evening.  And this is training my legs to operate when they are fatigued.  I plan on maxing out at about 100-110 about three weeks before the marathon and then backing off a little as I taper down.  For me, more miles has always meant faster marathons.  And while I've always been able to churn out high mileage (3,000 miles last year alone), I've never felt better doing it.  "Stop-drop-roll-I'm on fiiiyaaa!"  Hope your running is going well too.
... be great today!


  1. Wow, your training and running in general are going great! I suppose I am just lucky that I'm a natural forefoot striker. I don't give it any thought ever and don't really read all the huff and puff about it. Have a good weekend!

  2. Hahaha. You made my day! Maybe even entire weekend! :)

    I'm just happy that things are coming along so well for you! That's all that matters! Now, remember to keep up on that glute and hip work also!! :)

  3. glad to see those double workouts in!
    wtg on milage AND speed!!
    thanks for posting!!!!!!

  4. Rockstar status!! Looks like you've figured out the secret. Smart, hard, training!! Totally, totally excited for you Jim. Dobn't you just love it when it all clicks.

  5. well this is giving me hope...
    I am trying to change my strike..I saw a great PT who's speciality is running and he confirmed what I knew: I heel strike BIG time and he said I need to change that. I think it is so HARD to do that. but I have to do it because I got injured. Seeing that you are getting good results is giving me hope!!!

  6. Every time you post, I am more impressed. I hope I can eventually run as much as you!

  7. btw, what are you doing for core work? I noticed you do a lot before your workouts.

  8. I got a vibrating massager from Brookstone after my first marathon (in March), and it pretty much cured my ITBS. I'm suprised that it hasn't made much of a buzz on the internet. I've been injury free ever since. I ran my second in June, and have two planned in the Fall. I feel like one of the main reason I'm able to do this is because of the massager.

  9. This is awesome, Jim! As I speak to you from the valley of injury, your words give me hope.

    Do tell the brand of massager--I have similar back issues to Michael and am about ready to try everything, from witch doctors on, to get it to go away.

  10. That humble pie tastes pretty good doesn't it Jim?!

  11. Don't you love Jill..:)


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