Week of 3/30/17: Workouts, Tuesday Long hills, Sat Hill Repeats

Hi Folks,

Updated 3/31:  Heads up: we’re going into April! Finish that power base.

This week we’re into April and continue with our background power development for Dipsea along with a couple of steppingstone fitness tests on the Calendar: the Stow Lake Stampede 5K (all out fitness and peak of anaerobic and aerobic components), and the MMDR 10K (approximately 40-50  minutes of tempo/threshold running). Meanwhile we continue with hill strength work, track sessions for speed and the 10-15 milers for endurance.

3/28/17 TUESDAY 9 am GG BRIDGE/FT BAKER long hill repeats. A transition to simulation for Dipsea. There will be two rounds of:  1′,2′,3′,4′ repeats; a 20 minute total which simulates the time period from crossing the creek in Muir Woods to top of Cardiac. Your goal is to work up to 4 x 4′ minute uphill repeats to hit your peak Max VO2.

3/29/17 WEDNESDAY 8:15 starting time MADISON AV GYM WORKOUT.  for the first part of the workout it’s a total of 100 Swing reps and key exercises; then we do our Circuit followed by 3 x 3 deadlifts for the all-out strength emphasis. Each workout we include a hinge, squat, overhead, push and pull movements to maintain balanced strength with our clients.

3/30/17 THURSDAY 7:30 am & 8:30 am. TRACK at COM track. Shorter / mix of intervals.

6 x 40 meters, 4 x 50 (50), 2 x 100 (100)….

A/B gp:  To rounds:  (2 x 200 (200), 2 x 300 (100), 4 x 400 (2′ or 2 1/2′))

C gp: Two Rounds: ( 2 x 40 meters, 2 x 100 (100), 2 x 150 (50), 1 x 200 (200))

4/1/17 SATURDAY 7:30 am start for HILL REPEATS/ Cross Training at Theological Seminary College off Seminary Drive. Park along Seminary Drive near entry road going into the College grounds and do warm-up run before the HR begin up on the first level 7:30 am.

  1. DB MTN CLIMBERS x 20:

Sprint  –  Short –  1/2 “A”  –  2 x Sprint

2) . DB PLANK ROW R/L x 12:

2 x Short  –  1/2 “A”   –   2 x  Sprint 

3).   KNEE HUGS x 20

1/2 “B” +  Long    –   Sprint  –  Short    –   Sprint

4)  DB BURPEE & PRESS x 8 

2 x Short  –   Sprint   –   1/2 “B” + Long

“Finisher” =  x 20 Ball Slams

4/2/17 SUNDAY. Keeping with the longer trail endurance run of 10-15 miles of over-distance; depending on your mileage base- more if you’re doing 40+ per week.

TIP: Going light on stretching isn’t such a sin, but don’t neglect hip or shoulder mobility. You can learn more from the book I reviewed written by Kelly Starret, Ph.D., “Ready to Run,” or check into his Mobility WOD where he discusses the need for your overall range of mobility and gives detailed help when you need it. The book goes over the twelve checkpoints self-assessment; if you don’t address the imbalances that show up, they’ll catch up with you – it’s usually a setback. Investing a bit of time with mobility drills will pay off for you; recovering from an injury takes more time.

I did a regular stretching program during martial art years ( you don’t want to rip a hamstring executing a roundhouse kick) and it carried over through my running years. In addition, there’s a great deal of hip mobility and side leg strength training; that paid off during the running years.  You will want to focus on shoulder, hip and ankle mobility to avoid setbacks.



Week of 3/20/17: Workouts, Saturday workout, MMDR and Dipsea

Hi Folks,

updated 3/23/17…Weather looks good for Saturday – take advantage of it with an extra effort at Saturday Hill Repeats!

More on training for the MMDR (5/29/17) and Dipsea in June.  Also, a short history of MMDRaces that were first run in 1977!

Solid workout last Saturday  with Hill Repeats (20), plus weights, followed up on Sunday with the quality uphill RRGrade Run to the top of Mt. Tam.

RRGrade Run conditions and view are different every time the group runs this spectacular course from Mill Valley to top of Tam. (Photos by Gerald)

Verity Breen shown here running with kids in Oakland: she’s certainly a terrific, enthusiastic  role model! She also placed 2nd in 50+ div. with a 1:29:51 at Modesto Half Marathon..

DIPSEA TRAINING continues: You’re well into your third month of Dipsea background training which includes: hill repeats, some weight training, one long distance run on trails for endurance; track workouts for leg speed, and tempo practice to improve your threshold running level. We’ll get you on the Dipsea course later; build your strength and power during March and April – then hit the trail…..Hill Repeats are on again for Saturday; the exercise reps will increase.

The hill training and strength/power development also leads to an improved road race time, e.g., the upcoming Marin Memorial Day Races 5K/10K/Youth Track Races (MMDR) on May 29, 2017. We, Tamalpa Runners, are celebrating our 40th year with this race; certainly my 40th time working the course and for a number of years as Race Director. Please plan on helping work the event on race and/or running the 10K to score for Tamalpa: this is a 10K on the race circuit, so every runner helps- slow or fast. It’s entering enough in each group that can make it for teams.

Those focusing on Dipsea and Double Dipsea and not running the MMDR 10K, but are helping work the race; get in a solid Memorial weekend of Dipsea course practice and trail run. That will be the last over-distance workout; then the weekend before (6/3-6/4) is taper weekend, followed by an easy week. I pretty much avoid much hill work on the weekend before, just a fun, rolling 10 mile trail run and then an easy week.

The “Hay is in the barn” by end of May. Cramming extra workouts close to the race won’t make you more fit; do the bulk of the non-glamorous work during March and towards the end of April. Then hit the trail. I’ve found that once you have six sessions on the Dipsea trail; you won’t improve your time much at all. Make those sessions count when it’s time.

Two races to run as a build-up to the Dipsea are the Stow Lake Stampede 5K (4/23/17) and MMDR 10K on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017.

Looking ahead: Planning a steppingstone 5K race towards our MMDR 10K is the Stow Lake Stampede 5K 4/23/17), 8:30 am, which is run on the old Zippy 5K course. It’s a fast 5K certified course and gives you a good 5K test while contributing to team scoring for Tamalpa. The Impalas host this race, so it’s good to support other clubs who put on smaller size races. Every ability level runs this race and you’ll see many people you know in the  race. Will also establish a 5K time for you that will be used for your track work pacing on Thursdays (or Tuesdays with Frank’s group). The 5K also a litmus test for your all-out running fitness; takes about the same time to run a 5K as an all-out fitness test on a treadmill in the lab! You can’t sprint it, can’t take your time on it: it maximizes your aerobic/anaerobic threshold.

10K Predictor:  Take your 5K time from this 5K race, double it plus one minute and you are very close to your 10K projected time. Gives you a perfect month between races with the MMDR 10K which gives a solid 40-50 minutes of threshold running and fitness – all culminating with the Dipsea.

Vicki deMenno’s daughter, Sammy, pictured here with Meb, ran a PR 1:24:46 at NYC Half on a cold day. She was 497th – there 19,387 runners in the half; 9,877 women: a large half marathon! She had just returned from vacationing with family in Mexico: a tough change from a hot climate to a cold one!  Pix#2 is Lauren Callahan, daughter of Laurie at mile 24 (with picture of her dog on the sign) who we used to babysit (boy that ages me!);  ran her first marathon at Sketchers LA Marathon in 5:13:42. LA Marathon had some 25,000 runners participating. Lauren is in the pyschology Ph.D. Program at Stanford. Big day for both ladies!

3/21/17 TUESDAY …Mileage on your own this week; trail run would be on the menu. Next week, tentatively looking at doing GGate Bridge hill training; meeting at Ft. Baker.

3/22/17 WEDNESDAY 8:15 am MADISON AV GYM workout with Kees at Warren’s.

3/23/17 THURSDAY 7:30 & 8:30 am starts for TRACK at COM. Longer Intervals this week with “Alternating 400’s” a non-stop workout. You’ll run 400 @ 5K pace, then without stopping go into next 400 @ 15″ slower pace; continue for 10 laps or 8 laps. For example, a 7′ pace 400 is 1:45/ followed by 2:00 lap; repeat the pattern. That will only be 5 faster 400’s in the 10 lap workout.

note warm-up change in routine..after 1.5-2M warm-up run:  6 x 40 meter quick cadence pickups, 2 x 100 (100).    2 x 200 (200), 1 x 600 (200):

A gp:  10 x Alternating 400’s

B gp:  8 x Alternating 400’s

C gp:  4 x 40 meters, 1 x 200 (200); 3 x 40 meters, 2 x 150 (50); 2 x 40 meters, 2 x 100 (100).  2 x 40.

3/25/17 SATURDAY 7:30 start for HILL REPEATS/Cross Training at Seminary College of Seminary Drive. Arrive earlier about 7 or 7:10 am, get in a warm-up run along the Bay; then its a run up the entry road to the Theological College where I have the stations set up.

  1. R/L 1- Hand KB/DB Hand Swings x 12 each

2 X Sprint  –  1/2 “A”  –  Short  –  1/2 “A”

2) DB/KB Thrusters x 13 + overhead hold for 10 count:

Short  –  2 x Sprint  –   1/2 “B” + Long 

3)  DB Plank Row  R/L x 12

3 x Sprint   –  2 x Short

4)  Dual-Handle or Med Ball Jacks x 16

2 x Short  –  Sprint  –  1/2 “B”  + Long. 

3/26/17 SUNDAY – Get in a 10-15 mile trail run to keep the endurance training going so you can race the 7+ miles of very hilly Dipsea terrain.

A little history on MMDR, formerly called the Pacific Sun 10K (and Marathon)..

A Brief History on MMDR:

Gordon Stewart and I were involved on the ground floor with the Pacific Sun Marathon and 10K back in 1977 with Steve MacNamara (former owner of the Pacific Sun Paper), his assistant, Lorna Cunkle, and Andy Mecca, an enthusiastic runner who was working with Governor Brown’s anti-drug program – “Drug Czar” we called him. This was during the “Running Boom”when the city-wide marathons were increasing in number across the U.S – and the world, such as New York and London. The big one during the early ’70’s was the Boston Marathon; until Fed Lebow took NYCM city-wide in 1976. Steve, Lorna, and Andy believed that Marin needed to host a marathon: the time was ripe!

Gordon and I approached them to see what they had in mind and Andy took us on a proposed course, but it was not good for a road race and logistics. So Gordon and I took the bull by the horns and tackled the Pacific Sun Marathon design which started and ended on the COM Track (That was a difficult job to get 26.2 miles to come out exactly.)

It essentially went through Corte Madera, over the hill via Meadowsweet, the bike path, back way to Shelter Bay, Seminary Drive, Strawberry, Tiburon and around the loop; back by Redwood HS, Magnolia and finished on the track. Certifying this course, which required two rides by bicycle with a Jones Bike Counter was just a small part of the work.

The 10K was different and essentially went south towards Redwood HS, a loop in the Greenbrae Marina housing and back to the track. It was the following year that Dipsea course record holder, Ron Elijah suggested that we go on Shady Lane for part of the course and use the bike path. That led to us re-doing the course we’ve ever since and certifying the distance. Many national and a few world records have been set on this 10K since the 1980’s; I think it was back in ’89 that we had the most women under 40:00 in the country – 62!

We discontinued the marathon after the 1982 flood year when part of the backside of the Tiburon loop was closed due to a large slide. It was too much of an undertaking for the Club requiring a great deal of manpower and time ( nine months of straight work for me). In addition, during those years, Memorial Day was always hot – not good for a marathon.
We decided to focus on creating a first class 10K and host the 10K Championships. We did have a 2.5M shorter run for years, but that was changed to what became the Don Ritchie 5K.


Week of 3/13/17: Workouts, double workout weekend,Training Tips

Hi Folks,

updated: 3/17/17. Added pictures below and Training Tips;  those coming to Sat HF and Sunday RRGrade Run. Let me know if you are attending the Sat  HR and/or Sunday run.

Results: Jeanie Sawaya completed her second race as a tune-up for her half marathon goal in April with a 10K in Old Town, Sacramento, taking 2nd in her age group with a 48:55 time.

This weekend we’ll do our two days in a row workout: Saturday Hill Repeats/Cross Training then on Sunday we’ll do RRGrade Run. We’re in March training to build a foundation of leg strength and power. The idea here is to go into the RRGrade run with some carry-over fatigue from Saturday’s workout and learn to run with tired legs – similar to running the Dipsea- remember how Insult Hill feels on the legs!

Kathy Johnson and Mark Fujwara celebrate their Napa Marathon successes at Kathy’s birthday run and party organized by Erin Shippey and others. Both qualified for Boston!

3/14/17 TUESDAY. 8:45 am. TEMPO. Have gang meet at “log cabin” and get in 3 x Mile (.5M easy). Starts from north end of bike path.

3/15/17 WEDNESDAY 8:15 am. MADISON AV GYM workout with Kees at Warren’s.

3/16/17 THURSDAY 7:30 & 8:30 am starts for TRACK at COM…shorter intervals this week. (note: 2nd group seems to be starting at 8:30 am over the last couple of weeks; we’ll move it from 8:45 to the 8:30 am start. If the group wants to change it back to 8:45 am , let me know).

After the 1.5M warm-up, 4 x 50 (50), 2 x 100 (100). Then the 2 x 200 (200) stride-outs and 2 x 300’s (100) tune-up:

A gp:  8-10 x 400 (2:00) ..(stop after 8 reps if you are laboring on the 400’s ; especially if on the 2:00..)

B gp:  8-10 x 400 (2:30)…(stop after 8 reps if you are laboring too much on the 400’s: better not to go “over the edge” in effort. Keep at high aerobic, but controlled effort. It is early in the year, Spring on the way: lots of time.

C gp: 3 rounds:  (2 x 40 meters, 4 x 50 (50), 2 x 100 (100))

3/18/17 SATURDAY 7:30 am Start for HILL REPEATS/Cross Training workout Theological Seminary College. Meet along Seminary Drive, do run out/back along Bay; then run up the entry road to where I’ll have the exercise stations set up. After the 4 rounds and 20 hill repeats; it’s Loaded Carries and tire pulls.

Coming to workout:  Andy V, Paula V, Hunter V., Jeanie S, Hans, Carrie, Grayson, Tim, LISA L,

3/19/17 SUNDAY 7:30 am star ( arrive a bit earlier to allow time to assemble). This early start let’s people get to work or get on with their day.  RAILROAD GRADE RUN 8M. A point to point ascent only run over a 5-7% grade to the top of Mt. Tam. Meet across from fire station in downtown Mill Valley on Corte Madera Ave. Let me know if you need a ride down from the top ($5) ahead of time: I need the head count. Some who are gearing up for an ultra or need that downhill practice should run back to the start…Bring a small duffel bag with a change of clothes: you never know the weather on top – and you’ll want to get out of your wet shirt.

so far: Carrie B, Judi S., Shirley D (she’ll help with driving), Kevin P, Hans, Dave C, LISA L,Jeanie…some are running back down for extra credit ( Judi, Dave C, Kevin)

Sandy with one of Leigh Kenny’s baby goats. Ulla and Michelle Wilcox feeding “Squish”, one of the kids. Leigh is one busy lady with 19 goats, 4 sheep, and about 7 dogs! Their property is out Lucas Valley Rd. Wonderful afternoon!

Training Tips:  Gray Cook is one of the top coaches/physical therapists regarding movement screening and proper balanced training. Here is some of his advice regarding Loaded Carries and reinforces why they are so important. ( i will get to shoulder care tips later; this came up as important right now).

As you know, I advocate loaded carries for those who are starting out with resistance training – and seasoned athletes. I’ve started over including them into my program; especially after having a hip replacement. It’s not about how much you are lifting, but maintaining structural integrity, balanced development and minimizing chances for injuries.

“...This one of the central problems in Western fitness. We try to lift things before we have carry capacity. Take the kind of weights you want to lift and carry them. Let’s carry those with alignment and integrity under load. Guess what would happen if we all did more carries than lifts? You wouldn’t be looking for correctives. This can help your endurance. It can help your core stabilization. It can help your posture. 

This is where balance starts- carries, not with deadlifting: not with bench pressing and not with single-leg deadlifts, and not with Turkish getups and swings and push presses.

Balance starts with work capacity. ”

One way to see if you own your loaded carry is to build on time. Take the Waiter’s Carry; hold the kettlebell overhead with straight wrist, bicep alongside ear and pack the shoulder joint- hold in place with your lats…Once that position starts to go, drop it into Rack Carry position. Hold that in the “V: of the arm, mid and upper back erect, (that area is holding the weight) and position. When that begins to falter drop down to Farmer Carry until grip starts just begins to weaken; then do the left side with all three lifts. Don’t go for the heavy lift just yet: be able to walk while holding the positions well. It is not a lifting contest, but building core, stability and adjusting to time under tension (TUT). The goal is to continue for 11-15 minutes; do all the three carries non-stop on the left side, then switch and do the same non-stop three on the right side. Go for the total time.

> Bottom-up carry with kettlebell. Now here’s a lift and carry that works the shoulder stabilizers and gets your neurons firing. Take a light kettlebell (yes light) by the handle and face the bottom up. Now press it overhead and do your Waiters Carry; then add three presses, right and left sides. It will take focus and is terrific for “feeling the stability” exercise.


more to come…