Monday, April 27, 2015

Boston Marathon 2015 Gear Overview

Boston  Marathon is done and in the books. I'm extremely happy with my time of 2:57:53, a new personal best. I did not reach the goal of 2:55 but with the weather in mind I take that! Heavy rain for 20 miles (rain started at apx mile 6) puts your shoes and socks to a test for sure. Here is a list and "mini reviews" of what I used:

Shoes:
Salming Speed V.2  2015 edition of Speed is pretty much the same shoe as last years. Toe box has been redesigned and outsole rubber has been improved. During Boston Marathon my feet were secured and locked down. I did not experience any chafing. Feet were soak wet pretty much the whole race but still I was blister free. Speed offered me the protection I need when form might not be the best the last 6 miles. I got the "pop" feeling from the shoes all the way to Boylston Street. Normal I see a lot of wear on my shoes after a marathon, this was not the case this time. Salming has done a great job with the new rubber compound. Here is my original review of Salming Speed: http://www.therunningswede.com/2014/09/salming-running-speed1-review.html



Apparel:
Salming shorts and singlet. Shorts has more traditional cut and design. I was afraid they would be to long, but they were actually perfect. Lightweight and breathable.  http://www.salmingrunning.com/us/mens-apparel/shorts-tights/#
Singlet has a traditional design. Offers  breathable material and cool design. Did not have any problems with chafing. http://www.salmingrunning.com/us/mens-apparel/tees-singlets/

Socks:
For socks I used Feetures! Elite socks. Again a really important part when you run in horrible rainy conditions and your feet are soak wet. Feetures! Elite offer a tight compression feel and they keep your feet blister free. I prefer the Ultra Light version for races, they give me a fast feel and I prefer to have a road feel when I run. Feetures! Ultra Light gives me that feeling. http://feeturesrunning.com/index.php/elite

Compression:
I decided late to use compression sleeves. Most to keep my calves warm from the rain. Recofit offers a great compression and are very light weight, you barley know that they are there and they worked great with the rain. Did not get heavy.

Energy drink:
Skratchlabs works great for me and my sensitive stomach. Extra plus is that they are a "real food" company! Thanks to support from family I was able to get two bottles along the course. Mile 6 and 14. As Ive been using Skratchlabs for all my training its a great option to get your own drinks along the course. SkratchLabs offer great natural taste and energy! http://www.skratchlabs.com/

Gel:
Another "Real food company" Huma Gel. Great taste and works great with my stomach. This year I use a fuel plan tested out during Copenhagen Marathon. 2 gels before race, then start at 40min mark to take one gel every 20min. That is a lot of gel to take, but Ive been training with this strategy and Huma has been great. I used all different flavors but used Lemon with caffeine for my last two gels. Great natural tasting flavors. Huma gel is the only gel I can feel the difference with. And every time I use Huma Ive been breaking Sub3. I think I will continue using them. http://www.humagel.com/

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Boston Marathon Weekend Recap

As usual it feels unreal when Boston Marathon finally is there. Starting in December with your training and fighting long runs in bitter cold temps and winds. The cold weather was a never ending story this year and it also became the signature of the 2015 edition of Boston Marathon. In other words I was prepared!

This year me and my family was traveling up to Boston, Saturday morning. I was going to help out at the Salming Running booth at the expo. Car ride went smooth beside a small detour in Boston as our friend Waze GPS app did not have clue about Boston exits! (app is now deleted).
I had no desire really to walk the expo this year, went straight to meet the Salming Running staff. The Salming booth was located in a narrow aisle across from Boston Olympics booth and not far from Samuel Adams, this means a lot of traffic  of visitors. For the first time and finally I got the opportunity to meet the Salming crew Tor, Anders and Tom. All very passionate about running and knowledgeable, I felt like I was "home", also got the opportunity speak Swedish with Anders. Anders and I are from the same region in Sweden. I always enjoy the expo part, connecting with runners and friends like Seth Hasty (finally got to show him Salming shoes), I was happy to be with a Swedish brand this time. 

Sunday, is about rest and get prepared. We did some easy walking downtown and had lunch. We always do the traditional family dinner at the Cosgrove's in Framingham. Dinner was spot on for my taste. Pasta, sweet potatoes, some beets and grilled tofu. Again I had the same planning as two years ago, I was going to stay closer to the start and stay with Ted and Maria. Their hospitality is gold worth and I get an extra hour of sleep as the drive is only 10 minutes to the start.

Race morning. Alarm was set to 6:15am. First a quick shower, followed by a oatmeal and bagel breakfast. Close to 7am Ted and Maria drove me to Hopkinton. I have seen "Athletes Village" and the mess and long lines to the Porta Johns, so I decided to stay close to the start and have pretty much direct access to 200 porta johns. As I get nervous close to start I need that option. I was lucky to get a spot under a roof, as it started to rain light and the winds had started to pick up. I was chatting to a nice guy from Toronto/Ontario. Boston is always great in that way, making new friends and connections. Around 9:20am I started to walk up to the start, rain had stopped at this point. All preparations were done, I had my Salming Speeds and Singlet on and I had my beet shot. Race mood was on!


Forecast for the race had predicted light rain and east winds up to 20mph!

Race. The last 30 min before start always goes quick. You listen to the presentations of the Elite fields and the national anthem. I kept a poncho on until last second, to stay warm. 10 o'clock the start gun went of. It took approximately 2:40 for me to get to the start line and to get the my official start time.
 With Coach Caleb Masland we have worked on a 6:45 pace and also a plan for the race:
  1. For the long downhill section of the course (all the way to mile 16-ish), don't let yourself run faster than target goal pace. The "bank time" strategy is a TRAP in Boston. Instead, let the downhills make the effort less strenuous, and instead bank some energy for the last 10 miles.
  2. Through the Newton Hills, the focus should be on staying efficient and not emptying the tank. Expect to give back 10-ish seconds per mile through this section, which will only put you 1 minute "behind" when you get to the top of Heartbreak Hill.
  3. Once you hit 21, put the hammer down. If you've been smart to this point, you will have the legs to make up the minute you lost on the hills and then some. Focus on passing as many people as possible to stay motivated, and enjoy the crowds!
 First mile is always packed it's hard to find the rhythm. I always try to stay calm here and not spend my energy zig zagging thru the crowed. My first mile was right under 7min. After the first mile the field started to split up and I started find my rhythm. At this point the winds and weather did not bother me. Around mile 5, I meet a familiar face, Kenth from Sweden. Kenth started ahead of me and it was inspirational to catch up with him. At mile 6, I meet family for the first time and got a bottle with Skratchlabs. I also started to take my gels at the 40min mark, after the 40 min mark, I took a gel every 20 min.


I felt comfortable between mile 2-8. Around mile 8 the rain started again, this time hard. You got soak wet within seconds and your body got cold. I tried to move on but I  had to put in more effort then I wanted to at this point. I also started to feel that I needed to take a quick pit stop. Right before the Screaming tunnel I stopped quick, lost about 20 seconds, I was not worried about this at this point. Between 8-15 it was tough, but that is the nature of a marathon, you go thru different stages. I did put trust in my training and I was sure I could work myself out of it. Mile 13 I got my next bottle of Skratchlabs, I took a few sips with a couple of salt tabs and moved on toward the Newton Hills. When I started the first Newton climb, I realized that I started to pass a lot of runners, everything started to feel easy a proof that I had done my pacing right. I was able to keep almost my 6:45 pace during the Newton Hill segment of Boston Marathon. Before I knew it I was on top of the Heartbreak Hill with only 5 miles to go. I checked my watch and could tell that I had a good chance to go under 3 hours. I decided to give a good push at this point. Targeting mile by mile and to chase down runners. It worked really well and I kept my energy. At miles 23 I meet Kenth again, I lost him after my pit stop earlier in the race. Also my wife Erin and family would be at mile 24.

 I was very happy to see them and I knew at this point that I would go under 3 hours. Although I was worried about my history with late marathon stage cramps. I decided to back off a little the last 2 miles to play it safe. Not pushing another cramp. Coming in to Boylston Street is always amazing, although Boylston is longer then you think. The crowed is just great. I just sucked everything in!



With a perfect execution of my plan my time was 2:57:53. Its easy to think what my time would have been on a perfect day but I had trained in worst conditions then wind and rain and I was prepared!





#nononsense

Monday, April 13, 2015

One Week and Beet Juice

So here we are, one week away from Boston Marathon. Of course I can tell that the race is coming closer. I feel it more then ever. My easy runs those not feel comfortable and it feels like every muscle in my body is sore. This feeling is totally normal and I'm sure with another easy week I will be ready for the race. My longest run last week was 12 miles with 5 miles of marathon pace. I had to fight more then I had hoped for on this run, were only able to hit 6:53 pace on the inclines. My another workout this week was marathon pace as well, same kind of feeling, feel sluggish and have to put in more effort to keep pace then I had hoped for. I think the visit from my Swedish friends two weeks ago, with doing my runs in the early AM still is in my system. My body did not adopt the 5AM wake up call very well and I had to pay for it. This week I'm only working one day, I have a massage scheduled. So Im confident that I will be in Boston in  a very good shape. Still have not decided on colors but I think Im leaning more toward Yellow, what do you think?
On one of my easy runs I took our Jack Russel on a trail run, to test out Salming Trail for the first time. Great first run on the trails now when the spring finally hits us. Trails is also easier on your legs, so it was a great recovery run, just easy pace.
Salming Trail has great traction, low profile which gives you the feel of the trails without getting your feet beat up. Longer review to follow after Boston Marathon.


Let the Beet Juice Boost begin!


Monday, April 6, 2015

2 weeks and Salming USA

Last week was a really busy week for me. On Wednesday my best friend from Sweden came to visit us. Really great to catch up and show them out area, incl Woodstock. On top of that Easter was this weekend with a family dinner. So I cramped in my 2 work outs that Coach Caleb had on the schedule on Monday and Wednesday morning. With the peak training, Im cutting down the mileage and are doing some turn over work outs and marathon pace mileage. The rest of the week I tried to get my easy runs in, before everyone woke up. I was up at 5AM, and wow that was tiring for me. I struggled to hit paces under 8. I think it was a combination of the darkness and being tired. It felt like the effort was more like 7-ish but looking at my watch, it was more 8+. It was a bit confusing and at times frustrating.
For turnover this week, I did a 15X30 sec strides, with 30sec recovery.
Marathon Pace was a long run, 15 miles with 5 miles marathon pace.

Last week my race gear came in. Shoes and clothing. Looks good. it gives me 2 full weeks to break in my shoes and try out the gear!

For Boston I will use Salming Speed!


Not sure about the color of singlet, both colors I got looks really great!:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Three weeks and peak training starts!

Last week was a great week for me with two big workouts. I started this week with tired legs after last weekend Miles for Music 20K race. The long run this week was 21 miles was 4K-1K alternations for 25 K (marathon pace). Pace felt good, a bit faster then I plan to run in Boston. As always, I added some extra hills in the end. The speed part this week was 13 miles with 10 miles of marathon pace. Again did not have any problems with the pace and did the marathon pace part a bit faster, around 6:30.



So with 3 weeks left I'm starting to cut down on the mileage. It feels good and I'm very confident. Will be nice with some lower mile weeks and get some rest after a tough winter. Hopefully the heat will arrive soon as well!

Shoes:
Salming Distance
Salming Speed

#runswedish

Monday, March 23, 2015

4 weeks and Miles for Music 20K Tune Up

4 weeks left to Boston and the Tune up race is in the books. going in to this race I did not do any kind of taper really, did cut down the mileage a little bit and did not run hard or long the day before. On Tuesday I did a hard fartlek that kind of left me tired and exhausted for a few days. Actually I was not sure how well I would be able to run at the race!



Miles for music 20K NJ state championship is one of my favorite races. The course is flat and fast, you run a loop that runs along both directions parallel so you see the other runners the whole way and you meet the front runners, really cool and fun. This morning it was very cold, around freezing degrees. Normally that is not to bad for me, but the chilly winds made the "real feel" a lot worse. The winds were up to 30mph! With the loop we ran, it meant that you had to face really tough headwinds going out and nice tailwind going home. The start went kind of messy, had to zig zag a lot and lost a few seconds the first half mile. I ended up running by myself most of the race as I got in between groups. I was trying to catch up with a group but I realized this was going to take to much effort. I kind of got in to my own zone. Miles and times went fast and going out for the last lap, I faced the headwinds again. This time it got a bit tougher and my pace went over 6:30. I tried not to freak out and push. When we went home way and I got the tail wind for the last 2 miles I pushed a bit harder. Legs responded really well and I had gas left in the tank. I finished strong in 1:19:45 Should I have distribute my pace more even? It's hard to tell in the winds, sure I could have tried to run faster in the winds, but with the risk to blow up in the end, I played it safe.

My goal was to run under 1:20, which I did. I very happy with the effort I manged to put in. The weather was not the best and I ran strong in the winds. Definitely proof that I'm on the right track for Boston in 4 weeks!

Gear:
Salming Race  http://www.salmingrunning.com/us/shoes/race/
Great light weight shoe that has the snap you need on the race day! You feel fast and they helped me push the last 2 miles!
Feetures! http://feeturesrunning.com/index.php/elite-merino?id=220
With a lot of water on the course and really chilly winds, I picked the light merino Feetures! this sock is my favorite, keeps you warm but still very thin. Did not let me down on race day!
Skratchlabs:http://www.skratchlabs.com/collections/drinks/products/exercise-hydration-mix
Best drink, that works really well with my stomach, and best its my from Realfood! Great tasting, you just want to drink more of it!! Matcha Green Tea + lemon is the bomb!

4 weeks left and I'm in a good place!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Week 5-6 left

The weather is finally warmer, still a bit cold in the morning but you don't need 3 layers of clothes. In fact I have done my first run, wearing shorts, felt great!




 It such a big difference when you start to strip off your clothes. You feel refreshed and everything feels lighter, pace, climbs etc. I always get worried during the winter months when its hard to hit the paces I expect to hit. Some of the runs its so cold, you have ton of clothes and the winds hits you like a bitch slap straight in the face, you just have to go by effort. But its a mind game when you get home and you check your paces. Dang! 30 sec to slow.....Now, when the temps are better, the pace and speed is there! The winter always make me stronger and its feels easy when the spring actually arrives! The 6 week left to Boston was a beast, 8 mile marathon pace over hills, followed up by a 22 miler 2 days later.
The 8 Miler MP got a bit gnarly in the end as I did it in strong winds and over hills. For the 22 miler it was steady pace 7:23, with some warm up drills. Again trying out my fuel plan for Boston. 2 Gels before, 1 gel after 40 min, then gel every 20 min. Works great for me, no stomach issues.

I'm happy to announce that I'm again is a Feetures! sock ambassador! Great socks that can handle any weather (wool) and you can chose the cush you like! http://feeturesrunning.com/