Visit to Memorial Hermann Ironman Human Performance and Sports Medicine Institute

Visit to Memorial Hermann Ironman Human Performance and Sports Medicine Institute

Training Block 3/5: for Rocky Raccoon 100 miler

Visit to Memorial Hermann Ironman Human Performance and Sports Medicine Institute

I enjoyed this fourth training block the most.  This phase consisted of three consecutive weeks of building higher mileage followed by one week of recovery, as opposed to four weeks of training and one week off.  Now that my weekly mileage is around 80-90 and soon to be at 100 miles, my body needs more recovery time.  I’ve also allowed for two days a week as rest days.  The difference I’ve noticed is I’m feeling fresher for the longer runs while I’m increasing mileage each week, and I’m not having the pain I was beginning to experience towards the end of the last training block.

I started this training phase with a visit to The Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine facility and did a Body Composition Analysis, Lactate Threshold test, Gait Analysis, and visited with their Dietician.  I received tons of information from this visit which ultimately will allow me to improve my performance and have more confidence in myself as I now have actual real knowledge on my current abilities, and therefore can eliminate a lot of guessing.  I’ve been there once before when I was training for Ironman Texas 2012 and found it very valuable, especially meeting with a Dietician to evaluate my daily diet, and also review and develop my race day nutrition plan.  This meeting with the Dietician was important because I found out how much better I could be taking care of my body with a little more attention. Before the visit I was not eating consistently throughout the day and consuming a lot of junk food.   I have changed my eating habits and I have more energy throughout the day and during workouts. I’m also learning what types of foods do and don’t work leading up to a workout and also during workouts.

I’ve had a body composition analysis and lactate threshold test a couple times during my college cross country days, which is fun to see how much things have changed in 10-15 years.   In college (2004) I had 5.1% body fat, three years later I had 7.4%, and now I’m at 10.5% so I’m basically getting fatter each year.  I actually don’t need to worry about my percentage increasing as it’s still considered lean, and I will want fat to burn with all the mileage and lower intensity runs that I’m training at.  I’m not an expert at this, but I want to train my body to burn the fat reserves I have and not have to depend solely on carbohydrates that would have to be replenished during training and competition. I will also not be running 100 miles at an anaerobic effort where the body’s source of fuel is shifted to carbohydrates.  This gets too complex for the purpose of my blog so read more online or schedule a visit with Memorial Hermann’s Dietician, Brett Singer.

The lactate threshold test is performed on a treadmill where you begin at a very comfortable pace.  For me it was around an 8:20 pace and then the speed is increased 20 seconds per mile every three minutes.  At the end of each three minutes a finger is pricked so that a reading of your blood can be done and the amount of lactic acid the body has produced can be determined and recorded.  When increasing pace or workload there is a point at which lactate acid begins to accumulate and then spike which is called Lactate Threshold.  In my case, the lactate threshold was reached at a treadmill pace of 6:00 per mile.  Lactate acid can inhibit muscle contraction and energy production.  This gave me some real information on where my fitness level is currently and where I should be training to build on my aerobic fitness.  For me I’m an aerobic machine at 7:20-7:40 pace as I produce very little lactate acid at that effort.  This is very valuable information as I can focus where my training runs need to be.   I plan to do this test one more time in mid-November to find out how effective my training has been, and also dial in a little more into my fitness level as I get closer to race day.

The Gait Analysis is also done on the treadmill at the end of the lactate test while the body is more fatigue.  Video is taken from front, back, and both sides to look at and evaluate posture, foot strike, etc.  Fortunately, I have an overall good economy of movement and demonstrate a good posture.  However, when I land with my left foot, I am slightly more supinated than my right.  This along with a slight hip drop causes excess tightness laterally on my left leg which makes sense why I was feeling some pain at my inside left ankle and outer knee during the last training block.  I received some recommendations on what to work on to improve this and will hopefully be able to make some slight changes to see if anything gets better as my runs continue to get longer.



The next training block will be another three week phase of around 100 miles each week.  I’m looking forward to what I will learn about my body on these longer runs.

Favorite workout of the last phase:  I actually have two…

9-20-14 Running on trails after four days of non-stop rain.

10-04-14 Completed 27 mile long run.  This was my longest to date of my training.  Was a sore but a good sore and felt stronger as a result.  Cooler temperatures in the mornings are making runs much more enjoyable.

Follow my workouts at

9/08 – 10/12: 265 miles

Week One Goal:  75 miles.  completed 75
Week Two Goal:  83 miles.  completed  75 *cross trained with elliptical and stair master
Week Three Goal:  90 miles.  completed 91
Week Four Goal:  Rest Week.   completed 24

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