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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Speed Work for Runners


Anyone who races seriously wants to get faster.  If you are going to run you might as well maximize your efforts.  There are a few simple things you need to do; speedwork, tempo runs and long runs. These are a good start for beginners. If you get to the advanced level there are all sorts of twists on the tempo and speed work.

Long Runs-
 if you want endurance you need to run long. This run is done once a week usually on the weekend. If you are racing shorter distances like a 5k, your long run should be twice the distance or a little over 6 miles.  For marathon training you will gradually build until you do several 20 mile runs.  Some marathon programs go as long as 28 miles for marathon training.   This is done at a slow easy pace, typically 1:00-2:00 minutes slower than your current race pace.  You are getting your body and mind used to running the distance. You don’t want to rush through it. Long runs can be done on the treadmill if the weather isn’t conducive to an outdoor run.

Tempo
Tempo runs teach you how to sustain a faster pace over a long period of time. It is a hard but sustainable pace.   You have to work, but you can hold the pace for a sustained period.  You should be pushing things a bit.  If racing 5 K’s you tempo runs should be about 4 miles.  For 10 K about 6 miles.  For the marathon you will do varying lengths up to 13 miles.

Fartleks:  This is the Swedish term for speed play.  These are unstructured speed work. I use them on days when I am tired or need a mental break.  You spend  time running hard to randomly chosen points. Trees or telephone poles are good markers.  It should be fun. These can also be mixed into your longer runs.

Speed Work
These are often done on a track. Here are some examples of track workouts

  • Mile Repeats
    4 x 1 mile ( 4 laps on the average track) recommended if doing  10K training or early in marathon training.  These should be run at 5 K to 10 K pace.  Start with a 1 mile warm up and end with a one mile cool down. Run easy 2:00 minutes between each mile. These are tough so I only do once a month.  I bump up to 6 x 1 mile when training for a marathon.
  • HillsHills like mile repeats are a tough workout and should not be done in the same week as mile repeats. These also should only be done once a month unless you are used to doing lots of hills. You run 4-5 hills of 150 to 200 yards. You can go up and down the same hill or find a hilly stretch. A bit tough version is 4-5 repeats of 400-600 yards. Run at a 5 K pace.  As you become more experienced you can run longer hills or do more repeats.   Be sure to cool down after with a mile run.
  • 440’s- This is one lap on a track. Run 6- 8 at your 5K pace. Rest 1-2 minutes between each lap with easy jogging. Try to keep the timing even.
  • 880’s- Same as the 440’s  only do 4-6.
  • Laddar-  Run 440, rest, run 880 rest, run 3 laps rest, run 1 mile, rest, then go backwards down the ladder.

Road Intervals
I have been injured twice running on the track and intervals on the road are a good alternative.  Run 10 minutes to warm up then do intervals based on your 440 or 880 time.
So I run 6 intervals of 2:00 running 1:00 easy jog or I run 6 intervals of 4:00 minutes of running with 2:00 minutes of rest. If I am feeling tired I do sprints of 1:00 on with 1:00 minute rest. You can even do a ladder and it would look like this

30 sec run  2 min rest
1 min run   2 min rest
2 min run   2 min rest
3 min run   2 min rest
4 min run   2 min rest
5 min run   2 min rest

Then go backwards down the ladder. You can add or subtract from the run portion to shorten or lengthen the workout. These should be done at your 5K race pace.

Never do more than two speed sessions in a week or your risk injury.  If you are racing cut one of the speed workouts.  Listen to your body and cut back if you feel tired or sore. Pushing when tired does not help improve your speed at puts you at risk for injury.



Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hey Jude-Welcome to Team CMT

"Anybody running beats anybody walking and anybody walking beats anybody sitting."  Tom Bunk

And we beat anyone sitting at home on the sofa with a remote in their hand. That's what I always say. That and whose idea was it to get up this early and run this race anyways.

Welcome Philadelphia resident Jude Burton to Team CMT. Sorry about that title Jude, I have that Beatles tune in my heard since loading it on my iPod today.

Jude was born in Wales and moved to the States to work in 2001. She got her diagnosis of CMT at age 3 following a nerve biopsy.  She feels fortunate to know so young about her CMT.  She never had the shock of finding out as an adult.  She always knew she had it, how it affected her and that it is progressive. Sincethere is no family history on any side of her family,s he had the genetic test last year to confirm she has CMT 1B.

She was given a clear message from her doctors from the time she was young, that she should not do any significant exercise.  Swimming was the only thing recommended, but since she was a terrible swimmer she did nothing.

When she moved to the States in her 30's she started to exercise on a regular basis for the first time ever.  She saw an immediate and significant improvement in her strength and balance.

Jude started running seven years ago while home in the U.K. on a business trip.  She tried running so she could stay fit during the trip. She was hooked and has been running ever since. It just feels so good.

Up until 2009 she just ran at local parks. She didn't dare to enter any races because she felt she was so slow. She had always found competitive sports humiliating because of her CMT.  In October of 2009  she decided to run a 4 mile charity run in a park where she runs her workouts. Her husband joined her.  She didn't come in last and she didn't feel humiliated.  I hope she felt like the winner she is.  She was frustrated she had not trained more and was sure she could do better.

In 2010 she ran another 4 mile race, four 5 K races and her first 10K the Livestrong Philadelphia and she didn't come in last in any of them.

This year she decided to train for an event she has wanted to do ever since she started running.  She joined a local running club the Fast Tracks and trained for the Philadelphia Broad Street run.  It is a fast and flat 10 mile run through the city.  Her training went great and she completed the run on May 1st this year getting her 1st completion medal. Congratulations Jude! You're a real athlete now!

As someone with CMT she knows she is lucky to be able to run.  She joined Team CMT because she wanted to give back to the CMTA through fundraising.  She has a goal to run her first half marathon this year in Philadelphia on November 20th.

She's had a slight set back recently due to injury.  Anyone with CMT is used to the ankles that roll and give out.  Jude broke bones in her foot from the frequent ankle rolls. She doesn't even remember when she did it. She will be in a cast for a few weeks and then will be back to training.

Welcome to Team CMT Jude! You look great in our Team CMT signlet. Jude joins athletes Chris Wodke, Joyce Kelly, Jess Knowles and  Ericka Wiltenmuth who have CMT.  Our stories are all very similar.  We are joined by a total of 21 athletes in 8 states and we are still growing. We all share the vision of raising awareness and a world without CMT.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Marathon Training Program

Many of Team CMT members are doing Marathons this fall.  Team members Cheryl Monnat, Robert Kearney and Scott Stoner will be running the Lakefront Marathon. Dawn Fritzell is thinking about running the Fox Cities Marathon. Our Team CMT member in Dallas Joyce Kelly will be running the White Rock Marathon. Good luck to all of them as you start your training. I am so proud to have you all running for Team CMT!

If you are running a fall marathon you have either started or are about to start your training program. It takes at minimum 18 weeks to be ready at the start line.
 I will be running the Marine Corp Marathon on October 31st in Washington D.C.  It is estimated there will be 100,000 fans lining the race route. It should be a great event to raise awareness of Charcot Marie Tooth Disorder. Teammate Cheryl Monnat will be running the 10K. 

Not sure if running a second marathon this year is a good idea. I have never done more than one in any year. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Sometimes my head writes checks my body just can't cash. Will see how it goes and how well I hold up.  Also can't believe that next week I will start the whole process over again after just a month off. 

I got this program from a Runners World article in 1994. It has helped me to successfully complete 5 marathons.



Week
Monday
Tuesday
Wed
Thur
Friday
Sat
Sunday
1
easy
3
tempo
5
easy
3
speed
work
easy
3
pace
5
long
10
2
easy
3
tempo
5
easy
3
speed
work
easy
3
pace
5
long
11
3
easy
3
tempo
4
easy
3
speed
work
easy
3
easy
6
long
8
4
easy
3
tempo
6
easy
3
speed
work
easy
3
pace
6
long
13
5
easy
3
tempo
7
easy
3
speed
work
easy
3
pace
7
long
14
6
easy
3
tempo
5
easy
3
speed
work
easy
3
rest
0
Race
10-15K
7
easy
3
tempo
8
easy
3
speed
work
easy
3
pace
8
long
16
8
easy
4
tempo
8
easy
4
speed
work
easy
4
pace
8
long
17
9
easy
4
tempo
6
easy
4
speed
work
easy
4
easy
9
long
12
10
easy
4
tempo
9
easy
4
speed
work
easy
4
pace
9
long
19
11
easy
4
tempo
10
easy
4
speed
work
easy
4
pace
10
long
20
12
easy
5
tempo
6
easy
5
speed
work
easy
5
rest
0
race
20-25K
13
easy
5
tempo
10
easy
5
speed
work
easy
5
pace
10
long
20
14
easy
5
tempo
6
easy
5
speed
work
easy
5
easy
6
long
12
15
easy
5
tempo
10
easy
5
speed
work
rest
0
pace
10
long
20
16
easy
5
tempo
8
easy
5
speed
work
easy
4
rest
0
race
10K
17
easy
4
tempo
6
easy
4
easy
speed
easy
3
easy
5
long
8
18
easy
3
tempo
4
easy
3
rest
0
rest
0
easy
1-3
Marathon


Because of my CMT I can’t run every day.  I run every other day. I substitute runs on the easy days with cross training.  I use alternate exercises that mimic running like an elliptical trainer, pool running, Nordic track and biking. This approach may work for a lot of other runners as well.

 The cross training gives your legs some rest and provides a mental break as well.  I also need less rest days with this training program since the cross training is considered active rest.  I listen to my body, it tells me when I need a rest day. 
I may try something new this year.

 Since I have done 5 marathons, my body is used to long and intense exercise.  I may add some of my easy day mileage to a second workout on my running day.



Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Letter to Boston Athletic Association

" A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without hope of any fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well."  G.K. Chesterton

This quote can certainly apply to my running.  I am no longer very competitive due to the CMT, but I keep running and competing anyway.  For all it challenges, running and competing brings me great joy.  I feel good for hours after a good run or bike ride. I live to measure myself in a race. I love the day to day challenge of completing a marathon training program. This is nothing like achieving a long held goal.
For years I had a goal of running in the Boston Marathon. It is a dream of any serious runner. It is the superbowl of running. It is a yardstick for any runner.  A Boston Marathon jacket is a coveted item.

Because of my CMT I have no hope of ever meeting the time standard to compete in Boston Marathon. I found out however there is "mobility impaired" division for those who have conditions that affects their ability to meet the time standard. 

This week I sent the Boston Athletic Association a letter to apply for entry into the 2010 race. Thanks to Team CMT member Joyce Kelly for helping me put the letter together.  Here is a copy of the letter;

RE:  Boston Marathon 2012, Mobility Impaired Division

Dear Registrar:

My name is Chris Wodke and I am applying for admission to the 2012 Boston Marathon in the Mobility Impaired Division.  I am a 53 year old female runner with Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT).

CMT is the most commonly inherited neurological disorder affecting 150,000 Americans, but most people including most medical professionals have never heard of it. I am raising awareness of this insidious disease by recently organizing Team CMT, a group of 21 athletes in 8 states.
Running the Boston Marathon is a major component of my mission to raise awareness of CMT.  In addition to competing in as many running and triathlon events as we possibly can, I established a web site and blog where I raise funds and awareness of CMT. You can learn more about this irreversible condition at the site; www.run4cmt.com

CMT causes progressive deterioration of the feet and lower leg muscles, resulting in foot drop, tripping, falls and fractures.  Additionally, it causes muscle tightness in the calves and constant burning and tingling in the feet as the nerves die and the muscles atrophy.  It also causes these identical symptoms in the arms and hands.

 For me, CMT means blisters and burning when I run and declining run times as my leg and foot muscles weaken and atrophy.  I do not have enough flexibility in my legs to walk properly, much less run.  Additionally, CMT causes profound fatigue.  The rigors of marathon training are a day to day challenge. My doctors are amazed I am running any distance, much less distances of 26.2 miles. It is unheard of in a patient with CMT.  Despite the CMT, I have completed five marathons including the Madison Marathon this past May, with a finishing time of 4:51. Moreover, the Madison Marathon is a very hilly course.  Due to CMT, regardless of how much I train, I cannot achieve the normal qualifying time standard.



With this letter, I am supplying the following documentation for my mobility impairment:

  • Letter from local MDA office.  CMT is one of 40 neuromuscular diseases covered by MDA.
  • Diagnosis by Dr. Linn of the MDA Clinic at Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee
  • Physician’s notes from Dr. Lobeck with initial diagnosis of Type 1a CMT.
  • Letter from the CMTA documenting CMT limitations regarding mobility

Please let me know if there is anything else I need to supply or what additional steps are necessary to apply for the 2012 Boston Marathon. Acceptance to this race will be an important step in making the public and health professionals aware of this disorder. 

Recently, I was told by two physical therapists people with CMT cannot run.  I have 4 athletes on Team CMT suffering with this condition. We want to show the world our love of running and competition and we will not be stopped by CMT.  Through participating in various running competitions, together we will strive to achieve our dream of a “World without CMT.”  Raising awareness is the first step on that journey.

I know there are many worthy athletes hoping for a bib in the Boston Marathon.
I respectfully request you give my application serious consideration.   I am not running for myself, but for the 150,000 Americans with CMT, for my family members with CMT and for the other members of Team CMT with this disease.

Thank you very much for your time today.  I sincerely look forward to hearing from you soon.

Very truly yours,


I am not anxious about the decision or the outcome. It is in God's hands now. If I don't get in, he has something else in mind for me.  Hopefully I hear something soon.




Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.