Friday, July 15, 2016

Soccer Intervals

Today I did a new workout of my own invention.  I warmed up for a bit and then accelerated for ten seconds, followed by ten seconds at a more relaxed pace.  I estimate I accelerated twenty times during the workout.  Total time, 19:40.  Total distance, 2.6 mi.  Fastest pace, 4:29.

I like to run fast and during my last round of training, I just wasn't getting in the speed workouts, turning running from a joy into a chore.  At the moment, I'm just running.  I'm not training for anything in particular and have nothing on the horizon.  I'm not concerned about peaking, injury or tomorrow's workout.  I run when I want, how I want.  This may not be the best way to nail down PRs, but it's fun.  I also believe intervals are absolutely necessary to achieve PRs at any distance, be that 100 meters or 10 miles.  

During the run, I began to think about what type of athlete would benefit from such a workout. Soccer players instantly popped into my mind.  Soccer players make repeated sprints lasting no more than ten seconds while running 5-8 miles during a game.  At the same time, the players tend not to sprint from a hard stop, as they are already moving.    

Therefore, the workout replicates and intensifies what happens on the field.  I'm guessing the average period of acceleration is more like 3-5 seconds (I say this from watching hundreds of games), not 10. As such, running at speed for 10 seconds is pushing the athlete beyond game conditions.  Moreover, I'm guessing the average rest after a sprinting foray is at least 30 seconds, not 10, again pushing the athlete beyond game conditions.  

The benefits of this workout include:
  • Physiological: the athlete will push their heart rate close to the maximum repeatedly, with a short period of recovery in between;
  • Mental: the athlete becomes accustomed to willing themselves to sprint repeatedly for short burts; and
  • Mechanics: the athlete (hopefully) begins to naturally learn the running mechanics necessary to transition from a jog to a sprint on the soccer field by doing it over and over again during training
After looking online, I've seen somewhat similar workouts specifically designed for soccer players, but with the athletes running for 30 seconds or more, with recovery periods of 60 seconds or more. Without having any science behind me, I have to scratch my head.  If the average sprint on the field is only 3-5 seconds, why have the player sprint for ten times that amount? It makes no sense.  Do 200 meter sprinters do repeated intervals of 2,000 meters? Certainly not. Point is, design the workout to replicate the action of the athlete on the field. 


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Aaron Nowlin Men's Champ

Aaron Nowlin is a beast.  So he deserves to hold the Ibex Cup, which is a beast of unknown origin, for 2015.  Let's see who can wrest it from his grasp in 2016. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015





Men's Division
Aaron Nowlin

Women's Division
Emma Liljenback

Iron Ibex*
Greg Fall

*Completed all three stages in one day, along with 30 miles - you crazy Greg!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Ibex Cup and thank you to all who have participated. The trophies and/or plaques are en route for the Men's and Women's Division.  (Greg, I'm skipping giving you a trophy this time.)

While we might not have had an enormous number of runners, great things start small.  Hopefully, in one form of another, the event will continue to grow.  At the same time, the purpose of the Ibex Cup was achieved -- people laced up their shoes and got after it.

The Ibex Cup shows that there is no need for organized races, as the true runners know the only race that matters is the one against themselves, e.g. can you push yourself when no one is looking?

Along the way, I learned a few lessons.  GPS watches can be a bit fickle.  I stood too close to the starting line for one of the climbs while I stretched and got an additional ten minutes added to my time.  As Erik found out, you have to run through and a good way past the finish line to ensure your "position" is picked up as past the finish line.  (Erik - you still finished ahead of me, so no whining.) The GPS might have you twenty feet behind the line, when in fact you're twenty feet past it.

Another issue is corrupted data.  Occasionally the data on my watch gets corrupted and cannot be uploaded.  That didn't happen, but it would be most unfortunate if one were to leave it all on the trail so to speak and not be able to upload the stage.

For me, it was difficult to actually motivate three weeks running (no pun intended).  Even though the last two stages were only a mile each, I had to drag myself to complete those two stages.  Perhaps it had something to do with running the 3.6 mile stage twice.  Ugh!

Finally, I took 4th place, which is all I've ever wanted in my f***ed up life . . . Semi Pro - 4th place

Monday, November 30, 2015

IBEX CUP: Preliminary & Unofficial Results




Runner                             Time                       Points

Aaron Nowlin                                                   3 (1+1+1)
Jay Randall                                                        6 (2+2+2)
Erik Dekold                                                      10 (3+4+3)
John Fraher                                                       12 (4+3+5)
Martin Liljenback                                              14  (5+5+5)


Runner                             Time                       Points

Emma Liljenback                                              4 (1+1+2)
Melissa Power                                                     5 (2+2+1)

TELESCOPE CLIMB - 11/28/15-12/4/15


Runner                             Time                       Points

Aaron Nowlin                   29:37                       1
Jay Randall                       31:00                       2
Erik Dekold                      32:12                       3
John Fraher                       32:53                       4
Martin Liljenback             34:25                       5
Jesus Garcia-Fernandez    36:25                       6 
Nick Nudell                      51:42                       7


Runner                             Time                       Points

Emma Liljenback              47:01                       1
Melissa Power                    51:42                      2

DENNING ROAD CLIMB - 12/5/15-12/11/15


Runner                             Time                       Points

Aaron Nowlin                   8:38                      1
Jay Randall                       9:12                      2
John Fraher                       9:48                      3
Erik Dekold                      9:54                      4
Martin Liljenback             10:12                    5
Jesus Garcia-Fernandez    10:32                    6


Runner                             Time                       Points

Emma Liljenback              13:21                       1
Melissa Power                    13:22                      2

POST TO PILLAR - 12/12/15-12/18/15


Runner                             Time                       Points

Aaron Nowlin                   5:59*                      1
Jay Randall                       6:13*                      2
Erik Dekold                      7:01*                      3
Martin Liljenback             7:39*                      4            
John Fraher                       9:48                        5


Runner                             Time                       Points

Melissa Power                    9:06                        1
Emma Liljenback              10:16                       2

*The above-listed time is not yet an official time, as the participant has not sent in their time and the window on this stage has not closed, rather the time was taken from Strava.  To the extent the participant does not improve their time before the window closes, the above-noted time will become the official time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Discussion on headlamps

  1. Martin Liljenback 
    I'm looking to get some rechargeable headlamp that isn't close to dying after 1h. 
  2. Erik theBykVikingErik theBykViking 
    PrincetonTec Vizz
  3. Erik theBykVikingErik theBykViking 
    Not rechargeable tho. You can order some Ayups from Australia
  4. Martin LiljenbackMartin Liljenback 
    I was looking at this one:
  5. Erik theBykVikingErik theBykViking 
    might be a tad heavy? This is highly recommended by a few famous ultra runner and adventure racer friends and it's on sale AND it matches the SEHRC colors!:
  6. Chris BryanChris Bryan 
    Petzl Tikka Rxp rechargeable is what I use. It's great,long battery life and the reactive lighting is a great feature.
  7. Martin LiljenbackMartin Liljenback 
    Yea the large one with the battery pack is probably not a good idea. I'll check out those lighter ones.
  8. Martin LiljenbackMartin Liljenback   Remove
  9. Erik theBykVikingErik theBykViking 
    Looks like an REI branded item? Probably decent.
  10. Greg OttingerGreg Ottinger 
    Petzl NAO if you run long. Battle tested. 
  11. Martin LiljenbackMartin Liljenback 
    Yea, the NAO 2 does seem like a winner, but that price though at $150+ :| ReVolt might be a bit dim, but with a >4h run length it's probably good enough (at least until you don't see that rattle snake :)
  12. Greg OttingerGreg Ottinger 
    I have the ReVolt and the Tikka Rxp as well. Go with the Tikka. The reactive lighting is really nice and saves battery life. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Ibex Cup

The inaugural running of the Ibex Cup will take place between November 28 to December 18.  The Ibex Cup will consist of one climb a week for three weeks, as follows (click on the empty rectangle to see the climb):

Telescope Climb
November 28-December 4  

Denning Road Climb
December 5-December 11  

Post to Pillar
December 12-December 18  

Selection of Climbs

The three climbs were chosen to represent distinct geographical areas of SEH, for simplicity of course, as well as to offer a variety of climbs.


Points will be awarded to runners equal to the position in which they cross the finish line (first place gets 1 point, second place gets 2 points, etc.) The maximum number of points for a segment will be capped at 10 points.  Thus, the lowest possible score is 3 points; the maximum possible score is 30 points.

The points for each climbing segment will be summed and the low score wins. In the event of a points tie, lowest combined running time will serve as the tie-break.


Runners will have one week to complete a specific climbing segment, as noted above.  Upon completion of  a climb, runners are to send a Strava link of their climbing segment to  Runs that are not submitted via Strava will not be processed.  

To send the segment, click on the run, then click "Segments" on left side of page, segments for the run will then come up, then click on the appropriate segment, it will look something like: "", then copy and paste into the email.

Runners may run any climb during the respective window as many times as they wish.  However, the first time emailed will be the recorded time. Runners have 48 hours to submit their Strava segment following the window closing.

Alternatively, the segment will be date searched via Strava and the best time of a participant will be scored - meaning just run the segment, we'll take care of the rest.


Results will be updated on the blog as segments are received and as my schedule allows.


There will be a men's and women's division.  The top finisher of each division will receive a trophy cup.  There are no age groupings. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Three Beers In

It's 9:24 p.m.  Friday night.  I'm three beers in and on to orange juice and Gatorade.  Ran into a client that I put out of harm's way this evening.  He bought me a beer for my troubles.  No trouble at all, that's my job.

Told me he's a runner.  I told him I used to run.  He asked a bit more, I gave him a bit more.  He was impressed.  Funny, I don't find myself impressive.  He wanted to run with me.  I set up a run.  Work intervened, he can't make it.  I'm running anyway.  Legs are faded.  Focus now on cycling.  Two sports are completely unrelated.  Whatever.  I'm booked for a Sunday morning of pain.

Cycling is a bringing me joy.  Reminding me of what I used to be and I used to be a crazy mofo, playing in traffic, running lights, attacking cars.  Been back on the bike for about two months.  Legs starting to come back, but nowhere like they used to be, but starting to feel the flow.

Excited.  Go to bed, wanting to get up and ride.  Boston killed me.  No desire to run.  Associate with pain.  Feel like a dog that was whipped.  Cycling makes me feel alive.  Feels like running three years ago, before running became a job.

Riding tomorrow.  Excited.  Hope it lasts.