Training Log: May 11th 2016

So today is Bounce Back day.  After allowing my knee to recover by resting for most of the day on Monday and all day Tuesday, I decided that my knee felt a bit better – so I intend to pump up the volume today.


Morning Training Schedule:

4am – 1 hour tempo run.  I’m looking to shake out my legs at the start and then fall into a rhythm and crank out mileage for 60 minutes.  The pace will be slightly uncomfortable, and slightly quicker than my normal pace per mile.  My tempo runs are usually completed on Mondays – but last Monday was FUBAR (Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition), so I need to make up for the lost effort.


5am – I’ll transition from running to strength training.  This is important because it will burn out my arms and back before spin class.  Since the Ironman could take me more than 15 hours to complete, I am trying to break out each training session into several parts, with each part burning out a core muscle group.  Then the last section of my routine would require me to continue to perform at a decent level while my legs and arms are already sore or fatigued.  I need to get used to this feeling.

6:30am – I’ll transition to spin class and try to get at least 45 minutes in at a pace over 20mph on average.  By the time I finish this portion of the workout, I should be spent.


Since Wednesday is speed work day, I’m going to throw in an evening run after work.  I’m going to do something that one of my spin class instructors told me about, called Hurricanes.  Hear’s what the workout boils down to:

  • You find a hill.  You find a crappy, annoying, stupid hill.
  • You run up the hill.  Why?  Because hills suck, and I am learning to embrace the suck.
  • Once you hit the top of the hill, shoot over to the closest patch of grass and do one set of a core exercise.  I’m going to simply hold a plank for as long as I can.
  • Then you waddle on down the crappy, annoying, stupid hill and you do it again.
  • And again.
  • And again.
  • Until either a) you want to kick yourself in your own shin for simply getting yourself off the couch to do this to yourself, or b) you heave all over your Asics.
  • NOTE: According to this absolute BEAST of an instructor (and you know I reserve that word for dudes / dudettes that kick royal ass 24/7/365), if you want to make the workout even more challenging, throw in a second exercise at the top of the hill.  Maybe I’ll try that tonight.  Shoot up the hill.  Hold a plank until failure.  Then pushups until failure.  Then waddle down the stupid hill and do it again.  Like Judas Priest said: here I am….rock me like a hurricane.



The run was awesome.  Why?  Because I shot down Broadway from 72nd Street to the bottom of Madison Square Park (23rd Street), before heading up 5th Avenue, then to Central Park South, into Central Park and over to the gym.  The pace was solid, consistent, and uncomfortable due to pacing.  The knee hardly barked at me at all.  Once in a while, it would send a message to my brain: “look, I’m still here – but I’m diggin’ this run so I’m keeping my mouth shut for now”.  The highlight of the run was a conversation with a tourist that was looking for the closest greek diner at 4:30am.  My response: sorry, dude, but you’ll need to take he train to Astoria.”  A close second was being offered a Bud Light from a couple of guys that were in the process of trying to figure out how in the blue hell they were getting back to their dingy hotel with no money (they apparently spend their cash on booze).  Note to those bombed yet jovial amigos – you were drinking in the bar NEXT DOOR to your dingy hotel.  You’re welcome.

I hit the gym and went straight to the locker room to change shirts and shorts.   I run every morning with a backpack, so I have spare clothes to change in to so that I am not a disgusting sweaty gob of humanity by the time I am sharing space with other human beings in an enclosed area.  Then it was straight up to the weight room to knock out a strong lifting session.  By the time I finished there, I felt something that bodybuilders call The Pump.  It’s kind of awesome.  If you do heaver weights and really push the last few reps of each set, the blood gets pumping in the area that you are exercising.  It’s kind of cool.  hasn’t happened to me a long while – and I want to do that again manana.

I then headed up to the cycling room to spin.  Cranked out 22.whatever miles in an hour of work.  I left feeling absolutely jacked for the remainder of the day.

This evening, I cranked out 8 hurricanes.  Up the hill.  Hold a plank until failure.  Pushups until failure.  Waddle on down and do it again.  By the time I was done, my chest and abs were screaming at me.  They used words that would have made a sailor cringe.  They used compound curses.  My left oblique even swore at me in Italian and, while it sounded awesome at the time, I have to admit that my feelings were left slightly bruised.


Until tomorrow, my friends: if your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough.  Now go scare the crap out of yourself.


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Training Log: May 9th & 10th 2016

I had some big plans this morning.  Swim.  Bike.  Run.  Not in that exact order, since I usually try to get my run in before the gym opens at 5.  Then I rush to the pool and try to score a lane before the masses come to squash my mojo.  Then I hit the 6:15am spin class and try to burn the legs out before heading home for a massive amount of coffee.


Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.


I felt a sharp pain in my right knee – it felt like someone stabbed the area behind my patella with a dull knife.  So, about three miles in to my run, I shut it down and made my way home.


The only way I can accomplish my goals this year is if I stay healthy.  If I exaggerate an injury, I risk Ironman as well as any chance I may have to set a personal best in the marathon this fall.  Those are my goals, and I am focused on them.


I feel like I made a solid call in blowing the whistle this morning.  I am going to give myself tomorrow off as well, and see where I stand on Wednesday morning.


I know there are a ton of people out there that like to push through pain during workout.  Lord knows I am one of them.  But I remember what one of my high school coaches said to me after I got absolutely crushed behind the line of scrimmage because I took too damn long to get rid of the ball during practice: he looked down at me, splayed out on the deck with those cartoon yellow birds circling my helmet, and said “well – are you hurt or are you injured?” I looked up and saw three portly, bearded dudes staring back at me – so I took a long moment before pointing at the one in the middle and said “hurt.”  His response: “then get the hell up and get back in the huddle. You’re the QB – start acting like one.” There is a big difference between being hut and being injured, and as an athlete you need to know what that difference is – because each of us are different.


After a long, hard workout lifting weights, my arms and back are really sore.  If someone pokes me in the tricep, it physically hurts.  But it’s a hurt that I like.  It confirms that I pushed myself and didn’t simply go through the motions.


After a hard speed work session of hill repeats, sprints, and / or fartleks (yes, that’s a real thing – check it out on Google), my legs are usually sore – sometimes even to the touch.  My lower back aches and there is absolutely zero chance of me touching my toes to stretch out afterward (I just wave to them and wish them well).  It hurts.  But it’s a hurt that I like.  It confirms that I went as fast as I could.


After my weekly long run or a particularly tough spin class where I completely burnt my legs out, I am sore for the remainder of the day.  But – say it with me – it’s a hurt that I like.


Most people dislike the discomfort that comes with hard effort.  But there’s a basic concept that’s talked about A LOT during triathlon training, and that is the ides of simply “embracing the suck”.  Your arms hurt because you lifted weights this morning?  The discomfort sucks – so embrace it.  You ran your butt off this morning doing hill repeats until you puked?  The discomfort sucks – so embrace it.  You just completed your weekly long run and now you feel like you just went 15 rounds with Marvelous Marvin Hagler?  This discomfort sucks – so embrace it.


After you fall into your weekly workout routine, the discomfort should subside (either that, or you’ll simply get used to it hanging around like that pungent odor of smoked weed in the hallway of your fifth floor walkout on the lower east side).  You’ll understand how it feels to hurt after a workout.  And, as a result, you’ll be better equipped to identify what a potential injury feels like when / if it starts showing it’s ugly no-good rotten face.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m no doctor, and if you feel like some soreness that you are experiencing is not normal, you should definitely have it checked out by a qualified professional.  Since I know how I normally feel after a workout, I could easily tell that this pain was NOT my usual soreness.  So a erred on the  side  of caution and shut things down for the day.  I allowed by body to heal a bit, and crossed by fingers that what I felt would subside.