Long Slow Distance by Heart Rate

I’ve come to the conclusion that I run my LSD’s (Long Slow Distances) too dang fast. I start with every intention of doing a 10-11 minute mile, but somewhere around mile 2 my pride and fresh legs begin to creep up the intensity and speed.

Before the end of the run I’m averaging 8:45 miles and my heart rate is in the 160’s. Way too much intensity for what the run is supposed to be. The entire point of the LSD’s is to get  your body accustomed to burning fat for fuel (aerobic zones) and overall time on your feet, it’s not supposed to be intense or hard. Slow and easy is the key.

My last few runs i’ve changed up a few things. First, I turn off all audible announcements from ismooth run. I don’t get any pace or overall timing information. Second, I have a heart rate screen on my garmin that gives me 1 piece of information, you guessed it heart rate.

Now on these runs my goal is to not go above 140 BPM. I try to stay in the 130 range. I don’t even look at pace. As my aerobic capacity improves I should start to see an increased pace and the same intensity.

Afternoon Snack

bread3If you had told me three years ago that an afternoon snack would consist of

  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • handful of spinach or lettuce
  • whole wheat pita bread
  • dijon mustard

I would have said you were crazy. There isn’t one thing on that list I would have picked to eat voluntarily. Knowledge, time and motivators has significantly change my perception and awareness on what I eat.

Ladder workout

Last night I went to the weekly Tuesday Performance Group workout that is hosted by our local FootZone.

It’s a great opportunity to try some different kinds of workouts, and Max King is the coach. He has such a broad depth of knowledge and his willingness to share makes it a great resource for a runner like myself. The skill range varies greatly, but everyone is supportive of each other regardless of speeds. We are all there with the same goal, to get a little faster.

This weeks workout was a ladder workout.

  • 650m 1 minute rest
  • 1100m 2 minute rest
  • 1.4 Miles 3 minute rest
  • 1100m 2 minute rest
  • 650m finish

Here is my garmin connect for the run (for some reason, runkeeper did not import Heart Rate information fully)


Was a great workout and something I probably wouldn’t have done on my own. Good thing today is rest day, i’m a bit sore.

Book Review – Scott Jurek: Eat and Run

eatandrunA few weeks ago I finished up reading Scott Jurek: Eat and Run. For those that don’t know Scott is one of the most accomplished ultrarunners in the world. He has won the Western States several times and has a slew of other wins and course records to his name. He is also a pretty outspoken vegan and lays a lot of his success to his diet.

His book starts with this childhood and the relationship he had with his parents. His mother suffered with MS for most of his life and his relationship with his father was detached. Running for him became a way to overcome some of the challenges in his life.

The book is a blow by blow of some of his highs and lows throughout his childhood and running career. Intermixed with the stories is some commentary about the vegan lifestyle and the process he went through to find a diet that worked for him.

Overall I thought this was a good read. Some of the vegan recipes in the book looked interesting as a non-vegetarian, but more importantly is got me thinking about my own diet and how it can impact my running performance and my overall quality of life. I have no intentions of switching to a vegan diet, but I will probably be making some different decisions because of this.

I did feel that the book could have used another round of edits, at times, he would be in the middle of telling a story then go off on a 6 page rant about the western diet, only to come back to the story right where he left off. A bit hard to follow.

Towards they end, it did get a bit monotonus, felt like the same story was being told over and over.

I’d give it a solid B. The recipes and training tips at the end of each chapter were great to have and can spark some questions about your own diet perhaps.

iSmoothRun iPhone App Review

RunningBrief.com - Running Digest

There are quite a few options for apps that track your runs. I’ve tried a few out but usually found something lacking with them, until I came across iSmoothRun at the beginning of last year.

Most of the apps out there do the basics just fine, track your location, mileage, pace and will upload to a fitness site. What attracted me to iSmooth Run were a few killer features, which I will highlight below.

1. Ability to Export to Multiple Sites

iSmooth Run Export

iSmooth Run Export

I hate being locked into one fitness site. Runkeeper does a fabulous job for me right now, but who knows what the future may bring. I also like to have my data pushed to Garmin Connect and on dailymile. iSmooth Run will allow me to export to all those sites and more with no additional work on my end. Just tell it what sites you belong to, enter your login credentials and bam, it’s done.  They also have the ability to export a raw gpx file to your email or dropbox folder so you can bulk import to whatever you may want in the future.

iSmooth Run will export to the following sites

  • Runkeeper
  • Garmin Connect
  • Daily Mile
  • Running Free Online
  • TrainingPeaks
  • TribeSports
  • Strava
  • Nike+
  • 2PEAK
  • Drop Box
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


2. Built in Metronome

ismoothrun Metronome Settings

Metronome Settings

iSmoothRun has the ability to overlay a metronome sound over your music. You set the cadence (I’ll either do 180 or 90), turn it on and start your run. Having that playing through my earphones allows me to check my cadence to try and help my overall form. It’s easy to turn on and off mid run so you don’t have to do your entire run listening to it (i’ve been known to just leave it on).




3. Custom Interval Workouts

ismoothrun Custom Workouts

Custom Workouts

You can literally program any kind of workout you want. The interface can be a little confusing, but once you get the hang of it, you really see how powerful it is. I like to have interval tempo runs setup. You can choose to keep the audio cues on so it will give you feedback on wether you need to speed up or slow down, depending on where you are in the workout.




4. Shoe Tracking

iSmoothRun Shoe Tracking

iSmooth Run Shoe Tracking

I cycle through 3-4 different pairs of shoes depending on weather, trail/road or how I feel. iSmooth Run will track the mileage i’ve put on my shoes. Great to know when it’s time to cycle one out of the rotation and get a new pair.

5. Responsive Developers

They continue to develop, and improve this app and are very responsive to requests from users.

iSmoothRun Limitations

Here are a few areas where I feel the app can come up lacking at times.

  1. Treadmill tracking – Using the built in accelerometer, iSmoothRun attempts to track your runs on the treadmill, most the time it is way off. It will connect to a shoe sensor via an ANT+ dongle, so there is that option.
  2. Manual Entry – There is no way to manually enter an activity. that would be nice to input a treadmill run.

It’s $4.99 currently, and think it’s one of the best running apps i’ve ever used. There are several other small nice things it offers (switches to accelerometer automatically if it looses GPS signal). Check other reviews and give it a shot!