Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pedometers Wars: Race the Pace! 2459.3 to 2470 Miles: 11/27/14

Track teams may run a race every week. Winning shouldn't matter!

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Virtual Hike
Completed Segment 37
Animated Street View
Today's Weather

This leg along Route 12 in eastern Montana is flat and fast. There are no services. There is a creek close to the road, but it looks like there is always a fence blocking the way to it. It may be polluted since it is near railroad tracks.
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The reality hiker would be in southern Alabama just north of the Florida border. The temperatures are in the mid to high 40's. Skies are clear. The timing for the reality hike is still working perfectly. 

Lessons from Pedometer Wars


Starting on Nov 7th, I wrote five articles on Pedometer Wars:

  1. Pedometer Wars
  2. Pedometer War Strategy: Constant Daily Steps
  3. Pedometer War Strategy: Focus on Very Active Steps
  4. Pedometer War: Need a Day Off
  5. Pedometer War: Find a Dream War for a Personal Best
At the beginning of the month, I committed to winning the Colorado Springs FitBit competition. I am far in the lead in this competition, Although there are three days left, it's out of reach for second and third place. Besides, I'm not done walking.

So far, I walked 709,343 steps (about 331 miles)  averaging 26,625 steps a day (12.7 miles) a day. This is an increase of about 50% from last month.

University Cats

What happened?

During the first two weeks I was in a "Trailing Seven Days" competition with Justin. I was beating him for a few days until I friended him. Once we were competing, he started beating me no matter how much I pushed. The result was he took me out of my comfort zone and I realized I could increase my goals. Now we are exchanging places again, although he is mostly leading.

During the last two weeks, I followed my cyclical training plan and tried not to worry about the competition. Eventually, second and third place in the Colorado Springs FitBit competition started falling behind. 

The back exit


Being pushed out of comfort zone was good and bad for me. I was pushing the fatigue barrier more than I liked in the first two weeks. That's when I decided to revert to my training plan.

The most valuable lesson was focusing on the very active minutes or meaningful miles. You can read about it here: Monitor Meaningful Minutes, Not Miles.

The cyclical training program has reached its limit of usefulness.

On the long day I got my 40,000 step day (19 miles) for the first time. I went for it because I saw it was in reach.

The two 15 mile days with a rest day in between were difficult from because I had difficulty finding the time. Going forward, I'll need to have my long days on Saturday and Sunday.

The other problem with this plan is there were too many long days clustered together. I decided  to realign the training to match my schedule while increasing the miles in the cycle.

Cat Eyes. There were about 5 cats
in the culvert

Race the Pace

In one of his books Joe Henderson, former editor of Runner's World magazine, columnist, coach and all around coaching genius mentioned treating weekly races like a speedwork day. His focus now is everyday people and not elite runners. 

I decided if I were going to walk a half-marathon in an organized race, I'd want to have walked one many times before. In my case, it will be three times a week. I wouldn't treat the half-marathon as a race. It would be a normal part of training.

The pedestrian wars are 30 days long. If someone is going to beat me, they are going to beat my normal training cycle. If I'm to win, I'll do it with my normal training cycle. Except for the last two or three days of the month, it's easy to make a tactical error seeking a short term lead in exchange to fatigue that leads to a loss. If I do push on the last two or three days of the month, it ruins the next month. Therefore, I'm going to "Race the Pace" meaning I'll follow my planned training schedule.

Sawtooth Training Cycle

Training is a cycle of stress, rest and recovery. Recovery is only needed if the stress is too high. Therefore, I plan to keep the miles low enough not to cause any fatigue or injuries. The long days should seem easy after the six days of lower miles. If not, I'll change the plan.

This cycle schedules the long days on the weekend, so it will start on Nov 29th. 

This cycle will help the trailing seven day competition as after the first seven days, I'll always have about the same number of steps for the past seven days. 

Goals for December

  1. Participate in the "Colorado! 300+ Days of Sunshine!" challenge. Notice I said participate and not win. Winning is for a future month although it could happen in December. 
  2. Focus on my daily goal for "Walking Pace Minutes."
In the chart above, I showed the goals in terms of miles because people can relate to that. I will achieve these mileage goals by focusing on "Walking Pace Minutes." I'll try to minimize extra miles from random steps where possible.

Here is the same chart showing the daily goals for "Walking Pace Minutes."

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