T Nation

Lasting Happiness

Sunday: the regular hike with the dog

Squats: Legs felt fine hiking so I thought I was good to go here. But, alas, I was not. Weight was heavy today. 135x3 moved slowly. I had to readjust my expectations. My goal right now in the gym is to be able to point to something (anything!) that suggests I did better this session than I did last session. This might require some creative thinking over time.

Today, I inched my 20-rep max up from 110 to 115. Legs burned in a good way. For future note, this 20 rep max can be improved upon because it was not seamless or fluid. It went more like 10, ***, 5, ****, 5.

It may be that I need to borrow (sooner rather than later) from Wendlers 3, 5, 1 template; and down shift on week 2 of my lifting cycles so I have some capacity for greater intensity on the other training weeks.

“I am not as strong as I [want], but I have many tricks and I have resolution.” Santiago,OMATS

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Your view of a slow pace is indicated to some extent by the heart rate you are experiencing. Guessing that you are fiftyish your max Hr based on 220-age is 170. You are hitting 160+ at 11 min mile pace. Suggesting you have little head room above that to run faster.
HR maths is not a precise science but there is an indicator here.
In terms of limiting factors
: What is your resting HR ?
: What are your fastest times over shorter distances. Possible you may be a slow but relatively better longer distance athlete.


  1. My average resting HR (measured by my garmin watch) over the last 4 weeks is 54.

  2. I really haven’t tried to run fast or for time in quite a while because I’ve been focused more on trail running. My most recent fast run was on Tuesday: 3 miles 28:07.

I ran my last marathon at 44-- 4:27; my best half around that same time 1:52 ; my best 10K 52:36; my best 5k 24:43. This was at a time when I was really focused on the running and trying to qualify for Boston. Needless to say, I fell well short.

*Just checked the current qualifying standards–that 4:27 time would be good enough right now if I were 65!

I’m hoping I will get some giddy-up back in my legs over the next few months and appreciate your help and advice. :slight_smile:

Nothing unusual about resting HR.
There are websoute calculators that extrapolate a given race time to other distances. Not precision science but a good guide.
If you look at your best 5k time it implies the following:
10k = 51.32
1/2M = 1 53.42
M = 3 57.04
So your 10k and 1/2M times are within 1 minute of expected. Your marathon is 30 mins slower.
Suggests your endurance over the marathon was lacking. But this is to be expected in many people unless they have the time to do high weekly mileage and longer runs.
Other runs align nicely.
So you are not intrinsically more endurance or more speed oreintated. I asked this since I have a friend who runs marathons and 10k at almost the same pace ! Some people are the reverse.
BTW your 5K time is pretty good.
You recent 3 mile time trial shows you have dropped from 8min mile racing to 9 and a bit mins per mile - no big deal if you are older and training less.
You can run at 2 mins per mile faster than average training (9 compared to 11). OK.

Most adults that that ran moderately seriously and race have around 5-10 years of improvement in them. Guess you have passed this period. Endurance performance drops naturally after age 40.

So overall nothing unusual in your performances. Its a case of what do you want to concentrate on.
10miles and above = run more miles
Under 10 miles more threshold runs and some intervals.

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@doddfrank I just wanted to say that I’m reading along here and have really enjoyed your posts.

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@doddfrank Thanks for the analysis!

For the first time in a long while, I actually feel a bit inspired. I have more time now than I have had in years… maybe I can train more and better and start running better again.

@EmilyQ Will be trying out your treadmill hill sprints tomorrow. Do you keep a log around these parts? I have not yet found it. Would love to follow along with your training if you do.

Add to Sunday’s training 4x4 pull-ups.


MP 55x5; 65x3; 70x4; 75x1; 65x7; 55x12
Facepulls and tricep pushdowns: 3 sets of 12
Pullups: 9 sets of 2

Bike: 30 minutes; level 4; 4.7 miles; average HR 138. I actually enjoyed this ride. there was music in my ears; I closed my eyes and imagined (with my feet moving faster than they ever do when I run) that I could run like El Guerrouj. If you have not watched him run, you should…he is beautiful.

No, I keep a paper log in my workout room, and that only for the past year or so to try to organize my cross training, which had not been as interesting to me as gains in either time or distance on the treadmill. I’ve finally realized that my old habits no longer work, so.

I typically goof off online over coffee in the morning, then work out and jot down what I’ve done. After that I’m in the get-ready-for-work whirlwind and have no time or interest in opening my computer to log - I’m too easily drawn into discussion. (As now…I just finished posting my “online journal,” a locked message board I share with a group of four girlfriends, and ended saying “okay, gotta get to the paperwork I’ve been blowing off!” And yet here I am, in some sort of fugue state, typing into your log, haha.)

Tuesday: 5 hill “sprints”—Did these outside and not on treadmill. The grade of my hill may have been a bit too steep for my current strength and conditioning level. I was not able to sprint. But I did work hard and I did pay attention to my form. Lots of room for improvement here.

Ran a total of 4 miles.

No pull-ups.


Deadlifts- top set 160x12

Pull-ups: 4x3; 3x3

Bulgarian split squats 3 sets of 20

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Thursday: 6 miles; 11 min mile pace.

This is my Goldilocks run and the one I should enjoy—it’s not too far and it’s not too fast. Still, it presents a challenge because it is not as easy as I wish it to be and likely, over the course of this marathon buildup, will never be easy enough to reassure me.

Wishing that something was easier or
Wanting something to be easier than it is, is a dangerous mind set for me—and one that I am
prone to. For me, that kind of thinking feeds a sense of defeat and failure. I need to avoid it or I end up giving myself permission to fail or quit or do less than my best.

Better to accept that, for the next several months, every run will be challenging. Of course it will. Get over it.


The usual 3 mile morning hike with the dog. Really would have preferred to stay in bed. My dog is a relentlessly enthusiastic first thing in the morning cardio training partner.

I always appreciate the early morning walks once they are underway. Daybreak on a cold clear morning invigorates.


Triples at 85, 90, 95

Singles at 100, 105, 110

Drop set 80x 12

Dumbbell row 20lbs: 3 sets of 20

Pull-ups over the day: 4 sets of 5

  • Need to do push-ups

6.3 miles—felt good—same pace (11ish min miles) but average of 10 beats per minute better/slower heart rate. Woot! I’m going to call that progress.

I (happily) get to deload the running this week. The outside of my left hip is a little grumpy. It’s a familiar soft spot. I know I need to incorporate more lateral movement or hip abduction and it will quiet down.

Last week was 20 miles total. I’ll cut that to 14 or so this week, which includes this Saturday’s run.

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135x3; 155x3; 170x3* these felt like unintended pause squats, but didn’t look as slow as I perceived them. Still too high for my purposes, which would be powerlifting, assuming I have a purpose, which I probably do because I’m the kind of person who does better when chasing some outside purpose.

Anyway, I’d call em parallelish but it’s hard to tell exactly with the safety bars. On the whole, I felt much better than then last time i squatted.

135x 12. same-ish depth problem.

Bulgarian split squats 3 sets of 20, training to my weaker left leg.

Pullups; 6,5,4,3,2


Monday: 0* this was not an intentional rest day. This was an I got up too late to get my training in before work and then failed at prioritizing it later day.

I thought, “it’s just MP—easy; I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Conveniently, I forgot about how I now bike on my MP days.

And now it’s tomorrow and I got up early enough to make up MP but not early enough to make up the bike or run. So now I’ve still got to get in at least one cardio activity today.

Training works better for me when I do a little bit every day. I’m overly prone to inertia… one day of not training makes me lazy. :grimacing: A body at rest … it’s science!


Bar, 55x5; 65x8; 70x5; bar x20* strength endurance is fun—the bar feels light and moves easily until it doesn’t and you are at rep 18 and it is a grind and you think back to that first rep that was mere seconds ago and how everything is different now.

Pull-ups 5,5,5, 3, 2. I’m Also not doing these daily. I’m ok with that for now. They’re Getting better.

Face pulls, push downs, yTLs


Tuesday pm: 30 min on bike

Wednesday: 3 mile run; average pace 9:49. Happy to see a 9 even a high 9 here. But maintaining my pace through that third mile continues to be a struggle. My pace for that third mile was 10:30 . I totally fell off the table and actually walked at the end. Arghh. I wish I hung in a little tougher today than I did…next time i will.


Thursday: 3 mile hike with the dog

DLs 95, 115, 135, 145, 165, 185, 205x3
Drop set 170x12

Some, but not enough, pull-ups and Hanging leg raises.

I feel good about my deadlift and squat numbers this week. It seems worthwhile to note that positive feeling because I suspect improvement moving forward will be slower.

Some of these past few weeks have just been about taking the time to figure out whereI am. And I feel like I know now what my residual strength levels are.

But who knows, maybe the numbers next cycle will continue this trend upward.


Friday: 12 mile run; average pace 11:15; average heart rate 163; total time 2:16:37

We’re expecting a rainy weekend here so I again moved my long run to avoid the worst of January’s weather.

I was really challenged by the darkness today. It was foggy and there Was zero ambient light from the moon or the stars.

I have recently invested in a new headlamp but I still felt uneasy with my footing. This made me a little cranky through the first 7 miles until daylight.

Last 5 Miles were better, faster. Didn’t really bonk until the last mile. I need to work on my nutrition through these long runs. I don’t eat before or during. All of my “fuel” comes from a cocktail of pedialyte and Red Bull, which is pretty fucking awesome.

Glad this run is behind me and the weekend is ahead. Bench tomorrow and then I get to Deload the Weights.


Hey, just saw a fellow ‘old’ person log and had to binge through it! It looks like you have a good system going right now, similar to what I do except your emphasis is on the running side rather than the lifting side. Now I know who to ask when I decide to start training for a 5K this spring, even though that’s warm-up distance for you.

Oh, and a Pedialyte/Red Bull cocktail sounds dreadful…


@OTHSteve thanks for stopping in. I read the first post in your training log—you’ve negotiated a lot of injuries and setbacks…I admire your tenacity and resilience.

Yes, I’m happy with how things are going with my training! Feeling less old by the day, except when I have to get up after sitting for too long! :grinning: