Run for Saturday, November 17 cancelled due to air quality

The air quality in San Francisco suffered its worst day today (Friday), reaching a rating of "very unhealthy". As a precaution, we are cancelling our official HFRC Saturday long run tomorrow, November 17.

We hope to resume our weekly long run next week from Aquatic Park.

Jay Kloepfer
Half Full Running Club

Long run Saturday, November 10?

The tragic forest fires near Chico have filled the air in San Francisco with smoke and particulate matter. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a "Red" warning, suggested limiting exertion, and the expectation is that the air will not clear until after the weekend.

I’ve never done this before, but I am cancelling our official run from Aquatic Park for tomorrow, Saturday, November 10. The wind is blowing the smoke into the Bay from the Northeast hitting downtown with force.

NOW, having said that I am going to run tomorrow at 8:00 am from Java Beach on the far west side of the City, where I’m hoping the air will be clearer. I ran there today, an easy 4 miles up and down the Great Highway, and it wasn’t terrible.

So feel free to join me at 8:00 am tomorrow, Saturday, November 10 at Java Beach, Judah & Great Highway, for an unofficial run with friends.

Next Saturday, November 17, back to Aquatic Park!

Jay Kloepfer
Half Full Running Club

Don’t be a slave to your Garmin

Interesting piece on our collective addiction to running with our Garmin watches. I first got a Garmin as part of the old SF Marathon Training Program, the group out of which the HFRC sprung. Pacers were assigned clunky old Garmin GPS watches; it immediately became a must-have item for me. Which is funny, since I’ve been a distance runner since the early 70s and rarely ran with a watch. Even when I did use a watch, it was maybe once a month to test my fitness on a favored 7 mile course (start and finish at McLaren Lodge in GG Park, down to the Great Highway and back along JFK). Hard to believe my fitness test was to get under 49 minutes – 7 miles at 7 minutes per mile! I can barely drive that fast now! Ah, to be 30 years younger and 40 pounds lighter!

I also used to indulge in marking out routes by driving my car and making chalk marks on roads/sidewalks/buildings at mile markers. Runners are weirdos, no doubt.

I can appreciate the advice to ignore your Garmin at times. For the completionists that we all are, with our desire to properly log our runs, it doesn’t mean we can’t still carry one, just don’t look at it while running on certain days. Stick it in your pocket or turn it around, or make it difficult to check. No reason we can’t trick ourselves for the better!

From: Jeff Gaudette [mailto:jeff]
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2018 3:12 AM
To: jay
Subject: Don’t be a slave to your Garmin

Hi Fellow Runner,

In the last few years, GPS watches have completely revolutionized the way runners train.

I’m not old by any means, but I still recall doing many of my training runs in high school, college, and even as a professional on roads that I spray painted after measuring them in my car.

Seriously. I’d drive my intended route and spray paint mile markers along the way. Illegal? I think. But, runners are known to be a little crazy.

When I first began coaching online, assigning athletes long intervals and tempo runs of varying distances was quite the challenge since many runners, especially new ones, don’t have access to well-marked running paths.

Luckily, GPS devices, like the Garmin Forerunner or fancy iPhone apps, have made training a much simpler process.

However, as adoption of GPS devices increases dramatically, I find more and more runners becoming completely dependent on their watches, sometimes to the detriment of their training progression and racing skills.

Is it possible that becoming too reliant on your GPS device can actually hinder your fitness and race times?

I think so.

Here are the three possible drawbacks to having a dependency on your GPS and how you can counter them.

Constantly adjusting your pace to match the GPS’ “current” pace

Anyone that has ever run with a Garmin before knows how much the readings for “current pace” can fluctuate.

It doesn’t seem possible that a watch that the can so precisely measure distance can’t get the current running speed correct.

However, the accuracy and design behind the Garmin technology is exactly the problem.

In addition to natural pace changes – think of how you sometimes move forward and back on a treadmill belt, despite the belt moving at a constant speed – a Garmin watch receives a signal from the satellite every 1-2 seconds under optimal conditions, which means it is constantly making calculations about your speed and pace.

Likewise, if you lose connection with the satellite, even for a few seconds, the GPS measures the distance you ran during the lost signal time and calculates the time it took you to get to where you are now, thereby giving you a pace.

During the “lost” signal time, the current running pace will dramatically slow since the device thinks you’ve stopped running.

Over the course of a mile, or even a half mile, the GPS will measure quite precisely, but it can lead to ineffective data in regards to current running pace.

What you can do to counter your dependency

Don’t be a slave to the current pace; instead, learn to feel the pace like a Jedi.

The next time you do a workout with the Garmin, check the watch during the first 2-3 minutes of the first mile to make sure you’re on pace and then don’t look at the watch again until you’re finished.

Listen to your breathing; feel the rhythm in your legs, the motion of your arms. You won’t do a great job the first time you try, but after the third or fourth time, you’ll notice a substantial improvement.

Overall, this will lead to a refined sense of pace and effort.

Not learning how to pace yourself

Racing is an acquired skill, much like shooting a lay-up or swinging a golf club.

Just like an athlete wouldn’t want to attempt a game winning free throw if they had never practiced under those conditions, a runner doesn’t want to toe the starting line without a well-developed sense of pace.

By relying exclusively on a GPS during training and workouts, a runner never develops the learned sense of pace that is critical to race day success.

Even wearing a GPS device during a race doesn’t guarantee pacing success – what if the signal is lost, you have to surge frequently to get around other runners, or when it’s time to make a late race decision about how hard to push?

Developing an innate sense of pace in training is a critical to taking the next step in racing.

What you can do to counter your dependency

Implement workouts into your training routine that require you to change paces frequently and only use the GPS to confirm your sense of pace after each mile or record the data at the end of the run.

Cutdown runs and alternating tempos are a great way to teach yourself what slight differences in paces feel like.

In addition, these types of workouts can demonstrate to your mind and body how the effort required to maintain a certain pace gets harder as the race goes on, improving your late race execution skills.

Always pushing the easy days, not listening to your body

Perhaps the most common mistake I see with runners who are addicted to their GPS devices is not listening to how their body feels during easy recovery runs.

As a data-obsessed runner, it’s easy to record each mile split and compare to previous runs or what a normal easy run pace may be.

Unfortunately, sometimes the body isn’t feeling great and requires a very slow pace to recover.

Maybe it’s from a previous workout or perhaps it’s general life stress, but feeling tired and lethargic on an easy day is sometimes part of the training process.

When a runner has the GPS strapped to their wrist, they neglect to listen to the signs the body is projecting. Instead, they try to maintain what they think is their easy pace. Consequently, they don’t recover as fast as they should and hinder their performance in subsequent workouts.

It’s also common for runners, beginners and veterans alike, to challenge themselves to run just a little faster every day.

With a GPS, it’s easy to monitor how fast you’re running on a commonly run route and, when the realization occurs that a PR for the course is within reach, runners tend to push themselves harder to beat their previous best.

What you can do to counter your dependency

Ditch the GPS watch on your easy recovery runs and cool down miles.

The purpose of an easy run has nothing to with pace and the speed at which you complete them has no bearing on their effectiveness.

When you free yourself from the constant data of a GPS watch on an easy run, you learn to listen to your body and maximize the value of each mile you run as opposed to being a slave to inconsequential data and hindering your progression.

No doubt GPS watches have made training easier, more effective, and allowed runners and coaches to be more creative with their workouts.

However, be mindful of the dependencies you might be forming and implement these ideas during your current training cycle to ensure you can maximize your physical and mental preparation for your next race.

So, here’s some homework for you.

For the rest of your runs this week, ditch the Garmin.

I am serious.

Don’t wear the Garmin on easy days. For hard workouts, play the guessing game I outlined above.

Keep practicing like this. If you can do this for 3-4 weeks, I guarantee you’ll be significantly better at pacing and it will come more natural to you.

Good luck!

Coach Jeff

2 November, 2018 19:59

Join us for our weekly long run 8 00 am Saturday, November 3 at Aquatic Park.

Apologies for the late notice , I am out of town and several time zones away. Miscommunication on my part, someone was supposed to post the run earlier.

David Olsen will be our fearless leader, and will have run distances to meet everyone’s needs.

Jay Kloepfer
Half Full Running Club

Volunteers needed for the Marin Triathlon October 3-4

Please help – we need volunteers for the Marin Triathlon next weekend, October 3 and 4, at McNeer’s Beach near China Camp. I signed up, but now I can’t be there, I need to go visit my mom this weekend.

We’ve had a long-standing relationship as a club with Mark Liebert, who also produces the Marin Half Marathon in April. I have volunteered at the Marin Tri four or five times, usually manning a busy section of the course where runners and cyclists go out and back.

It’s a lot of fun and our chance to give back to the running community. Think of all the volunteers at the races you’ve run.

Check out the notice posted below and please sign up if you can. They run a shorter race Saturday and the Olympic length on Sunday.

Jay Kloepfer
Half Full Running Club

Join us for our weekly long run 8:00 am Saturday, October 27 at Sports Basement Presidio!

Join us for our weekly long run 8:00 am Saturday, October 27 at Sports Basement Presidio.

Apologies for the late notice. We’ll have 6, 8 and 10 mile routes, should be a beautiful SF fall day.

Next weekend is the Marin Triathlon, an event at which we often volunteer, in exchange for free entry into the Marin Half Marathon in the spring. It’s a lot of fun to volunteer, and a chance to give back to the running community. Please check earlier posts for details, and I’ll re-post shortly. The race organizer, Mark Liebert, is an old friend of the club, and many of us have run the Marin Half over the years.