Monthly Archives: June 2016

45 easy on the cinders

June 29th, Wednesday , 9:30 p.m.

“Take it easy.  Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.”

Today’s workout was 45 minutes in motion on the cinder track at about 6 o’clock on a steamy, summer evening. That consisted of 10 minutes walking, 20 minutes jogging, and 15 minutes walking.  About a mile into the run my body began to feel comfortable. It was nice: it’s been a while!  I felt no discomfort in my foot and my stride  was true. Hopefully there will be no negative outcomes tomorrow.
My quadriceps were sore throughout the run segment, no doubt due to the fact that I have been adding squats to my fitness lab workout for the past week. But it was a good soreness and gradually subsided. I like to think that it’s an indication that my muscles are getting stronger from the work I’m doing on non-running days.
 The goal this week remains to achieve one 30 minute run by Sunday.
Post-run I massaged my foot on a frozen water bottle and stretched.  I’ve been doing consistent stretching and rolling of my calves throughout the day.
Stats –

I-Mad – 0

a.m.HR – 54BPM

Weight – 152#

Sleep – 9 hours

Workout – 45 minutes on the cinders   10- 20- 15


Fitness day, no impact

June 28th, Tuesday, 3:00 p.m.

Return to running: so far, so good.

Today I had a very nice visit from Coach Rich Refi who met me at the CentraState Fitness Center to checkout the facility I’ve been telling him about. Rich and I roamed this cavernous area checking out the wide variety of equipment for about an hour. We talked about training and lifting and various activities that he has done with his girl’s team to build core strength. Rich has a wide range of experience and knowledge with weight training. He was after all “Mr. Rutgers” back in his college days. I learned some good stuff today. Rich left to walk the cross-country course at Holmdel Park. He has had some pretty good accomplishments there also.

My workout today consisted of about 90 minutes in motion. I spent 10 minutes on the Zero Runner before starting my upper body and core workout. That took about an hour in the weight room area. I than did a half hour of swimming and running in the pool. All in all it was a pretty draining work out, but it felt really good.  My decision to take a full five-day recovery was a good one at this stage. See recent post for explanation.

Good news is that I have no ill effects from my first time back running yesterday!


While wandering through social media today I stumbled upon a Runner’s World magazine contest. In this contest you can talk about the moment that changed your running life and submit it  for the possibility of being chosen as a cover personality on an issue of Runner’s World . So, believing that I had a pretty good story, I entered.  If you would like to, you can check it out and vote for me.

Stats –

I-Mad – 0

a.m.HR -54BPM

Weight – 151#

Sleep – 8 hours

Workout – 90 minutes in motion; 60 in fitness room , 30 in water



First run * A-OK

June 27th, Monday, 1:00 p.m.

35 minutes on the cinders

Getting back on the Cinders for the first time in almost 2 months felt really good. It was a very simple 11 minutes walk, 12 minutes jog , 12 minutes walk.  Experienced no tenderness, soreness or pain in my left foot which was the major test for the day.  I am wondering if it is better to take another day off from running or keep  jogging for 10 minutes daily for the rest of this week. Either way it’s a very light and easy week getting into the beginning of July.  I still have two months to prepare for August 28th Jason Memorial Run. Following that in a week or two is the New Jersey state Senior Games.


I am a happy me!

Continue reading First run * A-OK

Pleasant bike ride

Sunday, June 26th,  7:00 p.m.




Just returned from a half hour bicycle ride on this exquisite, summer evening.  I was a little surprised at the ease with which I handled five miles in less than 30 minutes with a few hills in the middle. My intention today was just to get some work on my legs and a little aerobic training before I return to running tomorrow.  Monday is day 1  of  my new training stage. I am very happy with the discipline that I exhibited for the last 2 weeks. Even though my foot was essentially without pain or soreness,  I resisted the temptation to run . Now I have to continue to resist the temptation to come back too quickly and experience  setback. I will have to reread yesterday’s post frequently for the next month.

Enjoy this terrific weather!

Adult Fitness Lab Tale

June 25th, Saturday, 1:00 p.m.

“I’ve got to admit it’s getting better.

It’s getting better all the time .”     OR NOT?

The following statement is the stimulus for writing a post to share this story with my readers.

Three weeks after starting a new physical fitness training program at the CentraState Hospital Fitness Center I can no longer complete the workout that I sailed through on the first day of the program!  I am now weaker than I was 3 weeks ago.  How can this be?

The story that I’m about to tell is designed for an adult reader to hear and consider when  he or she begins a physical training program after a period of time with limited activity.

Forty years ago, when I started teaching at North Hunterdon High School, I met a guy named Bob McGivney.  Bob was very interested in physical fitness.  He was a coach of swimming, baseball, wrestling and football, and a strength trainer. He was to become the most successful girls distance running coach in the history of New Jersey.  At that time he developed at North Huntingdon a physical training lab with some updated modern training equipment that he acquired through a Federal physical fitness program. The Fitness Lab became a physical education curriculum selection and was used by sports teams for “lifting”  as we called it in those days.  I used to stop in the lab after school to work out, and Bob and I became friends. Since I was a new track coach, we talked a lot about physical fitness and training. He asked me once why my runners were not coming to the Fitness Lab for strength training.  I didn’t have a good answer at the time. The outcome of that conversation is a story for another post which will follow soon.

On the subject at hand, it came to past that Bob told me about a problem he was having with one of his fitness programs. You see Bob was way ahead of the curve on the topic of adult fitness in the early 1970s. He had developed a program for adults to train 2 to 3 nights a week in his Fitness Lab at North Hunterdon. It was a very popular program and rather innovative for that era. The problem he was having with the adult program was that an unusually high number of adults who were highly motivated at first were dropping out of the program after about 3 weeks for unexplained reasons. After some consideration it occurred to me that we could understand this problem using basic knowledge that we both new about the subject of athletic training. Below is a brief tutorial.

A basic tenet of all athletic training is that any workout breaks down muscles, and the muscles will be rebuilt by the body during a period of recovery. The rebuilt muscle will be stronger than the original muscle. The athlete becomes stronger by continuing this cycle. Below is a visual that I have often used with my athletes to explain this phenomenon of stress and recovery.

The key to the visual is that the base line is the state of the muscle at the beginning of the training cycle. The S represents the stress placed on the muscle through the workout to break it down, and the R is the period of recovery to allow the muscle to rebuild stronger than before the original stress. The ideal outcome is an incline from left to right on the chart.



We concluded that since the adults in the program had been inactive for a period of time the breakdown or stress phase was having a more dramatic effect upon the muscle. This made it necessary for the body to have a longer recovery period to fully rebuild. Many of these motivated adults were having the same reaction as I am having at this moment. The body was not fully recovered when they placed another stress on the muscles. The result was they never got back to the Baseline, and their strength level was gradually being lowered not raised. The illustration below shows how this can occur using the same visual concepts as above.



After realizing this, Bob and I developed a program for the adults which included a one-week recovery after every five workouts. During the recovery week the only activity was gentle stretching and walking. The dropout rate declined considerably and the program was able to continue successfully.

My conclusion: an adult who is beginning a fitness training program after a period of inactivity needs to build into his or her program extended periods of recovery during the first few months of the program to avoid unnecessary soreness, fatigue and potential discouragement.

Application of this concept to coaching distance runners over the past 40 years, I believe, has helped me to avoid losing some very talented athletes and avoid injury for all of the athletes I trained.

This is a report of a personal experience and not an effort to offer professional health or advice to anyone. I hope you enjoyed the story.

Yes, I took another day off today.  LOL

A day of recovery

 June 24th, Friday at 11 p.m.

Listening to my body and babble about Brexit…

Today I woke up with aches in just about every muscle and joint.  So, I took my own advice and listened to my body.  I took the day off.  A two-mile walk in the evening with Arlene is the total effort for today.

No stats!

90 minutes in motion

June 23rd, Thursday, 8 p.m.

” Wild Thing , you move me.”

Today was another long work out in the exercise room and the salt water pool. There’s nothing special about this work out.  I am determined to be very conservative with the weight machines and the core exercises that I have been doing.  Running and swimming in the pool demanding on my muscles but not on my legs.  Lots of constant motion on the old body.

 I am looking forward to my first run on Monday, which I intend to do on the cinders at the Horse Track.


I-Mad – 0

a.m.HR – 54BPM

Weight – 152#

Sleep – 9 hours

Workout -30 minutes pool + 60 minutes  core and upper

Never Forget.

“Missing Man” Table

This would have been an appropriate post for Memorial Day recently.  However, I think it is worth remembering any time.



Arlene and I were very impressed by such a simple but moving tribute in the lobby of Kristy’s Diner in Waretown, at the South Jersey Shore.   We happened upon Kristy’s for breakfast when we decided to take Route 9 home from  Mantoloking after our visit to the Rothman clinic on June 10th.

It did remind us both to stop for a moment and say, “Thank you.”

Well done Kristy’s

My workout will be posted separately today.



Holding the line

June 22nd,  Wednesday,  9:30 p.m.

It is getting harder and harder to resist the urge to run, but I have been able to do that so far. The plan still calls for water activities and walking only until next Monday. So today I ran for 35 minutes in the deep end of the pool. I inserted 7 times the 30-20-10 sequence that I have grown to like.  That workout provides a solid aerobic challenge and some serious leg work, especially in the quadriceps. Then I swam for 10 minutes as a recovery and cool down.  Then I enjoyed 15 minutes in the hot whirlpool.

Later in the evening Arlene and I went for a very comfortable two-mile walk around our neighborhood.

I continue to stretch and massage my lower legs and to roll my calves. Tomorrow we will be back to the weight room for core and upper-body and more water fun in the salt water pool.

Maybe  this unscheduled  break in my running routine will prove to be a benefit with the result of improving my overall body strength. It’s always good to think positive.



I-Mad –   0

AMHR – 54

Sleep – 9.5 hrs

Weight  — 152#

Workout – 45 minutes  in pool; 10 swim, 35 run W 7x sets of 30- 25 10

Getting it done in the heat…

June 20th, Monday , 4 p.m.

Happy summer everybody.  Run early or late!

Or walk in the local mall as Arl and I intend to do between 8 and 10 a.m. on easy days. Freehold Raceway Mall is a great spot.

Summer got rolling with a 90 minute workout at the fitness center this morning.  After rising at 6:30 a.m. to have the car serviced, I set out to begin week two of my rehabilitation plan.  At CentraState I did a core and upper body workout, and then I headed to the salt water pool for 30 minutes of swimming and running.  That workout  began with 10 minutes on the Zero Runner and finished with 10 minutes in the hot whirlpool.  I believe I will sleep well this evening.

Stats –

I-Mad – 0


Sleep-  6.5 hours

Weight – 151#

Workout – 90 minutes,  10 on Z-Run,  45 core and upper + 30 swim and run