climb higher, go farther, do more.
Foliage season is upon us! Here’s a panorama from Dartmouth’s Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, looking up at Moosilauke’s summit. We hiked up the Gorge Brook Path and descended via Carriage Road and Snapper Trail. 

Foliage season is upon us! Here’s a panorama from Dartmouth’s Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, looking up at Moosilauke’s summit. We hiked up the Gorge Brook Path and descended via Carriage Road and Snapper Trail. 

Haven’t been slacking off. Here are my workouts from the past few weeks. Feeling strong as I head into a big-volume weekend. 50-mile training run on Sunday!
Countdown to 100: 5 weeks away.

Haven’t been slacking off. Here are my workouts from the past few weeks. Feeling strong as I head into a big-volume weekend. 50-mile training run on Sunday!

Countdown to 100: 5 weeks away.

Inspired by some recent “planets” I encountered online, I decided to create my own. I took the original photo several years ago in NYC, just as the sun was setting over the reservoir in Central Park.

Inspired by some recent “planets” I encountered online, I decided to create my own. I took the original photo several years ago in NYC, just as the sun was setting over the reservoir in Central Park.

Today’s line-up. Two rounds of weight-based movements, and two rounds of plyometrics. Each round = 30 sec of exercise followed by 30 sec rest, with two min of rest between rounds. Amazing how 16 minutes of hard effort can hurt so bad.

Today’s line-up. Two rounds of weight-based movements, and two rounds of plyometrics. Each round = 30 sec of exercise followed by 30 sec rest, with two min of rest between rounds. Amazing how 16 minutes of hard effort can hurt so bad.

Incorporating Strength Training into an Ultramarathon Prep Plan

I’ve been reading a lot about various training regimens, and have focused my time and attention on heart-rate-based training, and on incorporating strength training into my routine. This post focuses on the latter.

More and more runners have written about the merits of specific weight training in order to develop better core strength and stability. The pounding of hours upon hours of running, day after day, certainly takes its toll on the body, and incorporating some weight training can help the body withstand the demands of such exercise, adding strength and stability not only to those muscles directly used when running, but also to the rest of the body, which also take a beating.

Over two years have passed since I started trail running (and racing), and in that time, I’ve run well, stayed healthy, and earned some good results. My training has fell into the category of “Run a lot of long slow distance” with the occasional hard run or hill climbing session, and it certainly has worked. I usually ran what I felt like running without paying much attention to specific types of workouts or runs. 

A few months ago, on relatively little training, I paced my buddy for 50 miles to help him complete his first 100-miler. Last month, I raced a short, hilly course and felt great. Recently, however, I’ve been wondering if I could be doing more. Not more running, per se, but whether being more disciplined and strategic about my training could lead to even better results. What if I there’s more potential waiting for me to unleash it? With a 100-miler coming up in 8 weeks, I want to make sure that I go into the race as healthy and prepared as possible.

Based on the information contained in a number of different blogs, but primarily building off of Rob Krar’s “Equalizer,” I put together a workout that I can complete in about one hour, two times a week. The workout consists of two types of exercises: those involving weights (kettlebells or dumbbells), and plyometrics. 

I have far more exercise movements than I can possible complete, so I randomly select eight from each category. I complete three sets of the weight exercises, followed by three sets of the plyometrics. Each set consists of 30 seconds of exercise, followed by 30 seconds of rest, repeated for all eight exercises, with two minutes of rest between sets. With eight exercises, each set takes ten minutes to complete, and six sets total equals one hour in the gym. (Cool fact: I used my Garmin watch to create the timer for the workout.)

I created a board on which I can display the exercises I’ve selected. Two small envelopes on the back of the board hold the pieces of paper on which I’ve printed the exercises, and I took the backing off a photo frame to create a stand for the board. Using binder clips, I can mount the exercises to the board so that I can see where I am throughout the routine. 

What you see above are the exercises I completed today. Next time, it’ll look different. And what I like most is that I don’t get to decide which exercises I perform. I just have to go with what I draw.

Here’s the full list of exercises. Anything I should add?

Weights

Turkish Get-Up *
Two-Arm KB Swing
Oblique Dips w/ KB
Bulgarian Split Leg Squats
KB Squat + Shoulder Press
Medicine Ball Throw
Windmill w/ KB **
Seated Ab Twists
Lunges carrying KB
Eccentric Calf Raises
Adductor Steps w/ band
Battle Rope
KB Figure Eights
Lat Raises
High Pulls

 */** If both pulled, put second one back and draw another exercise. Place exercise at end of set.
* Complete 10 Turkish Get-Ups each side.
** Complete 30 seconds each side, without rest in between.

Plyometrics

Burpees
Bicycle Crunches
Stationary Squats
Mountain Climbers
Windshield Wipers
Push-Ups
Pull-Ups
Hop-overs
Box Jumps
Dips
Plank
Knee Tuck Jumps
High Knees
Hanging Leg Raises
Quick Steps
Speed Skater

Hiked up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail and Crawford Path to the summit of Mount Washington, tagging Mount Monroe along the way. Descended via the Gulfside and Jewell Trails. Trip and trail report coming. The long-and-short of it is that the Ammo provides amazing scenery, from waterfalls to views of the surrounding valley. Couldn’t have picked a better trail to climb New England’s highest peak! [photos taken with GoPro Hero 3+ Silver]

More photos of a sunset on the Cape

Hey! I saw your post of pictures you took with the GoPro Hero 3+ silver edition, (beautiful pics btw) I'm thinking of buying it. It would be my first GoPro to own, do you think it is a good camera/worth the price?

Hi! Thanks for the foliow and for re-blogging my post. Glad you liked the photos. My initial reaction to your question about whether or not to get the GoPro is to ask what you intend to use it for. If you will mostly take photos, then this is not the right camera. If you plan to do a lot of action shooting (both movies and still photos) that will subject your camera to water, dropping, extreme temperatures, then the GoPro is worth considering.

My main priority was to have something that I could take into the mountains and into the water (and everything in between), and the reality is that most waterproof cameras on the market have mediocre photo quality. So when it comes to the GoPros photo quality, I am willing to spend some time editing the photos. Here are some additional thoughts:

Things I like about the GoPro:

1. Small size makes it very portable.

2. Waterproof and durable housing means I can take it anywhere without worrying too much about breaking it.

3. Options for time-lapse photography are great.

4. Video quality is excellent.

5. Having the WiFi option is pretty cool. There is no viewfinder on the GoPro, so I sometimes use an app on my phone to check out what I’m doing.

6. Lots of options for mounts (head, chest, helmet, tripod, bike, etc.) although the mounts can get expensive very quickly!

Things I don’t like about the GoPro:

1. As mentioned above, photo quality is so-so. The images tend to be washed out and require some editing to get color and saturation back into the mix. If you’re willing to put in the time (it actually doesn’t require that much effort), it’s not so bad.

2. Another thing about image quality: because of the very wide-angle lens, you always get a curved fish-eye quality to the photos. It’s a cool effect that I usually enjoy, but it’s still there when I don’t want it…

3. Waterproof housing limits the sound transmission, so if you are in the water and want sound… doesn’t work so well. There is a separate door that you can use to improve sound quality, but if you use it, you have to make sure that you’re not subjecting the camera to the elements.

For me, the GoPro has definitely been worth the price, because it allows me to do the things I want. If you’re looking to save some money, check out the Hero 3 (no plus) - the quality there is also very good but not so expensive. 

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have other questions about this camera, or just cameras in general. As I mentioned, I’ve used a few other compact waterproof cameras, and I also regularly shoot with a Nikon DSLR.

Exploring the trails at Nickerson State Park, Brewster, MA. [Photo credit: Paul B]

Exploring the trails at Nickerson State Park, Brewster, MA. [Photo credit: Paul B]

Sunset on the Cape. Ellis Landing Beach Brewster, MA. [Photos taken with GoPro Hero 3+ Silver. Edited for color.]