friday, july 10, 2009
Owen Anderson Running Camp
Owen Anderson is a renowned researcher, author and coach who specializes in training, sports nutrition, and injury prevention. For the past 15 years he has espoused a "neural system" for training that focuses on high quality running and strength rather than the traditional emphasis on mileage. His website, Educated Runner
, is a treasure trove of information about his approach and methods.
Anderson has repeatedly visited Kenya to study the techniques of the phenomenal endurance runners that hail from the African nation. His training program integrates the practical observations of those experiences with a formidable amount of research.
Each year he holds a number of week long training camps to educate runners on his approach and I attended his inaugural one at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR from July 4 through July 9. The opportunity to run in a place where so many legends of American running have made their mark was an amazing experience.
Day One: Welcome to Eugene, OR read more
thursday, july 09, 2009
Running Camp: Day SixWoke up feeling completely shellacked. After several days of rising with unexpected amounts of energy the piper seems to have arrived in the evening for payment. I was sore, groggy and definitely in the throes of fatigue. The unrelenting succession of high-quality workouts -- even as limited as many of them have been -- finally reached the critical point.
For the morning jaunt we headed over to Hendricks Park, a wooded hill on the east side of campus that has a number of trails through it. None of these is particularly long so instead of doing a single trek we all sort of wandered about the area until we got in the mileage. I hit three miles and headed back to the car but the others put in a bit more than that. read more
wednesday, july 08, 2009
Running Camp: Day FiveI woke up feeling surprisingly good today. After the six-mile trail run I did by accident yesterday, I was dreading the morning. But the expected soreness and fatigue just wasn't there. Thank goodness.
Since there was no intense running slated for the morning workout Owen pushed it back to a relatively late 7:30 a.m. We gathered downstairs and trundled over to the front gate of Hayward Field and did the first sets of our exercises on the flower beds facing the front gate (they required an elevated surface).
Then we headed to the lacrosse field with the actual grass surface to do our warm up lap and the rest of the exercises. The basic lesson learned through all of this is I lack coordination and explosiveness -- not exactly a news flash.
Then returning to the dorm for the glory that is a cafeteria breakfast. As mundane as the food tends to be, I have to admit I'm learning to like the ease of access to it. I'm loading down on food and, stunningly, finishing it all no problem. read more
tuesday, july 07, 2009
Running Camp: Day FourUp early but not early enough to get my notes written down. I'm starting to fall a bit behind and it's not good given the sheer volume of data we have to contend with. Chas had the coffee ready and, once again, it proved to be the difference between disaster and survival.
Before we got started we all wished Owen happy birthday which today happens to be. He was somewhat evasive when we asked how old he is though.
We got into the cars and headed over to Lincoln Street which is a pretty well known site for hill training here in Eugene. It's a pretty long incline with sections that boast slopes of various degrees of cruelty. Rather than gaze upon its humbling glory we took a warm up mile around the pretty much level block. It was still there when we got back. read more
monday, july 06, 2009
Running Camp: Day ThreeSlept pretty hard last night. The exercises have a lot of usually-unworked muscle groups protesting quite a bit. Oddly, the stiffness isn't accompanied by fatigue or weariness as I was expecting. Perhaps the concentrated effort over the last month to prepare for the camp has stood me in good stead.
Chas proved to be a lifesaver by providing coffee for us prior to the cafeteria opening. Having that to get started helped more than I could probably express. I picked up an overpriced Oregon coffee thermos for the task and it's proven a solid expenditure.
Once again we blearily bundled into the cars and headed over to the Tom & Bill McChesney Memorial Track at the South Eugene High School. This venue was a lot more like the kind of track I grew up running on -- a bare-bones prep school spread. Authentic right down to the crude obscene graffiti spray painted on the track. read more
sunday, july 05, 2009
Running Camp: Day TwoToday we got into the nitty gritty. We got up early and bundled into the cars and headed over to the Eugene Running Company. In addition to being a great running store it's also become something of a hub for the town's running community. The renowned running writer Joe Henderson, a Eugene resident, starts his marathon training group runs from there. And so we five intrepid campers along with our stalwart coach were on hand to get our week-long adventure started with him.
The run itself was a wonderful introduction to the massive advantage Eugene presents for anyone interested in running. Besides an ideal climate (the weather was pleasantly cool and this was supposedly a hot day the town is littered with fantastic places to run. Our course this morning was the North Bank Path along the Willamette River. read more
saturday, july 04, 2009
Running Camp: Day OneEugene, Oregon has taken up a pretty big portion of my headspace devoted to running since my high school days. Back in the mid-1980s this was the mecca of running, a quasi-mythical place where folks a heck of a lot better than I could ever hope to be resided and ran ran ran.
So when the opportunity to attend a running camp here arose I found myself powerless to resist. Running guru Owen Anderson decided to hold his inaugural camp at the University of Oregon this year and my coach recommended it. While I knew it would be something productive but, honestly, I was more sold on the possibility of running at the place I knew only from the running magazines I read devotedly a quarter-century ago.
Turns out Eugene is pretty much like every other college town in America. The University of Oregon campus is arrayed with resplendent swaths of grass outlined by sidewalks leading to the staid buildings of higher education. Even the dull utilitarian architecture of the dorm was reassuringly familiar in its own way. read more