Two new members to the Cape’s fine ultra society, Steve Sullivan and Doug Lavoie, made auspicious debuts Fri/Sat up at Wakefield’s 24 hr. Around the Lake Ultra.
58 year old Steve compiled 115 miles for third place overall despite getting in the strange role of dog umpire in a sudden canine to-do at the halfway point, a chore that landed him on his head and dealt quite a gash to his eye. No matter, lion-hearted Steve showed the stout stuff of men from the land of fishes and cod, and simply picked himself up and continued on his way. Loud cries of sympathy from sisters Laurie and Kelly turned to cheers as he shrugged off medical assistance (both are nurses). What’s a little blood to true gladiators?
  Doug Lavoie of Hyannis, 59, made his return to ultras after about a 30 year absence due to a horrific surf board accident that cost him the best years of his running career, and compiled 83 miles until a poor food choice upset his stomach and ended his race at about 22 hours. Both men acquitted themselves nobly and brought glory to both the CCAC and the fabled CCUS.
  Speaking of glory, Janet Kelly ran the marathon portion of the multi event in a scintillating 3:58, right on the mark which she fearlessly predicted to this reporter despite the nighttime start and hard sidewalk surface to the loop course. Our Ken Lemerise scored a 3:55 time himself, then donned his best cheerleader outfit and coached, crewed, and paced friend Steve on & on for the rest of the night and day. Such emotional support is often the difference in the best ultra efforts.
  Not to be forgotten, our noble president Bob "Ecky" Eckerson notched marathon-or-longer #98 in a time of 5:22 after eight loops of the Lake Quannapowitt course. Right on schedule to make the Cape Cod Marathon his 100th such trek in the fall.

~ Pete Stringer, stealth ultra reporter


I am not sure what modifying table I might use to fit this one into a marathon comparative equation chart, but overall, I feel my race Sunday might score well on some sort of "difficulty quotient graph.” This was the inaugural running of the Mad Marathon in Waitsfield, Vermont.  "Mad" purportedly used because it was held in the scenic Mad River Valley, and professedly not  limited to the insane.
  It was hot. Very hot. Well, what would one expect for the middle of July?
  And it was hilly, or mountainous, take your pick of adjectives. If you were not going up, you were going down, and I was thinking at one point that given a comparison, the second half of the Cape Cod Marathon would be described as flat. Of 600 entries in the marathon, only four finished under three hours, so that gives you an idea.
  But it was green & gold gorgeous, living up to its promotion ads as America’s Most Beautiful Marathon. (Well, Cape Cod or Big Sur might contest that). Corn fields and sun flowers and cows and horses and green pastures everywhere. A quaint little New England village much resembling Woodstock, with nary a MacDonald’s or Burger King to be found. And for a first-time event, newbie management glitches were at a minimum, nobody ran off course, and water stations seemed to show up whenever you needed them. Best of all, Vermonters lived up to their reputation as friendly folk. Hoses were everywhere. Kids, especially, love the license to squirt adults full in the face.
  A room with a view at a ski chalet set us back a very reasonable sum of $54, and there were museums and galleries scattered throughout the town for those wanting a little diversion. I would recommend this little race next year for those not necessarily looking for a fast course to qualify on, but perhaps filling in their 50-state race card or Marathon Maniac status. Or a HARD training run for an ultra race!
  Which, if that is what I was after, I got my money’s worth! I think my time of 4:45 might have been worth 4:10 on a more normal course  and perhaps with temps 30 degrees cooler.

~ Pete Stringer, nearing 200


Running fast (or more efficiently since an efficient runner is able to run more comfortably at a specific pace than a non-efficient runner) for any length of time longer than 40 seconds is all about building speed-endurance, the ability to maintain a certain pace for a given length of time or distance. This week, we’re aiming to increase our endurance with a solid tempo session of two miles at threshold pace. If you don’t know what your threshold pace is, it’s the pace that you can sustain for a 20 minute effort which for most of us is about 5K race pace or 5 to 10 seconds slower. So after a good 10 minute warmup followed by some leg swings, high knees, skips and butt flicks, run two miles at a pace just slower than your 5K race pace. Then cool down for 10 minutes and close with 5 75m strides, skipping, high knees and fast feet drills. Advanced runners in the group should aim for 2-3 x 2 mile with a 1/2 mile jogging break in between. Remember to adjust the workout to the weather conditions. In the heat and humidity, plan on running 20-30 seconds per mile slower than your target and cut the volume by 25% (for example, run a 1.5 mile tempo instead of 2 miles).

10 minute warm up
leg swings, skipping, butt flicks
1 x 2 mile
10 minute cool down
5 x 75m strides + skipping, high knees, fast feet


Now that we’re adapted to the heat, it’s time to get down to work. This week’s session will be a 5K race simulation that will build endurance for upcoming 5K and 5 mile races. The parameters are simple: 5 x 800m x 200m for a total of 5000m. The execution is a bit more complex. The 800’s should be run at about 10-15s faster per mile than 5K race pace and the 200’s MUST be done as active recovery, no slower than your half-marathon race pace. The key to this session is the reduced recovery time bookended by pace efforts that are faster than your usual 5K race pace. If done correctly, this session will make your next 5K race seem easy by comparison!

10 minute warm up
5 minute dynamic stretching drills (high knees, butt flicks, etc.)
5 x 800m x 200m @ 5K-15
10 minute cool down
4 x strides
10 minute drills (skipping, tiger, arm positioning, body positioning, toe/heel/duck/groucho walks)


It’s still hot outside so let’s take an opportunity to learn how to pace a little better and leave some of the tough work sessions for later. After a thorough warm up and some dynamic stretching, run 6 100 meter pickups followed by 20 minutes of fartlek. Vary the distances of the fartlek from 50m up to 400m and adjust pace accordingly. Your pace should range from sprint to 10K race pace. For fun, pick someone as the leader of a lap and have them clap to start the fartlek and clap again to end it. This will mimic the surge and attack of cross country where you won’t know if your opponent will attempt to cover your surge or will drop off from your attack. Finish the session with a couple of quick 100 meter pickups, concentrating on form and a high leg lift, do a few strides, and finish with 5 minutes of drills and a 10 minute cool down.

10 minute warm up
6 x 100m @ controlled sprint
20 minute fartlek
2 x 100m @ controlled sprint
strides, drills


It’s been a while since I posted weekly track workouts and now that a few people are asking, I’ll be tossing the week’s assignments up here again on a semi-regular basis. We’ll assume that you’ve been running at least 20 minutes, 4 times a week and can comfortably handle runs of 3-5 miles. If you can’t handle the full run distance yet, walk the warmup and cooldown sections and reduce the number of intervals by 50%. Remember to listen to your body at all times and don’t make it do things that it isn’t ready to do yet. If you need to abridge a training session, that’s better than taking a trip in the ambulance or being out for 3 months with a torn ligament!

This is the second week that we’ve had to deal with really hot and sticky conditions. Since long intervals will compromise your hydration levels, we’ll concentrate on neuromuscular firing patterns instead. That means some short, intense stuff rather than a lot of slower circuits of the track.

After a 10 minute warmup, run 6 x 100m with 100m rest in between. The 100’s should be run at a controlled sprint pace and you should run through the recovery at a slow jog making sure to get a full recovery between each. Pick either the curves or the straightaways to run your speed section and then rest on the opposite. For the second set that’s coming, we’ll reverse where you ran the speed. Next, 2 x 300m with 100m moderate jog rest in between. These are done WITHOUT a full recovery! Follow that with one more set of 6 x 100m x 100m run 1-3 seconds faster than the first set with full recovery between each speed section. Finish up with some drills and strides: walking drills – high knees, butt flicks, A-skips (, B-skips (, straight legs, heel/toe/duck/pigeon/outer/inner – 20 steps each, leg swings :: 2-3 strides. So the entire session looks like:

10’ warm up
6 x 100 x 100 @ controlled sprint
2 x 300 x 100 @ 5K race pace (no recovery)
6 x 100 x 100 @ controlled sprint, 3 seconds faster than set 1
10’ warm down

Drills and strides –

Enjoy the day and be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially after you’re done with this work!


CHR photos brought to you by Rick Heath. Visit his SmugMug gallery for more Harbor Run photos and great snaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League.



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