Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Travel and Stay Fit at the Same Time!

Do you find yourself having trouble maintaining a regular workout routine while you travel?  Is it difficult to stay motivated when you're not in your normal environment?  Recently, I have taken inspiration from the Vegas.com blog to solve these problems for you.  My answer is to you is, all is not lost!  It is indeed possible to get a great workout in while on the road whether you're looking for a heart-pumping routine or something much simpler.

My job as a professional track and field athlete allows me to travel frequently to competitions in the United States and around the World, but at the same time it is crucial that I maintain my fitness away from home.  Even during the off-season, I must find ways to workout during vacations and holidays.

For me, the simplest and most convenient way to maintain cardiovascular fitness is to lace my shoes and head out for a run from wherever I may be staying.  Before I travel, I look online to see where my hotel is located and try to find possible running locations nearby.  Many times you can find a local park within a 5-10 minute jog from your hotel.  You can ask the front desk of your hotel as well, if you are unfamiliar with the area.  Running can be a great way to shake out the "junk" in your legs from traveling and it can be an opportunity to explore the city in which you are visiting!

There are options for strength routines as well.  In addition to maintaining cardiovascular fitness on the road, I have had to find ways to keep my leg, arm, and core muscles strong.  Many hotels have small fitness facilities that will allow guests to get the necessary weight workouts done.  But you can stay in your room and still get in a good workout.  Lunges and squats allow me to do some work on my legs.  I will do lunges down hallways if possible, but they can even be done in the confines of a small hotel room!  The same goes for arm exercises like pushups.  My core exercises include simple things like sit ups, but can range into other exercises, such as planks, flutter kicks, and/or pikes.  If you can spare just 10-15 minutes a day and complete some of these simple strengthening exercises, your body will love you for it, and you will burn a few hundred calories in the process!

Sometimes, even the thought of "working out" while on vacation seems like a chore.  I understand that!  Plan activities that will allow your body to get a good workout in while also allowing you to enjoy your trip and have fun!  For example, in a city like Las Vegas, The Aria Las Vegas resort provides a Hotel Hike which is an indoor hike through the hotel and surrounding area, guided by an instructor.  Escalators are a no-no for this activity, giving you a leg burning workout while enjoying the scenery of the hotel, casino, and shops/restaurants! 

The bottom line is, vacations should not be an excuse for you to come home 5lbs heavier and out of shape!  You can enjoy the luxuries of vacation while taking just a few minutes out of your day to keep your body toned and fit.  So next time you leave the comforts of home to see the world, take your fitness routines and goals with you!

Thanks for reading! Follow me here on Twitter to keep updated with my training. 

Click here to visit The Aria Las Vegas Resort and Casino website!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What really happened at US Champs

Before I dive into US Champs, I want to give a quick shout out to Jack Hostettler and Starting Line Designs for continuing to help me write my blog and continue to provide good content that readers would want to see.  They were able to put together the header for my blog that you see above....how cool is that?!?

Sacramento was quite an experience.  I was excited to get out to a new facility and test out my fitness in this "off" year of track and field.  I was very pleased with where my fitness was at and I knew that I was ready to have a great performance.  The first two rounds felt good.  My legs didn't have quite the pop that I was expecting but I got the job done and made it into the final.  It was my second consecutive US final and I was looking to place on the podium this time.

Now...I want to give you the story of what actually happened in the final, and not what you might have heard on websites, message boards, seen on video replay, or in photos that were taken from 100 yards away on top of the press box of the stadium.  I got out hard because I knew the guys wanted to fly.  I tucked into 4th place at 200 meters on the outside of lane 1.  I sat off of Charles Jock's shoulder seeing that we had gone through at a fast pace.  On the turn, his right leg was in his back kick and made contact with my left hand.  This caused him to stumble and fall.  As he fell, his body started to come across my body.  When you're running that fast, your first instinct is to do anything you can to keep yourself out of trouble.  I was unaware of it at the time but I placed my hand on his shoulder as a natural reaction.  I did not push on him as he went to the ground.  The next few moments were a blur and the next thing I knew, I was 400 meters into the race.  I tried to regroup mentally but for some reason, I couldn't get back into focus and things started to go down hill from there.  I felt like I was running in quick sand during the last 150 meters and was just excited to see the finish line.

I would never purposely do anything to cause a competitor to fall.  It was unfortunate what happened, and I was glad to hear that Charles was not seriously injured afterwards.  Incidents like that occur in our sport.  I wish it had not and I could have raced all seven guys without a hiccup in the race, to prove our fitness.  Afterwards, I was told that I was disqualified.  USATF was very fair to me during my protesting process.  I filed my protest and was luckily reinstated in the results after the officials deliberated.  It wasn't a fun experience what happened...but it's all part of racing at this level.

Now it's time for me to move on and forget about US Champs.  The European season is upon us!  I fly out tomorrow night and I will be competing in four meets over the next two and a half weeks.  I even get to dabble in a little 1500 action!  It will be the first time I race the distance since college and I'm excited to see where I'm at.  Here is my schedule...

July 6 - Padova, Italy (800 meters)
July 8 - Lignano, Italy (1500 meters)
July 12 - Kortrijk, Belgium (800 meters)
July 19 - Heusden, Belgium (800 meters)

I will be posting photos on Instagram (@RuttRun) and Twitter (@Mike_Rutt) in order to keep everyone updated on my results and travel adventures!

Lastly, I would like to point out the success that the New Jersey/New York Track Club had at US Champs.  We sent 19 athletes to the meet which is more than any other team sent.  And we had athletes in the final of every event that we entered!  We have come a long way since I first joined the club in 2011.  We don't have all of the facilities and resources that other clubs have, but we suck it up and get the job done!

For questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or email me directly at mikeruttrunning@gmail.com!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Oxy, Bahamas, and Pre Oh My!

Well, things have been pretty eventful since the last time I posted.  There has been a lot of traveling and competing.  I won't go into the details of each and every race, but I'll highlight them to let you know where I'm at currently both physically and mentally.

The Oxy High Performance meet in LA went relatively well.  I won the second heat of the 800 which was great even though we didn't run nearly as fast as I would have hoped.  Winning a race is always the priority, but I felt that I still had plenty left in my legs.  Like my college coach always told me, "If you win every race, good times will come naturally."

After Oxy, I went home for a few days before traveling with team USA to the World Relays in the Bahamas.  As I have said before, I was extremely honored to run for our country.  I would never pass up an opportunity to wear the USA singlet.  I was the lead-off leg for the 4x800 relay.  My leg did not go as planned.  I was hoping to hand off the baton in the lead or just behind the leader.  But, at the break point I hesitated when the Kenyan took off and before I knew it, I was leading the chase pack a little over 100 meters into the race.  Looking back, it's always easy to point out what was done wrong, but I learned a lot about racing against international competition.  Overall, it was a great experience in the Bahamas and if I'm ever asked back, I will run without a doubt.  The Bahamian people were great hosts and they were a lot of fun to interact with at the meet.  And to walk away from the meet with a World Championship bronze medal was pretty awesome as well!

The final meet on my three week trip was the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene the following weekend.  I ran in the International 800m race against some of the best American mid-distance athletes.  I was feeling great for the first 600 meters of the race but my body was not working with me and during the last 150 meters, I didn't have any sort of leg turnover to accelerate me down the homestretch.  I was extremely disappointed post-race because I expected more out of myself, but after a few days of looking back at the race I was able to put everything in perspective and move forward.

Since Pre, I have been back on the track and working to get myself ready for my next race.  This weekend, I get to toe the line at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York.  It is a Diamond League event and the World Record Holder, David Rudisha, will be on the start list.  The past two years, I have had the opportunity to race in this meet and I know that this one will be another chance to get in a super fast race against some of the best competition in the world!  I am ready to set a personal best.  My training has shown it and I'm mentally ready for the challenge.  I plan on coming away from the weekend with a sub-1:45 performance!

Here is last week's training


June 2-8

Monday
8 mile recovery run
Weight Session

Tuesday
8 mile recovery run
Strides/Drills

Wednesday
Morning-
3x400 (sub-800m race pace)
Afternoon-
Weight Session
3 mile recovery run
Mileage: 9

Thursday
8-mile recovery run
Drills/Strides

Friday
Morning-
4-mile tempo run
Afternoon-
6x150m
Mileage: 13

Saturday
12 mile long run

Sunday
6 mile recovery run

Weekly Total Mileage: 62

For questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or email me directly at mikeruttrunning@gmail.com!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Oxy High Performance meet this week!

Last week was a solid week of training for myself and the rest of NJNY.  For me, there was no racing, just training.  With the racing season really starting to gear up these next few weeks, it's important not to get away from good, hard training sessions, but to train smart and not kill your body before meets.  So we went back to our standard three workouts throughout the week.

On Monday we worked on our strength, while mixing in some speed.  Wednesday I did a tempo, and on Friday we did some 800 meter specific work to get our bodies ready for this week's meets.  My body is feeling great.  There are the occasional bumps and bruises that pop up during training, but every athlete gets that.  It's important to maintain awareness about your body even as you start backing off the amount of training that you are doing.  All it takes in one little injury to turn into something much bigger.

This week I'll be racing at the Oxy High Performance Meet just outside of LA.  It's a great meet for us to go out and try to run some real fast times!  I'm hoping to pop out a PR on Thursday night, but the most important thing is to continue to progress with racing tactics and to check to see where fitness is at.  You may even see me rocking the Hoka kit for the very first time!!

Here is my training from last week...

May 5 - May 11

Monday
Morning:
2x1000 (2:55, 2:50), 2x200 (24.8, 24.9), 1x400 (50 sec), 2x1000 (2:55)
Afternoon:
Weight Session
Mileage: 9.5

Tuesday
8 mile recovery run

Wednesday
4x100
4 mile tempo (5:40, :30, :20, :10)
4x100
Weight Session
Mileage: 10

Thursday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides

Friday
Morning:
1x550m, 2x300 (sub-800m pace)
 Mileage: 8
Saturday
11 mile long run

Sunday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides

Total Mileage: 62.5

For questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or email me directly at mikeruttrunning@gmail.com!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Henderson Race Recap and a World Team Selection!

Each race is a learning experience, and even as a professional who has been running track for years, one would think I have seen it all, done (a lot of) it all, and learned it all.  Nope.  It's quite the opposite actually.  It is very rare that a race will go exactly as planned and your body will respond exactly as expected or wanted.  If it has ever happened to any of you, I applaud you!

Last week, I yet again had a learning experience during my race at the West Chester Henderson meet.  "You made the same mistake TWICE dummy!"  That's what I was telling myself after my second place effort in 1:47.  Two weeks ago I had made the mistake of running in lane two during the last 200 meters of my race which was a complete waste of energy.  Early in running I was told to not pass on the turns unless it was 100% necessary and I was 100% positive that I could make the pass quickly.  There I am on Friday night running the last turn of the last lap...all in lane two!  I probably ran a few extra meters during that 100 meters of the race, which was unnecessary.  And I heard about it afterwards from Coach Gags!

Other than that mistake, I was relatively pleased with my race.  My body felt great through the first 650 meters, which is not something that happens often during the first 800 meter race of the season.  Usually, lactic acid tends to get the better of me and feel like I'm running in quick sand during the last home stretch.  Anyway, I'm happy with where I'm at physically and I know I'll be ready to really get after it during my next race at the Oxy High Performance Meet at Occidental College on May 15.

In other news...I was informed last night that I have made team USA for the World Relays on May 25!  I will be running the 4x800 relay which will be competing against countries from across the globe.  It's the first time that this meet will be held, and this year it's in the Bahamas!  That will definitely be an added bonus.  As I put out on twitter today, I am honored to be chosen to compete for my country.  I love putting on the USA uniform.  It's one of those dreams that you hope come true as a young runner.  But we won't be going there just for the experience.  It's all about bringing home that gold medal!!!!

Until then, it's time to get back to training! Here is my training from last week...

April 28 - May 4

Monday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides

Tuesday
4x800 3x200
Weight Session

Wednesday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides

Thursday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides

Friday
West Chester Henderson 800m (1:47)
Saturday
14 mile long run

Sunday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides

Total Mileage: 61

For questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or email me directly at mikeruttrunning@gmail.com!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Shaking off the rust

I need to give myself a swift kick in the pants for my lack of blogging lately.  I apologize to any of you who read my blog regularly.  Life has been busy lately for me.  I have been working more hours than normal and when I'm not working, training, or competing, I am trying to get other aspects of my every day life under control.  Not that there is anything negative going on in my life at all...just the joys of the real world!

After a solid month of training, it was time to shake off all the cobwebs.  The Penn Relays was my opening race this past weekend.  Going into the race, I knew that I was fit.  Training has been going great and my body was responding really well to all of the work we were doing.  I wasn't concerned with my time as much as I was about going out there and competing.

I have always loved the Penn Relays, so to open up my season there was a lot of fun.  I was able to spend my warm up on the infield of the stadium and witness the chaos that is the USA vs the World Relays events.  In high school it was always my dream to be able to be in the infield, and I was finally able to experience it.  The crowd is always loud and the atmosphere is as good as it can get in the stadium.  There were times when I couldn't even hear myself speak and I found myself standing in awe of the noise that the spectators created.  It truly is one of the best meets in the world.


My view from the infield of Penn Relays

My warm up felt great so all I needed to do was go out on the track and race smart.  The pacing was fine for the first 1200 meters.  My instruction from coach was to sit back and let the pack to the majority of the work.  With 300 meters to go, I felt the need to get up towards the front before it was too late.  I moved up into second place and started to kick for home.  Unfortunately, I ran in lane two for too much of the last turn which was a mistake on my part.  I was working to hard to hold my position instead of tucking into the poll until the home straight.  I wasn't able to pull off the victory, finishing in 3:58.5 for second place.  I had mixed emotions afterward because no matter what race I'm in, I want to win.  But, I was able to take a look at the race differently after my cool down and my post-race talk with Coach Gags.  A season debut at 3:58.5 is not a bad result.  I will be able to run a low-key 800 this Friday night at West Chester Henderson which will be a good test to see where my 800 fitness is at!

Here is my training from the past two weeks.  Below you can find a link to my post race interview on FloTrack!


April 14-20

Monday
Morning-
6x800 (2:20, 2:16, 2:12)x2
4x200m
Afternoon-
Weight Session
Total Mileage: 10


Tuesday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides


Wednesday
Morning-
4 mile tempo (5:20, 5:17, 5:12, 5:10)
6x150m hill
Weight Session
Total Mileage: 11

Thursday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides


Friday
Morning-
 1x1000, 2x600, 2x400 (mile pace)
Afternoon-
Weight Session
Total Mileage: 8
Saturday
12 mile long run

Sunday
OFF

Total Weekly Mileage: 58 (6 days)


April 21-27

Monday
Morning-
5x800, 1x200 (25 sec), 1x400 (800 pace)
Afternoon-
Weight Session
Total Mileage: 9


Tuesday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides


Wednesday
Morning-
8x400 w/ 1 min rest
1x300 @ 40 seconds
Afternoon-
Weight Session
Total Mileage: 8

Thursday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides


Friday
Morning-
6 mile shake out run
Strides

Saturday
Penn Relays OD Mile
3:58.5
2nd place

Sunday
13 mile long run


Total Weekly Mileage: 59


For questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or email me directly at mikeruttrunning@gmail.com!

Monday, April 14, 2014

One....more.....week

It has felt like AGES since I have raced last.  Luckily, I don't have too much longer to wait.  First, I want to say sorry for not posting last week.  I have been crazy busy with training and working lately and last week I just needed to take a break.

But the training has been going really well lately.  It's hard to really tell where I'm at until I race for the first time, but I'm thinking I'm in good shape at the moment.  Over the past two weeks we have tested our 800 and mile fitness while still maintaining our strength work on the track and the weight sessions in the gym.

For those of you that haven't read some of my latest posts, I'll be opening up at Penn Relays on the 26th.  I plan on racing the Open Mile which will be a great test to see where I'm at physically.  In other news....you may or may not have heard that Hoka One One has made a big announcement in the past week.  I'm happy to welcome 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Leo Manzano to the Hoka family!  I don't know Leo very well but the little that I've talked to him, I know that Hoka has made a great choice in bringing Leo on board.  Although we will be competitors when we step on the track, I'm excited to have Leo wearing the same uniform that I am.

As we get closer to Penn, I'll back off some of my workouts, but I plan on keeping my mileage high through that meet because I'm not trying to peak anytime soon!  Here is my training for the past TWO weeks....thanks guys!


March 31-April 6

Monday
Morning-
6x1200
3x200 (25 sec)
Afternoon-
Weight Session
Total Mileage: 10


Tuesday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides


Wednesday
Morning-
3mile tempo (5:23, 5:17, 5:06)
6x200m
Total Mileage: 10

Thursday
Morning-
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides


Friday
Morning-
 1x1200m, 6x400, (Mile pace)
Afternoon-
Weight Session
Total Mileage:10
Saturday
15 mile long run

Sunday
8 mile recovery run

Total Weekly Mileage: 69


April 7-13

Monday
Morning-
6x1000 (2:55x2, 2:50x2, 2:45x2)
3x150m
Afternoon-
Weight Session
Total Mileage: 10


Tuesday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides


Wednesday
Morning-
2x2 mile tempo (5:20, 5:20, 5:03, 4:53)
6x200m
Total Mileage: 12

Thursday
8 mile recovery run
Drills/Strides


Friday
Morning-
 1x600, 1x400, 3x300 (800m pace)
Total Mileage:9
Saturday
15 mile long run

Sunday
6 mile recovery run

Total Weekly Mileage: 68

For questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or email me directly at mikeruttrunning@gmail.com!