It’s been four months and we still don’t miss you

Vitamins or diet? She’s on the case!

Today’s run (street): 5.9 miles

Back in December, I wrote about a study that was reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine about the efficacy of multivitamins. According to their findings, taking multivitamins provided no preventative benefits related to cancer, heart disease or any other chronic illnesses. Unlike medicines such as ibuprofen that show benefits within the hour, we’ve all taken it on faith that multivitamins work. According to the Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (Centrum vitamins) marketing department, “Multivitamins are intended to be used as part of an overall healthy lifestyle and can help fill the gaps in one’s diet to help ensure people get the recommended amount of key vitamins and minerals needed each day.”

So do they actually help? Well the Emerging Runner family decided in December that those findings were a good enough reason to stop taking them. Almost four months have passed since we last took our daily doses. Besides a few days of sneezes and sniffles in February, we haven’t missed them at all.

Our family eats well, with plenty of whole grains, vegetables, salads, lean meats and plant-based proteins. I’m betting that our diet provides sufficient protection. Therefore, I’m going to conclude that multivitamins are unnecessary, at least for healthy eaters. I did have a rough patch with my running this winter, but I attribute that to poor training rather than to either diet or the lack of a multivitamin.  

And those horse pills are no joy to swallow, either.

Men’s Journal had an article in the March issue that restated these findings and offered other evidence that vitamin supplements don’t work. I’d be curious to know how these conclusions have affected vitamin sales, or if most people continue to take them just to be safe.

This morning I had a very nice run around my surrounding neighborhoods. Now that I’m regularly exceeding five miles when I go out, I can feel a real difference in my endurance. Curiously, I started to feel a drop in energy around 30 minutes in, but within ten minutes, I felt as strong as I did at the start. This structured training seems to be working. Why did it take me six years to start following a plan?

How many miles will you get from your running shoes?

Kinvara 3’s: 1000 Km and still looking good

Today’s run (treadmill): 4.1 miles

Besides race entry fees, shoes are usually a runner’s biggest expense. If you look on the web, you’ll find different recommendations for when to replace a pair. Running shoe companies like Brooks recommend replacement between 400 and 500 miles and even less for minimal models. However, a study conducted by a German University biomechanics lab concluded that “the lifetime for a high quality running shoe is expected to be much higher than 1000 km” (621 miles).

In an interesting coincidence, I saw on my Daily Mile gear tracker that my Saucony Kinvara 3’s have just hit 621 miles. I had covered 470 miles running on roads and put on the last 151 running on the treadmill. Now that I’ve reached this point, I wonder how many more miles these shoes might have before they need to be replaced. Does “much higher than 1000 km” mean 200? 500? Even more? The shoes don’t feel any different than they did when I got them, and I don’t experience any knee pain after I use them.

The venerable GTS-10’s

I retired my Brooks GTS 9’s at 711 miles but stopped running in the 10’s before I hit 400. That was because I moved to more minimal shoes (the original Kinvara and Hattori). Although the GTS 10’s were retired for running, they have been my daily casual shoes for over three years. Further, they still feel good enough to return to my running shoe rotation.  

I’ve put more than 200 miles on my main road shoes (Saucony Virratas) and I’m expecting to get at least 500 more before I’m done with them. Since I rotate in my Brooks Puredrifts, Spira XLT’s and Helly Hansen Trail Lizards, I probably won’t be buying new shoes in 2014. But if one of these running shoe companies wants to send some new shoes to test on Running Gear Adviser, I would certainly give them a try.

Neighborhood run and CSH Lab fun

Monkey business at CSH Laboratory

Today’s run (street): 5 miles

After a surprisingly difficult run on Thursday, I decided to take yesterday off. I had business that needed attention and that bought me some useful time in the morning. My wife and I had considered a walk after lunch, but time caught up with us. Guilt from skipping a workout wasn’t even a consideration. I really needed the rest.

This morning we had plans to visit nearby Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where we’d tour the grounds and buildings and learn about the institution. Due to that, I had to get out early for today’s run. A tight schedule discouraged me from going far from home, so I decided to target the neighborhood that’s located directly south of ours.

I started with a loop along the northern part of my neighborhood to get a sense of my fitness. I wasn’t feeling tremendous energy (certainly not at the level I’d hoped to have coming off a day’s rest) but it was better than Thursday’s experience. I settled into a pace that I could sustain for five miles and made my way south to “neighborhood #2” for a change of scenery.

The run was fine, I’d mapped out the route I’d take and only made one change along the way because I was curious to see where a certain road led. The southern neighborhood has a lengthy section that runs close to a mile. I like that part of the route because it’s primarily straight and allows me to tune out and just run. I made my way back home in time to (just barely) remain on schedule.

Our tour of the CSH Labs was really interesting  and we discovered a lot about the current research as well as the impressive and important history of the laboratory. My son has attended DNA camp at CSH over the last three summers and he was thrilled to learn more about the essential research. Our tour guide was a first year Ph.D student at CSH’s Watson School. She shared a lot of information about the work she is doing, along with many interesting stories and facts about the Lab.

Harbor view from the Lab
A workout for the mind and the legs

The CSH Lab’s campus is beautiful, with great views of the harbor. We walked a lot, over many hills, and the tour could easily count as a second workout. Apparently, the campus is open to the public and the rolling and picturesque grounds would make for an interesting run. It’s ten minutes from my house so perhaps I’ll do that this fall. I was glad to get back into the workout groove this morning and spend some quality time with my family at the lab.