09 January 2015

My 2014 Running Year in Retrospect

Here are my 2014 running statistics:

196 running sessions totaling:

  • 3600 km of running. It does not include other activities such as hiking or ski tours. This is almost 700 km more than in 2013
  • Estimated  around 150.000 m of elevation gain. This gives about 750 meters per run, and an average gradient of 8%.
  • Average speed 8.31 km/h. About the same as in 2013.
  • Average pace 7.13 min/km. Looks rather slow, but take into account that half of my routes are uphill, often on steep slopes.
  • Average run length 18.3 km. 1.5 km longer than in 2013.
  • Just 2 Races, down from 7 during 2013

Some comments

Less races

In 2013 decided to race less, stress my body less and enjoy every bit of my runs in the nature. Yet the two races I ran were quite serious. Brasov Marathon and Hit the Top (sky running in Bucegi Mountains).


I thought that it may be the time to finally try a smartphone and found a cheap one with a very good GPS, good battery and bright screen. I installed Strava and connected with a small community of runners in Brasov. So although I did not race much in official races, during summer I was racing along the Strava segments and accumulating kilometers... During the autumn I realized that I should take it easier...

180-age Heart Rate

Around the time whan I realised that my body may try to tell me that my running is too intense I discovered the 180-age formula for optimal heart rate training. So I revived my heart rate monitor watch and use it now and then. Just look on the web for more info about this formula. 

I really find running at this heart rate very enjoyable and relaxing. It is hard to keep to this heart rate on uphills so my HR is about 5 bpm higher on most uphills, and about 10 bpm higher on the really steep ones. On downhills I have the reverse "problem"... I cannot raise my HR to 180-age. This is not bad at all, as my runs are often longer than two hours so I do not stress my heart too much...

2015 new Year Resolution?

Not really a resolution... It came spontaneously after two rich Christmas meals that made me feel energy-less. and after I did some research about nutrition... hopefully from the right sources...

I decided to give up all milk and dairy products and see what happens. This is a hard one in our culture where everybody appreciates good cheese and yogurt and milk are common snacks. Moreover, soft cheese and milk are common ingredients in lots of savory dishes and tasty deserts...

I was already eating very little meat, so I did next "logical" step and for a week now, I have a 100% vegan diet. Will it work? Will it last? Time will tell... Check my blog in one year for the 2015 year review. So far I have noticed that my skin is less greasy, my dandruff is virtually gone my nose less runny... and my running performance is not affected.

29 November 2014

An icy day!

After a few beautiful  sunny and chilly winter days that followed the snow fall of last weekend, I had big plans for today: first ski tour of the season! Unfortunately, on Friday afternoon it started to rain... This morning (Saturday) it was still raining. It was clear that the weather was too wet for ski touring. Moreover, a quick look on the webcams confirmed my fears that high in the mountains it was also raining as the air higher in the altitude was warmer than in the city.

In the city was raining, but the temperature was below 0C. So everything got covered in a thick layer of ice! The view from my balcony did not look too inviting.

Later, towards the noon the rain stopped so I quickly got equipped for trail running. The most important piece of the equipment were the running ice crampons! Out of the city, the forest road  was covered in a thick and and rock solid layer of ice! Without the crampons it would have been impossible to walk! The icy road lasted for about 5 km. Around 1000m altitude in Poiana Brasov it was already warmer, just above freezing so there were only a few icy patches on the route. At some point I could see the sun through the foggy air so I decided to go a bit higher than the planned route. I soon got above the sea of low clouds and almost immediately the temperature rose to about +7C! There were a few skiers. The slopes on the high part of the mountain looked quite good, but lower, the ski slope was interrupted in a few places.

A higher layer of clouds confirmed the weather report that more rain, and then snow is on the way. I snapped a few photos with my crappy phone camera and started to run downhill, back to the city. Below 1000m altitude the temperature was still below freezing. I chose a different route downhill, along the old Poiana Road. Here, half of the road width was covered in a thick layer of leaves so the ice was not solid like on the uphill route, meaning that I could run downhill with confidence.
Now, in the evening, as I write it, the rain that started again tries to turn into snow, a sign that colder air invaded the higher altitudes... so that first ski touring trip of the season might happen very soon!