John F Doyle’s Adventure Blog

October 9, 2009

Solo Trail Running

Filed under: interests — johnfrederickdoyle @ 2:10 am
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Just ran over the top and end to end of Rattlesnake Mt.

Here is a link to Google maps with a nifty overlay:  click!

I started on the west end, climbed 2732 feet, then descended 2909 feet to Rattlesnake lake on the east side. The trail signs said 10.5 miles, but my iPhone GPS Motion X app said 9.61 miles. I thought my time was a little slow, soooo maybe there is an accuracy issue with the altitude change.

It was great to run solo. Nobody to wait for and nobody had to wait for me!  At my wife’s urging, I carried an “industrial strength” pepper spray in case I ran into a hungry bear or cougar, though I probably would have just sprayed my own eyes to avoid watching the inevitable!

The best part was meeting my wife and her friend at the Rattlesnake ledge and drinking a steaming hot coffee before running the last two miles to the lake – what a treat!!

More trail running to come!


September 9, 2009

The miracle of the seven second hill

Filed under: interests — johnfrederickdoyle @ 4:33 am

Maybe not this oneSo, I read a book by a popular fitness writer on his coaching methods. I can’t remember his name. Oops. I need to read that book again because he has given me a great new tool.

The seven second hill sprint.

I have been doing these once a week with spectacular results. Here’s the drill. Warm up for a mile or two. Pick a steep hill with a “ramp” that you can walk down without straining your knees. Jog back around and as you start up the hill, sprint all out for about 7 seconds. I started with 20 of these in a row. Then I ran a 28 second 200 meters on the track after a 5 minute break! (I’m 51) The writer says that he uses this method to prevent injuries and develop strength in his runners. I am here to tell you it works!

This weekend I was in Spokane, and while running down the river from town I found a good slope. I did a bunch of these. The idea behind the 7 seconds is that your anaerobic system doesn’t kick in, so you are doing strength training without an oxygen deficit. Since you are still running, You get the additional benefit of training your running muscles too! So, just to try the theory, I ran all the way to the top of the riverbank at the same intensity after my 20 repeats. That was about a 45 second run and that was a killer! I also was pretty much useless for any more training. Lesson is, short intense sprints can be done again and again.

I think that I would like to work up to about 100 of these 7 second hill sprints. I do get tired after 20, but since I have started I am adapting to the workout load so it should continue to get easier.

July 26, 2009

More Barefooting!

Filed under: interests — johnfrederickdoyle @ 5:56 pm
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Just did the Bonneville Lakeshore trail in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 24.

I filled my 2.5 litre MSR hydration pack with ice cubes and water, took the TRAX light rail to the Medical center stop and accessed the trailhead. It was in the nineties and sunny, so an ideal day for an easy run. I used my new toy, an iPhone 3GS with the MotionX GPS app to track my run.

I ran a little more than 7 miles in less than an hour and a half. I topped out at 5933 feet, and finished at 4435 feet. Max heartrate was only 184, so I wasn’t really pushing myself too hard. Best of all, I wore my Vibram Five Fingers (you can’t really call them shoes!) and didn’t encounter a single problem. The next day I was a little tired, but no specific soreness. I had encountered Achilles Tendonitis in the past, but I have been stretching and running without traditional “support” shoes.

I think I’m onto something!!

June 11, 2009

Gray Cook!

Filed under: interests — johnfrederickdoyle @ 4:21 am
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I am reading Gray Cook’s book: Athletic Body in Balance. Wow! Everything you wanted to know about performance, balance and injury prevention. One concept: The squat! I tried to squat down and read the magazines on the lowest rack in the Sacramento airport about 6 years ago. I didn’t last. My “inner zombie” (not my concept, but I love the idea) wouldn’t let me bend all my joints. I started running soon after, went from 171 lbs. to 148 lbs. and never felt better. Still though, couldn’t touch my toes or even squat. Too much time in a chair. (I’m an airline pilot) I used Pavel Tsatsouline’s “Relax into Stretch” book to learn to bend, Kettlebells to strengthen my core (and keep the inner zombie comfortable with movement) and attempted all kinds of random things to loosen up. Now I believe I have found the secret to success here in Gray Cook’s book!!! I want to attend one of his workshops, but I don’t see any on his website for Seattle!

Here is a review of his book with a short bio:

Here is the “Functional Movement” website:

Strength AND flexibility!

March 26, 2009


Filed under: interests — johnfrederickdoyle @ 4:30 am
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I started using a kettlebell for core strength last year. I weigh 150 lbs. (68 kg) and bought a 20 kg kettlebell. I use it once a week – single arm swings, cleans and presses. I am not trying to get massive biceps or six-pack abs, just a good solid core. The results in my running have been astounding. I do a track workout once or twice a month and run a 1/4 mile (one lap of my local dirt track) in 68 seconds. Two laps and I start to slow, and a mile comes in at 5:30. I have been visiting the track for 4 years and my biggest speed gains came after I started using the kettlebell. Oh yeah, I’m 51 years old.

I great site for kettlebell workouts is Dr. Mark Cheng’s Kettlebells Los Angeles. For more hardcore training try Pavel Tsatsouline’s Power By Pavel.



March 18, 2009

Barefoot Running

Filed under: interests — johnfrederickdoyle @ 3:55 am
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I started running six years ago and discovered barefoot running two years ago. Most of my running is on trails, with a few monthly track workouts and some roadwork when there are no trails. I really don’t have many barefoot options, especially in the winter here in Seattle. For a barefoot “feel”, I started using the Nike Free 3.0 and I am on my second pair. Last year I heard about the Vibram Five Fingers shoe, and bought a pair on an overnight in Oakland, CA. I now use them on short three to five mile runs on trails in a park near my house, and I felt I had enough time in them to try a fourteen mile run on the dike system in south San Fran bay near San Jose, CA last weekend. Other than my feet feeling a little beat up for a few hours after, I had none of the usual leg stiffness that I usually have after that South Bay run. Vibram really has got a good product and it is as close to barefoot running that I can get without worrying about shredding my feet on glass or other sharp objects on the trail.

March 6, 2009

Real Adventures!

Filed under: interests — johnfrederickdoyle @ 4:52 am
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Just starting out here on wordpress. Thanks for having me and my world…

The picture is my boat made from garbage that had washed up on the shore in Tuktoyuktuk, NWT. I had a job washing dishes for a company called “ATL” back in summer 1982. The company supplied ice-breaking tug boats in support of oil exploration in the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic Ocean).

I wonder if anyone else ever tried to sail it…?

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