January 31, 2007

Saw Canadian Geese during my 2 hour run

I ran two hours on the Jordan River Parkway. On the way back, I saw a flock of about a hundred Canadian Geese on a lawn foraging for food. They are beautiful birds! I didn't have a lot of energy during the run due to sleep deprivation during the past week, and I ran a slow, restful 13:00 pace. I'm finishing the DVD that I've mentioned in past posts, and I've been staying up later than I should.

Watch out for the black ice

We had about half an inch of snow last night, but it melted a lot during the day, and the Parkway path was clear of snow. However, when I left home for my run, the shade temperature was 30 (F) (I ran in the late afternoon), and water from the melted snow was freezing in shady spots. Most of the path had direct sun, and the water hadn't froze yet.

January 30, 2007

My body spoke to me today

I had a strange thing happen after my run yesterday. My legs were slightly stiff. Nothing serious. This was strange because I usually don't have a problem with stiffness after a run. We used to think that stiffness was due to an accumulation of lactic acid in ones body, but now the sports doctors say that isn't so; the stiffness is due to small tears in the muscle fiber.

I felt fine after my fartleks on Saturday, and I felt fine on Sunday and on Monday before my run. So, the stiffness seems to be due to my Monday run. I did a number of cadence drills, but the increase in speed during the drills was very slight.

As a result of the stiffness, I'm taking a rest day today. Also, I was still tired after the combination of fartleks on Saturday and cadence drills on Monday.

January 29, 2007

Today was cadence drill day

During my hour rest run today I ran 6 or 7 cadence drills. They really are a low-level form of intervals. Instead of measuring the intervals by meters, yards, city blocks, you measure the intervals by # steps in 30 seconds. Jeff Galloway suggests that the second interval be 1 or 2 steps faster than the first interval, and that is what I did. I ran my rest pace for recovery between the drills. When I started the run, I ran my rest pace for the first mile to warm up, and then I ran the cadence drills for the next mile and a quarter to my turn-around point. I didn't run any on the way back since this run was a rest run.

January 27, 2007

Today was fartlek day

I ran 5 miles along the Jordan River Parkway, and three of the miles were "fartlek miles". During the first mile, I ran my comfortable resting pace to warm up. Then for the next three miles I ran fartleks, and then I ran the last mile at my resting pace to cool down. I felt good during and after the run. Here is a link for those not familar with fartleks.

http://www.runninginjuryfree.org/speed.html

The fartleks ranged from about 50 feet to maybe 400 feet. In general the shorter fartleks were run at a faster pace than the longer fartleks (the shortest were sprinted), but all of them were run faster than my resting pace. After each fartlek I ran my resting pace to recover from the burst of speed. I ran my resting pace until my body felt ready for another fartlek. One of the advantages of fartleks is that they don't put a lot of stress on your body, due to the short distance that they are run. In other words, you apply the stress of faster running to your body for a relatively short distance, such that your body can easily handle the stress. My kicks at the end of each run are fartleks.

I practiced acceleration-gliding after each fartlek and during the change to my walking breaks.

The temperature during my run was in the mid 30s (F), but we are in an inversion and the air was polluted with haze and automobile smog that can't dissipate into the air. The Salt Lake valley is surrounded on three sides by mountains, and this "bowl" creates inversions in which cold air is on top of warmer air, and the cold air prevents the smog from dissipating. It was so bad today that I couldn't see the Wasatch Mountains that are shown in the pictures of the Parkway in my right side-bar to this blog.

The science of gliding while running

In my Friday posts, I discussed the concept of acceleration/gliding (ACG) that is taught by Jeff Galloway in his book Running Until You're 100. I thought I would briefly explain the science behind gliding. If you're not into science, feel free to skip this post.

Let's assume that you're running at your desired pace. You have stored in your body energy that is due to your movement. This energy is known as kinetic-energy. If you finish your run and quickly stop, the kinetic-energy will go to 0 because you have no movement. The energy that was in your body, however, has to go somewhere; it doesn't just go "poof" and disappear into thin air. Your body absorbs the energy as heat, and you probably begin to sweat. In effect, you paid a price for that energy by applying stress to your body to get it to move at your desired pace, and then you waste it by quickly stopping, causing the energy to be dissipated in the form of heat. That isn't a very efficient way to run.

Jeff Galloway is suggesting that instead of stopping quickly, or even going quickly to a slower pace, you take a few steps to gradually slow down and thus allow your kinetic energy to be dissipated in the form of forward movement of your body instead of heat in your body. This is a more efficient method of running, and that means that you'll go your distance with less effort.

Now, let's look at it from another perspective. Sir Issac Newton, in the year 1687, published three laws that describe motion. His first law states that "A body at rest remains at rest, and a body in motion continues to move in a straight line with a constant speed unless and until an external unbalanced force acts upon it." In other words, a body in motion wants to stay in motion, and a body at rest wants to stay at rest. Newton's first law is also called the Law of Inertia. This is the reason why, if your car stops quickly, your body tries to continue moving until it is restrained by your shoulder belt, or if you're not wearing a belt the dashboard and windshield. It is also the reason why you are pulled back into your seat when your car quickly accelerates from a semaphore light. If you are running and quickly stop, your body wants to continue moving forward.

Jeff is suggesting that we take advantage of your body wanting to continue moving at your faster pace, the momentum of your body, and let that momentum pull you forward until the kinetic energy is dissipated. You do this by taking a few steps to slow down to a stop instead of quickly stopping.

January 26, 2007

Cadence Drills

Starting on Monday, January 29, I will be performing cadence drills during my hour run on Monday. Jeff Galloway, in his book Running Until You're 100 explains that the drills help one to run faster by running smoother and easier. He describes them as a "gentle" drill, and they should be appropriate for my weekly rest run on Mondays.

A cadence drill has two phases that are repeated several times. First, jog or run a 30-second interval and count the number of times your left foot touches the ground. Next, after a minute or so of slow walking or jogging for recovery, run another 30 seconds and try to increase the count by 1 or 2. Notice that each repetition starts with the first phase that yields a new count.

Acceleration-Glider Drills

Jeff Galloway recommends acceleration-glider (ACG) drills to conserve energy and thus be able to run faster. The idea is to take advantage of the momentum of your faster pace to "glide" as you gradually slow down. The gliding takes less energy since you're using the momentum from your faster pace. They would be appropriate for going down hills and for slowing down for walking breaks, water stops, etc. Jeff recommends that the drills be repeated several times once a week. He cautions, however, that we shouldn't sprint during the drills.

Let's assume you're running and want to slow to a walking break. Rather than making a relatively quick transition to walking, gradually slow down and let your momentum carry you as far as possible. By doing this, you will cover more distance with less expenditure of energy.

I've done this unintentionally in the past. I usually take about two steps to go from running to walking, but on occasion I've let myself go farther as I slowed down to a walk. I literally felt my body push me as I slowed down. I'm taking walking breaks every half mile, and I'm going to use ACG to transition to the walking. Also, my two-hour and longer runs involve a couple of large hills and a couple of small hills, and I'll use ACG to go down the hills without a lot of energy being used. Of course, I'll eventually be able to run my normal pace down the hills as my legs and knees gain strength.

January 25, 2007

Allen, the stealth runner

I noticed yesterday that most of my running is now stealth running with little noise except for the swish swish of my nylon pants and my hat brim scraping my nylon jacket.

I'm hoping that this means that my running is now a bit more efficient. I can use some extra energy at the end of my runs :) I think the reason for the change is that I may be developing better form as my body gets stronger. Because of my stiff joints, I've never had great running form (one runner told me I had my own style). Jeff Galloway, in his book Running Until You're 100 explained it this way. He was describing his "Cadence Drill" in which one attempts to take faster steps.

"In the process of improving turnover, the body's internal monitoring system coordinates a series of adaptations which make the feet, legs, nerve system and timing mechanism work together as an efficient team".

January 24, 2007

And better than last week

I ran for two hours on the Parkway and had a great run! I went about a quarter mile further than I did last week and enjoyed the run. I felt sluggish during the first three miles, but felt fine after that. That first part was my "warm-up" phase. My kick at the end was shorter but faster than yesterday, almost a sprint for about 200 feet.

The temperature was 33 (F) when I left. I returned at about the same time I did yesterday, after the sun had set. My wakeup HR was 55, high due to two nights of insufficient sleep last week. I've been sleeping well this week.

January 23, 2007

Better than yesterday

Today was a repeat of yesterday, only I felt even stronger and ran a bit faster for my comfortable pace. In the hour I covered 5 miles instead of the 4.6 miles that I've been doing. The temperature when I left home was 28 (F), although a couple of hours earlier it peaked at 37 (F). Last night was a low of 15 (F), same as the night before. I forgot to take my wakeup HR this morning :(

I threw in a nice kick at the end. A bit faster and a bit longer than my other kicks so far.

May be a peak coming up

I've felt really good during my runs during the past couple of weeks. That may indicate I'm heading into another peak in my running. I've been in sorta a slump during the winter, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to have a strong Spring of running that will peak on April 21.

My running slap, slap, slap

I mentioned in a previous post that I usually make a lot of noise when I run, due to my toes hitting the ground hard and causing a slapping sound. I'm a slap, slap, slap runner. I also mentioned that once in a while, I run with very little noise; I referred to it as stealth running.

I've been experimenting with with my form to see if I can induce the stealth running (in the past, it has occasionally occurred without me doing anything to cause it). I've found that I can induce it, and I'm practicing doing the stealth running. In my normal running, I hit with my heel, and my foot then hits the ground with a slap sound. In stealth running, I hit with the flat of my foot, and since my foot needs less movement to allow me to toe off, less noise is generated.

I have to be careful, though, that my attempts to be a stealth runner don't lead me to injury. Our bodies have their "natural" style of running, and attempts to change that need to be slight, such that our bodies are slowly led to a new form. Abrupt changes, can in my humble opinion, increase the stress on our bodies.

My motivation for running with less noise comes from two sources. First, an article in Runner's World. The article reported on an interview with Bill Rodgers. The author asked Bill to run at his marathon pace. The author commented that he (the author) was struggling to keep up with Bill, and Bill was gliding along with little noise. Second, in his book Running Until You're 100 Jeff Galloway describes a "gliding" technique of running that takes less energy. I'll discuss that technique in a later post.

Musta been a running club or something

Yesterday, as I was entering my car after my run, I saw three cars with several people, and the people were all dressed in the same training clothes. As I drove out of the parking lot, I saw several more cars with occupants wearing the same training clothes. Altogether, I saw about a dozen cars. None of the people looked to be of high school or younger age. I wish now I had turned around and asked who they were. It would have been interesting to watch them train for a few minutes. I noticed during my run today that someone had used a black spray can to draw a short line across the asphalt of the path and to paint the word "POST" next to the line. I don't remember seeing that inscription before. It was about 1/3 mile from the parking lot.

January 22, 2007

Another great hour run

My wakeup HR was 52 and the outside temperature was about 15 (F) when I got up. I waited until midday to run, and the temperature was in the low 30s (F) during the run. Lots of sunshine and no wind. We had a couple of inches of light, fluffy snow yesterday, but the Parkway path was clear, dry, and free of ice. I had a great run. I felt good and enjoyed being outside in an almost perfect winter day.

Shorter but more frequent walking breaks rock!

Ever since I started taking shorter but more frequent walking breaks, I've had nothing but great runs. I like the shorter walking breaks! Thanks, Jeff Galloway, for the suggestion to take shorter breaks!

January 18, 2007

Different running this winter

My running is different this winter than during my winters in New England. New England is colder than Utah. I think, that for the same reading in (F), the New England winters feel about 10 degrees (F) colder than they do in Utah. This difference in feel is probably due to the higher humidity in the East.

When I ran during New England winters, my whole purpose was to survive. I ran slower due to ice, and I only ran for an hour, because my body started to feel cold after an hour. I wore 5 layers during the coldest part of the winter. By contrast, here in Utah the streets and the Jordan River Parkway are clear of ice, and I'm able to run for two hours and feel fine. I wear 3 layers during the coldest part and usually only wear 2 layers. I'll be starting speed training this week by running fartleks on Saturday, and I never would even consider doing speed training in January in New England.

When I speak of so many layers, I'm referring to layers over my core. I've never worn more than two layers on my legs and just one layer on the bottom part of my legs. My legs don't seem to feel the cold.

A rough guess at my pace for the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon

I'm planning on running the Salt Lake City Half-Marathon on April 21. It's way to early to decide on a pace for the race, but I thought it might be helpful during my training to have a rough idea of the pace I might run during the race.

My PB for the half-marathon is 2:21:56 and was sent in August 2006 at the Great Salt Lake Half-Marathon. In April, I would like to set a new PB of 2:10:00 or faster. To reach 2:10:00 I would need a pace of 9:55, but because I'm taking walking breaks, I would actually need 9:25. My average pace for the GSL was 10:47. Thus, I would need to reduce my average pace for the race 1 minute 23 seconds. That, basically, is my goal during the next 2 1/2 months: to reach my August 2006 pace and then beat it by 1:23.

Note: when I speak of my PB for the half-marathon, I'm referring to my recent running of that distance. The race in August 2006 is my only running of a half-marathon. Twenty five years ago, when I ran marathons, I didn't run any half-marathons, but my time for the first half of the four marathons I ran was about 1:51:21. If I had been running a half-marathon instead of a full marathon, I would have run faster and would have had a time about 1:31:42. Because of my age it isn't realistic for me to try to run a half-marathon in 1:31:42, so I'm trying to set a new PB for a recent running of that distance.

I think it may be realistic for me to try to beat the 1:51:21 number, but first I have to do 2:10:00 or faster. As my friend, Bruce, says: baby steps, baby steps.

January 17, 2007

Another great two-hour run

I ran for two hours along the Parkway and covered 9.15 miles. I had a 30-second negative split, and I really enjoyed the run. I felt great during the run and after I finished. When the sun went down, I had about a mile and a half left, but there was enough light after sundown so I could see the path ok. I threw in a short kick at the end of the run.

The temperature was in the mid 20s (F) when I left home and 18 (F) when I returned. We still have 1 - 2 inches of snow on the ground, but the path is clear of ice and dry. The low last night was 4 (F).

Slowly getting better running form

Last week, while I was doing my two-hour run, I noticed I was running with very little noise. I usually make a lot of noise when I run, because I hit the ground hard with my heel and then my toe slaps the ground. This time, it seemed like I was gliding along. Instead of my usual slap, slap, slap, I was running in stealth mode, and I noticed I was hitting the ground with the flat of my heel instead of the edge of the heel. I noticed the same thing today, almost no noise as I ran -- just a swishing as the brim of my hat brushed my nylon wind breaker. During this stealth mode, I felt relaxed, as if I was floating along the path. It only lasted a few minutes and then I was back to my slap, slap, slap, but it was nice while it lasted.

Saw a family of quail

On my way back, I saw a family of quail walking through the snow looking for food. I don't think they were the same family that I saw earlier in the winter since today they were about a mile south of the other quail. I never see quail in the middle of the day, but I see them more or less frequently at dusk.

January 16, 2007

Congratulations to Jasmine!

Congratulations to my granddaughter, Jasmine, who took 1st in her school-wide spelling bee! She, and two others, will represent their school at the district bee on January 31.

An enjoyable hour run today

The low temperature last night was about 3 (F). It was 5 (F) when I got up. It was 32 (F) maximum in the shade this afternoon, and it was in the mid 20s (F) when I went out running. The sun was out, the path was dry, and it was a nice, crisp winter day. I didn't run a fartlek at the end of the run. My wakeup HR was down to 54 this morning (55 yesterday morning).

My cold is almost gone

My cold was very "drippy" on Saturday and Sunday, but on Monday it went into the "thick mucus" stage and has been in that stage today. I would have run yesterday, but my daughter drove down from Evanston, WY (90 miles) to help me with the DVD I'm making of the Evanston Messiah program that was held in December. She sang with the choir.

Here is a word of warning to everyone who reads this blog: The only people who get colds are those with weak immune systems. If you get proper rest, eat nutritious food and don't eat food with a lot of additives, and have a good exercise program, you shouldn't get any colds because you should have a strong immune system. So, when you get a cold, consider that a warning that perhaps you should look at your life-style to see why your immune system couldn't fight off the cold. Disclaimer: this post is not intended as medical advice. For medical advice, see a doctor.

Robin red-breasts were out foraging for food

I saw a few robins hopping through the snow looking for food. I haven't seen many robins along the Jordan River Parkway, and I was glad to see them. They have always been one of my favorite birds.

My school experience in running

A friend of mine made a post in her blog that described her school experiences in running. I enjoyed reading that and thought I'd explain my school experiences. So here goes.

There, done. "But wait a minute", you say. "You didn't write anything." That's right, because I didn't have any school experiences in running. My Jr. High and High Schools had no track program or other running program. My PE classes didn't involve running. I don't recall my schools having field days. As far as I was concerned, running didn't exist during my childhood.

During high school my friends tried to get me to try out for football, but I declined their encouragement. I played neighborhood football with them and knew it wasn't my thing. I was born with a skeleton that was, as a specialist described, "the opposite of double joints." I've never been able to do quick movements or to fall gracefully. Football would have killed me. I was too awkward and slow for basketball. I did play baseball on a neighborhood team. I also played baseball on a neighborhood team, and I played left-field because I could just stand there and catch a fly ball once in a while. I don't remember any baseball program in my high school. I do remember a gym class in the 7th and 8th grades (1st two years of Jr. High) in which we had to do "tumbling". My attempts at tumbling were to put my head and hands down down and let my momentum carry me over the rolled-up mat -- I always landed with a "crash".

In terms of physical exercise, the one good thing I had going for me was that I did a lot of walking and bike riding. I lived in a small town of about 5000 people in Southern Utah. It was about a mile to school, and I walked it twice a day (we came home for lunch). It was a half-mile to the public library where I would devour books. Another quarter mile put me in the down-town area for shopping. A couple of miles east was the "red hill" where we hiked. A couple of miles south were the "south fields" where we played "army" with WWII gear we bought surplus. A couple of miles west were the "west hills" where I shot my 22 when I first got it as a 12-year old. About three miles south-west was my dad's farm (with his brothers) where I hunted jack rabbits. In those days, if you wanted to go somewhere, you walked or rode a bike! I even remember as a small grade school age child riding my tricycle (not bicycle) several miles to my cousin's farm to spend the night.

I did lots of jack rabbit hunting during my adolescent years. I remember one winter day walking to my dad's farm and hunting jack rabbits for several hours. There was about a foot of snow on the ground, and my only protection for my feet was a pair of rubber galoshes -- thin rubber shells to keep our feet dry but provide no insulation. As I was walking back, I encountered my neighbor who was going out to hunt jack rabbits. I turned around and went hunting with him. I ended up walking in the snow for 8 or 9 hours. When I got home, I discovered my big toe was black and blue, and the toe nail came off a few days later. Frostbite! Such was the life of a teenage walker.

My first introduction to running was while I was in college and in the Utah National Guard. I attended basic training at Ft. Ord, California and did a lot of double-time running. I had no problems with that and enjoyed it. After my six months at Ft. Ord and a small military camp in Southern California, I returned to college in Logan, Utah. Each summer for four years I attended National Guard summer camp at Camp Williams near Salt Lake City. After camp one summer, an army friend suggested I continue the running we had been doing at camp. That sounded interesting, so I did it a few times that summer, but when school resumed, I was too busy (Electrical Engineering major) with studies to continue the running.

It was probably 10 or 15 years later when I started to seriously run as a way of strengthening my feet muscles -- I would suffer great pain when I would spend 7 or 8 hours on my feet doing yard work. I have been running ever since. I run because I enjoy it!

January 13, 2007

Taking a rest day today

During the night my nose started to drip and I coughed up a small amount of phlegm. In addition, my wakeup HR is back to 55. I thus decided to take a rest day. When I was younger I would run through colds, but at my age, I have to give my body more rest to help it recover from colds. Resting today will give me a better chance of running all four days next week.

I had planned on running an hour of fartleks today, but the temperature this morning is 10 (F), and I'm not sure I want to do speed in cold weather. So, if I were to run this morning, I probably would have done an easy rest-run.

January 10, 2007

A really great two-hour run

I ran for two hours on the Jordan River Parkway. I felt great and enjoyed the run. The temperature was in the mid 30s with a hazy sun. A pretty nice day to be out, and there were a number of walkers on the path. I was the only runner that I saw. My wakeup HR was 50, and I had a great eight hours sleep last night.

I began the run with 3 layers, a T-shirt of cotton and poly, a thicker long sleeved cotton T-shirt, and my nylon shell. After a mile I was starting to sweat and took off my nylon shell, and I felt fine during the run. However, when I finished the run and walked around for 5 minutes, I put the shell back on because I was getting cold.

Shorter but more frequent walking breaks rock!

For the past two days I've been experimenting with 30-second walking breaks every half mile during my one-hour runs. This morning I used them with my two-hour run. I felt fine during the run. I looked forward to the breaks and felt energized after they were over. I had pretty good energy during the run, and I ran the last half two minutes faster than the first half. I could have gone even faster, but I held back since this was a LSD run and not a speed run.

I don't really know if my energy today was from the breaks. All I know is that I felt great, better than I felt yesterday and the day before. Part of it is probably due to my cough being gone. I've had that cough for a couple of months, but it has been gone for a couple of weeks.

January 9, 2007

Another great one-hour run

I ran for an hour on the Parkway and really enjoyed it. The temperature was in the mid 30s (F), the sky was clear with no clouds, and there was no wind. A lot of people were on the trail, and it was a great experience! My wakeup HR was 52. I had 8 1/2 hours of good sleep last night.

January 8, 2007

An enjoyable hour run

I ran for an hour on the Jordan River Parkway. This was my first run since last Wednesday, and it felt good to be out. The temperature when I left was 32 (F) and was probably in the mid 30s when I returned. The sky was overcast, and there was no wind. A beautiful day! I ran at my comfortable pace which was about 12-minute miles. My wakeup HR was 55 due to not getting enough sleep the past two weeks.

Started speed training today

My plan has been to begin speed training in January. My plan is to replace my Saturday long run with half an hour of speed. My Wednesday 2-hour run will thus become my long run. My goal during January and the first week of February is to run fartleks.

I ran a fartlek at the end of my run this morning. That fartlek is often called a "kick", and it is a nice way to end a run or race. For the last 150 or so feet, I increased my pace a bit. Not a big increase, but enough for the first time. I will do this kick after each run from now on.

Shorter but more frequent walking breaks

Jeff Galloway, in his new book Running Until You're 100 recommends shorter but more frequent walking breaks. I've been taking one minute walking breaks every mile, but this morning I tried 30-second breaks every half mile. I enjoyed them and will continue with the shorter breaks.

I know where the mile points are on the Jordan River Parkway, but I'm just guessing about the half-mile points. Also, I didn't time the 30 seconds. My walking pace is about two steps per second, so I just counted steps. I don't think the distance and time have to be exact. If my half-mile mark is off a bit, it will be corrected at the next mile mark.

January 3, 2007

It's been a week since I last ran

My previous run was a week ago. I thus decided to make today's run a short, slow "warmup" run. I ran two miles (25 minutes) along the Jordan River Parkway. It felt good to get out again. The temperature was in the mid 30s, and the sky was overcast. We're expecting rain or snow tonight.

My schedule is improving, but...

Due to a hectic schedule, it has been a week since I last ran. During that week, we had a lot of family activities: We had a nice family dinner on New Years eve with about 25 aunts, uncles, cousins, children, and grandchildren attending. My daughter had a new baby. Her two children, who were staying at our house for a few days have returned to their home. My wife went with them and will be with them for a few days. My son and his family who visited from Arizona left this morning. As my neighbor said, "It's nice to see them [grandchildren] come, and it's nice to see them go."

I'm still working on the DVD that I mentioned in a previous post. It's taking me a lot more time than I had expected, because I'm doing some new things in the video. It's been a great week, but I'm glad that things are returning to normal.

It's not the clothing, it's the training

A runner posted a comment in the forum at about.com about running clothing. I replied to his comment, and I thought I'd post my reply here for those who don't read the about.com forum.

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Many years ago there was a runner named Dr. George Sheehan. He was one of the legends in running. In one of his books, he talked about running clothing. He said you could tell the newbies, because they had the latest fashion. The experienced runners wore grubbies. Running shoes, of course, were an exception to his statement.

Things are different today, because running clothes have improved, and wearing the latest clothing has advantages to runners in extreme conditions. I bought my first poly T-shirt last summer, and I'll never go back to cotton. I bought my first 100% poly socks last year, and I'll never go back to cotton. I do, though, wear mostly grubbies. I'm still wearing my nylon running pants that I bought 25 years ago, and I still have my nylon wind breaker that I bought almost 30 years ago. When I layer for winter, I include old cotton shirts that still fit but are too worn to be used as an outside layer. Cotton is a good insulator if it is kept dry. If it gets wet, it is dangerous because it freezes.

You're right that training counts! And, I would add that common sense about pushing yourself too much or too little in training counts, too.