Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What an odd run...but I think I found the "long run" method that works for me!

Ok, last night, I decided to change things up a bit on my run. I've been having a really time running long lately, and I wasn't sure what it was due to. I was fine just a few weeks ago! But, after I laid it all out, I realized I had changed a few things:

  • increasing speed

  • not bringing water

  • not eating a ton before a run (well, at least not watching what I eat before a run)

The only thing that was consistent was the fact that I was running in the evening, and I also have always focused on drinking at least 80 ounces of water during the day that I run (typically 24 ounces at breakfast, 24 ounces at lunch and 24 ounces on the drive home...and then a tea somewhere in the morning). So, at least I know that I've been hydrated!

But what has caused my sluggish behavior? I thought for short, less than 45 minute runs, I could forego the water....honestly, its not like I drink much of it. I tend to pour most of it on my face/chest/neck to cool me down. See...I'm not one that sweats constantly. Instead, I'm one of those red-faced runners....the heat inside me doesn't escape as easily as others, so I turn beat red! But, maybe the cool-down pouring of the water kept me going? So, I ran with 12 ounces of water on my fuel belt last night.

I also ate a ton yesterday. I swear between noon and 6pm, I ingested about 1600 calories. Insane, I know...and much more than I would ever typically do, but the dip was quite tasty... My only intention was to get in some carbs, but I obviously went overboard :)

So, given the events of yesterday...what did I accomplish? I ran 5.2 miles! Well, there were 4 minutes of walking in there, but I went the distance! Not bad! Actually, this is the farthest I've ever gone! Now, the average pace was a sad 11:25, but that included the walking segments, as I didnt stop the garmin during these mini breaks. So, maybe without the walking, it would have been more like 11:00-11:15? My math brain isn't working this morning, so that range will have to do.

Yes, slower than I would prefer....but what surprised me most was that I think I could have gone much farther! 6 miles? Not a problem...maybe even 7 miles? I think that would have been doable!

So, I know my method for doing a long run now. For the near future, I need to bring water to cool down my skin. I also need to focus on short sessions between walking breaks. I think I could change the vibration on my garmin to notify me for every 1.1 mile split and try that out with a similar method...and then slowly move the distance between each split up. The following week 1.2, then 1.3 and so forth. I'll also start sooner so I can get home well before dark, as I would have gone farther last night if it was brighter out. I will partake in a ton of carbs also a few hours before a long run, but will not overstuff myself like I did yesterday...I know it was simply too much.

I'll still focus my two mid-week runs on speed (eg targeting 10:00 pace for the 5K distance)...but for that weekend run, this method will be mine for awhile. I just can't believe that I almost went a 10k distance! I almost did half of a half-marathon! Not bad...considering my first half-marathon is 5+ months away :) I feel re-energized and more motivated now than I have in a few weeks, and I'm so glad that I did this little experiment!

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