Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday long run

It was excellent, too - I was quite right not to do it yesterday, I slept for a long time last night and was much more in the right mental and physical zone to do it this morning.

I am mindful recently of some good advice that Brent has been giving me about fueling systems, fat oxidation and longer-term endurance development (here is an excellent post on the topic by the always excellent Alan Couzens) - I am not, sad to say, willing to cut sugar, but I am very willing to embrace the benefits of doing really easy 2+hour aerobic efforts on an empty stomach.

(Actually it is much more convenient for me, as a late riser, not to worry about having to get up a couple hours pre-run in order to have breakfast and digest it!)

I figured that I would get a gatorade from the vending machine at Chelsea Piers on the way back if I needed it (this is the 9-mile mark), but in fact I was absolutely fine, no sign of any bonk, in fact though I was hungry by the end I also felt that I could have run for another hour without calories if I needed to...

So anyway it was a TRULY lovely run - I felt the meditative benefits of easy distance running - and it truly was easy, not "easy," the adjective I use for many uncomfortable warm and terribly slow treadmill efforts!

My run the other day in Central Park, enjoyable as it was, reminded me that at my current stage of development it is very difficult to control heartrate and keep it suitable low on a hilly course for a long run, so I think that for this training season I will mostly do my long runs by myself (i.e. not with faster training partners who egg me on to go too fast!) and on the flat course along the west side.

I was keeping an open mind today about whether I'd do 12 or 14, but I felt very good as I reached Houston St. and decided I really should go all the way down to Chambers for the turnaround.

Gosh, it was an enjoyable run (slightly rainy, overcast, mid-60s, damp but with a bit of a breeze)...

c. 14 miles, c. 2:28, avg HR 145 (it is roughly 10:30 pace, I suppose - I walked a couple hills to keep HR down/rehydrate, and had a couple other water-drinking walks - I just keep the clock running for those)

NB I am not doing an actual marathon training plan this time round. This sounds crazy, but I pulled my hamstring last fall at exactly this point in the year precisely due to inflexible workaholic tendency to drive too hard when discretion says to back off. I love having a training schedule, but I do not think I always show good judgment about when it would be better to skip something than to hew to the schedule, and in particular there is always that tendency to try to "make up" what was missed instead of just moving on from it.

The factors:

I have this marathon swim in two weeks and a half-iron race in three weeks

I have the final version of my book manuscript due Sept. 28

I haven't settled in to my fall-semester schedule yet, which means that my weekly exercise schedule is temporarily in flux too

So I did something which seems to me very sensible - I wrote in the long run distances in my appointment book, because there's not a lot of "give" on those, and decided that the rest of the running week would just have to take care of itself. As soon as I write in days and time, I get obsessive about not missing them, and this often leads to poor judgment.

(I will make a more formal schedule once I'm done with the half-iron race and the book!)

So the long runs are as follows:

9/12 14
9/20 16
9/26 14 (Little Red Lighthouse weekend)
10/4 13.1 (Bassman half-iron)
10/10 14
10/17 16
10/25 18
10/31 14
11/8 20
11/15 12
11/22 10
11/28 RACE

It is not a lot of long ones, but the schedule is somewhat compressed because of these couple upcoming events. I am going to keep 1 3-hour and 2 1.5-2-hr. bikes on the schedule after the triathlon is done with, plus of course a lot of swimming, and really that is going to have to do it for me...


Spokane Al said...

People much smarter than me on this subject continue to tell us that when training for a marathon, the long runs are the absolute key component in a training plan.

Wendy said...

I think it is very useful to employ strategies that work with our personalities as well as our training plan!