Sunday, June 19, 2005

Long Run Without Breaks!

Saturday morning was my long run. I was up at 6 a.m., had a light breakfast, warmed up and hit the trail. When I left the house at about 6:30 a.m. it was already 24C/75F and humid. I mean the air was so thick that I felt like I could move it out of the way with my arms, kind of like swimming. After the first mile I was already dripping with sweat. I tried to keep my pace moderate, it was not a day for a fast pace.

The first 9K/5.5M was over my familiar route that I run several times a week, I averaged about 6:15/K (10:03/M). Instead of heading home I went west over the neighboring town of Graben’s Running Club trails. I didn’t see too many runners or walkers out, I guess it was too warm and humid for them:-) I wound my way over one of the forest trails that I was familiar with, eventually turning south onto a new trail. This new trail headed south for maybe 15-20 minutes, with the trail surface varying from forest trail to gravel and finally to asphalt. I passed a soccer club, the continued on for a few more minutes, eventually reaching a highway. I recognized this as one that heads back to my town so turned left. This was approximately the 16K/10M point. I was still feeling very good, I had been drinking regularily from my CamelBak, so saw no reason to take a break.

I ran for just a minute or so and found the northerly trail that leads back to the Graben Running Club starting point. So I wound my way back to this point, then over a road and railroad bridge, continuing on until I connected to my normal trail once again.

I knew once I was back on my trail I had about 5.5K/3.5M to go. I wasn’t exactly sure how far I had gone, as I had slowed my pace somewhat due to the heat and humidity.

Anyway I finished my run with a time of 2:48:15. I took NO BREAKS. The only stop I made was for maybe 30 seconds to pee. As I had eaten a lot the night before and had a good breakfast I didn’t feel the need for any sports bar, so I eliminated these stops. I had my CamelBak backpack with 2 liters of diluted sports drink which I started sipping regularily after about 30 minutes.

My legs were rather stiff the last 20-30 minutes of the run, but otherwise I experienced no negative effects from NOT taking any walking breaks. A good stretch after the run was all I needed to get rid of this stiffness.

As I was not sure of the total distance that I ran, today I measured the route with my bicycle: 26.6K/16.5M. And because I took a couple detours to find the right trail home while I was running, I will call it a 27K run.

So 27K/16.7M without any breaks – totally satisfying. This pretty much answers the question FOR ME whether I should take walking breaks or not. I think I am far enough ahead with my fitness that I don’t need too. Of course as my long runs increase (and the heat and humidity of summer) I may change my mind. We’ll see!

Summary of Saturday Morning’s Training:

1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
27K/8.7M run; total time 2:48:15 – long running.
1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
Cool down.
Conditions: 6:15; 24C/75F, humid!
Feeling after training: Legs tired, but otherwise good!

Good for you - that sounds like a very satisfying long run!!
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