Monday, November 21, 2005

Faster than a speeding bullet...

Well, almost, but as if to answer my mind’s doubts about marathon training over the next few months, my body delivered a good pace tonight on my 14K/8.7M run. With the temperature hovering around 3C/37F I headed out at 4:30 p.m., the wind was still, there were a few sprinkles in the air, the trails were wet from the rain that had fallen throughout the day. I took it easy the first kilometer, covering the distance in 5:50 (9:23/M pace). I felt pretty good so picked up the pace. My average pace for the first 7K/4.35M was 5:23/K (8:40/M). I still felt pretty good so I kept pushing, eventually finishing with an average pace of 5:29/K (8:50/M) for the 14K/8.7M. This was my fastest pace since the middle of October.

As I was doing some cross-training tonight (read doing the dishes;-) I was thinking about what was different. A couple factors may have had some influence:

- I had a good nights sleep last night (8 ½ hours).
- I have increased my daily calorie intake over the past 5 days (as compared to the two weeks previous to this time).
- I had a good day at work.

I also tried a new running outfit. The last week or two I have been bulking up with cotton jogging pants and jacket. The main disadvantage of these once I start sweating the clothes get sticky and heavy. Tonight I tried some new layer combinations:

Layer one: CoolMax underwear, 100% polyester long underwear pants, and a CoolMax running shirt on top. This was followed by thin CoolMax running tights and a thin cotton turtleneck shirt. Finally I wore a lightweight 100% polyester bicycle jacket. Oh, I also wore a CoolMax hat and some thin cotton gloves. I hope running shoes and socks are obvious.

This combination was much lighter, and with the exception of the cotton shirt was all wicking material. My skin stayed much dryer than with most other combinations that I have tried, plus, with the exception of the cotton shirt, the clothes did not absorb all the sweat that I lost but rather wicked most of it out to evaporate. The main thing was that this was much more comfortable and easier to run in. I also felt warmer than with any other outfit that I have tried to date.

Next run I may try leaving the cotton shirt at home and see if I stay warm enough. I only need to find something to keep my neck warm – maybe a thin scarf or something.

As Christmas nears I added thermo running tights or winter running pants (no cotton) to my wish list. The thermo-tghts seem to be the popular running pants of choice in Germany, my coworker swears by them – light weight, CoolMax material, keeps the legs warm enough as long as you keep moving.

Figuring out what to wear as the weather chills is always a challenge.

The socks and shoes may not be obvious for
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