Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Steady 20K Mid-week Run

Last night we had wet, rainy, windy, 12C/54F, weather as I headed out the door at 4:30 p.m. for my 20K/12.4M run. I was a little tired from a stressful day at work, but as I warmed up with the first few kilometres I shook this off. I concentrated on keeping the pace down, running roughly at my marathon pace (6:00/K, 9:39/M). The wind carried me along the first half hour or so, there was a small sprinkle of rain from time to time, but nothing major. The worse was all the mud and mud puddles, it was quite slippery in spots.

I cruised around my normal 14K/8.7M route, turning off at the 8.6K point to do a 6K/4M loop around the neighboring town of Graben’s Running Club trails. I met several walker’s and Nordic-walker’s on the way, the most in pairs and talking so much they barely recognized me as I plodded by.

I completed my loop and finished my run over the rest of my 14K route. I felt better than on last Wednesday’s 19K/11.8M run, I made sure that I ate a little more during the day, despite my dieting. My average pace for the approximately 20K run was 5:56/K (9:32/M), right on target. The run was not easy, during the last 30 minutes it was tough to keep up the pace. On the other side, effective training shouldn't be easy, right?

I am finding that this longer mid-week run is proving to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated. The problem is that I don’t feel like I am getting enough sleep to expedite recovery. The other problem is that I generally eat less during the first part of the week to keep my diet in check, but now I need more energy for my longer mid-week run and the accompanying recovery. Next week I had planned on adding a 4th running day, on Thursday’s, but now I’m not sure.

I am wondering if I am letting my fears of another DNF push me too hard in my training, am just getting old, or what’s going on .

I find that whenever I have tried to cut back food when I am training the hardest, my runs are tough. Whether it's mental or not, I'm not sure. But it sounds like you are letting all those numbers get to you. I'll give you the same advice everyone just gave to me: relax. Just run:)
Don't underestimate the importance of enough sleep. I find it makes a huge difference to how you're feeling.
I always like to have doubts in my mind about whether I am training properly. This way I know I am thinking things through. Those mid-week long runs can be tougher than the weekend longer runs.
I have a really tough time with long mid-week runs, too. The stress of work and not getting enough sleep/rest really weighs on me. I can handle 6-milers in the middle of the week but that's it!
Let em eat cake!! OK--not really "cake", but get those calories in while you're increasing your activity level--your body absolutely needs it!

If you havent already checked out give it a peek. It helps you keep calories at the level of your activity.

And, NEVER EVA, say you're getting old---we're the same age!! ;)
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