I don’t know if it was lack of sleep over the past week or the 4 pounds of shellfish and vodka cream sauce over fettuccine (not exactly the optimal high carb meal), but today’s run was a bear. For marathon pace I am trying to hold close to 7:00/mile, and threshold pace is about 6:32/mile, and this is how it went down:
8mi @ marathon pace – 6:59, 6:58, 6:59, 7:07, 6:59, 6:59, 7:12, 6:56
1mi @ threshold pace – 6:31
4mi @ marathon pace – 6:59, 7:08, 6:57, 7:11
1mi @ threshold pace – 6:32
2mi @ marathon pace – 6:59, 6:50
2mi cool down
Breaking it up like this was a big psychological boon. For whatever reason, looking forward to finishing the first 8 mile section helped me, even though it meant I was just getting closer to having to run a mile half a minute faster, before settling back in. Each section was like that – looking forward to the next helped me get through the current. I usually take fuel on runs of 15 miles or more, and will take a Gu every 7 miles or so. Today I took none, and only carried about 16oz. of fluid (I had no Gu and no fluids on last week’s 18mi run and did fine). I wonder if there is some benefit to training in a more heavily glycogen-depleted state (i.e. without any carbohydrate intake). This author seems to believe so. The general idea is captured in this quote from the article:
“Aside from testing the fat-burning capabilities of the body, there’s a mental edge gained with this style of long run. It makes for a little added discomfort, which can be valuable when carbohydrates are ingested, such as on a more intense training session or race day. The response almost feels enhanced because in previous training experience you had to mentally cope without.”
However, the author also advises that this strategy is best employed in long runs where you’re at 60-65% of VO2max, because that’s when you’re burning fat, and the goal is to develop a more efficient fat-metabolizing system so your glycogen stores last longer. Not exactly what I was doing…oh well. Lesson learned. Any other thoughts on the subject from more experienced runners are greatly appreciated!
Tomorrow’s run: REST. Happy Memorial Day!