Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Year of the Full: Chapter 7 - Finding The Right Formula

Taking two rest days after my long run day has become the norm for me. It's the perfect way to fully rest and recuperate before I'm scheduled to run again. Well at least that's what I tell myself so I don't feel lazy...

Occasionally I've been forced to take three rest days and that works out fine as well. But I refuse to take four rest days so this morning I ran...

I had a few walk breaks mixed in so I was pretty proud of the pace, especially with negative splits...
why can't I have a 7:55 min/mile pace ALL the time???
The weather wasn't too humid and having overcast skies really helped. The gloomy skies actually matched the mood I was in when I started my run and how I felt immediately after.

Today I went through a wave of post-run emotions...
        That was my pace???    ~     I thought I was going faster :(    ~    Well it could be worse right?

         It feels like I ran 10 miles :(  ~     A 5K should not be hard for me   ~   Is that a lizard by my phone????? 

So I have some great news... no blisters today!!!! I celebrate this small (yet amazing) phenomenon because let's face it, my "blister-free" state won't last long. I tried something new for my blister prevention this morning and I'm going to do it again when I do my long run to see if it really works or if today was just a fluke.

And, in keeping with my desire to share more great news... no ankle pain today!!! To be fair, I don't usually have ankle pain during a 5K run unless I land badly. But since this is my first run since Saturday it was reassuring to be pain free :)

I know the key to a successful run is finding the right formula. Whether it's a training run or an actual race, there are so many different things that impact performance and progress. If you've been following my blog posts you already know that I've been battling with: humidity, ankle pain, blisters (really bad blisters), and several other "non-running related" stuff. It's been hard to stay motivated and there have even been a few times when I.....(wait for it.....) didn't want to run!!!

Finding the right formula for my long run is essential. I have found (based on my successful 16 mile long run) that a combination of things are required:

1. Start early (I mean really really early) and allocate a minimum of 1 hour for every 5 mile increment (of course you can adjust that based on your own pace, but 1 hour works for me).
2. Have a large quantity of cold hydration products (water/coconut water/Gatorade etc) readily available and hydrate frequently.
3. Fuel regularly throughout the run (using energy chews or gels that don't cause tummy troubles).
4. Have a safety plan (whether that's having someone to run with or someone to drive their car or ride their bike along the route with you).
5. Find podcasts or an audiobook or something entertaining and distracting that you can listen to during the run (anything that will take your mind off the distance and/or duration).

I'm still working on the logistics for this Saturday's 18 mile run. I already know that I may need to split this LR into two sessions. I have a group that I'm scheduled to run with for 10 miles so once that's confirmed I just have to figure out how I'm going to complete the additional 8 miles. I know (or have heard of) a couple of people who break up their LRs into road miles and treadmill miles in order to complete their scheduled training distance. I can't run on the treadmill, but (as a last resort) I may need to complete some of my mileage on the Stairmaster at the gym (which isn't the same as running 18 miles straight but it's still a pretty good workout).

On a somewhat unrelated note... today I realized that the folks at runDisney and I have developed a very open (albeit brutally honest) relationship...
I used my time from the Sarasota Half Marathon, which they should be able to verify with ease. But at least I know where I will be placed if there are any issues with finish time verification ;)

Do you break up your LR miles between the road and the treadmill (or another type of cardio equipment)?

Have you ever trained for a full marathon by only running on the treadmill?

Do you like races with corrals? Or do you prefer for everyone to line up on a "first come first serve" basis?


  1. I love your formula! I need to get better about some of those things like starting early and hydrating better!

    And that's awesome you didn't have those issues today!! Sounds like it was a great run! (I've only had one negative split ever, LOL. One day!)

    1. Thanks!!!! The negative splits will come...just try starting out a little slower and slowly build up momentum ;)
      I'm hoping the "formula" will come together nicely for my run on Saturday ;)

  2. That's a great system! I also think it's super smart to have extra rest after a long run. They are so hard on your body!

    1. I'm trying to do my long runs on Saturday so that I can take the rest of the day and Sunday off :)
      I agree... long runs are hard on my joints and feet :(

  3. Oh my goodness was there really a lizard near your phone??? lol.

    I've never trained solely on a TM for a marathon but for this year's Boston Marathon I ran a ton of miles on the TM because of snow and ice.

    I prefer races with corrals so that there isn't as much weaving and bottle-necking at the start.

    1. It turned out not to be a lizard but I was sufficiently traumatized regardless ;)
      I prefer corrals sucks being in the last corral but I agree the bottle-necking at the start can get annoying


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