went very well. My miles are increasing slowly and my knee is under control. Applying RICE to my knee has it feeling better even as my miles have increased.
During week 7, I managed to run 30.28 miles. For week 8 I ran 30.45. The Sunday Long Run was about 3 miles shorter this week, but I had a good Tuesday night run and a good lunch time run on Thursday which more than made up the difference.
This Sunday we have an 18.1 mile run which takes us down Main Street in Melrose and down the Fellsway to Breakheart Reservation. After we climb those hills its out Farm Street in Wakefield to Montrose, down Salem/Lowell St to Lake Quannapowitt. We loop around the lake and then slog in down Main Street back to Melrose.
This week we will have 5 water stops! I plan to hold back and not start with the lead group this week.
If all goes well on Sunday, I should be able to break 35 miles next week. Not a lot of miles for someone seriously training for a marathon, but it is pretty good for me. I rarely run more than 40 miles while training for a marathon and that is probably why I haven’t qualified for Boston yet.
I do keep getting faster and ran a Boston PR this year. A lot of that improvement can be attributed to my gym work, some of it to the long runs and maintaining a good base all year round.
I’ve been busy working on my new blog so I haven’t had much time to write. If all goes well this weekend, I hope to launch the new blog the first of next week.
Most runners can run a 5K or 10K training run without any problems. Most of us don’t even need Gatorade or gel to get through these runs. Once you get beyond your routine running distances and into the “long runs”, lots of things can go wrong.
During a short run you may experience chafing from a new shirt, or blisters from new shoes. A long run is when the real world problems will show up. If your shoes are off just a little but you may not notice this during a 5K run. But when you run 10 plus miles in your new shoes those blisters can turn into a disaster.
A long run is the time to experiment. Sometimes I will try out new shoes or food and hydration items. If things go terribly wrong, I can walk home, call for a ride or catch a ride with one of the support team members. It is better to have your experiment fail during a long run and not during your race.
If you are following a training plan, try to run the pace that is called for. Long runs are typically run at a slower pace than shorter runs. You want to push yourself during a long run, but you also need to listen to your body.
After the run
Recovery from a long run is different than recovery from your normal run. After your routine training run you need to re-hydrate, maybe eat and take a shower. A long run pushes your body beyond the routine. You want to push yourself during these runs, but you also want to pay more attention to your post run routine.
I usually follow RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. When you get home take a nice hot shower. This will help relax your muscles. If you can, lay on a sofa with some ice packs on areas that are particularly sore. You have to be smart with ice packs as they can cause frost bite.
If you can prop your legs up with a few pillows this will give you the Elevation part. This often helps me get the ice packs pressed into the areas that I need it. I don’t do a lot with compression, but many people swear by compression socks or pants.
It’s important to eat after a long run also. There is debate as to whether this needs to be in the first 30 minutes after a run or it doesn’t really matter. There have been times when I have not been hungry, even after a marathon. Really long distances can mess up your system and your mind.
You should drink as much water as you want right after your run. Sports drinks will help replenish your electrolytes and carbs. I think it’s okay to have a bagel, sandwich or pretty much what ever you feel like.
I try to avoid overly fatty or greasy foods. These are usually too heavy for my stomach after a run. I also avoid high sugar items like donuts and pastry. You may find your self craving these items. That is your body telling you to get some carbs into the system. If you make smart choices post run, you can replenish your body’s energy stores without un-doing all of your hard work.
There is some debate about stretching before a race. There is less controversy over stretching after a race or run. Your muscles are often tight and need some stretching after a long run or a race.
You should do what ever your normal stretching routine is after a long run. I would advise adding new stretches after your shorter runs. Your muscles are less fatigued and there is less chance of pulling something.
Walking around is better than sitting down after a long run. Sitting reduces the flow of blood to your muscles just when they need it most. Blood flow brings nutrients that your muscles need to repair themselves. Blood flow also carries away damaged cells and metabolic left overs from your run such as lactic acid.
Stairs can be painful after your long run, but they will really help stretch your muscles and tendons. Movement may be painful after a long run, but movement increases blood flow.
I hope you find this information helpful as you train for your fall races.
This weekend the fall Sunday Long Run series began
We call it the fall series because these runs are training for the fall marathons. Specifically for The Bay State Marathon in Lowell, but it works nicely for the other fall marathons as well such as Hartford and Philadelphia.
It seems like just last week I was running over the Roosevelt bridge from New Brunswick into Lubec to finish the Bay of Fundy International Marathon. During the almost six weeks between Boston and Fundy, I took less than two weeks off for recovery. I’ve done 14 races so far this year, and it seems like I’m always in training.
I do enjoy racing and look at 5k and 10k races as part of my training. I always push my self harder when I’m running a race, so these are great speed workouts for me. They allow me to test my self and gauge my level of fitness. While I do enjoy racing, I know that I need to train for them, unless I’m showing up just to drink beer. I rarely show up to a race just for the party. Even when I’m injured or it’s a themed holiday race, the fire in the belly is always there. I love it.
I definitely appreciate the importance of the Sunday Long Run and proper training. Proper training cannot be rushed, there are no short cuts to the starting line. The rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% and build in a few step back weeks to allow your body to recover late in the training program when the mileage can be grueling.
Tip for new runners: Look at the miles you run on an average week. These are your base miles. This is where you start and add 10% from. If you only run one day a week for a few miles you may be able to go well beyond this rule of thumb.
The long route was 12.5 miles and the short route was 7.1 miles. The long route took us over the Fellsway Hills twice! On the way out I charged up the hill and practiced running on my forefoot. There were four hills with elevation changes of 100 to 200 feet each. The Fellsway hills on the way out were about a 150 foot climb over a mile or so.
I wanted to use this last long run to test my Boston strategy. I carried a bottle of Gatorade with me that I picked up at a BAA Runner’s Clinic. It’s the same formula they will have on the course so I thought it would be a good idea to give it a try on a long run. The taste was fine and my stomach did not have any issues.
The bottle has a twist top which makes it easy to drink from while running, without worrying about dropping the cap. One twist, squeeze the bottle and your are done.
During The Marathon, I plan to avoid the first few water stops by using the bottle instead. The water stops start at mile 2 and are then at every mile. At mile two the crowd will be thinning out a little bit but there is usually congestion at the stops until well into the race.
Later in the race I’ll probably walk the water stops. I still had drink in my bottle at the end of Sunday’s run, so I should be able to get to Natick before I need to grab a cup and walk. At that point in the race I’ll still be able to walk and not worry too much about my legs tightening up.
I also wore the singlet I plan to wear for the marathon. It was in the 40’s Sunday morning but I did not wear an Under Armor top. It was a little chilly starting out but by mile one I could feel the sweat under my arms. I used TwoToms body glide in my usual problem spots and didn’t have any problems. I’m fairly confident that I can run 26.2 miles in this top without any issues. If the weather looks bad for Marathon Monday I know I can add the Under Armor shirt before the bag drop on the Boston Common.
I also wore my Amphipod belt fully loaded with various gels. I took my phone out of the Otter Box case and it took up much less space in my belt. I forgot how thin the phone is without the case. I’ll probably put it in a sandwich bag for The Marathon just to give it some water protection. They are so fragile and expensive, it made me a little nervous to have it out of the “protective” case.
At Marathon Sports on Saturday I picked up a clip on pouch from Amphipod. It’s about 7×4″ and has a firm clip. I loaded it with four gels and clipped it to my belt. It was okay, but it seemed more secure clipped to my waist band. It bounced around some but nothing intolerable.
I turned the 12.5 mile run into a 13.06 mile run: almost a half. My pace was 8:57 and my time was 1:56. I’d like to be closer to 1:50 at the half-way mark in Wellesley on Marathon Monday. That will give me 10 minutes to play with and still hit my goal of a 4 hour Boston Marathon.
On the glide path
Now that the last long run is over, it’s all down hill until Newton! I’ll run 3-4 miles a couple of times next week and skip the Tuesday night club run – no more running in the dark. It’s time to focus on diet and keeping the fiber content low.
When I pick up my BAA drop bag on Friday I’ll know what I can bring. The bag looks pretty small in the photos, so I’ll be packing very light. Maybe a t-shirt and change of socks.
You know it’s the dead of winter when anything above 32F feels, pretty good. I know that I have fully adjusted to the ice locker we call New England! In July if it gets into the 70s we start thinking about October. In March, 40F has us dreaming of July and heat.
Sunday I have a 20 mile Sunday Long Ron with my running, The Melrose Running Club.
For Sunday I’m thinking of using the walk/run strategy. I plan to use the 5K on Saturday as a speed workout and I’m shooting for 22 minutes or less.
I feel healthy, nothing hurts so it’s time to stop being a cupcake. Sunday is about slogging the long miles. I need to get in a good 20 mile run as part of my marathon training. Speed is not a consideration.
Once again, I’ll be running the longest distance since October. It feels good to be able to go out and do it again. No physical ailments to hold me back. It’s all me and my head now.