[106] A good run

Swim: 2,000 m/101,745 m

Bike: 13.9/1,048.7 miles

Run: 12.5/327.8 miles

Sometimes things come together to produce a really great run, and that happened to me this weekend. My training plan called for 11 miles at a 7:50 pace, so I headed out to my trusty downtown loop to get it done. This is the loop on which I ran 8 miles at 7:35 several weeks ago, blowing away my old course record from past years. This weekend I went longer and came in with a faster average pace – 11.3 miles at 7:30.

I started at a comfortable pace, hitting the first three miles at a 7:39/mile average, and finished up the last couple miles at a 7:28 pace. I’m happy to see that kind of very even pace, growing steadily faster, through a longer run. I also felt like I handled the individual contours of the course well – I was conservative on the bigger hills and aggressive on the flats and declines. I fueled evenly – with Nuun and Shot Bloks – throughout the run and noticed that my energy never dropped off.

In all, I felt like I put in a thoughtful effort, monitoring my performance the entire way and making strategic decisions about my attack. It was so much more than just going out for a run. I want to be thinking about my strategy and get to know my paces by feel so I can execute them on race day. In my opinion, running without a GPS device really forces me to know what’s happening with my body and to understand how certain efforts translate into speed without the immediate feedback of a Garmin. That’s also a big reason why I don’t run with music – I spend much of the time running a non-stop systems check on myself, focusing on perceived effort, form, footstrikes and, of course, any pains or discomfort.

This weekend’s run was great, although the one (minor) disappointment I have is that I would like for my pace to have been in the 7:20s. It’s true that I was 20 seconds per mile faster than what was prescribed in my training plan, but since I’ve been running well I would like to see my long runs be as close as possible to race pace. Like I said above, I want to know going into the race what my pace and effort should feel like, and also to discover what I’m actually capable of.

- Aside from the long run, last week was my lowest-volume training week since the end of May. With my daughter out of preschool and a full schedule of family activities, I just haven’t had the time to get in lots of training. And the “real life” schedule isn’t going to let up for the next few weeks. Coming off my heaviest week of the year (117 total miles) the week before, it was probably good that last week was more of a recovery week. But I’m already pretty nervous about my lack of heavy volume at this point of the year. These next few weeks, according to my triathlon training plan, are supposed to be hard and heavy, leading up to a couple weeks of taper before the race in September. I’m making an effort, with the help of my very understanding wife, to schedule some workouts a little farther in advance as we map out the rest of the summer. But, like many athletes know, it never seems like enough!

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3 Responses to [106] A good run

  1. Dad says:

    Cool photo on your banner ;) Proud of you for your dedication and commitment. That’s what it’s about!

  2. So, can you explain how this Nuun stuff works? You put powder into a bottle? So is it a bottle you carry with you? Or do you stop and buy one? I’ve wanted to try it, I just don’t get the convenience of it.
    I think your training is very well organized and you shouldn’t put any stress on yourself worrying that it’s not enough.

    • traintotri says:

      Nuun comes in tablet form – you drop in one tablet for every 16 oz of water. Last weekend I refigerated some water overnight and then dropped in the tabs (they take a few minutes to dissolve). Then I dumped it all in my CamelBak and took off. It has lots of electrolytes and other good stuff, but no sugar and only a few calories. And it tastes pretty good, too.

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