Pacing is something I’ve always struggled with. I always go out too fast and slow down by miles 3-4. But lately, I think I’ve finally found a comfortable pace for those 4-6 mile runs and also, for my long runs.
I use a Moleskine 12 Month Weekly Notebook Planner to log my daily/weekly miles. It has a daily calendar view on the left, and a lines for notes on the right. This way, I can track my miles and splits, but also jot down how I’m feeling during each run. Did I feel bloated? What did I eat that day? Am I hydrated or thirsty? Did I drink too much water?
This way, I have a good weekly view of how my running is going, how I’m doing with my nutrition, and what I need to do to improve. Sure, I log my runs into my Garmin Connect profile and Daily Mile, but I like that I can pick up my notebook and quickly flip through pages to see how I’m doing on my runs. (Gotta love the old school pen and paper).
Hitting Some Long Runs
On New Year’s Day I ran a 5k in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, I still felt like going for a run, so I did and thought I’d hit an easy 3 miles to call it a day. Except, I kept going. 3 turned into 10 and I felt pretty darn good. A little sore, but good.
That run made me reflect on the importance of proper hydration and getting some electrolytes. By mile 8-9, my vision was going blurry. It wasn’t anything too bad, but still, I can’t have that happen again.
But I also settled on a good pace. 11:20/mi is a pretty good comfortable pace for those longer runs (at least for me). At 11:20/mi I felt like I could hit 10 miles and still have the energy to go further.
Then, on Friday, I hit another 8 miles. I ran right around sunset (that’s the photo above). This time, I took a water bottle with some electrolytes and felt good throughout my run. Again, I paced at around 11:20/mi. I picked it up a few times to around 9:00/mi but decided to settle on a slow pace and go a longer distance.
Right now, as several people have advised me, it’s about “time on feet.” I’m training my body to run longer distances and I’m building my endurance. I know I can run 2-3 miles at a pace of about 7:30/mi. But I need to train myself for longer runs. And 11:20/mi is a good comfortable pace, at least for now.
I’ve also noticed something interesting about my runs when I hit those shorter distances (4-6 miles). I tend to run this at a faster pace – somewhere between 8 – 9 minutes/mi. It usually takes me about 2 miles to warm up. I don’t find my stride and I don’t start feeling good until about mile #2. Which means, come race day, I should probably take a 1 – 2 mile jog just to warm up. While that might seem obvious to some, it’s new to me.
No Races This Month…
There’s a trail race I wanted to run this weekend. It’s a 21k, but with two long runs this week, I think I might just take the weekend and hit a few shorter runs and rest up instead. The course is really hilly, and frankly, the hills are beating me up right now.
So while I’m not running any races, I feel like I’m making some great progress in my training and I’m finally falling into a comfortable rhythm. I’ve lost 40 pounds and counting. The next step, is strength training to strengthen my core and just increasing my mileage.
I’d say we’re looking pretty good on those 2013 running goals
What about you? How’s things coming along on your end?