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5ksandcabernets: The problem is in my head


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The problem is in my head

I awoke at 4:30 this morning and really thought about not running. My confidence was sinking a little in the face of all this mileage and my left ankle was bothering me a little (though not from running - I stepped on one of Noah's toys Monday evening).

But I got up anyway. And felt OK. And I used the bathroom. And felt better. And after having a little Endurox shake and lacing up my shoes, I felt like I'd get through the scheduled 10-miler in reasonable shape.

Here's how the run went: First half in 8:00 m/m pace, and second half in ...7:15 pace. With the last two miles in 6:55 and 6:37.

Confidence back.

But I'm going to be smart FROM NOW ON. After the run, our coach, Steve Sisson told me my long-run problems were, "between the ears."

"Kevin," Steve said, "You are fast. You can really run fast. But you are running your easy runs way too fast. Now, it's ok to run one of your shorter 10 to 12-mile runs a little quicker. But on your medium long runs and your long runs, you need to be running a little slower."

Isn't that the story of my running life?

So, he assigned me to run with a group that runs its long runs about 30 seconds to a minute per-mile slower than I normally run them. I've got a 14-miler scheduled Thursday and an 18-miler Saturday. And instead of trying to hold a 7:45 to 8:00 pace, I'll try the 8:15 to 8:45 pace, maybe even slower - at least for the first 3/4ths of the run.

I can't promise myself I'll do this for every run for Lord knows I've broken this promise to myself on many occasions. Sometimes, you just start feeling good and your legs get happy and its like, "Runnn, Forrest, runnnn!"

But I know my problems occur after I've been running for more than two hours and the best way to get over that hump is to better train myself to burn fat for fuel and running slow(er) than I usually run is a good strategy.

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Blogger untpawgal02 said...

I don't know about you... but running long runs slower means getting to enjoy your long runs just that much longer!

June 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Sadie J said...

Finally! Awesome, who are you supposed to be running with now? You really will feel a difference...your legs will feel fresher and your fast runs will feel faster.

June 16, 2009 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

UNT - You are right, though I'd enjoy them better if I got to run among the cherry blossoms like you do from time to time.

Sadie - He said the group with Ruth, Nedra and somebody else. I'm just going to try to keep my pace between 8:15 and 8:45 and run with whomever may be around me. I gotta get my long-run act togetha!!!

June 16, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger lindsay said...

yeah you do have issues ;) i have no problems being slow these days. in fact, i'll be happy to give you some lessons for a small fee :)

c'mon kev, we all know the rule - you gotta run slow (at least some times) to run fast!

June 16, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Denny said...

Kevin -

I've been doing much of the same lately. I ran my long runs prior to Cleveland at almost 9 minute pace. I did that because I knew I had to back off and allow myself to recover. I even did some walking stops as I went. Then I ran the race just sub-8 pace.

It's not easy, and it can be frustrating as hell. But it works. It's hard to get used to. But it makes a big difference, and there's nothing wrong with running smart.

June 16, 2009 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Billy Burger said...

Agreed man. Save that speed for races m'man!

June 16, 2009 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger Ulyana said...

Between the ears - so true. I suffer from that a lot! :)

June 17, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

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