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5ksandcabernets: It's nutrition stupid!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's nutrition stupid!

Why is it that I can run 5 kilometers in just over 19 minutes, can run a half marathon in just over 90 minutes, but in the heat of the summer, I struggle to hold on to an 8:15 min/mile on a 20-mile long run?

I'm not getting enough.

Food, that is... (get your minds out of the gutter).

I dont eat enough. Period. I know there are days during the week where I dont get 2,000 calories.

And never was I more convinced of that on Saturday, when, for the first time all summer, I took some GUs with me on a long run. Just when I felt like I was falling off the edge of a cliff, I'd take half of one and felt instantly better. Not great. But better. Good enough. Good enough to keep a decent pace and not drift into some kind of death walk, which I've had too many times this summer.

Still, I gotta eat more. No way I shouldnt be able to run 20 miles in 8:00 min/mile pace, even though its hot. I'm acclimated to the heat. No friggin way. No way. But there I was Saturday, 20 miles in 8:24 pace. And the course wasnt all that tough. At about Mile 7 I started feeling good and picked up the pace. From Mile 9 to 13, I averaged exactly an 8:00 mile pace. And at the water stop around 9.5 miles, someone shouted out, 'Kevin, maybe you are running too fast."

Let me say this: An 8-minute mile is like I'm moon-walking, running in slow motion. If I bonk during a 20-miler because I'm running 8-minute miles, something is wrong. Something is very wrong and it has nothing to do with me "running too fast."

Now, I know what you are going to say. You are going to say, "Well, since you've never averaged an 8:00 mile or faster for any of your six marathons, maybe you were running too fast."

To which I say: "Its my diet. No matter how fast or slow I run. When I've been on the road for more than 90 minutes, I crash and burn. Whether I did the first 90 minutes in a 7:30 mile or a an 8:45 mile. At 1:30:00 in, my performance starts to suffer. And as I close in on my 42nd birthday, that suffering is becoming more pronounced.


Saturday was sort of a light-bulb moment. I took some gels during the run and, though I slowed a little my last mile, I didnt bonk.

I need more food. I need to eat more. And the experiment of me eating BBQ the night before a long run is so OUT. BBQ gives me strength to run hard for a half marathon or shorter distance. 90 minutes or less. But it does nothing for endurance. Nothing. So, its back to drawing board with figuring out what to eat the night before a long run, but Rudy's and Poke-Joes won't be seeing me on Friday nights anymore.


Blogger TRI-james said...

Check your heart rate while running in the heat. Your perceived exertion is much higher while it is hot. Take water and calories during you long runs but don’t beat yourself up on the pace!

August 16, 2010 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger lindsay said...

I'll buy this ... For now ;) nah I know you have it in your legs, your marathon history isn't the only fact to consider here. May I recommend m&m's? Easiest way to a) overeat cals and b) not lose weight :) seriously though, get some carbs & cals in regularly - not just Friday nights.

August 16, 2010 at 12:29 PM  

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