I did my old school run this past weekend. One lap around Central Park’s outer loop and one lap around the Central Park Reservoir. Back in my marathon training days, I would run 2 laps around Central Park (12 miles). It was painful (most of the time), but I recall doing it on multiple occasions. Three loops around the Park was the most I ever did (18 miles), and that nearly destroyed me. But after a good 6 year absence (I’ve been running a trail closer to my new gym these past few summers), I threw myself into the runner’s lane and finished my most challenging run of the summer — Central Park. The hills will tear through all of your leg muscles, but I gotta say, they weren’t as bad as I remembered. Which means my hill training has paid off to some extent.
Along those lines, the NYT has a story today on the difference between running on soft surfaces (dirt road) versus running on a hard surface (pavement). Turns out, soft runs aren’t better on your feet. In fact, when people run on soft trails their bodies are stiffer (hence more prone to injuries) than when they run on hard roads. Interesting read for all outdoor runners.
I was a little busy this week so I didn’t get a chance to make any updates, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been skipping my workouts. Last Saturday I ran my longest trail of this summer — 8.13 miles. I wasn’t planning on doing a long run that day, I just had the extra energy and kept going.
On a different note, I’m switching up my workout routine again. I’m doing my super slow routine with the heaviest weight I can possibly push. It’s been awhile since I’ve gone heavy, and hopefully this switch up will help me break my 5 pull-up plateau.
I was hoping to hit 6 miles on my run this weekend, but I didn’t. I stopped short way before hitting my mark, which means next weekend I have to keep running for a longer period. The humidity and intense sun probably didn’t help much this weekend either. On a different note, this run made me realize I need to buy sunblock. My current running path isn’t as shady as I thought and like I said, this Saturday the sun was unforgiving. My recovery dinner: 1 salmon burger, salad (red-leaf lettuce and cherry tomatoes), and broccoli. Dessert — a pint of fresh blueberries.
Mind over body. That’s always been my motto when working out. A study published in The Journal of Athletic Training kinda supports that theory. Researchers took volunteer runners and had them run in a laboratory heated to 87 degrees. In one run, the group placed an ice patch around their neck to keep their skin cool. In the next run, they ran sans ice patch. The run with the ice patch achieved higher body temps than the run without the ice patch. Essentially, the ice patch fooled the body/brain into thinking it was cool (even when the body’s core temp was higher than ever).
I personally find that study interesting because it supports my mind over body motto. The question is, what benefits does your body get by pushing it to run in extreme heat? Does endurance really sky rocket? I’d like to believe yes. (Which is why I like to run in hot/humid weather). The catch is you have to know how to run smart. Triple up on water. Wear light-colored clothing. Avoid trails with no shade. And just listen to your body. Yes, you might be able to push it through 90-degree weather, but know how far you can/should push it.