I tried to increase my mileage the last two weekends and I’m pretty happy with my results. It’s now October 3 and by October 22 (or shortly after) I’d like to hit a half-marathon mileage of 13 or 14 miles. This Saturday’s run was great, though at the very end my right foot started to bother me (it almost felt like something was in my shoe) so I ran in discomfort the last 2 minutes or so. I normally wouldn’t advise running through shoe discomfort, but it was toward the very end and I had been doing so well. I’m getting new running shoes this week so hopefully I won’t encounter that problem again.
So this coming weekend I will shoot for 12 miles. Perhaps run from WTC to Central Park and back. Then the following weekend I’ll do a short speed run, and my final “summer” run will be the big post-birthday half marathon run. Gonna be an exciting month!!
This past Saturday I tried pushing myself a little harder during my outdoor run. In particular, I tried to keep a faster-than-normal pace even after my mini sprint. It worked! Saturday’s run has been my fastest run to date. I’ve been faster in previous years (particularly during the year I ran the NYC Marathon), but for this summer this is my fastest time. I need to start building endurance now if I want to hit my goal of 12 miles come October. Totally do-able, but I need to rack up my mileage.
What’s funny is that the weather was somewhat cool on Saturday (56 F w/ no sun) and I hate running in the cold weather. But after the first 5 minutes I was fine.
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.
A lot of people dislike running on the treadmill. Personally, I don’t mind. Yes, I prefer to run outside, but living in New York City, it’s hard to find accessible, hilly terrain (aside from Central Park). Plus, I personally hate running in the cold. Which is where the treadmill comes in. Today I started doing manual hill training. I ran for 30 minutes at a minimum incline of 1 and a max of 6. I ran at 4 incline for 6 minutes and quickly followed that by 2 minutes of 6 incline. It was very intense and I think I did a good job of disciplining myself. That is, I only lowered back to 1 when I really couldn’t keep up. All of this is part of my New York City Marathon 2011 training. I’m psyching myself up to run it. Bring it!
PS: I did my pull up routine today as well. One set. Held my weight above the bar for 10 solid seconds. Will repeat again tomorrow.
Good luck to all of the New York City Marathon runners tomorrow. May you have the greatest run of your life. And remember, 26.2 miles can’t stop you.
Here’s an interesting story I came upon today on NPR Health. It’s about runners and how they can avoid hitting their “wall.” (That’s marathon runner talk for running out of energy.) A Harvard med student has figured out a formula that elite runners can use to 1)find out how much carbs they need to eat to avoid hitting their wall and 2)what their best marathon time could potentially be if they were to carbo load properly. There are a lot of other factors that I think are left out of this formula (namely your mental state), but it’s an interesting read.