Freedom from Blog

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

13 Miles

This morning's run: Constitution Avenue to the Capitol, west on the Mall to Lincoln, then south into West Potomac Park, then East Potomac Park to Hains Point, then back up the channel side, turn right at Maine Avenue to go by the Fish Market and SW Waterfront, then M Street to South Capitol, turn right, past the ballpark, over the Douglass Bridge to Anacostia Park, along the river to Pennsylvania Avenue, across the Duke Ellington Bridge, then onto Kentucky Avenue back to Lincoln Park. Almost exactly 13 miles. At a respectable 8:30/mile pace, in one hour, 50 minutes, and 30 seconds. That may not sound fast, but that would translate into a three hour, 41 minute marathon, which is quite respectable, if you ask me.

As you may remember, I trained for that half marathon in September that was canceled because of tropical storm Hannah. But to be honest, I'm probably in better shape now than I was then, at least marginally. (Of course, my race pace is faster; but that was a trail race, so who knows what I would have actually run it in.)

Part of the reason for this is that I have a new training strategy. I've gone from running five days a week to just four, but I have not reduced my overall mileage (I aim for 30 miles/week; this week I am one mile over the goal). So I run six miles three times a week and then aim for 12 miles on Sunday. Running four days a week gives me three rest days a week, which is very valuable in that it increases my recovery. I used to try for 10 miles on Sunday, and I used to run four miles twice a week and six miles twice a week. But those four mile runs were wearing me out.

It's funny to put it that way, but the marginal difference b/w a four and a six mile run is not that great--the six takes a bit longer, but the time it takes to get dressed, shower after, etc., is the same. But the extra day of running is hard on the body--especially as you approach 40.

Taking an extra day off, and making one of the fours into a six and the 10-mile long run into a 12, I actually feel fresher. I do violate the "long run should not be more than 30 percent of your weekly mileage" maxim, but I think that that rule applies when your long run is really long. I.e., more than two hours in length.


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