Saturday, February 28, 2009

In the long run
















I look forward my weekend runs because, weather permitting, I can run outdoors and enjoy some actual scenery. Weekends also provide an opportunity to run greater distances since I'm limited to about 20 minutes in the morning during the work week. Over the past few months I've made it a goal to increase my average distance during my weekend runs to help prepare for two races, the first coming in 49 days and the second two weeks later. I am careful to track my pace and I collect a lot of data about my runs. It's a bit belt-and-suspenders but I use and used the Garmin 50 and the Nike+ Sportband respectively to capture real time information. Since I don't trust (for good reason) the distance accuracy of these devices I usually map my actual run against Gmaps or Google Earth to determine actual pace.

In studying what is now 6 months of run data I see a clear pattern in terms of distance covered by day. Saturdays are by far my best distance days and all my personal distance records have been made on those days. Although my intentions are always to meet or exceed Saturdays on my Sunday runs I usually fall short and I'm sure this relates to the fact that while I'm dedicated to running I have not reached a level of conditioning that allows me to complete back to back runs over four miles.

This morning I ran 4.3 miles at a 9:26 pace. Good for me but not where I want to be in 49 days when I compete in a 4 miler. The good news is just a few months ago my pace was 30 sec/mi slower on average and my top distances were in the low 3 mile range. So progress is being made. I'll see how tomorrow goes. We're due for some snow on Sunday but hopefully it won't start coming down until later in the day.

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