Saturday, January 15, 2011

Running cold and hot

Today's run (street): 5.2 miles

How cold is cold? 30 degrees? 20? How about 13? That was the temperature that News 12 Long Island had at the bottom of the screen while I dressed for my run this morning. A switch over to channel 4 in NYC showed a significant difference: 28 degrees. I wasn't sure what to believe. I geared up for sub-20 degree weather wearing half compression shorts under compression pants, calf sleeves and four top layers. I wore my warmest fleece hat and my ASICS glove/mittens and thick acrylic socks with my Kinvaras. It felt cold when I stepped outside but not really too uncomfortable. Cold minus wind is usually tenable until you get to the single digits.

I started the run by focusing on a shorter stride that allowed me to maintain a cadence in the high 80's. This did not translate into any great speed but it got me warmed up quickly. About 30 minutes prior to my run I had a Cliff Gel that contained 25mg of caffeine. I have found that consuming a gel 30-45 minutes before a run makes the first mile a little easier. Once I hit my stride (pun intended) I decided to extend my planned route because I was really enjoying the run. I criss-crossed the neighborhood and as I got nearer to the end I was fairly warm. I wished at that point that I'd only worn three top layers. By my last mile I was pleased to note that I had enough energy to maintain a brisk pace. I still feel that my base is not as solid as it was in November when I could manage over 8 miles without a thought. I can do the mileage but my performance tends to degrade around the 6 mile mark.

I have a race coming up in three weeks and though it's only 4 miles I want it to be four fast miles. I have tomorrow and the Monday holiday to get in some distance runs and it would be great to run some trails. This week's snow will prevent that but I'm hoping to get to that soon. It was a good running start for the long weekend. I'm not really sure how cold it was on today's run but I wouldn't mind duplicate conditions tomorrow.

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