Monday, May 3, 2010

Lengthening my long runs

Today's workout: Rest day

A "long run" has different definitions based upon who is doing the running. For some, it's runs over 13 miles with the half marathon length serving as the demarcation point. For others (like me less than two years ago) a 5K can be considered an aspirational length. I have been thinking about yesterday's run and how it felt to break a personal distance record. Could I have gone on longer than the eight miles that I'd covered on Sunday? As a practical matter the answer is yes. I stopped when I did because I'd met my goal of eight miles - four out and four back. If my distance goal was nine or ten miles I probably could have accomplished that as well. I finished my run at eight because I had nothing more to prove on Sunday.

I have a goal of doing a 10 mile run this year. It's a distance considered by some to be a nice training run while others view it as an impossibility. I'm happy that it is at least a possible distance for me at this point.. Looking at my splits for yesterday's run, I noticed that my pace dropped measurably after an hour's running. I ran the first 6.2 miles averaging 8:57 per mile but miles seven and eight were far slower, closer to 9:30. I really liked running for longer than an hour. It surprised me that I had enough energy to pass other runners even near the end. Perhaps I'll look at increasing distance as my next focus point and worry less about pace. Well, maybe just a little less.

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