Showing posts with label factors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label factors. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stacking the deck the wrong way

Karhu Fast 2 - a contributing factor
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

This morning's temperature was a mild 44°, but the winds from the west made it feel much colder. I decided to run with my new Alpine Design half-zip that I hoped would block wind. I was pleased that it did, although I would have been better off had I just worn a couple of shirt layers. I was sweating profusely by the end of my run.

I'd inadvertently stacked the deck against having a good run by choosing the Karhu Fast 2 running shoes that I'd relegated to elliptical duty a while back. When I did a quick run in the Karhu's the other day they'd felt okay, so I thought I'd give them another try.

Other factors in play were a depleted blood supply (from my doctor's visit yesterday) and a very large, calorie-laden meal at our friends last night. This included a Guinness stout and my system isn't used to alcohol. I've only had the equivalent of five beers in all of 2011.

My route was through the neighborhood and I didn't plan to run it fast. I figured 3+ miles would be an easy workout. By mile I realized it would be difficult to get through the entire run but I was determined to do it. The wind didn't help and I felt hot and very tired. The Karhu's high platform made it difficult to maintain a fluid stride.

By the time I'd finished, I was surprised by my level of exhaustion. I guess if I'd thought about it I would have chosen different gear and charted an even shorter route. But good runs usually follow bad ones, so I'll hope for better experiences throughout the week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I ran a great race, wish I knew why

I haven't quite figured out why I ran as well as I did in yesterday's race. The weather surely helped and the course was flat and fast. I'd been having trouble keeping my daily runs within my targeted range, so I expected my pace to suffer with yesterday's longer distance.

Besides taking two days rest prior to the race, I ran through my set of core exercises on Saturday morning. That small workout can yield good results and I really should do it more often. I believe that my good experience on Sunday came from a combination of environment, prep and being back to full strength after some weeks battling colds and injuries.

Even after good runs I think about what I could have done differently to achieve better performance. I'm not sure there's much more I could have done yesterday. Had I run just 10 seconds faster, I would have paced in the 8:00 range instead of 9:00. A year ago that would have been important to me, but this year I feel differently. I did my best and I'm very happy with the results. That is until next Sunday's race.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thoughts on my race day performance

It's easy to dismiss a 5K as an easy race. The distance of 3.1 miles is only 20% longer than my average weekday run. But yesterday's race was far more challenging than my standard 4:00 AM run. For one thing, I'm not performance focused at that hour and hardly ever break 9:00 per mile during the week. I might get there near the end but these morning runs are more about movement and maintenance. A 5K is about speed.

It had  been eleven days since I donated a pint of blood at work and I'm wondering if that was still affecting me as I raced along the course. I made some mistakes in my preparation -- I probably ingested too much caffeine and not enough water -- but I didn't suffer from oxygen debt throughout the race. My energy level was good but not optimal. There was a point in the race where I was moving along, probably at around an 8:20 pace, and a small group of runners passed me together. I thought at that moment "Why are they moving faster than me?" My legs were cranking but my cadence was probably slower. I tried to increase turnover but it didn't make much of a difference.

I'm sure that if I had done speed work in the last month I'd have been more competitive on Sunday. My focus on base runs surely helped me because I felt solid even though I was running at paces that were close to a minute faster than on my training runs. Overall, I managed to beat 71% of those in my age division and 66% of the field so even on the day after the race I'm still pleased with my performance.

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