Monday, August 11, 2008
Smashing Through 18 Miles
I smashed my way through over 18 miles on Saturday. It was hands down the best long-distance run that I've done so far, and I really feel like I've made a huge breakthrough.
Running 18.5 miles is going to be tiring no matter what you do, but I finished feeling like I could have pushed myself to do more.
What did I do differently? I've really been working on my stride, trying to make sure that my steps land correctly and roll from heel to toe. I'm probably did that for about 3/4 of the run, which is good considering that I'm forcing my body to relearn a very basic motion.
This took a good portion of the strain off my knees and ankles.
The other huge breakthrough was fuel. Previously, I had stopped half way through my run to drink my banana/celery drink (lots of water, 1-2 bananas, a few stalks of celery). I felt good after that, but I my energy gradually dropped as I did the second half of my run.
This time, I started off with my water bottle full of the mixture, and I took a sip every few minutes. This provided a pretty consistent level of glucose and fructose as well as critical sodium, which kept me feeling good. On my last 16-mile run I was starting to get a headache towards the end, probably because my body had shifted off sugars to running on fat, a highly inefficient process.
I'd actually like to have eaten some more calories and gotten a bit more water, but I did well enough. I'll have to examine new ways to get more fuel.
I did take a 15 minute break in the middle to stretch, mix up more drink, and eat a bit before hitting to road. After this, I felt like I was back up to 80-90 percent of my starting energy level, with just a bit of muscle fatigue.
I won't have this opportunity to take a break in the actual marathon, so I might want to experiment with going without it.
That being said, I'm pumped. I feel like I'm going to do really well in this marathon, and completely bypass this wall everyone talks about.
Youthful hubris? Perhaps.
We'll have to wait and see.
Until then, bring on more bananas.
I took a quick run around Hanover Pond this morning. -5.38 Miles