Happy Labor Day! Hopefully you are outside soaking in the last day of summer and not stuck inside because of the rain. It’s pretty miserable in Philly today.
I recently read 2 interesting articles backing up 2 of my non-traditional training habits: (1) not eating before long runs and (2) running long runs at or near marathon pace. I blogged about this awhile ago so I’ll spare you the details on why I do what I do.
The first article was mentioned on Miss Zippy’s blog and it advocates fasting 3 hours or more for runs lasting more than 60-90 minutes. For many of us AM runners, that means getting up around 4AM to fuel (or earlier). The author says don’t sacrifice sleep in order to get your pre-run meal in, as long as you begin fueling shortly after you begin running AND you adequately refueled for recovery after your last run.
I have done training runs up to 26 miles without eating before. I don’t get hungry, my stomach is happy, and my performance is better. I always begin fueling with Shot Bloks after 4 miles and drink chocolate milk afterwards for recovery. It’s the whole cycle of not eating before, fueling soon after, and fueling for recovery that makes it work. When I do eat on race day, it’s always 3 hours before start time.
The second article was in the September issue of Running Times. Renato Canova, coach to the elites, advocates high-volume goal-paced training. While this obviously isn’t a ground breaking idea, Canova maintains that traditional tempo runs are too short (and, thus, have no connection to the marathon) and the long run for the marathon is too slow.
While I agree and certainly do my long runs near marathon pace, I also think there is a place for LSD runs, especially for beginners. I would say 25% of my marathon training runs are done at LSD pace.
Other highlights from the article…
- Canova has his runners do 17- to 24-mile runs at roughly 95 percent of MP. These closely stimulate the demands of the marathon in terms of speed, distance, and psychology. I could not agree more, as long as you are recovering adequately.
- The author dubs Canova’s Golden Rule as follows: to fulfill your potential as a marathoner, you need to progressively extend the distance you can run at your goal pace, over a period of months and years. Wow. Yes and yes! This doesn’t happen overnight, not even for elites. When I was trying to BQ, I aimed to knock 15 seconds off my goal MP with each training cycle. Baby steps.
Enough science talk. This weekend I ran 13 miles – my first long run since the 50K and I was pretty beat up afterwards. I was thinking of running a 5K on Sunday but, between the humidity and my tired legs, I scrapped it. I did manage to return to barre today after a 5-month hiatus!
And I’ll leave you with 2 random pictures from this weekend…
Did you race this weekend? Do you eat before long runs? Do you think Bruce Jenner resembles a cat?