Making the effort… to take the long runs/life easy.

This week my training seemed to finally start clicking. Yes! I decided to incorporate a long easy run to start to build up my base and the weather just wasn’t permitting in the desert. So Big Bear Lake and cooler temperatures was my Saturday morning destination. It was so worth the hour and a half drive up. “Long Runs should be at an easy pace….” That is what seems to be the latest theory on training, at least that is what I am learning. Again I am no expert on athletic training, and definitely a novice but I am trying to read as much of the latest research and opinions from respected sources.

Reading an article from Runners World….


.. On easy days, you’re mostly using slow-twitch muscle fibers. They have a higher density of mitochondria, high levels of aerobic enzymes, and greater capillary density than fast-twitch fibers, which are more involved in higher-intensity training, says Dan Bergland, principal sport physiologist at Volt Sportlab in Flagstaff, Arizona. On easy days, “you increase mitochondria and capillaries and blood flow to those muscles, so they’re better able to utilize oxygen,” he says. “Without that, you can’t do the intense runs.”

Then there is the whole subject of fueling/glycogen stores…from Greg McMillian

With long runs during a marathon program, you are trying to accomplish two distinct purposes. On the one hand, you are trying to maximize your ability to burn fat and spare your limited muscle carbohydrate (glycogen) stores as well as improving your leg strength and resistance to fatigue (both physical fatigue and mental fatigue). You are also trying to teach your body to better handle lowered blood glucose levels. On the other hand, you are trying to become more economical at your marathon race pace (learning to burn less fuel for a given pace) along with testing out your race equipment and nutritional plan. You also want to give the mind a taste of the focus and determination that will be required in the latter stages of the marathon itself.

My long run (10 miles) started at 39 degrees with the sun just barely up in a very clear blue sky and my confidence at a high. Well that didn’t last long, I mean the confidence part the weather stayed just perfect. Mile 1 -10.40 min pace.. so I thought this was too fast. Tried to slow down the next three miles but still managed 11.0 min pace and checked my heart rate which was high ( meaning extra effort) but the only thing I could blame it on was the altitude. So now I am thinking slow it down Marta … the goal of this run was to not push it.

Why do we seem to always be pushing it? Whether it is my long run, or just in day to day, I can’t help but strive for more. Now I know in certain situations that is a good quality to have but not if you cannot control it. The final last three miles of my long run were at a pace I had planned for but by that time the pace wasn’t as flowing as I had hoped. I finished happy with the long run and banking the 10 miles but also with a feeling that I need to get my pace under control. I will take a serious look at my exertion or effort and try with practice to know how a long easy run should feel.

Exercise Week- 24 miles total that included, hill workout, pick ups, long run and a trail run. No weights or plyometrics.

Meal Prep- Steel Cut Oats with cinnamon & apples, Bacon, Deviled Eggs, Homemade Chicken Soup.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

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