Thursday, April 9, 2020

Repeated runs and learning from this

On Sunday, I took on my first ever ten mile run, and overall felt quite happy with how things went, but fatigue really got to me over the last 3/4K. I had put this down to nutrition, or lack of. I have subsequently been told that having a few drinks the night before could also have contributed... other insightful comments have suggested that my age is a factor,  my inexperience as a runner, lack of fitness, wrong size running shoes etc...to be fair, most of these, if not all, are perfectly valid. After a few days resting, the time came for me to go for another run. I do like repeating a run, as I can try to learn from last time. Today’s challenge was simple, do the same run as Sunday, more quickly and with less fatigue.

I am trying to find out what nutrition I need to be at my peak, and this was where I felt I went wrong on Sunday. For breakfast today, the trusty strong coffee and a banana. Two gels would accompany me on the run, both with 25g of carbohydrate and 75g of caffeine. This was a change as the addition of the banana should give me a decent start meaning I cam time the two gels to make sure energy stores don’t get depleted (in theory).

As I said, same run as Sunday, but it was slightly warmer at the start, and there was no wind to speak of. I felt like I’d set off ok and hit 5k in around 29 minutes, which is ok...this is all uphill. Had the first gel after 15 minutes and felt this kick in about 20 minutes later, so after 35 minutes, I am 6k in, have energy and am at the peak of the climbs. The splits suggest that this is the case...and I started running each km about 15 or  20 seconds faster from here. Of course...I stopped going up! ( see my Insta.)

 www.instagram.com/greatnorthrungraeme) 

Anyway, things started to go in my favour, the sun went in, energy is rising and I am running downhill for a while. Happy days...so when to have the second gel? I guessed about the 50 minute mark, as I didn’t want a dip...went for that just as I hit 50 minutes and am back on the A59 near Copster Green. This seemed to work and energy stayed good. All felt good and again at 12k, I hit a mental block. Not quite a wall, but the troublesome hip (which I am having Physio for) started to play up. It’s only occasional and seems to hurt with a lengthening stride. Anyway, I got through this and as I hit the roundabout near Northcote, I glanced at my watch and saw 1:15...meaning 20 minutes left to beat the previous time. Got a good pace going here and the last 4K went as follows:

5:41
5:41
5:41
5:36

The 16th kilometre was the fastest. 27 seconds faster than the first (I did say it was hilly round here!) and I made it home in 1:32:35, which is just over 3 minutes faster than Saturday. As I type a few hours later, I’m aching, sore ankles mainly but feet are ok thanks to my new go faster socks! I definitely feel that two runs of this length so close together is something I’ll probably avoid from now on, but worth doing. Who knows, by the next time I do this, I may even get down close to the 1:30 mark!

Thanks for reading, please feel free to give tips and observations in the comments, ask any questions, or follow me on Instagram.

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Thanks, a few days rest now...

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