Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chapter 2 page 293 - TR 101 "easy" 4 miler

After several of our last training runs being done on very (relative since I live in flat-ol' Indiana) hilly routes in the cold and rain, I thought today's FLAT 4 miler in the warm sun would be EASY . . . but it wasn't.  HUGE SIGH!  What?  Why not?  It just felt as if I hadn't spent one second training at all in the last 6 months.  I had a super hard time breathing.  We did get a quicker pace during mile 3, but the first 2 just felt as if I was dragging a 1000 pound weight behind me (ohh, wait, that's my booty - never mind).  The last few "easy short runs" have been anything but easy!  The big swing in weather from 47 degrees to 70 degrees may play a factor, but I also think running mostly 2 times a week instead of 3 (I avoid 4 day run weeks because of all of my tendency toward overuse injuries).  Last year for my first half I almost always ran at least 3 days a week, but with the horrible weather we had all winter and so far this spring - I have only been putting in 2 days a week (a long run, and a 3-6 miler).  Hmmm, definitely going to have to do more this summer in prep for my 3 (and possibly 4) half marathons!!!!!

How was your last run?  Do you find the weather change impacts your breathing or your comfort with a run?


  1. I am on the 3x week plan too! I agree on the over-training/use can become an issue.

    Could it have been a hydration issue? I know if I'm dehydrated I usually feel really tired and my runs then drag along.

  2. Weather definitely helps/hurts. Plus, the time of day - being later with the more sun and higher humidity stuff - would affect you.

  3. Weather can kill me - cold induced asthma means I struggle to run in cold climates. Hot, humid days makes it difficult as well. (47 to 70 is a HUGE change!) The trick is to remember that sometimes we have good days and sometimes we have bad. Don't let one day or one week get you down.

    Couple things... only 2 runs (and at the distance you're going!) might be a bit much unless you're doing some cross-training on the other days. You need your body to get enough exercise to maintain a baseline. If you miss too many runs, you toy with the possibility of injury. It may not be responsible for your heel pain, but it could be related. Running more than 3x/week might not be an intrinsically bad idea if you were to cut back the distance, for example. Instead of 4 miles one day and a long run of 10 miles, how about 4 days of 3 miles (or 3 days of 4, one day of 2)? I'm not sure what you have coming up with races, but if you're having this much pain you might want to cut back (or do the same mileage split over more days) for a while and let your body heal.

    As for stride cadence, I didn't consciously make the switch but I think a good rule of thumb in general is GRADUAL change. First, figure out what your natural cadence is right now. I doubt it's 120 - just because you're "slow" that doesn't necessarily correlate directly with your cadence. Remember that you can run "fast" at 160 if you're taking long steps and "slow" at 200 if you're taking tiny steps.

    One way to find your cadence is listed at:

    Another way is to make a mix with music at one song at each bpm of 120, 125, 130, 135 etc... and listen to it while running. Listen to each song 5-30 seconds (or however long you need) and see if the beat is around the speed of your footsteps. If, for example, 150 feels about the same as what you run then over a week or two starting listening to music at 150-155 (or even 150-151). You may notice that you naturally speed up with the faster songs and slow down with the 150s. Find a mix that works with your goals for the run. As you get more comfortable with the faster songs, change your mix to be 150-155. Something like that. You'll have to take it slow, listen to your body and see how it goes. With all that said, if you've got such bad heel pain, cross-training for a while might be the way to go. Swimming, biking, yoga, aerobics... whatever floats your boat. Nothing wrong with giving your body time to recover.

    I hope that's helpful! If you have more questions, feel free to email so I'm not clogging up your comment space! :p

  4. I run only 3x/week too due to my injury-prone nature. I think weather affects me the most. I can run in hot weather, but my pace definitely slows down. A lot of my best training runs and races occur in the spring and fall months due to the nice temps.

    I would encourage you to up your run days to 3x/week, unless you do cross-training on what would be the third day.

  5. my last run was a 2 mile run and after my long run yesterday... my legs are killing me! lol...

    humidity is brutal!

  6. My last long run sucked! I had a horrible time getting into it, and felt sluggish through all of the run. I hadn't run much the week leading up to it, so I think that was a contributing factor. Good job keeping up with it!