Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 18 Mile Run

18 Miles - 3 Hrs 8 Mins 44 secs - 10:29 pace/mile - 2251 Total Calories Burned - Avg Heart Rate 136

Them there are me stats for this mornings run. The weather was cold and it rained the entire time so absolutely perfect for a run!

Here is a Google Earth view of the Kingwood Greenbelt trails we ran:

What a difference a week makes! Last weeks long run which was a mere 12 miles damn near ended me. This weeks run of 18 miles was relatively easy. Well, as easy as running 18 consecutive miles can be!

We parked the car at a Walgreens on Northpark Drive, just down the road from the house, at about 7:30am. It rained all of last night and was still raining. Annie and I talked about postponing until Monday morning when the weather was supposed to be better but we decided to Harden the F up and just do the run in the cold and rain. This ended up being a good decision. It was uncomfortable in the beginning but after about 2 miles my body adjusted to the weather and I was feeling pretty darn good. Aside from ringing water out of my hat every few miles it was pretty refreshing running in the rain. If I had to do it again I'd have worn my trail running shoes instead of the Asics because they are Gore-Tex!

During the run I hydrated with fruit punch flavored Gatorade (40oz total) and every 30-45 minutes I took in a pack of Vanilla Bean GU. The GU is about 100 calories and the Gatorade is 70 calories per 10ozs. So I took in 400 calories of GU and 280 calories of Gatorade for a total of 680 calories. I burned 2251 calories so just by simple comparison you can see I am going to have to increase my intake if I want to go longer distances. This was about right for this distance. However, about mile 16 I could tell I probably could have used some more fuel. I was still able to finish strong - the last mile was my best split of the day! But as I continue to learn how my body responds to these increased distances it is important to understand the impact nutrition intake during the workouts has on overall performance.

After today's run I am even more stoked to do the 50k trail run in two weeks. The reason is twofold: One is that over 18 miles my Avg Heart Rate was an extremely low 136 BPM. In my opinion, this means I have the conditioning for the longer distance. Two is that my legs feel pretty darn good. They felt good during the run and feel good now. I have no need for ice or advil and this is a sign that I have put on the necessary miles in training to successfully complete the 50k. I actually think that the determining factor for me having a successful race is going to be my nutritional intake. If I get the right amount of calories in then I should be able to finish this crazy race!

Tomorrow and Monday are off days. I might slowly spin the bike around the neighborhood just to loosen up and maybe get a brief swim in on Monday.

Thanks for Reading,



  1. awesome job... i hate running. my biggest run was 18 miles and i wanted to lay down 2 and 1/2 miles into it! Great Job!!!!

  2. Congrats on your 18 mile run!!! 136 bpm is outstanding. You are definitely conditioned, my friend. Sounds like you came out of the run feeling relatively fresh. When I ran my 18 miler, I had one foot in the grave. The mere fact that your legs are not sore is a testimony to your conditioning. You have built a nice base. What a great pace too! You will be running a sub-5 marathon, maybe a 4:30. That would be a great "first" marathon.

    Super job!

  3. Buddhy ... heck 10 months ago I was read to lay down after 2.5 miles! Thanks for the post!

  4. Hey Boomer - The legs feel good this monring as well. Might go jump on the bike for a few miles!

    The Higdon plan we are following has our long runs being done at an easy conversational pace as to build up our base. We tried to stay between 10-11 min pace/mile and the Garmin 305 was my guide.

    If this was a race I think I could have kept the pace around 9-9:30/mi at this distance. The HR would be in the 155-165 range but my max HR is around 195bpm so 155-165 really isn't that uncomforatable anyways.

    A year ago you and I were talking about running slowly to build base and I know I wasmsomewhat skeptical. Well, now I can say it works and it works well. As they say: the proof is in the pudding!