Saturday, October 3, 2009

1/2 Marathon Training: 10 Mile Run

The alarm clock went off at 4:30 am, I promptly hit the snooze button. Nine minutes later I was up and trying to explain to Annie what the heck was going on! She finally came around and we each had a slice of toast with peanut butter. I loaded up my water bottles with a 1/2 concentration of Gatorade, strapped on the Garmin, and slowly walked out the door!

The beginning of every run is always the worst for me. I keep looking at my Garmin to see my distance and pace and say things to myself like, ".5 miles down only 9.5 to go!" ... yes I am that brutal on myself (-:

After about 2 miles I was able to settle in for what turned out to be a refreshing 1:47 minute jaunt through my dark and quiet neighborhood. As my buddy Boomer has mentioned in many of his posts, hydration and nutrition are key on long training days. About every two miles I would take in a few ounces of gatorade and at mile 6 I had myself a vanilla GU gel. By the time I was done with the 10 miles I was ready for breakfast but overall I felt pretty good and plan on maintaining this type of nutrition in the future.

On Sunday when I did a 9 mile run I averaged a 9:40 minute/mile pace in awful humidity. Today I averaged a pace of 10:26 in perfect weather conditions. This had nothing to do with the distance and more to do with the fact that Annie was pacing today and my legs were starting to feel the effects of the 25 miles that I had already run this week! So that means since Sunday I have accumulated 35 miles. The main reason for this increase is because last week my long run was done on Sunday instead of Saturday, thus making it appear that I have increased my mileage way to aggressively. That is not the case because if I take that 9 mile Sunday and add it to last week I would have done 22 miles last week and 25 miles this week.

Now, a lot of you maybe reading this and saying to yourself, "why the heck does Jeff count all his miles? Who cares, just run!"

Well, a couple of reasons. First, I am anal. Second, I have found that if you plan your workouts in advance it is much easier to hold yourself accountable. If you didn't have a workout planned it is much easier to take a "day off" as opposed to "missing a scheduled workout" .... Semantics? yes. Effective? YES.

Thirdly, when it comes to any type of increased physical workload increases, especially running, it is important to know your mileage stats in order to know how much to increase so you can prevent injury. Studies (and personal experience) have shown that increasing mileage too quickly can result in injuries. Running is very hard on your body - joints and muscles in particular - and your body needs significant time to get used to the added workloads. In running the general rule of thumb is to increase by only 10% each week.

Anyways, today's run was fun and I could have easily went another 3 miles that would be required for a 1/2 Mary. Tomorrow morning I am going to try and go all out on my Tri bike for 10 miles to see what kind of time I can average. I have a Triathlon coming up on Oct 18th and it is only a 10 mile bike ride. I need to see where I am.

Thanks for Reading,



  1. I'm going to guess 29 minutes for your 10 mile tri-bike-time-trial, unless you see any dogs.. then 27.5! Muwhaha.

    Good run this morning, you are a braver man than I for facing that ungodly hour.


  2. I enjoy the early mornings Josh - it is sometimes nice to have a couple of hours of me time! (Alright who am I kidding? At least that is the lie I keep telling myself - it was damn difficult leaving my warm bed this morning!)

    I hope your 29 min prediction is right because I'd be pleased with that time. Any thing above a 20mph average would be great!

    Thanks for that guess - now I am going to have to push the heck out of it so as not to disappoint (-:

  3. Na, there is no disappointing man. You will do the best you can do and I will be proud to read about whatever the result is.

    Funny story. I have a friend who was in a triathlon. He was TWO miles from the end of the bike portion when his back tire blew out. He went into a ditch and could tell right away that something was wrong with it. Most people would have waited for the road crew or just called it quits.

    He picked up his freaking bike.. and walked.. then jog.. then ran. He finished the triathlon near the very end of the pack. But reading his race report, I seriously had tears.

    As long as we never quit, we have won.

  4. Jeff you're an ANIMAL!!

    I love the inspiration I get from reading your blog... especially since I want to 'become' a runner. I do most of my running on the treadmill at the gym so I have been slowly working up my tolerance to pavement again.

    And like you, I love to track everything I do... miles... calories... minutes... I have a spreadsheet for it so I totally understand why you track your miles! :)

    Btw, I read your comment on Josh's blog about "HTFU"... LOVE IT!!!

  5. First of all, you had an amazing double digit run! 1:47 is a great 10 mile time. I can only dream of making 1:47. On my 10 mile run I could only push my old, slow carcass 1:55. I know what you mean about the first couple of miles. I look at my Garmin and do the same thing... 1 down, 14 to go... 2 down 13 to do. As you say, it is brutal!

    Your running posts suggest that you have great capacity for both endurance and speed. I am feeling like 15 is a major wall for me to get by. It sounds like you will just blow by 15 miles when you get there.

    The 1/2 marathon will be pretty easy for you. You are definitely full marathon material. I am suffering in my training and you are thriving in yours. Good job, Jeff!

    Btw, tell Annie that I think she is doing an amazing job!

    Your absolutely correct about following a schedule and pushing it. It does cause injuries. In fact, I am sitting here watching the the Jags/Patriots game with an ice pack on my left knee. I am one of those nuts who just had to push it. I have to remember that I am not the young military guy that used to be able to push past limits. I hope those that read your blog heed your words.

  6. Thanks Annie - I like to even look over my runs from the past and compare them with my current runs of similar distance. I can check and see what my HR and speed were and see where i am improving or having difficulty. The software that comes with my Garmin 305 is great for this!

  7. Hey Boomer - That sucks about the knee. Hopefully it will feel much better after the rest day today! And if not you have the base conditioning to take a few days off to get healthy and it won't hurt you at all -- actually it may help you to get a few days recovery in with as hard as you have been going!

    My 1/2 mary training program actually has me maxing out at 10 miles? I might copy your program from this point on and see how I am doing and decide in a month or so if I should do the marathon or stick with the half? Both my jobs are keeping me EXTREMELY busy and wearing on me some so I will see!

    When I was younger I always had the capacity for sprinting (4.48 40 yd dash) and distance. I used to run with my buddies who did cross country to stay in shape for football and smoke them. I just never really focused on the distance running so it is sort of a learn as you go thing. Ten miles wasn't too bad, but we will see how it goes when I hit 15 ... it might be a wall that we have to break through!

  8. Jeff, I do admire the dedication you've shown to your running. Watching it go from an idea to your dedicated sport is especially cool. Glad I'm able to hitch a ride...even though I'm not a runner, it does inspire, thats for sure.

  9. thanks Steve - it is funny to look back a year ago and watch how we have all sort of just felt are way through all of this. Boomer was even laughing how our goals used to be to just do a 5k and now a 5k is a warm up!!! Glad I can inspire!