Monday, June 25, 2007

I didn't know I could go so slow.

Mike in Wisconsin and others suggested I slow down to run longer. I've heard this suggestion before and I thought I was running as slow as I could, but tonight I found a new gear. And it was really slow. I think I took a walk break and it was actually faster than my running (just kiddin').

4.55 miles
14:25 pace
102 Fahrenheit

I added a photo at the top of my blog. I hope you like it. This is part of the course of the Lost Dutchman Marathons. The half marathoners run it both ways. The Full marathoners start on the other side of the Superstition Mountains, wrap around the southern edge (towards the right) and then follow this road into town. On the other side is where the Dutchman had his gold mine. It is what is lost. The dutchman told his best friend the location of the mine on his death bed. The best friend could never find the mine. People are still looking for it.

Tensa wa yugen da go, doryoku wa mugen da.

Toshihiko Seko is one of the greatest Japanese runners of all time. He's won the Boston, London, Chicago and Tokyo Marathons, as well as, the Fukuoka Marathon four times.His coach was a Mr. Nakamura from Wasada University. The quote above is from him, "Talent is limited, but effort is unlimited." Is that so true? I know that I don't have the talent or even the body of many runners that I race against at the local 5k, but I know that I can give the same effort in my training and when I do my times will get better and better.


Phil said...

Couple of words of wisdom about running in the heat. 1) Slow down. Your body is using blood to cool itself off, so your heart has to beat much faster to get the same amount of oxygen to your legs as it did when it was 20 degrees cooler. 2) Stay hydrated, but remember ... your body can only absorb about 7 oz of liquid every 15 minutes. If you start guzzling, you're just carrying around extra weight.

In general, when people talk about running slower to run longer, they are trying to get you to stay well within your aerobic range. Running too fast, or too close to your LT will cause you fatique sooner and not get the benifit to your cardio-vascular system usually associated with the long run.

Start running by perceived effort and don't fret about pace. As you start running longer races, you've got to learn how to run by feel. If you can carry on an easy conversation during your long runs, then you are running at or slower than your ideal pace. If you're by yourself, try reciting a poem or song lyrics every few minutes. If you can only get 4 or 5 words out before you need to suck in oxygen, you're going too fast. On the other hand, if you're able to recite the first chapter of Moby Dick from memory, you might want to speed up. Eventually, you'll get the feel for the right pace. As you get stronger you'll be going faster. Also, when it finally cools down, you'll speed up on your own.

Good luck.

Running Joe said...

Well, when I was a child, my grandpa always tells me that the slower gets the farthest.

Katie said...

Love the new picture.

J~Mom said...

Ahh...I love Phil's advice...he is da man! :>)

I love the new pic!

Amy said...

One of my favorite personal tactics in the middle of a long run (and I feel like I am going to stop and die) is to force myself to run as slow as humanly possible without stopping. The body is so interesting because it always keeps pushing the pace until it finds it's equilibrium point again. Your body always knows the pace you should run.

Phil said...

Another good tactic to use when you grow weary during a long run is to speed up. I can't tell you how many times this counter-intuitive approach has broken me out of my funk and got me moving again. Running is mostly mental. You know darn well that you are capable of running a 1/2 marathon on any given day, so why is your body screaming no ¡No Más! after an hour of slow jogging? The excuses start to flow through your brain ... I didn't eat right, I didn't get enough sleep, I'm dehydrated, I'm not worthy, I’m not really a runner, what was I thinking when I got out of bed this morning, etc. I even had myself convinced that the cause of my dark funk on a 17 miler was severe anemia – at least the human brain is creative. Speeding up often breaks the cycle of doubt and you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world. This doesn’t always work. It has resulted in a complete melt down followed by a slow walk home; but it’s always worth the try instead of accepting defeat.

Good luck.