Today was my long run day, originally it would have been this Sunday, but with the Fair Oaks Sun Run 5 Mile race I opted to alter the training schedule around a little bit. This way I am not going into the race with running 17 miles the day before, but am still getting the total training miles in for the week. The weather was favorable today and ended up being a great day to get a long run in to start the day. The sun was peaking out past some of the morning clouds, so it was cool but still warm enough to not take too long for the body to warm up once I hit the streets.
The route I took today was kind of all over the place starting with an out and back from my house out towards CSU Sacramento, looping around and coming back down the same street that got me there. Once I got back in towards my neighborhood, I ran another loop within my area to complete my 17 miles today. Now today’s 17 miles were great, and I am very happy with the long run today. I have not been so excited about a long run like this in some time. I have done long runs before … so what makes this one different. I ran at a comfortable pace today just going with what felt good, but also sticking to it, not pushing too hard nor allowing myself to get lazy and slow down. Overall I ran the 17 miles in a total time of 2 hours 11 minutes and 11 seconds, which breaks down to about a 7:43 per mile pace. I know not blazing fast (30 seconds off the BQ time for my age group), but also not slow. It was a training run and I was not trying to get all crazy on my run which I would have done about a year ago.
So breaking down everything about the run today that made it so good and had me happy with how I felt. There are a couple of factors, the first is the nutrition on the run, I actually packed 2 gel packs with me and consumed them at miles 7.5 and mile 11. Typically on my longer training runs I would start to feel a little drag kick in around mile 15, that did not happen today. I am thinking by consuming calories while on the move, I had more calories to burn while finishing the run. It makes sense, energy in allows for energy out. The second factor that I contribute to my running a good training run today was the carrying for a water bottle with GU Brew loaded in it. In the past I just ran without a bottle, I rarely consumed fluids. Keeping my body well hydrated during the run allowed my muscles to work without the cramps kicking in around 14 or 15. These 2 factors alone made for an awesome long run today. Now I know there will be bad days and great days for training, this might be a great day, and a bad one can happen at anytime. But I am going to focus on the nutrition and hydration on my long runs to help keep me going.
After the run this morning, I decided to skip my Insanity workout (Max Recovery)… Skip a planned workout … I must be going Crazy … or becoming normal !!! I just ran 17 miles, why would I do another workout, when I am doing a strength workout in the evening. Yes there are going to be certain days I am going to push off different workouts. Now I am going keep the workouts moving along, but when my body says that is enough I am going to listen to it. For the second month of Insanity more than likely on the long runs I will be pushing off the workouts. However, I do know that getting the plyometric workouts are important to keep my leg strength up especially in my hamstrings and hip flexors.
After the long run, I decided to look around online about post recovery techniques. I am always looking for new things, new studies, and just ideas from more experienced runners for suggestions. Today I found a pretty good article about compression socks. I am a believer in compression socks, I think they work great, I have used them in races, the night / day before the race and post race to help with recovery from the half and full marathon fatigue. It was interesting to read about some of the information provided in this article I found on active.com’s facebook page link. (http://www.active.com/gear/Articles/Does-Compression-Wear-Really-Work.htm?cmp=17-3-545). For me I will still continue to use them in the fashion I have been, and perhaps the best thing out of this is finding cheaper alternatives than the $40 plus compression socks you find at running stores.
To end the day, the garage group workout continued. Tonight’s workout was the P90X Back & Biceps routine followed up with the Ab Ripper X routine. The typical workouts that keep the upper body in tune with just staying fit, building strength and having a good time hanging out with buddies while working out. I really suggest that if you are in need of a change of workouts or looking for a little something extra, workout with a group of friends, it is amazing how that changes the dynamics of a workout. When a workout becomes a social setting, it can really get you through the workouts much quicker.