Boston Training: Week Four

Today’s Workout-

3 Mile Warm Up, 4 miles between 6:18-6:13, 3 Mile cool down followed by Core Work

Lately I’ve been lucky to have workout partners for most days. Personally I’ve never gotten the whole “Loneliness of the Distance Runner” thing. I adore running alone but I’ve had some challenging workouts and to have to have a few guys or gals to pull me along is fantastic.

My long run on the trails last week was done nutrition free in an effort to increase my glycogen storage capabilities. Coach Hadley has a boatload of information on his website Maximum Performance Running in case you are interested. It was the first time in ages that I have run long on water alone. Usually after 10 miles I take some sort of gel or gatorade. When we hit mile 15 I was dun dun dun dun dooooooone. Without two stronger runners to pull me along for the last three miles my pace would have suffered. Done is different than “bonked” though. You should never bonk in a workout…that does more damage then good. Don’t push past that fine line.

Speedy days are when I really appreciate the help. Sunday Dennis Welch texted to ask if I wanted to run easy and I replied “Well actually I need someone to pace me Monday, Wanna run 16 X 400’s?” Only a crazy person would trade an easy run for 16-400’s so without hesitation he said “Yes.” Renee High and I joked that between her, I, and the Hampton Road Runners we are going to kill him. He has become everyones pacer. He ran with Renee to her win at the Disney World Marathon last week! Should we start paying him in organic food bars? Dennis and our friend David met me Monday morning for a workout that honestly had me scaaaared. I’m a true distance girl so anything sub 6 minute pace gives me pre-run anxiety. We warmed up for 2 1/2 miles along Shore Drive here in Virginia Beach and then immediately went into the repeats. I was thankful not to be on the track. The track gets boring to me real fast.

Dennis paced us perfectly and after each 400 we went into 1 minute recovery jog…no stopping allowed until the entire workout was complete. That alone was a big deal for me. Usually I run a 400, hunch over and sigh, then walk ten feet, then jog at 20 minute pace for a minute. Didn’t I warn you that speedy stuff is rough on me?! šŸ˜‰ This time we immediately jogged at 7:30 pace for the 1 minute recovery period. I only said three words this entire workout (minus warm up & cool down) out of nerves. At the halfway point Dennis asked David and I how we were doing and I replied “I’m doing great!” Great was a bit much but I make it a point to be overly enthusiastic to trick myself, Mind Over Matter Every Mile is my motto.

Each of our intervals were right on pace. Mostly 5:40 pace but a few faster. The last interval was at 5:20 pace…faster than I ever expected I could hit at this stage of the game. We were a bit conservative in the beginning eight 400’s because I was worried I would break in the later stages but that never happened. Coach Hadley had warned me to feel strong and not over reach, to make sure I finished feeling like I could do a few more. We did just that and I surprised myself by feeling stronger and stronger as we went along. Nothing is better than ending a hard workout on a high note.

I’ve had a few questions on what I like to drink post run for recovery. Usually I drink water, gatorade, or chocolate milk. I bought Hammer Recoverite from my old running store in Washington State…Poulsbo Running (GREAT store!) and I was SO bad about using it. See the picture below. The one I bought in Washington State is 2 years old!! I just finished it last week. Can you believe it had not expired yet? The label is faded and worn, lol. Bad runner girl! Yesterday I got a new canister from Running, Etc. and I’ve promised myself to take it after every hard workout. I’ll let you know if I feel a difference.

Have you done long runs with water alone?

Do you talk during hard workouts?

What do you take for post run nutrition?

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36 thoughts on “Boston Training: Week Four

  1. You know, I read his blog on the three different types of fueling during long run strategies, and although it makes sense scientifically, I am pretty scared to put it into practice! Is there a maximum distance or time that he says “water only”, or is just a generic easy long run. A 20 mile easy long run for some will be significantly less time than for others. I guess I would like to try it (this Sunday, ha!), but I am nervous that I will get to the point of really needing a gel and then by that point it’ll be too late to really finish the run well. I feel like 18 miles on water alone, okay I might be able to do that, but 20…???

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    • Easing into it is very important. I wish I had been clearer (maybe I’ll jump back and edit šŸ™‚ ) I had been running my medium distance long runs without nutrition for the past 4 weeks under Coach Hadley. I did not just jump into 18 miles without nutrition and wouldn’t recommend that and I’m sure the time plays a big part but that was my longest run I’ve ever done without nutrition. I average my long runs in the low to mid 7 minute pace so even a mid 8 minute pace would end up being 20 minute longer in a 20 miler…that’s a big difference on tired legs. Maybe extend your gel free runs by two miles. Also I am ONLY doing calorie free runs on my easy paced runs, not fast finishes or with up tempo paces in the middle. Those I take gatorade or gels.

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      • Ahh…that makes more sense then for sure. You can go back and edit, but I follow his blog and he didn’t really mention anything about easing into these runs nutrition free either! it’s good to know it’s something to work towards and not something to just go out and try off the bat.

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  2. I used to take Edurox and I have tried Recoverite as well but, they contain so much sugar. Is this something you need post recovery? I have a canister in my cupboard and it sits there because I feel confused about if I should consume all that sugar. Thoughts?

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    • I just took a look and Hammer Recoverite only has 3 grams of sugar per serving šŸ™‚ That is not much. I took a Hammer Nutrition class ages ago and I remember the owner stating how he didn’t agree with endurance athletes taking much sugar. I take it for the protein/carb ratio and also the glucosomine (which is always under debate as to whether or not it helps but my knees are creaky so I would like to give it a try). I do not drink this on my easy or normal pace days…I drink plain water then and eat a small snack.

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    • I am not sure this is helpful, but I have recovered about 100 times faster from hard workouts and long runs since I started using Endurox R4. I bring the powder with me and the exact amount of water. I mix it literally the minute I finish and make sure and drink all of it. The Hammer drink is similar, but I think Endurox R4 is more complete.

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  3. I did my very 1st marathon training with water alone, and I never bonked. I actually ended up not needing any water the entire race because my body adjusted. In my non professionally scientific opinion, people excessively over use gels, gus, and the like.

    Sounds like you’re setting yourself up for a truly great race this spring!

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  4. Kris you continue to amaze me and make my jaw drop with your amazing workouts! Now as far as your questions go. I did a water only run 3 weeks ago, my 18 mile long run and it went well. Mile 17 was murder though. As far as post run nutrition goes you know I’m all about the Hammer! šŸ™‚ I like to use Hammer recoverite, whey, or soy vanilla blended with bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. Keep up the awesome training speedsta! Run Happy!!! šŸ™‚

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  5. I love what Coach Hadley is doing for you! You have always had the talent and the running down, it’s those OTHER things (nutrition, recovery, maintenance and strength) that were lacking..You are coming around to be a complete runner and I know without a doubt, you will be able to achieve whatever goal you set your sights on. Great running on those 400’s, you looked stronger than I have seen you for a speed workout…By the way, thanks for the shout out!

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  6. I’ve honestly never used any recovery products after long runs and maybe I need to start because I do get sore sometimes lately… I might have to look into recoverite or at least drinking a protein shake or something. I tried chocolate milk once and it didn’t like my stomach, so now I’m really turned off from that post-workout.

    You kicked booty on those intervals… I am always so jealous of your paces on here, a 7:30/mile JOG… that’s like my 5K speed!

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    • Ha, thank you! It did not feel like a job but the boys are tough and they were not going to wait for me. I had no choice, I had to keep up! I was thankful when it was over that we did it that way though.

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  7. Great job lady! I can’t wait to see you in Boston! So I have a quick question, before your depletion runs, do you take in any calories before the run or start on an empty stomach? Thanks!

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    • Oooh, that is such a good question. I am also wondering and going to be following to hear the reply. (And have read all the comments and replies since my first post — very helpful and interesting!)

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    • I have been having a normal breakfast (Big bowl of Oatmeal w/ peanut butter & 2 cups of coffee with milk) about 2-3 hours before. So far it is working but I do get VERY hungry towards the end and day dream about brunch/lunch time šŸ™‚ Boston is going to be a GREAT race for us both!

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  8. So glad to see that Coach Hadley’s strategy is working out well for you!! As for water-only runs, there was the time I forgot my fuel and electrolyte drink at home for a 12-mile run. I think the psychological dependency did me in more than the physical need — I had a horrible run and kept thinking that I was low energy (when I was actually just fine and ran the thing with the same pace as almost all of my other long runs that training cycle). Mind over matter, as you say!
    As for post-run recovery… I haven’t really tried anything specifically made for that. Usually, I’m really hungry and thirsty, so I make sure to have some cold Gatorade ready and if I can’t get my hands on real food fast, then I’ll down a Clif Bar. I love a burrito and horchata post-long run. SO GOOD. Followed by the post-run, post-food coma nap, of course. šŸ™‚

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    • You had me at burrito! šŸ™‚ I agree with the psychological aspect. That probably played a part in my 18 miler too. I kept thinking…wow, we’ve been running a very long time with no fuel! Our pace was right on target though.

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  9. I can run 20+ miles without a drop of water if its cold but once the temperature rises I can equally drink gallons. I only tried gels on 2 long runs during marathon training (taking half 1st time and full the 2nd) with 10 miles remaining on a 23 and 18 mile run respectively. Taking the full gel made me puke (literally) upon completion on the 18 so I decided that I didn’t need to take ANYTHING other than a few mouthfuls of Gatorade during Houston marathon. Wrong. I have never ‘bonked’ before but mile 16 saw me do just that. Got a gel from a spectator and other food and managed to pull it around but I think it cost me my goal time (3:01 instead of sub 3, blah). I think people overuse these things (gels etc) but I did learn a Big lesson and I will be using them in all future marathons. I never take anything post run specifically to aid recovery…….maybe I should? So many things to remember šŸ˜‰ Excited to follow your training to Boston šŸ™‚
    Can I ask a question, oops already have, I know you’re on the treadmill sometimes, what incline do you use? Do you use the same incline for speed work as easy runs?

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    • I always have it set at 1.0 incline but sometimes I will bump it up to 1.5 if I do speed sessions because I would rather it be harder than easier, know what I mean? It is very rare for me to have it set lower than 1.0.

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  10. I’ve done a lot of my training long runs (easy) without gatorade and gels. The longest I believe is 16 without anything but I cannot do that when going fast at all. Fueling has always been a hard subject for me because being diabetic, you can get really sick from a sugar shock like that. Anyways, your training has really been spot.

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  11. 16! Holy crap that is awesome. I am a true believe in active recovery in between intervals. Makes the legs know they do not get rest breaks in a race either šŸ™‚ Going to check out that article on fueling… thanks for sharing

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  12. Great workouts!!!!! I love love love running alone. I actually don’t think I run as well when running with others. Although, I haven’t found anyone my pace to do hard workouts with…

    I also really like glycogen depletion runs and I run mostly on an empty stomach. I think my body is just used to that since I’ve almost always been an early morning runner. maybe?

    I use Herbalife 24 Rebuild Endurance and I’m obsessed with it! I have heard great things about Hammer as well. Will be curious what you think of it.

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  13. I am totally that “hunch over and die, then jog at 20 min pace” girl. Hahaha- BUSTED! Do you find that you run harder when you workout with guys? I do! It’s like I’m constantly afraid of being “a girl.” Great job on the workout! You rock!

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  14. I’m leaning heavily on my running partners for Boston training, too! I need them for those looong runs so badly, I get a little frantic if our schedules aren’t jiving. I hate speedwork, too. I know I’m supposed to go right into a jog recovery but convince myself that a little walking is ok… Right now I’m doing my track workouts alone so I listen to my iPod. I crank it up high so I can’t hear my ragged breathing. It’s amazing how not hearing how terrible I sound can help! I did a glycogen depletion run by accident on Saturday – couldn’t find the water stop on our club run so ran 11.5 miles with nothing. Felt remarkably ok but then we were running like slowpokes and chatting like two old ladies… I switch between GU recovery brew, Infinit Nocturne (if it’s an evening workout), picky bars, and choc milk. Oh and sometimes Starbucks. Whatever takes my fancy.

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  15. I remember training for my first two marathons with just water for long runs (all runs, for that matter). GUs were new to me and I found them gross in addition to hard to find. I think I used one in each of those races and none in training.

    Talking during a hard workout? Ummm, no. How?

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