On Saturday I made my first attempt at doing a true long run workout on the treadmill. As I’ve mentioned before, the idea of doing 3-4 miles on the turbo is somewhat hard for me, often more so mentally than physically. Trying to do 9-12 at once is a true mental test, even if physically it’s not terribly arduous.
However, I wasn’t physically at my best coming in. Along with the 34 miles I’d run over the previous 6 days, I had also taken a sunrise run of about 2.8 miles in already warm temperatures, to see how much of Saturday’s mileage I could get before the heat was too much, but I wasn’t feeling great right off the bat. That ill advised foray had taken a bit out of me. I had gotten better sleep the previous night but was still uphill climbing back from the sleep issues and lingering fatigue of the previous days.
Thus I felt like I started the long workout on my heels, so to speak. I had already planned to slow to a walk for fluids and shots of the Hammer gel I had brought every 1.5 miles (roughly the expected distance between Indy aid stations), and did so. (I also did make sure to eat a light meal before the long run.)
But I found I had to stop entirely a few times for a few minutes to cool off, as running on a treadmill in room temperature got me rather hot and I sweated a lot. I also ran out of water, because sure enough I didn’t bring anywhere close to enough, and had to get some over-flavored Gatorade from the counter to stay hydrated during the final 1/3 of the workout (this also meant I had to abandon my gel, as you shouldn’t drink sugar liquid and take energy gel at the same time).
In all I ran about 100 minutes to get the workout finished, but the workout itself took a total of about 2 hours 10 minutes with all the needed breaks. Some of this may have been aggressive pacing in some segments, and I can dial that back in future attempts.
I also know now, as I’ve suspected, that I need to not directly battle the heat on key workouts, and just do all of my long workouts on the treadmill for now. It was hard, but I came in not well rested and made a mistake trying to get early mileage outside. I also only brought one 17 oz bottle of water and now I know to bring more.
Things I did right:
- Bringing gel and practicing fueling with it.
- Starting the treadmill workout later in the morning which gives me a chance to eat a meal beforehand and drink my coffee, coming in fueled.
- Pulling up every 1.5 miles to hydrate and fuel to roughly match the aid station pattern at Indy.
- Adapting the pace as I progressed, even if a couple of sections were a little fast.
During the past week I had been running workouts post-work on the treadmill and found good results with it. So I think I will stick with that routine for now.