On Tuesday night after work I knocked out 5 uninterrupted miles at aerobic pace on the treadmill, after struggling for a while to run without overheating on the turbo. I previously had to take multiple breaks, both walking and outright breaks, to get through prior workouts.
Silly as it sounds, and despite all other fitness I had to this point, this was a breakthrough workout. Sure enough, the 3 treadmill miles last night felt substantially easy in comaprison and I finished that in 30 minutes with no trouble.
I did make some recent adjustments that in hindsight did help me get over the hump.
- Ironically, increasing the treadmill pace a bit made the runs easier. Even though I was previously used to my old pace, it now had me going slow enough that my body was doing extra work to maintain it. I could get more into a natural running motion once I picked it up.
- In previous sessions, in part because of the above, I did play around with the pace more, and I think this hurt more than it helped. I finally found a sweet spot with my new pace range and have held to that pace range on recent treadmill sessions.
- As mentioned before, my new gym at Mountain’s Edge is much better air conditioned, so the indoor air is a bit cooler. This absolutely helps.
- I’m eating a more complete breakfast as of recent mornings, including fruit and some tart cherry juice (which previously I had only taken at night). I think this has helped keep my energy levels stable throughout the day prior to the evening workouts.
- I cut down on work break runs, allowing myself to walk instead with incidental running sections as desired. This probably has conserved my energy for the evening sessions, which granted are still done while fairly tired.
- I recently went back through an old James Dunne running form course, and his week one advice on correcting anterior pelvic tilt has been helpful for maintaining a solid range of motion in better running posture.
- This may be a placebo effect, but I’ve run with my glasses off during recent treadmill runs. This makes it difficult to see the TV’s or anything else at the gym, avoiding distractions and better maintaining my focus on the run.
After taking today off from training, I plan to run 5 miles once again Friday and am on the fence about attempting Saturday’s 11 mile long run on the turbo or once again going out of town. If I can’t wake up before 6am Saturday (which is why I didn’t do a Saturday long run), that will likely make the decision easy.
While I enjoyed Flagstaff last weekend, I was a bit bummed about not getting to trek to Big Bear, and I do want to make that day trip and take a run there at some point soon. I don’t want my first run at its high altitude to be something relatively tough like a 16 miler, and 11 is right in the sweet spot. This isn’t the only weekend where I’d have that opportunity, though.
Plus, Vegas has cooled off somewhat after its 2nd big (110+°F) heat wave, and will continue to cool through next week. A morning long run in 80-90°F could be possible next weekend (but not this Saturday, with the high still forecast for about 105°F and lows still in the high 80’s).
We’ll see, though. Right now, I’m just glad with the progress I’m appearing to make on my overall run quality.