After the onslaught of old race reports, I thought I’d give a quick update of how my C&O Canal 100 training is going.
I’m not injured. My left hamstring is a little on the tight side, but this has been the case as far back as I can remember so no big deal. I’m running every day and getting in the miles that I had planned to do.
The Not So Good
My speed work has been lacking to say the least. I’ve only done 1 of my 4 planned workouts so far this training cycle. While it’s mostly been weather related (snow and ice), I did end up passing on 1 workout because my legs were a little tight/sore. This part of my training isn’t going to make or break whether I complete C&O, however it will help me run it faster. I’m erring on the side of getting to April 30th 115% healthy, than running the race 30-45 minutes quicker. I’m still hoping to do most of the rest of my planned track sessions, but am not stressing if they don’t happen.
OK, yesterday’s 25 miles wasn’t quite that bad but it was a struggle. Which means it was probably the best training run I’ll have. I’ve come to believe that the really easy runs don’t do much for your body. That’s not to say I’m fully onboard with the No Pain, No Gain mantra, yet I believe there’s more than a little truth to the saying.
The run started fine, but my legs started getting a little tired by mile 10 and my pace started dropping off at mile 16. Towards the later miles I was even walking a little on flattish sections. When this happens to me, it’s more a mental issue than a physical one. I didn’t have any problems running in the last mile or so because I knew I was about done and could just cruise it in. Not that it wasn’t also a physical issue as my extremely sore legs would attest later on that afternoon. I ended up taking a short nap in the evening before turning into bed a little early.
What made the run extra tough I think was twofold: my heart rate and fueling. I had been doing my long runs at 155bpm max, however I upped it to 157 yesterday to see how that went. I’m thinking it helped me blow through my energy stores a little quicker than normal leading to my pace dropping off a couple miles sooner than it usually would. The second cause is that I did the run in a fasted state (no calories before or during). While this is how I do almost all my runs, this is the farthest I’ll do that for and it’s been quite a few months since I’ve done a 4+ hour run without calories. I think the extra 30 minutes had an impact.
Despite all that, I still consider this a good run. My pace only slowed down 30 seconds a mile over the last 12 miles and while I haven’t checked my Garmin data, I think part of this was caused by increased elevation.
So far, so good. Looking forward to the next 9 weeks of training.
How is your training going?