Be careful what you ask for.

As most of you know, I have a running coach who puts together my running plan. Basically, it works like this. I email coach and tell him I what races I want to run. Coach provides me a training plan that includes 5 to 7 running days a week, and includes a mix of one or two days of speed work, a midweek shorter-longer run, a weekend long runs and a few days of easy recovery runs.
(A shorter-longer run is a run greater than 10 miles but not nearly as long as the weekend run- see, I have lost it....)

Nothing too much out of the ordinary for any plan you might pick up from Runner's World, Running Times, or a book such as Advanced Marathoning or from legendary coach Jack Daniels in his book - Daniels Running formula. There are plenty of them out there but all of the long distances basically have the same formula as above.

So why hire a coach? I ran a 3:06 marathon without a coach and haven't run one faster since. For me, it basically comes down to three reasons.
  1. Injuries - I know have a history with stress fractures. Books don't exactly do the best job of making adjustments on the fly when my shin problems rear their ugly head.

  2. Going beyond the 26.2 marathon. Like I mentioned above, a plethora of choices for 26.2 training but going beyond seems to narrow down the training guides and books quite a bit. And even then, the message is not nearly as consistent as it is for the marathons. Some plans do not include speed work, others really rack up the mileage, etc.

  3. Keeps me accountable. I send a report to coach weekly.
I was taking a look my plan and noticed with my 50k coming up in May, on my schedule, my longest run was "only" 3 hrs and 15 minutes.

So the email looked like this...

I was just taking a look at my plan between now and the two upcoming racing (4/17 & 5/8). It looks like this weekend’s (4/3) 3 hr and 15 minutes is my last long run. This seems a little far out from the 50k to start to shorten the training plan, at least mentally. I trust your plan, just now sure about me mentally to go the distance of a 50k. Longest run so far this year was 22 miles. Thoughts?

I was hoping for an email to just run longer on the weekend of 4/24 - maybe 25 miles or so. Here was his reply...

4/3- 3 hrs. 45 min. ~27-28 miles
4/10- 60-80 min, EASY
4/17- Race 25k-- Warm up 3 miles, race 15.5, cool down 5 miles-- ~23 miles 4/24- 4 hrs- Easy- ~28-29 miles

Wow!! Serious mileage.

During the 4/3 run - it ended being on 4/2 due to traveling on Easter weekend, and I came in right at 3:45 with 27.66 miles. I've decided to pay attention more to my nutrition on these long runs. So I decided to track what I was eating just prior and during the run. I had a pre-run snack of a Clif bar and 12 oz water. Over the 3 hrs and 45 minutes – I had 40 oz of Heed (.75 scoop per 20 oz of water) and 6 fig Newtons (2 per hour at 1 hr, 2 hr, and 3 hr). After running that long I was a little nauseous. I went home, and had some chocolate milk for recovery.

After some review, I don't think I hit my carb target right. Basically, I'm aiming for 40-60 grams of carbs per hour and the above worked out to 25.6 grams of carbs per hour.

I don't have many long runs to experiment with, however, I did have a 90 minute progression run (30 min easy, 30 min at 7:12 pace, and 30 earlier this week. For the first time, I used a HEED and Clif Mocha gel together. I drank about 5 oz of heed mix after the easy warm-up, 10 oz along with the gel at the 45 min mark; and the last 5 oz with the 35 min left. I felt great through my run. Here are the products I used:

On a side note - I was running along a gravel road for an easy 6.2 miles one day. It looked like this. The road had recently been flooded so I expected some rough spots.

Looks like a pot hole coming up.....

Wow - this pothole is bigger than my car! Yes, I believe that a car was lost in the pot hole - do you see all that is left is a tire???

Anyway - the week of running that was:

4/1 - 6.2 miles - easy

4/2 - 27.66 miles in 3:45

4/3 - OFF

4/4 - 7 miles - EASY

4/5 - 5.2 miles of tech trail

4/6 - 40 min tempo run - 6 miles at 6:47 pace - total of 8.7 miles

4/7 - 30/30/30 min each of easy, race and threshold - 12.15 miles total

4/8 - 6.2 easy miles

YTD - 707.76 miles

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