7.23.2006

Weekend wrap-up (and a question on cadence)

Friday run: 4 miles, 2.5 degrees, 31:39. Cadence workout, and I will talk about this more later.

Saturday run: 12(ish) miles, 1:48:09 (and an additional 11:30 or so in the middle, so just about 2 hours - including a brief cool-down walk, my watch says 2:02:24).

We keep bumping up the time for the group runs on Saturday - at the rate we are going, pretty soon we will be doing our long Saturday run late Friday night. Anyway, the Higden plan for them was 9 miles, and for me, it was 12, so I figured that I would just do what I have done for the past few weeks - run with everyone else, then tack on some extra mileage at the end. If nothing else, it is great practice for a race, since it has to help with the mental challenges that occur when you are the only person on the trail or within 100 yards. This won't be a factor at Chicago, but it easily will be on some other races, including my next half-marathon.

So, we take off at a nice easy jog, after walking a couple hundred yards to the jogging path, and we start off, quickly forming into our little ad hoc groups. Since I tend to be with the faster runners, I get told where the water is, to help ensure that everyone has a chance to grab it when it comes around. And, in the first couple miles, I get introduced to a new member as "the guy who doesn't break a sweat during these workouts."

Now, that is a bald-faced lie. I suspect that some of the runners are running these long runs at close to the pace that they wish to run during Detriot, whereas I am running it simply to get my legs used to running for several hours. I run at a higher speed during the week on my shorter workouts, but I don't think that I need to do all of these long runs at the pace I hope to achieve on race day.

The water stop comes early - very early, and Saturday's route is not an "out-and-back," so if you pass on water here, you pass on water for the whole thing. Even though it is nice and cool, that would still be a bad thing, so most people pick up a bottle. I'm carrying my fuel belt, but I grab a couple of bottles (since there are plenty to spare), and decide to carry them along for another half-hour or so, at which point I will either pass them off to other runners around me, or I will set them down for the runners behind us to find.

The run is pretty uneventful - it's much nicer to run with other people than on your own, and, despite the distance, I am not nearly tired at the end. After finishing (and a little burst of speed at the end, just to stretch out the legs and move), I chat with the others for a few minutes, change shirts (since the one I started in is pretty bad), and head inside to change shoes, dump my stuff in a locker and fire up a dreadmill, where I do another 3 miles to finish up the run.

This lead to a discovery, or rather, a realization: my inside shoes are 1/2 size smaller than my outside shoes. This is not normally a problem, since my inside shoes are the proper fit for distances up to about 8-10 miles, after which they tend to cause some blistering, whereas my outside shoes feel pretty loose for the first 4-5 miles. So, switching shoes and heading onto a treadmill for miles 9-12 turns out to be a Bad Idea (tm), though I escape with only a couple of small blisters. Next week, I'll just add the extra miles as time outside (figuring at a very leisurely, and probably very incorrect 10 minutes/extra mile), and spare my feet the needless punishment.

Today was ostensibly a rest day, which, in actuality meant "day to mow the lawn," or, "90 minutes of pushing a mower around in the mid-day sun."

Oh - as I mentioned back at the very beginning: Friday's workout was an attempt to increase my cadence. I have noticed (over the past few weeks) that, despite changing the incline and the speed on the treadmill, my cadence seems to be stuck at a reliable (but slow) 160 steps/minute. Adding another mph on the treadmill, or another .5 degrees, will increase it, but only for 20-30 seconds, and then I settle back down to that cadence. It's steady, it's metronomic, and it's annoying. So, on Friday, I tried to deliberately run with shorter, quicker steps. I'm thinking that I need to have two speed/inclination settings; one for the "normal" or recovery runs, and then one which will help with cadence. If I do this once or twice a week, I should see some improvement, right? Any other suggestions from the RBF peanut gallery?

2 Comments:

Blogger runr53 said...

Can't help with the cadence question, too new to the idea myself! Some guy in Battle Creek, hehe, got me thinking about cadence just a week or so ago! Whats up with those shoes?? Are you running in shoes a half to a full size larger than your street shoes? That also depends on the manufacturer. Run Good!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Wes said...

I can only dream of the day when I do 12(ish) miles :-) But I will. It was recommended to me that my shoes be at least one size larger than my street shoes, because feet swell when you run. The new ones I have feel really good. Lots of extra room in the toes, and no blisters yet.

I guess I never thought to much about cadence. Is the idea to increase the number of steps per minute while maintaining the same speed? Or will increased cadence increase speed?

9:47 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home