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?


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  

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