Saturday, August 31, 2013

Good Week ... 6 To Go To ChicaGO

Week ending Aug 31 workout results
I had a pretty solid week of training this week.  I'm still backing off on effort here and there and seem to be handling the paces and work load just fine to this point.  Saturday's run was a tough one though ...

Saturday Long Run
Location: Little Blue Trace Trail - Independence, MO
Weather: 80 at start, 86 at finish, 81% humidity, no wind
Distance: 24 miles
Pace: 7:55/mile
Notes: Took 2 salt tabs and 2 gels at miles 8 & 16, ran out of water at 21, got a little tough, overall pace was pretty easy

The run was nothing to write home about except I was able to run for over three hours for the first time this season, which is progress toward the marathon.  But other than that, it was just another hot and humid struggle at 6am.  It's so tough to get a good gauge on just where you're at with your fitness on an 80degree/80%humidity morning.  I mean everything is just such a grind.  You can't breath.  Your heart rate is elevated more than normal.  You're losing fluids quickly - I mean literally shirt COMPLETELY saturated after 3 miles.  And your legs just don't want to move.  The whole objective this morning was just to run a nice even pace, put it in the books, and go home.  Which I did.  Although I wish it would have felt a lot easier, I was glad I was able to power my way through it.

Beet Juice Report
Dwight Schrute would probably do a much better job at this, but here is an update on the beet juice front.  I drank about two cups pre-long run for the second straight week. I also drank about a cup last night with dinner.  Last week's run went really well and I was able to hammer out 10 mi@7:04 pace at the end of a 20 mile "fast finish" run.  I drank it again this morning before my run, but the run was just an even paced 7:55 with a couple of stops to pee and change shoes.  It's just so hot and muggy right now, and frankly the weather is consuming more of my focus than anything else, so I nothing has really jumped out at me as far as the effect of the beet juice.  Like I've said before, it's going to be very difficult to quantify any results.

As you know, I've started drinking it before long runs based on studies that show it potentially improves performance in endurance athletes anywhere from 1-2%.  Research indicates that beet juice will lower and allow your body to use oxygen more efficiently over a given period of time after ingestion.  So in theory if you're running a 7:30 pace, 2% faster would result in about a 7:21 pace at the same effort.  Obliviously the faster pace at the same effort would be nice, but I'll have to keep testing it during long runs to verify any kind of improvement.

Beet Juice Bottom Line ... I really can't tell any difference with it so far.

As far as the rest of the week, it went really well.  I had two nice workouts on Tuesday an Thursday, with Tempo and Marathon Pace workouts.  I'm really trying to focus on running more miles this summer at marathon pace or below.  My overall mileage is down a little compared to past years, but my legs feel a lot fresher which is resulting in better quality workouts.  One disclaimer - when I say "Marathon Pace" - that's simply the pace I want to settle in and run most of the race at.  I can't average a 7:00 pace for a marathon ... yet.  But maybe someday.  Hope your training's going well too.  Have a great holiday weekend!
... be great today!


  1. You ran 24 miles in 86 degree weather. That's insane! But good job.

  2. That is insane running so far in that heat and humidity!, where do you get your beet juice? I wouldn't cry over a 2% improvement

  3. Hey Jim,
    Thanks so much for your Chicago Marathon training posts. I'm training for Chicago too and I live in KC so I totally feel your pain when it comes to this crazy heat. This is my first marathon and I'm waaaaaay slower than you.

  4. Hey Theressa - glad you're doing Chicago and congrats on training for your first marathon! Don't worry, once the weather breaks again it will feel like you can run forever. The humidity's actually great for us to train in ... just didn't seem like it today!

  5. We had our first really humid morning of the new season yesterday. 3 hr slog-fest left me saturated and fogging my glasses and it wasn't even spring. Definitely not looking forward to summer.

  6. 24 miles in hot weather is amazing. You are a machine. ANd I only mean that in a good way.


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