Thursday, July 26, 2007

9 by mile

It's three weeks until the race I've been training for all summer, so today I did my longest run: 20 miles. For various reasons, I decided that instead of going out and doing a normal 20-mile run, a big loop or something, I would do it as a track workout instead. This is partly because it would be hard to find a 20-mile loop that didn't involve running on four-lane highways, and partly because I am always trying to be more like Khalid Khannouchi.*

So, my run was as follows:

Run 3.25 miles to track
9 x 1 mile with 2 laps jog in lane 8 between
Run 3.25 miles home.

Those who are good at addition will notice that 3.25 + 9 + (8 x 0.5) + 3.25 = 19.5, which is not 20. However, running in lane 8 adds 2 x 3.14 x 7 meters per lap, which is about 50 meters per lap, times 16 laps, gives me the extra half-mile.

My mile times were as follows:


Obviously, the idea was to run the 9 miles under 8-minute pace and get faster each time. I did this. I did not get quite as fast as I would have ideally hoped for, but I was tired at the end so 6:41 was what I ran. So it goes.

It was not that hot, and it was very cloudy, but it was extremely humid. When I do a longish run, I enjoy weighing myself before and after the run to see how much water weight I lose. On previous runs I have lost 2.5 - 3.5 pounds during a 10-12 mile run. Today I knew I should drink something, so I carried a 12-oz bottle of Gatorade and a 12-oz bottle of water out to the track. (I always look down on people who carry water bottles while running, but today I thought it was justified.) So, over the course of the workout I drank 24 ounces of water, and then after the run I filled one up with water and drank that. So I ingested 36 ounces (2 pounds) of water during the run. The difference between my weight before and after the run was 3.6 pounds. So, I sweated 5.6 pounds of water, or over two quarts, over the course of the run. Yuck.

I hope that today's workout will be "money in the bank" and will help me to be faster later.

*Former men's world-record holder in the marathon, before Paul Tergat; runs the last 5k of his long runs on the track and closes with a sub-4:30 mile.

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