Friday, February 27, 2009

Running in the Rain

Ok, so it ain't like Singing in the Rain. I typically run 2 runs on Friday's as my training plan calls for ridiculous mileage on Friday's, so I break it up. Basically, for a runner, anything beyond 20 miles gets risky for injuries. It appears to be this way for all distance runners. Probably has something to do with how us humans are built. I have been trying to get my legs used to running 21 or 22, but sometimes I experience swelling in the ankles, which is a sign of too much pounding. So I usually break up my Friday runs by running 4-8 miles in the morning, and 20 or so in the evening, depending on the total minutes I need to run for the day, I keep the evening run at 20ish and vary the morning run.

There is some raining cold weather moving into Atlanta for the weekend so I figured I would flip flop my long and short runs so I could get the long one in outside. The long run is a mixture of several different training disciplines which don't lend themselves well for running on a treadmill. I guess it isn't that the discipline doesn't lend itself well to the treadmill, it's more I don't like doing the discipline on the treadmill. I'll tell you why in a moment. For example, Friday's long run typically has a tempo section, an interval section, and what is called strength (not normal strength like lifting weights) section. Tempo means pretty fast. On a scale of 1 - 10, 10 being as fast as you can go....being chased by a grizzly bear fast. Tempo would be a 7 or maybe 8. Intervals are sometime called "track work". I wear a GPS devise which keeps track of my distance, which reads out on my watch so I don't specifically need to go to a track as I can tell my distance traveled on my watch. As an example my interval section today was 47 minutes of 1/3 mile all out (as in 10 on the scale) followed by 1/3 mile easy recovery (2-3 on the scale). You don't actually ever stop running just slow down. I find it easier this way as my legs tend to tighten up when I stop after a hard interval. The Strength section is a little faster than normal, but not as fast as the tempo, about a 5-6 on the scale.

Today's workout was 40 min Tempo, 47 min of intervals, 55 min of strength (will do another 50 mins of strength this evening at the gym). This week I actually pulled an additional 40 mins and tacked in onto the end of my long bike. The true plan called for 3:57 running today, which would have been something like 34 miles, which obviously is just too much.

So back to the treadmill thing. As described above most of the long run part of Friday's run is pretty fast stuff. When I try to do this on a treadmill I get looked at like I am some sort of freak. First of all some treadmills won't go fast enough for my interval work. I need one which will go up to 12 mph (some top out at 11 or even 10). The fast - slow - fast thing about intervals I guess is something most don't understand with interval work. I usually will get someone trying to tell me I'm going to hurt myself if I keep changing my speed back and forth. The tempo section is pretty aggressive and I usually get very hot, so sweat is dripping off of my pretty good, which gets lots of strange looks. Basically, I don't like having to deal with all of this, so I prefer doing this part of the run outside....let alone running on a treadmill for 2 1/2 hours is not something that interests me.

Boy that was a long explanation as to why I was running "outside" and "in the morning" I am about 10.5 miles or so from home and it started raining. Drizzle at first which actually was really nice and peaceful. There really wasn't anyone else out and it seemed I had the world to myself. After awhile it started raining a little harder and the wind kicked up. Ok, not so peaceful now and I am actually starting to get really cold. Water is starting to run...not drip off the visor of my running hat and my legs are starting to get really tight from the cold rain on them. After about 5 miles of this I am finally back home where I sat in the hot shower for about 20 mins to get the chill out. Brrrrr!!!!

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