Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Eine Kleine Nachtlaufen

I don't speak German, but since Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is normally translated "A Little Night Music," and since laufen means run (I think), my title means A Little Night Run.  German speakers, I welcome your corrections.  Actually, now that I google my title, I find that I'm not at all original.  No big surprise.

Anyway, tonight was a night for another frustrating long run.  I feel like I'm on track in my training: I'm close to goal in intervals; I'm making progress on my tempo runs; and my easy runs have been at an acceptable pace.  All three have definite room for improvement, but I'm getting there.

Long runs are another story.  The ultimate goal, per my White Rock training plan, is to run my long runs at a pace of about 9 minutes/mile, with the last 4 or so miles at race pace, about 7:30.  Tonight I started out OK.  The first hour I ran mid-9s.  The second, around 10.  So after 2 hours, I was definitely in the sub-10 range.  The next mile or two were a little slower, and I decided to pick it up on mile 15.  I ran a blazing fast 8:50, aided by the first 1/2 mile being downhill.  The next mile, not so fast: 10:59.  After that, I got a little slower.  The last 2-3 miles were a painful, slow walk home.

This has become my pattern for long runs: strong start, but seemingly not excessively fast, then a few miles of struggling but keeping an OK, if not optimal, pace, followed by a death march to the finish, as my friend Stuart would say.  Now that I think of it, that's pretty much my pattern in races, too.  So what I practice in training runs comes out in races.  I don't know how to get out of that!  I'd settle for even splits in my long runs now, but I'm far from that, much less negative splits!  The good news: I still have 4 months until White Rock.


  1. Might I suggest experimenting with a walking interval right from the start. I am a newbie to ultrarunning but I tried it with some success on some long training runs in the heat and at El Scorcho 50K.

  2. Remember- it's HOT. Even at night. That's going to slow you down, especially on long runs. Keep it up!

  3. Steve and Mark, thanks for the comments. I guess my pride and stubbornness have prevented me from incorporating run/walk in training. At road marathons, I have managed to run the whole thing, aside from a brief walk while I drink after an aid station. But arguably I could increase overall pace if I did the run/walk well. In ultras, I always end up walking at some point. The only plan, if you can call it that, is to walk when I get tired or on uphills. I should start doing a run/walk on training runs. And yeah, I'm ready for some cooler weather!