Long Laps on a Dirt Track


I haven't exercised the blog writing muscle in a while. I need my blog to help me process thoughts, perspectives and ideas. Just like running, it allows me time to think, especially running for 2 plus hours.  Lately I keep returning to the same thought which is: "Why am I doing this?" So I can have time to think, of course! I've been running long laps on a dirt track (aka speedwork in slow motion) at the Polo Field to get ready for SF Marathon (5th time) and it's become my favorite workout. The soft track feels nice on the feet. By removing all distractions I'm able to zen out and focus only on my running. It has been a busy spring & summer with not a lot of time and energy for these long runs. I started to question the sanity of signing up for a summer marathon when my weekends have been busy with swim events, but this is just what I need to decompress from that and move on to the next phase of training. My strategy is to try and laser focus in the weeks before the race and peak instead of taper for it which is something I never did before but it sounds reasonable if the goal is to finish.

Training: Each lap is 3/4 mile. I use the Garmin Foot Pod to focus on cadence. I go from about 160 spm to 180 spm. It ends up being about 2 minutes faster than the normal LSD run. The first one I did 5x with recovery laps and it was really tough. I should have started out with 3x. The second time I did 7x (14 laps) and it was so much better. The third time I did 9x (18 laps) and it felt a little slower. After the 6th one it pretty much is a struggle to maintain the cadence. Good practice with the mental side of things to keep going. For each workout I decided to focus on my running economy rather than pace. My base is low, about 20-30 miles a week with strength training and other activities. The strength training is about 1 hour or 2 -30 min. sessions of Bench Press, Squats, Deadlifts, Pullups, Dips, Core with barbells & dumbbells, TRX straps and medicine ball.

Diet: I went back to eating LCHF again recently and used the Generation UCAN chocolate protein superstarch. I mixed 3 scoops into a 1 cup flask and added 3 Hammer Endurolytes Extreme. I think I only need 2. Take a shot before and every hour. I plan to go through 3-4 bottles of water, more if hot. To start, I use the BPI Best BCAA in water with an Endurolyte added. The blood sugar was very stable and no hunger pangs. Great recovery! Nothing needed on the training runs less than an hour. I feel much better on this type of diet and less fluff.

I feel more ready for the marathon now! A month ago I thought I should switch to the half. I realized I had to put in some more miles and earn my spot at the start line and I still had some time to do that. Looking forward to checking out the expo!

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