Saturday, April 2, 2011

Real Ironmen don't walk, do they?

Not a whole lot going on in the training world these days - other than, well, more training. I've been very pleased with the last couple weeks and I can feel the incremental gains coming back in both the endurance and mental category. More than anything, consistency has been good. This means I'm doing more running more often and doing what I need to recover correctly.

I ran a report from Garmin to see what my miles were for the last couple months. I just wanted to see where I was at and where I was going...

February = 90 miles (running), 11,380 calories
March = 61 miles (running), 7,900 calories

The last couple weeks has been an interesting mental shift for me as I make this transition from Ironman/marathon running-as-fast-as-you-can-for-as-long-as-you-can to running-a-slower-pace-knowing-you'll-be-running-for-8-or-9-hours-straight trying to finish a 50-mile run with 9,100 feet of elevation gain.

Most everything I've read about endurance pacing preaches the 5:1 ratio - 5 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. Certainly this is not the rule but for beginners and those races that have massive elevation gains, this is by far one of the most suggested shifts in training.

Admittedly, this is hard for me to succumb to walking during a run (WTH!?! The guy with the Ironman tattoo is walking?!). The idea of slowing down and being passed by other age-groupers young and old can be infuriating and frustrating. Not to mention a chink in the 'pride armor'.

I'm not a jerk about these things nor do I care that other people have different race plans than me. I'm going to run my race no matter who passes me. So pride aside I've used a couple of training runs of 8-10 miles to test this idea of a brief brisk 1-minute walk. It really does break things up enough to give your legs and feet a break and lower your heart rate, but also mentally it's a great relief to walk a little bit. Heaven knows that with 9,100 feet of elevation gain during the Black Hills 100, there are bound to be some ascents and descents that are going to require a snail's pace walk (or crawl?!).

Do real Ironmen walk? This one does.

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