Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lessons Learned

In case you didn't read the comments from yesterday's post about my "crash and burn" long run, Tony C. asked me what I learned from the run. I decided to post my reply here, along with a few others that came to mind.

I learned...

That I should have gone with my inclination to do this run NEXT Monday instead of today. I've gotten away with relatively high mileage (for me) for a couple of months now. I've know that I've been walking on the edge of overtraining for the last 2-3 weeks.

That I need to hydrate more than I did (I didn't top off when I first passed the water fountain at mile 4.8 since there was a cyclist filling his bottles, so I had to refill on the way back, at mile 17.5 - should have been patient & waited for the guy to finish).

That one long run does not a training cycle make. This is probably my last 20+ mile run until the Marathon, and I hate to end on this note, but I've got a few medium distance runs left that will have much better results.

Don't forget sun screen - especially on long runs. I got a nice sunburn on my shoulders and arms during my expedition yesterday.

Push my limits, but don't train above my current level - especially for long periods of time. Sometimes there's a very fine line between challenging mileage and too much mileage for my body to handle. During this marathon training program, I would feel great for a couple of 40-50 mile weeks, then I'd feel fatigued. My inclination was to throw in a back-off week (~30 miles) every third week, but I failed to do that often enough. I really think it would have helped me stay strong during the mileage buildup without pushing me over the edge.

And finally, I can't let running dominate my life. When running becomes more important and more of a focus than faith, family, friends and work, I know I need to re-prioritize. That may not necessarily mean a huge cutback in running time, but when it's all I think and talk about (and when I skip family walks because it's my one "rest day" of the week), I know things are a little out of whack. Plus, running needs to always be fun for me; not a job, not an obsession.

Today will be a welcome rest day, and likely tomorrow as well. My body feels pretty beat up this morning. Going to be eating and hydrating all day long!

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