84 days to go: a much better long run

I wrote that yesterday’s run was a tedious run. Well my Sunday “long” 12-kilometer run was much better.

I was able to get a good sleep. I flopped to bed at about 10:30 pm and got up after 8 hours. Then I took another nap at around 2:30 pm and I think I overdid it because I woke up heavy and sluggish at around 5 pm. I promised myself that I would run no matter how late so I fired up the usual gadgets, laced up my shoes, and hit the pavement.

The day’s training plan called for an easy 4 kilometers, followed by 4 kilometers at 20 seconds faster than my marathon pace, ending with an easy 4 kilometers. After a few minutes of easy running I knew that yesterday’s drudging run was already history. There was zip in my legs. Gone was that feeling of lethargy. All systems were back to normal.

The second part was no different. I tried to coast, keeping a high cadence, but my iSmoothRun app kept on cueing me to go faster or slower despite what I felt was a steady pace. I am not sure if it is a glitch in the app or if it is because of spotty GPS in my area. I figured that if would rather err with a faster pace so I kept on running at what I thought would be the correct pace. It came out that I was running at 20 seconds faster than the prescribed pace. Despite that I didn’t feel exhausted or fatigued. I was breathing heavily but not gasping for air.

As a side note, the run took me to this stretch of road where cars tend to zoom by. I would reach that spot whenever a run was 10 kilometers or longer. The sun had totally set when I reached that part of the route, and the road had no functioning lamp posts so it was dark and cars had their headlights on. I had strapped reflectors and ran against the traffic, but I still couldn’t “tune out” and had to be alert for swerving vehicles, not to mention a few motorcycles or bicycles that don’t have headlights. This is the reason why I try as much as possible to avoid running at night.

I slowed down for the third part of the run. Actually I thought I would hit my zone 2 pace but found that I was still running relatively fast. I also wanted to see how long before my heart rate returns to normal. When the app cued me to go into the slower recovery pace, it told me that my HR was 172. After one kilometer of what I thought was a slow pace, HR dipped to 164. It never reached zone 2 however.

After a few hours, my coach advised me that he would review the data and see if I should increase the pace for the subsequent runs. I expect that he would since I feel that I have just been on cruise control.

Run stats:

  • 12 kilometers in 1:27:45
  • Interval pace – 7:50, 6:29, 7:36
  • Interval HR – 135, 163, 163.
  • Time in HR Zones – 1% in Z1, 37% in Z2, 38% in Z3, 24% in Z4.
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