Fifty is nifty

I ran 50 miles this past week, capped with a 12 miler yesterday during which I felt very good and was actually sorry that I wasn’t scheduled to run farther.

This number is of note because it’s the most I’ve ever run in a single week. Aside from a twinge in my left achilles (which I’ve traced to a particular shoe), I’m having no problems (knock wood) with the increased mileage. I’m also getting faster at the same heart rate. Six weeks ago I was clocking 10:30 miles at 70% of maximum heart rate. Now I’m running 9:30 using the same number of heartbeats. I attribute at least some of that jump in cardio fitness to time on the exercise bike.

I’m backing off a little this week, since it was a fairly quick ramp up from ~35 to 50 miles. But I feel very good about my base building progress so far. Now I just need to settle on a training program for the fall and winter.

The Sept issue of Running Times (not yet online) has a good article by Greg McMillan on how not to fade in the final miles of the marathon. One of his secrets is to do longer “long” runs before even starting the actual marathon training phase. I’d previously planned on doing 14 miles as my longest run during this base building phase. But now I’m thinking of throwing in some 18-20 milers. In any case, the article was good food for thought.

I’ve also been working on leg turnover, which has proven to be difficult. I average around 180 steps per minute. I should be doing 190 steps per minute (if I want to run like the champs anyway). Recalibrating my brain to take slightly smaller, more frequent steps isn’t so easy. But I work on it every run now.

Running seems like such a simple thing: put one foot in front of the other; repeat. But it’s not simple and there’s always so much more to learn.