Sunday, April 24, 2011

Success - Three Hour Run

The post before this one talked about my attempt to do a 3 hour run that had to be called off after 2 hours due to severe discomfort in my legs. Yesterday I tried the same route again and this time I succeeded. Well, to be precise, I finished almost 15 minutes ahead of time so the actual run was only 2 hours 45 minutes. However, this is good enough to pave the way for longer runs that will have to be done in the coming months.

This is how it went.

The summer sun is already out in all its harshness so the idea was to end the run before it became too hot. I started running at 5.15 while it was still dark and took the same route as my last attempt. This time I made sure that I was running much slower and that seemed to have helped a lot. My shoes are breaking in quite well and I also discovered the cause of discomfort the first time around – the gradual but steady incline. The slope on the route is pretty gradual and one hardly notices it. However, if your gait does not adjust for the incline, it will wreak havoc on your joints and muscles – and this is exactly what had happened last time.

Much wiser this time around, I paid special attention to how my foot was falling on the ground and ensured that my speed was as slow as possible. After running for one and a half hour, I turned around at 6.45 am feeling a bit tired but otherwise fine. By this time, I had settled into a good rhythm and had been running in stretches of 8 minutes interspersed with one minute walk-breaks.

However, by the end of the second hour, the exhaustion was mounting quickly. I had to reduce my running to stretches of 5 minutes and at times I cheated by taking walk breaks of longer than a minute. The last couple of kilometers were really bad and I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open. However, I had enough in me to make sure that I kept running all the way to the point where I had started from. Makes me feel happy.

I finished the run a little after 8, meaning that I had been able to shave off almost 15 minutes. Maybe it was on account of the downward slope on my way back or maybe it was that I had settled into a good rhythm without realizing it which helped me finish sooner. I guess it was a combination of both factors.

Had a hearty breakfast as soon as I reached home and then just crashed. It was more than two hours later that I was able to come back to life. Ate like a pig the whole day long and more than compensated for any calories that I may have burned during the run.

One very good thing that I noticed that there was very little soreness in my legs and I was able to walk without much pain all day. If this is on account of my relatively new Asics shoes, I am thrilled.

Plan to hit the treadmill at least twice during the week for speed training and will run for an hour round the lake next weekend. This was a good run.

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