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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

16 Mile Sunday - Using the Run Walk program succesfully

Well,  the weekend flew by and Sunday morning came quick.  
It was my 16 mile weekend and after a few bad long runs,
 I was really dreading this one.  
I mean, really dreading.

Temperature was in the 30s, sunny, and really windy.  I was thankful for the sunshine and knew I would warm up quickly, so I went with a light long sleeve tech shirt, navy running tights, my lulu reflective coat (perfect windbreaker) lulu headband to cover my ears, 2012 Newton Gravity sneakers, and my camel bak.
My go to gear I love so much. 

I went through my stridebox goodie bin (I have a running bin where I throw in my unused stridebox treats) and pulled out these two treats to consume along my run.  Not a huge fan of eating while running but I knew some fuel would be needed on this run.  

 I had the NOW (No Opportunity Wasted) bar at mile 9 and LOVED it.  
Soft Baked Manuka honey newton
Tasted like a cinnamony fig newton chewy and yummy. 
Gluten free, all natural, 4g of fiber, no trans fat, loaded with chia seeds
I will be buying a ton of these.

I had the Energems (chocolate caffeine energy bites) around mile 13 and absolutely hated them.  They did not taste good and left this awful taste in my mouth that no amount of water could get rid of.  I liked the easy to hold box with the lid but threw them out after having a few. 

In my camelback I put two Nuun tabs.  I love Nuun becaue it gives you all the electrolytes and goodies like gatorade, in a great fizzy taste without all the sugar and calories.  Nuun "turns water into an optimally balanced electrolyte drink".  I get them off a deal on Groupon so got four viles in a box for cheap!  

It's also super yummy and when I put it right in my camelback I am eager to keep hydrating-  I will easily drink my entire camelbak on a long run.  My bag is the smaller 1.5 liter bag.  

Fuel and water was in order- now it was time to run!
I am trying to "baby" my injuries and doing everything I can to be pro active in the injury department.  I decided on a 10 mile loop around Old Lyme with a few hills, but nothing major to write home about.  Hills are important but when you have had nothing but terrible long runs, you have to pick your battles. 

I picked this route so I could end on the track.  I decided to do my last 6 miles on the soft cushy flat track.  When I get tired, my running form goes down the toilet and everything starts to hurt- so I figured my last 6 miles on the soft track would help.  

This also helped my tendinitis issue- I think running on the side of the road and the curve in the road is really affecting that ankle where I had the tendinitis so the soft flat track was a nice way to end the run.  I also parked at the track and started my loop there so make the transition from road to track seamless without stopping. 

 I also didn't want Olive running the entire 16 miles (she is plenty capable but that's a lot of pounding on the joints) so she could nap in the grass with her water while I finished the last six miles. 

Like I said, all of my long runs have been really tough, so I decided to try a new plan. And oh was a new plan needed.  I have read a lot about the Jeff Galloway Run/Walk "theory" but never thought it was for me. 

 Stopping and starting seemed like a lot of stop go stop go and once I stop, I really don't want to go, and I sort of felt like a cheater.  I was really skeptical but read a few stories of big time marathoners cutting a half hour off their time by using the run walk system. 

I pushed the thought to the back of my brain, until this weekend.  The run/walk times and ratios aren't that important, but the key is that you start them early.  If you start walking when you are tired, the damage is done.  The key is to start early and often. 

Jeff Galloway Principles behind run-walk-run:

• Continuous use of a muscle will result in quicker fatigue
• The longer the run segment, the more fatigue
• Run-walk-run is a form of interval training
• Conservation of resources
• Quicker recovery
• Less stress on the “weak links”
• Ability to enjoy endorphins
• Reduce core body temperature
- See more at: This Link

I started at mile 2 and did the following schedule:
(I kept my watch going the entire time even through the walking)

Run to 2 m 
Walk 1.5 minutes 
Run to 3.5 m 
Walk 1.5 minutes 
Run to 5 m
Walk 1.5 minutes 
Run to 7.5 m
Walk 1.5 minutes 
Run to 9 m
Walk 1.5 minutes 
Run to 10.5 m
Walk 1.5 minutes 
Run to 12 m
Walk 1.5 minutes
Run to 13.5 m 
Walk 1.5 minutes 
Run to 16 m

What an improvement this made.  The entire run I felt great, and breaking the run into 1.5 mile portions really helped get me through the distance.  Sometimes it is a big mental game and this really helped. 
 I just had to keep telling myself "Get to 1.5 miles and you get a break"

Not only did my legs feel great, but my splits were SO MUCH FASTER run walking than just straight walking.  When I was running, I was running 9 and sometimes 8 minute miles.  Paired with the walking my slits still ranged from 8:25 to 10:29, with an average at 9:26. 

Taking those 1.5 minute walk breaks not only helped my legs feel better but took nearly a minute off each mile (compared to last weeks 15 miler)

Jeff Galloway, I am a believer.

The rest of the day was spent icing, advil, stretching, foam rolling, meal prep, and celebrating. 

I made a Coco Hydro drink - mixing a packet (from my stride box) with a glass of water.
Wasn't the same as "normal" coconut water but it wasn't bad and would be great for hydrating while traveling.  I paid 6 bucks for a small coconut water in the airport- I rather bring this packet and get some water from the bubbler!

Trying to be pro active in injury prevention!  Compression socks and icing the shins and the ankle post run. 

Post run late lunch was pasta with a homemade sauce (mushroom onions garlic and white beans). 

What a great Sunday. 
This was the first time I really felt that a marathon was achievable.  
I felt great and finished my 16th mile at a 8:25 pace.  
What an amazing difference in confidence when you have a long run that actually doesn't suck the life out of you. 

26.2 I am coming for you!


  1. You're my running hero of the week :)

    1. aww thanks Stacie- you know better than most how hard my runs have been- I needed this!

  2. I'm so glad to hear that your 16 miler went well! It's an important milestone in training and you crushed it!

    1. Thanks Annie!!!! It felt so good! So happy ! My LDR is 18 miles but I am running a 30k (18.6) race in two weeks so I am so excited for that! this gave me a boost of confidence!

  3. Great job on your long run! I have heard good things abour run/walk, looks like it works. Which marathon are you training for?

    1. Thank you so much! I am so glad I finally tried it- Training for Providence/Cox Marathon May 4th, Providence, RI! Are you training for any races?

    2. I'm out on the West Coast (Portland) and currently training for the Vernonia Marathon in Oregon, which is 4/13. I really wanted to run Eugene but they moved it to late July. The temps could still be semi-decent, but summer weather is unpredictable here in the PNW so, I thought it best to stick to an early Spring race instead :)



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