Monday, August 22, 2011

Run Smarter. Period.

Two weeks ago I started my new running program, with a workout plan, a running plan, and a well thought-out warm up and corrective exercise list.

But I forgot something so simple.

So simple, when I actually paid attention to this detail, I dropped almost 20 seconds per mile off of my long slow distance (LSD) run.  And I ran an extra mile!

Before I spill the dirt, here are the details comparing the runs:

Date Distance Calories Elevation Avg HR Max HR Time Avg Mile
8-Aug  8.0 1113 257 178 192 1:12:59   9:02:00
15-Aug  8.5 1179 398 165 189 1:19:20   9:22:00
22-Aug   9.0 1245 279 168 185 1:17:55   8:39:00

So what was the difference?  GU!  Gu, an electrolyte and carbohydrate supplement, rapidly refuels your energy stores (I will spare you the gory details on glycogen and sugar usage during exercise), and by consuming this 15 minutes before my run, and about 30 minutes in, I was able to hold off the dreaded 'bonk'.

This, and carrying a water bottle, made a HUGE difference, and kept me running strong, even until mile 9, when I ran a 7:54 final mile.  Let me make this clear: I have never run more than 7 miles up until 3 weeks ago, and my previous best for a 7 mile run was a 9 minute mile.  Now, I'm running 20 seconds faster and 2 miles farther, just because of smarter hydration and nutrition tactics. 

I should also mention that I did 5 sets of Dumbbell incline bench and 5 sets of Barbell Rows before the run (and after my warmup).  In total, my workout was just over an hour an 45 minutes.

Gu and Accel-Gel, another type of sugar/carb supplement for endurance athletes, is available on Amazon, Vitamin Shoppe, or your local GNC for about $1.50 each, and in various flavors. 

Finally, My post-workout drink?  Endurox R-4.  Contains the proper 4-1 ratio of Carbohydrates to Protein for tired muscles that have worked LONGER than 60 minutes. 

Run smarter, then run harder.

-Coach Kev

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