First, amidst so much frustration with the current politics and direction of our country, what a joy and pleasure it is to run bad-pain-free. I had so many interrogations in the Fall of 2016, every run was filled with some incidence of leg or foot pain, I was wondering where I was going. Of course I can feel my legs but I'm back to being able to forget about it so I can do some good work in my training sessions. Including getting back to speed!
Now, I have quite a few diverse goals in February, ranging from a flat 50K (Jed Smith), and hilly one (Fourmidable 50K Trail Nationals) and a 24-hour event on a track. Thankfully, no speedy 5K but, yet, running for 24 hours is very different from a short ultra. For the 24-hour I desperately need to get slower and I'm struggling with that, hence the title of this post.
It has been a while since I've gone to the track, actually more than 9 months, this is so embarrassing. It was with Bob and Jeremy and the rest of the year flew by between a crazy work, business travel and racing schedule for me, and a bike accident for Bob. Earlier shit week, I saw a post on Facebook from Rich Riopel, currently #9 on the Team USA qualification list for the upcoming World 24-hour championships, relating one of his track training run: 112 laps in 4 hours, that is 8:30 min/mile pace. That's even faster than what we can indulge during 24 hours, but I thought I'd give that a try.
It was supposed to rain all weekend but the rain somehow stopped around 9 and I started my laps at the nearby Cupertino High School track around 11 am. There was a bit of breeze but not offering too much resistance overall. Basically, the exercise consisted in running laps in about 2-2:15 minutes.
First, the good news: I was able to...
- run laps for 4 hours, more than I have ever done while training on a track;
- hold a super steady/regular pace for the whole 4 hours;
- get a standard deviation for all the laps of 2.3 seconds;
- and run three of the laps right on 2:00 minutes!
- well, the three laps at 2 minutes were actually the slowest, and they happened when I stopped for a few seconds to grab a Snicker bar or change GU2O bottles;
- all the other laps were faster then, averaging 1:53, that is, way too fast;
- I ended up squeezing 127 laps in 3 hours and 58 minutes, about 32 laps per hour (a total of 31.6 miles, or 50.8 kilometers);
- I need to get much slower than that...!
- Garmin 230: distance: +0.9%, elevation gain: 806 feet instead of 0 (maybe I'm swinging my arm too much?), no lap recording (by distance only).
- Garmin 310XT: distance: +5.3% off, elevation gain: 10 feet (close enough), lap by position recording.