Run Paces, Fueling, Personalities


Run – 14.2 miles. slowly but surely, creeping the mileage back up there on my Saturday runs. I do believe this was my longest training run since sometime in early march. 
Hilly, no fuel, no fluid, no music, no fun. No, it was fun. no, it actually wasn’t. I was pretty sore from my strength routine the day before.  everything hurt.  so I didn’t have high hopes, or any hopes for this run, other than to complete it.  the actual running was fun and fine and fabulous, but the fact that it was hard and exhausting wasn’t fun. I have a LOT of endurance work to do. The happy thing is that it was hot and humid and sweaty like crazy and I didn’t have to pep talk (you can eat a whole chocolate bar if you finish) myself to finish. I gave myself a pretty big window of miles. It was a medium long run, so it had to be between 11 and 15 miles. So I hit just over 53 miles for the week. THAT was a lot of work. for me.
I used the garmin just so I could look at my splits after the run. I kept it on the watch screen, so I never looked at my pace. The only time I knew my pace was when each mile beeped. I LOVED running like this.  As with most runs now, there is a pre- prescribed pace range that I intend to stay in. If that range is on the slow/easy side, like today, there is no need for me to be looking at the pace because I know I will be able to run that pace without putting out a lot of effort.  I just wanted to run what was comfortable, whatever that may be.  But, if I constantly look at my garmin, I get frustrated and stressed if my pace is slowing down to the slower end or it gets harder than I think it should be.  just nonsense.  so complicated, my little running mind.  If I don’t look at the watch, I can just run. And get clued in to the pace at the end of each mile instead of 374 times per mile. unnecessary. and not conducive to any aspect of healthy living, running or existing.  stress makes you sick. I don’t need it on something that is supposed to make me happy. no. thank. you. every mile was its own mile. whatever the legs were feeling.
It turned into a fairly hilly run – 1130 feet in elevation gain. 
Here’s how it looked…
Mile 1 was more in the 7:30 range because it took the garmin about 1/4 mile to realize we were in this run together. 
Then, I was clueless to my paces and ran by feel. 
Miles 2-8

7:29, 7:32, 7:52(uphill), 7:13(back down), 7:45, 8:11(back up), 7:30(down we go)
Miles 9-13

7:15, 7:58, 7:53, 8:07, 7:43
Last mile

I am really trying to finish most runs stronger than I start them. I want the last mile, or a good portion of it to be the fastest mile of the run. Physically, it’s good training for me and mentally it’s really good to know that I can run strong at the end, even when I feel dead tired. and I felt dead tired after mile 13. 

I’ve been referring to my Advanced Marathoning book just for some general guidance on what the different runs and paces should look like. then I just tweak it if I need to or adjust things like distance. I figure out my pace for the different runs from Mr. McMillan.  The only place in my life that I am type A personality is my running/training. which is probably extremely aggravating mainly to my husband who would probably love it if that type A-ness extended more to meal planning, cleaning and organizing.  in time.  
I plugged in my marathon goal and with that came prescribed paces for different types of runs.  So for Saturday, I was doing a medium – long run. according to pfitzinger, these should closely mimic the long run pace.
According to McMillan, my long run pace should be between 7:20 – 8:20, or 30 – 90 seconds slower than marathon goal pace.
This is the pace chart that I got after I put in my info.  you probably can’t read it. I don’t know how to make it clear. but you can go to the website and check it out for yourself.  
Average pace on this run was 7:35.  I’d have to say I nailed it perfectly. thanks to my type A personality as it applies to running only. 
Food and Fluid

My goal for my long runs that are run at a long run pace is to do them without fuel. I’m not one that really ever feels the need for fuel on a run – it comes more from everyone says you should do it, so why not do it, not because I feel like my body needs it.  and I need to save my stomach for the marathon – if I “gu” too much now, I wont be able to tolerate it at all in a marathon. but that’s discussion for another day. I don’t use too much gu or gel in a marathon. I don’t generally eat breakfast before either. However, this morning I was up at 5am – surprise surprise – and my stomach felt like it was going to devour itself if I didn’t put something in it. I had a small bowl of steel cut oats about an hour and a half before. 
Since I knew this was going to be a slower paced, not too long run, without any pace pickups, it was a good one to do without fuel. the basic idea is that you teach your body to burn fat for energy instead of glucose. we all have a pretty unlimited amount of energy from fat – even the leanest of runners.  I don’t know the exact science behind it, but you need to run at an easier pace in training to make this happen, otherwise your body will still resort to glucose.  I want to work towards teaching my body to tap into the fat for energy so that it can conserve the more rapidly depleted glycogen.  Glycogen is just far more readily accessible as energy, whereas fat takes longer to convert to energy which is why it takes a longer time to train your body to do so.  One way to do that is by not fueling with glycogen or carbs on longer runs.  I’m so good at talking about things of which I have no clue.  someday I really will have a clue.  google can back me up on this one.
I also chose not to bring water because 1- my favorite water bottle is broken. I ordered another one but it isn’t here yet, 2- I just don’t like carrying water unless it’s absolutely necessary, like 20+ miles and 95 degrees out. or something like that, 3- I drink water like its my job every single day, so I felt very hydrated going into it, 4- it was warm and very humid when I started, but it wasn’t hot yet, by the end it was hot and 5- I stayed no less than 3 miles from my house at any given point and passed my street twice if I was dying and needed to get water. I also brought money with me in case I changed my route. I really like to make the training runs a bit challenging so that when I go into the race and have all the perks of a marathon, like tapered legs, fluids, carb loaded and hooefully not 95 and humid, my body has been toughened up a bit and hopefully the actual race will be that much “easier” when it’s time to run. make any sense?  didn’t think so. Make the training conditions harder than the race conditions so that your body makes necessary adaptations. 

I got to sleep in. until 6:30. Glorious. Happy. Sunday. Depending on the Sunday, sometimes I get up early and get the run down before church. I wasn’t feeling like that was a necessary decision today. I was feeling like there would be time to run after church. My feelings were accurate. And I had a nice 7.5 mile recovery run midday. 
According to my chart, my recovery run was prescribed to be between 8:20 – 8:50 pace. this is unfortunate because I had it in my head that it was supposed to be between 7:50 and 8:20. Naturally, type a, competitive runner katie always likes to keep it at the low end of things and was aiming for the 7:50 side, if it happened. I was fully aware of the recovery part of this run though, and the purpose of it, which was to recover and not cause more damage to recover from, so I really didn’t push the pace. only the last mile. My average pace was 7:46, it was close. but the last mile was a 7:22, which brought the average down. For what I was shooting for, I was happy with it. I ran it slower. Next weeks recovery will be even slower. promises. 
We had a pretty low key weekend in the Edwards’ homestead. running, hiking, training. that’s what goes on. Hubs is getting closer to HIS RACE.  I know, he’s crazy, and he apparently didn’t get the memo that I race. he chases kids. not true. He’s my ultraman. he prefers to get all of his racing miles out and done in one single race. he’s really the smart one. I spread mine out all over the place and still probably don’t race as many miles as his one race. he’s gonna rock it. He is finding the children to be very useful in his training. 
Children = Hiking weight. In the back pack. For an hour and a half. I think they had some pretty deep transcendental conversations about life, childhood and the impending kindergarten career she is about to embark on next month. and then they might have gone swimming in the river. and caught some trout with their bare hands.  hardcore.  rough life. 
And another week is upon us. joy. summer fun. trying to remember that priority list I made. I’ll have to take a peak at that again and see how I’m doing.
How was everyone’s weekend?

What type of personality are you?

What kind of “fuel” do you prefer on longer runs?  I’m always looking for new things to try!
Anyone ever been to Leadville, CO?  Know anyone who has run Leadville 100?  Live near or around CO?  I LOVE Colorado/Utah/any state around there with mountains and hot, dry weather. I’ve never been to CA, but would LOVE to go out there and run a marathon. preferably a flat one. actually, I’d run a marathon in any state out west. a flat one. 

About msfitrunner

I am a 29 year old stay at home, hardworking mom to my three little loves! My oldest little darling is 5, little sis is 4 and baby brother is almost 2. I have been married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 7 years (ahhh!). My faith and my family is my rock, and I have a newfound LOVE for running. Maybe it's more of a necessity at this point - to maintain household peace and my own sanity, but whatever it is, it's working for me and I'm loving the racing. The vegan world has been calling my name, so I am testing out those waters as well! That's a tough one with three little picky eaters at home, but I am having fun coming up with new recipes and trying out new things. Follow along as I chronicle this crazy running life, and ALL the craziness that goes with it!

16 responses »

  1. I really enjoy reading your long run posts and how you managed it. Do you try to achieve the Pace range prescribed by your training program? I am doing the FRST program but I am finding it hard to stick to the pace because I don’t have a Garmin. Which Garmin model are you using? I am shopping for one now.

  2. Great job on the long run, especially with some hills thrown in. I have no need for fuel during a run as my long runs are only 4-5 miles right now. I’ve heard of some people that just take a handful of almonds or for a long run instead of gels/gu. Good and busy weekend, hot and humid run, helped with lots of stuff for a friends wedding. Didn’t get to relax at all, but I guess there is always after work!

    • Yes, I have heard of that too – I think that incorporates the fueling with fat idea. I just can’t imagine eating almonds in the middle of a run! I would rather eat nothing!:)

  3. I have never fueled/carried water during a run. My longest run has been been my 1/2 marathon and during that I only took water. After starting to read more running blogs it made me wonder if I was “supposed” to be fueling, so I’m glad to see that it’s ok not too 🙂

    • It’s funny, for half marathons, and any distance race shorter than that, I don’t drink any water but have just started using gu’s, even for a 4 miler or a 10k – not in training, just in racing. I feel like it gives me that extra boost, especially since I’m used to training without.

  4. I feel the exact same way about fueling for LR’s…I don’t! I ran my 15-mi yesterday without water or a GU, because I want to get myself comfortable with being uncomfortable…(some how that makes sense in my mind!) I will practice having a GU at mile 10 and 17 when I run a 22-miler, because that’s how I fuel during a marathon. But other than that 1-LR I won’t be using fuel. My body doesn’t ask for fuel during a run, but it was screaming for water yesterday in the 95* finishing heat 🙂
    I usually have 1/3c oatmeal topped with PB2 and a cup of coffee an hour before I start running, i always wake up hungry! 🙂
    YAY for your mileage build-up, I’m so excited for you and your upcoming NYC-mara, that race was pure-bliss last year! and you’re going to do so well!!!

    • We are like kindred running spirits…except you’re a lot faster;-) I need to come run with you so that some of your crazy speed and fitness will rub off. Or you can come out this way. CT is so much more fun than CA 😉

      • we are the same speed…I am convinced we would kill the competition together in a marathon if we raced together and combined our strengths (your speedy go-out-fasts! + my need to negative-split!) I wish you could convince your Hubs that you need to spend a week training & hanging out in San Diego with me! I’m house-sitting there in 2-weeks and the house has a gym-room w/ a stair master in it! I immediately thought of you!

  5. You need to come and run in Utah, there are the most awesome races here! Lots of flat/ down hill. If you get out early enough it’s not too hot either! I don’t know how you can run in that heat and humidity with no water! You’re a rock star!

    • I need a good downhill marathon to smoke a PR! 🙂 although, I’ve heard downhills can be harder than rolling, or flat races. My grandparents live in moab, so I have a good excuse to get out there and run one someday!

  6. I haven’t yet brought water with me on a long run, though I like the idea of staying close enough that I could stop home for water.

    Your husband’s race is crazy!

    • Sometimes it just gets annoying carrying a water bottle and I don’t like the fuel belts – so suffering through without, staying close to home or bringing money for a gas station pit stop is what I do!


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