Saturday, December 24, 2005
MAKING TWO TRIPS
There's this joke: A bunch of laborers are carrying their heavy loads. Except for one, whose load is only half the size of the others'. The foreman stops him and yells, "Hey, you, Lazy Guy! How come you're only carrying half a load? The others are working twice as hard as you!" The man answers, "They're the slackers. They're too lazy to make two trips like I do."
So today I ran 10 miles, in two trips. Runs longer than about 6 or 8 miles have been making me feel stiff and sore, and my 18-miler earlier this week became an 8-miler, but I need the mileage for my marathon prep. So Journey and I went out and did a relaxed, comfortable 6. Back home, we both rehydrated, I had lunch, did some downtime in front of the TV, then went out again. Journey looked up from the sofa in astonishment when I said, "You wanna run?" Like, "You got a short-term memory problem or something? We just got back, I'm all sacked out on the couch." But she shook herself dubiously and gamely set off with me, and was a good sport for another 4 miles. I think it's the first time she's felt what I feel every time.... "I don't feel like doing this, but it feels better once I get into it."
So I got in 10 miles. I'm not sore or stiff. I am, however, starving, despite having used up all my Weight Watchers "Activity Points" and "Flex Points" as well. This brings up again the old question, "Does WW adequately address the needs of extreme endurance athletes?" I've read that you burn more calories when you break your workout into two installments, since you get a double dose of "after-burn" -- that revved-up metabolism that lasts for however long after a workout. Work out again and you get another metabolic boost. At least that's what some say. This could translate into, "You may need more refueling after two workouts than after an equivalent single workout." That's my own added conclusion, not anything I've read. Just my analytical mind grasping at straws.
I don't know whether the endurance benefits are the same if you don't do it all in one chunk, or whether 10 in the form of 6 + 4 is the same fraction of 26.2 as 10 x 1. Mathematically, 6 + 4 = 10, which is the same part of 26 any way you figure it. Athletically, I'm not sure...