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...

5 comments:

Cliff said...

Physically wise, a 6 miler and 4 miler will not be good as one solid 10 miler.

On the other hand, u are building up mentally. There is no way i want to go and run again after i got home from a run..that's just crazy talk :)

Merry Xmas..

PuddyRat said...

I have to agree with cliff on this one. Doing two is not the same as doing a solid one because you need to condition your body to do the full distance at one time. Might I ask, though, what method you are using to get through your runs? Do you take walk breaks, or are you one of those that thinks that's "cheating?" personally, I've been training using a 4/1 or a 9/1 run/walk regimine and it works very well. However, you cannot go out on the day of your race and decide you will run like that. You have to TRAIN for it or your body will rebel.

That all said, at least you got out there and that's a very good thing. And you did it twice! GREAT training for an ultra relay. (Seed? What seed? I'm not planting any seeds.)

Ellie said...

Cliff -- That's what Journey thought... run again after we just got home from a run??? She looked like she thought it was crazy talk :-)

PuddyRat -- Lately I've switched from all-running, to run 10/walk 2. It does feel better. I think the reason I couldn't do the 18 miles that day was, well, 2 reasons, I had run the day before (I need a day off in between) and also I had just run 16 a week earlier. I was trying to do too much too soon. I'm still coming back from the Ironman... not that I'm still whupped from that, or anything, just that I took such a long recovery time I didn't leave enough time to re-train for the marathon. But I've done marathons undertrained many times. I'll be in good shape if I can get in an 18 sometime next week.That will be 2.5 weeks after my 16, and 2.5 weeks before the marathon. That should work.

*jeanne* said...

I almost ALWAYS split my long runs into parts. I've done 5 marathons this way. I'm NOT time-goal-oriented, so it works FINE for me.

And when I found out about the Galloway, walk-run method, I changed IMMEDIATELY. Starting with my very first ever 10-mile race (I had done ONLY 5Ks and one 5-miler until that point). I've walked all my life. My body LOVED me for interspersing that crazy-nutso-running-stuff with NORMAL activity walk breaks.

Tammy said...

The two workouts gives you a double-dose of growth hormone which is secreted by the pituitary gland... it should change your caloric need, just leads to greater fitness, sooner.

I did my last double-digit run Saturday. This coming Saturday begins my taper for Phx.... see ya there!!!