At the end of a run last week I started thinking about the differences between my best runs and the ones that I’d prefer to forget. And it seems that the differences aren’t exactly rocket science.
My scheduled run was an interval session. I’m slowly building this session up. It’s currently made up of three two kilometer cycles with the first kilometer bejng easy and the next run at close to flat out. I then finish with an easy 500m and then a hard 500m.
Ultimately, I’m aiming to build this to a 10km session with four 1km easy/hard cycles and four 500m easy/hard cycles.
Easy for me is around six minutes per km with hard being just under five minutes.
Today, I struggled to go faster than 5:30 on my hard segments. What made this session harder than when I last ran this cycle about two weeks ago?
1 – Recovery
I ran an easy 5km less than 24 hours before this morning’s session. Although it was easy I still need recovery time. I’m in my late 40s so the body needs extra work in order to recover.
I also need to be more intentional about stretching and using my foam roller -especially as I’m now increasing mileage and intensity as I prepare for a half marathon.
2 – Sleep
I got less than five hours sleep before heading out today. And I ran like the guy the zombies will catch first during the apocalypse.
That’s a pretty easy correlation to make. If I’m going to get up at 5:00AM for a run, I need to get to bed before midnight.
3 – Nutrition
Dinner the night was a home-made hot dog and some salad. I eat kangaroo meat sausages so the fat content is relatively low and I ate some salad. I really ought to have eaten some pasta or similar to ensure I had some fuel in the tank.
Before the run, I sucked down a Gu energy gel and some Powered.
Tip: most sports drinks like Powerade, Staminade .nd Gatorade are available in powdered form from supermarkets. A tub that can make about 8l will cost about a third of what the pre-mixed bottles cost
I really need to get smarter about evening meals before early morning runs.
I’m curious. What’s the difference between your best and worst runs? And how do you manage things to minimise the negative factors and maximise the positives?