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1 week down… 17 weeks to go!!!

Today’s 8 mile run brought an end to our first week of training. All and all it was a great run. The weather actually played along with us and I felt really good the whole way. What I was really disappointed about is my pace. Now here is the crazy part. I wasn’t disappointed that I ran it to slow… I was disappointed that I failed to keep my pace at the goal pace I had set out to run. Now there are a couple goals of a LSD (Long, Slow, Distance) run. First is to get your body used to running both the distance but more importantly the time spent pounding pavement. The other is to get your body used to burning fat stores instead of glycogen. Most trainers say you should run your LSD runs at about a 2 minute per mile slower pace than your goal pace for the marathon. I want to be able to run a sub four hour marathon so I need to run at a 9 minute mile pace. So with that in mind I should run my LSD runs at an 11 minute mile pace. I tried that and I think it hurt me more to run at that pace so I set my goal to run all my LSD runs at a 10 minute mile pace. Today I ran an overall pace of 9:05 minute mile pace. Not really sure how much of an effect that will have on the two goals of my LSD run, but I need to learn to set a pace and keep it. My fear is that come the day of all days… RACE DAY, I will start off at too fast of a pace and I’ll burn myself out and not be able to finish in my goal time. I thought that after four months of mostly running on a treadmill in Afghanistan that I would be able to set a pace and keep it. What I found was that running on a treadmill did nothing to help me with pace setting but only to turn off my brain and run. Kelly on the other hand set the same time goal as me and ran a 9:54 minute mile. That is only 6 seconds off of her goal pace. I guess I should have ran with her. Of course that would help with running the pace… just not setting and keeping my own pace. I did some more testing with fueling up mid run today. At 45 minutes into the run I took one GU gel. Most long runs I would take fuel according to the miles. This time I did it by minutes instead of miles. I think that is one change I am going to make to my fuel plan. This way no matter what distance I am and no matter what pace I am running I will be providing my bod the much needed calories it needs. One additional thing I really need to start researching is electrolyte/salt replacement. Saying that I am a heavy sweater is an understatement. To make matters worse I seem to be a salty sweater. So I guess I have some studying to do. So in recap, set a good pace for YOU, listen to your wife, and make sure you give yourself the much needed nutrition/hydration it needs.