Last Friday I went on my first 30K (19 miles) run since the Tiberias marathon (Jan 7th). My plan (which I stuck to) was to run the first half of the run at a heart rate between 140-150, the next 6 miles at a 155 heart rate and the last 3 miles at 160 HR. It went pretty well up until the 15th mile which was when my HR started going a little crazy. The same thing happened last week at 14th mile.
What I mean by crazy is that suddenly, without changing my pace, my HR went from 150 to 180 and the only way to get it down was to slow down drastically. I found myself going from an 8.5 minute-mile to 9.5. This was extremely frustrating and it made me very nervous. What will I do if this happens during the marathon? If I run the second half at such a slow pace, I’ll do even worse than last time. It’s also frustrating to slow down when you feel like you can keep on going at the same pace.
The only thing to do is to try and understand what’s causing this to happen.
Last time around I didn’t train with a HR monitor so I didn’t know about changes in my HR. Some people may think that that’s a good solution, but all it means is that I probably ran at heart rates which were too high and got fatigued. The truth is that until now all I used the HR monitor for was to make sure I wasn’t having a heart attack. I never used it to determine my pace. I didn’t really understand how to train with it. Now I let the monitor determine my pace.
So when my HR goes to 180, I slow down and try to bring it down. The good thing is that it comes down quickly, but when I tried to bring the pace back up it shot up again.
I think I may have a clue to what may be causing this – no surprise – blood sugar.
After my Friday run, my BS was 89 – not that low, but I think it is for running (Jay Cutler said he keeps his at 150 during games). I ate all through my run but I think I may need to increase carb intake after around 12 mile. I wish there were someone who could just tell me what I should do, but everyone is different, and what works for one may not work for others. And there are always unknowns when it comes to blood sugar.
I’m heading into the last couple weeks of intensive training before the taper. I’ll be running a 20 mile run next weekend and a 23 mile run the week after that. These runs are for endurance training but they are also kind of like test runs. This is time to see that everything works and to me that means making sure I can control my BS through these runs with no high or lows. This may not insure that all goes well on race day (just look at Kris Freeman’s 30K catastrophe) but it is key to having a chance of a good race.