Saturday, August 08, 2009

Saturday Long Run/Walk on the American Tobacco Trail

Today I started my run on the American Tobacco Trail a little early, getting a mile in before meeting up with the group. (Since George and I are getting ready for a get-together at our home, I thought I'd finish up early with the running.) I ended up finishing with the group, though, and finishing well behind a lot of the group---again. :( With the occasional Garmin Forerunner "malfunction" (me forgeting to restart the Garmin after a water break a couple of times!) I ended up clocking 10.22 miles of run/walking in 3 hrs, 3 min, an 18:06 average pace.

At the end of today's run, one of my pace group leaders suggested today that I try another half marathon instead of going for the full in November. *sigh* I'm not ready to give up on the full marathon yet, not ready to delay the goal for another year. I don't want to be stubborn, but in a way I do want to be stubborn, ya know?!

Okay, so what do you do to get faster?

Speed work is an option, but I don't have access to a track. I've tried some of the electrolyte powders in water during running, but haven't found a flavor I like yet. Any thoughts?


Bill B. said...

Hi Leslie,

I seem to get your blogs regarding the American Tobacco Trail via Google Alerts. I enjoy reading them.

Back when I was running, I'd build my speed on the road and trail by picking a point - usually a tree or a sign - up ahead and sprinting as fast as I could to it. Then I would go back to my usual pace.

This is the same technique used in track work, but you do it on the trail.

At first I couldn't make the distance, but adjusted for a shorter distance, until I could do it. I would later go a bit farther than the landmark so I could make it a 110% effort.

Don't be afraid to push yourself on those stretches! Go a true 100% of what you can do for that distance.

Another thing I did when running with a friend was to out of the blue and unexpectedly pick a point up ahead and tell them "Race to that tree." And go! They would do the same for me. This would help build speed and a competitive edge as well.

This is simply setting mini goals and pushing yourself to make them. I think you'll be impressed at how your speed starts coming up.

Best of luck with your running and training. For more info on the American Tobacco Trail, check out .

BTW the Chatham County section should be completed in early September. In fact, you can cross the Panther Creek bridge now, and should be able to cross the Northeast Creek bridge within a few weeks. Some have already done it now by balancing on boards.

When those bridges are complete, you'll be able to run 13.5 miles north from the New Hill-Olive Chapel Road Access to Massey Chapel Road. That will give you your marathon practice!

Happy Trails,

Bill Bussey
Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Skylar Masey said...

I agree with Bill. Adding sprints will help you build stamina and will make it easier to increase your pace in long runs. Hills are another option, but may be to challenging for you at the moment. Don't forget you can also build momentum by using your arms even when you're walking!

I'm also a new fan of the GU blocks to refuel. :0) And I'm in serious like with Women's Running which has great articles, including info on training!

Lesley said...

Thanks, Bill and Skylar, for the great advice! I'll try the road/trail sprints. :)

butcept said...

Are you sure you don't have access to a track? You can check with a nearby school to see if it can be available at a certain time. Speed workouts really helped me.

You may want to consider trying a few out on the treadmill too. I have done this on rainy days. You have to estimate a pace to program it on but you can increase/decrease when needed.

But is it truly speed that you need to work on vs. endurance? If you run too fast and tire quickly, then you'll end up walking/slowing down vs. maintaining a do-able pace that allows you to have enough to finish faster.

Only YOU should determine if you are ready for the marathon. I can't believe that person said that although I may be taking it out of context. If you are physically healthy enough to run it, then you should go for it and concentrate on finishing the race, without thinking about in what time.

butcept said...

I just saw this as I was going through my google reader:

Lesley said...

Thanks for the post from ncrunnerdude about increasing speed--very well organized, and good advice.


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