So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad* Training Specialist. Runner. Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) Certified Official, Category 2. RRCA Representative, Florida (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Not Enough Of A Good Thing

Wow...just when I thought it was safe to (go back into the water?) say we were in comfortable late summer conditions, a couple of sources reminded me otherwise the other day.
I'm in the second week of a 24-week training plan through Marathon Nation, & life so far is pretty good. I think I mentioned a little bit about this training last week, but I'll recap my take on it so far. I'd like to call it a blend of Daniels' & Hansons' methodologies. Pat McCrann, the main guy behind Marathon Nation (and it's slightly-older triathlon-related group, Endurance Nation) has a very no-nonsense philosophy. He likes the idea of getting the work done in the shortest amount of time possible. If you've read any of my earlier posts you know that's also one of Timothy Noakes' Laws of Training.
A MN workout pretty much consists of a main set of work at intensity levels based on prior race performances. Warm-up & cool-down? Whatever amount of time you want to take care of it, my friends. Variety? Definitely a blend of tempo runs, strength work, skill development & a weekly long run. There's even downloadable guides to help prepare the race day plan, core workouts, pacing charts, and a number of good videos out there. If you know your best race performances and can click your way through a computer web site you can tailor a plan which ideally should get you to the starting line in good shape and ready to run a good race. It's so easy, even a stubborn coach like me can use it.
I originally planned to take a two-week look at the program to see what I could learn from Pat, but when he offered a few six-month memberships to folks who follow the group I figured I'd throw my (running) hat into the ring. It's not always simple for a guy who coaches others to be objective about his own training. Rare is the guy (or gal) who can see the mistakes they are making & adjust accordingly in mid-stream. Sure, I can tell you all the goof-ups I made after I crash & burn. But I'm scared the number of good marathons I have in me are small, so I want to get this marathon thing right, & soon, so then I can go back to being a tri-geek. Fortunately for me, Pat was kind enough to take me on as a member.
So, I got out yesterday morning to do the planned skill run out on the Bayou Loop. Boom, right off the bat I can tell it's going to be a challenge, because I was running at least a minute per mile faster, on the average, than I should have been going. Uh huh, the adrenaline thing & the solo run thing reached out to bite me on the behind. Fortunately the heart rate was looking a little closer to a reasonable effort, even on the climbs. Stopped to kill off half my bottle of water at the 3.5-mile mark on the course, then continued for the last ten minutes of the assigned workout.

I got to the point where I suspected I would make it to, then turned back to catch back up with my wife. Once she caught up with me I turned back around and decided it might be a great idea to get the striders from the assigned workout in at half-mile points; eight 20-second striders over the course of four miles? Should be no problem, right?
The first four or so were wonderful. But once I got to the last two miles of the loop, number five and six reached out to grab my attention. Wasn't that I couldn't get the cadence as high as I needed to...far from it...but I could tell I was starting to get very DRY. Not so much my clothing, but the fluid on my outside wasn't helping my insides a bit. Most everyone who knows me knows I have a heavy sweat rate; I kill unprotected electronics on a regular basis. Ziploc baggies are required uniform items for me...if you can double bag it, so much the better.

I stopped at the dog beach at the bottom of the park - it's a sad state of affairs when your city parks only have working water fountains in the dog areas - to try & rehydrate before walking back up to the car at the top of the hill. Even then, I was in no mood to dawdle at the car. Next stop, the nearest convenience store for a pint of lowfat chocolate milk & a bottle of ginger ale.
Yep, too much of a good thing can be bad. But definitely, not enough of a good thing - water - can be worse. I've read articles written by nutritionists & coaches which cite the fact most Americans exist in a state of dehydration...maybe under-hydration. That's an issue which can lead to having a very long recovery period after a workout - if you make it through the workout.
Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Keep those water bottles in circulation, amigos.

So if you don't mind, I'll be heading off to the water fountain now.

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