Wednesday, September 06, 2006

15 in the Comfort Loop

I didn't stray far from the house this morning. I ended up running 5 loops of a 3.05 mile loop. While running 5 loops can get monotonous at times, this morning it felt good to be just jogging within the gravitational pull of home base.

Every once and awhile I need to run gently. This loop basically goes up for one mile and slowly loops back down to the house. Eric and I call this loop our "comfort loop" where water and facilities are available every 3rd mile and numerous escape routes abound should it be necessary. Today's workout called for a gentle run to recover from yesterday's faster paced effort. I shuffled out the first mile in 9:30 and by the end of the run I was running sub 8. I met up with Eric at mile 11 and he graciously joined me for the final 4 miles (he was planning on 12).

By running easily, the run achieved its purposes:

1. Continue with "voluminous" running
2. Recovery
3. Continue with "high caloric throughput"

Later - when I am in better condition, these workouts could be done at a faster low aerobic pace. But my muscles still need recovery, even from just high aerobic running - especially considering the terrain of yesterday's workout. Even though the focus is on developing the aerobic system, I must pay attention to preventing injury to both the muscular system and the skeletal system. So while I may get greater aerobic benefits from running faster on the low aerobic days, if the muscles remain sore I end up defeating myself in the end.

A brief note on item #3 above. I can't remember where I read it, but one of the listed benefits of voluminous running is the fact that we consume and burn a very high amount of calories. This is known as "high caloric throughput". For reasons I cannot remember, this evidently is a good thing for athletes in and of itself due to its effect on metabolism, fuel efficiency, and the like. I wish I could remember more but it's gone now.

A gentle, gentle 15.25 miles this morning. 2:09:38. HR 133. Pace 8:30 average.

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