OOH!! 16K - that hurt!!!

Using a Jeff Galloway run/walk plan to enter ( and finish!) my first HM - my last two longruns of 14K and 15K started to test my mettle - and I realised that I was going at it too fast , close to goal race pace - so taking his advice, I lowered the running walking ratio and "relaxed" a bit for my 16K longrun this morning. I had tried out this low ratio in shorter runs of only 6K - and thought that this would be much easier - a pace of a minute per klm slower than what I had been doing.

BUT -- I found the 16K to be VERY trying and tiring!! - even when considering that I walked half of it!!!! He says that the longrun is to increase/improve "endurance" and the endurance benefits of a long run are the same regardless of how fast or slow it is done. That may indeed be so - because this 16K really tried me. My plan has me doing out to 21K over the next 5 weeks - and I am now seeing that even at a low pace, it is going to test me!!! How I will manage to do it at goal race pace , I don't know - maybe that is why he says that a first timer should have NO time goal at all??


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18 Replies

  • Hi Baz. I've found that there is a big difference the first couple of times, when you take on a run significantly further than 10K The first time I ran 14K, I really found it hard work to complete it. The first time I ran 16K/10 miles, I didn't quite get things right as far as energy intake was concerned, and although I finished it, I couldn't have contemplated running further. However, my last two long runs have been 17 and 18k, and I got the pacing and fuel right, and they were much more comfortable. In fact, on the 18K run, I could have carried on for another 3, I think.

    Perhaps it's the longer distance version of week 5?

  • Hi Steve

    I did have this feeling today - of an electric clock whose battery was slowly dying down !! :) All the mechanical parts were working fine, the lungs were not stressed in any way at all , the muscles (even the feet) were only complaining a little ( but normally they don't complain much at all). The navigator onboard was also saying things like - we've never been here before!! All in all, I felt like a mutiny was brewing!! - but I did manage to get the ship home :) Maybe a weeks rest will make them all forget about it ??

  • Just a thought, Baz - did you take any fuel on board during the run?

  • No ,- only water - which I started to drink after about half way .

  • That could be it. It seems to vary from person to person. Some people don't need extra energy for runs as far as a HM, but others do, and I think for a lot of people, a run much longer than an hour needs some fuel. When I did 18K, I had a Shotblok after 30, 60 and 90 minutes, and some energy drink. I ran out of energy several weeks ago on a run, and felt like you described.

  • Hi Steve, where do you buy the Shotbloks at a reasonable price? As I am planning on increasing distance beyond 10k over the coming weeks/months, I probably need to look into fuelling and the options, but am put off by the price of some of them.

  • I've only bought them once so far - so I don't really know about comparative prices. Only needed half a pack per run, though, so I'm not too bothered about what I paid. Happy, in fact, not to suffer the effects of a gel again!

  • I take it then the blocks worked better for you than gel :-) Apparently Evans cycle sell them, so I may get one from there (not far from work) to try. There is so much stuff out there, it can be rather confusing....Thanks

  • I meant to say I got them from Up and Running. To put it politely, the gels made me fear a toilet emergency some distance from home!

  • I'm sure that you are much fitter than I am, so this may not apply to you. I have found that my overall weekly distance is more significant than the distance on any particular day.

    Up until my injury back in April, I was happily running every 2 days, 10km each weekday, and 14km on my long weekend run.

    My ankle injury took me down to running only 5km once a week, and it's only in the last week or so that I've managed to get back to running every other day. Currently I'm only managing 5km every other day.

    But, while I was running only once or twice a week over the last month, I put in 3 personal best distances of 18km each. Great! I thought, my time out through injury hasnt hit my fitness too badly if I can manage 18km long run. Wrong ! although I can now manage 18km long runs, which I couldnt before the injury, I cannot manage more than about 7km if I'm running every other day. It's only the fact that I was running only once or twice a week that let me do the 18km distance.

    So, I think that your total weekly distance is a far better measure of endurance than any one run during the week. Until April I was putting in up to 44km per week, whereas nowI can only currently manage about 20km total during the week. It was really nice to have managed an 18km run, but I now realise that I'm a lot less fit than when I was doing 10km and 14km runs every other day.

    So I'm now very keen to get back to my pre April fitness. I wont be trying for any more 18km runs for a long while, but putting in lots more shorter runs.

    Happy running :)

  • Just wanted to say a Massive Well done to you Bazz, that is a long, long way and massive respect to you for taking it on and completing it ! :-) xxx

  • Well done Bazza.

    I did my first 16K run about a month ago and it was fairly unpleasant for me too. Like you, my legs were fine and my breathing was OK but it was very warm and that was playing on my mind.

    I have done two more runs of that distance since and they were much easier probably, as you say, because it was no longer unknown territory.

    For what it's worth, I just make sure I am well fed/watered beforehand and add some honey and salt to my water.

    So much of this running lark is mental, you'll be fine next time.

  • Well done its a fair old distance. It is new and your body is like what is happening now, why can't we stop at x? We were ok running x! But it sounds like you just need some fuel along the way!! I struggled on the last 1km of the 15km run because I think I needed fuel.

    I really agree my times for finishing my first Hm are out the window completely. I just will glad to finish the thing!!

    Good luck and I am sure the next time you tackle the 16km it will better.

  • I went out for my second scheduled 17k run the other night and although I only ended up doing 15k I felt much better as I tried to fuel with gels every 40mins or so... think I got through 3 and a bottle of water with an added isotonic tablet. Must admit I was quiet tiered and had numerous walk breaks especially up hills at the end... but I was generally OK. I did slow the pace right down from the start, but I didn't have my first walk break until 5k.

    "They" (who ever they are) say our legs only have enough energy for an hour or so, so taking on fuel appears to be a must for anything longer.

    My other problem with these longer runs was that I was getting bored... need to look at my playlist!!!

  • Thanks for the comments from everybody.

    I am thinking that I may need to have a closer look at "fueling" -- for the past 18 months or so, I have become accustomed to running on an empty stomach in the morning and basically not drinking much during a run. I have a running belt which holds two small bottles (6 fluid onces/175 ml) - and I have only been drinking half of a bottle for the distances up to 15 K - during yesterdays "tough" 16K run I did drink both bottles , but also the run was a bit later than normal ( as it rained heavily at my normal take-off time), so it was coming onto lunch time by the time I finished and around 20C.

    Looking at pre-longrun nutrition - a bit of research has indicated that we need a breakfast of easily digestible simple carbohydrates of around 400-500 Cals - I happen to like white bread sandwiches with a banana and peanut butter so a banana between two slices of white bread and a healthy couple of tablespoons of peanut butter should fit the pre-longrun requirement nicely!! :)

    As to nutrition during the long-runs , I will have a few tries of sports drinks - although they don't seem to contain enough calories to satisfy a recommendation that Galloway ( and others) have made of approx 40 calories every 30 minutes - so I am also going to try cold black tea with 3 teaspoons of sugar per 6 fluid ounces ( this is quite sweet - but I also don't mind sweet black tea!! ) I understand that 3 teaspoons of sugar contain around 40 cals.

  • One consolation !!! -- I have woken this morning without ANY aches/pains/stiffness and with another 24 hours to go to tomorrows parkrun, I should be quite OK for an easy run!! :) Galloway does say that his training is aimed to get people across the line without injury - AND also for them to be able to continue a "normal " life afterwards!!!! :)

  • Thats good to hear Bazz, sounds really promising xxx

  • Well done on the distance. Like the sound of those sandwiches.

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