Marathon Running and Race Support
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Any experience with indoor tracks?

As Lordi wrote, the cold weather isn't letting up here in the Nordics for a while. As this week's long run was so tough on my right heel, I want to do what I can to avoid injury.

I've been considering an alternative option for next week's long run, which needs to be around 27K. There's an indoor track in the city center underneath the main athletics stadium. It's free and open to the public, so I'm considering going there. It has two lanes and it's 546m, which means I'd have to run it 50 times to complete my distance.

Officially you're not allowed to run with headphones, but I've heard that nobody checks. I've just checked, and it says you can't listen to music - which I don't. I listen to podcasts. And you have to run in one direction, so I suppose some dizziness could kick in.

Has anybody tried this kind of running? Any tips?

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I think Decker is your man. I'm sure he will be along with his experience/advice. Could you use just one earphone (I use earbuds so no problem for me, except when it's a play or something in stereo, odd bits go missing then).

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We don’t have the headphone rule (or I don’t know about it yet), so I use earbuds too 🙂

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Needs must. You could try it anyway, and if you begin to go crazy, you can pack it in and get back to the streets

You could try some Audiofuel as the guy keeps coaching you. The music is weirdly hypnotic too which I find helps you to just zone out You’d need the First and Second Hour. Mine is mid tempo i think but plenty quick enough 🙂

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And now it's snowing again. If I weren't training for London, I'd be thrilled.

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The only time I sort of ran on an indoor track was for a single lap during the stadium finish at the Milton Keynes Half Marathon, which was fabulous of course :) I can say I found the surface rather pleasant to run on, and it was jolly nice to be out of the elements on that particular day! I have cycled on a velodrome, and with that I found it was pretty important to be aware of people coming up behind me, but I'd imagine that distance track running could be pretty grim without the podcasts! Maybe you could try going with just one earbud in and see how you find it - would they throw you out if they spotted you wearing them? If they just asked you to take them off at least you could still run on, you'd have to sing to yourself or something...

Or, what about the treadmill? It has to be better than nothing, and at least you can listen to podcasts with impunity :) You could try breaking up a treadmill (or any) long run by doing back to back runs: for example run 12 miles on Saturday and then another 10 on Sunday (but please do Google it!). This actually can work quite well, because on the second day your legs will be tired and also probably a little stiff, mimicking the fatigue you will feel on the day of the marathon.

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I've only been running down in my batcave ( residential parking hall/caven ) which is solid concrete flooring obviously. I can imagine a proper track surface would be great ( springy and kind to the feet/legs? ). Go for it! It's a bit boring running round in 250m circuits (me) 500m + might be better. There will be others there so maybe use the outside lane if you use headphones? We've got indoor tracks here in Helsinki but none near enough to make it worthwhile for sub 10k. Might go check one out soon though when I need to do my longer runs as don't fancy 128 x 250m circuits in the batcave (passing my disgustingly dirty car 128 times and thinking " I'd better give that its annual carwash once the black snow/slush has all gone"!).

Weather here was a thaw last weekend and all the melt is now glass ice / black ice with a nice dusting of new snow on top - great :-( .

Might bugger off to Spain fir a few weeks soon though. Just have to sell it to my wife as "HM training" first!

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Buggering off to Spain is an even better option :)

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Thanks for all the input so far. I have a treadmill at home, so I could watch my iPad. I've just found it really tedious lately, and have been using it less. Of course I'll consider it if all else fails.

I've had some experience with running laps. There was a charity running event in Oslo a few years ago where the sponsor donated money to charity according to the number of laps you do, and I eventually found it easy to get into the zone.

Sounds like your conditions are worse than ours right now, Lordi. I'd say that 66% of my route on Tuesday was clear. The rest was a combination of packed snow to patches of snow and ice.

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We have a couple of very short indoor tracks nearby in the community centres. I believe they are .10km in length, so 10k is around 100laps. That is the most I could manage without going crazy back in Jan and Feb when it was just too cold to get out. I did put some longer format stuff on my headphones to pass the time (lofi and some podcasts mostly) Also quickly made a choice on one track over the other as the surface of the first track combined with steep corner banks were very hard on my knees. I try to go outdoors now that the weather is nicer. Also no older senior folks to accidentally bowl over outdoors unlike the tracks 🙂 Especially working on intervals. If the track is empty, intervals were lots of fun though.

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Thanks again! I definitely need to run in different shoes next week. I tried to go for a 5K today, as my foot was feeling OK, but after hobbling a few meters up the road, I realized that it wasn't worth the risk. I went down to my treadmill, but that was too much as well. I ended up doing some cross training on my stationary bike instead.

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Hi all! Here's an update from me. I only managed two out of the three hours I was planning to run. Then I had to remind myself that two hours with some walking breaks isn't too bad. The distance ended up being 16K. And that was me thinking that I'd get further on a track!

My heel's still a bit dodgy, but definitely on the mend. What stopped me was all mental. I hit the wall half way. Partly thanks to an elderly runner who decided to lecture me on what a waste of energy it is to carry drinking water when you run when you can help yourself to all the drink you want at drinks' stations at a race. I'm sure he was trying to be helpful, but it triggered the wall. I really tried to fight it by eating some cheese, drinking, walking and talking to myself, and managed another 12 laps after meeting up with him.

It also didn't help that my training app just couldn't cope with my running below ground, so it kept reporting the wrong distances and paces, which was disheartening. Luckily I managed to count my laps, and corrected it after the run. Next time I'll just use a simple timer and keep a note of the laps.

Anyway, I'm going to see if I can fit in another visit before the Easter holiday - my 12-year-old wants to come. Especially since temps are going back to frigid next week.

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Sounds like the indoor track's sort of a winner then! It's a pity about that chap putting you off - why do random strangers think one wants to hear their opinions? Hoorah for cheese!

Good to know your foot's on the mend too x

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Parkrun's cancelled again - our park has turned into one huge deep icy puddle. So I might try your suggestion of splitting the run in two, and do my remaining 11K tomorrow.

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I'll be interested to hear how that goes!

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