7th Week of 20-Week Training and Running After Dark

sunset, 16 miles, training, marathon, marathon training, running, long miles, miles,

This week has been very cooperative in terms of weather. The temperature stayed cool mostly throughout the week. As the days are getting longer, the sun is still up even after my long days at work. So it was nice to have a cooler temperature to run. And because this past weekend was another long run weekend, part of me was a bit anxious about it, so I mostly focused on endurance building throughout the week leading up to it.

Memorial Day, soldiers, freedom, May 25, 2015,

Today is Memorial Day, thinking of all the fallen soldiers in the name of defending this country, although, technically, most of the soldiers were killed abroad. I guess it is the price tag for freedom that the United States of America stands for, unlike any other, and when many soldiers were deployed to other countries to defend their freedom, it is a fresh reminder that the citizens of those countries actually appreciate it today because of the sacrifice of these soldiers. So, we must thank ’em for that.

As for training, today is a rest day.

Week Countdown Week Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Amount
Week 7 5/18 – 5/24 Rest 3 4 7 7 3 16 40
2.7 4.17 7.24 7.22 3.11 16.01 40.45
3 x Mile at 5K-10K pace but I ended up doing 4 x 0.5 miles + 0.4 miles + 0.3 miles
Pace 6:04 6:59 6:59 6:52 6:42 7:08
Time 16:21 29:09 50:37 49:33 20:53 1:54:09
Elev Gain 31 ft 71 ft 194 ft 179 ft 58 ft 238 ft

A few things that I’ve noticed after following this 20-week training program for several weeks, and they are:

It is extremely tough to keep up the day after interval training

It may be just me, but I find that running the day after interval training is not easy. Because I usually go out full on at a 10K pace, if not 5K, by the time when I am done, I am tapped out. Especially the first run is the worst, usually because I push myself very hard. And based on my observation, it takes more than a night of sleep to recover from it. Maybe it has to do with my age. Or genetics.

For endurance building, E pace is much better than M pace

Started from the mid-week of the last week and spilled into this week that E pace seems to be a more effective choice for endurance building, I find. Even for long runs. Besides, I do not want to tire myself out from the beginning by going out too fast.

As I briefly mentioned about this in the last week’s post 6th Week of 20-Week Training, Rain and Glutes, a slower pace meant that my heart didn’t have to work as hard. Because my heart rate does not spike much, naturally it is one less distraction that I have to deal with, particularly, because I run mostly after dark.

Running uphill is still not easy. But hill running techniques help

In spite of the fact that there’s certainly a benefit in incorporating interval hill running into training as far as ‘uphill battle’ is concerned, I still find that hill running isn’t something that I can master over just several weeks of training. However, the fact is that the following hill running techniques are extremely helpful:

  • Slow down the pace
  • Lift the knees high
  • Look up

Slowing the pace seems to be rather counter intuitive at first.

But it actually makes sense once you try it out. The theory is that by slowing your pace down, you’re not wasting your energy excessively and that you are not spiking up your heart rate either. It is not just you who would face the challenge of running uphill during a race anyway, so might as well be smart about it.

And by lifting your knees high, you’re shortening the stride length, which also saves energy. And instead of looking down at your feet, by looking up, you are keeping your posture straight, not blocking the airway for fresh air, which means your lungs get much needed oxygen, and subsequently your heart gets it, and then your muscles get it.

Try it if you haven’t. You will be amazed by how effective these techniques actually are.

Asics Kayano 21, night, training, marathon, marathon training, running, long miles, miles,

My Asics Kayano 21 works great with those illuminating florescent lime fabrics and strips as well as those tiny reflective silver stripes at night. However, I still need more than a pair of running shoes like that.

Black Diamond, headlamp,  night, training, marathon, marathon training, running, long miles, miles,

Since I run mostly after dark, I’ve been using my headlamp that I usually use for hiking.

running at night, running, training, headlamps, headlamps on, dangerous, night, light, cars, safety,

Obviously, it is not the best scenario, but definitely it helps not trip over things or uneven grounds in the street. Also, it warns drivers to pay close attention to me when, for instance, I run across the 4-way stop intersections.

However, of course, it won’t solve the issue 100%. I’ve run into a few occasions where drivers simply do not care or are ignorant. So, it is extremely important to steer clear of the road but then it is also true that some sidewalks are a mess.

running at night, running, training, headlamps, headlamps on, dangerous, night, light, cars, safety, gear, reflective, yellow reflective, wear,

It never occurred to me till last night when I was crossing a 4-way intersection. I was only paying attention to the car coming from the left, but it turned out that there was another car coming from the right and I did not know that. When I realized that I was literally sandwiched by these two cars, it really scared me. Of course, the car coming from the right was ‘slowing down’ toward the stop sign, so it would have not hit me, but, the fact that I didn’t hear it coming (it was also my bad that I was listening to music at a higher volume. Lesson learned) really freaked me out.

Asics Kayano 21, 25%, 102 miles, 2 weeks

Speaking of my Ascis Kayano 21, it crossed the 100 mile mark of its lifespan as I was running the 16 miler last night. It took less than 3 weeks, or 18 days (or nights) to be exact, and I have a strong feeling that I will retire them in less than 2 months, based on my next few weeks of training schedule as I talked about it in another post 4th Week of 20-Week Training and Asics Kayano 21 (Again).

How was your Memorial Day weekend training? Do you also run after dark? If so, what are your safety measures that I have not covered here?

Thanks for reading.

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About H Peter Ji Photography

I am a photographer. My photos have been sold on EyeEm, Adobe Stock and ShutterStock and also featured on ViewBug and G+ Landscape Photography Community, and via Death Valley National Park Instagram and Facebook. My work is the natural byproduct of my love for outdoors - backpacking, hiking and camping in nature.

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