Why it’s important to complete a 10km race during your marathon training [Follow-Along Week 8]

Why it’s important to complete a 10km race during your marathon training [Follow-Along Week 8]

10km race middleagemarathonerThis is a big week for my training. We include 2 very important marathon specific training workouts. One is a long run with a tempo pace the last 4 miles and another is a 10k time trial. In this week’s post, I’ll explain the importance of completing a 10k time trial (or similar race if you can schedule one) in your marathon training.

I also reveal how I find routes to run when I’m traveling on business (this week I was in Arkansas).

Here’s the link to my Strava Dashboard so you can see the details of each of the workouts that I’ve completed as I train for my July 4th Marathon.

Monday May 28th – long run

As discussed in a previous post, my long runs are 16-18 miles. On this day, I ran on a fairly flat route. My splits are below. As you can see, I didn’t quite get to marathon pace, but much of the 2nd half of the run was at or below 7:20/mile pace. There is a steep hill on the 17th mile, so my pace slowed to 7:36. Overall, it was a good run. The weather was mild, no rain or wind made for optimal conditions. My legs felt fine at the end. I’ll have to work on picking up the pace a bit more on my next long run.

Long run for marathon

Run Distance, Time & Average Pace: 17.5 miles, 2:10:36 minutes, ave pace 7:27

Tuesday May 29th – cross training + conditioning exercises

One of the challenges of frequent business travel is being able to fit in your scheduled workouts. Sometimes I get into a hotel late in the evening or at a time when the weather forces me into the hotel gym. This week I’m in western Arkansas where the daytime temperatures are upper 80s/low 90s and humidity is high. Bottomline, unless I get outside to run in the early morning, I’m forced to workout in the comfort of the hotel gym.
On this day, I chose to complete 40 minutes (or the equivalent of 4 miles) on the elliptical plus 20 minutes of conditioning exercises (both bodyweight & with dumbbells). Because I completed the long run the day before, getting off my legs is a good thing. The purpose of today’s workout was to recover from the previous days’ long run and work on my strength.

If you’re interested in joining me, I can put together either a custom training plan or I can personally coach you. Either program will be specific to your goals and athletic abilities. Just click on the links for details.

Wednesday May 30th – Easy Run

Got up early (600am) and completed a 6 mile easy run around the town of Siloam Springs, AR. I kept things easy.

How to figure out where to run when you’re traveling?

I simply “google” running or bike trails in “XXXX” (XXXX=name of the town that I’m in) or I type in the address of my hotel into the google search bar and when a map comes up, I look for nearby trails. Sometimes the paths are right next to the hotel, but it’s rare that I don’t find some kind of path or trail within a mile. A lot of times these trails have mile markers so it’s easy to know how far I’ve gone or I can use the markers to complete a strength running workout (repeat miles, etc).

Other resources you can use to find running routes include MapMyRide.com or Traillink.com. You can also go onto a particular city’s website.

In my case, I found the nearby La-Z-Boy Ball park with adjoining Dogwood Springs Bike trail about a mile from the hotel. Although the trail was short, once I got out into town, I recognized a few landmarks and was able to find my way back to the hotel and complete a 6.5 mile loop.

The purpose of this workout was recovery and to build my aerobic fitness.

6 mile easy run in Siloam Springs Arkansas

Run Distance, Time & Overall Pace: 6.5 miles, 52:05 & 7:59/mile

Need Marathon Training Info

Thursday May 31st – Off Day

Business meetings & travel from Arkansas to home. Rest & Recovery Day

Friday June 1st – “Bike Blast” Strength & Conditioning (CrossFit) & Easy Run

Today’s workout was a strength & conditioning group workout at the gym. This “Bike Blast” workout was similar to previous workouts, using a barbell for the majority of the strength work. I don’t use too much weight on the barbell (typically 20-25 lbs). Since we’re completing each exercise for 60 seconds, instead a set number of repetitions, I want to ensure that I stress myself, but also complete the exercise for the specified time.

After the 45 minute workout was completed, I ran 3.5 miles at an easy pace outside.

The purpose of today’s workout was to build strength.

Run Distance, Time, Pace: 3.5 miles, 26:53, 7:39

Saturday June 2ndHard Run, 10k time trial

One of the most challenging runs that I complete during my marathon training is a 10k time trial. Typically about 4-5 weeks from the race date, I get out to the flat, Vancouver Lake park and recreation area (in Vancouver, WA). The roads in this area are not heavily traveled and the surface is very similar to the Marathon course on Sauvie Island, OR. Bottomline, it’s a good practice for the upcoming marathon.

I typically have my son bike alongside me on this run for pacing, encouragement and some water/electrolytes if necessary.

The purpose of this run is to give me an accurate gauge as to where I stand relative to achieving my goal time. We talked about the Yasso 800s in an earlier post. My experience tells me that this 10k time trail along with the longer tempo runs, at this point in my training, give me a much better feel for what kind of shape I’m in.

The McMillian Calculator indicates that my 10k time should be around 38:22 (which is 6:10/mile pace). The Hanson Calculator shows 39:08 (6:18 pace). There’s other calculators which put equivalent 10k time between 37:30 – 38:30. My goal with this run is to be somewhere between 38-40 minutes. To be realistic, if I’m under 40 minutes, for the 10k time trial (which I run by myself), then I have high confidence that I will be able to complete my upcoming race between 3:00 – 3:05. I still have 4 weeks to get in more marathon specific workouts, so I know I’ll be close.

My results are below. I finished slightly above 40 minutes (I didn’t hit my watch when I was at 10k, but I know I was slightly under 39 at 6 miles).

I had a couple issues today.
1) It was getting warm when I completed this run around 10am.
2) I went out a little too fast and slowed. My feet started to hurt around 4 miles. The pain was not blisters, but more a general discomfort that was probably caused by over tightening my shoes, I forgot to apply vasoline to my feet and I was wearing older pair of socks.

Bottomline, no excuses, I’m a little bit off, but close. The stimulus was there and I was definitely pushing myself. It’s good to complete this workout.

This workout included about 1.5 mile warm-up + strides and 1.5 mile cool down at a very easy pace.

10km time trial results

Total Run Distance, Time, Pace: 10 miles, 1:17:43, 7:43

Sunday June 3rd– Easy Run + Strides

More family commitments today. I completed 5 miles at an easy pace + strides right in front of my house. I felt good. Very important to rest.

Run Distance, Time, Pace: 5.1 miles, 44:26, 8:43

Weekly total = 42.7 Miles

Sweating the Small Stuff: Electrolytes

Sweating the Small Stuff: Electrolytes

 By Nuun Guest Blogger Jesse Kropelnicki of The Core Diet.

Even if you have never had a “cramping problem” in the past, neglecting electrolytes in training and racing could be compromising your results. Just like you wouldn’t wait until you were dehydrated to drink fluids, waiting until that first “cramp” is a signal from your body that your performance has been suffering for quite some time. Electrolytes play a crucial role in muscle function, adequate hydration status and digestion fluids during racing.

What is an electrolyte?

In medical or scientific terms, an electrolyte is “any compound that, in solution or in molten form, conducts electricity and is decomposed (electrolyzed) by it. It is an ionizable substance in solution.”

In other words, it’s a term for minerals that, when dissolved in water, break into positive or negative electrically-charged ions (anions or cations).

What are the functions of electrolytes?

why are electrolytes important to runners, getting electrolytes back after a workout, drinking electrolytes after track, cross country and importance of electrolytes

Do you take electrolyte supplements before or after your run?

These ions carry electrical energy necessary for many functions in the human body, and optimal athletic performance requires adequate (and a consistent) supply of electrolytes. These ions move across membranes carrying fluids, nutrients and water. They aid in a number of processes that are important to an athlete:

  • Regulation of body fluids
  • Muscle contraction (including the heart)
  • Transmission of nerve impulses

However, repeated days of moderate or severe sweating can result in such substantial electrolyte loss, particularly sodium because of its high concentration of this mineral in sweat. When electrolytes are lost too quickly, the body does not have the ability to restore them as rapidly as they were lost. In these situations, dietary mineral intake is generally not sufficient to compensate for these large losses, and supplementation is needed to replace these electrolytes in order to maintain concentrations of body fluids.

What are the major electrolytes in the body and what do they do?

  • Sodium (Na+) – regulates total amount of water in the body
  • Potassium (K+) – regulates heartbeat and muscle function
  • Magnesium (Mg2+) – aids in muscle relaxation
  • Calcium (Ca2+) – aids in muscle contraction
  • Chloride (Cl-) – helps maintain a normal balance of body fluids

How are electrolytes lost?

Electrolytes are lost through urine and sweat. Endurance athletes can lose large volumes of sweat on a daily basis, which is accompanied by a similarly large electrolyte loss.  Each athlete has different electrolyte (and fluid) needs and environmental conditions of training and racing will factor into this.

  • Average sweat rate is typically 1 – 1.5L of fluid per hour (32 – 48 oz.) and 1,000 – 1,500 mg of sodium per hour while running (a bit less when cycling).
  • Most people’s sweat contains about 500mg of sodium per 16oz. Very salty sweaters can have up to about 1,500 mg per 16 oz. of sweat.
  • Sweat rate will depend on several factors including environmental conditions (temperature, humidity), genetics and the athletic fitness of the athlete.

Side Effects of Dehydration

In most cases, muscle cramping is related to either sodium or magnesium deficiency in athletes. If a deficiency occurs, cramps, tremors and spasm can be present. It is the Core Diet’s experience that acute occurrence of cramps during racing is typically due to sodium loss, and more chronic cramping (even between activity, during swimming or while sleeping) is typically due to magnesium deficiency. Another sign of sodium related cramping is a sloshy stomach. Another electrolyte, magnesium, is key in avoiding muscle spasms. A muscle “twitch” is usually a sign of low magnesium levels. Having proper sodium balance during digestion is important to fluid absorption.

Have you ever felt tingling fingers during your racing? If you have, you probably are experiencing a potassium deficiency. Many times a simple half banana available on many race courses can fix this problem before it impacts race performance.

How to replenish electrolytes?

Electrolytes help to increase the absorption of fluids into the bloodstream, and your muscular system operates efficiently which is why the best hydration plan is one that includes these minerals. Using products such as Nuun Active Hydration (electrolyte-enhanced drink tablets) before, during, and after workouts can go a long way to replenish electrolytes and achieve your best performance.

Nuun provides great-tasting active hydration.

About Nuun

Nuun is a great tasting on-the-go hydration tablet with the electrolytes you need to hydrate and re-fuel, but none of the sugar and junk found in sugary sports drinks. Nuun is available in over 5,000 stores in the U.S. and in over 30 countries. Visit nuunlife.com to learn more.

About The Core Diet

Jesse Kropelnicki is an elite triathlon coach and founder of TheCoreDiet.com, a leading provider of sports nutrition. He coaches professional triathletes Caitlin Snow, Ethan Brown, and Pedro Gomes with quantitative training and nutrition protocols. Track Jesse’s coaching strategies tips on his blog at kropelnicki.com.

Jaime Windrow is a Registered Dietitian and the Nutrition Programs Director at TheCoreDiet.com. Jaime’s interest in sports nutrition began when she danced professionally for 12 years with the Radio City Rockettes, and continued when she began to race in triathlons as an elite amateur. Jamie holds a number of age-group wins and podium finishes, as well as a finish in Kona at the Ironman World Championships.