Splitting a Long Run

splitting a long  HappyFitMama.com

Last week I had 18 miles planned for my long run. But then I realized that I had the Summerfest 10k on Sunday. In marathon training last year, the only race I had during that time was a half marathon. It was no big deal to tack on mileage for a warm up and cool down after the race to get in my desired total. But with a 10k, it’s only 6.2 miles. Add one mile for a warm up and I’ve would still have a boat load of miles to get in. And if I truly was going to “race,” would I have the energy to put in 11 miles more? Probably not. I decided I would instead try splitting a long run, something I’ve never done before.

Thursday morning my plan was to get in at least 10 miles and then complete the remaining 8 once Ron got home from work in the evening. This was the best possible option for my situation but also for training. It allowed for active recovery during the day while still being a little fatigued for the second run. My active recovery consisted of spending the morning and the early part of the afternoon on a field trip with twelve 3-4 year old kids at the beach.

Active, yes. Recovery, not so much.

In 12 hours, I ran in two completely different weather situations.

Morning – pouring rain, high humidity, temps in the low 70s. I also had ran with a friend for a portion of it for some company.

Evening – blue sky, sunshine, a breeze, temps in the low 80s. Solo.

My run in the morning was the tougher of the two. The conditions made it more challenging and I seemed to struggle up a few hills. I was quite surprised how fresh I felt for the afternoon run despite being on my feet all day. I am usually not an evening runner at all but everything kind of fell into place after the first mile. For the most part I ate what I usually eat throughout the day and didn’t alter anything. I did finish the last two miles a little faster than planned just because I was getting hungry for dinner. Running past good smelling restaurants intensified that!

So is splitting up a long run good for marathon training?

Your body is getting most of the same physical endurance training benefits of a continuous long run since you’re not completely recovering in between runs. However, the benefits are not as great as when you do one continuous long run. And, of course, it’s definitely easier mentally to run 10 miles in the morning and 8 miles at night, rather than 18 miles all at once — which is why you don’t want to do it every week. Ideally, you want to run your long run continuously, since that’s what you’ll be doing in your marathon. But splitting your run is a great way to squeeze a long run into a busy week and it definitely beats the alternative of skipping your long run altogether.

Have you had to split a long run in training?

Six03 SummerFest 10K Race Recap

Bia Sport GPS | HappyFitMama.com

The message on my Bia Sport watch says it all after the Six03 Summerfest 10k yesterday

ISLAGIATT:  It Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time!

When I saw this message, I had no idea what it meant. No one else did either so what did we do? Google it! It’s a marvelous way to describe the day so I’m going with it as the theme for this race recap.

ISLAGIATT #1 – Registering for this race. I’ve known about this race since March but held out till this past Tuesday to actually register for it. Procrastination is my middle name.

ISLAGIATT #2 – Having it at the end of July at 9 a.m.

ISLAGIATT #3 – Picking the hilliest course ever and making it an out and back.

ISLAGIATT #4 – Essentially climbing two big ass hills the last 2 miles with the finish line at the top of the last. Whomever mapped this route is pure evil.

ISLAGIATT #5 – Having a margarita the night before the race and justifying it by saying the extra salt is needed for all that I would be sweating out the next day.

I didn’t really have a plan going into the race. My first and only 10k before this was two years ago. I ran 50:13. Back then I was running less mileage and the course was relatively flat. I knew that I wanted to keep my pace from 7:30-8:00 in an attempt for a PR. As I said many times, I don’t do my best on hills so really I was just going to try to keep a positive attitude and do my best.

Six03 Summerfest 10k start  HappyFitMama.com

Kailey, Mariette and I did a warm up run of a mile or so before the race started. I was sweating within a 1/4 mile of starting even at an easy pace. It was cloudy, around 70 with a light breeze but humid. I’m glad it wasn’t sunny because the heat would have been worse.

Mile 1 – 6:56 Despite my hopes of kicking my positive splits habit, I started off super fast. It was hard not to let things open up wide on the down hill at the start and with fresh legs.

Mile 2 – 8:02 And then the first gradual hill climb happened. I tried to slow my breathing and relax a little by letting out some loud sighs. It worked and I was able to refocus on I CAN. At this point I was thinking it would be really nice if this was only a 5k.

Mile 3 – 7:48 Things flattened out a bit with a few small rolls. I can’t really remember much from this section other than thinking that the big ones were coming soon.

Mile 4 – 7:44 This was the start of the brutal end. A steep downhill followed by an even steeper uphill that had the turn around at the top. Of course, what goes up must go down but in this case, up again.

Mile 5 – 8:34 I felt like I was barely moving. I wanted to stop to walk numerous times during this mile. My legs were tired but my pride wouldn’t let me stop. That’s the thing about an out and back – you’ve got the peer pressure of the other racers staring right at you!

Mile 6 – 8:18 And the hills keep going. I repeated LAST MILE! LAST MILE! over and over. There was a super steep but short hill climb around mile 5.5. A girl ahead of me stopped at the top and dry heaved before starting up again. She must have felt better because she took off looking strong for the last hill. There was a timing mat at the base of the hill for the King/Queen of the Hill competition. I’m not sure who won it and with what time but I later found I did it in 3:26 if that gives you any indication of how long it was to the finish line.

Mile 0.25 (according to my watch) – 8:56 Stick a fork in me, I am done!

Six03 Summerfest 10k finish line  HappyFitMama.com

Finish time: 49:26 (official)

Super speedy and queen of the hills herself, Sarah, claimed 3rd place female. It was great to catch up with her and have our kids hang out. I think Mr. L has a crush on her daughter now.

Six03 Summerfest 10k post  happyfitmama.comChomping on a Yasso Greek Yogurt bar. It was my first time having one – so good!

That race was brutal with 400 feet of upness. But I’m happy with what I did.It makes me want to find another 10k with a much flatter course, to see what I really can do. I like the distance. There’s another 10k coming up in August, Saunders 10k, that’s an option. However, it’s on a Thursday at 6 p.m. – Not my best time to run.

Do you like the 10k distance?

If you had to pick a flat 5k or super hilly 10k, which would it be?