Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tech Update and longest run.

Well, here we are, just over two weeks until Milwaukee Marathon. Thought I'd post a quick update on training and some new gadgets I've recently purchased to help me in my quest to run the MM.

The first thing I got was pretty cheap, and works fairly well, at least for me. I was getting tired of carrying the Fuel Belt around my waist, the water or Powerade seems to slosh around, so now I carry this:

It has a neat little pocket, so I can carry my gels, ICE #s, and even the car key.

But the big purchase was this:

I mentioned I was having ongoing problems with my Polar F6, so after researching some other HR watches, and listening to friends who have the Garmin, I opted for the Forerunner 305. My wife even gave me the green light, so I drove out to Best Buy at like 8:45 the other night to make a late purchase. Her reasoning was sound enough, saying that I would pour over the owner's manual for like 2 hours, have to charge it up, then set it for my preferences; I wanted to use it on my long (LONG) run on Wed, so I pulled the trigger and bought it. And I did go over the manual, but only for like an hour, and the 305 charges in only 3 hours. It has a run time of about 10 hours, has so many options and features that I'm still learning them, but all in all, I could sum it up so far like this, "It is the BOMB". I love it. Here is a shot of the data from my 1st run with it:

Here is one of the screens you can view while running, or biking (I need to purchase the speed/cadence sensor ASAP!)

So, I love the Garmin, I love the GPS, and the huge amount of data you get from each workout! I'm still trying out various software options, to see what will work the best for me, but I will post more on this later. But in short, you can load your data (including your mapped route) directly to most of the sites I use, including Pretty sweet, I must say. Also pretty sweet- my longest run, ever, in my life:

Name: 18.25 mile run
Type: Long Run
Date: 09/16/2009
Start: 09:52:00
End: 12:39:00
Time Taken: 02:47:26
Workout Weight: 192.0 lbs.
Workout Route: 18.25 mile run
Total Distance: 18.25 mi.
Burned: 2,749 (kcal)
Effort: Hard
Quality: Ok

Avg Pace:09:10 min/mi
Best Pace:07:13 min/mi

Yeah, I put my arms up after passing 15+ miles (my previous longest run), like I had just won some major race, but hell, to me, I had won!!

The software will break everything down by lap, if you want. Lap #1, for example, was my 1st loop prior to stopping at my car for a new bottle and to towel off:
Lap #1
Energy Burned 1,521 (kcal)
Total Distance 10.10 mi.
Time Taken: 01:28:49
Pace: 16:04 (min) 08:47 (avg) 06:23 (max)
Speed: 3.73 (mi/hr) (min) 6.82 (mi/hr) (avg) 8.15 (mi/hr) (max)
HR: 89 (bpm) (min) 155 (bpm) (avg) 185 (bpm) (max)
Actions: View Data Chart

Needless to say, I did not hit 185 for a max HR (my max this run was maybe 157 bpm, if that). I think I took off too fast, and did not give the Garmin a chance to sync with the HR strap (post run, I read you are supposed to wait until the display shows it is properly synced, guess I didn't read that manual good enough!) And, I ran the 1st 10 miles way too fast. I felt awesome, really, really good, prior to this run. I had taken the previous 3 days off from running, and I biked about 11 miles at an easy pace, just to stretch the legs, on Tue. So, I ran too fast, and paid for it later in the run.

Lap #2, wasn't really a lap at all. This was my rest stop/water stop at the car, so I was standing there for 1m 25s before taking off.

Now, lap #3 is where I 'hit the wall' and slowed down, way down to a 9:20/avg pace. I was still able to run in the time I wanted to hit, despite the problems late in the run. Now, this was no bonk, my legs just got tired and heavy, not to mention the pain in my hip flexors was killing me! I had taken 2 gels and 2 bottles during the run, but I knew I did not have enough fluids with me, and I kind of conserved later in lap #3, and I paid for it. It started heating up towards the end of the run as well, which didn't help. So, the combination of too fast a pace early on, and the lack of fluids later, gave me some leg cramps post run, and I was beat. Here is what my hat looked like:

It was worse, I dumped some water on the brim, to take out some of the white sweaty, salty residue!

But, I'm glad I learned this lesson in a training run and not during the MM. I will for sure drink at every aid station during the marathon, and I will keep my pace at the pace group pace, no faster! I am also planning on carrying my Nathan water bottle, with my gels, and I'm doing some nutrition research as we speak; my buddy emailed me a link from Hammer Gel products and for a great endurance athlete nutrition guide. It is well written, informative and very detailed. I have used some Hammer products in the past, but I might lean towards trying some more of them in my last 2 weeks of MM training, to see how I react and how well my digestive system will process them. I just started reading this manual today, so I will post more about my findings later this week.

In the meanwhile, I am going to play around with the Garmin and change some of the screen display options, man, this thing is SO COOL!! I wish I would've had it on the FLETC ride for the data and elevation changes!!!


  1. be sure you take at least 5 gels with you, i took all 5 during my marathon. Also be sure you take some advil in that little pouch too. I had to take some advil at about 15 miles into the marathon when my left (other) hip started acting up.

    sounds like you're ready bro! great. that's a sweet pace for the distance. enjoy the taper!

    i love my garmin. i use a 205 (like the 305 but w/o the HR mon) and the data makes my nerd heart sing.

  2. Nice job on the run!

    Jealous of the Garmin. It just might be my next big purchase.