Friday, August 28, 2009

The $6 Burger Run

I've turned this week into a relatively easy week, and I feel considerably better. Early this morning, I did a 4.5-mile loop that I like to do often, and it went well. It's one of the tougher routes I've found, and I like to think of it as the $6 Burger Run. Much like the Hardee's (or Carl's Jr., depending on your location) burger that costs around $5 but supposedly tastes like a $6 burger, this is a 4.5-mile run that feels more like a 6-mile run. My pace was good, heart rate was good, and nothing hurt a lot. I think this week's increased rest is helping.

Here's an article Steve sent about an elite runner training without a really structured training plan:

It's an interesting idea, and it's something I've thought about occasionally. I know I can be a bit obsessive about documenting training runs, and I've noticed that I feel almost naked if I run without the Forerunner logging pace, distance, and heart rate. When I run without the watch, it feels both more free and uncomfortable at the same time.

I think it's easier for someone like the woman in the article to do this type of unstructured training because she already knows she's fast. In my case, I'm in the grey area between a basic fitness runner and a competitive runner. I'm constantly looking for improvement and progress, and logging runs helps with that. Maybe I'll do more "free runs" without logging when I'm not training for anything specific after this training program ends.


  1. That is a very clever name for your run. :)

  2. Interesting article. I'm in the same boat as you where I need the data to benchmark my progress as a runner. The data also motivates me to get out there and get more miles, and it also motivates me during a run since I know I'm gonna see it when I get home.

    For me, right now, technology makes me a better runner. Who knows how I'll feel down the road though.

  3. What I like most about that article is it mentions Paula Radcliffe. When I do a fastest or farthest run, the Nike+ on my iPod will play a motivational message. Sometimes it's Lance, but other it's Paula Radcliffe! :)

  4. No kidding? Paula Radcliffe or Lance Armstrong on your iPod? That's pretty cool. I've borrowed a Nike+ module and tried it with my iPhone a couple of times. I want to like it, but until it records heart rate and the website lets me manually enter runs, I can't ditch my Forerunner.

    I agree with the idea that tech makes me a better runner. In fact, it's occurred to me that I probably wouldn't have been able to train for the full marathon on my own without the GPS watch. Knowing distance and pace at any time was really helpful. I suspect I would have gone bonkers on some of the longer runs without it.

    In general, I think advances in training tech and nutrition are helping "average Joes" run farther and faster. We have access to stuff that only elite runners could get not too long ago.

  5. Have you-all ever used Google Earth's "ruler" function to just map your run? It's very accurate. I map my run out the night b/f to get ready for the next day. I use my heart-rate monitor when I want to to keep track of all that.

    The only issue is that it doesn't really account for elevation changes, and sometimes the images are old. For instance, they're building a new subdivision just North of me with nice paved empty roads, but they aren't on Google Earth yet. Check it out!