GPS and HRM and Kcals…oh my!

So last weekend’s long run went great!  I started off on the local Monon Trail which is a segment of Indiana’s “Rails to Trails” program.  It wasn’t too long of a “long run”, but it was the first lengthy jaunt since my last last half-marathon on June 11th. I set out on my 10-miler and the weather was perfection! I had my music, my hydration pack, and I was keeping a much faster pace than my training program stipulated.  I was supposed to be running an 11:03 pace and at the end of mile 1 I looked at my Reebok sport watch to see that a mere 8:45 had passed….oops!  So I slowed down and continued on down the trail.  At mile 2 I looked at my watch again to find that I had successfully slowed down…by 15 seconds. I was still a full two minutes ahead of the pace.

Novice runners may think, “Great! If you can run faster then you should!” Alas, with 8 more miles to go maintaining a pace that’s 52 seconds faster than my best half-marathon pace isn’t the way to train smarter. I also know that 10-miles is the shortest weekend run I’ll be doing until November when I taper for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  Experts say that for every second you gain in the first half of a race by running faster than your “trained for” pace that you’ll lose 2 seconds on the back end of the race.  I’ve found this to be very true.  I wish it hadn’t of taken me 18 months to figure it out though….I have had a tendency to go out too fast and sputter half way thru in the past. Not until this past May did I run my first race with some margin of intelligence and stuck to my pacing plan for a full 13.1 miles. The result? A 2:05:56…my best half to date.

After mile two I made myself slow down a lot more, but still maintained a ~10:20 pace across the 10 miles. When I got home I decided that a GPS device may be in order and I decided on the Garmin 305. My fiancee, Kate, had mentioned she might get me one for my birthday or Christmas, but after a quick talk with her we decided that since I have the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge in January that I should go ahead and order the Garmin 305 now so I can train with it the rest of the year. The Garmin will help me maintain a better (smarter) pace and let me be more accurate on mileage since the Monon Trail curves a bit.  I ended up running 10.34 miles.  No big deal, but when I get up to 15-25 miles on a long run in a few weeks that extra distance will add up a lot more and make a big difference!

The Garmin arrived on Monday and it had a heart rate monitor with it. I’m excited to try it out this weekend and see how my heart rate responds to running as compared to last year. I know my resting heart rate is around 60-62 bpm. This will also give me a better indication of how many calories I burn on a long run. I’ve been estimating a 100-110 per mile, but I want to see what the Garmin indicates based on heart rate.

This coming weekend is a 12-miler. I’ve become focused on dropping another 10-20 pounds before January 7th and the Goofy Challenge. I’d like to be between 160-170 pounds by then. I’d also like to be at least 8-10 pounds lighter by the end of August…we’re going to Hawaii! Hey! Not every goal is about the next race. Sometimes it’s about the beach!  🙂

Happy Training!!


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