Sunday, July 19, 2009

Legs and Lungs

I registered and will be running in the Maccabiah Half-Marathon this Tuesday evening.

Considering I have only run more than 16km once (and that was 18km) since the full marathon in January, I realized I am pretty out of shape. But I did not really force myself to train for the Maccabiah Half.

Aside from the challenge of the distance and being prepared, an even greater challenge, possibly, is the heat and humidity. It is hot and it is humid. With a 6:35pm starting time, it is about the worst time of day for the humidity, though not for the heat. And Netanya, the venue for the Half, being right off the Mediterranean, is very humid.

Add to all this, the Maccabiah has a 2 hour limit for the running of the Half. I was not much better than that under normal conditions, fully trained, so this was really setting myself up for a challenge.

The one plus of this is that Netanya is basically flat, and with all my running being in the Bet Shemesh area, running with lots of hills, running flat in a competition does give me a few extra minutes from my normal times, as my run will be flatter than what I am used to.

So I finally realized that I have to start training for the Maccabiah or I wil have no chance at all. With all those challenges, I can see myself collapsing from the heat and exertion and not finishing within 2 hours. I had to come up with a plan.

I called my plan (which I really just named) "Legs and Lungs". Legs and Lungs means I have to get my legs and lungs ready for the race. I basically decided I would cram for the big exam. If I could get my legs and lungs ready for the race, and have my only challenge be the heat, I would probably be ok.

So, "Legs and Lungs" means I had to run a bunch of times enough of a distance that my legs could go the distance and that my lungs could go the distance.

So, in the last 4 days I have run 17+km already 3 times. The first was Wednesday evening. I chose to do that one at the same time as the Half would be - about 6pm. It was so hot and humid, I had a lot of trouble with the run. I ran 19km, but had to stop a couple of times on the way. I overran the first half, and paid for it by having trouble during the second half when it was cooler. I should have gone the other way, taking it easy the first half and then extending myself in the second half of the run.

Friday we ran a 17km trail.

And Saturday night I ran from my house, out to the 38, over to Elah Junction, down (more up) the 375 to Road 10. Across and up to RBS, and down back to my house. Totalling about 18km. It was much cooler, though humid, a lot of ups, and pitch black (I wore a reflective vest and carried a headlight for safety).

I felt much stronger already. And I still plan to run early Monday morning another 18 or so km.

As long as my legs and lungs are ready, and my only real challenge is the heat, I will probably be ok.


Victor said...

Rafi - skip the Monday morning run. My non-scientific opinion, based upon some experience, is that your body is more likely to "thank" you for the rest than from the additional run.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Rafi G. said...

people still read this thing?

I was thinking that too, but so far i feel stronger each run, and it has not really been so many runs so I should not tire out from it. And if I run in the morning, I have a day and a half to recover. If I don't make the morning run though, I will nto do the evening. There is no chance that will do me any good.

I'll see. I probably won't wake up early enough anyway to be able to run another 18-19...

I am looking forward to it.

The best of it is that knowing I could do it in the BS area the past few days means I am in a pretty decent situation for the flat Maccabiah run..

Rafi G. said...

Victor - I took your advice and slept in late today... :-)