Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Streak Ends

So – everything must come to an end sometime, and my “Execute The Plan” streak came to a screeching halt on Sunday.

But, I do have to report that Saturday was as good a run as I’ve had in a while. Seventeen miles on the plan. Seventeen miles executed on the trails in Aliso-Wood Canyon Regional Park here in Orange County.

A couple of new things really helped spell success on this run:

  • Changed my fueling regimen: Up to now, I’ve been relying on gels as my primary source of fuel, and I’ve pretty much ignored fuel on my long runs. Saturday I mixed up an handheld of Ultrafuel (maltodextrin) and tested it on my run. It worked quite well.


  • Changed my electrolytes: For a while now I kind of suspected that the cramping and fatigue that I usually suffer is a sodium issue. I sweat. Like buckets. And that means that I’m probably (definitely) losing a lot of sodium in the process. I have been using Endurolytes as my electrolyte replacement, but each tablet only provides 85mg of sodium. After reading a great blog post by Aron, I thought it might be high time to try a different electrolyte replacement tablet. I took two of these guys per hour (at 285 mg of sodium each) and they seemed to do the trick:


The bottom line was I finished 17 miles on the trails and felt pretty strong afterwards. It was a real confidence builder for Saturday…

Which brings us to Sunday. On the schedule was an 8 mile easy run. I woke up with a mean case of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). My back was tired. My quads and hips ached. Heck – even my arms were sore. Everything felt so good! But, with a race coming up this Saturday, sore and fatigued muscles, and a BBQ and fireworks to celebrate the 234th birthday of the USA, I sacked the run. Sigh. I remember celebrating the bicentennial in 1976 – a year after graduating High School. Man. I’m an old fart.

So I finished out last week at 34 miles. And finished out June at 4 miles shy of 120. I feel like the cruiser has finally turned the right direction.

This week I’m going to mini taper for Saturday’s race. I was originally going to just treat the race as another training run, but I think I’m going to treat it more like a race (more on that later). So that means this week’s schedule will pan out like this:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: 8 mile easy
  • Thursday: 4 mile easy
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Harding Hustle 30K (18 - 19 miles)
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Total for week: 30 miles or thereabouts

Then, once this week is over, it’s back to 40 miles. Per week. Without fail….


  1. Couple of good changes, worked for you and that's what counts. Enjoy the taper week, though 8 miles midweek doesn't seem like a taper.

  2. Great post. I'm sending a copy of it to a friend of mine who has similar issues. I'm glad you've found something that works for you!

  3. Once this week is over, then it's taper time for's a vicious cycle that we just can't stop. I've heard Meg tak about Ultra Fuel but haven't tried it; I use Perpetuem for marathons and it works really well for me. I also take a product called S!caps by Suceed, a sodium table which also has other minerals in it that we sweat out. It's all a matter of experimenting to see what works best! See you soon, Glenn!!

  4. I haven't used electrolytes before but have thought about it.

  5. Handheld camera!!

    It really does a nice job. As long as you can narrate during your run, you're not going too fast. :-)

    Have fun Saturday!!

  6. I hope the electrolytes continue to do the trick. When I last trained for a marathon - remind me again why I train for marathons in summer? - I added salt packets to my Gatorade because I am a bucket sweater, too.

  7. Glad you were able to find what works for you! I'm still struggling to get that perfect fueling balance for runs over 15 miles.

  8. I might have to keep that Ultra Fuel in mind. I use S-Caps, which are similar sodium content to your SaltStick as I also sweat buckets, even in the dry air! People got a lot more excited about the USA back then - the Bicentennial was awesome!

  9. and no explanation for it? what the heck glenn... or is this mini-taper supposed to be your excuse? ;)

    i suppose i'll let it slide... but next week, back at it!!

  10. I've never used either of those two - will be interested to keep tabs on how you think they are long term.