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Body And Mind Disconnect

cracked-running-roadThe mind says “yes” but the body says “no”.

Over the weekend, I had a seemingly great workout planned as TJ and I are in the final few weeks of training for the Hottest Half. The plan was to run the race course with six miles at an easy pace and then a gradual build to near race pace throughout the final seven miles. Then include a nice 2 mile of easy recovery miles for a 15 mile workout.

We were off and running by 5:30 a.m. with the moon lighting our way. There was a slight breeze from the south the was sure to be a welcomed presence during the back half of the course to assist with cooling.

The first six miles felt relatively fluid and enjoyable. All according to plan. As the pace gradually increased during the back half, TJ began pulling away from me and I kept with my plan of 15 second increases per mile. My heart rate data on my Garmin 305 was looking fairly typical for the pace and weather conditions as it moved through easy and marathon ranges.

Between mile nine and 10 I crept into my tempo heart rate range and by 10.5 miles I had completed popped…bang…boom…blow-up…crash…burn…$hit…(fill in the blank). My body completed said enough and I ended up walking for a minute and then slowly trotted to finish the 13 miles. The extra two miles were not happening today.

Why did the melt-down happen?

I had enough endurance for the distance. I think I had enough fluid (21 oz) and calories (~125) based on how my heart rate seemed to be following fairly normal values based on the pace.

What else is there? Over training? I have been running 30-35 miles the last um-teen weeks. Although volume has been constant, intensity has been gradually building especially in the tempo range. Could I be hitting a wall due to too much intensity that my body is not adapting quickly enough to handle another similar session?

I am suspicious that this may be the case. Earlier in the week, I had a total of seven miles of tempo cruise intervals that I may have not recovered from before the weekend. I find it interesting that the melt-down happened fairly quickly after entering the tempo effort.

Do you have any ideas why I spontaneously combusted?

With two weeks to go before the race this is not the ideal time to have to regroup but it makes no sense to dig a deeper hole since I will need those tempo legs come race day. The plan for this week – drop the tempo focused run from the weekday training and insert an easy run. My final long run next weekend will include another build progression but I will self-monitor quite closely to observe how the body is feeling. Remain at 35 miles of volume.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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