Tales of 9 Runs: Plateaus...or Calling for Some Running Advice

So I had what I'm starting to think is a plateau in running.  I'm really hoping it's not and that I just need to plan better both with hydration and time of day (avoiding the heat of the day), but I'll throw this one out there to see if I can solicit any advice from the universe at large.

I was trekking along today and making actually good time (9 minute miles) but hit the wall at mile 3.  It was rather hot out already at 9am and continuing on, just seemed a bad idea.  I started to walk back home.  About a mile back, I decided to run at least one more mile.  I pushed myself on this mile and managed to come in under 8 minutes which was probably the saving grace of the whole running today.  But overall, I'm feeling like the 8.4 mile mark has become a wall or plateau that I can't seem to surpass.  I know this has to do with several things that I need to work better with:

Hydration  

 I'm good with the pre-hydration.  But during is hard.  I hate carrying a water bottle, it's just distracting.  I have a camel-pack and think I'm going to have to pull it out.  I just hate the idea of having to carry more junk.  What about planting drinks along the route?  Anyone ever do that?  Drive the route ahead of time and put bottle water at particular (hidden) points?  The other option I'm considering is to just bring some bucks with me and buy a drink along the way.  Other ideas?

Diet and Weight

I haven't hit the weightloss that I usually do when I've gotten into a regular routine as of yet.  I know this means I have to more normalize my food routine, plan out my meals better, and get back to logging my foods.  I'm hope that a 10 pound different will start to have palpable changes in the overall progress.

Footwear

I love my Vibrams, but are there any other large guys (225+ pounds) out there who have plateaued or find they can't run past a certain distance.  I doubt it is the shoes, but I'm putting it out there just in case I'm missing something.

Pacing

When trying to build out miles, how does one adjust their pacing or add one miles, once beyond the 5+ miles rate?

What do others do to overcome plateaus?



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Comments

  1. I wish I had some advice about running, but like most people, running eight miles seems amazing to me. In other areas of life, I tend to plateau because I'm bored. Maybe picking a new route might help? As to the water situation, I'd probably just elect to take a couple of bucks with me, as I also hate carrying stuff. Chuck it up to supporting local businesses.
    I am really impressed at how much you can push yourself to run. I am sure you can get through the eight mile hurdle :)

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    1. Thanks for the support! I went with the taking some cash with me today and that helped me hydrate along the way.

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  2. I though I had replied to this the other day, but it doesn't seem to have posted.

    My ideas:

    How much/often are you running? Knowing you, I wouldn't be surprised if you were running too much or too fast. Take your long run slow. Slow enough that you want to tell the people around you "today is my long run, I swear I'm not this slow." The point is to get your body used to running the distance/time, later you can speed up. If you're at the last couple miles and you feel like you've got a lot left, speed up if you really want to.

    How long are most of your runs? If you're trying to break 9 miles, than you should have at least 2 runs each week of 2-4 miles. You can go fast on those, but you don't have to. Also, are you trying to increase your milage each week? If you are, don't.

    Gu and water made a huge difference for me as I was building up miles. I carried a water bottle that slipped over my hand. Not my favorite, but I would loop my runs so I passed a water fountain every 3-4 miles to refill. Buying water also sounds like a good idea.

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    1. Thanks Winston!

      I'm actually not running too much, I think. I aim for 3-4 times a week--usually hit 3 and only hit 4 when rain pushed me behind the previous week (or looks like it will in the ensuing week). For the long runs, I think you nailed it--it was going to fast. I have a blog post on monday that talks about this (and gives you full credit--thanks for the reminder about speed).

      I'm trying to make sure my shorter runs are between 5-7 miles consistently.

      I'm not trying to increase mileage weekly--more like bi-weekly. That usually gives me enough time to stabilize at the new length before adding more.

      I appreciate the support--hope Cali is treating you well!

      Lance

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