Adventures in Overtraining

run elevetion profileThis is the elevation profile of the run Joe mapped out for us yesterday, in Redwood Park in the hills above Oakland. There was a trail race following a multiple looped course in the park, and Joe’s bright idea was to set out ahead of the racers using their trail markers to help navigate. In the event, we did not quite follow the course as mapped, and only covered 15 miles, but yes, we did go up all those hills. It took us nearly three hours, including stopping to study the map.

Kati was with us. She had not run this park before, and remarked on how beautiful it was. Towards the end she was politely inquiring how much further there was to go, so we amused her with outlandish answers.

“Oh ten miles”

“Actually no, It can’t be further than nine!”.

It was actually less than two. We’re wicked.

In the midst of this run we fell in with a group of ultra-runners who were going at our pace.

“So how far are you going today?”

“About sixteen miles. You?”

“Not sure about distance, but we started at 6:30”

And he gave an approximate route. They were basically running a trail marathon. For fun!

Now we get to the interesting part, from a training point of view. I was a little sore and tired after this little jaunt, and my marathon schedule called for some cruise intervals today. “Two lots of ten minutes tempo with a two minute rest. Then run easy for an hour.” What I really needed to do was a nice little recovery run, of course, to get the kinks out. But a little voice in my ear said “Try it anyway, you might learn something”. So here is what I leaned:

  • After a hard run the previous day, tempo effort results in a considerably below-tempo pace. More like marathon pace.
  • It didn’t matter. It still felt like a tempo run.
  • The subsequent long run was the hard part, but then it usually is with these types of workouts. I ran it at recovery pace, sometimes slowing to 10 minutes/mile.
  • The surprise: No soreness afterwards. In fact I felt pretty good after a short nap. I’ll take it easy tomorrow, though.

2 Responses to “Adventures in Overtraining”

  1. 1 Flo March 2, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    You do get up to some interesting running adventures, that’s for sure. Great run, the tempo plus long, not to mention those hills the previous day. Keep up the insanity, I’m loving reading about it.

  2. 2 Jamie Walker March 4, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Hey there!

    I am a local San Francisco ultra marathon runner, member of Golden Gate running club and also blogger….

    Wanted to point you to a quick and fun promotion I’m doing on my blog – Zola, the Brazilian Superfruit beverage company is giving away race entries for the Emerald Race Across the Bay 12K on Sunday, March 15 on my blog ( All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog, best or worst race story for a chance to win.

    RT @drinkzola WIN A FREE RACE ENTRY San Francisco:

    Thanks in advance



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Race PRs

5K20:43 (LMJS 6/28/09
12K54:36 (Across Bay 3/21/10)
15K1:09:51 (LMJS 19/27/09)
Half1:31:28 (Kaiser 2012
Marathon 3;13:14 (CIM '11)


March 2009
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