8 Mile Run Results & Endurance Tips

Thank you to everyone who voted to choose the route for my 8 mile run today.  I really appreciate everyone’s feedback and hope you all had fun choosing as I had running the route.

The Winning 8-mile Run Route
The Winning 8 Mile Run Route

The winning route was the Airport/UCSB route of 8 miles and only a 100 foot elevation gain.  The route heads east along Hollister, turns south on Fairview and snakes around Santa Barbara Airport to the bike paths at Goleta Beach.  Climb the hill passed the Henley Gate and enter the campus of UCSB.  Cut across campus to El Colegio Rd toward Goleta.  Snake around Girsch Park and return to the start.  Overall, it provides a lot of interest as the scenery changes from urban, to industrial, to educational and back through the suburbs.

How did I do?  Well, 8.03 miles in 1:36:24, or 12:00 pace. Not exactly fast, but considering how many stoplights I stopped for and a few pictures, it is not surprising.  I also bonked just before halfway.   However, if you calculate moving pace, the run is excellent at 11:16.  The last 8 mile run I did when I wasn’t feeling well was 11:38 pace.  Great run, but plagued by fatigue and lack of fuel.

Heart Rate, Pace and Elevation Lines
Heart Rate, Pace and Elevation Lines

It is fascinating to me to see the first 3+ miles be so smooth. After photographing the Henley Gate, the run suffered from there.  It wasn’t heart rate, it wasn’t breathe, it was muscle fatigue.  There are two things that I can think of that would lead to this pattern:

1) My body is not efficient at burning fat, so I must have used up my glycogen by this point since it got worse as time went time on (I didn’t bring anything to eat on this run, mistake!)

2) Climbing up to the plateau that UCSB sits on, I noticed a substantial drop in temperature, covered in sweat, the muscles tightened and fatigued quicker.  If you notice, it was mostly flat or down hill from mile 3.5, so it was an easier run than the previous run I did the week before.

What does this run mean to my training?  It means that, yes, I can push my body through 8 miles of “running” albeit not efficiently or prettily.  At this time I plan to regroup and focus on fat burn.

Endurance running is all about teaching your body to burn fat, not carb. Teaching your body to burn fat requires lots of long, SLOW runs and builds up over time.  Certainly, my last few runs have not been “slow”.  While I thought about participating in a half marathon in March, the bottom line is that that goal is a little amibitious.  The half marathon was a “B” race, so skipping it might be smart.  Training by ego is disaster!

Here are some additional resources on increasing running endurance:

  1. Triathlon Week (increasing running endurance discussion)
  2. Cool Running (Training Tips by Jeff Galloway)
  3. Runner’s World (Boost Your Endurance)

Not only was it fun to have you all choose my route, but I learned a lot about where my body is in terms of conditioning, and I got to see a variety of scenery.  Running doesn’t get much better than this!

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