My 3 Hour Treadmill Run

On Thursday night, in keeping with the mid week long run strategy, it was off to the treadmill I popped. The plan was 18 miles or 3 hours. I managed to leave work a little early so that I could get started just after 5pm - this was handy as perversely I often find it hard to sleep for several hours after a long run so an earlier finish would be good.

I set off to the pain cave at the end of the garden with 2 large bottles of water, a couple of gels, a banana, a towel and an iPad. All set, I was quickly plugged in and watching 24 on netflix.

I set off slowly at 6 mph & 1% incline. As this was hopefully going to be my longest run since the October Amsterdam marathon I wasn't intending to change this. Certainly not change to a faster pace anyway. As ever, the first 20 minutes or so seemed hard and I was beginning to question whether I would see it all the way through. I quickly pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind as it's really unhelpful to start down this thought train.

After about an hour the kids came to say hello which was nice. They wanted to have a go so I had to try and explain that daddy was going to be a long time...

I recall looking at my watch after about an hour & a quarter, feeling tired and a bit disheartened as I was not even half way through. It was tempting just to go for 2 hours - it did seem a bit bonkers to spend the evening on a treadmill. But I reframed things by thinking of the marathon I'll be running in April. And the other races I wanted to run this year. And all the inspiring running I read about through twitter. So it was simple - I'd chosen to do these future things so I had to do this. If I couldn't be bothered to do this then I might as well stop fucking about and stick to half marathons. Or just sit on the sofa and eat chocolate. That one was appealing.

Needless to say I carried on. After about 2 hours it got easier, only an hour left was easier to deal with. With about 15 minutes to go I could feel my nipples getting a bit sore and I looked down to see red splotches on both sides radiating across my yellow t-shirt. Ooops. Normally this top would be fine but I think running inside makes my t-shirt extra sweaty and I can feel the extra weight on the bottom half pulling it a bit tighter. So I took it off. Without stopping. I realised what a potentially daft thing to do it was whilst half way thorough taking it off when it got slightly stuck and I felt my stride wobble. Just livin' on the edge man. I might not bother wearing a t-shirt next time. Hey, maybe I won't bother wearing anything?

So soon enough it was job done. 18.1 miles, 3 hours, 2 empty bottles of water, one gel & 3 episodes of 24.
It was good to stop and I staggered out dripping into the rain and back into the house.
I didn't have much of an appetite for the rest of the evening - I just about managed some grapes. And as expected I felt wide awake for hours.

The garmin trace is below. The speed trace is particularly noisy compared to one from a few weeks ago (further below). I don't know whether this is because the footpod was not fixed well or perhaps more likely the battery needs changing. Or it could just be the scaling on the graph! I shall investigate.

Though I didn't change the speed on the treadmill at all, garmin has it going from an average of 5.8 mph for mile 2 to an average of 6.1 mph for the last mile. Or about a 30sec/mile difference. If we assume the recording is accurate, perhaps as all the treadmill parts warm up, there's a little less friction in there somewhere. The speed was recorded steady at 6.1 mph for the last 6 miles.

The other interesting graph is the heart rate. Constant speed, constant incline, no wind but HR clearly showing drift. It was around 140 to start, by half way about 150, fairly constant through miles 9-14 then crept up to around 154 at the end. It will be interesting to see what happens if I do some faster long runs on the treadmill.

All in all I was pleased with the run. It wasn't as mind numbingly dull as I expected. However I can think of more exciting things to do in the evening!

Garmin Trace
Less noisy speed - Garmin from a few weeks agos

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