After a short reprieve last week, it was back to the usual winter weather for the majority of this week. Tuesday's run was pretty good, but when Wednesday rolled around the snow came back and made things difficult again. Unfortunately, this meant that my two longest runs (11 and 18 miles) were performed under relatively hostile conditions.
Due to this, I was pretty tired after my Thursday run so I skipped my Friday bike session to help accelerate my recovery for the Saturday and Sunday runs. Regardless, I managed to get all 50 of the scheduled running miles in this week. While it's going to take some time to get my body used to this kind of mileage, I've gone through this before so it's just a matter of time and training ;)
To illustrate the effect that the weather does have on the runs, however, I've posted telemetry from both my Tuesday run (Sunny, clear roads and -2C) and my run earlier today (Heavy snow, 4-6" of groundcover, -6C). In the former, I managed to comfortably complete 10 miles (16.1km) in a little under 82 minutes. The LT portion (5mi/8km) of this run was done at a 4:36/km pace, and the remainder at around 5:00/km (which took a lot of effort not to accelerate beyond).
The latter, however, was a complete contrast to that. I was plowing through 4-6" of snow-cover and it was difficult to maintain a 5:30/km pace. Significant portions were blocked up by drifts and castoff from the roads, which forced me to slow down even more - resulting in an average pace of only 5:48/km. Naturally, the wind and blowing snow didn't help either and made it quite a fight to get to the end.
It didn't appear that the city's sidewalk plows came out at all as I didn't find a single block of dry concrete anywhere along my route despite the fact that the roads were perfectly clear. Unfortunately, with these longer range runs I have to stick to major roads and with the snow drastically reducing visibility I was renascent to spend much time on the asphalt. Either way, I managed to get the full 18 miles in one way or the other ;)
I also took the opportunity to try out a running gel during this session as I figured it may be necessary for this distance. It was certainly a much better experience than the Shot Blox that I tried last year, although it will take some time to get used to their texture. The one downside, however, is that I couldn't get the package open while running and ended up having to stop and take off my gloves to rip off the cap (visible on the plots just after 13km). As such, I'm going to have to work out a better way to handle them in the future.
As for whether or not it was necessary, I'm still not 100% sure. I haven't really run into any problems with energy depletion on my past runs, although this is my first venture into the range where that begins to become a problem. I normally bring about 8oz. of Gatorade (~50 Calories) on my runs, but left it at home this time around in case there were any potential interactions between the two. I burned about 1900 Calories over the duration of the run (largely thanks to the additional effort the snow mixed in), and only took in a single 100 Calorie gel so that would indicate that I should be able to handle an 1800 Cal. deficit.
Running: 81.6km (50.7mi)
Walking: 1.7km (1.1mi)
Cycling: 50km (31.1mi)
Total: 133.3km (82.9mi)
Year to Date:
Running: 538.4km (334.5mi)
Walking: 122.6km (76.2mi)
Cycling: 615.0km (382.1mi)
Total: 1276.0km (792.9mi)
Next week is another step up, totaling up to 54 miles (87km) with my first stab at a 20 miler (32.2km) in a week. The rest of the week is going to be difficult as well, with a 12 miler on Wednesday and another 10 miles (with 6 at LT) on Friday. My legs are pretty tired right now, so this is going to be a pretty challenging week once again.
Mon 50K Cycle
Tue 7mi (11.3K) Recovery w/6x100m
Wed 30K Cycle + 12mi (19.3K)
Thurs 50K Cycle
Fri 10mi (16.1K) w/6mi (9.7K) @ 15K Pace
Sat 5mi (8K) Recovery
Sun 20mi (29.0K) LSD