The weekly Long Slow Distance (LSD) run together with mileage buildup is the cornerstone of all marathon training programs. Being able to run for at least 2 to 4 hours at an easy, steady, conversational pace trains the body and the mind develop endurance to withstand the long haul of running 42.195 kilometers.
However, there’s more to it than running a slow, steady, even-paced tempo as you can vary these runs to break up the monotony and make it more challenging and interesting.
This is what I and 25 other would be October marathoners did when an LSD run was organized by the Takbo.ph runners last Juky 12 at the Fort. Last Sunday’s run was hatched partly to navigate next Sunday’s Globe-Run For Home 21k race route which traverses from the Fort to the Makati Central Business District and back. For others, it would serve as the beginning of another 16-week program of training for the 1st Quezon City International Marathon this coming October 18, 2009.
I was dropped off by a good friend at the corner of EDSA and Mckinley Road at about 4:30am and started my run from there towards our meeting place at the McDonalds, Net One Branch, the Fort. Since the agreed meet time was 5:00am, i still had enough time to run around BHS so when i arrived at McDonald’s, i had run an easy 4.5k warm-up already. By 5:10am, runners began to arrived and the group swelled to 26. While many from the Takbo.ph runners had also joined to Buddy Fit & Run nearby, the LSD group was large enough and all were raring to run.
From the Fort, we exited through Rizal Drive on our way to the Kalayaan Flyover towards Buendia Avenue. After the initial slow and tentative pace, the group broke up into 3 with the first group headed by Doc Lyndon, Gab, Mar and myself running at a pace of 7:00-7:15/km while the 2nd group were cruising along at 7:15-7:30 pace and the last group was taking it easy at a pace of about 7:45/km.
From Buendia Avenue, we turned left towards Ayala Avenue and the pace remained constant as we turned another left to Makati Ave. until we reached Buendia Ave, again. At the corner of Makati Ave. and Buendia, we rested and waited for the others as we took some water and other fuel drinks. When everybody arrived and re-grouped into one, the group took the opportunity to engage in their most passionate past time during long runs– the photo-ops! A dozen or more poses were executed…from the demure to the bizarre and outrageous jump-shots!
Instead of taking the route back to Ayala Avenue as was the Run For Home race course suggested, the group decided to run back Buendia Avenue going upwards the Buendia and Kalayaan flyovers. The pace picked-up during the uphill climb as runners were testing their individual abilities in tackling the 200 meter incline.
On our way back to the Fort, we chanced upon the participants of the Buddy Fit & Run race whom we cheered as we stopped to let them pass through. In reversal of roles, it was these participants, with digicams in tow, who took interest in us as they took our pictures, posing for them instead of the other way around.
After refueling with choco bars, raisins, energy bars and replenishing our hydration belts with more Gatorade, courtesy of takbo.ph member Neil, we proceeded to Lawton Avenue then towards Bayani Avenue past Heritage Park and turned around when we reached C-5 Road. It was during this stretch that we did some surges in pace, alternating the pacing chores of the lead runner. Since the heat was starting to rise, we just coasted along the flat surfaces while we sprinted up the hilly portions, to give variety to our run.
On the last 2 kilometers, we ran on a fast pace, leading back to the finish at McDonald’s, “emtying our tanks”, so to speak, giving a final “kick” to our long run. The group finished 20.3 kilometers in all and plus my 4.5km run at the start, i was able to log 24.8 kms in 3 hours of running time, an auspicious start to our quest for the Quezon City Marathon this October.
(Seen through the lenses of Edu & Jet. Thanks, guys!)