Monday, May 19, 2008


I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy running on trails before, but Saturday’s group trail run was rather frustrating. The leader of our group ventured onto the bike trails and then stayed on them even though there was ample opportunity to switch over to the running trails.

Although we only had to get out of the way of 6 bikers – that’s 6 bikers too many. You just don’t run on the mountain bike trails. There are enough good running trails at Lebanon Hills to accommodate runners. And the running trails are better because you can run 2-3 abreast instead of single file. Single tracks may be great for biking, but they don’t work for group runs. Besides not being able to have a conversation, when the guy in front of you keeps farting, there’s no where to go – believe me, I found this out Saturday.

I ended up running 13 miles, which gave me 72 miles for the week. I’ve always said that it takes me about 3 weeks of easy running, either post-marathon or post-end of season break, to get back to feeling good. That seems to be the case again. After taking 5 days off after Boston, I’ve run weeks of 57, 66, and 72. I’m going to try and keep building for another 2-3 days and get around 80 miles for a 7-day stretch. Then I’ll back off a little and run a 5K on Memorial Day.

Yesterday I headed back to the trails for another 13 mile run – or as my Garmin said 11.9 miles. That’s right – what I normally call 13 miles – based on time and effort – Garmin calculated to be over a mile shorter.

Now I realize trail running is slower than road running, but I don’t believe I was running 8:45 pace. I sure as hell wasn’t running 8:45 effort. After a controlled first mile into the wind in 8:10, I hit the trails and was greeted by splits 30-40 seconds slower – even though my effort didn’t change.

Rather than change the way in which I log miles, I wrote down 13.

This morning took a break from the trails and ran a moderate 10 miles on the Hyland Park bike paths.

Quote of the day;

“His basic lesson, both in throwing and in life was don’t rush it. Pace yourself. Take it slow in the beginning. In training, don’t go too hard or fast for your body. Do what you can, and don’t expect to get there all in one day.” – Shot putter Neal Steinhauer, on Bill Bowerman


Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, were there a lot of hills when you ran either 13 or 11.9 miles. I'm transferring to a hillier area next month and am wondering if the Garmin has issues with hills.

I don't comment much, but I enjoy following your blog. Thank you for your time and effort to continue posting.


Anonymous said...

I think you should put a little * by the 13 and remember to go back and change it if you run the course again and it comes up as 11.9 a second time. Just partly kidding.

One of the weird things about the garmin for me when I first got it was realizing that some of the runs I'd done in the past were not the distance I thought they were. The Garmin isn't perfect but it is a little farfetched to presume that our "internal" mileage calculators would be more accurate than a GPS. That being said, almost everyone I've known who's gotten a garmin has experienced this in some manner or another

crossn81 said...

There are a couple of issues with Garmin's and trail running.

Depending on the style Garmin it can lose its signal fairly easily in the woods. The 205 and later should all do pretty well though.

The other big issue is that with trail running you tend to do a lot of turning and sometimes those turns can confuse the GPS, if you are doing a zig zag pattern it might think you actually ran a straight line.

I don't think the Garmin has problems with hills, but I suppose if you are in a valley there is an increased chance of losing your signal.

Finally, it depends on what program you are using to translate your data. I've found that the watch and the Garmin program have slight variations in distances. I also use another program and it varies from the Garmin one as well. It has something to do with the algorithms and metrics used to translate the GPS data.

Hope that's helpful!

Deb said...

I am sorry that you chose to follow me and was frustrated for 25 minutes.

Chad said...

Bart, yeah it's a fairly hilly area - at least for this part of the Twin Cities.

Mike, I think it had more to do with the trails slowing me down then Garmin being "wrong". As Cross suggested, there were a lot of zig zags, so maybe that effects the Garmin.

Cross, I'm not sure what you mean by what program to translate the data. I turn the Garmin on, find the signal, hit start and stop. That's it.

Marty, I was way in the back and had no idea who was leading. I just can't think of a single reason to run on the mt. bike trails. I'm sure it pissed them all off and they went to and bitched about us.

crossn81 said...

The Garmin should have come with the Garmin Training Center which allows you to sync the GPS to your computer and have an electronic running log, complete with maps, etc. There are several other programs that do the same thing. That is what I was referring to in my last comment. I wrote about 3 different versions of software.

Chad said...

Ah, I thought the watch and the software would show the same data. I haven't loaded the software yet.