While some people were running The Rocky Raccoon 100 miler last weekend in Texas, I ran my worst ever 10k time on a snowy route around Bagsværd Lake. And here's what I'll blame it on:
(Just when you thought you'd heard them all)
There are hardly any sunspots. (This is a NASA shot of the sun today)
You think I'm kidding. Or that I have gone crazy. But the truth is, the less sun spots there are, the colder the weather is. Sun spots disturb the electromagnetic field around the earth, allowing more heat in, so when there aren't many, it gets colder.
I learned this from SR's dad. And being the director of a world-renowed science museum, this is the sort of thing he knows.
But what am I really trying to say? I ran slowly because the weather was cold and there was snow over the entire route.
I ran the same route again afterwards just to take pictures (large camera in backpack).
A PW is just hard for me to accept, since I have been training so hard.
But my slow time is not just because of the sunspots. It is also 1. training a bit too much 2. not being at my ideal racing weight (BMI 18).
Interestingly, I have been notified by a number of readers about articles showing that it does not help your race times to weigh less (and I just love hearing news and getting article from people who read this blog ---- thank you!).
Well, here's what I have to say:
1. Weight matters a lot in races which are marathon length or shorter (though muscle matters more in less than 1k).
2. The closer one can get to a BMI of 18, the faster one gets at shorter races, assuming one stays muscular.
3. Below a BMI of 18, you risk losing muscle, but I think this also depends on your diet and some people can go below this BMI and get even faster.
4. In ultras, as Danni pointed out with an interesting article she sent me, body composition matters more than weight (Hoffman MD, Lebus DK, Ganong AC, Casazza GA, Van Loan MD. Body composition of 161-km ultramarathoners. Int J Sports Med 31:106-109, 2010.). The favorable body composition is more muscle, less fat. And body composition is even more important for males than females. But only in ultras does weight not matter and 10k's are not ultras.
Bottom line: Weighing less helps in short races, weight doesn't affect performance in ultras. So if one wants to be good at both distances, be thin and lean (it won't hurt you for either). No big mystery!
So what was my PW time? 45:05.
At least I've got these guys (hey and they turned 2 and 9 this past week!).
(I love Natali in the dress I bought her at H&M)
The poor Lorax has been sick with a fever and URI the entire week, but I did mange to get a shot of him looking happy.
Running - cool down - meditation song of the day: Splendour by Pantha du Prince