Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Oct. 8
Long Run Coronado
I haven't done a long-run in a while and it's time to see how my vacation running worked out.
What is a long-run? In some respects it's self-explanatory. It is a run that is longer than your standard distance. However, it is also slower than your standard pace. The rule of thumb for a long-run is to go a minute to a minute and half slower than your goal.
For instance if you have a goal of running a marathon in four hours, your goal pace is nine-minute-miles. For your long-run you will go at a pace of 10:00 to 10:30 per mile.
My favorite long-run location is Coronado. Starting from Glorietta Bay Park, head South and West under the bridge. Follow the path along the golf course and then stay to the left side of the road all the way out to The Strand and pick up the bike path again.
If you take the path all the way to Imperial Beach and back you can easily get 20-22 miles in. That is a perfect distance for marathon training. You need only get up to 20 miles once in a marathon training cycle.
The course is flat but there are a few gradual grades that appear. The course is almost completely free of traffic lights.
The one issue is bathrooms and water. There are three places to use the bathroom on the course. There is a park about three miles in, there is Tidelands Park further down and also Silver Strand State Beach.
Silver Strand Beach is on the opposite side of the road and requires a small detour.
Since I don't like to carry water with me, I have deposited water on the course in the past. I drive out and leave water bottles at the bus stops along the way.
These bus stops are in the middle of nowhere so I'm not concerned about someone tampering with them. I reuse Gatorade bottles and just throw them in the trash can at the bus stop.
This course is also great for cycling. Runners need to be aware of cyclists and stay to the right. The rules of the road apply.