Thursday, March 09, 2006

WHAT I (RE)LEARNED TODAY

I’d like to think that skipping last night’s run allowed me to be wide awake and ready to go at 4:25 this morning – 5 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. I woke up to temps in the mid-30s and practically no wind.

Today I was either going to do a progression run or a marathon pace (MP) workout, depending on how I felt. If I was tired I’d just gradually drop my pace and take whatever came to me. If I felt good, I’d drop my pace quicker and try to hold MP longer.

After a 2 mile warmup I was feeling pretty good, so I started to pick up the pace. It always takes me that first mile to get going, as you can see by my splits;

7:43
7:05
7:00
6:50
6:58
6:45
6:54
6:49
7:08
7:09

I didn’t look at my watch until the 4th mile. That was probably a mistake because when I turned around after the 5th mile I thought I could drop down to 6:40 pace, which is sub-2:55 pace. I ran a decent mile finishing in 6:45, but being off my just 5 seconds messed with my head. I slowed a little the next mile and then regrouped a little for the mile after that. But by the last 2 miles my mind was all over the place. Honestly, I’m surprised I ran 7:08 and 7:09. It felt like I was going 7:30 pace.

Anyway, here’s what I (re)learned today;

Start slower – 14 miles is a long way, there’s plenty of time to pick up the pace. Besides, I’d rather finish feeling strong and build confidence.

Focus on the process not the results – enjoy the act of running “fast” and don’t worry what the watch says. In fact, don’t look at the splits till afterwards.

My mental training has a long way to go – if I can’t pull things together after seeing 6:45 instead of 6:40, I’m in big trouble.

Remember Daws’ comments on marathon effort versus marathon pace – training shoes, bulky clothes, not being tapered, etc. will affect pacing (i.e. 6:40 pace in March doesn’t equal 6:40 pace in June).

With all that said, Grandma’s is still 14 weeks away. Don’t freak out just yet.

Quote of the day:
“Any idiot can train himself into the ground; the trick is working in training to get gradually stronger.” Keith Brantly

6 comments:

TriSaraTops said...

I've been known to let my watch get the best of me. :) Good suggestions, and great run! Also true about trying to compare marathon training pace to marathon race pace--makes sense, and I never really thought of it that way! You'll rock Grandma's.

Peter said...

Sometimes I think I should burn my watch, but it does give me what I need for general pacing purposes(mostly all of my routes are accurate to within 2-3%). But I am getting better, and I'm not even thinking about running fast yet. My next sub 7:00 mile will be my 1st this year :)

I think you're right where you need to be Chad. I like your quote about making the hard days hard, and the easy days easy. Each has its purpose. Keep up the great work, and maybe I'll get my mileage up yet (40 this week).

Evan said...

Good run Chad. Always harder doing this in the morning without [much?] food either.

Chad Austin said...

Thanks guys. Overall it was a good workout, but if you stop and compare that workout to 26.2 miles at 6:40-pace...it can be mind-boggling.

Evan, I usually eat a couple of pieces of toast or a bagel on the drive across town.

Mike said...

Hey Zeke, these MP runs should feel much easier once you're through the hill phase. Kudos for going out and running close to threshold that long. Keep up the good work.

Chad Austin said...

Mike, thanks. I'm glad to hear that they'll get easier. Next week I plan on adding in another hill session or two.