Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Since I only had an evening run scheduled for today, I got to sleep in an extra hour. Hmmm, sleep!!! That felt really good.

Tonight’s workout was a 1 hour test to see how far I could run in that amount of time. My coach and his other athletes were there too (more on them in another blog) with his marathoners doing 1 hour and triathletes doing 40 minutes. All the ‘mills were full at first, so I did about 12 minutes on the elliptical. That’s the first time I’d been on such a device.

I was finally able to get onto a ‘mill and did a mile to warm-up. Based on my recent treadmill workouts and my recent half marathon (6:27 pace) I figured I’d be able to handle something between 9.0 and 9.3 mph. So I started out at 9.0 for 2 miles before bumping it to 9.1. At first I couldn’t tell the difference in pace and I thought about bumping it up a tenth of a mile every 2 miles. At 4 miles I bumped it to 9.2, but any thoughts of going faster quickly faded as the miles began to accumulate. I ended up with 4.53 miles at the halfway point. A glance to my right showed a triathlete is running 9.3 mph. I take solace in the fact that he’s near the end of his workout and he’s “only” running for 40 minutes – telling myself I’d be at like 9.5 mpw if I only had to run for 40 minutes. Damn, competitive nature!

From time to time my coach would come in for updates on time, distance and cadence. He seemed to make a big deal about me being able to keep my cadence at 95. I’m thinking “I’m on a treadmill, going the same pace – I’m kind of “forced” into keeping the same cadence. Either that or fall off.” The triathlete next to me has completed his workout and leaves. I look around and see 1 other person in the room. 40 minutes ago there were probably 20 people on treadmills or ellipticals. It cleared out in a hurry. So, I’m “stuck” by myself for the last 4 miles of my workout, which I maintain at 9.2 mph. During the last mile things are getting tough and it feel like my form is going to shit. I try to focus on relaxing and it helps a little. Finally I’m done – completing 4.59 miles during the 2nd half for a total of 9.12 miles or roughly 6:35 pace.

It’s a solid effort, but I can’t help but wonder how the hell I can run 6:27 pace for 13.1 miles in a race, but only 6:35 pace for 9.1 on a treadmill. I guess it has to do with being on a treadmill and lack of the competition surrounding a race. 6:35 pace is also equal to about a 2:52:30 marathon, which I think is in the ball park for my spring marathon – give or take 1:30. Okay maybe not give 1:30, but certainly take 1:30. Anyway, on the treadmill, there’s no way I could maintain that pace much longer. Good thing marathons aren’t run on treadmills.

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