Friday, November 11, 2005


From June 2001 to April 2002 I ran 3 marathons between 3:00:55 and 3:03:15. In October 2002 I finally broke 3 with a 2:58:10. I don’t even have to look in my log book to pin point what helped get me to sub-3. No it wasn’t hard track workouts, killer hill repeats or a large increase in mileage. I think it’s clear that it came down to running with people that are faster than me. Not every day, just once a week, usually 10-14 miles. And not super fast, probably close to marathon pace or what Daws would call (and I keep talking about) a strong aerobic effort

If I do look back in my log book, I see it started in early 2002, as I ran with Scott or a larger group of college friends 6 times before Boston. In the 5 months leading up to my sub-3, I ran with these same people 14 times. So what do you do when you figure something like this out? You send Scott an email and say “how can we make running together once a week possible?” Surprisingly, it came together quicker than I thought. I emailed Scott on Wednesday and we were able to get together this morning.

Actually, Scott and I have very similar PRs. He has run 2:56 and you could probably throw a rock from his 5k and 10k PRs to mine. However, Scott likes to train faster than I do (when I’m alone) and that’s what makes him an ideal training partner for me. This morning we ran together for 49 minutes and probably averaged 7:30 pace. Again, not super fast. However, when you’re used to training at 8:00-8:30 pace, you can tell the pace is quicker.

Ideally, I’d like to get back towards the 12-14 mile range for these runs, but since we’re doing them before work we may have to be satisfied with 10-12 miles. In any case, I think it’s a step in the right direction with my training.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow! I'll be quite happy to be between 7:30 and 8:00 for 90 minutes ... not too quick 8 days out from a marathon.

You're so right about this -- those quicker aerobic runs that Daws talks about are so much easier when you're running with other people.

Chad said...

Evan, sorry but you have to settle for 8:30 paced Chad. :-)

Susan, Scott and I used to meet in the evenings - then we both started having kids. It helps that his house is (sort of) on the way to my office).

Unknown said...

Zeke, I agree with you about the faster training partner. I hooked up with a 24 year old who could run a sub-5 mile and was used to training at a faster pace. He pushed me when it came to pace and I pushed him when it came to distance. It helped me get under 3 hours in the marathon as well. However, I am hoping Lydiard will take me much lower in the future. Good luck.

Unknown said...

I've been looking for a group myself. For me, it seems to be hard to find people who have similar goals, not just staying in shape. I'm hoping to meet some people when I join a new club next year.

Thomas said...

Great, now all I need is to find someone who runs faster than me. Not a problem you might think? It is in this lonely corner of Ireland.
Looks like I'll have to make do with my imaginary friend.

D said...

I completely agree w/running w/people who are faster. They push, they encourage, and they make us step it up a level.

Anonymous said...

...and the good ones will tell you when your working to hard.