Monday, September 18, 2006

Story of a short long run

As Andrew and I cruised along in the final miles of Sunday's 17 miler we tried to decide if this counted as a 'long' run or not. According to A it needs to be at least 20, while I 've been going with Pfitz with 18 as my cutoff. So the vote was that it did not count as a long run in our books and we tried to come up with a name for this in-between type run, how about 'sh-long'? or maybe 'sorta-long'? Whatever, it was still a great run with benefits to the overall training load.

With all the 'stuff' that's been happening to A lately it was a wonder he was able to even make it out this Sunday. Thankfully though his family is now on the mend and are finding their way out of the hospital and back to the safe confines of home.

At 6:32 I arrived at the good old Boyden Lake meeting spot to find my unsuspecting buddy ready to roll. Little did he know the evil plan I was about to spring on him as he has been a bit out of touch with the cyber world lately and had no inkling that someone (me) was out to get him.

"I've got a plan. Do you want to see it?" I asked.

"Huh, sure what is it?" Andrew replied looking a little puzzled by the scribbles on my pad of paper.

"It's a practice run for pacing at Wineglass with 6 miles of cutdown before getting to marathon pace from something I read. "

"OK, sure, sounds good" (good old Andrew is always up for just about anything)

And we were off at a slow jog for the 1st few miles, easing into the run as planned. The conversation began and never stopped and sometimes I even got a few words in edgewise! First, I went into detail about what pace I'd like to do based on recent races and training and how the cutdown pacing works. It calls for mile 1-2 (30 sec slower than MP), miles 3-4 (20 sec slower), miles 5-6 (10 sec slower) and then goal pace. The idea is to give away 2 minutes in the opening miles by starting slower than goal pace and saving the glycogen and energy for the final miles. It will be difficult to do on race day because running this slow will feel like a jog after the taper and so it needs to be practiced during training, like the long runs. However, the payback comes in 2 ways, 1st after easing into the marathon for 6 miles you then only have a 20 miler to go. Secondly, if you can stand being passed in the early going, the fun will come in the last miles as there will be plenty of 'roadkill' to swoop by.

So we just eased into this sh-long run with the 1st 5 miles in about 42:00 and then slowly began to cruise along a bit faster. For some reason the hilly nature of this route was not much of a problem today with only 3 of the many inclines hard enough to still the conversation if only for a moment. After mile 11 the pace dropped to 730 or below but the effort was not noticeably harder as I began to monitor my Garmin a bit closer, reading off the splits to Andrew as we went. Last 7 miles at 7:27 pace with heartrate at 140 or about 80% of max. A perfect run on a perfect day!

This is a summary of my training mileage and long runs by week since Boston in April. It's gone fairly well for the most part with consistent mileage around 70 and a decent number of long runs. There have been a few races but not nearly enough as I could have used a good 1/2 or another 10k in recent weeks to gauge fitness.

Taper, taper, taper... Good running all!


Thomas said...

You've been reading the latest issue of Marathon&Beyond, haven't you? I read that article about pacing, and found it interesting. I'll see how it goes for you before I decide to follow the advice.

Mike said...

Might have to get that issue myself Thomas! I don't think too much about splitting hairs on the long run length, though personally I've been in the Pfitzy camp with 18 (or 2:15 or more) as a guideline. Sounds like a nice run and a good string of training. Not much left to do, stay well.

Love2Run said...

You caught me Thomas! Yes, it's a good article and I'm looking forward to the next issue. The plan gives away time at the start that you will gain back by the finish but you need to practice it a few times and have no fear. Will a PB be required to convince you it works?

Anonymous said...