Thursday, June 17, 2010

Too Fast Race Pace Run, or
Too Slow Race Pace Goal?

My midweek mid-distance runs alternate between tempo pace (searching for sub-8:00 miles) and race pace (around 9:00 per mile). These paced runs and all the hills I've been running are the basis of my speed training for the Akron Marathon.

This morning I rousted my ass out of bed to fit in the miles I meant to run last night. My plan called for five miles at race pace.

Morning runs are not my favorite. My joints feel creaky, and it takes forever to find my rhythm. Effortless is not the word I'd use to describe my stride in the morning, which is a total bummer because "effortless" is my goal (aside from the whole "get super fast" thing).

After a short eternity, I fell into a decent groove. I quickly short-stepped up the Bastard Garman Hill and pushed my pace along the extended home stretch. I was hoping to finish in exactly 45 minutes. It looked like it was going to be close as my watch hit 41 minutes while I still had to loop around the block before I could stop.

I cruised down a short brick road, made a quick dash up to my street to head back toward home. I sprinted up a bunny hill until I could see the bend in the road right before the intersection that marked my endpoint. However, I was too fast.

By the time I stopped my watch, the time had only reached 44:13--about 10 seconds per mile faster than planned.

My goal pace puts me on track for a 3:55-ish marathon, which I feel comfortable trying for considering I shaved more than 15 minutes off my PR last year. However, an 8:50 mile pace puts me close to a 3:50-ish marathon, which was my original goal time when I started running these things in 2007. Is it advisable to shoot for another PR of 15 minutes at the Akron Marathon?


Tricia said...

I have no advice sine youre light years ahead of me in running :) I'm training for my first marathon so...pretty much garaunteed a PR there. Despite that, I too am trying to pick a goal time/pace that at the same time pushes me but is attainable. Good luck!

BrianFlash said...

I like the Surgei Bubka approach to setting PRs - beat each one by a wisker so you can set another during the next race.

I say - go 3:59:59!

Nitmos said...

I say, shoot for the 3:50. You'll push harder during training and then, if you just fall short of 3:50, there's probably a good chance you've passed 3:55 comfortably. The "shoot for the moon and if you miss you'll still be among the stars" cliche.

Jess said...

Why NOT shoot for the 3:50?

Anonymous said...

I love early morning runs although it takes me longer and longer to get ready for them trying to get the creaks and the kinks out.