Strategic Pacing

Just like that, and we are back to Monday! Our weekend around here was busy (which is nothing new), and this week ahead is even busier. This is one of those weeks where I will just have to tackle one day at a time.

Okay, so onto running. I mentioned before that this was a step back week in training, so my scheduled long run was 13 miles. According to my plan, I was to run the last 4 miles at marathon race pace. I’m not even sure if I have talked about what my goal pace is yet. My previous marathon time was 3:44:33 (my Boston qualifying time is 3:45, so I just barely made it). Right now I’m setting my goal for Indianapolis for 3:40.

Since Saturday’s run was lighter, I decided to aim for a slightly faster pace than a normal long run. I kept the first 7 miles between 8:15 and 9:00 minutes per mile and then finished the last 6 miles between 7:40 and 7:50 per mile. I was running faster than I am supposed to for a long run, but I was feeling really good, so I just went with it. My legs felt tired that last mile, but I knew that is when pushing hard makes you mentally tough. I finished feeling really good and my final time was 1:46:03 with average pace of 8:09. The sad thing is I accidentally deleted the data from my Garmin before I got a chance to upload it!

This run was a great lesson for me and the importance of proper pacing. I’m the worst at starting out way too fast thinking I am banking time up front. I still had so much energy towards the end of Saturday’s run, and my last mile was actually my fastest. I spent Saturday afternoon researching pacing methods for races, and working on my own plan for the marathon. I found this video which discusses the importance of starting out slow in your race. I was shocked to hear that going out too fast (even goal pace) can burn up to 70% of your glycogen stores within the first couple of miles!

I put together some pacing plans using this site. Most running calculators break everything into even splits, but here you can change it to accommodate for a warm up. I’m going to use these strategies for a few of my longs runs as a practice.

On Sunday, I had Yasso 800′s again. 1 mile warm up, followed by 6 x 800m in 3 minutes 40 seconds with a slow 400m jog in between, 1 mile cool down. These are still not my favorite, but I didn’t struggle as much as the first time. Progress!!

Today is a non-running cross training day for me. I plan on doing some strength training (slacked on that last week) and some Pilates. Have a great day!