An easy run in the park again on Friday morning over the same distance as Thursday evening. This run was slightly slower as I covered the 9.14 Miles in 1:14;36 (08:10 pace @ 131 HR). Feeling more tired towards the end of the week.
For today's long run I had planned to increase the effort for 8 to 10 miles. I did the same run around the City as last week except I added a 2 miles loop from the City centre out towards the Marina and in the Centre Park Road. I warmed up slowly, with the intention of gradually building up the pace, covering the first 3 miles in an average pace of 08:39 before increasing the effort towards 135 HR which gave me the next 6 miles in a average pace of 07:59. I was wondering how I was going to up the effort (target 150 HR) as I felt that I didn't have a higher gear. However I managed to increase the effort and pace for a mile or two and then noticed that the pace showing on my watch was more or less at the 08:00 showing for the earlier part of the run. While I was now running on more undulating terrain with some headwind I couldn't understand why my pace had not increased with the increase in effort. This pissed me off slightly and I felt like slowing down. However I kept going with my HR at or above the 150 bpm target (if the pace wasn't right at least the effort and therefore the training effect I was trying to achieve was). On checking my distance against the 4 marathon miles markers that were on my route I noticed that I recorded only 3.73 miles on my watch which means that my recorded pace was out by about 30 second per mile - my spirits lifted somewhat. However by mile 18 I had to ease up as my legs felt very heavy (my adjusted/real pace for the 9 "faster" miles was approximately 07:37 - somehow I was expecting better). I covered the last 2.75 miles in 08:07 pace however my HR never dropped below 145 until I stopped. I will have to give my long runs the respect they deserve. Overall time was 02:44;38 giving an average pace of 07:56 (HR of 142)
One thing I concluded after the run was that for previous marathons I was better prepared for my long training runs which started at or after 10:30 on a Sunday morning after getting up at 8 am and having breakfast. This morning I was out at 7 am, 15 minutes after I got up.
After a few heavy weeks I think it is time for a recovery week of easy running - except perhaps for Wednesday when I'm half thinking of doing a local 5k - guaranteed a PB as I have never done one.
I started running shortly after my 40th birthday to train for the "once in a lifetime marathon" (mid-life crisis and all that) and haven't been able to stop since. This blog charts my progress as I attempt to go farther and faster than I have ever gone before.