My week 13 "Long Run" asked for
"Progression Run - Run 16 miles - Run first 8 miles @ base pace then gradually increase pace every mile: run last mile @ half-marathon pace”
No problem I thought. My plan was to cover the first 8 miles at 08:00 pace and drop 10 seconds per mile over the last 8 to end up at 06:40 pace for the final mile. (My target HM pace is actually 06:36)
My next door neighbour Pat who is also training for the Cork Marathon and now following the remainder of my programme, albeit as slower training paces, decided to run with me - for the first 8 miles at least. As my Polar running watch is a bit erratic in that it only measures distance accurately within a particular speed range (and the faster I go the more it under records distance - must be something to do with my gait) I wasn't sure how I would monitor my increase in pace during the second half of the run. The route we selected, which was 16.2 miles long, took us on a loop from Ballincollig in the “Straight road”, along the Mardyke, up past the College, out to Glasheen, (mile 8) Togher, in the Sarsfield Road to Bishopstown, and back out the Model Farm Road to Ballincollig.
We headed out shortly after 8 on Saturday morning and after a first slow mile (08:25) gradually got into a rhythm which saw us get as low as 07:40 pace - faster than planned but comfortable. We averaged the first eight miles at 07:54 pace. I slowly cranked up the speed for mile 9 which I completed in 07:44 (Pat dropping off slightly). In the Sarsfield Road for the 10th mile (downhill mainly so should be fast) – 07:29 v’s target of 07:40. The rest of the miles went something like this:
Mile 11 – 07:07 (07:30 target) - through Bishopstown. - steady
Mile 12 – 07:10 (07:20 target) - Melbourn Rd/Model Farm Rd - steady
Mile 13 – 06:59 (07:10 target) - Model Farm Road, uphill - tough but manageable
Mile 14.2 - 07:00 (07:00 target) – Model Farm Rd/Ballincollig – comfortably hard
Mile 15.2 – 06:50 (06:50 target) – hard but controlled.
Mile 16.2 – 06:30 (06:40 target) – first half uphill - very tough last mile.
The paces for miles 10 to 14.2 were calculated after the run as the overall distance recorded for the last 8.2 miles was 7.9 miles and the recorded times had to be redistributed. The time for last 2 miles was recorded manually as I knew the mile markers.
That was certainly a tough run and was more a combination of a speed workout and a long run rolled into one than the usual weekend long run that I’m used to – tortuous, therefore it must have some training benefit.
On Sunday I went on a planned 11.5 mile recovery run which turned into 15.7 miles at a slightly faster pace – What can I say I need the endurance and don’t seem to be able to get double digit miles in during the week.
Fri 14th Mar
8.6 Miles in 01:10:48 (08:14 pace @ 121 HR)
Sat 15th Mar
16.2 Miles in 02:01:23 (07:30 pace @ 137 HR) first 8 miles @ 7:54 pace, last 8.2 Miles @ 07:06 pace.
Sun 16th Mar
15.7 Miles in 02:06:00 (08:02 pace @ 125 HR)
Week 13/24 – 76 Miles.
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.