My "long" run this week called for 9 miles @ MP with 2 miles warmup and recovery giving 13 miles in total. Not wanting to reduce my endurance training I opted to extend the run to 20 miles and revert to the programme by taking today off and recovering.
Marathon pace for me, which is based on my "once off" 10k in April, is 06:51 and although I have not come even close to it in a marathon (07:31 is the best so far) it is still my training target and if I can run at that pace I will. While I find it near impossible to achieve some of the faster training paces (e.g. tempo runs @ 10k pace) I appear to generally get on target for the "slower" paces (half marathon to marathon pace). My plan was to hit the 06:50's after the 2 mile warmup and possibly extend the MP section to 10 miles and "cool down" over another 8 miles.
The route I selected was reasonably flat, with the first mile to the Inniscarra Bar and then a left heading in the Lee Road to Wellington Bridge, down the Mardyke, along the UCC walk to the North Gate Bridge and back out the Straight Road, through Ballincollig to the Ovens Bar on the Macroom Road and back home.
Following 08:02 and 07:34 opening miles I cranked up the pace coveing mile 3 in 06:52 (bang on target). The effort felt reasonably comfortable but I had to concentrate at times to keep from falling off the pace as my cruise control wasn't the best. The remaining MP miles went by pretty uneventful:-
07:07 (the only real hill)
06:28 (gradual descent down the other side - fastest mile)
06:35 (pushed the last mile)
10 Miles in 01:07:39 (06:46 Pace average)
I can tell you now that there is no way that I could extend that pace for another 10 miles not to mind 16.2. To be quite honest this is closer to my half marathon pace and I would be quite happy to run at this pace in the Half marathon next Sunday - after all it would give me my first sub-01:30 HM (01:28:41).
While I was tired after pushing the last MP mile I recovered and kept the remaining 8 miles all under 08:00 pace to give me 20 miles in 02:24:15 (07:13 Pace). My fastest 20 miles to-date (I think).
I thought about what kind of 10k I could have run if I had kept going - even a 50 minute 10k would give me a sub 03:15 Marathon. However that final 10k shouldn't be under-estimated as, from an effort point of view, you are only halfway through a marathon at the 20 mile mark.
I was glad of the rest day today as my legs were fairly fatigued and I had a bit of a hangover following a feed of Guinness at a neighbour's 40th birthday party last night (@ this morning)
Sat 6th Sept
20 Miles in 02:24:15 (07:13 Pace) - with 10 miles in 01:07:39 (06:46 Pace)
Sleep: 7 hrs: 7.5/10
Marathon Training week 10/16 - 59.5 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.