Looks like I have been accepted as a pacer for the Cork City marathon in three weeks time. I volunteered for the 3:30 or over slot (i.e. 8 minute pacing or over). Even pacing is the name of the game - so with that in mind I set out this morning on tired legs to run 16 miles at 7:55 pace average, with all the miles in the 7:50s (7:55 avg on the Garmin should equate to 8:00 on the day - although I'll be taking actual time splits on the day and using the Garmin for rough pacing only).
My desire to keep all the miles under 8:00 pushed some of them into the 7:40s but overall the run went to plan with an average pace of 7:53 and a high/low of 7:46/7:57. My route crisscrossed the marathon route including the the last few miles from Inchagaggin lane to Patricks Street (Miles 23 to 26.2). While I had to push on some of the inclines to keep pace under 8:00 the effort was well within my aerobic zone with a max HR of 144 and an average of 129.
Adrian asked me this afternoon how the 3 hours plus in the saddle yesterday compared to running a marathon. "No comparison" was my response, while parts of the cycle were tough with an all out effort required at times there was also time to recover, after all it was not a race. Anyway there's no way I could run 16 miles the day after a marathon, could I? The Tour De Cure post race physio (who tenderised my quads by rolling his forearm along them) said that I may be sore for a few days. While my legs were stiff after today's run with tightness in a few spots, I'm good to go.Next weeks long run will push towards 20 miles and the week after 20+?. Do I need to taper for a marathon that I am pacing or should I gradually increase the distance right up to race day, i.e. a long run progression of 16 - 20 - 23 - 26.2. After all I can rest up the week before the race, can't I?