Saturday, June 13, 2009

Work it until the work gets done

18 miles @ 6:36 pace

Got in a wonderful marathon training workout this morning. Today's schedule called for two hours and after yesterday's fatigue I was wondering which way I would run this one: easy or hard. But everything seem to align for me today and I opted for a harder effort.

I got an excellent sleep - going to bed early and not getting up until 6am.  The kids have their last day of school today (some Saturdays are required in the spring here due to the many snow-day school cancellations we have in the winter). This meant the morning was free.

With a good sleep and a good breakfast I was feeling positive about today's workout. The workout: high aerobic work at a steady pace for 2 hours.

I started out quicker than normal to get the tempo into my legs and went through mile one in 7:11. After that it was easier to maintain a decent pace. The pace varied according to whether I was going up or going down but overall it was a steady effort with no progression. The first half and second half were pretty much an even split - the 2nd half faster by 30 seconds or so.

The temperature was warmer than I like but that was the trade-off of running at 8am instead of 4am. There was a slight breeze that cooled me off now and then. You have to love the frigid Atlantic. By mile two in 13:30 I knew that today would be a fun workout. The effort was comfortable and it felt so good to be running smoothly.

The goal of the workout was to work at the higher aerobic level evenly for a long period of time. This work is deceptive as it is fairly 'easy' for many miles. The real work is maintaining an even effort, pace, and form as the workout progresses. At first I had to be careful not to start a progression while I was feeling fresh, and then by the end it was balancing pace and effort as I tired.

I can report a really comfortable 14 miles. But after this, the real education began. I hit an energy 'low' that last about 1/2 mile but then it disappeared. A few more lows hit sporadically. The final hills were difficult requiring focus in order to maintain proper form and breathing and relaxation. Surprisingly though, the pace stayed pretty much true and as long as I kept correcting my form to stay fluid I was doing fine.

It sometimes is too bad that a comfortable run needs to turn hard but that is where the long term work gets done. So even though the last four miles weren't as enjoyable as the first fourteen, the reward is finishing knowing it was a good run. With proper easy days to follow, I can put the benefits in the bank.

18 miles in 1:58:42 with another .1 jog to finish out the time. Happy with this one.


Blogger kassy said...

phew! whew! 18 miles!

6/13/2009 12:36 PM  
Blogger kassy said...

phew! whew! 18 miles!

6/13/2009 12:36 PM  
Blogger Trevor said...

You're a machine! The only part of that run that didn't sound exhausting was the .1 job to end it.

6/13/2009 3:19 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

18 miles at 6:36. That's extremely impressive, Andrew! I was dead please to have run 6:53 for 11 yesterday - that's worlds behind you.

6/14/2009 7:09 AM  
Blogger Grellan said...

....and your next marathon isn't untl October! You're ready now.

It certainly does feel great when everythong clicks into place on a run.

6/14/2009 7:21 AM  
Blogger lindsay said...

wow, 6:36 over 18 miles! me, maybe 2.5... i love those runs (especially the long ones) that seem to fall into place. 98 miles for the week - very impressive. i think i need some of whatever you're drinking! :)

6/14/2009 1:49 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

laying down a training run of that caliber is bound to bring a Marathon PR!

6/14/2009 7:55 PM  

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