Running with Your Future Self
Sundays are when I do my long runs during marathon training, which I have just completed week 5 of, and so far so good. My body seems to be holding up to the higher mileage, roughly 80-90 miles a week, fairly well. I think that the mental fatigue of doing so many miles has been more draining then the actually physical toll, but I still have 13 weeks to go so we will see. This past Sunday I was scheduled to do a 20 mile long run with 10 of those miles at my Marathon Pace (projected goal pace of 5:42 min/mile). This is generally not possible this early on, holding your goal pace for that many miles, but I decided to see how long I could hold out. I was on the treadmill and only had the incline set to 1.5% incline so nothing too challenging there but I wanted to see what it was like running what I hope I’m capable of in 13 weeks.
I was able to hold the pace for the entire 10 miles but did reduce the incline to around 0.5% for the last few miles. This was definitely a challenge and took a toll on me. I had to really back off the last 4 miles after getting in the 10 at MP and my legs were beat after the run. Yes, it is easier on the treadmill but unfortunately with the snow and ice out there are limited options for running fast miles outside. My PR goal of a sub 2:30 marathon is an aggressive one and even if I just get close I’ll be pretty happy, so to be able to hit 10 miles at this pace was an encouraging sign for me and a really great to have a positive metric or milestone to go off of this early on in training.
Doing workouts at a specific pace early on in a training program is always difficult because if the run is supposed to be at your 10k pace or Half Marathon pace and it is week three of your program it is going to be almost impossible to run that at your normal race pace.
This is were it helps to have gone through these types of programs before so you know that early on your 10k pace is really going to be more like your Half Marathon pace or whatever until you get into better shape. That being said I always like to imagine that there is a future version of me that is hopefully a faster version as well. It is still too early to know how the spring season and races will shape up but this past Sunday was a positive sign.