This is a pattern that each of the 4 marathons have in common. I run well, maintain a good pace until somewhere between mile 17-20. Then, not only do I hit the wall, but I hit it hard. Like REAL HARD. Like my average pace per mile slows by 1:45-2:00 and I'm not even walking a step. It's like I got hit by a huge semi and it's everything I have in me to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You get the point.
So, I'm no pro. I have a lot to learn. But, the good news is, I've been keeping track of every single run for 3 years. I've noticed patterns in my training and patterns in my racing. This training cycle has been different (I won't say better yet because I haven't raced). I've realized that every runner is different and just like one shoe doesn't fit all, one training plan doesn't either!
So, I've been making some major adjustments in my training that I'm pretty excited about. The first being that I'm running my long runs faster. Screw the theory that I can run 45-60 seconds faster on race day. I can't! I've tried 4 times and I've fallen apart each time. I've been getting faster and faster on my long runs. See below:
- I only had three runs over 18 miles
- 18 - 9:16 average pace
- 20 - 9:00 average pace (on treadmill)
- 20 - 9:37 average pace
- I, again, only had three runs over 18 miles (I stayed around 15-16 a lot).
- 19.2 - 9:07 pace
- 20 - 9:02 pace
- 22 - 9:01 pace
- ** This is the first time I incorporated speed work during an entire training schedule**
- I have already run 2 long runs over 18 miles.
- I have 5 long runs left before the taper - 4 of which will be over 18 miles
- 18 -8:35 average pace
- 20 - 8:32 average pace
While I have still had my fair share of discouragement this training cycle (getting burnt out, not getting all of my runs in and becoming slower and slower at track), I have decided that you can't win all. So what, maybe I was a track rock star during San Diego training. You can't win them all, right? I'm trying to convince myself here that it's okay for my track workouts not to be as stellar and my long runs to be. I'm training for a marathon after all, not a 5K.
Track Workout this Morning:
1200 1200 800 800 800 400
My times: 5:03 5:06 3:26 3:26 3:28 1:34
I won't list what my times should have been, but it's no secret that I've run similiar workouts in the 4:5x range, 3:16-18 range and sub 1:30 range.