Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Race-Pace Tempo Run

The schedule called for a 10 mile tempo run at race pace which for me is 6:52 per mile. This is my goal marathon pace. The race is less than 5 weeks away and my confidence is not all that high as I've only been getting in about 3 runs per week for the past 4-6 weeks. They have been key workouts, but that's about I'll I've been able to fit into my schedule. So I didn't expect much today. It was also over 80 at the start too which is not ideal.

I was thinking I would try to start out around 6:52 for the first 5 miles and then pick it up a bit the last 5 miles. I started out a bit faster right out of the gate and kept trying to slow myself down. It didn't really work as my average pace continued to be under the goal pace of 6:52 for every mile. The watch finished the 10 miles in 1:06:49, but I think it was 33 seconds faster as I stopped for a few seconds around the start of mile 9 having seen someone I knew. I hit the lap button on my watch instead of the stop button. After analyzing the data, it looked to be about 33 seconds. So i think that lap ended up being closer to 6:05. All of this averages to a 6:40 per mile pace (6:37 with taking off the 33 seconds).

Here are the lap totals.
1 - 6:43, 151 bpm
2 - 6:37, 163 bpm
3 - 6:41, 165 bpm
4 - 6:38, 169 bpm
5 - 6:50, 170 bpm
6 - 6:35, 173 bpm
7 - 6:39, 175 bpm
8 - 6:42, 174 bpm
9 - 6:38, 177 bpm
10- 6:39, 179 bpm

I felt like I could have gone more miles and/or faster pace. This was a very needed confidence booster that I have needed lately. I feel that I could have easily tacked on another 5K to the workout to total a 1/2 marathon distance. At the pace I was running, I could have easily finished with a 1:27 1/2 marathon time and that's not going all out. I think this is why I was a bit disappointed with my results at the AFC Half Marathon because I knew I was capable of this. Even though the race was warm, it was cooler than it was during today's run. Of course, the run today was quite flat (only 210 feet of elevation gain/lost) compared to the race. I guess that made the difference.

As the St. George race profile is a downhill course, I would expect a slightly slower pace than I average today spread out over 26.2 is still still in the realms of the possible. I need to average 6:52 per mile during the race to finish under 3 hours. My confidence is climbing, a bit.

Any of you other there looking for a good training plan and like what you read here, I may have a recommendation for you. You've read how much I've been slacking and I still feel that I'm arguably faster than I've ever been.

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