Sunday, April 29, 2012

Change Of Pace

One potential problem with my recent training that I have become aware of is that pretty much all of it happened at the same pace. Interestingly, that is a criticism that is sometimes thrown at the Lydiard training system, though only by people who don't know that system. But it would have been a valid criticism of my recent weeks, and I thought a change in pace would be beneficial.

The point here is not to replicate the race itself. It is not specific training. But a change in gear every now and again is important to stimulate adaptation in the legs by introducing new stressors.

The weekend became a bit of a copy of some of the back-to-back weekends I did during marathon preparation. Saturday was the faster day, but still very much controlled and nowhere near the limit. I kept the effort comfortably hard, with the HR never much above 160. I would have been delighted with 7-minute pace, but in actual fact I did significantly better than that and averaged 6:45. That's much, much better than expected. My legs must be in decent shape already. It did cross my mind that maybe I should have done Sunday's race in Castleisland after all, I would have done better than originally expected, I'm sure. But by then the decision had been made, and it would probably have been impossible anyway with the twins' busy schedule of drama exams and orchestra.

Sunday's long run was a test for next Sunday's marathon in Limerick. I am pacing the 3:30 group but haven't done any running at 8-minute pace, so it was high time to get some under the belt. With the legs a bit tired from Saturday's effort followed by several hours of gardening work, going slowly felt very much agreeable. The hills and the very strong gale force winds made keeping the pace a bit trickier than usual; I really hope it won't be like that in Limerick. But I never had a problem keeping up, even if the legs started to feel the effort after 15 miles. The right hamstrings especially felt rather tight. The HR was a bit high, but that's probably because of the windy conditions. But in Limerick I won't have to worry about 600-feet climbs and I won't run a fast 10-miler the day before either and I'm perfectly confident that I won't have any problems.

This left me with 83 miles miles for the week - a bit more than initially planned, but the legs are fine and seem to thrive on it. Now if only those pesky extra pounds started coming off (I'm starting to sound like Niamh)...
28 Apr
10 miles, 1:07:36, 6:45 pace, HR 160
29 Apr
20 miles, 2:38:18, 7:54 pace, HR 147

Weekly Mileage: 83


  1. just as well that it's not "specific training" or you'd have to run around your garden 5 million times :)

  2. Good test on Sunday - you won't have any trouble holding 8 minute pace for the marathon (providing the Garmin's working ;-)

  3. Thomas, your point about the same pace training is very true. I've shifted my training from maybe 20 miles p/w to 35 and my 5k time has gone from 16:40 to 17:55, uh-oh! Going to have to up the speed of my intervals this week. I don't know how you're doing so well on such high mileage.