Monday, October 15, 2012

It's All In The Head

If my former coach reads my previous post he will probably say straight away that my 14-seconds-per-mile improvement last week was down to a sharpening effect from the XC race rather than a continued development of my aerobic system. As far as I know he would be right. That said, I'm happy to finally being able to run sub-3 marathon pace again without straining. Physically it might not be the best thing for my development at this stage, but psychologically this is invaluable. Up to now I felt I was chasing shadows, all of a sudden I am much more confident for Tralee. That alone makes training a lot easier.

My previous long run had been on Tuesday because because of the race, but I have now returned to my normal schedule and ran an 18-miler around the lake on Sunday. The average pace was decent enough, but that's only half the story. I ran the very hilly first half at about 7:50 pace, give or take a few, and got pretty much down to 7:00 pace for the final 7-or-so miles without straining at all and feeling very good. I know Tralee is still many months away and the pace I'm running right now isn't all that relevant, but it makes training fun and it's definitely good for my confidence. I find the longer the race distance the more important your head becomes. Marathon running is definitely not just done with your legs.

My dad had just been here for a short visit and he flew back this morning, Monday. It required an early trip to the airport. I considered binning today's run because it really would have required getting up at stupid o'clock - for about a second, and then I set my alarm. So I got up, ran 8 miles, brought my dad to the airport and got back home still early enough to doze for 30 another minutes before getting up for work. And yet, that's still not the earliest I have ever gone out for a run. Sure, binning one single run would not have had a real impact on my training and given me an extra hour or two of sleep, but once you start skipping runs you are are on a slippery slope and I don't want to go there.

Call it OCD if you want, but I intend on running every single day. Missing a day would most likely mess with my head again.

14 Oct
18 miles, 2:16:32, 7:35 pace, HR 146
15 Oct
8 miles, 1:01:54, 7:44 pace, HR 142


  1. The longer the race the more important your head becomes.

    That's the key to anyone hoping to run a long distance.

  2. All I can do is shake my head in wonder. I'm sure your wife has given up long ago...

  3. Hi Thomas, why did you delete my comment regarding improving shorter distances?

  4. That's a very sensitive head you got there Thomas. Have you a streak going? You never did tell us what time stupid o'clock is.