Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pacing Practise

When is Friday not a Friday? When it falls on a Thursday!

Admittedly, that doesn't make any sense. My thinking was that if I do my usual Fast Friday run on Friday there would only be one day of recovery before Sunday, so I moved it to Thursday instead. Wrong weekday aside, I tried to run more or less the same workout again, though I tried to keep the pace of the faster segment at about 7:10 pace, the pace I need to run in Dublin, and a little bit of practise doesn't do any harm. I managed well enough, though I could not fail but notice that the HR was higher than expected, and higher than last week, so that was a bit worrying. It fits in right with the same observations I made in the last post, as soon as I run faster or longer my HR immediately starts climbing much faster than it should.

Following on from that, two easy days followed, and true to form the legs were fairly heavy on Friday but felt better on Saturday, at least once the first two miles were out of the way.

With the Dublin marathon only one week away, I was wondering what I should do on Sunday. I'm not doing a taper as such, mostly because I have no training done that I would now need to taper from, but I still don't want to turn up tired and thoughts of another 15 mile run were quickly set aside.

In the end I decided to do another pace practise. Chances are that Mystery Coach won't like it, but that was a workout for my head, not for my body. I have never paced 3:10 before and I am fairly nervous about it. A little bit of reassurance would go a long way; at least I hoped it would.

Since in the marathon I will have to hit the right pace right from the start I did away with the usual 2 easy miles of warm up. Even so, the first mile was still way too slow (7:30) but then I managed to pick up the speed. Too much, as it turned out, because the next time I checked the Garmin, about 2 miles in, I was doing 6:40 pace and the average was almost down to 7. Oops. I guess that's why they use 3 pacers per band, that way we can keep an eye on each other. The wind made pacing rather tricky; I had it on my back for the first half, which is why I felt averaging 7:00 pace was just about right (no more 6:40 miles, though). Fighting the wind on the way back home was tricky and now that the effort had been established I tried to go by feel rather than watch, which was acting strangely anyway, I kept seeing paces ranging from 5:50 to 7:40 with neither one being right.

In the end I only used up half my cushion and came home about a minute earlier than planned. I'll need to pay a bit more attention in Dublin, I wouldn't want to burn out my pacees with a few fast early miles, but, as I said, there the responsibility will be shared. I do hope my body will cope; it certainly was a much-needed boost for the mind and I feel much more at ease with the thought of pacing 3:10 now. From that point of view, it was definitely a good workout, I suppose.

17 Oct
10 miles, 1:13:43, 7:22 pace, HR 150
   incl. 8 miles @ 7:09 pace (HR 154)
18 Oct
8 miles, 1:03:55, 7:59 pace, HR 138
19 Oct
8 miles, 1:02:37, 7:49 pace, HR 142
20 Oct
10 miles, 1:10:59, 7:05 pace, HR 153
Weekly Mileage: 56


  1. Pacing sounds so difficult! It must be a rewarding job, though, to know that you help so many athletes to achieve their goals. Wishing you a great race next week!

  2. Run a 6:40 mile early on and you'll blow up half your group. Anyway, I'm sure you won't do that -- your pacing is as reliable as a good Swiss watch (or at least a Chinese Garmin).