For the 3rd and probably the last time of this marathon training cycling, I ran my alternating miles workout. Interestingly, this was the fastest over time that I have run it – 64 minutes. But the workout came with a twist.
Today, I was a minute faster than when I ran it 3 weeks ago.
But here's the twist, my miles were not nearly as fast, but my recovery miles were much faster.
When I take the time to think about it, this really makes a lot sense.
My opening i.e. my warm up mile was some 8 seconds slower. Then, the next mile is probably 15 seconds slower. But then, my 3rd mile which is mostly uphill came in some 8 seconds faster. The 4th mile was 3 seconds slower this time around, but my recovery 5th mile was some 15 seconds faster.
Mile 6 was just a little slower than 3 weeks ago, but mile 7 was some 30 seconds faster and mile 8 was a few seconds faster.
Mile 9 was nearly 30 seconds faster and mile 10 ended up being about 10 seconds slower.
So what is the difference? Well there are two concepts at work here.
First, because I wasn't pushing so hard during my hard sections, the recovery process was quicker. Meaning, because I didn't push as far into the "red"; there was less clean up of lactic acid in the blood stream. Really, I was living more in my comfort zone and not pushing on the edge.
This goes back to the adage – "even pace or negative splitting a race is the best game plan". Pushing too hard too early and leave yourself open to slowing way too much during the latter portions of a race. Running with a more balanced approach tends to yield better results because the body is better able to deal with the stresses of racing.
I said there were two concepts at work here so here's the second one.
I wasn't able to push as hard and for a very good reason. As many of you know, I raced on Saturday (Big South 5k) and then I ran a decently hard 24 miler on Sunday. These back to back efforts took something out of my legs and left my hamstrings pretty sore. I knew going in that my body was not up to a gut wrenching effort and was just hoping for a solid effort. This is why I adopted the philosophy of ignoring the splits displayed on my Garmin and just running by feel. As long as I walked away from the workout feeling like the effort was solid, then the workout could be consider a success.
Yesterday's workout also gave me a strong indication that if I can get in to the 6:15 to 6:25 range of miles, I am going to be able to run a long ways at OBX. At least this is the theory. We will see if it becomes a "law" on 11/11/12.
Sharing on thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner