Friday, August 14, 2009

When does this training get easier?

At some stage in most running programs your body seems to catch up - or perhaps just give in - and the pace of the sessions gets easier. Half way into this program and that point doesn't seem like it is ever going to come.

After an easy session on Wednesday night I still am not fully recovered from the City to Surf. My calves - especially the left one - are still really tender.

The session tonight was one that I have done before, about a month ago, and back then had a great run. So I was feeling optimistic about having another good run here. I even managed to squeeze it in before nightfall so was looking forward to running in daylight too.

After the 3km warm-up it was into the hard 5km at short-tempo pace (4.13m/k). I went through the first km in 4.16min so was right on where I needed to be. Unfortunately it kind of went downhill from there with subsequent k's in 4.24/28/32 and 30. Just plain harder than it should have been. A 5km time of 22.10mins being a whole 53sec slower than last time.

I am getting a bit over all this target pace stuff. Whereas for the half marathon program it seemed to be right-on for me, this time round it seems way too fast. I have my suspicions as to why:

1. During the half program I was still coming from a low fitness base so was still on the way up.
2. The target pace this time is based on a blindingly great run in the half marathon which was the "peak" of my fitness, with taper, racing flats, etc. That is, this pace was about as good as it gets and is not maintainable ... it's a peak!
3. Recovery from the longer runs in the marathon program is slower meaning the track session (especially) is much harder.

Anyway, I'll persevere. Even if my runs are slower than target pace that's ok, it just means I'll probably be in great shape to run a 3.20 or 3.25 marathon instead of a 3.16. No problem there!!

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