Saturday, August 9, 2014
One of the tools I've tried to incorporate over the past couple of years, is the "Fast Finish" Long Run. Basically I'll try to run the first 80% of my run at a nice even pace, and then speed up a little on the last few miles. I've found that more than anything else it helps mentally in the final stages of a race. My thought process is that if I can actually speed up on the final leg of a long run, hopefully that will translate to an even pace in the last few miles of a marathon.
So this morning in 70 degree temps, with 92-97% humidity, and a gusting 2 mph East wind, I ran 21 miles with this approach. And actually, considering I was completely saturated by mile 5, the run went fairly well. From my splits on the left, you can see I tried to keep the pace slow and "warm up" for five miles, plus I made a couple of bathroom stops without stopping the clock. I then stayed around a really fairly smooth 7:05 for the next 11 miles. Finally I dropped below 7:00 for the final 4 or 5. And considering those last 5 miles were on the hilliest portion of the course (by design), I was fairly happy with my pacing.
I was kind of worried when I started the run because I was STARVING!!! I used to use the phrase "Starving like a P.O.W." all the time, but I just finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (about American Hero, Olympian, and WWII P.O.W., Louie Zamperini), and frankly now, it just seems insensitive. Anyway, I didn't really do a great job of fueling up yesterday, so I was really happy that I got through it in the shape I did.
Plus, when I started, my legs were still a little fatigued from the race last week, and a tough week of training, but I'll recover for a couple of days, and really load up on protein today, and I should be fine. Anyway, it was a pretty good outing, all things considered!
... be great today!