Did you get to watch any of the NYC marathon live or in person yesterday? Congrats to all the runners!
I was cheering and tracking many friends out there, and am slowly feeling the marathon mojo making a come back… but not yet. I’m way to excited to NOT have a marathon to train for this winter! Maybe next fall?
The last month has been a cycle of racing hard and recovering hard for me…. the Maine half marathon, then two weeks of recovery, the Runner’s World Festival Grand Slam, with another week of recovery, the Perfect 10 and again, a week of recovery.
I was checking out my logs and noticing the wide variance of paces… from 6:30-7:20 range during the races to 10:00+ easy miles during recovery.
This was not always the case. My logs from training just 4-5 years ago were extremely consistent. I ran nearly everything between and 8:00 and 9:00 pace. If I felt good, it was closer to the 8:00 pace. If I was tired, it was a 9:00 pace.
The interesting thing is that my race pace then was also an 8-9 minute mile! When I began adding more variance with harder days and easier days, my times began to drop. With the harder days in my schedule, I first resisted the idea of going slower than 9:00 minute pace but some days that was all my body could do.
I don’t think I believed that this theory really worked until I experienced it. It’s so tempting to push a little more on easy runs (and less on hard runs).
I was reminded of this again recently speaking with elite runner Tina at the Maine retreat, who runs 1-2 minutes slower than marathon pace on easy runs, and listening to stories of elites at the Runner’s World Festival weekend.
I’m not saying my training is where it needs to be, by any stretch. But it’s been something I’m reminding myself of again lately… that even those slow, easy runs have a purpose (as well as rest days) to allow full recovery so that we can run our best.
What’s in your training log? This is a great place to start tweaking if you’re not seeing the results in training that you want to see (assuming you run more than 3 days per week. You can also see improvement with 2-3 hard runs and easy cross training between like on the FIRST Training plan.)
Do you run a lot of runs at the same pace or do you have a wide range?
How often do you leave the watch at home?