Ever since I was training for what I call my “breakthrough” marathon – Surf City 2009, I have included a series of Fast Finish Long runs in my training. Each time there was a build up of 16, then 18, then 20. The 16 miler included 10 easy, 4 at marathon goal pace and then the last two faster. The 18 miler also included 10 easy, but then 6 at goal pace and then 2 faster. The design of the 20 miler is 10 easy, 8 marathon pace and 2 faster.
Training for surf city 2009 I did that 20 miler all by myself on the aqueduct. Looking back on it I was not always able to hit my splits. My next marathon was OC 2009. My 20 miler this time was a whole bunch of loops around Lane Park one afternoon. Neil Small came out and ran the last 10 with me to help out. My splits were better this time though my race at OC was not so good. My 3rd marathon in 2009 was my next PR. A 3:59:48 effort at CIM. This time I had the brilliant idea of entering a half marathon to do my 20 miler. I could run a 6.9 mile warm up. Continue easy for 3 miles of the half marathon and then pick up to marathon goal pace. I went to Bakersfield and had a blast doing it!
In 2010 as I prepared for Boston I tried the half marathon/20 mile fast finish idea again. This time at Agoura’s Pacific Half Marathon. It went well, but with the hills you cannot easily translate the splits. This race/workout helped translate into my still standing marathon PR in Boston.
In 2011 I ran the Southern California Half Marathon in Irvine prior to Surf City. I remember being a little disappointed at not being able to finish as strong as I liked. The ensuing Surf City Marathon was also disappointing. I raced the Bakersfield Half – but did not do the 20 mile version leading to 2011 Los Angeles Marathon. This was better than Surf City but still off my best. Finally, I don’t see that I did the workout at all prior to the even more dissapointing 2011 Orange County Marathon.
So, tomorrow I will be at it again. I am returning to Agoura for the 20 mile fast finish half marathon at their Pacific Half Marathon. Wish me well!
Oh, today i ran 4 miles at Marie Kerr with the kids.