I cannot point to any race in the last year and say I got a PR. Lately, however I have begun to get PRs in workouts. As a coach, I would caution any runner about the idea of thinking about a workout PR. If someone TRIES to set a PR in a workout, than that athlete is likely to overdo the workout which would put the overall training program at peril. Too much effort in any one workout results in too much stress to the system and not enough left in the tank for the other workouts. For example, I could name several of my Hillview students over the years who would “win” every workout, but never win a race.
However, if you are running workouts within the confines of proper effort and the results show improvement, than that is indeed a good thing. In my post yesterday, I wrote about my best 20 mile or longer standard long run to date. I have had some “fast finish” long runs of 20 miles that were faster than yesterday, but that was the longest fastest run I have done while maintaining an easy run effort as judged by breathing patterns and effort. That run was 22 miles at an average 8:10 pace.
Today’s plan was to follow up that long run with 13 miles at marathon goal pace. I don’t typically start fast, so I planned to run a 2 mile warm up going into it. I started at 6:15 on the aqueduct at Ave S with Lance. We ran the first two miles together at a relaxed comfortable pace. Looking at the splits, you can see we were already picking things up in the 2nd mile. As we began mile 3 I sped up to marathon pace. I was shooting for 7:30. Lance sped up to his half marathon goal pace of 7:40 or so. As the next 3 miles went by I kept going faster than my 7:30 goal. The weather was ideal and the aqueduct course is perfectly flat. I kept checking my breathing and focused on staying relaxed.
I also focused on maintaining a good forward lead. Proper running form calls for the hips to stay a little ahead of the bodies center of mass. This way gravity actually pulls you forward. To get the feel for it stand near a stationary object and lean forward. Use your arms to support yourself and keep from falling. If you bend at the waist, though you are doing it wrong. Your lean comes from the ankles as your whole body leans a bit forward. As you run, gravity pulls you forward and down, but your legs move forward and keep you from falling.
At the end of the first 5 mile loop, Karl joined me. I paused for a gel and some water. Lance was only 100 or so meters behind me. Karl and I headed out for the next loop. I thought maybe as we talked that my pace would slow a bit, but it stayed consistently under my 7:30 goal. As we started the 3rd loop we let the pace get a little too fast and reeled it back in. At the last turn around a breeze had come up so we had to do the final 2.5 into a little bit of a headwind. Still we dug in and maintained our pace.
When it was done, the total for the 15 miles, including the easy 2 mile warm up, was under my marathon goal pace of 7;30. It was definitely a workout PR. I hope as I get into some races some race PRs will follow!
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