My mind is telling me one thing, but my body is telling me another. And from a "fitness" standpoint, it's good. I am running better than i expected. But here's the situation:
I am training to run a 10:30/mile marathon - which would actually be close to a 4 and a half hour marathon; which is over an hour faster than my first one. i will be happy to run 11 and a half minute miles which would put me closer to 5 hours. that's my primary goal - finish in 5 hours. my secondary goal would be to run 10:30's.
And to accomplish this goal i'm supposed to be running some of the training at marathon pace (10:30), some slower and some faster.
The problem i am facing, which i've posted before about is that i am finding it very difficult to run as slow as i need to at times. what should be a faster pace actually seems "comfortable" and the slower pace is feeling way too slow. The positive side is that is showing how i've "improved". but the down side is that it could lead to over training and leaving me with little come race day.
Today, the workout was 5 X 1 mile runs. 1. warmup 2. conversational pace 3. marathon pace 4. threshold (fast as you can for maximum heartrate-180's bpm for me) 5. cool down. well, conversational pace ended up being marathon pace and the threshhold mile i ran in approximately 8 minutes 10 seconds. then the cool down mile ended up being at marathon pace.
But my threshold mile i could have run faster. during my marathon training class we did a timed mile to reach threshold. i ran it in 7 minutes 50 seconds. and i was definitely at my limit. i thought i was going to pass out. yet today i had already run 3 miles and then ran my threshold mile just 15 seconds slower than in class... and i felt great. i was breathing heavy but I could have pushed myself faster to reach a true threshold. so cardiovascularly, i have greatly improved since last January.
so i think i'm going to keep training the way i am - running what feels comfortable. i will try to run slower when i need to but i'm going to follow what my body is telling me. and with the motivation of 40,000 runners and over a million spectators.... i may in fact pull off a 4 and a half hour marathon..... or better! but we'll see.
The sure fire marathon killer is starting out too fast and not having anything left to finish. this Saturday is the 16 mile run and then we still have the 20 mile run. those two runs will tell me a great deal about my pace and whether it can hold out for 26 miles.