Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stillwater Marathon

Ran the Stillwater Marathon last weekend and I couldn't have run it any smarted. Kept my pace slow, my heart rate low (Well, lower than my other long runs) and made sure to stop at all the water stops. Came in at a net time of 4:59:57 (how's that for a sub 5 hour marathon plan). The weather was perfect - 54 at start, low 60s at finish, overcast with slight sprinkle 4 hours into the run.

I'm truly onto something here. I looked back at my marathon times and this is the fastest marathon I've run in the past 5 years. As you know from my previous post, this wasn't supposed to be my fast marathon, that's in less than three weeks at Grandma's in Duluth. This was my last long training run before the marathon that I plan to pin my ears back and go.

This past week I've been crunching the heart rate numbers, the distances that I ran with those numbers, and the weather for each of the runs. I've also checked the speed workouts, the 400s, the 800s, see if I can glean anything of value of why this years training is going so good. If I'm successful at Grandma's, I'll share it all with you, but for now, here's the main insight that I've come across....

I've been running my long runs way too fast. Its shown up in my early long runs. In March and April, I took them very slow.... Like recovery run type of speed. I've never bought into running long runs that slow because you end up out there running all day. But if I am able to shave a minute a mile between two marathons run 20 days apart, you can bet I will be jumping on the slow long run train for future events.

My reluctance to run that slow has always been in Half Marathons and shorter distance race training. I've always found that if you can run 10 miles at 1.5 hours two-three weeks before, you surely can do it for 13.1 miles in under 2 hours.

But as I've said before the marathon is a different animal for distance training. This past 5 months has been a big leap in acquired knowledge in training for it, and I can't wait to test it out on June 18th.

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