In my efforts to train up for the St. George marathon I run increasing distances on the weekends. Slowly building up endurance, stamina and mental fortitude for the big day.
There are several camps on how to complete long runs while training for a marathon.
1. Figure out the pace you want to run the marathon at and then run increasing distances at that pace.
This system makes sense to me. It's straitforward and seems to promise knowing what your results are likely to be on the race day.
2. Run your long runs at a pace up to 2 minutes SLOWER than your projects race pace.
They claim this will prepare you for your race day with less chance of unjury. The thing is, I already know I can run 26.2 miles. I don't know if I can do it with an average pace of 8:26. So running a long run at 9-10 minutes per mile seems...un-useful?
This weekend I had my 18 mile run with Club Oly at OMG o'clock in the morning (6:30am). This time might not be to bad for some of you but I've never been described as a "morning person".
Plus, it was cold.
I don't like being cold.
The temperature wasn't so bad once I got running, but it's those minutes before you warm up that just suck.
I ran pretty strong up until the last 3ish miles, then mentally I started losing that "fortitude" I mentioned. It takes a couple of hours for me to run that distance and that wears on your brain after a while.
Plus, my butt hurt. And my feet hurt. And I wanted to do something else now.
but I just kept telling myself that I did this part of the course all the time and it was just around the corner and I could take these stupid shoes off!
That's the thing with running is that if you just relax and run, you'll get to the end before you know it...you know, or not.
Sometimes it still takes a really long time :)
I was pretty happy to find out that my average pace was 8:57 per mile which was just slightly faster than the "minute slower" I should have been doing. It made me feel good to know that for a training run I was so close to what I would be doing in the race and I didn't cramp up or die.
on an intersting side note- it turns out that my lips still turn blue after a long run. I have no idea why they do that, but think it might have something to do with my rediculously low blood pressure. I would follow up on it with my Dr. but since I know I'm not going to stop running if that's his suggestion it seems like a waste of time to ask.