Monday, January 5
11:55 am - 7.28 with Nate in 52:55
2:57 pm - another 6.2 in 41:46 solo
Tuesday, January 6
2:30 pm - out and back from Gordon down to rail trail south, just over Danvers line, turned around at 8 miles (16.11 in 1:53:38)
Wednesday, January 7
I read Nate Jenkins' blog entry about Marathon Specific Alternations and got inspired.
I usually don't do any kind of structured speed work on the roads - I'll be honest, I don't do structured speed work anywhere very often.
I've always assumed I'll have a harder time hitting goal paces on the roads than on the track. However, since I am usually racing on the roads, I probably ought to run some of my tempo/interval/speed work on the pavement.
The workout Nate described was a 20k session of 10k "on" at 5% faster than goal marathon pace and 10k "recovery" at 5-20% slower than goal marathon pace. Without re-writing his entire blog entry, I'll simply say that he recommended easing into this type of workout and gave a couple suggestions of how to do so. I opted for a slower (~20%) recovery pace, and set out with a mind to run 3:24/k "on" (5% faster than my goal 50k pace of 3:36/k) and 4:19/k "recovery" (20% slower than 3:36/k).
I was nervous about how I would respond to the relatively high volume of work, but began to see once I got started that the fast k's were essentially tempo pace or cruise intervals, except I was enjoying a longer recovery than normal. On the recovery k's, I really didn't feel like I was still in "workout" mode and I probably (in hindsight) could have recovered while running those a little harder. Then again, I was only four days removed from a 50k, so being a little gentle was probably a good move.
The first three "fast" k's were 3:21, 3:20 and 3:19, but it was the recovery k's that surprised me - I ran 3:52, 3:59 and 3:55 and it felt like a total walk, even though that is toward the faster end of my everyday training pace. I was still wondering at this point if I would be able to do all 10, so I tried to slow the recoveries a bit to make sure I was fresh for the fast k's. The rest of my recoveries (except for the last one, which was a 3:57) were between 4:02 and 4:09, and I managed to run under 3:20 for 6 of the remaining 7 fast k's. (Number 9 was 3:23, but number 8 was 3:13.) For the cool down, I ran 3k in 11:44, maintaining a pace faster than 4:00/k.
Averages for the workout:
10 "fast" k's - 3:18.9
10 "recovery" k's - 4:01
If I extrapolate from this data and I think I can, I ran 5% faster than 3:29.5/k and 15% slower than the same pace on the recoveries. 3:29.5/k is a mid-2:27 marathon, which I would love to be in shape to run. According to Nate's methods, I should be able to run a time close to that when I can run this workout with the recoveries closer to 3:40/k.
I'd love to take another shot at it in a few weeks. Thanks again to Nate for his thorough explanation of the why's and how's of marathon-specific alternations!