Monday, July 13, 2015

How fast??!! Yikes!!!!

When I used Hal's training program, I didn't have a specific race pace, just a general idea of going a consistent speed. What speed that should be, I had no idea. Maybe flat 10s? I never trained them though.

When I switched to the Hansons program in August, every Wednesday run was to be done at race pace, so I definitely needed to know my target time. I somewhat arbitrarily picked 10:30. In Chicago, I maintained that for about 17 miles, then started getting slower. I trained 10:30s again for Cincinnati this spring, maintained it for about 18 miles, then slowed down for a few miles, before recovering my pace the last 4 miles.

Looking toward Chicago this fall, I wanted a faster race pace, but how much faster? If I trained 10:15s, would that be taking the easy route and not pushing myself? Would 10:00s be too fast? I had no idea.

I consulted the McMillan pace calculator, where a runner enters a recent finishing time, and it projects finishing times for everything from 1 mile to a full marathon. I entered my time from the Martian half, knowing that the longer my race, the more accurate the prediction.

By this logic, I should be training 9:32s. Yikes, that's fast!!!! Once I wrapped my head around that number, though, it stopped seeming impossible. Plenty of my (shorter) training runs have been at that pace, not even deliberately, but my legs have gotten the message. So the plan is to train 9:30s, and if experience predicts anything, I'll maintain that for 18 miles, then slow down a little. If I show up at race day and maintain 10:00s, I'll be happy with that, too.

What's interesting is that McMillan thinks I should be running faster for the 5k and 10k than I have managed at races. Granted, I could have pushed a little faster on my last 10k (55:28 PR), but I felt like I was dying and needed oxygen when I did the 3.14 Pi run in 26:08 haha

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