There's a little voice inside of my head that constantly says (when I'm running):
"You need to be running all of your training runs below 9 min/mile. Now pick up the pace."
The only exception is during the first half of my long runs. I shoot for a 9:10-9:25 pace for the first half and then sub-9 for the last half.
Why the arbitrary sub-9 min/mile stance? Not sure. Part of it is because I feel like I have been training long enough to where I should be able to do that. Another part is that my goal for the Heartbreak Ridge Half (8 weeks from Saturday) is a 1:43. That's a sub-8 minute mile pace. If I can't hold sub-9 during training runs, how can I expect to do this?
I do have a coach, and I'll likely ask him about this when he gets back from his vacation (fabulous 13-day European cruise). I feel like I already know what he's going to say. I've asked him about hydration, fueling and LSD for long runs and he gave me a simple, straightforward explanation for each. Then he closed with:
"Hope that helps. Entire chapters have been written about this topic."
I love it. He helps this overthinker stop overthinking.
My bet is that he's going to tell me to run by how I *feel*. If I *feel* like doing a sub-9, go for it. If I want to do a 10 min/mile, that's cool too. One of his basic rules is that one should alternate hard days with easy days. No two hard days in a row. Another one of his tenets is below (Bahaha! You have to keep reading if you want to know. PFFFFFFT!!!)
Today's run was an easy run for me. After completing 6 miles of interval training yesterday, I headed out this morning with my primary running partner and another runner and decided to just go ahead and follow their lead. It felt good, but as I looked down at my Garmin (when it finally got light enough outside), I felt really guilty seeing a 10:07 for my pace.
"Don't think about it. Just go with it. Your body needs this relaxed pace. You've been achy lately. Maybe you need to slow down. This feels good."
At 2.5 miles, I turned around and headed back home while the girls continued on. Mike wanted to be able to go to his masters swim practice, and I only needed to do 5 miles. Time to head back.
I could have really stressed and picked up the pace to sub-9, but I decided not to. I'm gonna take it easy today.
Positives to take away from the run:
1) I ran by how my body *felt*. How can that be a bad thing?
2) I did what my coach encourages me to do: finish the last half of the run stronger than the first half.
3) If nothing else, I still ran this slightly faster than what the McMillan Running Calculator says I should do for a "recovery jog" based on my goal race pace. Today, I felt like I really needed a recovery jog. Tomorrow is my weekly hilly 8-miler (or at least as hilly as you can get in Yuma).
Mcmillan Running Calculation for my 1:43 Half Marathon Goal:
|Recovery Jogs||9:48 to 10:18||6:05 to 6:24|
|Long Runs||8:48 to 9:48||5:28 to 6:05|
|Easy Runs||8:48 to 9:18||5:28 to 5:47|
Do you have that inner voice that tells you to "pick it up" even when you know you should be going slower?
Do you incorporate "recovery jogs" after a hard day?