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Marathon prep workout: Wall, meet Kevin. Kevin, meet wall.

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5ksandcabernets: Marathon prep workout: Wall, meet Kevin. Kevin, meet wall.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Marathon prep workout: Wall, meet Kevin. Kevin, meet wall.

Well, that hurt.

On my last post, I said Thursday's workout, which featured a 5-mile portion where we ran two minutes hard and two minutes easy, was the hardest of the summer.

Check that.

Saturday's workout - the second of four marathon prep workouts we've had this summer - was the toughest of the year. It broke me. I met the wall and it is unforgiving.

The workout was this: A two-mile warm up. Then 3 miles at marathon pace, followed by a half-mile cooldown, followed by 3 miles at half marathon pace, followed by a half-mile cooldown. We repeated this workout so that we ended up running marathon pace (MGP) for 9 miles and half marathon pace (HMGP) for 6 miles. We ended the workout with a 1 to 3 mile cool down. The total mileage for me was 20.5 miles.

The purpose of the workout, coach said, was to see if we could hang at marathon pace after three miles running 20 to 30 seconds faster during the half marathon portion of the workout. The half-mile cooldown was also a key component of the workout: not only did it give you a little rest, but it made you have to get back on pace after your body had shutdown during the rest.

Since I'm trying to run a 3:20 marathon, my goal marathon pace is 7:40 min/mile and my half marathon pace is 7:20 min/mile. I told myself, made a promise to myself that I wouldnt let myself go faster than 7:30 for marathon pace. Stupidly, however, I didn't have a real good plan for what my half-marathon pace should be. So, each of my half-marathon-pace miles were sub 7:05.

And, it turns out, I didn't keep my marathon-goal-pace promise either.

So, I was at pace or faster than pace on 15 of the 17 miles. The two miles where I failed were the last two miles. I hit the wall. Everything hurt. The only reason I kept going is because Mike was screaming at me, "Come on, don't punk out.. Do it for Noah .... You only got two miles to go. ... Come on don't you want this." I haven't felt pain like that since the end of a marathon. But I never walked and my pace didn't drop off too much - 8:00 min/mile instead of 7:40.

I could blame the heat (low 80s by the end of the workout). But I won't. I knew it was hot. But I ran faster than pace anyway and it finally got me in the end. Good thing this was just a workout. There is no way I'll do any of my miles during my goal marathon at half-marathon pace.

Here is the mile-by-mile break down

Mile 1 2 3 Avg
MGP ---- 7:30...7:31....7:38 ---- 7:33

HMGP -- 6:59...6:56....7:04 --- 6:59

MGP ---- 7:22...7:31....7:25 --- 7:26

HMGP -- 7:02...7:02.....7:00 --- 7:01

MGP ---- 7:35...8:02.....8:00 --- 7:52



Blogger Mike_Is_In_Austin said...

if you then average out all the MGP's they come out to 7:37 which is RIGHT where you want to be, and if you average the whoel thing out, I come up with 7:22.
Have you ever run 15 miles at 7:22pace? That's a sun 3:15pace for 15 miles baby!

great job!
next time, we'll be smarter about nailing the pace early on.

August 16, 2009 at 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Wow! I hope this counted as your long run for the week too. I've never been able to run goal pace 20-milers.

August 16, 2009 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger rodney said...

I can verify that 20 milers suck.

August 16, 2009 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger DawnB said...

now thats a work out nice job Kevin

August 16, 2009 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger untpawgal02 said...

congrats on getting through another toughie workout :)

August 17, 2009 at 4:52 AM  
Blogger lindsay said...

this club has some great workouts! another tough one in the books. wonder if you had held back a little more in the beginning if you'd have had a little extra in the tank to hold closer to your 7:40s? i always wonder about that though, as i am not so good at negative splits. still a great workout and practice for running hard when you are (very) tired. you're also not at your peak so it's ok to not have had a race day performance!

August 18, 2009 at 6:26 AM  
Blogger Just_because_today said...

Impressive splits though

August 18, 2009 at 8:35 AM  

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