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Trying to hold a 6:50 pace on hills: Its doable.

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5ksandcabernets: Trying to hold a 6:50 pace on hills: Its doable.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Trying to hold a 6:50 pace on hills: Its doable.

Still plan on breaking down why I struggle in marathons with a later post, but figured today I'd take a detour and tell you about my plan to try and qualify for the New York City Marathon in November.

New York lets you qualify based on your half-marathon time. For me that means a 1:30 (6:52 pace). In 2009, I ran 1:31 at Austin's 3M Half Marathon and then 1:32 a few weeks later at the Austin Half Marathon.
So, I'm close.

On Mondays twice a month, a group of us from Gilbert's Gazelles run tempo/mgp up and down Exposition Boulevard, from Barton Springs to I-35 and back. This is a very hilly section of the course that is used for the Austin Marathon yearly. I like these runs because its the hardest part of the marathon and figure it will give me the confidence on race day.

We did about a 1.5-mile warmup, then six miles at a comfortably hard pace, followed by a 1.5-mile cooldown.

My paces for the comfortably hard portion:

7:29 - Just getting warmed up.
7:09 - I'm warm, but hating the hills.
6:54 - Feeling a groove, and halfway done.
6:51 - Staying on pace and my breathing is fine.
6:34 - Found myself chasing a guy in front of me. He wouldn't slow down. So I didn't.
6:15 - Might as well pass the guy.

Ok, things got a little competitive at the end, which they always do on these runs. My heart rate (yep, started wearing my heart rate monitor again) hovered between 86 and 88 percent of maximum for the first five miles of the run and then skied to about 90 percent for the last mile. That's just a little slower than my 5k pace, so I know I wont be running that fast at either the half marathon or the marathon.


Things felt really comfortable around the 6:50 m/mile pace range. My breathing was good and I could talk. My legs felt strong. So i hope to keep this pace for the Austin 3M Half Marathon in a few weeks, which would easily help me qualify for New York.

Again, I'm not at all surprised I could keep this pace. My aim, of course, is to be able to have this kind of energy when its time to run a marathon. And right now, I'm still working on my aim.


Anonymous Jess said...

3M is great. If there's a course to help you qualify for NY, that's it!

January 4, 2011 at 1:03 PM  

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