I think that my plan to restore a little moderate speed to my legs before the Honolulu Marathon is proceeding well. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I am incorporating some of the Run Less Run Faster elements to work toward a 4:15 marathon pace. Obviously, I will not run a 4:15 marathon in Honolulu, barring a miracle of some kind, because:
- Using some of the RLRF methods for a few weeks is not the same as following the whole plan for 16-18 weeks, or even 12 weeks, which I think is the minimum to realistically making it work.
- The heat and humidity of Hawaii is going to play a big part, especially as I am now getting accustomed to running weather of 40s and 50s, and expect it to get colder by December.
- I am not actually achieving the paces recommended for a 4:15 marathon...I am working towards them.
But as I also said a couple weeks ago, I am training for a faster marathon to try to avoid a further increase in slowness, and especially, the horror of a 5-hour plus time. (I honestly think that 5 hours is a perfectly respectable time, but I know I can do better. Some people would find 4 hours shockingly slow...I would be thrilled with that.)
Last week (as opposed to this week) my plan called for three tempo miles at 8:11-8:15 pace. I think I already wrote that I did them around 8:30. That tempo run turned out to be a good test run for the 5K I did on Sunday, though. I had great fears of not even breaking 30 minutes (again, the horror!), but I did manage to blow that basement goal out of the water and even break 27 minutes (about 26:45). Isn't it great that I had set my expectations so low that sub-27 made me almost happy? That was about an 8:30 pace. So there you go.
On Saturday, though, I did a long run of 12 miles in just under two hours--that's a 9:59 pace. I call that great success, as I had 10:14 as my goal pace for that run. (The original RLRF plan also called for that run to be 18 miles, but I am ramping up to the long distances still.)
This week my speed work was supposed to be 6 x 800 at 3:58 each. Thanks to laziness and the horribly dark mornings, I didn't get out early enough and I had to knock it down to 5 x 800 (half miles). I didn't really have time for even that many, but that was my compromise between getting it done and getting to work. Once again, didn't meet the set goal, but did do okay (in my estimation)...4:14, 4:15, 4:11, 4:07, and 4:02. It's tempting to think that the next one (had I done it) would have been under four minutes, and maybe it would, but that last one was done with an extra kick knowing that it was the last. I was exceedingly happy to even get that close to four minutes. Next time!
On Saturday I have another 5K. My goal is sub-26. I know that a minute improvement over a week is a lot, but my other 5Ks earlier this year were sub-25, so I'm not asking for anything that I'm not capable of. So we shall see....