Friday, November 17, 2006

MP Run Prep

With Mike’s help, I’ve been pondering an appropriate target pace for my first marathon. No time like the present since I’ve got to run a 15 miler with 12 at MP this weekend. The Carlsbad Marathon is not exactly flat. It has one significant climb of 300’ over miles 7 and 8 as well as seven or eight 50’ climbs as the course climbs out of the many lagoons at sea level up to the bluffs above the beach. Therefore, I need to be a little conservative to ensure I don’t blow up after 15 miles.

Looking back over my 4 long runs in the last 3 weeks, it appears that my run-all-day pace is somewhere between 9:00/mi and 9:10/mi. When I run long runs faster than 9:00/mi, it takes several days to recovery. When I run slower than 9:10/mi, I don’t have any problems jumping right back into my routine. Further assuming that my easy pace is at least 10% slower than my MP, I figure that my MP for a flat course should be between 8:11/mi and 8:20/mi. Since this is my first marathon and I really don’t know what I’m doing and also considering the level of difficulty (heck they’re all difficult), I think a reasonable MP is 8:30/mi. If I go faster, so be it. If I get gassed, well, I'll just need to go slower next time. We'll see how it goes this weekend.

Today’s run wasn’t all that exciting. I’m taking a working vacation today (translations … I’m completing a couple of projects while slacking off at home) so I was able to delay my 6 miler until 10 AM. That means I actually got to run in the sun again (go me). After the first 1/2 mile the legs were feeling pretty good so I picked up the pace far earlier than usual. I was under 27 minutes as I passed the 3 mile point and under 35 minutes when I got to the 4 mile mark. At 5 miles my watch was right at 43 minutes so even my tiny brain could figure out that I was 2 minutes ahead of 9:00/mi pace, but I was still feeling good, so I just kept on moving on down the road and looped back to the finish at 6.2 miles. Average pace for 6.22 miles was 8:36/mi.

This was much faster than I wanted, but it will do. I never felt as if I was pushing myself to keep up the pace, so it still qualifies as an easy run in my book. We’ll see what happens this weekend when I need to jack up the pace even more and hold it for 12 miles.

If anyone has the time, please drop in on D and Dawn and wish them luck. Both are running the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend and I expect that they will both PR.

Finally … I went to my daughter’s first High School Varsity Soccer game yesterday. She started at center midfield (as a freshman) and I’m proud to say that she had more fouls called against her than anyone else. Nothing that would draw a card, she was just excited to be mixing it up with the older girls. Her team lost 2-3, but I enjoyed it none-the-less

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest
Tue – 6.2 miles, recovery, 9:12/mi avg pace
Wed – 14.9 miles, medium-long, 9:02/mi avg pace
Thr – 6.2 miles, recovery, 9:04/mi avg pace
Fri – 6.2 miles, easy, 8:34/mi avg pace

8 comments:

tb1 said...

Phil,
My two cents. Error on the side of being aggressive when choosing a marathon pace. You are much farther ahead (with regards to training) than I was when I completed my first marathon. You are completeing good quality training runs. And lastly it was somewhat disappointing to me that I didn't break 4 hours after completing my second marathon, even though my time improved. Because that means I had to ramp up to do another marathon if I want to achieve that goal. I didn't run fast in the marathon because I didn't train fast for the marathon. You are. Go for it. Good luck and above all enjoy it.

Love2Run said...

8:3x was easy, eh? That's a very good sign. The main goal of that 1st marathon should be to finish with time goals as secondary objectives. With your training and taper it certainly looks like 8:xx will be easy and fun too. My 1st marathon was the easiest because I went into it with alot of fear and respect for the distance. But it's all downhill after that! Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Since this is your first marathon, I would be conservative in the early part of the marathon. It should feel easy the first 10 miles. If you are feeling great, it is easy to pick up the pace in the last part of the race. But if you go out even the slightest bit too fast in the first half to 20 miles, you will pay in spades toward the end. But you're doing all the right things. Just keep it up.

Anne said...

Hill training's definitely in order, though compared to other parts of San Diego, it isn't bad at all. Palomar Airport Road is a bit bumpy, but definitely doable. The harder part is once the marathoners drift away from the halfers. Crowds and spectators thin; sun usually begins to blaze. But the marathon does something I find really cool: They bus your loved ones to different points on the course, just so you have someone and something to look forward to until you hit the beach again.

I just found out my neighbors down the street are running Carlsbad for their first marathon. Always nice to know there are others running into unchartered territory too. It's a great course and a marathon with "heart." If you're lucky, the weather will cooperate and the marine layer won't burn off until close to the finish.

Anonymous said...

Hey Phil! Good luck finding the right pace for the marathon! My browser keeps crashing everytime I try to get into blogger or post or make a comment. Hope this goes through. Going to work on fixing pc while on vacation. Thanks for watching out for me!

Great that your daughter is doing soccer!

Ewen said...

On a hilly course, it's hard to work out the ideal marathon pace. For me, on a normal course, it was about 15% slower than 10k race pace.

Maybe a little quicker than 8:30/mile average is possible? 51-52 minutes for each 10k?

Anonymous said...

8:30 seems like a good pace, Phil. The marathon is a very long race. If you're still feeling great at mile 20, you can always accelerate. It's better to start too slow than too fast, believe me (I've done both).

Darrell said...

Phil, thanks for stopping by. Sorry about the camera, but Jess has some great pics of the trail on her sight . www.twinpeakstrailmarthon.com

Good luck with the training for Carlsbad. It looks like you've still got some time to fine tune things. Your first will be memorable to matter the outcome.