Sunday, April 22, 2007

10-mile race as a training run

Sorry this is long...

I ran a 69:49 10 miler 3 weeks ago, which mcmillan tantalizingly calls equivalent to a 3:15:30 marathon (my BQ is 3:15:59). I'm doing a marathon in two weeks and I did a BQ pace experiment at a 10-mile race this morning. The plan was to run even 7:28 min/mi and see how I felt and what my heart rate was. I learned that 1) I'm a pretty bad test subject (didn't run even splits) and 2) it's unlikely I can run 7:28 for a marathon. The data is below. "asc/des" is ascent and descent in feet during the split; "hr" is average heart rate and the last column are my heart rate splits for my PR marathon. I did a 26-minute warmup @ 133 bpm.


pace: 7:26 min/mi, avg hr: 177. avg marathon hr at 10 miles: 169.

I was pretty encourage during the first mile (which is very downhill), but when I couldn't keep near 170 and make 7:30, I pretty much the result of the experiment. After the 7:45 split I tried to ease back down to the 7:28 pace I wanted to average and overshot some. Then I was right back on overall pace at 8 miles and tried to ease back to do two 7:30s, but ran a 7:51 9th mile?! At this point I was annoyed and tried to make sure I made up the lost 20 seconds, but overshot again and (in my annoyed state) ran the 6:42 last mile.

One thing that I found interesting is that I appear to have bounced back from the lower heart rates I saw at cherry blossom. I averaged 180bpm there. If I went for a PR today, I'm pretty sure I could have averaged 184bpm today like I did last august at annapolis. I felt completely fine the whole way, but I'm quite sure I couldn't have run back the other way and then 2/3 of the way back :) If I had paced myself a little better, I'd say there's a chance I could have run 20 at that pace.

Realistically, I don't think I have any shot at a BQ (damn you calculators for telling me I do!). The course I ran today is fast with a net downhill of 80 feet and temps were ~55deg with no wind, sunny and no shade. Conditions can't be any better on May 6th and from the course elevation map it looks like the marathon has some hills. The question I have now is what to shoot for. It's been awhile since I blew up at a marathon (closing 47-minute 5K last march!). Maybe I should foolishly try to hang with the 3:20 pacer for the first half. (By the way, I wish 14 day forecasts were real. Accuweather calls for low 48 and high 62 on May 6th.)

Followed the race with a 20-min warm down at 156 bpm average. My tweaked knee kept me from jogging the downhills during the warm down. I need to keep an eye on it.

Warmup was probably 9:30 pace and warmdown probably 10:00, so I'll say 14.8 total today.

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