Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Last Hard Tempo run, but not fast enough!

Maybe I'm just too tired now (220 miles in the last 30 days) to crank out a fast workout, or maybe I'm just improving at the rate of a 52 year old and not a 25 year old.  But whatever.  Today's prescribed workout from Hutch was:

Wednesday might be the hardest of all your workouts. Plan on getting in your medium run of 12-14 miles but this time include 7 miles of "step tempo", not the 6 miles shown on the schedule. Just like last week, after a 2 mile warmup, drop your pace down in even sequential steps every mile until you are running at your max for mile 4. Then bring it back down in the same incremental steps until you are back at a "normal" workout pace at mile 10. There will only be one more of these workouts next week so make these count

I should have asked what "max" means. I can a single 5:30 mile, or, I can run 6:00 miles as alternates on Vo2Max workouts, or, I can run 6:30 miles on flat ground and that may be my 10K pace.  My Half Marathon pace 2 weeks ago was 6:50, and that is what I aimed to run in the middle of this coastal run.  However, with no taper, and that hard 18 mile workout including running up a 700' hill (Mt. Soledad) last Saturday, and running 25 miles the last few days, I was tired today.

According to the Jack Daniels VDOT formula - I'm between 51 and 52 making my marathon goal between 3:04 and 3:07. My "average" running pace on flat ground should be 8:20 with a HR range of 116 - 141.  My threshold pace should be about 6:40 or so.  But that's not a pace that I believe I can do for 7 miles in the middle of a 14 mile run in the middle of a hard week.  That's called "tempo" and is slightly slower - or as Hutch called it "step tempo".  One article calls it "getting into a groove for 8 miles or so" - that sounds pretty good.  Sort of like your MP HR (mine is 155) - hard, but not too hard.

What's puzzling is how to gauge all of this during your hardest week of marathon training and about the most miles I've run in a week ever.

I planned out the run by assuming I'd do the first three miles easy/downhill from Del Mar Heights Road (4th street) in Del Mar north along the coast.  Then pick it up.  I suppose the plan would have been: 8:20 x 3, then:

3. 8:20
4. 7:50
5. 7:20
6. 6:50
7. 7:20
8. 7:50
9. 8:20

and the same back in.

Instead I did:

1. 7:50 (downhill to Powerhouse Park/Jakes)
2. 8:28 (flat part to north Del Mar)
3. 8:41 (uphill to Sierra Ave in Solana Beach, then back towards Fletcher Cove)
4. 7:30 (through Solana Beach - winding - then to the south Cardiff St. Beach)
5. 7:12 (to South part of Cardiff State Campground)
6. 7:18 (slight uphill to pretty view stretch south of swamiis)
7. 6:55 (Slightly more uphill to G street in Encinitas)
8. 7:26 (back to nice stretch)
9. 6:50 (down slightly to bridge south of cardiff st. Beach)
10. 7:47 (flat/slight uphill to dirk debonair's place in north solana Beach)
11. 8:48 (relaxing through Solana Beach)
12. 7:50 (back to bridge in Del Mar)
13. 7:55  (back to Jakes)
14. 8:40 (up the hill back to my car on 4th street)

the worst part of the run was after turning around at mile 7.  I was really tired and rather than keep it going, I took it easy.