Long Run Speed Fun

Sunday's run was a 13 miler in attempt to drop the mileage way back to give my body a little break. On Saturday I had the idea of making my long run a little more focused than usual. For most long runs, all I ever think about is my route, attire and fuel.

It's rare that I worry too much about pace before I start running. I mean, what if my body feels like hell that morning?

Well, this weekend I opted to do the following:

15 min warm up (9 min pace)
30 min marathon goal pace (8:20-8:30)
20 min tempo pace (attempting 7:45, but was closer to 8:00 most of the time)
32 min mgp (8:20-8:35)
10 min cool down

How did it go? For the most part, it went really well! It was nice to have a pace to aim for and maintain that steady pace.

I usually think I'm pretty aware of what pace I'm running at any time, but it's surprising how much that varies. At some parts of the run for example, 8:15 pace felt easy, while at other parts it felt really hard.

And tempo pace? Forget about it! It was a serious effort to hold 8 min pace and I noticed that after some time in each pace range, it became easier to go faster as the muscle fibers got warmed up(?). By the end of my tempo section, I was finally at 7:45 pace.

Oh and my warm ups and cool downs are never slow enough. I guess I just get too excited to start the run (or finish it). 

13.13 miles - 1:49:33 min

Thanks to dailymile, I realized today that March was my highest mileage month ever - 171 miles! I just picked up a new pair of my Brooks Adrenalines so I could have a fresh pair for race day. It's crazy how quickly I go through running shoes.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my first time at truly focusing on paces for a long run. Has anyone else made a workout out of your long runs?

Cute photo of the day: Jonah Bell passed out before I left for work one day


Amber said…
I haven't aimed for certain paces on my long runs since I was training for the sub-2 half last fall! With marathon training I've just been focusing on keeping it slow and easy so I don't get injured! Nice work on your run!
Leigh said…
I've only recently been focusing on my pace for my runs lately....the last three half marathons I trained for, I didn't do any speed training, but am this time. Hopefully it pays off!
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amber - Not getting injured is a huge accomplishment with marathon training! I know as I get into the higher mileage weeks I can tell that my body is walking that fine line between sore and sore hurt. Not planning on getting injured in these next 3 weeks though. :)

Leigh - I'm sure you'll see the payoff! Speed work is hard, but so worth it. I remember when I used to do speed work all alone. Ugh, THAT was brutal.
Nice work! When I trained for the half last year, I'd do pick ups during my long runs - I think for a mile? I can't remember now. I've sort of blocked it out! Ha. These days my long runs aren't very long (8 miles usually), because I am so pressed for time. I am going to try to bump them up to 10 miles and see how that works w/ the study schedule. I mean, it's only 20 more minutes of running, so I think I can make it work...
Sarah said…
That looks like an awesome tempo run! I can't even remember the last time I've done speed work. Gotta get back on that bandwagon...
Meggie said…
I love making a long run some sort of "workout" or just have different aims for different parts of it -- breaks up the boredom! It can even be something like meeting a friend for 5 miles in the middle and speeding up with them or something like that.

I can barely do tempo pace for two miles. For some reason the word "tempo" sends me into an orbit.
J said…
Awesome long paced run! Sometimes doing those types of runs is so great because it mixes it up and makes the run go by so much faster! I have also found that once I get going into a tempo run, my legs are able to go faster towards the end too because I am warmed up more.
Unknown said…
Nice run! It is funny how the pace varies in how it feels - especially depending on the terrain (for me).

You are doing so well! Great practice at MP :). I am just starting to try running my long runs as workouts in this cycle.

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