Monday I sent Coach an email with all MY ideas about how I want to train this time around and in her response email she included this bit:
I think one of the things that will help with the long run this time around is really focusing on keeping your paces easier during the week. I mean on both workouts and easy runs. I have a vague memory of telling you to try and run your easy days a little faster back a training cycle or two ago, and I think that may have been a mistake. Typically, everyone runs their easy days too fast (me included), and that naturally takes a toll of the long run. I'm not totally over-the-top about charts and calculators, but a lot of plans and online coaching (including Hansons) have easy run paces WAY easier than what we often do. Hansons suggest that someone targeting a 3:40 marathon should run 9:30 to 10:10 on easy days. Workout paces fall in line with what you've been doing, but I've wondered if you've just run out of gas by the time the long run rolls around.
Anyway, something to think about in this next training cycle. There may be times when you have to force yourself to slow down on easy and recovery days. I also think that this time around, there should be more workouts/miles at that 8:24 pace, perhaps fewer intervals.
My first response after reading this...
I thought about it for a minute after I read it and my ego was all like... W.T.F? Just seeing the pace 10:10 written was enough to send me a little over the edge. Like, 10:10? Seriously? I was running 10:10s on my easy runs 5 years ago! (Nevermind the fact that I was basically running the same pace for every distance those days).
I sent a reply email back pleading my case to negotiate a "faster" easy pace:
1. REDACTED NAME runs double the mileage I do.
2. If left to my own devices I am a slow ass bitch. And I fear too many miles at 10:00 pace will make that my default pace.
3. I don't have any sort of racing background, and I feel like I need to toughen up mentally.
The irony is that I probably run 9:30-10:10 pace a LOT. I just don't wear a watch much anymore on easy runs and I generally make up my time based on what the effort felt like.
I sent the email off and felt good about it. That night, I ran with The KoB and talked to him about it. He OF COURSE sided with coach. And the next morning I woke up and I kinda realized that I had just had a knee-jerk reaction to seeing the pace 10:10 in writing. In reality... why should I care what my easy pace is? As Coach pointed out in a followup email, my total easy mileage for the week isn't that high.
And now, I think it's funny how my ego translated her original email to me about my easy pace WRONG.
Instead of reading... "hey, you should probably make sure to run your easy runs easy this training cycle. I think that will help you on your long runs." I read... "hey, asshat, you're slow, so you should be running slow." At the end of the day, I want to run a 3:39:59 at The Flying Pig in May. Whatever it takes to get me there, is what I'll do. (and by March/April, I'll probably be GLAD to run as slow as I possibly can).
Do you think much about your easy paces? How much difference is between your goal/PR marathon pace and your easy run pace? Let's Discuss.