That is the effect the weather has. Just 19 degrees and breezy this morning. I was going to switch to the Maffetone upper aerobic heart rate (143 for me) as a limit to my intensity, but try to run longer distances of it. Classic aerobic endurance training. But I have been doing these Tuesday mornings based on the three laps of Komazawa Park, with the second two laps at 80% HRmax and then measure the third as a reference. Up until last week (24 degrees and humid) my pace at that heart rate hadn't been showing much improvement. But after the encouraging run on Sunday, I thought, bugger it, let's do this again and see what we get. And what did we get? Well, remember, up until last week that third lap had never got below 4:30 pace (except for the first one in early July, which was 4:28). And today, drum roll, please.....4:17!
Hmm, and with my injuries all feeling under control (today), and six weeks of building to go, a 3-hour marathon suddenly feels back on the cards. Let's just say I'm prepared to entertain the thought.
I'm still going to make a slight switch in training emphasis going for longer distances at the Maffetone pace. I guess I'll keep up the mile repeats every three weeks because a few of the Namban people seem to like them and we have created the expectation for them now. I will then just do a few lactate threshold runs in the last few weeks before the marathon. I think I'll keep the Tuesday session as the 80% of HRmax metric, and also bring in the Maffetone metric every few weeks (run 5 consecutive miles at a constant heart rate of 143 and record the time per lap -- starting tomorrow).