Thursday, February 08, 2007

Last Big Wednesday

Adam and I have been running these upper aerobic runs of 20 odd km with 14 or so at upper aerobic pace. Last night, with only 11 days to the marathon we could be excused for doing something different. But this is the run that I think has been absolutely pivotal in the training stimulus I've received over the past four weeks. So if it ain't broke...but we did chop off some distance. With warm up and cool down we ran 17.5 km in 1 hour 20. My average heart rate was 136 (73%) and maximum 158 (85%).

******** Lap (1.9 km) paces (min/km) ***********
This: 4:18, 4:09, 4:01, 4:02, 4:02
2WA: 4:14, 4:15, 4:16, 4:16, 4:17, 4:17, 4:16, 4:12, 3:57*
3WA: 4:29, 4:24, 4:21, 4:20, 4:19, 4:14, 4:09, 4:05
4WA: 4:23, 4:21, 4:20, 4:20, 4:16, 4:14, 4:12, 4:12
(WA = weeks ago)

The incredible thing was that we were still quite comfortable at those low 4:00/km paces. We were still chatting at the end of lap 2, though it was getting harder. We knuckled down a bit for the next few. But the very instructive thing is my heart rate. Note above that my maximum for the whole run was only 158. Not so long ago, this pace would have been a lactic threshold run for me, that is, a heart rate of 160 to 165. Last night, even running up a slight incline at close to 4:00/km, it never got above 158. And most of the time it was down in the low 150s. Hard but comfortable territory.

The problem for the marathon though is that although my cardiovascular system has responded so well, I am not convinced that I have the leg endurance to maintain a particularly aggressive pace. So I can't get over-excited about these numbers. All I know is that gives me the confidence to really go out after a sub three hour marathon -- 4:15 pace should feel like stroll in the park. But only time will tell. I wish the marathon was this weekend!

And again, a tip of the hat to Adam. He is looking so strong. He ran a 35-km long run last Saturday at not much slower than 3-hour pace, and says he pulled up without any real leg soreness to speak of. I think he might be one out of the box and I am probably more excited for his chances of going sub 3 on debut than I am for my own race.


2P said...

4.15 pace - mate you will have to take a pin to stop yourself from falling asleep :-)

Big difference in confidence to your last marathon - great to see.

Clairie said...

Best of luck to Adam. Hope all goes well for him on his debut.

As for you mister...well I can only hope and pray that all goes well on the day.

I believe when you get to the 30km mark you will need to say "Here starts the race" up until then is just a training run, a long run at a comfortably even pace.

Then you need to dig deep.
You need to look back on all your training and runs like this at 4:02 pace and feel that, whilst it is hurting, you know you can do it.
You might want to think about your blog entry and how you have to write up what you were feeling and at what stages. What runners around you were doing. What nutritino was helping etc. Whatever it takes to keep your mind off the pain.

We know you can do the distance.
We know you can do the pace.
You just have to put it all together on the day.
Oh and dont forget to take the camera!!!! We MUST get shots of you before and after.

Now hows that carbo loading plan coming along? Got everything in order to start next week?

Ewen said...

As I was reading that, I was expecting the bit about 'leg endurance'.

Still, 4:15 pace should feel easy. I expect you'll have to be super careful not to be running 4s for the first few, given how you were feeling in that session.

Tesso said...

If confidence from the rest of us means anything you will have a super race.

With each post of yours I've been reading lately I get the hint you are stronger and faster ... and a little more confident. Its been interesting and quite exciting to follow your progress. I'm actually starting to feel nervous for you!

Scott said...

You two have good reason to feel confident of a good race and I reckon the atmosphere will be such that it will help you overcome the pain of the last 10K or so.

But as we all know the day can throw up anything you/we can't be thinking this is going to be a walk in the park. As they say the marathon deserves respect, Adam will know this at the end.

2P said...


Hope you have a great day mate ;-)

zihuatanejo said...


Tuggeranong Don said...

The numbers are impressive Stephen and are pointing to a good one on the day. I think Ewen makes a good point about restraint in the early stages but I am sure you will handle that as well. Looking forward to hearing your final preparations.

mika t. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mika t. said...

You sound you are being too conservative... I know 95% of the marathon result is determined before you start, but do not underestimate the rest of 5%. Conditioning, race planning and the determination make a huge difference to your marathon result.(Yes, actually I am talking to myself, too)

Go brave!