This week I returned to my regularly scheduled long run which was scheduled to be 14 miles with an interior goal of pushing towards goal pace for four miles late in the run.  After several workouts with wind in my face it (see Vortex) has been difficult to evaluate my progress, so what a relief to have a run like this.  Yeh, I know, a long run, 14 miles, doesn’t sound like relief in any sense of the word.  However, reviewing my stats at the end of run and evaluating how I felt has given me hope that my investment in my training program is starting to pay off.

I have been preaching patience this time around as I train; thinking of this as most athletes approach a season hoping to reach peak performance at the right time.  Peak too early and the season can fall apart before the playoffs, peak too late and you miss them altogether.  With each long run, I have been thinking about running at a comfortable pace and reaching the end of the run feeling fresh and ready for what the rest of the day brings (i.e. keeping up with an energetic three year old).  Recovery is just as important as a workout, so to push to the point of pain and significant fatigue is counter productive.  That is one reason it is important to run long runs at a slower pace; a tip that frustrated me in my first training plan.

With this run, I decided not to turn on the metronome to push me during my faster four miles and instead ran based on how I felt and I have to say that it was liberating.  I was able to lower my overall pace of a long run by twenty seconds (compared to other non-competitive runs of 12 miles or more).  Knowing that my pace is starting to dial in, knowing that my body and mind are working together is a great feeling.  I hope I have more workouts like this.

1/14/16 Workout Details:

14 miles

Time: 1:48:06

Pace: 7:43

Fastest Mile: 7:08 (mile 10)

Slowest Mile: 8:13 (mile 8)