Monday, January 19, 2009

All signs point to "Sub-3" -- 4 weeks to Austin

I now have another indicator of my running fitness that bodes well for achieving my goal to run a sub-three hour marathon in Austin.

Yesterday, I nailed a simulated half marathon on my treadmill at 1:24:25. If this were a real race, this would be nearly a 5-minute PR! My total mileage for the workout was 18 miles.

OK, I realize it's not a real race. After all, I'm on a treadmill. The incline is set at 0.5%. I have access to fluids right at my side and don't have to weave to find a lane or the water station. The temperature is perfect with a fan blowing on me. I get to watch playoff football on the TV in front of me. Not exactly what you find at your local 1/2 mary.

The way I do a simulated race workout is as follows:

  • Warm-up with a recovery mile (usually 8:30-8:50 pace range).
  • Kick it in to race pace after the warm-up mile. Track splits with wrist watch.
  • Gradually increase pace toward the end of the run and finish very strong.
  • After the race mileage, ratchet the pace back down to recovery pace.
  • Gradually work back up to easy run pace (anywhere from 7:40-8:00) to finish out the targeted mileage.
When it's wintertime in Chicago and there are no races for months, I have found that these simulated races are excellent confidence boosters and a great way to prepare my body for the rigor of a competitive race.

I had a detailed pace plan written up with me on the treadmill targeted to a 1:24:50. I was amazed when I cranked up the pace to 5:26 for my final 0.1 miles. My 13th mile was a 6:05.

A 1:24:25 half marathon on the McMillan predictor table puts me at an astounding 2:58:02 for the marathon.

For the second week in a row, I did all of my mileage on my treadmill. That's 132 miles in two weeks all indoors.

I realize now that I need to get outside for at least some of the miles for this week's workouts. I need to feel the pounding of the pavement.

The forthcoming week plan is for 68 miles with a 20-miler next Sunday. Then I cruise into the taper period.


Andrew said...

Excellent workout. Let that recovery and taper work its magic now.

Darrell said...

Congrats on getting the T-mill back. And even more so on your discipline to get all those miles and workouts done inside.

You gotta love what that 1:25 predicts.