New Idea for a Long Run

>> Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Many evenings, I "wind down" by watching random Facebook videos. Lately, I've been scrolling through Instagram reels as well. Lord knows what random things will pop up... and many from people I don't follow.

Maybe about 2 weeks ago, a "legitimate" runner shared a few long run ideas. I tend to do her first 2 ideas regularly ("fast finish" and "progression run"), her 4th idea was a version of a fartlek, and her 5th idea was a race simulation. But I grabbed a screenshot of her 3rd idea as something to try:



I was looking for an "easier" long run this week, so I thought I'd try that.

BTW, I wasn't following her at the time, but I am now. Check out those PRs:



I knew this was truly more of a MARATHON TRAINING long run, and not whatever sort of training I'm doing now (long runs of 10-11 miles each week). I don't have a marathon pace, so I figured I'd go around my race pace for a 10 to 13.1 mile race. The plan was to warm up 2 miles and then do 4x (1 mile faster, 1 mile easier).

I did my 4 "pace" miles at 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, and 9.8 mph. And I did my easier miles all at 7.5 mph. Here's a pic after my first 2 harder miles that were 6:19 and 6:15 (the peaks of the graph):



Here's a pic after my 3rd "pace" mile in 6:11:


Oh yeah, I was watching Leo in "The Revenant."

And here's a pic after my 4th "pace" mile that I actually extended to 1.5 miles (so notice that the far right peak stays higher for longer):


9:12 for 1.5 miles, or 6:08 pace.

After that final 1.5 mile "pace" effort, I was at mile 9.5. I cooled down over a mile to log 10.7 miles on Monday.

And sure enough, it felt easier, and it was my slowest long run all winter: 10.7 miles in 1:16:16 (7:08 pace). My previous 8 weeks saw long runs from 10.0 to 11.1 miles, and only the 11.1 miler took longer (50 seconds longer to go 0.4 miles farther). And in those previous 8 weeks my long runs averaged around the low 6:50s for overall pace (all under 7:00), as opposed to this run at 7:08 pace. So a nice easier effort for a long run.

In the future, I might just warm-up 1 mile and then do 5x alternating miles instead of just 4x. We'll see.

Oh, and I realized that I should cool it on "mile efforts" for a while. Last Friday's workout was 3x1 mile intervals, and then this workout was 1 mile efforts in a long run. I hadn't done any sory of mile efforts before this since like August or September. Oops. (But at least it's not an "injury" issue: like if I did something *unsually* speedy like 400s on the track on Friday, it'd be really dumb to come back and do a bunch of 60 second efforts during my long run.)

Thanks for the long run idea, Lauren!

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