5 miles speed work
2×1200 and 3×800 at 7:24 pace. Done.
A few days ago I posted about not running enough miles at goal marathon pace (GMP). Surprisingly, I have some more to say about that 🙂
Your GMP should be realistic based on current race times (not the half marathon you PR’d in 5 years ago). You want to sustain this pace over 26.2 miles so it should be a cakewalk. I say cakewalk because everything gets harder during the last 10K of a marathon. I’m not talking about hitting the wall, just the normal aches and pains that come along with running 26.2. You want your GMP to feel easy so that you are able to hit that pace later on in the race. It is so, so easy to let your pace slip during those last few miles.
If your GMP is too fast for your current fitness level, you’ll start too fast, deplete your glycogen stores (more on that here), and hit the wall hard around Mile 20 (if not sooner). At RRCA coaches training we learned that by going out too fast early on in the marathon you make up for it by running 2 to 3 min per mile slower during the last 10K. Ouch! That’s like beginning the race running a 9:00 pace and finishing with a 11:00 or 12:00 pace! Banking time for a marathon never works.
Once you figure out your GMP, you should incorporate GMP runs throughout your training plan. You can do tempo runs at GMP or add some GMP miles to your long runs. You should be on autopilot with your GMP – knowing how your stride feels, knowing how your breathing feels – so on race day you can just get into the groove and enjoy the race!