Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Better Late Than Never?

The Shamrock Half Marathon is just 11 days away - 10, really. I am in my taper after this past Sunday's last truly long mileage day. So is this when I should be screwing around with my basic pacing intervals? Well, I think so - not ideal, but I think it has to be done.

In all my long runs this year, I just got totally gassed in the second half. For example, if I had to go 10 miles, my last five miles would take at least 5-8 minutes longer than the first five miles. I am doing a mixture of running and walking, and as distance progresses, I tend to cheat more and more on the run interval of the long workouts. I'll trim it - often by a lot. My pace slows.

Last week with Lelia, I flipped the run and the walk, and then cut the run in half to accommodate what she is training for. So instead of doing what I had been doing, 2:30 run intervals and 1:15 walk intervals, Lelia and I did 2:00 walk and 0:30 run intervals. The running felt so easy. I mentioned to Lelia (who I still sometimes think of as my coach, since she was my walk coach the first two times that I did Team in Training) that maybe I should reduce my run intervals. It just seems that if I don't try something different, I am going to run out of energy and strength coming down the stretch in Shamrock.

The problem is, here I am in taper. It is very late to try such a major change and guess whether it will work or not. But tonight, I tried it. I ran with a 1:20 run interval, and I also shortened my walk interval to 1:00 for my four mile run/walk. So out of every two minutes and 20 seconds, I am running 1:20 of it. It felt pretty good. Every time it was time to run, I felt ready to run. It also felt good to walk more frequently just as I was getting a little out of breath. I felt like my pace picked up during my run portion. In fact, even though I did less running, my overall pace was better - a shade under 11 minutes per mile for the 4.2 miles, as opposed to about 11:20 a mile that it had been for the first five miles of my longer run intervals. I stuck to the new intervals religiously tonight and didn't "cheat."

So right now, I am going to try this with my remaining training, which is only four more runs, starting with tomorrow night's two miler. I'll evaluate how it is working out during the Shamrock. Ideally, I will feel strong for the second half of the race, and I can consider bumping up the run interval a bit for the last 3-4 miles. Yeah, it is a lot of experimenting with how I should do things so late in the training schedule - but if it works out, better late than never!

1 comment:

TNTcoach Ken said...

I always tell my folks that the excitement of the race will influence your intervals in the beginning. I say bump up that run....... You can do it water-boy!