Sunday, 18 March 2012

Quality over Quantity!

Since my last long run a week yesterday I have seen a breakthrough on my tempo speed with some decent runs during the week starting steadily but finishing at sub 6 min mile pace.   Thursdays track session of 1 mile hard (5.27), 6 x 600m (averaging about 1.55) and 1 mile hard (5.25) set me up nicely for the weekends efforts.  

The plan was Park Run Saturday as a first race of the year and then a long run on Sunday.   Having put in a decent effort on the track on the Thursday I opted for a change of plan and did a tempo Saturday.  A four mile warm up was followed by a 10 mile tempo effort completed in 58.04.   On paper this was a better long tempo than any I did in 2011 and made even more satisfying by the fact that it was a negative split (29.21 then 28.43) and it was off the back of some high mileage.   Even better is that it come just 1 week before I try and make amends for last years Thirsk 10 where the wheels came off big time!   57.58 at Thirsk is still down on Power of 10 as my pb.   My actual pb was in 1995 where I came 5th in the Llandudno 10 mile race in 52.26 but this was pre Power of 10 - I would love to get hold of the official results as I have misplaced them but I do remember the winner posting something like 48 minutes.   How the world of running has changed in 17 years.   There are a lot fewer 10 milers around now that is for sure (more the pity!) - also nobody had Garmins but managed to run using their head and their heart!
Today was a good opportunity to get a long run in and because of the end of the junior football season it meant a later start.  So an 8am start for my planned 23 miler this morning not the usual 6.30am start!   I was one of about 15 runners out at that time all looking like would be marathon runners doing their long Sunday run.   I opted for a pace that was slightly easier than previous long runs mainly due to the legs being tired from the weeks efforts.

23 miles completed with 5 mile splits of (34.16, 33.42, 33.27, 33.01) and the final three "marathon" miles in 6.36, 6.35 and 6.36.   I bumped into the great Paul Evans at the London Marathon Expo in 2000 and he gave me a bit of sound advice...the marathon is a race of two halves he said....The first half is 20 miles long the second half 10km.  As Paul was a 2.08 marathon runner I have always remembered that gem of advice - so for all those who have posted great 20 mile times in the past few weeks...well done but remember you are only halfway!

Paul Evans - one of the greats!

Happy long running!

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