Sunday, May 18, 2008

Learning to pace myself

I don't know what has gotten in to me, but I seem to be running fast lately. I always used to be a 6:00 (per KM) runner, even for 5K, and closer to 6:15 for long runs. But lately, 5:30 has become my new 'comfortable.' My husband recently asked "What happened to you?!" I can actually keep up with him these days. ;)

As detailed in my previous post, each run in my training calls for a specific pace window. I should be maintaining a pace of 5:47 to 6:06 for my "Regular" runs. Monday I ran 8K at 5:12 pace, Wednesday 5K at 5:23 pace, Friday 5K at 5:47 pace (reeeeaaaaally concentrating on the watch and keeping it slow) and this morning 12K at 5:28 pace. I stare at my watch and find my pace, but as soon as I look away from the watch for a minute or 2, I find myself back around the 5:30 mark.

I'm torn because I feel like I should try to stick to the program keep the pace closer to 5:45 (mainly to prevent injury and/or burn-out) but at the same time, I'm just listening to my body and running comfortably, so what's wrong with that?

I'll play it by ear for now while the weekly mileage is still <40K. Once my long runs get up there in distance (I'll be running 20K by the end of next month!), I'm sure I will naturally slow down.

Anyway, I've been feeling good lately. I can't remember the last time I had heavy legs and I usually finish my runs feeling as though I could easily keep going. My breathing is controlled, my heart rate feels comfortable. Life is good.

Tomorrow I am taking a much needed rest day. It's Victoria Day here in Canada (read: I don't have to work!) and I can't wait to do NOTHING. Friday night I walked around Wonderland for a few hours after work then went home and ran. Saturday I walked all over Niagara Falls for the day and today I ran 12K, walked around the zoo (in the rain!) for 4 hours and topped that off with softball practice. Relaxation, here I come.


Marci said...

Hi Marlene, I am a former WB'er that has read your blog for awhile (good read). Good luck with your first marathon and you are right when you say the distance will slow your pace. You are doing what comes naturally now, which is what is important, so don't worry if you are too fast.

Lily on the Road said...

When you get into the long distances the slower the better, less chance of it gives your body time to catch up on recovery days....

enjoy your long runs!

anners said...

This is a tough one...I'm a believer in training slow, racing fast (except for tempo runs and speed workouts); however, I know people who train fast and race even faster :P. If you're comfortable and your long runs don't burn you out for your next few workouts, you may not need to slow down. Who knows...we are all an experiment of one :)