Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MP intervals (6:40 pace); 8 miles total

There are VO2 max intervals and there are cruise intervals. Today I started MP (marathon pace) intervals. I know that sounds crazy. Most of the time when you are training for a marathon you will do a marathon pace run for a prolonged period of time, maybe 6-13 miles at marathon pace. I joined Clay and Dale this morning for their Tuesday morning interval run which was 4x1600m with 1 lap recovery at 6:40-6:50 pace, which is about their threshold pace. This happens to be my marathon pace and I didn’t want to run too hard today so I was the pace setter. I hadn’t run that hard in a month and did this workout as a test to see how the leg would respond. We ran the first mile in 6:53 then did our 1 lap recovery. I then decided to not stop after the next mile, continue at the same pace while they recovered, and then met up with them for the third mile. I was able to maintain pace and even caught my self at 6:20 pace for a while. We then recovered for another lap and then finished with a 6:25 mile together. Great job you guys!

So just as cruise intervals split up a long tempo run, I just split up a 4-5 mile marathon pace run. I would only recommend this if you are coming off an injury and are signed up for a marathon in the near future and need to test the leg at a faster speed. You don’t get the benefits of running near your lactic threshold (although I was close at times) and you don’t get the benefits of prolonged time at marathon pace (specificity of training), but you do get to test yourself to see if you are ready for these type of workouts.

So “MP intervals” is a new term coined by yours truly.

I heard from many people that struggled in the heat this past weekend. Then today I read this great article from runners’ world on marathon performance in the heat. They found that for every 10 degrees over 50 (what they consider the optimal temperature) you will slow on average 3%. So if the temps are in the 80s, go ahead and expect a slowing of 9%. Check out the article here.

I found another article based on Twin Cities Marathon runners which showed an even greater slowing for slower populations of runners. This is nothing mindblowing, (yeah when it is hot I slow down too) but interesting that some articles have quantified the effects of heat on a marathon time.

Speaking of the Twin Cities Marathon, we received our participant booklets yesterday in the mail. Two weeks ago I was worried about the TCM and really nervous about CIM, but today I am excited for TCM and hopeful for CIM.

I just checked the 10 day forecast for Minneapolis. It goes as far ahead as October 1st (marathon is Oct. 4th). The predicted low is 46, the predicted high is 65 (we’re good there), but there is a 60% chance of rain, hopefully not a downpour! I’ll be checking the weather daily.

“I ran and ran every day, and I acquired a sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never, give up, no matter what else happened.” --Wilma Rudolph, US track star

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Great post! Your posts are always very educational. I really appreciate all of the research required to obtain all of the information that you provide. With your education, experience, and love for the sport, you would be a great coach to anyone at any level!

I am so glad to hear that your leg responded well to this morning's test. Good job on your MP intervals!