Jeff, Ewan and I ran an aerobic time trial today on the track. Jeff and I both were expecting 7:00 pace or worse. We surprised ourselves.
2 mile warm-up to the track.
I won't be revisiting MAF training this year but will be capping my HR at 160 for the next month. I am going to base my HR on a percentage of my LT rather than my age. I'll use a similar protocol as the MAF method, only I will be bumping my HR. I'll still walk the hills until I don't need to walk the hills..
Mile 1- 6:34 (HR 142)
Mile 2- 6:30 (HR 154)
Mile 3- 6:40 (HR 158)
Mile 4- 6:45 (HR 159)
This went far better than I expected and looking back at previous years that I have taken a rest break, which was only back when I was racing Ironman, this test is far better than any of the others. I fully expected 7:00+ per mile. In 2 weeks I'll be at 6:00 pace for this same test..
pm) 6 miles with average HR 147. With 8 X 15"-20" fast strides. A lot of these were uphill. I felt so amazing on this run. Looking back at the last couple of months I don't recall a run where I felt this good. Fluid and smooth, high energy, very positive attitude.
I have been thinking about my race schedule for the next ~6 months and I am leaning towards not doing a marathon until the fall. I'm in no hurry to force out that sub 2:20 that I have stuck in me. My first goal is to break the FKT for Walker Ranch. GZ is responsible for this. Anytime someone tells you a FKT for a run route by your house...you're going to give it a go. FKT by the way- according to George- is "fastest known time"... but I will be changing that to a Luchoesque "fu*!ing killer time". Sorry for the language, I was a sailor for a lot of years. So the FKT on Walker Ranch is, unofficially, 54:00 (7:12 pace) and that will be my winter goal. Then I'll defend my 7th place finish at The Greatest X-country Race on the Planet. That's the name of it. I placed 7th at the end of a 120 mile run week and can probably do considerably better. Then the Bolder Boulder. And I'm going to win the citizens race. But I will say that I will only win it if no one else runs faster. That was brilliant, I know.. but one year a guy ran 29:XX and I won't do that. Last year the winner was 30:43 and I can do that. My next goal is to get back my 5k speed. In 1998 I ran 14:22 and in 1999 I ran 14:21 for the 5k. There's no reason I can't do that again. A few years ago while training for Ironman I ran 14:56. A solid 5k is on the schedule.
The thinking here is that I already have the ability to run a lot of miles, I've proven that. What I haven't proven is my ability to run fast in a marathon. I still think that my goal pace for the marathon is too close to my relative max speed. Paul Kindzia wrote about this recently in regards to his run split at Ironman. I think that Ironman is unique in that very good cycling fitness can allow an athlete to run their Ironman marathon relatively close to their open marathon time. But, we all need to be X% faster than our goal marathon pace. There are tons of calculators out there, Jack Daniels is my favorite. The McMillan calculator is excellent. These are calculators that let you run a 5k (or any race) then extrapolate other potential race times based on that fitness. Jack Daniels tells me (when I'm drinking it- that I'm a total bad ass) that in order to run a marathon in 2:19 I need to (or can) run a 10k in 30:16. This is relative speed to the marathon. The women marathoners blow this calculation away though.. not sure about that? I think women tend to be stronger than men over the long haul in relation to their max speed?
For the Ironman there is no calculator but a rule of thumb is 20:00. A 3:00 open marathon yields a 3:20 Ironman split. I happen to think that is bull shit. A 3:00 open marathon can yield a 3:10 Ironman split or even a 3:00 split simply based on the idea that a focused Ironman athlete never exploits their open marathon potential. So an Ironman athlete that runs an open 3:00 marathon may be able to run considerably faster in the open marathon, they won't know. It takes years to run a good marathon or a good Ironman.. one off season marathon (for a triathlete) doesn't tell you what you can run, so you can't really say what your relative speed is. I firmly believe that an Ironman athlete, that has been properly bike trained, can run within 10:00 of their marathon PR... that's IF they have not placed a real focus on a quality marathon. Where am I going with all this? Not sure.. I think I'm just rambling. But my 2 cents.. the real key to a fast Ironman marathon is superior bike fitness. Craig Alexander at Kona this year was in amazing bike shape! The guy with the fastest bike split that didn't win... wasn't. He just biked beyond his ability.
And a final random thought- my athlete John, who just raced extremely well at AZ, is off to spend the winter in the Bahamas on his boat. Sailing and living life.. he has his spot to Kona next year and told me "I'll call you when I'm sober". We can live life and still do well at our chosen endeavours. John has a great outlook and never compromises what makes him happy, which happens to be having a good time and still racing like a bad ass. John has it right.