Here are the splits (max HR is the last column) from my long progression run today. The 2nd and 3rd mile had HR glitches (I swear!). I wanted a strong effort for the first ~15 with my HR between 140-150. Then I wanted to push and run by PE only for the last 5 (on the most moderately hilly stretch of road I could find) with a loose goal of getting under 6:00 pace... but the hills kicked my ass by mile 20 and I eased up. All of this was between 8200 and 8800 feet elevation. 20 miles/ average pace 7:03/ avg HR 145.
Over-all this was not a hard run but I definitely felt mentally weak at mile 19 and eased up. Which is a huge problem for me, always has been. I don't have the toughness to gut it out when it gets difficult. It's frustrating but I see it and I think these runs will help me to solve the problem.
I've sort of been trying to come up with a altitude conversion for my goal marathon pace at Chicago. It's quite tough because most of the research done is on athletes that come from sea level and race at moderate altitude. Or athletes that do a short training camp at altitude then race at sea level. I've looked at Ryan Halls workouts VS his marathon times. It gets sticky trying to decipher all this. One thing I know is that PE (not pace) will be a huge focus. Not HR necessarily. There is also a HR discrepancy between altitude and sea level. The test on the track will help, but the low altitude tests will still be at 5300ft altitude. I know the longer I am here the less I am affected by the altitude, so if I do convert I am going to be conservative. Maybe something like 15" per mile slower at 8200ft? I think it's useless to really try to convert paces until I have raced a few marathons or half marathons after my training up here.
A loose strategy for me will be to try to do longer intervals at goal pace to make sure my legs can handle the stress. Maybe something like 5-6 X 2 miles?
The hills up here are ridiculous- literally not a flat quarter. So getting down to Boulder for the longer marathon pace runs will help.
Start paying attention to marathon perceived exertion? Right now it feels like ~5:45-ish. But then I hit a big climb and that goes to crap! Do more on the track in Nederland..