|First 7 miles|
I'm definitely happy with this run. I would put my HR in the first 2-3 miles at ~130-135 as the effort was just ridiculously simple. Maybe 155-160 HR for the last few miles under 6:00 pace. One thing for sure is that running that long and steady on a flat course is NOT what my muscles are used to. There is a definite need for specific focus on running a flat race after doing so much vertical. On a rolling or hilly course you switch muscle activation very frequently, but on even just this 13 mile run I never switched my muscle activation, it was just the exact same muscles used in exactly the same manner over and over and I felt a lot of muscular break down. If I try to run a flat marathon this fall then I'll need to do a lot more long flat TT's. I think (and feel) that ~13-18 mile tempo runs are one of the most ideal marathon workouts and the marathon is not just about putting in the miles or even specific intensity focus, but the muscles need to be worked in a manner very specific to the race. If not then your hamstrings will weaken, or your calf muscles will weaken. Mile repeats just won't ever solve this issue and you will hardly ever see great marathoners doing shorter reps. Within the last 8 weeks they are useless and completely non-specific. Unless you plan on stopping every mile, this is common sense. I wouldn't have broken down at all if I had run that last half as 7 X 1 mile resting after each. But done as a progression I felt my muscles start to be reminded of what the marathon is about at it's very basic core... holding a strong effort for a long time. It's simple, until it gets hard.