Starting to dial in the race plan for CIM

Today was a marathon goal pace run. I’ve been varying my effort between a 2:55 and 3:00 hour marathon finish. That’s an average pace of between 6:41 and 6:53. I’m definitely not in 2:55 shape and I know it, I’m probably closer to the 3:00 hour range but have been doing some workouts at 2:55 to try and condition my body but then run CIM to get the sub 3 hour marathon monkey off my back.

Our run today was a total of 23 miles with a 4 mile warm-up and a 4 mile cool down. The 15 miles in between were at marathon goal pace. Three 5 mile loops with a 2 to 3 minute break in between each loop, which really made the loops a little harder since the legs felt heavier after stopping. My goal today was to run the first set at a 3:00 based pace or 6:53, then at 6:47 and then around 6:45 or so. The actual sets of 5 went a little differently.

5 Miles  Pace
34:43    6:57
33:56    6:47
33:21    6:40

I was off on the first 5 miles but don’t feel bad about it. I don’t run with a Garmin and the first few miles were marked a little short so I ended up thinking I was running too fast and backed off when I really shouldn’t have. I adjusted that for the next sets and knew the first few marked miles would be fast and it was the total time I needed to hit.

The worst part of the run had to be the cool down. After standing around for 10 minutes after finishing the third set my legs felt like lead weights. I managed to keep the side stitch at bay, didn’t ever even get to a point where I had to really adjust anything. I don’t think I’ve gotten rid of it completely so still need to get it checked out but it’s been somewhat at bay for the last couple of weeks which has made workouts much better.

Looking out 6 weeks to CIM it’s time to start visualizing the race for me. I’m thinking through a couple of race plan options. I want to break three hours and that’s the A goal. Now it’s down to the best way to do it. My current thought to break 3 hours is to run around a 6:50 pace (2:59:00 marathon) for the first 20 miles, then see how I feel and decide if I want to pick it up to a 6:45 ish pace gradually or not. If I were being more aggressive I’d go out to average a 6:47 pace or a 2:57:43 pace which is where I think my perfect race day would put me at my current fitness level. It’s funny how a minute here or there on the overall marathon is such a big deal, guess that’s what running at your limits does.

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