A couple of firsts today. First steady state run of this season and a new course (from where we ran steady states last season). As it was our first steady state the instruction from Steve was to run comfortably hard. Last year we ended up running our steady states on town lake trail instead of the roads and they were more progressive so the last couple of miles ended up being a little fast. I found the combination of lack of traction on the loose dirt on the trail and the faster paces difficult to handle as they quickly pointed out leg and foot strength issues. An example was the foot sprain training for CIM. I really liked the course today which included Windsor, Enfield and Lake Austin Blvd, it had rolling hills which kept the effort honest. Steve also asked us to run today by feel, and if we had to look at our geek-o-meters to just keep our effort slower than marathon goal pace (MGP). The reason for this is to allow our soft tissues to adjust to the change from running Easy during our base phase to the strains of faster paces.
I don’t really know what my goal time is. I’m hoping somewhere in the 2h 50min to 3h range for Boston. For Sacramento Portland my goal is to get to the Marathon injury free, that’s it. I’ve struggled with injury since the end of last year and just some consistent training will help me more than anything else. Today my steady state miles were mostly at a 6:50 pace with a couple of faster miles. The effort, except for the steeper uphills, didn’t feel too hard but as I would exert any more effort I could tell my form was changing. I used my form to control my effort and pace today. The two things I was using to guage when I was collapsing or changing my form were the loudness of my foot-strike and if my strike was changing from mid foot to more flat footed. I’ll keep this approach of good running form as the “control” for my pace for a few weeks with the hope that as I increase my effort and speed my legs are ready to handle the addition stress that comes with faster paces.