Slowing down has its reason and it works Some are over aggressive. I always did my long runs at Easy pace (as Daniels suggests) but would have plenty of fast finish workouts.
When I was racing 8 min/mi in the marathon - long runs started at 9:30 and finished at 9:00 on normal long runs or just under 8 on fast finish long runs.
Of course, this makes long runs easy - but the rest of the weekly mileage is there, and the speedwork will be done on speedwork days! If you are focusing on long runs as the cornerstone of your training, they should be done faster than easy (like seen in Pfizinger) but still quite a lot slower than marathon pace.
Take home message : It should feel easy - but not painfully slow. HOWEVER keep in mind that many runners go too fast when they should be going easy and they pay for it in their marathon RESULT. (Remember, heroic results mean more than heroic training!) Not that they won't finish, or even won't have a good time, but not what it could have been. Make sure you know the distinction in your mind! For me, an easy paced run refreshes me and does not tire even in the slightest.
Daniels suggest basing this on CURRENT race pace not goal pace. Run a 10k, find your VDOT, and get your training numbers - because GOAL pace could leave you training too slow if you are being conservative because you are lower mileage than optimal, or injured if you have an aggressive goal counting on increased fitness. Maybe food for thought in future. Worked for me anyway, in taking an hour forty-five off my marathon time - so far ;)
Edited by: FASTERMOMMY at: 2/23/2011 (14:27)
Boston Qualified Marathoner as of 2009!
Daniels Running Formula (Jack Daniels) ROCKS!