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 ;)
I tried it both ways. Last year, I ran some LSD runs with a friend who is much slower than me. We were running at a pace that was close to what the calculators said I *should* be running at and I really struggled to complete our runs. My friend was training for a different event, so after we went our separate ways, I started running my LSD runs faster and they became much easier. They were not so fast that I was racing, but fast enough that I felt comfortable.
This year, I ran my LSD runs faster and I felt better prepared for the marathon. In retrospect, I probably would have slowed down just a bit, but not to the level suggested by the pace calculators.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts" - Winston Churchill
Hal himself offers his advice on the matter: www.halhigdon.com/marathon/Mar00novi ce .htm . He correctly points out it's hard to figure out what your marathon pace will be because a novice hasn't run one before. So it's essentially running at a comfortable pace, whatever that may be.
The reason a lot of training plans have slower pacing is to ensure you don't "race" before the actual marathon. On your long runs, you can run the middle portion, or the last few miles, at marathon pace. Also check to see if you get negative splits on your long runs. If you're getting faster with each mile and you feel good at the end, that's a sign you're running at a conservative pace. If you're progressively slower, though, it generally indicates that you started too fast and you'll have to readjust your pacing.
I know what you mean about the long runs feeling like crawls, though. That's one thing I hate about LSD runs. Lots of tedium.
To the question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hoping are optimistic. -Albert Schweitzer
If it's important, do it everyday. - Dan John
Fitness Minutes: (6,174) Posts: 166 2/20/11 3:51 P
I'm going into Week 9 of Hal Higdon's novice marathon training. I've been using the calculators to figure out my estimated finish time and also what paces I should be training at.
When I'm running a long distance, I find that at a 10:30-11:00 mile I'm challenging myself but I also feel comfortable.
The calculators say to train at a 12:00-something pace for a longer run and I just can't go that slow. There was one 12-miler I did at a 11:25 pace, but I felt like I was crawling. I did 14 miles yesterday at a 10:31 pace and while I'm sore today, it was doable.
Let us run the race with endurance! (Hebrews 12:1) -------------------- Morton Pumpkin Festival 10K (9/18/2010) 1:03:51 Hot Chocolate 15K (11/6/2010) 1:36:45 Schaumburg Turkey Trot 5K (11/27/2010) 28:43 PR
Shamrock Shuffle (4/10/11) ILLNOIS MARATHON 4/30/11!! Race for the Cure 5K (5/7/11)
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.