This week’s long run session was an exact replica of the previous week’s, 90 minutes easy followed by 45 minutes of marathon pace, finishing off with 15 minutes of easy cooldown pace.
Last week this session was the toughest I had done and I wasn’t looking forward to it again this week. I was underslept, a little dehydrated, and had spent the previous day mostly on my feet and had been eating at weird times. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to hit marathon pace when the time came to it, especially after the struggle I had had the previous week. But I laced up my trainers and zipped up my woman suit and went out and did it.
It felt good, surprisingly good. I was able to hit marathon pace without a problem and instead of getting ‘slow’ warnings for my pace I was getting ‘fast’ warnings instead. I held the pace (a little bit faster than target pace) without it feeling like a constant struggle unlike the previous week. I could see how I would be able to hold the pace for longer (but still not three and a half hours). When I dropped back down to the slower pace for cooldown, my body didn’t feel like it was falling apart. Hopefully this is a sign that all of the training is working, with 8 weeks to go now.
Looking at the data compared to the previous week I was able to go faster (and therefore further) in the easy section, but with a lower average heart rate; I went faster (and further) in the marathon pace section, again with a lower average heart rate; and went faster (and further) in the cooldown, also with a lower average heart rate. Part of it may be that I was mentally prepared for the effort, part of it may be that my body was more prepared for it having had a go the previous week. Either way, I’ll take it.