It seems the Merrimac 10 miler is creeping up a bit faster than I was planning. I expected I would get in a few 2 hr plus long trails runs before the race. As it turns out, I haven't done that. That being said, I have had some very good training runs of over an hour. What I haven't had is LSD.
In the past, I didn't concetrate much on LSD and just ran most runs as tempo or speed related, so all runs were "like racing" and though my weekly mileage was relatively low, I ran some fairly fast times. This is when I accumulated most of my PRs right up to the half marathon distance.
It was when I ran the first Pineland 25k that I realized that there may be something to the LSD and perhaps I should spend more time training for time on my feet rather than speed. I had a darn good 10 mile race in me that day but spent the last 5 miles trying to convince myself to continue. Ironicly, that finishing time is still my PR for that distance.
People kept telling me that running longer equates to racing longer and faster. From what I can tell, running longer slower helps me run longer slower and shorter slower. I concentrated on LSD and didn't incorporate much speed work. My PRs in the last couple years have only been new distances.
So...this year I realized I need to change my approach. Instead of LSD, I am running faster paces and working up to longer distances at those paces. It seems like I am progressing slow but actually, I am feeling pretty good and definately am running faster and stronger.
What does this all mean right now? Well I am thinking that I will have a fairly good 6-8 mile race in me for the Merrimac 10 miler and will have to struggle a bit near the end........but that is Ok and as long as I know ahead of time, I can deal with it and use it as a step forward in my training.
Bradbury mountain side hills "semi race pace" 4.6 miles @55:49 (12:09 pace)
Road "semi race pace" 3.1 miles @ 24:49 (8:01 pace)
Road Tempo 2.5 miles @21:50 (8:44 pace)
easy 3 miles
Pineland "semi race pace" 7.5 miles @1:17:43 (10:22 pace)
cooldown .5 miles
easy 2.5 miles
Bradbury hills (mountain and east combo) 6.5 miles @1:12:27 (11:09 pace)