Monday, March 19, 2007

Magic Miles

The following exchange with Jeff Galloway about my work-outs last week at first left me discouraged. Upon further reflection and consideration, however, I actually found a couple of things to be encouraged about.

Hi Jeff,

Just finished my 12 K and Time Trial. I did the mile in 6:15. Had to run on Saturday because of social commitments on Sunday.

Friday, I did an easy 11 miles with surges on hills.

Thursday, easy 10 miles with some speed work.

Wednesday, very easy 10 K.

Tuesday, an easy 6 K.

My last long run.

Best regards, Vince Hemingson


Thanks for your detailed report. You came back very strong.

Actually, it's best not to run every day, when you are coming back from sickness, injury or other layoff. It would be best this week to just run every other day.

The day before long runs or speed-work should be a day off. I want you to go into these sessions with fresh legs.

Your magic mile predicts, currently, a 8:10 pace in a hard marathon. This is a good report, considering your down time. I'm sure that you can run faster than this with the training on the schedule.

The really long run is coming up. Please run it at 12 min/mi using a 2-1 ratio. This will give you all of the endurance while allowing for a quick recovery.

Have a good week, and a good long one!


And 8:10 pace! My God, my last two marathons I've run a 8:00 pace! And last year in my best Half Marathon, I ran a 7:10 pace! I'm freaking going backwards!

Of course it was rainy and windy and although I went hard, I didn't go all out. Given my heart rate data, I am pretty confident I could have shaved twenty of more seconds per mile out of my 6:15. I guess I didn'y really understand the exact nature of the "Magic Mile" as a barometer of my fitness level.

Out of curiosity, what time would my "Magic Mile" have to be in order to indicate a marathon pace of 7:35?

Best, Vince

The time would be 5:50.


A 5:50? I think this is within the realm of possibility. Plus, Jeff does say he thinks I am both stronger and can run faster than my time indicates...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A 12 min/mile pace on even a long run sounds rather slow. There always seems to me to be a pace that just feels right - and to go significantly faster or slower than that pace feels awkward and tiring.

7:55:00 PM  
Blogger Vince Hemingson said...

There are multitudes of training strategies for endurance runners, and everyone responds differently to different regimens, but it is ludicrous to suggest that you do all your runs at a pace that "Just feels right". And to not go "significantly faster or slower", because "that pace feels awkward or tiring" is utter nonsense.

Speed training, hill and strength training and building an aerobic base all have to be done at very different paces.

The only thing that you can guarantee by not going significantly faster than the so-called right pace is absolute mediocrity.

I have seen this in a dozen marathon clinics where runners do all their training pace at the same 75-80%.

They burn out by going to fast on the long slow distance runs, and they pussy out on the speed and hill work out.

End result? An incredibly predictable crash and burn in the last 10 K of the marathon race...

8:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't that a little harsg?

12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im in agreement with you vince. Unfortunately the running room doesnt promote common sense and people get caught up in the whole speed thing and before you know it all the bad habits catch on. I guess everyone has to wake up and remember its training not racing. If your out to beat the group wait til race day when they are spent and you run by for the glory. Its like the oil commercial. You can pay now or pay later. I would rather suck it up and pay now and forget the regrets later.

11:28:00 AM  

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