Let me preface this post by including this detail: Every single runner/triathlete that is part of the Without Limits group is super competitive. They work hard at practice and at every aspect of their life. It is a mixed group of school age children up to runners/athletes in their 60's. We cheer for each others' successes and commiserate when a race or practice does not go exactly as planned. It is sometimes very hard for any of us to not run faster than a prescribed pace. While it would seem helpful, the reverse can occur.
|Take it slow, it is not speed work at the track!|
Back to the subject of this post. How do you decide what your pace should be for weekend long runs? There are numerous opinions about this subject, and most will recommend your long runs to be an average of a minute slower than your goal pace for race day. During my recent Marine Corps Training, there were days when keeping that pace was difficult, and then the days where I ran my long run fast because it felt good. However, the studies that I have seen and read show that constantly trying to beat your recommended pace can cause you to not reach your goal due to fatigue from training. Sometimes it is hard for competitive people to back off on a day when the run feels fantastic and you just want to bust out a great time.
Here are some of my recommendations:
* Find a running buddy that has a similar long run pace and hold each other accountable and don't race each other!
* Take breaks during the long run to hydrate and take in fuel if needed
* Keep weather and high temperatures in mind, and adjust your pace if it is above 60 degrees
* Hydrate, sleep and eat well the night prior to your long runs
* Most of all remember that the appropriate speed will help get you to that PR goal that you have set!
What tips do you have for keeping your long run speed?