Running too fast

Marathon training went down the the tubes five weeks before the big day.

I’ve been struggling with my long runs, but a week ago, the shit hit the fan. I set out to run 18 miles and made it a little longer than 7 miles before I fell to pieces. My legs just hurt. The discomfort was a kind of deep ache, and I felt like I had run more than twice as far as I did. I cried and felt awful, and I’ve felt awful in the week since.

My first thought was overtraining, at least, not getting enough rest for the training I was doing. That’s a reasonable thought because I have a stressful job and I often have trouble sleeping.

So I took an easy week. I took a few days off, and ran easy and slow for a few more days.

And today, I realized where else I went wrong: I’ve been running too fast.

Ten years ago, my normal easy run pace was 10 minutes a mile. Overtime, I started running 9 minutes per mile. Now, I’ve seen on the few times I’ve used my GPS watch on easy runs, I noticed I’m running 8:30 per mile. That’s my goal marathon pace.

You can’t run the same pace for most of your runs. You can’t run too fast. Rookie mistake.

I set out at what felt like an easy pace, but because I’m stronger and more fit, that pace is faster.

Now I’ve got about two weeks to salvage whatever is left of my training segment. I’ll be running much slower on easy runs these next four weeks!

For my next marathon, I’m thinking about a longer cycle, perhaps eight or ten days. There are so many options.

As I tweeted recently, this marathon training is hard.

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