As the title indicates I did my first “marathon pace” run this morning. I think this is essentially the tempo run of marathon training, meaning you’re teaching your body how to hone in on your race pace. Can you tell I’ve been reading a little bit of Hansons Marathon Method? On a side note, I hope there is a marathon #2 and I hope to use the Hanson Method to get me to that starting line, because I am intrigued by what I have read so far. But for now we will focus on marathon #1 and the Runner’s World training plan I am currently following.
Today it called for 4 miles with 2 at marathon pace (MP). Sound simple enough, except that I really haven’t decided on a goal time (my goal is to finish) and I have no clue what pace I should run. So I started by consulting Mr. McMillan and his running calculator. But right away I found that I wasn’t sure what to plug in to the calculator. Should I use by half marathon PR? Should I average my worst half marathon with my best time and use that? I wasn’t sure, but I settled on using a time that I have finished a number of races in or around: 2:10. The calculator spit out 4:33:35, a 10:27/mile pace, as my predicted marathon time. I decided to round down to an even 4:30 and thus set my marathon pace at 10:17/mile.
Funny thing about 10:17 pace is that it’s slower than the pace I do most of my shorter, easy runs. So that probably means I’m running my easy runs too fast. It also means this version of a tempo run, with my middle miles being at MP, is not nearly as intimidating as the “traditional” tempo runs I have done, where they are more focused on speed.
So with all of that figured out, I headed out for my 4 miles with 2 @ MP. I did my first mile as a warm-up around the campground and watched the people who drag their beach stuff out at 6 AM to get their spot on the beach. No picture, sorry. But here’s one of the Pines area within the campground, looking in the direction of the ocean.
After my warm-up, I headed out onto the Kings Road path for my 2 miles at MP. The pace was comfortable, but I had a tough time. I stalked my Garmin the entire time and kept slowing down and speeding up accordingly. I would look at my watch and see 9:48 pace and slow down then look again and it would say 10:55 pace and then I’d speed back up. This faster/slower pattern went on the entire two miles. Good thing I have weeks to practice my race pace. Miles 2 and 3 ended up being 10:11 and 10:13, respectively. And to go along with my very first marathon pace run, I took my very first running selfie.
So in addition to learning to lock in on a 10:17 pace I also need to work on smiling like I’m actually happy to be running. At least I didn’t trip on anything.
Overall, I found this run pretty easy. I know that in the weeks to come these tempo runs will get longer and it will probably get more challenging. But I would also hope that a pace I intend to maintain for 26.2 miles would feel relatively easy for 2 miles. I don’t necessarily want to hold myself to a time goal for my first marathon, but I also need something to aim for in training. So for now I will forge onward with 10:17 burned into my brain. And since I’m at the beach, here’s a picture of the ocean when I got back from my run.
I guess I shouldn’t take pictures looking directly into the sun?
Am I on the right path figuring out my marathon goal and thus my marathon pace? For those of you who have run a marathon before, how did you decide what to aim for on your first marathon?
Do you ever take “selfies”?
Clearly I need practice.
When you’re on vacation do you like to sleep in or get up early?