Log for August 9 – Training for Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9th. Goal for the fall and winter marathon season is to break 3:15 for the first time.
- 8-Mile Tempo Run – My training program for Chicago this year includes 3 cycles of successively longer mid-week tempo runs. These start at 7-miles and increase one mile weekly to 11-miles. After 11, the cycle starts back over at 7-miles the following week. Each cycle is designed to be done at progressively faster pace, with the goal of doing each run of the third cycle at goal marathon pace. Living in the south in the summer can make pacing these runs extremely difficult. For example, my goal marathon pace is 7:26 min per mile, but what is the equivalent pacing if it is 85 degrees and 80% humidity?
None-the-less, today marked the beginning of the second cycle, so the plan was to start back over at 7-miles after finishing 11-miles last Tuesday. Most of the runs during the first cycle were done between 7:45 and 7:58 min per mile, so the goal during the second cycle is to go below 7:45 as I work my way toward 7:26 (with adjustment for heat & humidity as needed).
I ran today with Nathan and Paxton on an out and back route on Old Natchez and Temple Road in Franklin. This is an enjoyable route, though the first 3 miles are very hilly, and it can be very exposed on sunny days. Fortunately it was overcast for most of the run today with temps in the mid 70s. However, the humidity was ridiculous as usual this time of year. We started off the route with miles of 8:34 and 8:01 while we navigated the hilly section, but then dropped it down to 7:26 for mile three and 6:57 for mile four (too fast).
After taking a brief hydration stop at the end of temple road, we started back up with a more sensible fifth mile of 7:42. From there we progressively pushed it faster and faster with miles of 7:33, 7:26, and 6:59 to finish out at 8-miles. Our overall average pace was 7:35, which is right in line with the goal for the second cycle. While 8-miles is one more than I had scheduled, I got in one less than scheduled on Monday, so it all worked out.
My legs felt a little sluggish from the trail run on Monday afternoon, but overall I felt pretty good on a very hard run. I felt especially good on the hills, which has been the case for much of the spring and summer. I’m guessing this is related to adding trails and barefoot running to my program this year. Paxton and Nathan also looked very strong today, finishing a bit of a bigger kick than I was able to muster.