Room for Improvement

Coming off an 11 minute PR six weeks after a marathon is quite an accomplishment, so I definitely don't want this to come off as it sounding like I think I failed. I'm simply analyzing my recent event and looking at areas where I can improve. Here we go, let's start with the numbers:

First Half (minutes per mile)
1 - 10:09
2 - 10:10
3 - 9:58
4 - 10:04
5 - 10:00
6 - 9:50
7 - 9:54
8 - 9:44
9 - 9:43
10 - 10:26
11 - 10:24
12 - 9:27
13 - 9:40
13.1 chip time 2:10:44

That's pretty. Yea, I said it. At this point I was clearly on pace. I can't complain at any of these miles. I'd like to average 10 min. miles a little more consistently, bringing the 10+ down and slowing a bit on the 9:30+. But with the average at the half-way point essentially on pace. I was extremely pleased with my consistency. Going out too fast is always a concern and I was happy that this wasn't the case. 13 more miles just like this right? Let's take a look at the second half:

Second Half (minutes per mile)
14 - 10:42
15 - 9:39
16 - 10:24
17 - 10:23
18 - 10:34
19 - 10:41
20 - 10:40
21 - 10:44
22 - 10:52
23 - 10:51
24 - 11:16
25 - 10:08
26 - 10:14
26.2 chip time 4:29:13

The second half is a disaster in terms of keeping on pace at 10 min miles and as you can see, my time slows after that 9:39 mile at 15. There wasn't anything in particular that I can recall happened at that point, but I could definitely tell I was slowing down. Perhaps a little bit of over-confidence crept in after that half-way point, but I think that would have resulted in FASTER miles and clearly that isn't the case. I feel like my training regimen was strong, but we can always look back and wish we had tried a little bit harder on a long run or squeezed in another mile here or there. I had plenty of sleep leading up to the race and my diet was solid. I really don't have a cause for this dramatic change in pace, but I do know that it needs to be corrected. Negative splits (second half faster than the first) is what we all should be striving for. Finishing strong and pushing yourself towards the finish line.

As far a silver lining in the second half, when I got to mile 24, I knew I had to pick it up and couldn't afford to clock any more 11+ or worse. I tried to stay focus and was able to pick it up by concentrating on just two miles. That is the one thing I was proud of: my selfishness. I wanted sub 4:30 and I knew I had two miles to get it. Increased the volume in the iPod, found a song I wanted and went and got it.

Moving forward, I will be working on increasing my flexibility with yoga, strengthening my core to help maintain running posture and an efficient stride in later miles. I also already started incorporating more speed work. This past Saturday I started with a 4 mile hill run, and a fast 8 mile run to close it out. I was running with a (very fast) friend the last five miles and he kept the pace leading the way to some 8 min miles. And after already running seven miles, it was a challenge to keep up. On top of this, I'll also begin incorporating cross training, most likely on a stationary bike. I sort of stopped hitting the stationary bike for no reason in particular and I think it is time I re-introduce myself. It always helps to mix up the training schedule a bit. I'll let you know how it goes. Here we come 4:20!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should be proud you set to break your PR and you DID IT! Now setting another goal of 4.20 i'm sure with your dedication, endurance, you will accomplish that one too! Way to go.