While on a 4 mile run this past Sunday, I was thinking about an Evite I received for a friend’s 40th birthday party which read, “40 is the new 20!”. I was thinking of the correlation of age to pace. You see when I was 20, 7 minute pace was the easy pace. On days between workouts and races, we’d take off on a run, and 7 minute pace just seemed to be where we could stay comfortably forever! Now that I’m approaching 40, (I turn 37 next month, in case you were wondering) 7 minute pace ain’t so easy anymore! So, I’ve decided to tweak my “training” a bit. “Training” is in quotations because I’m not technically training since there really aren’t any workouts, long runs, or goal races. None the less, I’m making 8 minute pace my new 7 minute pace!
After finishing the aforementioned 4 mile run on Sunday, I was shot! Granted, I’ve only been back from injury for about 4 weeks AND that 4 mile run was my longest, I still felt a lot worse than expected. After going through every excuse in my mind, dehydration, 99% humidity, a run-in with a Copperhead, it wasn’t til I plugged my Nike GPS Sportwatch (available for $199 at all The Trak Shak locations) I realized I ran faster than I have been. The first mile was around 7:30 and the rest were all around 7:00 and under. As I thought back further to the training for Mercedes Half and Talladega, I realized all of my runs were close to 7:00 pace! With the lack of speed work and long runs, that’s pretty much race pace, and race pace all the time just ain’t good!
Here’s my training adjustment and what I’d recommend, especially for you guys trying to qualify for Boston or run a PR in the next local 5K. Throw some easy days in there!! Let’s say you’re training for Mercedes Half and your goal time is 2 hours, which is 9:16 pace. Pick two days a week when you’ll run 9:16 or faster and the rest at 10:00 pace or slower, including the long run.