Monday, June 06, 2011

Mental, Mental, chicken oriental...

I've been trying to train slow.  Specifically; to run slow.  And it's not easy.

My best ever IM marathon is 3:57 and it was achieved by rigorous discipline.  Started slow and kept the pace under wraps until the final 10k where I wound it up just a little.

On my run today (11.2 miles) I set out aiming to run at 8:50 pace which represents a marathon time of around 3:52... not so hot a a standalone but pretty good after swimming and cycling for over six hours.  I managed to do it at an average pace of 8:35 min/mile.  It made me remember just how important the mental discipline in an Ironman is... and how, as athletes, we overlook it.  Too often we train flat out with scant regard to the pacing required on the day.  When the day comes we are unable to regulate our power output in any meaningful way and our reserves are spent.  It's easy to recover from this after the swim, fairly tough during or after the bike but, when you're trying to run a marathon on zero reserves, if you start off too fast you're finished.  You have no chance.

So staying on top of my pace in the run is something I'll be turning my mind to for the next five weeks.

Good luck to all my friends doing their training runs at 7 minute miles.