LTH's recent post on goals and a recent 10K has me rethinking my goal pace for a 10 miler I have coming up in April, but I'm in need of some more expert thoughts/advice/confirmation.
On Sunday I ran a 10K in 57:05, clearing a PR by about 2:30 and running at roughly a 9:11 pace -- far faster than I thought I could do for that distance. Looking at McMillan, that equates to approximately a 1 hour 35 minute 10 miler. Prior to this recent 10K, I was thinking of my 10-miler goal as simply breaking 1:40.
So what should my goal for the 10 miler be with 8 weeks to prepare? I'm tempted to try for a 1:32 10 miler (9:12 pace). Can that be done reasonably? Or is that increase asking too much?
And just as confirmation of how McMillan's "training paces" work, I assume those are suggested paces to meet your goal race pace? So if my schedule (currently using Higdon Intermediate) calls for a long run, I do 10:05 - 11:21, Tempo run between 9:04 and 9:18 and ___ x 800m at 4:00-4:10, correct?
AND one final question, the Higdon plan really only uses Runs, Tempo runs, and Speed work: for the first set of "Runs," I was thinking of doing the midweek runs as Steady State Runs (in McMillan terms) and weekend longer runs as "Long Runs." Does that make sense?
At this point, McMillan is saying that in theory, you could do a 1:35 10 miler, if you have the correct training for it. So you should stick with the paces he gives you for a 1:35 finish time. But nothing prevents you from staying in his fast end ranges. And in a few weeks, do a time trial again, either a 10k race once more, or even just a time trial while training. A very hard tempo. If your results have improved, then go for the 1:32. That's the way I understand McMillan.
I'm not familiar with Higdon, but the steady state pace makes sense to me. Maybe also a progression run? I'd have difficulty myself to do some of my training weeks without a bit of speedwork in them. But maybe that goes against Higdon's principles so early in his plan...
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
It depends on a lot of factors-- how fast you can improve, the conditions on each race day, and on your aerobic endurance.
With regards to aerobic endurance--If you are like most runners (I am in this category too), your performance isn't equivalent across all distances-- this is why most marathoners have trouble hitting what McMillan predicts for the half-marathon. Chances are if McMillan is predicting a 1:35, your current ability is probably closer to 1:38-1:40 (this is a guess, disregard if you run very high mileage or know you are extremely strong aerobically), and you stand a pretty good chance of increasing that to 1:35 over the next 8 weeks.
With regards to how fast you can improve-- Jack Daniels' VDOT calculator gives you a VDOT of 34.25 based on your 10K. (This also predicts a roughly 1:35 10-mile race) His guideline (from Daniels Running Formula) is that you can improve one 'value' every 4-6 weeks. (For you, this might not be true; I know it's not for me, but let's go with it) So in 8 weeks you could improve to 35.25-36.25, which would give you a time from about 1:30:30 - 1:32:30. I would add a couple minutes to that based on the fact that you're probably lacking a little bit of aerobic endurance, which still gets you in the 1:32-1:34 range.
Then you have to consider the course-- if your 10K was flat and your 10-mile is hilly, (or vise versa) these predictions go out the window somewhat. You may have to add or subtract a few minutes for hills, heat, wind or ground conditions (dirt? Gravel? Pavement? Icy?)
To sum up my way-too-long post: 1:32-1:35 is probably the range you're looking at, if the courses and conditions are similar. If I were you I would start out somewhere in that range and adjust for how you feel. You've got to make it to the 10K mark and still feel good enough to hang on for 4 more miles.
FRNY LGBT Pride Run-- 5 miles-- 06/29 | NYRR Club Team Championships-- 5 miles-- 08/03 | Grete's Great Gallop HM-- 10/06 | NYC Marathon-- 11/03
Sorry, forgot to reply to this:
As I understand it, these are the paces you should be running for your current fitness, not suggested paces to meet a goal pace. Some treat the range like a range, though; some treat it like a progression. So you could look at it like 'all my tempo runs for the next 8 weeks should be between 9:04 and 9:18 pace' or you can look at it like 'I should be getting my tempo pace down from about 9:18 to about 9:04 over the next 8 weeks'-- so your goal pace could progress, for example:
(I am not advocating either approach; obviously your pace will vary a bit based on how you're feeling, terrain, conditions, etc.)
I would not do that. Most of your runs should be easy/conversational. Steady state runs (to me) aren't conversational. It's OK to occasionally run one of your 'easy' runs as a steady state run if you are feeling good, but by and large they should be easy. I live by the mantra 'run your easy runs easy so you can run your hard runs hard'. It has served me pretty well. There is a good argument that once your aerobic engine is about as strong as it can be, you can work on hitting a wider variety of paces in your easy runs (so from easy pace to a more steady state type of pace) but I think you are probably not there yet.
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