Tom Albes ran the Chicago Marathon this last fall and is looking to compete in another marathon in the fall. You may remeber him from a few years back when he dominated the St. Louis High School XC scene while running for DeSmet. Here he talks about pacing work for his marathon training from last fall.
Workout: Half Marathon or Marathon Pacing Work
Type: Strength/Race Specific
For the longer distance races it’s important to practicing your pacing for the races. This workout is similar to Jason Holroyd‘s time-trial workout. But for the longer races more of these type of pacing workouts are required. Before you work your way up to 12-16 miles at race pace for marathon training you’ll want to do some shorter distances first (maybe a 6 or 8 mile workout early in training). You should have a few workouts set up throughout your training segment that get your mind and body used to running at your goal race pace. In my case, this was my marathon pace. This type of workout helps the body adjust to what that certain pace is supposed to feel like when you are feeling fresh or trying to finish a longer race on tired legs. The other aspect to this workout that I really like is how much it helps me mentally. Runners tend to lack confidence if they have a bad workout or two. This workout helps the mind know you are more than capable of running your goal race pace no matter the distance. For me, these workouts were more geared toward my most recent marathon training segment. I thoroughly enjoyed these workouts this fall (I guess that’s a bit of a hyperbole). I developed a love/hate relationship with this type of workout.
When is a good time to do this workout:
I tend to do a pace run at my goal pace every other week or so without going the full distance of the race I am training for. I don’t do it every week because I don’t want to burn my legs out by running too fast or too many times in a training segment. While marathon training at high mileage, you are always teetering on the edge of staying healthy or getting sick/injured and want to error on the side of caution. It is important to take care of your body.
Last time I ran this workout and how did it go:
I ran a 16 mile run at goal marathon pace about 4 weeks out from my goal race (Chicago Marathon). It was the first time I have ventured on a continuous workout of that mileage at the pace I was wanting to run. I was nervous heading into it because I was doing the majority of the workout by myself. My good friend Luke Persell joined me for about 3 miles. This definitely helped me break up the monotony and provided me with some much needed entertainment. I ran much stronger than I expected and received a huge confidence boost going into the marathon.
Why I like this workout:
The main reason I liked this workout was because it is a huge boost mentally knowing that I am able to run the pace I am wanting to race at before I even get my goal race. It proves to the mind and the body that we are more than capable of achieving the goals we set in front of us going into each training segment.
Favorite location for this workout:
I did the workout on Grant’s Trail, but the previous workouts similar to this one were done at an inner loop at Forest Park. I enjoyed Grant’s Trail because it is flat, but you have to cross some busy intersections which can throw a wrench into your plans. The inner loop at Forest Park doesn’t have any intersections that interrupt the flow of the workout. It is also fairly flat along with being located at one of my favorite parks in the country.