Mental strategy is an interesting beast in the quest to run slightly under four hours in October’s running of the P.E.I. marathon. Music is a major help and developing a running music list is an enjoyable and required task of marathon preparations, it seems. Another factor for me is not looking too far ahead on any run, regardless of distance. I am not sure about others, but thinking about running 20k, when you are 250 metres into the first km, is a recipe for a poor effort.
As a result, I usually break down the run, whatever it is, into manageable stages and also the time components into 5-minute blocks, all of which have 1/4 mini barriers 75 seconds apart. It seems like constant shifting – Checking where I am at in distance to where I sit in regard to time stages to how many songs until the halfway point! Reaching half is a major psychological boost in many a jaunt!
Currently, I am at a point on long runs, where I have 6 stages of 3k. There are rewards (water at every stage, food – chocolate gel – at every second stage). But I got to thinking – what else – about other things I do when out for Sunday’s LSR. It may be crazy, but I also I count the people I encounter to help pass the time.
Last week, for example, I met 23 other runners and 22 other walkers, a close battle. Also, I met six dogs (who were with the walkers, not loose without a lease) and five cyclists. I want to be mentally fit at the end of the marathon and not too wonky, so this exercise helps a bit in, for lack of better term, helping me not lose it. (Some might suggest this is an example in the fact I have lost it!)
Sunday’s long run was a bit laboured as I went 18k on a sunny morning. In the first half with a pace goal of 20 per cent higher than marathon pace, I was slightly faster than the anticipated 6:41 per Km – clocking (Approx 6:25-6:28 per km). That was too fast. I run past a golf course in the area and back. Temp was approx 17C, with sun and no wind. A glorious start to Father’s Day.
On the back half, the plan was to run at 6:09 per km or 10 per cent of marathon goal pace and I was all over the place in a 5:42-6:03 range. But the feel was not as positive as the week previously and I labored at points with hills and while I did not wear a heart rate monitor, it was a struggle. I attributed it to just one of those runs. Also could be due to a 4k run Saturday evening to help reach the weekly totals. Or the quicker pace.
Last week: 50 km, five outings, including 18k long run.
This week: (First week of Pfitzinger 18/55 plan) 53 km, four outings, 19k long run.
This week’s weight 187.5 lbs.