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It’s how high you are and the time it takes to heal

August 2, 2009

I just finished my third week of higher mileage and with less than three weeks until race day it’s time to slowly start bringing my volume down.  I really started to feel tired after my track session earlier in the week so on Thursday I decided to go lighter than usual in an attempt to get my legs back under me for Friday’s workout.

On Friday morning I was contemplating pushing back my workout to Saturday to feel a little better but in the end I decided to see if I was ready.   30 X 2 minutes hard with 1 minute jog in between was on schedule and I was going to run one 2 minuter and see how I felt.  Halfway into the first interval I thought that if I look down at my GPS and see 3:30/km then I’m going to call it.  Surprisingly I saw 3:07/km and knew that I was ready for the workout (for those with Garmins I run with ‘lap speed’, never ‘current speed’ as I find the latter unreliable).  The rest of the workout went well and I ended up with 60 minutes of running faster than race pace.

I’m learning quite a bit about marathon training each week.  This week in particular I learned how crappy I can feel at faster paces on the track and how tired my legs can feel with all this mileage.  One easier day allowed me to get my legs feeling better when I started to feel beat down.

I’ve been geeking out looking over results and time splits from the past few World Championships to see different pacing strategies.  Seems like a lot of guys go out too hard and fall off pace, often not finishing and saving it for another day.  For a top 10 finish you almost always have to go out with the lead group but there are numerous examples of top 20 and 30 finishes with more sensible pacing strategies.   There’s obviously an advantage when running with a pack but if that pack is too fast it can have more harmful effects in the end.  It will be very interesting to see how the race plays out in Berlin.

Some athletes are already at the training camp outside of Dortmund, Germany.  Looks like a nice place (couple pics below), I hope the area has some good running routes and that Trent and Destroyer have plotted them out by the time I get there.



  1. August 3, 2009 5:29 am

    Nice One Reid,

    hope you enjoy Germany!

    Please do the staff a favour and stay away from the local football club at your Training Base in Germany 😉



  2. Rob permalink
    August 3, 2009 10:16 am

    I’m on it Reid, I’ll have some sweet runs ready for when you get there. Glad to hear the training is rolling. Can’t wait to get out of Belgium! see ya in Germany.


  3. August 3, 2009 10:39 pm

    Well done with the w/o. Looking forward to seeing how you do in Germany, all the best with the remaining 3-weeks.

  4. Bruce Deacon permalink
    August 4, 2009 12:41 pm

    Your analysis is correct. If the day is warm than you will see massive attrition. A lot of the top guys pull the plug to save things for a fall race. However, if the race is not warm, then you will see significantly fewer DNFs.

    I would suggest that you decide what you think you can run based on fitness and weather and then hold the pace. You will come through the field quite quickly after 25k if you are patient and it is extremely motivating to be passing folk. Be prepared to race hard from 25k-40k. Way better to be the hunter than the hunted!


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