Well, yesterday was a *quality* workout. The plan was for a 9 mile 3/1 run. The 3/1 is a Higdon thing where you run the first 3/4 of the workout at LSD pace and the last 1/4 at race pace. Since it was Saturday, I was running with my club. Most of the group is starting a new marathon training cycle and their plan called for a 5 mile run. I ran with them for the first 2 and a half miles and was then off on my own.
This whole episode started me reflecting on how differently I approach my training now. I actually started with Cal Coast about a year ago. I understood the reason for training plans and had bought into the Cal Coast plan. But I still approached every training session as a race. I set goals based on beating my last training session. I recognize now that I probably never gave my body a chance to build and recover because I was too busy trying to beat my last run's statistics. I see it all over too - especially reading the Runners World forums. These days, I settle into my target pace or target heart range and go. I certainly feel much stronger and much less fatigued than I used to.
This reflection happened while I was running at the back of the pack of newbies yesterday. I was trying to not get down over the fact that all these people were running faster than me. Then I realized that I was still plugging along at a heart rate of about 70% of max. Hmm...
Bottom line for yesterday's run - 9 miles total, average heart rate during the first 6.75 miles - 80% MHR (goal 73% - 83% MHR), average pace over last 2.25 miles - 9:57 (goal 9:45 - 10:15). I am especially pleased on that pace because it included climbing the big hill back to CDM!