I'm beginning to sound like a broken record here - but that just tells me that training is going well. Yesterday was a four mile easy run. Finished with a heart rate of 80% MHR at a pace of 9:19. This is the fastest that I've run this training distance. Maybe this heart rate training is starting to do some good? The best part of yesterday's run is that the only thing that was tired were my legs - but they were tired when I started!
Ever since reading Pfitzinger's book (Advanced Marathoning), I've been trying to use heart rate as my prime metric. Pfitzinger does a great job in his book discussing the importance of heart rate (actually heart rate reserve) as the key factor in gaining fitness and efficiency. This is the basis of the old "train slower to race faster" adage. I am often suprised at the number of runners who finish a workout with nothing left in the tank. I see it every weekend with my running club. For the first year I ran, I thought that I had to approach each training run like it was a race. I had no idea that by doing so I was leaving my race performance on the training trails. One thing for sure - once I started slowing down and staying within my targets, I saw my PRs drop - 3 minutes in the 10K, 6 minutes in the half marathon. Reading Pfitzinger's book really did a lot to help me start maturing as a runner. I would say that thanks to Pfitzinger and those whom I read religiously (both on the Runner's World Forums and here on the Blogger), I've made my way out of preschool and into kindergarten.
Finally, I'm going to need to shuffle my race schedule (and my training schedule) around a bit. I have to be in Grand Rapids MI on the 23rd, and to get there I'll need to leave pretty early Sunday the 22nd. This means that I can't run the Spirit Run. That's too bad, becuase it is a local run that benefits some of the schools my kids went to. Oh well. I guess I need to make a living to pay their college bills. I need to find anther 10K to run either the week before or the week after. I'll go on the search tonight!