In our training program we build on our long run mileage for 3 weeks and then we fall back for 1 week in order to recover. After the recovery week we jump ahead again. Since it was a fall back week, we only did 7 miles today. And to be honest, it really did feel like an easy and enjoyable run. We did this same route a few weeks ago and I improved on the time it took me to complete it by about 2 minutes. That felt good, especially since it is uphill for 3.5 miles, then we turn around and run back down.
We have a new coach, Chuck, and while he was running by me for a little bit he posed the question about what my time goal was for the marathon. I am not quite sure I know how to answer that. There are days where I would scream the overly-optimistic “Boston Qualifying, yeah!”, and there are other days where I feel like I am still far too much of a newbie and have not even earned the right to have a time goal.
He said that I should think about it, then try training with that goal pace in mind. I should run my shorter runs during the week at goal pace and then slow it down by a minute or two for the long runs as I build on endurance. Then, before dropping back to check on others he casually mentioned that I was doing about an 8:30-9:00 minute mile pace.
So I guess I need to figure out what kind of pace I want to maintain and then figure out how to actually train at that pace. I’m thinking that I either need a Nike+ or I need to get the Speed+Distance foot pod that syncs with my Suunto HR watch. With either of those I would be able to have instant feedback on the pace.
The pros I can see for the Nike+ system is that it is pretty cheap and you get the whole online community. But I’ve also heard lots of people complain about calibration errors and I’m also curious if there is going to be something released to work with the iPhone, because my 1st generation iPod Nano has seen better days and I am starting to wonder just how much sweating it can handle. It’s already been through an entire marathon training and part of this training.
The pros for the foot pod are that it would send the data right to my watch and it would be on my wrist along with all the other info I’m collecting. But it doesn’t have the fun widgets, charts and forums, plus it costs more than the Nike system.
So many choices and decisions!