Slowkoala - I absolutely share your problem.
I'm in the whole process of trying to understand what my race pace actually is. I know full well that in the two races i've completed, I had more left in the tank at the end so I just have gone quicker. The question is, how quick? I have moments of self doubt during the race that i'm moving too quickly and that i'll either not finish the race or i'll be too burnt out to do the final couple of K in any sort of decent time. So as you say, if your training isn't at your race pace, how on earth do you ascertain what your race pace either is or should be (your target).
Perhaps this can be garnered to some extent by your heart rate readings? For example, if I run a "steady" training 10k in 48 minutes at an average bpm of 152 one week and then a month or too later it's down to 46 minutes at the same rate, is there a forumla to use to devise a new tagrte for your 10k race pace, given your previous personal best?
Well i did my second Parkrun at Bolton over the weekend. Shaved 6 seconds off my PB and moved to 19.24. Obviously my next challenge is to break 19 minutes but given how knackered I felt during the last k, I don't imagine it's going to happen anytime too soon. I'll be happy to keep shaving 5/6 seconds off here and there I think.
Kept my LSD to 12 miles on Sunday. I ran at a max HR of 143 and averaged 138. Minute miles were about 8.50. Getting used to the slow runs now but you can't help but think "I could be running this 30 minutes quicker and get more jobs done around the house!". Maybe that's just me.
I'm intrigued by the idea that just increasing volume (but not intensity) and consistently running higher mileage will cause my pace to drift upwards over a few months. The trouble is, because I'm reasonably new / recently returning to running, i'm slow enough as it is (I can jog around 10min miles for an hour). I'm kind of scared to strap on my HR monitor in case it shows me I'm at 90% for the hour, and to run at a leisurely 60-70% HR i'd need to walk, which doesn't sound like much fun. The effort seems sustainable for an hour, so can I simply use effort to moderate my training pace? Or am I undermining my training by doing this?
I'd be interested in knowing how strangely brown has progressed, if he has stuck to the advice, as i am just going from the transition of constantly beasting myself (having taken advice on the middle ground forum) to easing right down. Its an odd feeling 'plodding along' over 1 m/mile slower than your used and accept it will make you faster, but you have to bow down to the knowledge and calibre on here!
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