I've followed this from afar. We'll done, keep it going.
You've done park run in sub 20 so I would suggest you're more than capable of starting at 4 miles and aiming for 6.52 average. Tag on an extra mile up to 7 say every 3rd week. That plus everything else you're doing should make a big difference.
You can certainly do the 4, 5 or 6 x 1 mile repeats, or 3 x 2 etc etc, I just personally find the continuous run harder but more rewarding.
Id warm up and down with at least a mile either side and certainly a few 100 m stride outs to get the body ready to work hard.
I've been reading posts for a long time and have started to comment a bit more often recently. Cougie is always consistent on his point about racing your LSR and then being knackered on race day and I fully agree. Seen it first hand myself only just recently.
For a near comparison my pb is 3.07, I'm aiming for sub 3 at Brighton next year and I wont be running my LSR quicker than 8min miling average. I might change the way I run that though on a weekly basis. A marathon pace section of the LSR on a monthly basis but also if its wind in my face on way out I almost default to running a neg split training run, nothing mad but generally 8.20 out for 10m and then 7.40 back for 10m.
I would say that 8.30 is too slow... I run my recovery runs at that pace. I guess you're doing some tempos nearer half marathon pace so youll be keeping your speed. Trust that it will all come together on the day with a taper. 3.12 for a first marathon.... you can defo go sub 3. Good luck.
I've taken SIS gels and water on my long slow run for a few years now and I'm a fan. I think they are easily digestable and don't taste too bad. I know some that cant stand them... each to their own.
I did read somewhere (genuinely cant remember where) that to get the benefit you should take roughly every half hour. So for me... I take every 4 miles on my LSR, run at 8 min miling average. I have noticed a difference when I don't take them, it might be psychological.... it might not... but it works for me. I use this strategy on race day/marathon to. Seems to work.
So... you might want to try taking more often and see if you notice any difference as Millsy1977 says.
Oh and I'm with Roy Silver... over 10 miles and I always take a bottle of water (which I take a sip of every couple of miles as well).
do you have the right size shoe? Obvious I know... but might be the source of the problem. I have a bunion on right foot but have 'normal' width feet. Took me a while to find the 'right shoe' for me in terms of brand and in the right size.
as it goes, I always found Asics tight across the middle of my foot. I've worn Saucony and Brooks (D width - standard width) with no blister problems for a few years now.
Up to you really Owen. Only you'll know how much it hurts. Sore toes from a long run or really rubbing on the front? Mine were just clearly to tight... Should have sent back used for a bit ... doh.
I just went bought some new ones and bought a half size bigger. So I was a 9.5 and I bought a 10. I still use the 9.5s but only for easy runs up to 6 miles and I'll use them for however long they last. But for my distance work (over 10 miles) I'll be wearing the 10s.
Also bought some Pure Cadence.... 9.5 is ok for me in this style.