We are all different - What I like about some MP running - the 20-25 k is I get dialed in on what my MP really should be.
The fall of my 1st year running marathons - I trained I-Pace, T-Pace, 1/2 MP and MP. Ramped way down in the winter - was starting almost over in February - I did no fast running - just easy running to the spring marathon the next year and I ran the exact same time
I personally donot want to do no fast running to train - but I will buy into Mileage + All sort of approaches will work. T-Pace is the most important workout for me. But I also really buy into learning to run fast on tired legs. It does not have to be MP it could be T pace.
All good converation
I'm one of those people who can run 7:00 pace for a half marathon, can put in "MP" runs at 7:30 - 7:40 (which is where the calculators would put me), but hasn't managed to hold better than 8:00s on race day. I prefer shorter, faster races.
I wear a HR monitor and have learned a lot from attending to my HR at various paces, in various temperatures and humidities, and at various points on various length runs.
Forget about hewing to a preestablished MP in training: that's where I come down. We know that a good marathon is run about 5% slower than your lactate threshold. And we know that a good half marathon
depending on whether you're a 60 minute HMer or a 1:30 HMeris run right at your LT and a bit above it over the final 5K.
So learn to distinguish those two (critically) different levels. Explore the terrain of various high aerobic paces. I managed to hit an average HR of 173 in a marathon last December, but I've learned in training that 168-170 FEELS like MP HR. That makes sense: during the final 6 miles of the marathon, my HR naturally elevated to something like my threshold
177-180 or so. HM effort, if not HM pace. <br /><br />Does this make sense? We do sometimes make things too complicated, struggling to control what can't finally be fully controlled. It's good to ask questions and process knowledge, but it's also finally important to learn how to listen deeply to your own body. HR monitors can help that process, but it's important, too, to learn how to put them aside. <br /><br />If you establish a MP prior to the race and then try to hold to it, you may indeed have a peak experience and run your best race, but I'd also suggest that you're as likely to run a bad or disappointing or subpar race that bears no relationship to the race you actually had in your legs. Listening hard is the keyand, of course, race experience.
The marathon is a beast. Be crafty. Don't overthink. Stay in control early on. There's plenty of time to be a hero later on--if it's in you to do that. But it may turn out that a conservative early pace was in fact not conservative at all; it may turn out to have been slightly overoptimistic.
[http://This message has been edited by KudzuRunner (edited Aug-31-2007).|http://This message has been edited by KudzuRunner (edited Aug-31-2007).]
I like to work MP in to a couple long runs towards the end of the training cycle. Not usually on a 20+ miler but on a 16-18 mile long run. Physiologically it might not make any improvements but psychologically it gives me a little boost on race day.
When I can finish the last 10 miles of a long run at marathon pace it gives me confidence going into a marathon that I'll be able to do it there as well. Especially after tapering for a few weeks.
I incorporated this type of training leading up to Chicago in 2006 and my race went exactly to plan. I was shooting for 22 minute 5K's and I was within seconds of it at every split, I was able to pick up the pace a little over the last 4-5 miles and negative split.
I really do believe that the marathon pace workouts help me dial in to the right pace on race day with out having to think about it to much. Of course the perfectly flat course made this much easier.