One thing that I'm really looking forward to with marathon training is slowing down.
I feel really lucky that my company has a fitness center and two certified fitness trainers. They work at the Operations headquarters and I work in a satellite office, but I still have access to their resources via phone calls and e-mails. I have been e-mailing my trainer of choice for a few years, and he offers me advice for my athletic vegan lifestyle, and has also attempted to put me on some strength training regimes. Sadly, without the accountability piece of weight lifting, I find that it slips from my routine way too quickly. His nutrition and running advice, however, always sticks.
He has been advising me recently, based on my times and results, to do my marathon training at a cardio-building pace instead of a fat burning/max heart rate pace. It makes sense to me because I don't want to burn out or find that I'm tiring too quickly early on. While it would be nice to finish a marathon with a sub-4 time, my main goal is to have a strong finish for my first marathon.
While I average an 8:01/mile pace (roughly 7.5 mph) in ideal conditions, he's telling me to average a 10:00-10:30/mile pace (5.5-6 mph) during training and the race. He's even warning me that that may be too fast. The idea of running at such a relaxed place sounds AMAZING and not at all intimidating!
I feel like I'm getting the "slow down!" practice as I have been running incredibly slow lately. Granted, running on ice is a very different experience and a huge workout in and of itself, I breathe a sigh of relief when I get to slow down to what I consider a fast walk. While the temperatures have been slowly rising, it hasn't been getting warm enough to melt the ice on the sidewalks. It's neared 30 degrees recently and it feels like the ice is starting to melt, but it ends up freezing again the second the sun goes down. When the snow + rain intially froze, the ice was jagged and I was able to get some grip. Now that it's melting during the day and re-freezing in the afternoon, it's leveling out and is the smoothest ice a figure skater could ask for. Now try taking off the skates and running on the ice rink.
3.78mi splits: 8;44, 9:00, 9:17, 7:13
Air temp: 22F