Tallahassee Marathon long run



I am going to skip ahead a day on this week’s blog so I can give a recap of my latest marathon long run that coincided with the Tallahassee Marathon. Pete and I decided that I should get in one over-distance run (i.e. longer than marathon in length) during this build up and luckily the Tallahassee race fell at exactly the right time for it.

And after polishing off a 116 mile week leading into the race that included a great hill cycle workout, I was ready to tackle another long run on slightly tired legs. I believe that teaching your body to run fast on fatigued legs is vital to preparing your body for the damage the marathon will inflict.

The purpose of the day was to start very, very easily and gradually get faster as the race wore on by way of the classic ZAP surges. In reality, it was a weird situation that I found myself in as I was toeing the line for a race but not truly “racing.”  The plan was to get in 31 miles for the day!

Here were the instructions for the session:

-2 mile warm up easy
-miles 0 to 6: 6:40-6:05
-miles 6-13: 6:05-5:45 (surges begin at mile 6)

*surge sequence: 1-1-2-1-4-1-1-9-1-2-1 with 7 minutes ‘float’ between each

-miles 13-23: 5:45-5:15
-mile 23-24 float easy
-miles 24-finish ‘forward’
-3 mile cool down easy

As you can see, the opening 10k was meant to be an extension of the warm up. Also, because the surges fell randomly during the run, my overall mile splits varied even though I was progressing throughout the entire run. For example, if a 1 minute surge fell at the beginning of a mile that would mean the entire next mile would not contain any “faster” running so the split would be slightly slower overall. However, the intent was to run both the surges progressively faster throughout the run and also the 7 minute float period faster as well. And finally, Pete gave me the freedom to simply run as I felt the last 2.2 miles to the finish which I hoped meant around 5:10 pace or quicker if possible.

Here are my actual splits from the day:

553 (surges start)
535 (1:17.46 halfway)
511 (during 9 minute surge)
526 (surges end)
70 sec to finish
2:29:34 total (1:11.48ish 2nd half)

Overall, it was a solid run. As expected I was a bit fast the opening few miles of the surges but I certainly ran the surges faster throughout the run. The only thing I wish had gone better was the last 2.2 miles as I was unable to run under 5:20 pace. Aerobically I felt fine but my legs were tired and I found it hard to really snap them out of that 5:20-30 pace rhythm. I ran a decent negative split, as expected, and was able to finish 4th in the race while running almost all of it completely alone. The top 2 guys ran 2:19 and 2:20 so I was not going to catch them especially considering I gave up probably 5 minutes of time in the first 10k! But overall, I think I am exactly where I need to be 5 weeks out from LA.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (2/1-2/7):

Sunday: AM: 15 miles (75-45-30×4 within run)   PM: 6 miles

Monday: AM: 7 miles  PM: 6 miles

Tuesday: AM: 19.5 miles (35-15-12 hill cycle workout)

Wednesday: AM: 12 miles  PM: 6.5 miles

Thursday: AM: 11 miles (9×20 sec post run)  PM: 7 miles

Friday: AM: 13 miles  PM: 5 miles

Saturday: AM: 8 miles

Total: 116 miles, 12 runs


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