I increased the mileage this week to start on the 20-mile run experiments. The extra distance meant that something had to change with respect to the last week’s experiment also. Rather than try out anything too different for my first 20-mile run in some time, I decided to evolve last week’s run and replace the 5km segments with 4-mile segments to gain the extra ~2 miles.
There is always the feeling of “ugh! 20!” when you haven’t run a 20-miler in a while. However, my runs have been going so well this year that I was actually looking forward to hitting this benchmark of marathon training again. The wind obviously didn’t get the memo though – a gale was out to meet me.
The results are not unlike the predecessor to this evolution. Again, the second sub-pace segment when the legs are presumably not as fresh, was faster than the first (view Garmin details). I run these experiments on the Waterford Greenway. The Greenway has no traffic (other than bicycles and pedestrians) and as such is a controlled and predictable route. The stunning scenery certainly helps keep the mind distracted too. I have included elevation details above so that you can see the gain/drop in both directions. More importantly you can see that splits typically have some up and down. Even if the miles are a net positive/negative gain overall there is variation. Ultimately what I’m showing here is that there is no big hill to climb on the way out. Neither is there a fast drop on the way back that would grossly affect my times in either direction.
My discipline still needs a bit of work though. I must iron out those erratic splits between the sub-pace segments. This multi-phase, parabolic pacing strategy is not going to work if I’m not treating the recovery segments with respect.