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the experiments: experiment five

job done, knolwedge gained (photo ©

Last week’s entry in the experiments line-up yielded my first failure. Some might say I’m being a little harsh as I only missed two splits by a tiny margin. However, it wasn’t the missed splits that branded it a failure in my eyes. The condition that I finished the run in was the reason it was a failure. I was completely out with no more to give – that’s not a training run outcome I want. Failure is something that I am seeking on this project. How else am I going to learn more about myself? I took the key points from last week’s run and devised a 22-mile plan for this week. Hoping to apply the learning that I had just gained.

Starting the run today I was in a far from ideal condition. A virus over the last few days left me feeling sub-par but no excuses not to give it everything. I addressed the impact of the 6-mile interval from last week and adapted the format of the run for 22 miles. I settled on a 3/4, 2/4, 2/4, 3 breakdown. The details: 3 miles easy, 4 sub-pace, 2 easy, 4 sub-pace, 2 easy, 4 sub-pace, 3 cool down. I wanted to preserve the 12-mile threshold of sub-pace running I had managed last week. Also, I thought I would be more controlled with 4-mile sub-pace intervals. The quick, initial 2-mile interval last week appealed to my ill-disciplined ways.


This was a good run despite the effects of the virus. I ran the first 4-mile interval perfectly, splits almost identical and not too fast. Some climbing on the second interval made me miss 3 out of 4 splits but only by a small margin. Similarly, the last interval missed 3 out of 4 splits too. The average of the 3 interval efforts was still below target pace though.

lots of missed splits but this was definitely a success in the context of the experiments, no doubt whatsoever
lots of missed splits but this was definitely a success in the context of the experiments, no doubt whatsoever

That’s a lost of missed splits: last week you said you failed because you missed 2 by a total of 4 seconds? That’s true, hands up, I accept the challenge. However, I feel enthused about this run because of how I finished it. I was battling with a virus but still managed 22 miles with my sub-pace efforts averaging perfectly. I was tired at the finish again that is true. However, my decision to get the work done and then crawl home like last week (but by design) paid off. I could be critical that the heart rate is a little higher than I would like but given the immunocompromised context… (view Garmin data).

I finished this run tired but happy. I ran exactly as I had planned to overall, despite the missed splits. A fresher, healthier me would not have missed those splits – I have no doubt nor delusion at all. I ‘crawled’ the last 3 miles by design, starting my recovery process for the next run. I still completed 22 miles in under 3 hours. This was a success because I took a lesson from a failure and applied it to a bigger challenge to achieve a positive outcome.

That’s what this project is all about. I broke myself and then I rebuilt myself. Two weeks ago I ran a trial marathon, last week was a 65+ mile week, and this week will be a 70-mile week. There has been no rest, a little health upset, no tapering but I’m getting results. That is the context for this run. I will have more experiments and more failures but that means I will learn more lessons and make more improvements.

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