But training for a marathon is weird in some ways. Consistency is huge, of course. But so is doing your easy runs slow. The point is to make them easy and relaxing, giving you time on your feet, learning to run more smoothly, getting your mind used to the idea that you're going to keep going. Part of it is to stay aerobic, getting your body to burn fat without building up lactic acid in your muscles faster than they can deal with it.
The problem is that once your legs know how to run faster, it becomes difficult to run slower. So tonight, for example. My legs are still feeling the Saturday run a bit. This was to be a recovery run, slow and easy, 8 K. Things were clunky to start, and stayed clunky the entire run, excepting a few times, for a few seconds, where my legs escaped and picked up the pace. I ended up taking 58:08 which is 7:15 pace, which is about what I was aiming at.
What's funny is that I clearly remember the first time running that distance in that time, and practically turning myself inside out doing it. I was perilously close to the retaste zone. Now I'm hardly breathing for much of it. The work is to keep my legs turning over in what feels like a plod.
The Saturday run I wore my heart rate monitor for the first time in a while. Normally about 129 bpm is a chatchatchat pace near the top of zone 2. I was told I should be a little slower than that, hence the monitor. Blue is pace. I started about 7 min per K, and gradually slowed down. Heart rate is red, and you can see it gradually rises with a couple little burps for hills, where I really slowed down. So yes, for much of the run I was mid zone 2 which is success in my books. As I slowed I was running less efficiently, plus it had started to rain. That last half hour was brutal. You can see where my heart rate jumped up and stayed up.
Swam this morning and that was a bit of a plod too for much of it. 1K, 19:15, which is slow for me. First 250 m felt ok but was slow, slow, slow, next 500 m struggling to keep it together, and the last 250 m was a bit of a slow flounder. Plus, (and Talisman I love you but you're killing me) the hot tub is STILL out of service. It's full of bubbly water, just to taunt us. Sigh. I'll be there on Thursday, Talisman! Just saying.