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20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

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20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:05 pm

I like this workout to be my last long run, 3 weeks out from a marathon.

But I have a question about it: how much of a difference will it make (with regards to preparing me for the race) if the terrain I'm running on is different than the actual marathon?

My two options are lots of elevation change or virtually none. This is for Boston. After yesterday's 22-miler, my legs are a bit blown up and I'm kind of worried I might explode in the last few miles if I do this 20 on a hilly course. Would that be better - trying and exploding - than nailing it on flat ground?

Input, please!
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  mul21 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:36 pm

If you're afraid of blowing up due to terrain, I might consider just doing the last 5 at MP so you get the benefit of running the hills, which you'll certainly benefit from, and probably more so than the MP miles.
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  Diego on Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:13 pm

Hey Mike, don't push yourself too much on this run. If I recall, many programs(Hudson) have you do this run 4 weeks out rather than 3??? I would go with hilly but use effort as your guide on the uphills and bring the same fluid you'd consume as in the race.
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:52 pm

Jim - Hmmm. I think I'll see how the first 10 go - with a gradual downhill for 5, gradual uphill for 5 - and determine when to start the MP. I guess I could always shut it down after 7MP and just roll in the last 3 @ LSD pace.

Diego - That's interesting about Hudson's placement - what does he prescribe for 3 weeks out, then? Got the fueling covered - I've been fueling using mainly granola bars this cycle (they're cheap), but I'll be bringing a couple gels for the MP portion of the run.
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  mountandog on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:10 pm

I'm thinking longer and flatter and a few less MP miles. You are a lot younger than me, but I believe at this point its about maintenance and getting the right rest. I would err on the side of easier rather than harder.
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  Martin VW on Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:37 pm

McMillan's last 4 long runs are:

4 weeks out: 20K tempo run (10K at MP + 30, 10K at faster than MP; I raced a hilly, windy HM for a large PR)

3 weeks out: 20 - 24 mile long steady run (I'll do 24 on the course, from Hopkinton to Cleveland Circle and then backtrack a couple of miles to my car)

2 weeks out: 18 with 10 @ long run pace, 4 @ MP + 30, 4 @ MP - 30, with terrain that matches the race course (this is the functional equivalent of your 20 with 10, but a week closer to the race; I'm planning to adapt this a bit and run the Hopkinton hill 4 times - two down @ MP, two up @ long run pace)

1 week out: 12 with 6 @ long run pace, 3 @ MP + 30, 3 @ MP - 30 (not sure where I'll run this - maybe on the course, maybe not - I may decide to give my 54 year old legs a bit of a break on this one and run it on flat ground)

20 with 10 @ MP 3 weeks out? At your age? If your training's gone well you should be able to run it with impunity.

Hope that helps with your decision.
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  fostever on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:28 pm

I'm thinking none of the above. Knowing how much you've struggled with injury up to now during this training cycle, I'd say cut your losses and just try to have a good long run of anywhere between 16-20 this weekend not 3 weeks out. Maybe go 12-14 next weekend. Seriously, one workout is not going to make or break you for Boston. If this is your first Boston put in a good effort there and have a solid finish instead of risking "blowing up" on your final long run. That's just me!
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  Jerry on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:55 pm

How much difference?

None physically, some mentally.

What would Jerry do?

Hill over flat, mile over pace. Jerry used to run 20 w 5@MP and always make that call @15 and don't force himself.

Why?

It's all mental. Very Happy
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  Ben Z on Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:10 pm

Hills. Do 10 easy. Then try to get at least 5 in at goal pace. If you are really struggling after 5 just finish up easy with 3-5 more. If not, complete the 10.

Most importantly, don't stress and stay healthy. That's the main goal now.
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:34 am

Thanks all. It's true, I've come back from an injury really quickly, jumping from <10 miles/week to 60+ in under 3 months. I'll shoot for 20, start the MP at mile 10, and see what happens. Sure, having to shut it down might be a confidence issue, but I'm not running Boston for a PR, so in the end, it doesn't matter too much.
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Re: 20 w/ 10@MP - terrain?

Post  T Miller on Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:26 am

I would probably do a 2 day combo. I would run a longer pace run 12 - 14 on the flat and come back with a 20 - 22 with maybe 5 at MP, if I felt at 15, on the hills. I did something similar 3 weeks out for Chicago and I felt ready on race day.
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