The failure of the metronome

I’ll post later about how I selected the name for this blog and where the metronome nickname came from. Let’s just say I’m anal retentive and was very good about keeping pace by feel at one point. During the burn I think I managed the entire workout at a second or two off. My last post was about how to judge effort.

One thing I have realized is that I’m good at judging effort but do tend to back off too much on hills. My effort will be the same but I tend to collapse my stride a little too much so loose some speed. During my 5 and 10k training with Carmen and Ricardo I did quite a bit of hill work and my stride has changed. Instead of shuffling and kicking dirt forward I finally do lift my legs up, not great but better. Hills are something I need to focus on in the coming months. I was talking with Roger I., a 2:50 marathoner and someone that ran California International last year and he mentioned that the marathon is basically rolling hills until the last 4 to 5 miles. That makes my uphill running issue of tending to back off too much something I need to start focusing on, same effort but try to not loose as much pace. I know I just collapse my stride so I hope this is doable … just have to see.

Thinking back to Boston ’06, the last marathon I ran Tracy, and I put together a race plan since we’d trained together assuming we were in shape for a 2:57 to 2:58 flat course. We assumed this meant the tougher course would be around a 3:00 at Boston. I’ve included an image below that shows the plan vs actual and an overly complicated color coding scheme. If you discount the first mile which was a minute slow (forgot to warm up and it was crowded) you’ll see the hills were slower than planned. The last mile was slow too but that’s just the thought of there’s no way I’m making it under 3:00 so just get it done.

Click on image to view full size.

Click on image to view full size.

I don’t think the plan was unreasonable for normal folks at the same fitness level, if you look at adjusted calculators for the course like those from Nike the adjustments we made were in line. But my mental issues and lack of hill running ability made the plan not ideal for me. So this will be something for me to think about on the long runs through December, so if I’m not too talkative on hills it’s because I’m trying to focus … talk to me on a flat part of the run 😉


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