Friday, 26 November 2010

Mile reps......back to basics....but a lot slower!

 Thursday.  Track day, once again. 
The threat of the snow which had immobolized much of the north east of England  failed to materialise further west and compared to last week's horrendous affair conditions at the Lancashire track whilst very cold were reasonable. 
 Mile reps.  The classic session.  Back to basics.  A staple session introduced by Sale harrier's Alan Robertshaw back in the early 1960s.
 Going forward to one of my peak years  1984 mile reps were still almost  a weekly necessity .  4, 5 or 6 reps generally.  Part of marathon training but run at 10K pace.
  I ran 5 marathons that year....2.28   2.37   2.28   2.31 about 5.40/45 mileing. The diary shows mile reps generally timed at just below 5 minutes.

          For example,  July 11th...Rupert Road. 4.52   4.54   4.51   4.56   4.54.......3 minute recovery

 (The Rupert Road road circuit is not totally flat but fairly "quiet" traffic wise and I used it quite a lot. I believe it 's still the venue for speed work for a couple of local clubs.  I just think now the track is kinder to my old frame than the tarmac.)
 Whilst speed sessions were run at sub marathon pace.   Prospective marathoners might note that long runs (over 20)  were not done at marathon pace at all. For example, a very windy Tuesday mile rep session in September (average 5.05) was followed the next day with a 27 mile run  (including 25 mile laps of said Rupert Road circuit, yes 25!,  in 2 hours 50 minutes 6.50 min pace.    Over a minute slower that marathon pace.
  The diary also shows an undulating  run from Ilkley to Clitheroe.  28 miles in 3.05.....average  6.36 pace: plus several less defined runs of 3 hours.  Half an hour more than race times.  Over distance and overtime!
 Did I ever train at marathon pace?  No although I did run a couple of races,  which we were selling at, as "training runs"  and as is inevitable was dragged along to approximately marathon pace.  There seems to a feeling that marathon pace (MP) needs to be "felt"; so if you want to "practice" marathon pace,  a low key race over terrain akin to your marathon is not a bad idea. 
  But going back,  days either side of those long runs were the mile rep sessions.  In contrast this year I have only completed mile reps on two other occasions.   Probably because running more 5Ks and 10Ks now I tend to think metric!
  Yesterday's times for the record......7.40    7.30    7.28    7.20......3 minute walk/ jog recovery.
2 mile warm up and cool down.

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