Breaking the training thresholds

I’ve plugged in the split times, calculated the approximate distances, and stared at the spreadsheet in amazement. Earlier today (Sunday), I went on the first of two scheduled training runs that were meant to be the longest in the program. It was supposed to be 32 km (20 mi), but by my measurements, it came to about 33.6 km (20.8 mi). And this run was not easy: it crossed three bridges (twice on the Lions Gate), and had significant stretches of hills (including southbound on the Lions Gate). Of course, the course for the Royal Victoria (or most marathons, for that matter) isn’t that extreme, but the training runs do condition you to assume the worst, but the race reality is far from that.

Even with the added distance beyond 32 km, and the difficulty of the course, I still felt at the end that I could have gone further, maybe 5 km or up to 5 hours. And that’s another surprising aspect of the long-run training: I’ve survived most of them simply by running them as slow as I possibly can without resorting to walking. And now that I’ve almost run 21 miles in one go, I reckon I’ve got enough to finish the last 5.2. Even if they aren’t, today’s pace leader gave this advice: “Just suck it up.” Six weeks now to Victoria…

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