Nine miles in the bag today along a very muddy Nene valley way. It's also my first run following a new training philosophy. After a bit of reading around of sports sciences's recommendations for training for endurance events, it would appear that like the majority of amateur runners my training has been based on running pretty much as fast I can for a given distance, all the time. It's been this way for over 10 years, but it would seem that I've been getting it wrong.
I've now become aware of the lactate threshold, the point at which your muscles can no longer efficiently remove lactate from your tissues and performance drops off and muscles tie up. Sports science suggests that you should conduct the majority of your long miles within what is called the aerobic zone which equates to much a much slower pace than your planned race pace. It's counter intuitive to say the least. Of course you have to throw in faster paced runs as part of an organised training plan.
This 'smart' training should prepare me for the marathon and at the same time prevent overtraining and tired muscles, an important consideration given the magnitude of the events this year.
I found out an estimate for my own lactate thershold using the Training Peaks software which analysed by Garmin training data. I now have estimates for the various training zones, based on heart rate. Let's see how it goes.