You just made my point. There’s no need to “gut out” base training runs.
I’m not sure I understand how you are using the term “natural pace”. My natural pace that I’m always capable of right now, given good conditions, is in the 6:30-7:00 range. Except when extremely tired, I’m almost uncomfortable at 8:00 pace or slower. However, when I was starting up from a relatively low point this past winter, it was more in the 7:30 range and sometimes back to 8:00 or slower. Had I taken a period of months completely off of running, 8:00 pace would have been a pipe dream. Sure, I get out there now and feel like 7:00 or 7:30 pace is something I could run forever but that’s because I have taken the time to build up to it. I didn’t just jump into it and think I’d pound myself into that shape.
Or you could just keep it easy. It shouldn’t be too hard to discover an easy pace, just make it feel easy.
Yet you don’t think you were running too hard?
There are people who get down on themselves and there are people who follow through with their desires.
To me, this statement just does not mesh with “I never thought I would be able to hold on” or “I gutted it out”.
So that’s what you’re going to do again this time? Run everything at 8:00 pace and hope you pound yourself in shape? There’s a saying about doing the same thing and expecting different results. Just because it got you through a 3:30 doesn’t mean anything. Maybe you were capable of 3:20 or 3:10 on a better training plan.
Exactly. And what is your current training about?