This is the schedule I am following now: I have 9 weeks to go.
Goal pace: 8:00
Mon: 5 easy @ 8:40
Tue: 6 tempo @ 7:25
Wed: 10 easy @ 8:30
Thu: 6 tempo,hills or intervals (see below schedule)
Fri: 5 easy @ 8:40
Sat: 9 tempo @ 8:00
Sun: 16-24 @ 8:15-8:30 (see below schedule)
I hope these paces just come to you while you are out running. Rather than you thinking “okay, it’s Monday, I have to run 8:40 pace.” I know everyone is different when it comes to pacing. I tend to error on the side of slower. I do a lot of my training in the 8:00-8:30 range. However, one of my buddies, who runs similar times to me, runs low/sub-7:00 pace.
The Sunday long run follows this pattern during the last 18 weeks:
Personally, two 22s and two 24s looks like a lot. Especially that 2nd 24 only 3 weeks out from the race.
I run the long runs at an average pace of 8:15-8:30, I start around 8:40 and gradually pick up the pace, often finishing the last few miles at 7:50 or so. The idea here is to train myself to maintain my pace when fatiqued (my biggest race day problem).
How many of your miles are you running at 7:50-8:00. You might need to increase the number of miles, but keep the pace right at 8:00. You want to hone in on that MP so on race day it seems like a walk in the park.
In the final 2 weeks leading to the race I cut my milage and resume running tempo runs.
Is this what you’ve done in the past? Maybe you need a 3-week taper. Do you keep any speed work or fast strides? If you cut them out all together those last 2 weeks, you may be hurting yourself. You want to cut mileage, but keep the intensity. Otherwise you may be flat on race day.
I take off the day before the race.
Again, experiment with this. If your body is used to running everyday, then you take the day before the race off, it might leave you flat. I like to take a day off 2 days out, then run a little the day before, with some strides.
My problem seems to be that I have a ‘comfort zone’ around the 8:15-8:30 pace.
Again, try to break through that zone, but adding more MP workouts. One of my best workouts before my 2:58 was 3 x 5k on the track. I did the first right at MP and it felt terrible. I picked it up a little on the next 2 and they felt great. A workout like that might be more important than 1600s and 800s.