Thanks for the feedback.
Regarding my expectations for the spring race: In a perfect race I might finish close to 3:15 but the odds are I’ll run around 3:20. As Zeke pointed out; the changes are only marginal; an additional 5 mpw and 15 sec/mile.
My goals are long range. I don’t expect huge changes in PB’s. I am more than happy to improve by 5-10 minutes a year. I would be happy next year if I drop my 3:29 PB to 3:15-3:20 (less of a drop than it appears; without injury I feel I would have run 3:25 this fall).
About the paces: I listed a pace based upon the pace that I ran the workouts over the past year; and how they changed over time.
The 8:15 easy pace is not something I ‘target’ as much as the pace I expect to run those workouts at. A year ago I averaged 8:45-8:30 on easy runs, the last 6 months it was down to 8:30-8:15, so I ‘expect’ I will be around 8:15 or less over the next 6 months.
My average pace has dropped about 10-15 min/mile every 6 months for the past 3 years. This is true across all the different workouts I do. And my weekly mileage has increased about 5 mpw every 6 months over that same time period.
I had no trouble with this basic schedule in the past so I assume I can, especially over the cool winter months, run it again. The most significant change each cycle has been when I begin certain workouts and for how long the phase lasts. With each training cycle the hills and intervals start later and last fewer weeks. All the quality workouts are now done in the final 12 weeks (hills and both interval phases)
Perhaps I do train closer to race pace than some recommend. That is a change in training I began a year ago and it has shown great results. It resulted in me running my last 2 marathons with negative (or even splits). In both races it was easy to achieve the negative split.
In May I ran a 4:00 minute negative split, running easily at sub 7:45 min/mile over the last several miles. Last weekend I ran near perfect even splits. Even splits was my revised goal because of doubts from the injury and they felt easy to achieve.
Prior to training this way I never could maintain my pace over the last 10k. I sometimes slowed by a min/mile or more near the finish.
Training this way has changed my view of the race. I used to fear the last 10k; assuming I would, sooner or later, begin to slow. That no longer is the case.