Since committing to running the BMO Vancouver Marathon (virtually) by the end of May, I’ve been running my usual marathon training schedule. That’s meant 30km runs each of the last two Sundays.

These runs have gone pretty well, all things considered. I ran both with my good friend Miguel who I’ve had far too many stupid running adventures with over the years.

Run #1

The first 30km run was on April 4th and started at my house. We ran out into the far reaches of Scarborough and then back along what will become the Meadoway over the next few years. It was a fast run for a Sunday training run but good weather and a fairly easy route led to a negative split and an overall pace of 5:09/km.

We held a steady pace from start to finish and I felt great right through to the end. For sure one of my best 30km runs ever.

Run #2

Today we faced some more difficult weather than last week. It was drizzling to start and halfway through the heavy rain started. We ran from Miguel’s place for this one and made our way out to Pearson International Airport for no good reason.

The route was much tougher with more hills and less enjoyable scenery. The rain and a headwind did not help.

Somehow, despite this feeling like a terrible 30km, we ran it at a 5:10/km overall pace which is basically the same as last week.

Perception is Ten Tenths of Reality

The difference between these runs was that we started out faster on the second one and I finished feeling really tired with a tough last 5km where I faded fairly significantly.

That meant the run today seemed way worse even though the overall pace and time was basically identical. One was a negative split of a couple of minutes, while the other was a positive split of over six minutes.

Lesson Learned

The lesson here is probably to be more careful about how I start the run. I knew we were pushing it in the first 8km, but rather than backing off and saving some of the energy for the last 8km, I stupidly kept in it. The weather and route surely didn’t help either with a headwind and the rain in the second half that just made the last 15km fairly miserable.

There are still three 30km or longer runs to go and I’ll try and apply the lessons learned over the last two weeks. That means being more thoughtful about the route and running within myself over the first half.