Today I set out for my 20-mile run. Having done a 15-mile run last week with the second half faster than the first, I thought I'd set out at the same pace I set out at then.
It all felt fine... for about 4 miles. After that, my legs started feeling like they'd done 4 miles or so more than they had. By 7 miles instead of feeling relaxed and in control I was really feeling it and running with a one-speed gearbox. I was passing my front door after 15 miles and decided that was enough.
The first 5 miles was about 40 minutes and so was the second; the third was 43 minutes. 2:03:04 in all. If I'd had to stagger through the last 5 miles (i.e. it was race day itself) I could probably have done so, but not today. Hmmm.
So what went wrong? Last week I did the same course in 4 minutes less, only 2 days after running 12 miles. Maybe I'm still recovering from that. It was quite humid in the first hour today; maybe I should have slowed a little to allow for that. I've not had great sleep the last 3 nights, and eaten too much fatty food. Maybe I shouldn't be trying to do 20 mile runs at this pace anyway during training - the main aim of a 20 mile run is just to build up endurance. I think overall I was just a bit too ambitious, and hopefully will learn to be a bit more cautious. Ah well. Press on!
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