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Am I dreaming?

Approaching the first turn-around in this morning's Trotters'
Brooks Hill 10km Time Trial (that's me in grey).
[Photo courtesy of Judy Murray]
I ran the Trotters' Brooks Hill 10km Time Trial this morning in 42:39, a time that was a little disappointing.  Of course, it's a tough 10km, there's still some stiffness and fatigue from last Sunday's Girrakool to Patonga long run, and it's hard to get the adrenalin pumping at 6:00am on a Saturday morning, but I still hoped for a faster time.

The hard reality is that my average pace over 10km this morning was almost exactly the same average pace I will need to maintain to achieve a 3 hour marathon.  Sadly, I felt like I was running flat out the whole way, and no part of the race was comfortable or enjoyable.  My heart rate average for the 10km was just 5bpm below my maximum rate!

I believe that I could maintain a pace of 15-20 seconds slower per kilometre (i.e. 4:30-35) over the marathon distance at present, which would yield a time of 3:15.  Somehow, I need to get my 10km time down to 40 minutes or less to have any hope of a sub-3 hour marathon.

If I was 40 years younger, I would be including some track sessions and short fast races to work on my speed.  However, every time I have tried track training in the last ten years, I have injured myself.  I'm also hesitant to change my current training routine which has yielded steady improvement without injury over the last six months, even though it includes little fast running.

I do believe that training and racing yield a cumulative benefit over time without the need to consciously increase the quantity or quality of your work-outs.  As you get fitter, you find your training runs get faster anyway.  On balance, I think my best approach is not to meddle with my training program and trust that speed improvement will come with time.  Nevertheless, it's hard not to get a little depressed about where I am, versus where I need to be.