So, as I'm ticking off my training runs for the LA Marathon...... I find myself questioning if my BQ goal is truly attainable. In my training plan laid out by Coach Kastor, he has once and soon twice a week GMRP runs mixed in. That stands for Goal Marathon Race Pace. So, one run was an 8 mile run at GMRP. I needed to keep 7:15 min/mile for 8 miles. Ouch. I made 7:24 on the running sections, but had to take a rest around the halfway point. I was gassed and my legs were toast. That was 8 miles and a marathon is 26.2. I'm not sure how this is going to play out. Basically it's going to be like sprinting for 26.2 miles and I'm not sure how that's going to happen for 3ish hours.
There are factors such as most of my running has been on treadmills at this point, and what does happen outside is sometimes on snow or patches of ice or in cold. So climate conditions should provide a boost in LA, but how much of a boost?
It was fortuitous timing that Coach Kastor sent a copy of an article he wrote in 2009 about his wife, Deeena, training for the London Marathon.
She had just finished an 8 mile GMRP run and wondered how she was going to keep it up for a full marathon, to which Coach Kastor went into detail about his methodology.
So how do you know if you’re prepared to run the entire distance at the pace you’ve been dreaming about for last four or five months? During the training leading up to the marathon you’ve done several long runs, and although they may not have been the full marathon distance, you are still doing the work required to get ready for 26.2. You’ve also done countless intervals of varying lengths, easy maintenance runs, strides, and tempo runs, and you’ve practiced running at goal marathon race pace (GMRP). These GMRP runs are the key to any successful marathon training cycle.
During marathon training, we aren’t just stressing the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, fascia, blood vessels, and hormones, but also the central and peripheral nervous systems that control our muscular movements. As with all the other systems of the body, the nervous system is highly trainable. Knowing this, we can program our bodies to know race pace through training and repetition. After many weeks of varying workouts, your critical phase consists of these GMRP sessions. By running your specific GMRP, you’re hard-wiring your nervous system through repetition.
So the lesson learned is to try to nail those GMRP runs. Easier said than done, but that's been my mission. I may not make my BQ goal, but I'll loose my lunch trying! :)