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Week 11: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Here is my report for week eleven of sixteen of my Outer Banks 2013 marathon training. I am following the 3:25:00 Boston Qualifier plan outlined in the book Run Less Run Faster.

To review past weeks, click here.

Short version: I think this training is working.  Had another really good week and seem to be getting faster.  I could use a nap, though.  This is wearing me out.

For the long version, keep reading.

Cross Training. Tuesday and Thursday

Successfully completed the two prescribed swim workouts.  Pretty straight forward week.  4 laps kick, 20 minutes free, 4 laps kick.

Grade: Pass

Run workout #1. Monday

The track.  This week’s workout was a new one – 1000m in 3:56; 2000m in 8:11; 1000m in 3:56; 1000m in 3:56. 400m rest intervals between.


  • 1000m: 3:53
  • 2000m: 8:05
  • 1000m: 3:53
  • 1000m:  3:52

Grade: A+. Very solid workout.  Felt like I could do another 1000 or two at the end, but it was dark and I was hungry.  So, I went home. 🙂

Run workout #2. Wednesday

This week’s tempo run called for a warm up mile, five miles at a 7:49 pace, then a mile cool down.  After last week’s ten miler at the same pace, I was pretty confident about this one until Tuesday afternoon.  That’s when it occurred to me that I had a conflict on Wednesday night – a cross country meet.

Thanks to a Wednesday morning appointment, I would have time to do this one early.  This meant in the dark, though, so I’d have to stay in the neighborhood.  All of a sudden, those 7:49 splits got a little tougher because of the neighborhood hills and cul-de-sacs.  Not to mention being half asleep.

So, I set out at 6:06am to get my seven before sunrise.  I guess I woke up OK, here at the results:

  • Mile 1: 9:54
  • Mile 2: 7:52
  • Mile 3: 7:40
  • Mile 4: 7:42
  • Mile 5: 7:38
  • Mile 6: 7:28
  • Mile 7: 9:39

Grade: A+. That’s a 7:40 pace for the five tempo miles. It was also a negative split.  Great way to start the day.

Run Workout #3. Friday

This week’s long run called for twenty miles at an 8:19 pace. This is the fourth of five 20 milers, and I missed the mark on the last two.  I definitely wanted to get back on track this week.

One of the biggest challenges of a twenty mile run, besides the actual running, is  trying to come up an interesting, safe, and fairly flat route.  So, I spent some time on the day before trying to come up with something new.  I felt I’d come up with a decent route that had three parts – an easy first third, a tough second third, and a fairly flat to down hill final third.

Turns out, my route planning skills need some work.  Here’s the elevation map from my GPS watch:


You can see the route works its way down hill the first half, then is pretty much uphill the second half.  The bottoming out spot about the 1:21 mark was around mile 10.  At this point, I was on an 8:16 pace, but I could see the long hill climbs in front of me, and I knew a negative split would be tough, if not impossible.  Plus, the surprise early fog was burning off and the temperature was heating up.

With one mile to go, I glanced at the overall pace screen on my watch.  I had slipped to 8:19.  Just push it for one mile, I said to myself.  Pretend it is the last mile of the marathon and you need to beat the 8:19 pace to qualify.  So, I did and came in at 8:12 for that last mile for an overall time of 2:46:48.  This was right on the goal pace of 8:19/mile.

Grade: A. Despite slipping to an 8:22/mile pace on the second half, I met the time for my fastest twenty mile run yet.  I also never really hit the wall in this run, but last last few miles were quite the sufferfest.

Week Eleven Summary

Another really solid week.  I feel like I’m improving.  It was good to meet the twenty mile run pace.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wondering how in the world I’m going to hit a 7:49 pace for 26.2 miles when a 8:19 pace for 20 hurt so bad.  That’s why there’s five weeks of training left, I guess.

Here’s a graphic showing hit or miss on the workouts over the past ten weeks. For the tempo and long runs, I included mileage and pace targets (not including the easy warm up and cool down miles for the tempo runs). The actual pace result is in parentheses:


Up Next

Here’s what is in store for week twelve:

Run #1: Track work. 3 x 1600m in 6:31. 400m RI between each
Run #2: 10 minute warm up, 10 miles @ 7:49/mile, 10 minute cool down
Run #3: 15 miles @ 8:04/mile.

Cross Training: Swim – 20 x (Kick 1 length rest 15 seconds); swim 20 lengths non-stop.

Feel pretty good about ability to meet this week’s runs.  If you look at the scorecard, though, I have not met goals for three weeks in a row at any point.  So, I’d like to make that happen this week.  The current weather forecast is in my favor for the long run.


Stay tuned and POFIFOTO!

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