I had a bad workout about 3 weeks ago. That combined with not much fast running had caused my confidence to ebb just a bit. After the RFH 50k and a good track workout and today's tempo run, my confidence is flowing again. I hope to ride this flow for the next 8 weeks through Mountain Mist to the Albany Marathon.
Last week's workouts were 6x800m at 5k pace (2:47, 2:49, 2:47; 2:46; 2:47, 2:44) on Tuesday. I followed that with repeats of Waterline on Thursday, then did some quarter mile hill repeats on Friday. I probably should not have done those hills on Friday, but the group was doing hills, and I let peer pressure get the better of me.
Today, I got revenge on the last poor tempo workout. The schedule called for 7 miles at tempo pace. I ran 7 miles at a 6:15 average pace and felt like I could have rattled off a couple more without exhausting myself. It felt GREAT! The splits were 6:13, 6:14, 6:15, 6:14, 6:14, 6:15, and 6:14. Sweetly consistent, and it really didn't feel hard.
For the past couple of marathon training cycles, I've really depended on this tempo workout to be a measuring stick. It comes about 8 weeks from the goal and I think it gives a pretty good indicator of the progress of marathon training. I've read and heard that in order to run a 3 hour marathon, your tempo runs need to be 6:30 pace or faster and not very uncomfortable. Today was 6:15 for 7 miles and not uncomfortable. In the past, I haven't been able to hold 6:30 for 7 miles and this workout has been a chore and not comfortable at all.
Man, I sure hope the injury bug stays away. I feel pretty good and a 3 hour marathon seems possible if I continue to have the good fortune I've enjoyed to this point.