This morning my schedule had me doing a 2 mile run...at my goal race pace. I've tried to be realistic in setting my goal pace. Really what it boils down to is what I would like to see as my next marathon time, and I based my minute/mile pace on that. Up until now, I have pretty consistently done 10 minute miles when doing shorter runs (4 miles or less), and my long run pace usually goes more like 11:30 - 13 minute miles, depending on how I'm feeling. So, I've set my goal as 9 minute miles, and that is what I will be working toward. Since we are in the single digit temperatures today, I did my speed workout on the treadmill. I don't know what it is about running on the treadmill, but it feels a lot harder than running outside. I started out with a 1/4 mile warm-up, with the treadmill set to a speed of 4.0, then I bumped the speed up to 6.6 mph (9 minutes per mile), and ran at that pace for 1/4 mile. I repeated this sequence 4 times, or until I reached 2 miles, then I slowed the speed back to 4.0 and did another mile, for a total of 3 miles. Running on the treadmill at 6.6 feels like I am really pushing hard. I was sweating profusely and my legs were feeling a little wobbly.
After I finished on the treadmill, I also did a 30 minute workout on the elliptical, and then 35 minutes of Pilates. I plan to do a speed workout like this at least once a week, maybe twice. I figure, even if I can't maintain that pace for the whole 26.2, it has to help me increase my speed at least a little, and any improvement in that area is good.