When you're running 50 miles a week, preparing for a 26.2 mile run, "restraint" may not be the first word that comes to mind. But it really is a key to doing well at the marathon distance.
Even in a half marathon, it's tempting to start out at a relatively fast pace. I'm so amped up at the beginning of a race, I could lay out four or five 7-minute miles that seem "easy," but for me that would be a big mistake; I'd by struggling by mile 10.
Similarly, when training, there are some days that call for restraint. Last night Todd posted on Facebook that he wanted to do a tempo run today -- six miles at a relatively fast pace. But Friday I had already done a tough hill workout, and I was planning an even tougher 16-mile run for Sunday. I told Todd I'd run his warmup mile with him, then let him take off while I finished an easy six-mile recovery run. Then I'd see him at the coffee shop. That's exactly what we did. I did 6.3 miles at a 9:35 pace, and Todd did the fast part of his run at a 7:20 pace. Both of us had good company while we sipped our coffee after our workout.