When I headed out this morning to do the 21.1km (half marathon) LSD run the skies were dark, there was a continuous (albeit light) rain and the temperature was hovering at about 15C. This was a huge contrast to the hot, humid and sunny weather that I've had for the last few Sundays, and it made the long run much easier. The rain was a bit of an issue for the last few kilometers as it started saturating my shoes, however it helped a lot in keeping me cool and reducing the amount of water that I was burning through.
Given prior performance, my goal for this run was to target a pace of around 4:50-5:00/km and see how things work out. Probably should have gone a bit slower given the 'LSD' concept, however my heart rate was relatively comfortable (165bpm/~75%HRR) so I figured that it would be helpful to gauge my pacing at this distance. While I was certainly tired by the end, I did feel like I could have kept going if I wanted to so I should be able to push a faster pace when the race does come around.
If possible, I'd like to get things down to a 4:45/km pace for the actual race, as that will allow me to run with the 1:40 pacer rather than going out on my own. The more level course that the race will be run on should help with that, however a 5sec/km change is certainly quite significant. Either way, the final decision will naturally depend on how things go over the next few weeks.
The splits and final time were as follows:
Total: 1:42:17.3 (Avg. 4:50/km pace)
In addition to the longer mileage, I also attempted to experiment with eating some Shot Blox during the run on the suggestion of my instructor. They did seem to help a bit near the end of the run, however I'm still not 100% sure that they are necessary for this distance. I was originally a bit worried about how hard they would be to eat while on the move, however they didn't really pose a problem. The texture wasn't terribly pleasant, however, so I'll have to give gels a shot to see if they are any better. Either way, this is a good time to play around with this sort of thing as it will likely become more important as I go beyond the 21.1km distance.