As planned, I headed out this morning to do a 16K LSD run and get back into the routine of these longer runs. The target was to average a 5:00/km pace, but as it would be impractical to try and memorize 16 waypoints I just focused on a few landmarks along the course and timed myself off of those. Fortunately, the weather was nice and cool so that made it a lot more comfortable than similar runs of this distance done earlier in the year.
Either way, I hit the 1K mark a little behind schedule at 5:07 so I adjusted my pace a little to compensate. The 2K mark came at 10:03, and the first major waypoint (at 2.75km) was hit at 13:45 (just about erasing the initial error). I made a bit more adjustment to my pace at this point to try and keep myself on track, eventually hitting the 5K mark at 24:57 (maintaining a 4:59 pace for this segment) and getting a good feel for the pace.
The next segment was an uphill portion which required a bit of an adjustment, but I managed to keep myself to a 4:57 pace until the next waypoint at 7.31km which I hit at 36:23. Still a bit fast, but much closer than the majority of the runs that I've done this week ;) This continued to the 10K mark, which I hit at 49:45, averaging a 4:58 pace.
After that point, I started going a bit too fast again and hit the 11.87km mark at 58:57 for an average pace of 4:55. As this was the final waypoint, I was a little concerned about the trend so I redoubled my efforts to control pace. In retrospect, I overcompensated a bit as I only averaged a 5:04 pace for this segment, hitting the 16K mark at 1:19:54. Either way, this slowdown simply compensated for the too fast portions earlier in the run, resulting in an overall average pace of 4:59 - finishing a mere 6 seconds earlier than planned.
It definitely felt good to get back to doing these longer distance runs, and being able to pace things this closely helped a lot to boost my confidence. The only problem that I did have was that I overdressed a bit and was pretty warm by the end, but figuring out exactly how much to wear this time of year is a tricky thing. Either way, I can only hope that rest of my runs this week go as well as this one did!