A.M. Warmed up with Ted and Jeff, then ran on my own. Did The Good Rhythm Tempo. The idea is to run relaxed, focus on the rhythm and feeling smooth, observe the pace, but not try to hit any particular targets. If running sub-6:00 creates a strain, then we run 6:00 and no faster.
Distance: 5 miles on my standard course. Splits: 5:45, 5:43, 5:44 (14:19 at 2.5), 5:44, 5:28. Total time 28:24.6.
Subjective/Descriptive: Felt relaxed at 5:44 pace, barely breathing, but felt that going faster would create a muscular strain that would make it difficult to practice efficient rhythm. In the last mile decided to press harder. Thought that as much as my legs fought going faster than 5:44 that I should expect about 5:35 out of the last mile given that it is 5-7 seconds slower than flat. I was surprised with a 5:28. Was breathing a lot harder and had to focus a lot more, but at least I had the ability. Felt that after practicing good rhythm for 4 miles at a slower pace/lower muscular effort the faster pace/higher muscular effort was not breaking my rhythm too bad. In fact, I felt that I owed that 7 second gain to the rhythm.
Thoughts: I have said before that I felt the lactate level is as much of a red herring as the intensity of breathing. To say you slowed down because the lactate levels were too high makes as much sense as to say you slowed down because you were breathing too hard, or even more plainly - because you reached the pace that you could not sustain. Which in essence says nothing - could not run fast because could not run fast. Rhythm is a different story. I am willing to believe that a runner could slow down a lot because he lost his rhythm. In other words, he started working against himself expending more effort while running slower.
Once the aerobic capacity is present, the focus should be on rhythm. You need to do whatever it takes to learn a good rhythm, know the best rhythm for your body and the race you are running, be able to kick into it from the gun, be able to find it quickly after a surge, a water stop, or a hill. Have an uphill rhythm, a downhill rhythm, a flat rhythm, a headwind rhythm, a tailwind rhythm, and a roller rhythm at your fingertips. Good rhythm means the muscles that should relax do relax when they should, and the ones that should contract contract when they should. It is all about timing. Ta-ta, ta-ta, ta-ta. It gives maximum forward thrust with minimum energy expenditure. In a marathon good rhythm could make a quite a difference - pushing the wall away by 3 miles can easily produce a 5 minute improvement or more. Rhythm is critical.
Afterwards ran 2 with Jenny in 17:47, 1.5 with Julia in 15:26, and 2 with Benjamin in 16:59.