Today I was slated for a 14-miler (it's a mileage cutback week) and decided to do what McMillan describes as a "Fast Finish Long Run." Basically, you start out at regular LR pace and increase to MP during the last 6-10 miles, finishing at 10K pace or greater. I came to this decision about an hour before I was going to head out, as I had been perusing his website for another reason and came across this workout. I was going to give myself a little bit of a break if I didn't hit pace because of yesterday's 8 miler, which I had done in a clippy 8:12 pace.
I headed to Central Park just before 9 - the temps were staying abnormally cool (high 60s) so I could be a little lazy with my start time. I did the first 7.1 miles in 1:08:50 - right on my LR pace at 9:37. I then picked up the pace for a loop around the park. Since I was going backwards around the loop and starting from a weird place, I didn't have a very exact idea of where the mile markers were, but I estimated to the best of my ability to start at around 8:30 and increase from there. By the 5th mile of this loop, I knew I was flying and was probably around 7:30. Total time for this 6 miles: 48:14, well below my marathon goal pace! Tack on another 1.1 "easy" (an 8:03 pace now seemed easy) for a killer workout.
McMillan states that if I'm able to do this "fast finish" portion at MP, I can have a pretty good idea I'll be able to hold it for a marathon. Granted, this was a pretty short fast finish run, but this puts me in a good place. It looks like I can put two more of these workouts in my schedule, and I'll be able to increase the lengths of them to see if this holds true for 8 and 10 miles as well. But for today, I'm happy.