The concept of a “fast finish” in marathon training is to teach your body to run faster on tired legs, depleted fuel, and late into the race. The simulated race condition is today’s long run in conjunction with yesterday’s steady runs.
Since the body’s carbohydrates will be low late in the race, the “fast finish” also forces your body to burn fat more efficiently while running at marathon pace or faster. My “fast finish” run schedule is a 16 mile long run with miles 12 to mile 15 (3 miles) at 8:00 pace or faster.
The first half of my run is pretty straight forward like all my other long runs. I feel comfortable at the easy pace (9:35). During the second half, however, fatigue starts to creep in. My strides are not as strong nor steady. My feet feel the rocks on the trail pricking at them. And I start to wonder if the “fast finish” is going to happen.
My time for the long run averages 9:35 per mile for miles 1 – 12. And for the miles 12 to 15, my times are 7:30, 8:19, 7:45. Not as steady as I would like, but it is not an easy run. Glad it is done.
Additional notes include I wore the shoes and socks for the marathon race, took Gatorade along the run, all good. No problems.