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RE: why do Jack Daniels M pace workouts destroy me?
Daniels never used to include work at M pace for 5k/10k training. I am fairly certain that this only shows up in the 3rd edition of his book. Honestly, I think he did it to accommodate the fact that runs at marathon pace became fairly popular in other training plans, and he had to (a) try to keep up with changing times, and (b) justify a new edition of his book.
At the same time that he added in M pace runs, he did away with the table that allowed for you to calculate your pace when you draw out your 20 minute tempo run to a longer run. My understanding is that he actually did away with 20 minute tempo runs in favor of cruise intervals in that 3rd edition too.
With Daniels, I always go back to "What physiological adaptation am I trying to achieve?" as the baseline question. Given the context I described above, I think he decided to use long M runs in place of 20 minute threshold and the associated longer, slower, drawn out tempo efforts.
Accordingly, if I hated and dreaded the M pace runs the way you do, I would cut them from the plan and do straight 20 minute tempo runs, or longer and slower tempo runs (say 35 minute tempo runs ant :10 per mile slower than T pace) in their place.
As an aside, I do in fact hate and dread the M pace runs that Daniels prescribes for his marathon training cycles, but I do them anyway because they are essential for marathon training. But they are really hard for me and he functionally treats them as among the harder workouts in his cycle. So you are not alone.
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