This comes from Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack's blog on his website:
" I say go out and try to get in touch with your perceived exertion and your body rhythm at least a few times a week in all the disciplines of our sport. Most of the time in training, especially when I go to a new town, I often test myself by doing the following.
I leave the hotel room for a run and check the clock before I leave. I then say to myself, okay, I am going to go and run for 1 hour. When I come back I try and see how close to that hour I actually was. I take no watch with me nor do I set any preconceived pace. I run freely and try and feel my way to understanding just how long I have been running by my surroundings and my pace and effort. Funnily enough, the fitter I get the better I am at getting very close to the hour. Early in the season I have gone for what I thought was an hour run and been only 45 minutes. Its crazy how skewed your perceived effort and time can be without the use of tools sometimes. Now I feel very confident I can nail a 10 mile run on feeling without relying on a Garmin to tell me and I could run 90 minutes pretty close to the minute without relying on a watch. It is something I enjoy testing myself with weekly and the more you do it, the greater you will start to feel this freedom of exercise and this tune that you have never paid attention to before. It is this understanding sometimes that will be your biggest strength in a race."
This is such an interesting idea and it meshes nicely with how I'm feeling after reading Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running By Feel (see my review here). I really need to think on it more before I have too much to say, but I think taking the advice of a two-time world champion might be a good way to go when approaching the next cycle of my own training. Macca better watch out. I just bought his book and soon I'll know all his secrets and then he'd still beat me if I was allowed a motor on my bike and roller skates on the run.