It took 70-80 mpw to get to 3:24 so I figure 80-90 will get me to 3:15.
My running history is pretty short but has shown steady improvment with increased mileage.
2002/05 – 4:28 – 40-50
2003/05 – 3:37 – 50-60
2004/05 – 3:29 – 60-70
2005/05 – 3:24 – 70-80
I ran 4 other marathons (in October those same years) but the May races are from the same event each year (Long Island). The first race (2002/05)was only 4 months after I started running. I admit it was dumb to run a marathon with so little background and therefore that race is not a good data point.
To run 3:24 I training the past 6 months followed this pattern:
7 Quality (plus 1 wu/ 1 cd)
7 Quality (plus 1 wu/1 cd)
12 Steady (some mp)
The 2 quality days were easy runs during most of the training. At 12 weeks they became hill repeats, at 8 weeks tempo runs, at 4 weeks a combination of tempo, mp and intervals.
The only element I down played this time was intervals. I wanted to try more tempo runs instead. It didn’t seem to help or hurt so I probably will return to a bigger emphasis on intervals in the final 8 weeks.
My pace varied from 8:30 – 6:30 depending on the workout (with long runs averaging about 8:00).
I try to follow a plan that incorporated all the usual elements with an emphasis on sustained weekly mileage, long runs and medium long runs.
I aggree the amount of mileage it took to get a 3:24 is high compared to many runners.
Either its because I began running only a few years ago (for the first time in my life, never ran back in school), or at age 47 it takes more mileage to get the same results as others, or I am just plain slow and it takes this mileage for mediocre performances.
If someone has a better way, with less milage to get me to sub 3:15 I am certainly willing to give it a try. If I had a coach that I trusted I would certainly follow the advice.
If nothing else, I am ULTRA consistant. I always follow my planned schedule without fail. In the course of a year I run every day, taking perhaps 3-5 days a year, mostly for race travel days.
While not very fasy I tolerate mileage well. I never have trouble recovering from runs. In fact I was running Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the marathon, with only minor tightness in the legs. I only jogged this week but will already be at 35 miles by Sunday.
Maybe I will have a ‘breakout’ race one day. In the meantime if I can continue to improve 5-10 minutes a year I figure a sub 3 on my 50th birthday maybe possible. I don’t know if it will ever happen but I continue to work towards the goal.