I hate to say it, but I’m afraid you are right.
You say you felt like you weren’t going to be able to hold 2:40 pace almost from the start, and it sounds like you felt the crash coming well before it actually happened.
Exactly. Lesson learned. But it’s rather frustrating that with more fitness and more experience I ran my slowest marathon 😥
So here’s what I’m thinking. Compare your 10K, half marathon, and marathon PRs and a pattern emerges. For convenience, I’ll use Jack Daniels’ VDOT table to make my point, though the race conversion calculator on this site also works. Your 10K PR suggests about a 1:13 half marathon and a 2:33 marathon (VDOT about 65). Your half marathon PR suggests a 2:37:22 marathon (VDOT 62.5 or so). Yet your PR is 2:43 (VDOT 60). You tend to run significantly slower than predicted as the distance gets longer.
Sorry but I must give some additional information. Those 33:05 and 1:15:29 PBs were ran during what I consider marathon training. I had not tapered. The HM PB was on a Sunday, the day before I did 4hours of MTB with 1500m elevation gain, the Friday I had a session of 10X1000 with a min off. The thursday I flew 12 hours from Japan to Italy. COnditions were very far from ideal, and the same is true for the 33:05 10km.
Had I put myself in ideal condition, those 1:15:29 and 33:05 would have been faster.
The 2:43 PB was ran in ideal condition, but I must admit that the training that brought me there was much more modest than what I did for 33:05 and 1:15:29. I’m not sure they can be compared.
So there’s a couple possibilities: 1) You’re not properly trained for the longer distances.
Perhaps this is true, but my main wonder is : why I was in my best marathon fitness and I ran my slowest marathon ? I trained less for 2:43 than I did for 2:52.
2) You’re built to race best in the 5K-10K range (or possibly even shorter), and that’s just the way it is. Let’s take a closer look at your training…
You seem to have plenty of background, run adequate volume,
I think more than adequate, I ran less for 2:43 !
But what really jumps out at me is that you seem to train at only 2 speeds… easy pace and your 3:20-3:30/km intervals. You seem to completely neglect tempo runs and marathon pace runs
My intervals are relatively long (total time of hard running is typically 40-50min), with very short recovery (1min). This is much better for LT than it is for VO2max.
But you are right, the difference between this marathon adn those before is that I almost completely missed MP runs.
So as you suggest, the problem may be that you didn’t train specifically enough for the distance.
Again, I’m afraid you are dead right. But again, it’s frustrating : I had much more confident because my mileage was higher and my fast session were faster.
I’m willing to bet you would improve in the future if you put more emphasis on tempo runs, regardless of the distance you’re training for, and maybe a little less emphasis on the intervals if training for a marathon.
The race was 8 days ago. I’m jogging very easy right now. Sure I very much look forward to change my training in the direction you say and see how things change.
I’d be shocked if this didn’t make a significant difference, though again, there’s always the possibility that you’re more of a 5-10K specialist. Only time will tell.
I believe I’m more built for the mary than for anything else.
My first road mary was 2:49:30, but at that time my 10km and HM best were 34:49 and 1:17:40. Training and conditions were equally good.
But you are right, only time will tell. I look forward to more running and to find it out.
While you had a disappointing race, it doesn’t sound like such a disaster to me. You found the strength to finish when you had nothing left in the tank, still managed to have a good time, and you’re striving to learn from the experience. It may turn out to be a great race after all.
From the point of view of the performance, comparing what I thought I was in shaper for (by looking at training and mary races for this and for the 2 before), I still consider it a disaster.
But overall it was good. Running is not (not only) about running fast or slow. It’s also about learning from mistakes. It’s also about enjoying sacrifices as well as pain of training and races.
Thanks again for patience and good comments.
I look forward to more running.