You have a very large base. You have and are willing to put in the work…the totals don't lie.
My experience is you come off a large base and really crack it down. Dare I say, almost forget
mileage totals. The biggest mistake I see people make like you and me is become a slave
to the log book. I could shoot this of in a dozen discussions about training theories, but the
bottom line is you have to turn this base into speed. Base work = Strength = ability to harvest
more speed. Like Ryan has mention, the bigger the base the higher the peak. You have this.
Mike Platt has said your biggest mileage totals should be 6 months before your goal marathon,
not the few months leading up to it. This is my experience as well.
I did those Lydiard schedules in 1978 as a kid. No idea what I was doing, made tons of mistakes,
but still had some break through runs. Dare I say, those types of regiments are almost for someone
under the eyes of an experienced coach. At 53, you have a much shorter recovery window. I would
seriously look at a much shorter window than 22 weeks or whatever. Older guys who have success
are investing time in fast workouts. You have to drive down your cruising speed. Find a schedule
or regiment with an emphasis that allows for two fast workouts a week (dozens of ideas come to
mind) geared towards marathon training. Maintain a medium and longer run…and get rest.
People ran fast a lot back in the day. Those same people run fast a lot today and do well. They
just have less fast runs. Go get fast. Do it in an orderly manor…and go nuts once-in-a-while.
Your a much experienced runner. If you desire faster times then start cutting loose. That is the best advice I can offer.