Jumping into Marathon in 5 Weeks

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Andrew A. 9 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #11705

    MothAudio
    Member

    Profile: 52 YO. Lifelong runner. 18 marathons completed. Last '07. After my BQs in '05 and '06 I had a very unsuccessful '07 campaign. Since I've dropped down targeting the 5k – 10k distance while maintaining mileage [avg. 2300 mpy last 5 years]. My long range goal is to trim 10 minutes off my '06 marathon and run sub-3:20. How I would get there is improve my speed at the shorter distances as I have no problem with mileage, long runs or carrying what little speed I have. I didn't put a deadline for my marathon attempt as that would be dependent on my [speed] progress. In the past my marathon race pace is one minutes slower than my 5k pace and about 20 seconds slower than my half pace.

    Fast forward 2009: One of my best training years so far. Have cut one minute from my 5k time since the Spring. All of my training paces [and race paces] have improved since I ran those 3:30 marathons back in '05 / '06. As I spent 6 months rehabing an injury last year I projected my sub-3:20 attempt for 2010. And while I do not see myself being in that kind of shape now I'm curious about my marathon fitness and if I think I can BQ [3:35] I might jump into the upcoming [home town] Columbus marathon October 18th.

    After completing the final phase of the Dr. Daniel's 1500m-3000m “B” schedule my raw speed has improved, evidenced by my 5k times, but I've noticed even greater improvements in my steady state / tempo threshold. So I began experimenting by adding some MLRs and LRs, and while I've averaged 57 mpw for 2009 I've recorded highs of 72 / 83 miles the last 2 weeks. My longest continuous runs this year have been these past two weekends; 22 and 23 miler. Prior to that my longest run were only 17 miles but I've done a number of doubles that totaled 20+ miles. Averaged 8:11 pace for 20.6 miles [nice aerobic effort] during my 22 miler, the 23 miler was much slower as I ran [a portion] with a group of runners I'm assisting. The day before I pushed my son in a baby jogger in a 15 mile race [17 total] – so 40 miles in 24 hours. My tempos runs are in the 7:08-7:15 range.

    I have another 5k tomarrow, hoping to keep edging toward my 6:38 pace goal avg I need for my sub-3:20 attempt. Currently my 5k pace is 6:45. I'll continue running 70-80 mile weeks and should I decide on the marathon use a 2 week taper. I need to continue to see how my long runs progress and complete 1-2 ten mile marathon pace runs before coming to a decision.

    My question – has anyone jumped into the marathon like this [6 weeks of training + 2 week taper], and if so how did it turn out? For perspective, when I ran the 3:30's I used Pfitz 18/70 and 12/55 plans whereas this time I'm relying on my experience, overall base mileage and improved short speed. Reasons for jumping into the marathon is to secure a BQ and more importantly measure my progress toward my sub-3:20 goal. TIA

    MikE      

  • #28446

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I haven't done this but what jumped out at me was the 57 mpw average this year. On top of some good intensity and holding your own at tempo paces, I'd say you're pretty ready. Those long runs show that the consistent volume of this year is paying off. If you try it, you may even surprise yourself a bit.

  • #28447

    Andrew A.
    Member

    I haven't done this but what jumped out at me was the 57 mpw average this year. On top of some good intensity and holding your own at tempo paces, I'd say you're pretty ready. Those long runs show that the consistent volume of this year is paying off. If you try it, you may even surprise yourself a bit.

    +1
    A >25% increase in average weekly volume over the past 30+ weeks above what it had been for the previous five years would make the chief difference in any improvement from 5K and up.

  • #28448

    SBSpartan
    Member

    I read your post twice and really can't figure out why you are even questioning if you can.  Seems to me like you are more than ready.  I know more than a few people who don't put in the miles you put in and run 3:20.

    Like Ryan said you are running like 57 mpw, you should be totally fine. 

    BTW I am not a big fan of the race predictors.  I only bring it up because you mentioned your 5k time.  It can be fun to look at, and can be a measure of fitness, but if you ask me it has nothing to do with a marathon.  For example I have run a 19:40 5K and a 41:40 10K (both in the last 9 months) and according to McMillan that should make a something like a 3:15 marathoner.  It doesn't and I am not.  In fact, I am not even close.  My advice (crappy advice as it may be) is to trust in what you have learned from your experience, trust in the massive amount of training you have done, and use those to gauge your goal.  Pace predictors are fun, experience will tell you the truth.

  • #28449

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    BTW I am not a big fan of the race predictors.  I only bring it up because you mentioned your 5k time.  It can be fun to look at, and can be a measure of fitness, but if you ask me it has nothing to do with a marathon.  For example I have run a 19:40 5K and a 41:40 10K (both in the last 9 months) and according to McMillan that should make a something like a 3:15 marathoner.  It doesn't and I am not.  In fact, I am not even close.  My advice (crappy advice as it may be) is to trust in what you have learned from your experience, trust in the massive amount of training you have done, and use those to gauge your goal.  Pace predictors are fun, experience will tell you the truth.

    Agree to an extent. However, it seems like Mike is gauging his readiness for his goal marathon time based on experience, not on the calculators. With the amount of experience Mike has, I have a feeling he knows what kind of 5K time he has to run before he's ready for a 3:20 marathon.

  • #28450

    MothAudio
    Member

    Thanks guys. I've read the replies and appreciate the responses. I guess the big difference with this [possible] marathon attempt is that I've not followed a marathon schedule. And I've only completed two 20-23 milers all year. Instead I've been working on my weakness' for the last 1 1/2 years and the longest race I've done since '07 was a hilly 15 miler on Labor where I pushed my son in a jogger [hardly a gauge to project anything].

    Two weeks ago I only ran 54 miles tapering for a 5k but this week I'm shooting for my 1st ever 100 mile week. That includes two steady state runs, a 21:21 tempo run and a 10 mile marathon pace run this weekend. Should the MP run go well I'll probably go for it. As Ryan said, my 5k and marathon race paces have always been a minute apart. Right now I'm about 8 seconds per mile short of my sub-3:20 goal. I'm hoping to improve that before the marathon.    

  • #28451

    Andrew A.
    Member

    This is a bit tangential – and Ryan could perhaps expound further on this than I am – but most marathon schedules, as with the long run, are typically overrated.  It might be better to go from 20-40 mpw with no structure to it to something that progressively increases volume and introduces a structure that reflects hard-easy and a progressively longer longest run of the week.  However, anyone who has been running with performance goals for more than a couple years already knows well how to structure training with a hard-easy pattern and to build up the length of the longest weekly run in accord with the weekly volume.  Simply keying in on consistency and specificity – touching all energy systems fairly regularly – is the ideal.  There is no real magic to the garden variety sample training plans. 

  • #28452

    MothAudio
    Member

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I's guess it's a done deal now. I ran my 3rd 20 miler in the last four weeks earlier; 12 miles @ marathon pace. Did a two mile warm up and the 1st mile was 7:53 but found my rhythm after that averaging 7:39 pace for the next 11 miles. Then seven recovery miles @ 9:07, 8:35, 8:35, 8:38, 8:27, 8:30 and 8:21 for my 100th mile for the week. 2:42 for 20 miles – 8:06 average. That's faster than what I need for my BQ.

    Not sure about averaging 7:39 for 26 but a new Master's personal record looks like a lock. I'm thrilled with the workout but I'm more surprized how easily the 100 miles felt. And that's 27 miles further than my previous best. And it's not like those were all “soft miles”. I did two steady state runs, a 21:21 tempo run, a fartlek run and today's MP run. And I feel like I could go back out and run some more. I guess my endurance is good. And the best part of my day was my son providing support on his bike the whole way! Thanks again for the well wishes!

    MikE

  • #28453

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I was thinking of posting something about training programs. Mike, you may not have followed a marathon program but you are way ahead of them. How many pre-canned training plans have one averaging 57 mpw for 8+ months? You've done three 20 milers? How many pre-canned training plans have you doing that?

    Not following one of those training plans may be the best idea you can come up with to do this marathon. You're ahead of the game. Take advantage of it.

  • #28454

    ed
    Participant

    I concur – you are way ahead of any published plan out there.  You have seen so many of them and trained to them – you know what they entail.  Programs are great for first, second and maybe even third timers – but not seasoned vets like yourself.

    Keep doing what you are doing – feel things out as the mary approaches.

  • #28455

    MothAudio
    Member

    Here's what I've done the last 10 days. 83 miles last week with two quality workouts; 2 mile TT @ 6:37 pace and a 20 miler in 2:40 [8:01] with 10 @ MP – 7:37 pace. This week I've run 54 miles [M-W]. Ran 30 miles yesterday [via quadruple for mileage game challenge]. Longest run ever [felt fine]. Like to get in another 6-8 mile marathon pace run Friday and 2 mile TT Sunday. Giving me 80ish for the week and 68 mile average for the last 10 weeks. Then 2 week taper. I guess I could have BQ'd on Sunday, so I'll have to set my sights a bit higher.

  • #28456

    MothAudio
    Member

    Overall pleased with my effort, though I seemed to peak about a month ago. Then got acute sinusitis and never felt the same during my workouts the last two weeks. Looks like a went out too fast but I really don't think I did. I was nailing my 10 mile MP runs @ 7:37 pace and felt very comfortable at that pace today and then I just seemed to lose strenght over the course. This was just a TT to see where I'm at the goal race isn't until next Fall, so plenty of time to tweak things and complete a more comprehensive training cycle.  

    1 – 8:13
    2 – 7:31
    3 – 7:34
    4 – 7:42
    5 – 7:32
    6 – 7:27    
    7 – 7:50
    8 – 7:50
    9 – 7:47 [pit stop]
    10 – 7:39
    11 – 7:38
    12 – 7:54
    13 – 7:40 [1:42:00 half split]
    14 – 7:57
    15 – 8:01
    16 – 7:51
    17 – 8:49 [wardrobe malfunction]
    18 – 8:07
    19 – 8:18
    20 – 8:02
    21 – 7:58
    22 – 7:52
    23 – 7:46
    24 – 8:38 [wind/uphill]
    25 – 8:21
    26 – 8:27
    .2 – 1:41

    3:28:13 – new master's record – best time in 14 years.

  • #28457

    ed
    Participant

    Excellent job – I hope the wardrobe malfunction was only shoe rea;ted.  🙂

  • #28458

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I know all about that peaking a bit too early with untimely sickness creeping in right now, I think I did the same thing on about the same schedule. Still, to hold through for your best time in nearly a decade and a half? That's a great accomplishment. Good job.

  • #28459

    Andrew A.
    Member

    Good running!

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