April 17, 2004 at 9:02 pm #1405
My next marathon is 2 weeks away! I know the training is behind me now but want to get the most from the last 2 weeks.
Today I ran my last longish run of 16 a little faster than marathon pace. I averaged 7:55 (my MP is 8:00) and I felt pretty good. The warmer tempertures, combined with the fact that I ran without water, made it feel tougher than even much longer runs felt in past weeks. I still feel good going into the taper although todays run bothers me (I feel only 16 should have felt ‘easier’ then it did).
I admit to one ‘stupid mistake’ today (besides not taking water with temps in the mid 50’s); I wanted to average mp or better so I ran mile 10 at 6:22 to make up for my slow pace over the 1st 9 miles. After that I ran between 7:40 and 8:05 till the end and finished in 2:06:45 (7:55). This of course is not how I will race in 2 weeks.
I don’t usually cut back a lot in the first week of tapering. I have been running in the mid 60’s for the past 6 months and will drop to 48 this week and to 22 race week.
My last 2 weeks look like this (not counting the 9 mile mp run tomorrow morning)
4,5,9,5,4,8,13 and then 3.4.8,4,3,0,race
The day I take off before the race will be my first in the last 6 months. I will run most of these runs at or near MP with 1 or 2 workouts around tempo each week (and 3 easy runs each week, the 4,9,4 week 1 and 3,8,3 in race week, respectivly).
Many people speak about cutting volume and mantaining intensity. I believe my last 2 weeks follows that advice, but I may be wrong. Any Advice?
Don’t get the wrong idea, I know my race is already determined by the training over the last 6 months, but I don’t want to make a mistake now, or miss something I could do that would help.
April 17, 2004 at 9:20 pm #14208
You have a plan, follow it, have faith in it, and trust that the plan that you set up to reach your goal will do so.
April 17, 2004 at 10:40 pm #14209
For the past 6 months I have followed my plan so closely that I can honestly say I never missed a workout (or took a day off for that matter).
Generally when I post questioning my plan it follows a workout that didn’t go as ‘planned’. For example last weeks long run, which requires the ‘bathroom breaks’, and this weekends unusual effort for only 16.
Todays 16 felt much harder than I expected. Thats the distance I run when cutting-back milage between long run weeks and is usually a ‘walk-in-the-park’.
My plan is not copied out of a book but the results of personal preference based on plans I have read about (and my past training cycles). Because of todays run I am wondering if I need more rest (or less, or some other subtle change) leading into the race.
To not question a plan I put to paper 6 months ago, based on current developments, is a little scary. A race is a major commitment in time and energy. I want to do whatever is needed to maximize my performance from the time invested.
This is especially true during the last 2 weeks where many people disagree about the optimal strategy to follow and subtle changes may make a difference on race day.
April 17, 2004 at 11:02 pm #14210
If you don’t have faith in your plan, you have nothing. That doesn’t mean you don’t adjust when needed, it means you have faith in your plan and stick to the underlying concepts. Do you need to adjust a bit? None of us here can answer that. You know yourself better than any of us. In general, tapering is pretty simple. Cut back a bit two weeks out, cut back a lot in the final 7-10 days. Decrease volume, both of easy/long runs and of workouts, but keep the paces consistent. Remember that the training is in the bank and the key to the taper is getting to the start line rested and healthy, while still ready to run hard.
April 18, 2004 at 3:58 pm #14211
My faith and confidence in my training will increase as I gain experience. I only began running a little over 2 years ago, never had the benefit of being coached, and base my training strictly on what I have read (mainly in books, with some from forums).
I believe my plan is reasonable for my level of experience, running in the 60-70 mpw range, with a goal of 3:30. Yet every time a workout goes other than how I expect I question if I need to make adjustments.
If I had a coach I would expect that workouts that don’t meet expectations often lead to ‘adjustments’ in training. None of these would constitute ignoring the entire training plan, but would be more in the way of subtle changes.
Perhaps skipping a workout, taking a day off, or adding some other workout would be called for. Part of this is simply nerves as the race nears.
Mentally the marathon is a tough race because you train for so long and put it all on the line in 1 day. There is no ‘next’ race the following weekend if you have an off day like when running a 5k.
Everything from weather (I am reminded of your race into 30 mpw wind as an example of that), to unexpected body ‘function’ problems (like I had last weekend) can go wrong. I don’t want to make any stupid mistakes with less than 2 weeks left.
I do feel better today. I ran the 9 mile mp and really locked in on the pace, +/- 5 secs for every split (except the last mile, I did that at tempo pace). It was only 9 miles but I felt good and finished strong. I quess yesterday might have been an ‘off’ day and hopefully means nothing more than that.
April 19, 2004 at 4:47 pm #14212
You’re fine. Trust your plan, I know it gets tuff near ther end and you get nervous, but theres really nothing you can do to get yourself MORE ready, training-wise. If you have put int the work, trust it.
The only thing I would say to do is to mentally rehearse the race, especially the start so you get on pace and stay there, the biggest mistake you could make is to get out faster than your planned pace.
April 21, 2004 at 1:17 pm #14213
Just my two cents. Cut back on that MP pace and SLOW down the last two weeks except for a tempo run in the second last week. I see too much ambition toward MP pace here too close to the race. That 8 miler you have planned in the last week. On that day I would head to a track and warm up 20 minutes then break into MP pace for only two miles but get the feel. on THAT MP PACE. the rest is ALL EASY EASY EASY, 9-10 min miles for you bud. You trained your butt off and many a marathons are destroyed in the taper. Here you must trust REST and easy running. A couple short tempos, 15 to 20 minutes this week or instead run 3 – 1000’s at Tempo pace, That last 2 mile tempo on Wed or in place of that 8 miler. Randy you have the training in to laugh your way to the half at 8 min miles, and from three breaking 3:30 going away. Your last long run 16 miler worries me, but I think your in better shape than you think. Stick to your race plan and adjust this taper ASAP.
Consider this, I have run tapers as slow as I’m talking here, a last long run at 7:30’s before going 2:57 last fall. Don’t be suprised either if you struggle with the last 2 mi MP run, I’ve never felt good on this day, but the awakening begins therre. Race day you’ll have to control yourself.
the Best of Luck PSKI
April 21, 2004 at 1:31 pm #14214
pski – I agree with you. it looks like you took some of this from Advanced Marathoning. I also felt awful during that 2 mile at MP on the track, but still ran pretty well, except for the fact that I got out way fast and crashed, but that had more to do with my mental preparation than my training!
next time, if there is one, I won’t make that mistake.
April 21, 2004 at 1:38 pm #14215
Ferris, you have referenced the right material and it lends more credibility to this info. I go crazy sometimes sitting here watching the mistakes. And I’ve made my own, believe me. Out to fast and crashing hard. It’s funny how that last MP in that taper feels. But your right on about getting out at the right pace, but even a first mile will not destroy you if the adjustment is immediate after that. The taper is a hard thing to trust. I’m pulling for Randy, he’s been commited and I want to see him suceed. PSKI
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