Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Revel Marathon is on Saturday- A Summary of this training cycle, and goals post

13 weeks is enough time to train for a marathon, right?   I would like to say that I feel very fortunate to be able to race on Saturday.  In December I was recovering from a tendon injury in my right foot.

I had promised that I would work on strength training and that I would slowly ease my way back into running.  But, like the impulsive person that I am, I ended up signing up for a marathon in the middle of January after only returning to running after two weeks.  My foot has been feeling okay.  It was a little sore during my vacation earlier this month.  I had been wearing flat sandals and had been doing more speed work.  But, since I have been back at work and wearing heels or wedges the slight foot issue has healed.

I felt like I started training for this marathon at the last week of January.  I had managed to get my mileage up to 35 miles a week by the end of January with base building running.  February was more base building with hill climbing.  During this training cycle, I did a lot of hill climbing in preparation for the downhill marathon that I will be running.

In March I began to work with my coach Brent Bowers again, and I had a monster month.  I ran 198 miles in March. Even though this training cycle was shorter we crammed in some higher mileage weeks with lots of climbing.

My favorite workouts were the mid-week mid-long tempo runs.  My long runs were handled differently.  I was mostly running for time instead of distance.

So let's get to the actual numbers and mileage

This is what my last marathon training cycle looked like
August 159 -Approx 36 miles per week
September- 162- Approx 38 miles per week
October- 170. Approx 39 miles per week.
November 35- About 25 miles per week (taper month)

And this is the current training cycle

January 102 Miles -Approx 23 miles per week 
February 147 Miles-Approx 37 miles per week
March 198 Miles-Approx 45 miles per week
April 113 Miles-Approx 33 miles per week (taper time)

Elevation stats
January- 3,993 feet climbed
February- 5,706 feet climbed
March- 8,382 feet climbed
April- 2,305 feet climbed

Total Elevation 20,386 feet.

***tangent*** (sorry in advance for the narcissistic naval gazing)I was looking through my old running calendars.  I sometimes wish that I was as fast as I used to be 10 years ago.  
Me dying during the 2nd
half of the St. George Marathon
in 2009.

I could run a 21 minute 5k easily, and I would sometimes race an okay marathon.... But,  when I went over some of my training logs I realized that I wasn't training very smart.   I would run a 20 miler at 8:00 pace, but then I would need to take 3-4 days off from running to recover from that effort.  My mileage would sometimes top out at 45 miles per week, but then other weeks I would only hit 25 miles per week.  I was also a vain runner who thought that I had to run hard all of the time and 9-minute miles scared me.  I had plenty of speed, but it never translated into a fast marathon. I BQ'ed a two or three times but,  I was always a positive split marathoner.  I would run strong for the first 15-20 miles and then crash and burn on the back end....

So while I might not be able to run as fast as I used to, I'm okay with it.   My legs are able to handle higher mileage, and I've become a smarter runner. My coach Brent was able to demonstrate that not every run has to be in the 8-minute range and that less is more sometimes.  I have learned to appreciate recovery days.
End Tangent****

The weather for this race should be perfect.  We are going to be bussed up into Mt. Charleston Mountain area and it will be a freezing 33 degrees at the start.  I'm going to wear fleece throw away pajamas until the start, and I will be wearing a throwaway beanie and gloves too.  It will be in the lower 60's when the race ends and there will be a slight cross wind.

Goals and Strategy
This is a crazy fast course.  But, it can be super brutal if you take the downhill for granted.

My PR is a 3:31:49, (8:05 per mile) I don't think that I'm quite ready to PR. My strategy is to hold back during the first half.  If I see any sub 8-minute miles I will purposely slow down.  I can not bank time during a marathon.  If I go out too fast I will crash and burn hard during the 2nd half.
I plan on hitting 8:20-8:15's for the first half, and drop down to 8:10's for the 2nd half.  If I feel really good, I will save it for the last three miles and try to run 7:55 pace.

A-Goal 3:35
B-Goal Sub 3:40
C-Goal  Run a smart race. (don't crash and burn)

See you on the other side and thank you for reading.


  1. 13 weeks seems fine to me! Maybe a shorter training cycle will be the key to a great race. -RWD

  2. I honestly think, given your training stats, your strong recent marathon, and the course profile, that you could PR. And I think a BQs in the bag!

  3. Think of me tomorrow when you're done with your race and I'm just reaching the turnaround of mine! I'll have you in my thoughts tomorrow!! -RWD