I hope I’m ready for my marathon now. I just finished my first 300 mile month ever:
I also just finished my first 80-mile week last week:
It’s a been long road since my best marathon time ever, in May 2009, to now. I’ve had to learn how to push myself without putting myself out of commission for 4-8 weeks at a time, as the graph shows below:
The lessons learned? [Your mileage may vary]
- There should be at most only 2 strictly paced workouts per week: 1 tempo or interval, and maybe 1 long run at pace (don’t obsess on pace for the long run).
- If you’re going to be on the treadmill for easy/recovery runs, undershoot the pace on these.
- For a double-run day, one of the runs should be a minute per mile slower than “easy pace”.
- During the bulk of the mileage build-up, it’s okay to go slower than you’re capable of. Really.
- If you must track your time and distance always, use a stopwatch on a measured route instead of GPS.
- If anything stops working for you mentally or due to time-constraints, make a change:
- Split up longer workouts if schedule is a constraint.
- Run at a different time of day.
- Run on the treadmill.
- Avoid the treadmill.
- Drive to a park that you don’t normally run in.
I’ve also learned that beyond about 50 miles per week, the mental, psychological, and political [home and work] aspects of getting workouts in become more difficult than the physical aspects. I absolutely don’t have answers for any of that, except to be as generous and flexible as possible when not running to buy the good graces of those who you depend on and who depend on you.