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Marathon Training Continues

Marathon training continues

This week’s total miles were 38.17, or 2.52 miles more than last week.
Most training plans allow for a 10% per week increase in miles. My 2.52 was less than that, but enough for me.

longfellow bridge, marathon training

I ran the same 21.01 mile course that I ran the previous week for my Sunday Long Run. Tuesday night I managed to stretch my run to 9.05 miles and my Thursday run was 8.02.

Plans and Goals

When I was training for the Boston Marathon I had a goal of running 542 miles over 16 weeks. That averaged 33.9 miles per week. I was injured for about 5 weeks and ended up running 317 miles over 11 weeks. That averaged 29 miles per week.

I built my 542 mile plan around the Sunday Long Run. The idea was to run all of them, stretch my Tuesday night runs out to 8 miles and have two other runs during the week. Over time, the day time runs and SLR would grow longer and get me to my goal.

I missed my goal by 225 miles. Many of those miles were lost in the weeks before and after my injury. My plan was aggressive and I was not disciplined enough to attain that level of over achievement.

The no plan plan

I considered writing out a plan for the Baystate Marathon. Then I considered how almost everyone gets injured while training for a marathon. Why? Why do veteran runners get injured when they should know how to train.

Runners are disciplined and laser focused. If the plan says run 20 miles, that’s what we do. If it says to run 8 miles on Thursday night, that’s what we do.

The problem is that we become a slave to the spreadsheet. Instead of listening to our bodies, we listen to that little voice that yells the nastiest things at us.

We go out and push ourselves. We’ve all had those runs where the legs feel like lead. Every step confirms what that little voice has been telling us: I fucking hate running!!

Then the body takes revenge on us for being stupid, again. Something starts to hurt. Some people get hairline fractures, or worse. Many of us get tendonitis or strained muscles. Every veteran runner has stories to tell about evenings spent on the couch with a bag of frozen peas.

I ran Boston in 4:04 in 2014. In 2012 I ran my Boston PR of 4:30. I worked a lot harder for that 4:30 than I did for the 4:04. Sure I had an injury in 2014, but I ran fewer miles over fewer weeks.

When I got to Hopkinton I wasn’t injured and I wasn’t physically exhausted, I was ready to go. I cut 26 minutes off of my previous Boston PR!

I have to say it – Amazing!

Lubec,bay of fundy
Andy and Daniel Gerz

26 minutes is huge. It took a few days to sink in. It was just crazy. Six weeks later I ran the Bay of Fundy International Marathon at 4:02:59. I barely trained 20 miles a week for that race and the hills on Campobello are freakin killer! I was truly shocked when I saw the finish time. I hadn’t trained for that. Bay of Fundy is much more challenging than Boston.

When I thought about writing a plan for Baystate I took my past two marathons into consideration and decided no plan was the plan.

All I would do is run the Sunday Long Run program, run long on Tuesday night and try to get one or two lunchtime runs in during the week. I didn’t write out weekly mileage goals or how long each run had to be.

My plan was to listen to my body. Early in my training my left knee had some jabbing pain. I backed off, applied RICE and things worked out. I was worried for a while, but I gave my body the time it needed to heal.

My Sunday Long Runs have felt great. Last year when I started the fall long runs, some of the early runs were really hard on me. This year I have been nailing them. When I ran 21 miles last week, it felt better than when I ran the same 21 miles the previous week, and I ran last week at a much faster pace.

I wouldn’t advise this plan for someone running their first marathon. This will be my 3rd marathon in 2014 and 15th marathon. I’m not an expert, but I’ve done a lot of experimenting.

I have my food, hydration and clothing pretty well worked out. This year I’m experimenting with my training plan. The only rules are to listen to my body and run as fast and as far as it will let me. I have cut some runs short, but not many.

I’ve written a little bit about my race day plan. I’ll have more on that when the marathon gets closer.

Have a great weekend, and run well my friends!


© 2014 anagelin, pub-4167727599129474, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0




4 responses to “Marathon Training Continues”

  1. Paul W Avatar
    Paul W

    Way to go Andy! Great to hear how well the training’s going.

    Two questions trying to take advantage of your 15 marathon experiences: (1) at what pace do you run your long run (2) why? 🙂 (have you experimented with that at all?)


    1. Imarunner2012 Avatar

      I’m probably not the best person to use as an example. I have 2 speeds, go and stop!
      Two weeks ago I ran 21 miles around 10 min pace. Last week I did about 8:30. I run based on how I feel. If I feel weak and like crap I’ll take it easy. Sometimes after warming up, I’m able to push it.
      I used to run the really long runs much slower than marathon pace, just to be sure I could finish. This year I am able to run 21 miles at or better than marathon pace.
      This week the long run is 16 miles. Since it is 5 miles shorter than the past 2 weeks, I will run as close to marathon pace as possible. I need to practice running at that pace.
      Cheers – Andy

      1. Paul W Avatar
        Paul W

        Got it – thanks. It’s something I wrestle with and haven’t got enough data points of my own! I’ve ended up doing some at target MP + 45-60 (but target MP isn’t straightforward for me either!), and some with a progression towards MP. Let’s see what happens at Bay State!

        1. Imarunner2012 Avatar

          Yes. Can’t wait! Good luck with your training!