12

Any advice on poor marathon run (Read 1452 times)

    Completed my first marathon today in Chester which I am pleased about but think I could and should have got a much better time, so was looking for advice on how to improve or if anyone can see where it went wrong. My time was 4:20:08

     

    All my training is recorded in my training log onthis site.

     

    2 weeks ago, I completed Macclefield Half Marathon as part of my training in 1:44:57 ( 8:02 min/mile) and i felt quite comfortable at this pace throughout, even when I finished. The race calculator here estimates my marathon time to be 3:41:53 (8:29 pace) so aimed for this pace with a goal of finishing in 4 hours. 

     

    I maintained the 8:29 pace through to 16 miles, and felt fine until then, started to feel a tiny bit tired so slowed to 9:15 pace for 2 miles, through to 18 miles. At 19 miles the wheels were off and I having to walk / jog the remainder of the race, and didnt enjoy it at all. 

     

    I did carb loading the week before, in particular on Thurs - Sunday, and during the run I was drinking isotonic sports drink and eating wine gums. I've tried gels before and i'm not too keen on them, I find then sticky and messy and sickly, so I've been trying wine gums and sports drinks, not felt I've had a massive problem, but longest run was 22 miles and was slowing at the end of that,but put it down to it just being the furthest Ive ever been.

     

    I'm aware of hitting the wall at around 18 mile mark, which is where things went wrong. Do I need to try some other way of getting energy into me during a run, was my training not quite right?

     

    Next marathon booked for end of April 2012 so want to improve by then. I can do longer runs now so was planning on doing some 20+ mile runs every two or three of weekends with shorter ones (14/16) in the other weekends in between

     

    My worry now is the wine gums were a waste of time. I must have eaten 100g of them or more and had 3 isotonic drinks and it seems to have no effect at all.

     

    Or if I'm going for 4 hours should I have gone slower (9 min/mile) from the start?

     

    Any advice please

      Just out of curiosity... why did you race a 5k the day before?

        If your weekly mileage is about 25-30 Miles per week (most of it in that 1 long run), and you try to race 26.2 your marathon went just as one would expect. Try and run 40 MPW, split that weekly mileage a bit more evenly through out the week with a mid week medium long run of about 60-70 % of the long run distance and I think  you'll get your predicted 3:40 or better.

          Just out of curiosity... why did you race a 5k the day before?

           

          It was a race, but I didn't 'race' it , I jogged it at around 75% of what I would normally do it in

            Still, it was 2 min/mile faster than your usual easy run.  Though it's probably not the only factor, you probably did have some fatigue from your run the day before.

              Still, it was 2 min/mile faster than your usual easy run.  Though it's probably not the only factor, you probably did have some fatigue from your run the day before.

               

              2 mins faster but a lot shorter mind, over a minute slower than what I would usually run that distance at, but point taken...Maybe I should have run it with my wife in 30 minutes as I originally planned.

                If your weekly mileage is about 25-30 Miles per week (most of it in that 1 long run), and you try to race 26.2 your marathon went just as one would expect. Try and run 40 MPW, split that weekly mileage a bit more evenly through out the week with a mid week medium long run of about 60-70 % of the long run distance and I think  you'll get your predicted 3:40 or better.

                 

                I was following a plan and stuck to it, I was thinking of this earlier that it was a beginners plan, based presumably on just to get round, rather than finish in a certain time, so good point,. Just had a quick look at the runnersworld training plan for sub 4:00 marathon and that goes up to 50 miles at its peak, so I'll take that on board for next time. I've only been running for a year and the ultimate aim was to 'run a marathon', and I got this plan and did some 10ks and half marathons on the way over the year. My goals changed to 4 hours when I realised my half marathon speed and got used to bring able to comfortably tun 14 miles+ and seeing that translated to a sub 4-hour marathon. But only with more miles being run I suppose. Thank you.

                  Welcome to the club.  I think until you actually run a marathon, you don't realize how much of a different beast it is from shorter races.  And, congrats - that's a good showing for #1.

                  Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                    Don't let your goal pace distract you from the fact that that was a great first, something to be proud of. Add more base miles and a 10+ mi run mid week and you'll get there next time. The first two suck, there's no getting around that. I hit the wall twice in races, it comes down to more time on your feet in training not some last minute refined carbs. Send me some of those wine gums!!


                    Feeling the growl again

                      A quick at your log shows an average of only 30mpw with very, VERY few runs over 10 miles the past two months.  You also raced a 5K the day before your goal marathon??

                       

                      Don't race the day -- or the week -- before a marathon.  Work your mileage up do closer to 50mpw.  Then you will be at the point you can think about racing a marathon.  On the training your log shows, you just aren't conditioning your body to race that far or that long.

                      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                       


                      HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                        I'm no expert, but it does seem like the marathon shows a lot of variability compared to shorter races - a lot more problems can crop up.

                         

                        Regardless, congratulations on succeeding at your first.

                        It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                          The marathon finds you out in ways that shorter races don't. It's pretty common for marathons to not go according to plan.

                           

                          I agree with others that the run the day before did not help - if you run at all in the couple of days before a marathon take it very gently. And I would not have raced a half marathon 2 weeks before a marathon ( a 21km training run is different).

                           

                          I see from your splits that you were a lot slower in the second half - so clearly it would have helped to go out a little slower, but you had a reasonable target pace so it was hard to know that in advance. You should plan to run at a constant pace (which is not the same as constant effort - it gets progressively harder.)

                           

                          Of course you don't know whether the drink and wine gums helped or not... it could have been worse without them. 

                           

                          You mention that you slowed at the end of your long runs. I think the main thing to focus on for next time is to get used to running your long runs so that you finish strongly. If this means that you start them slowly then so be it. I would suggest that you should try to do some of you long runs so that you run the last 30-40% of the distance at your target pace - don't worry about the pace in the first half (and don't do this every week - maybe every second week).  If you can't run your target pace for a few miles at the end of a long training run then it's very unlikely that you'll be able to do it in the last few miles of a marathon when you've run the whole thing at that pace. Conversely, once you find that you are able to do this kind of thing it'll boost your confidence for the marathon.


                          Climbing Mt Ruapehu

                            20 days till my first marathon. An interesting and thought provoking read, thanks all.

                            Personal Race Records:

                            M 3:52:48 (Auckland 2011), HM 1:38:16 (Taupo 2010), 10km 45:05 (Sir Barry 2010), 5km 20:21 (How Pak 5km 2010)

                             

                            2012 Goals:
                            Run the 75km Hillary Trail in a day (done 10/3/2012)

                               1) There is no such thing as a poor first marathon as long as you cross the finish line.  Finishing is an accomplishment and if you don't like your time, great, use it as motivation to train harder for your next one.

                               

                              2) Don't get caught up in the specifics of your "plan".  Chances are it is a generic plan so it might work for some people, not work for some people and most of us will fall somewhere in the middle where it will help but won't be perfect.

                               

                              3) No one workout is more important than your cumulative training and the guy who wins the marathon isn't the guy who wants it most on race day, it's the guy who wanted it most every day for the 4-6 months before the race.  All the long runs and track workouts you do won't help unless you also find a balance of rest, diet and base mileage throughout the week that works for YOU.  There isn't an exact answer on this balance that works for everyone.

                               

                              4) Have fun experimenting with your training until you find something that works.  Joining a local running club can be a big part of this.

                                Great Job.  I think you did a lot of things right.

                                 

                                1.) You finished and that should be most first timers only goal.  You learn a lot from that first marathon.

                                2.) You set a reasonable PR you can now beat with your second Marathon.  Excellent as you need motivation for that 2nd one.

                                3.) Your asking for advice on how to improve, gotten some great advice and your listening to it.  Awesome.

                                4.) You didn't injure yourself from what I can tell.  Very important.

                                 

                                I think you are going to have a great 2nd marathon.  Keep bringing it along slowly.  Too may people want to go to fast too soon.  Jump to the 50 mile a week plan.  Remember to take the easy runs easy and make the hard runs hard.  I see way too many runners that run everything hard.  Don't be one of those people.   I'm one of the few that needs to go in the opposite direction. 

                                 

                                Congrats on finishing your first marathon.  Now what race will be your 2nd one?

                                2014 Goals: (Yeah I suck)

                                • Sub 22  5K
                                • Sub 1:35 1/2 marathon 
                                • Sub 3:25:00 Marathon
                                12