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Reevaluating goals for first marathon (Read 252 times)

    I had to put this in 101.. there are a few obvious mistakes, but rather than make excuses, here's the jist:

     

    Just a few years of solid running, back beyond that I had nothing since high school... shooting for sub-3 in my first marathon. Some shorter distance PRs from last season indicate I could do better than that, but there are bounds to my naivete. Training has gone well, weekly mileage consistently in the mid 40s with peaks right around 60. Then I had a 20 miler at a 6 hour race that turned into 29. I ran with my wife, ran slow, and although it beat me up some I felt pretty good and gave myself a few days to start to come back. Then I ran a planned 13 mile trial at MP a week later and it was just grueling- the hardest run I've ever done.. leaving me with wacky core temperature swings and a weak stomach. The same 13 mile trial was a killer for my wife- 7 miles in she ran out of gas. I suppose it's worth mentioning that I feel like I'm fighting off a cold that just can't quite get the better of me.

     

    So...my inexperience makes it impossible for me to distinguish between the effects of accumulated fatigue and setting the bar too high. I'm pretty beat at the moment.. not beat up, though. I dunno- take a look at my log if you're so inclined. I plan to start at 7min pace, check in at 10k and make a decision by the half. Am I dreaming at hitting 6:50?


    Consistently Slow

      I am thinking over-training. From 69 miles to over 200 miles in 60 days. When is the race? Can you do a 3 week taper?

      Run until the trail runs out.

      2013***1500 miles

      50 miler

      Race Less Train More

       

      Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

      "The Marble in The Groove"

       

      unsolicited chatter

      http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

        Runnerclay is right, you did a lot of running in March and April without much of a gentle buildup after a winter lull...and your average pace didn't slow down much, if I'm reading your log summary right.  I don't know if that made you officially overtrained (in the sense of suffering from overtraining syndrome) but it'll definitely make you tired.

         

        Apart from that, I'd say neither you nor your wife were recovered from the 29 miler when you tried to do 13 at MP! Doesn't matter how slow you run it, 29 miles is a long way and "respect the distance" is a cliche for a reason. It sounds like you were just run down, not recovered, possibly also fighting off a virus of some sort when you did that MP run. I wouldn't set or change my marathon goal time on the basis of that one crappy run.

         

        Of course none of this answers your question about your marathon goals. To be blunt, it sounds to me like you are not ready for sub-3 yet, but I bet people with more experience will have more helpful things to say about that one.

         

        Take care of yourself!

         

        MTA: That assertion about being ready for sub-3 was based on your log, not your MP run disaster. My feeling is  you need to string together a lot more high-mileage months (and possibly slow down a little, in general, for most of your runs) before you can really go for it.

        FSocks


        Gramps

          i'm not sure where you youre getting that your times show you a ready for sub 3. Last race the 8k on March 1 Doesn't show that you are ready for sub 3. That's assuming you raced that all out. Most first time marathoners don't have the endurance to hold pace for the full 26. But maybe you're different good luck either way. If you don't hit some three the first marathon with some additional training I'm sure you'll hit it soon enough.

          Running is dumb. 

            Just to speak to a couple of things- 7:30 really is a conversational pace for me, and while I kind of jumped into the training, after that I haven't added weekly mileage very quickly. The race isn't till the end of May and I do have a 3 week taper planned... and because of the way I jumped into the training I haven't 'raced' any races I've been in this season. Plus last season's peak was all short distance racing. Daniels predicts ~2:53:00 from that but I have no reason to expect that's even remotely possible right now.

             

            I appreciate the input. More than anything, I need other perspectives, ya know?

              Personally I think 3 hours seems like a pretty big stretch.  (That being said, I only have a Marathon PR of 3:04:14, so I must disclose that I have never run sub 3).   The bad 13 miler has nothing to do with my belief, I'm guessing that was just because you beat your legs up way more than you thought on that 29 miler.  Toughest run of my life was a 16 miler when I thought I was in good shape, thought it was about 1 week after a race that I went all out on.  The last 8 of that run was full of walking for me. Smile   In my opinion it just seems like you don't have the mileage or the fortune of several marathon training cycles under your belt.  I peeked at your log, and until the last 5 weeks or so you were typically in the 25-35mpw range for the past 18 months.   Nothing wrong with this, I just don't know of anybody that can go out and run sub 3 with that mileage history.   But perhaps you are just naturally REALLY fast and can pull it off. (I know I can't)

               

              If you glance at my log (ignore long gaps with zero miles entered, that's just when I get lazy and don't enter them in to the site since I keep all my runs in a personal spreadsheet I have.  Also, when I check "race" that is just a run at or around race pace) you will see I trained to run around 3:00 or 3:05 last fall.  My race was September 22nd, so my mileage peeked in August (300 miles), with a few weeks in the 71-73 mile range.   Morning of the race I felt about 65% confident I could hit sub 3, and about 95% confident on hitting sub 3:05, which was 5 minutes under BQ.  I decided to run for sub 3:05 that day and overall had my best Marathon ever, (Negative split by 1:30, and ran miles 25 & 26 at around 6:45 pace), however, I still don't know If I would have been able to break 3 that day.

               

              Your call, but having never run a marathon before, you may putting yourself in position for a pretty good bonk during the last 10K.  If your okay with that, go for it, however, I've crashed hard on 5 previous marathons (2 due to extreme weather, ie almost 90 degrees at the finish, and 3 of them due to poor pacing/preparation) and as many others can tell you, it ain't fun having to finish those last 3-5 miles once you truly bonk. Smile   Good luck!!

                Well, the good news is you seem to have some natural talent, and are in good shape and geared for faster running.  I feel that you will be able to do a sub 3 marathon more easily than most people.

                 

                The issue is whether you have the accumulated training base you'll need to run at the required intensity for 3 hrs.  I would wager you could run 6:52 pace for 18 miles now, but that's not a marathon.

                 

                Nothing can replace putting miles on your legs.  The Daniels/McMilllan/etc conversions are all based on doing the required specific training for the distance and goal.  I think you would definitely benefit from higher mileage and more time on your legs.

                 

                I suggest you take the pressure of a time goal off yourself for your first one, or pick an easier goal.  Maybe run this one to get experience and BQ...thats a lifetime goal for most runners.  Get a feel for the distance, and learn from the experience.  I suspect you'll decide (probably around mile 22!) that you'd like to have a higher mileage base, in which case you can double down, get a good training plan, and find another marathon for the fall or next year.

                 

                If you are still thinking of going for it, maybe you can find a 15k or half marathon this weekend or next to race hard, test your fitness and re-calibrate your goals.

                 

                Good luck and let us know how it goes.

                  Thanks, you guys. Adam, thanks for the descriptive warning... I'm sure I don't want to fry myself and then have to run 10k :-) And lagwagon, it seems like you've got me pegged and I wouldn't doubt I'd run out of gas at 18. I'm gonna look around for a half to hop into, but I'll probably just take your advice. 7:10 sounds a hell of a lot more manageable than 6:50

                    I think you are making a good decision.  Learn from your first one.

                    - Joe

                    all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                    bap


                      Go for it man!!!

                      Age 52

                      2016 Targets - 100 - 13.2s, 400 - 62s, 800 - 2:30, Mile - 5:40


                      Consistently Slow

                        I think you are making a good decision.  Learn from your first one.

                        +1

                        Run until the trail runs out.

                        2013***1500 miles

                        50 miler

                        Race Less Train More

                         

                        Ana Trason  "Living Her Life"

                        "The Marble in The Groove"

                         

                        unsolicited chatter

                        http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

                          Just to speak to a couple of things- 7:30 really is a conversational pace for me, and while I kind of jumped into the training, after that I haven't added weekly mileage very quickly. The race isn't till the end of May and I do have a 3 week taper planned... and because of the way I jumped into the training I haven't 'raced' any races I've been in this season. Plus last season's peak was all short distance racing. Daniels predicts ~2:53:00 from that but I have no reason to expect that's even remotely possible right now.

                           

                          I appreciate the input. More than anything, I need other perspectives, ya know?

                          I just wanted to chime in a little here.  Daniels doesn't predict anything - merely lists an equivalent performance if training is adequate.  I realize you probably know that but just wanted to be clear.

                          As the others have said I believe you most likely don't have the cumulative miles to run sub-3 .... yet!  You certainly have the wheels to do it but you might require some more seasoning to get it.  Coincidentally, my 5K PR is exactly the same as yours (but my longer distance PRs are a good bit faster than yours and that is very key) and I've run 2:54 at the advanced age of 50.  Your mile PR is leagues faster than mine, speed is not an issue for sub-3.  So, for you, just add mileage for awhile and stir!  You dont' even have to run the mileage fast, just build endurance and sub-3 should be a cakewalk.

                            ..speed is not an issue for sub-3.  So, for you, just add mileage for awhile and stir!  You dont' even have to run the mileage fast, just build endurance and sub-3 should be a cakewalk.

                             

                            That's interesting. I don't think I really ever thought about speed that way before.

                             

                            Incidentally, all those in my running club say the same thing as you guys - shoot for 3:10. Interesting the number of first marathon blowup stories you get from asking a question like this :-)

                              Oh not just first time blowup stories. See: Monday.

                               

                              Marathons are stupid.

                              Runners run.

                              TripleBock


                                You do not have the experience to know what marathon pace should feel like (By effort)

                                 

                                I have 2 thoughts:  Take the safe route ... My 1st marathon I had a prefect day, I felt amazing ... I ran at a comfortable - felt like long run pace in my tapered body, I then dropped the hammer the last 10k and had an amazing experiece in total 2:31 for 20 miles and 40:48 for last 10k.  I do not think I oculd have broken 3, but maybe?

                                 

                                or

                                 

                                take the highly risky route:  Set a maximum speed you will run per mile ... maybe 6:48 pace, unless the mile was a big downhill ... if you hit 6:48 or faster, slow down immediately.  Other than that, run comfortable fast - If you are straining at all in the 1st 20 mles, slow down.  You should be relaxed and comfortable in your stride.  See what happens.

                                 

                                If you "Go for it" don't go for it my running a bunch of 6:30-6:40 miles and blow up, but go for it intelligently.  Target 6:48-6:55 range the 1st 20 miles and drop the hammer if you feel good at 20.  The early mile discipline is what will make or break the sub 3 if you are capable of it.  Plus it will hurt and it will be hard - But at mile 20 if you can run another mile on pace, run it then suffer more and run another mile.  your body is capable of much more than you give it credit for as long as your mind forces it to.  This took me 6 marathon to realize and 8 marathons before I understood what it meant.

                                 

                                Let us know how it works out - PS Leg speed if you ran a 5K in under 18, you have the leg speed.  My 5k PR is 17:51 and I have run sub 2:50 in the past on much more mileage that you run.

                                I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock

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