2019 Sub 3 hour marathon thread (Read 674 times)


    Fin:  Sounds good on the reset button.  Enjoy the rest! You have lots of speed so looking forward to some of your shorter events.


    Jayluf:  just be careful as it is sometimes harder to come back from a day gone wrong.  Just seems to beat you up more than a good day.  Your fitness is there so only you know you body!


    Darkwave/JMac/Nimmals/JT and others: Thanks for the words of wisdom on my training and racing.   All things to take into account with future blocks.  Noticed another interesting data point from Boston 2017 where I ran a 3:03.52 where I was training at low to mid 2:50 pace all cycle (with high volume) and that race had very similar splits as Monday in that I was constantly about 15-20sec slower than my training paces indicated.  That was much warmer day, but with less humidity though.

    5K: 16:15 (3/20)  |  10K: 33:40 (4/20)  |  HM: 1:15:53 (12/19)  |  FM: 2:40:30 (1/20)

      Think there’s something to be salvaged with my current fitness, so i’m going to run the Bayshore marathon in Traverse City, Michigan on May 25th.


      I’m still baffled about Monday, but I’ve moved on and am excited to get back out there this weekend. My resolve to come back next year couldn’t be stronger. Serious kudos to all you who crushed it. You all are fucking awesome!


      Jayluf: Kram ran Bayshore in 2016 or 2017 I believe, so you might reach out to him for his perspective on it. I do remember he was not lucky regarding the weather; it was ridiculously hot. That's probably the main risk for that race, being so late in the spring. But it looks like a great course, right along the water and nice and flat. Of the MI marathons I would like to do that one and Detroit eventually.

      2:52:16 (2018)


        66 total

        mon 8 8:17

        tue 8 8:18

        wed 13 with 3 min at 4:40, 20 min easy, 10 min at 5:20, 15 min easy then 20 min at 6:05

        thurs 8 8:20

        fri 8 8:18

        sat 13 with 6x5:00 at 5:35

        sun 8 8:15

        HM: 1/17 1:18:53. FM: 12/18 2:46:04 


        Mother of Cats

          Weatherboy - I do think that it is very easy to overshoot marathon pace in training.  Running true marathon pace when training feels a bit too easy, so we tend to pick it up.  My "marathon pace" in training used to be off from my marathon performances until I started asking myself the question "do I honestly feel I could hold this pace for at least 20 miles today in a race?"    That's the money question for me.


          Jayluf - I've done the quick turnaround twice - 8 weeks between Chicago and CIM, and then 9 weeks between Boston and Grandma's.  I found it challenging both times - it's not quite enough time to restock the reserves, in my case.  But...we are all different, and you never know until you try.


          I'll post my last two weeks, since I think I never got around to posting last week.


          Last week: 44 miles, 8 "miles" of pool-running, and 1000 yards of swimming (had Cherry Blossom on the Sunday previous)
          M: 8 "miles" of pool-running.
          T: 3 miles very easy (9:11), yoga, then 5 miles very easy (8:50) plus drills.
          W: 7 miles very easy (8:57) plus drills/strides and DIY yoga.
          Th: 7 miles, including a very brief "perk me up for this weekend's 5K" of 4x400m at 10K effort with 100m float; 300m float, 2x200m at 5K effort with 200m float (83, 93, 91, 91, 44, 43).  Also DIY yoga.
          F: Travel to Boston and DIY yoga.
          Sa: 3.5 mile warm-up, BAA 5K in 18:53 (6:15, 6:05, then 6:35 for last 1.11 (5:55 pace).  3.5 miles cool-down.  Travel home.
          Su: 12 miles very easy (8:36) plus drills, strides, and then 1000 yards belated recovery swimming.

          This week:  60 miles, 16 "miles" of pool-running, and 3000 yards of swimming
          M: Yoga and 8 "miles" of pool-running.
          T: 12 miles, including a track workout of 400/800/2x1200/800/400 in 87, 2:56, 4:23, 4:21, 2:52, 78.  Also leg strengthwork and 1000 yards recovery swimming.
          W: 8 miles very easy (9:17), yoga, and 4 miles very easy (9:02) plus drills/strides.
          Th: Upper body strength, core, and 8 "miles" of pool-running.
          F: 12 miles, including a 4 mile (6400m) tempo on the track in 25:18 - 1600m splits were 6:29, 6:20, 6:20, 6:09 .  Followed with hill sprints,  leg strengthwork, and 1000 yards recovery swimming.
          Sa: 10 miles very easy (8:59) plus drills, hill sprints, upper body weights/core, and DIY yoga.
          Su: 14 miles progressive, split as first 4 miles averaging 8:49, next 4 averaging 7:38, last 6 averaging 6:37 (a bit of a tailwind assist on the last 6).  Followed with leg strengthwork and 1000 yards recovery swimming.

          Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


          And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


          Taper Czar

            2019 Boston Marathon - Much Delayed Race Report


            Cycle Recap


            After a big PR at NYC last fall (2:46), I decided that I really wanted to push myself this cycle to see what I was capable of. I decided to use the Daniels 2Q 71-85 plan. During my buildup last fall, I had used the 56-70 plan, so this was a bump up in mileage for me.


            After taking 10 days off from NYC and another 3 weeks of all easy running, I kicked off my cycle December 9. Unfortunately, within 2 weeks, I was on the shelf with posterior tibial tendinitis. Looking back, it wasn't immediately obvious what caused the injury, but my guess is that I went from zero quality to full 2Q, instead of easing my way into it, while also building up mileage. I had thought I could aggressively start the quality because I was still running under 60 MPW, but clearly my body was not ready for it. This stupid injury cost me 11 days, and a lot of mental sanity.


            I picked things back up in early January, only to get injured two more times: once a calf strain that cost me 3 days off and missed workouts after, and an interior knee injury (pes anserinus tendinitis) that cost me even more workouts. After these, I decided that not only was my goal of higher mileage off the shelf, but the entire 2Q plan probably was as well. I made an effort to just get to the starting line healthy, while sprinkling in some quality work where needed. This was very challenging because my favorite part of running are quality days, but my body was telling me no more. My MPW averages were way lower than I wanted.


            12 week mileage average: 57 MPW

            26 week mileage average: 48 MPW


            Race Recap




            I've only run the NYC marathon before, which led me to believe a lot of things were going to happen before the race: there would be some HUGE line to get on the buses, bad traffic as you approached the buses, and it would be impossible to find Fin and Weather, so I told them let's just look for each other in the starting village. To my surprise, you could just drive up right to where the buses were picking you up. I got on one of the first buses going out, as I wanted to secure a spot under one of the tents.


            I looked for Weather all over the place. I found four other men wearing the exact rainsuit we were planning on wearing, but none of them were him. No big deal, figured I would find him and Fin in the corral.


            Just a quick note: the BAA had urinals, which I thought was an AMAZING idea. It was so great to be in line for under 60 seconds and be able to go! (sorry DW as our remaining female representative). I really hope NYRR starts implementing these if possible


            I got in the corral and was turned around the entire time, as I was looking for both Fin and Weather, but still couldn't find them. I almost walked back in the corral to search, but decided that it would probably be just as difficult.


            Lesson pre-race is that I'm coming up with a better meet up plan!


            First 10K: 19:28, 19:04


            After the gun went off, I spent the entire first 4 miles saying "don't weave, don't go too fast, don't weave, don't go too fast." Felt that I did a great job executing this. I totally see why everyone says it's a sucker's course, because you really can blow through those first 4 miles in MP-20 and still feel amazing. I took my first gel at mile 3, planning on using them at 3,8,13,18. I switched over to Maurten gels for this race given the rave reviews given, especially for those that may get stomach cramps. I'm a huge fan of them (more later).


            I was pretty happy with the weather for the first 10K. I thought it was a touch warm, but I didn't feel too bad because every time the sun peaked out, it would go back behind the clouds.


            Second 10K: 19:03, 19:01


            Pretty good pacing through these parts. I was starting to work on some minor stitches, but nothing crazy. Usually somewhere between miles 8 and 13 I have my rough patch, where doubt starts creeping in about the effort. I did go through this for about a mile or two, but nothing crazy. Relatively unremarkable miles. I wanted these miles to feel under control, without ever dipping below 6:00 pace. I accomplished that.



            Third 10K: Half @ 1:20:44, 18:50, 19:23


            After coming through the half, I felt great. I realized I was a touch slow for sub 2:40, but I was running on effort, not pace. I figured if I could still feel good at the top of the Netwon hills, maybe I could hammer it home for 2:39, but it was my dream goal and not something I was expecting.


            Wellesley did not disappoint, now I understand why they call it a scream tunnel! Soaking this in, I realized that the energy for this race is better than NYC. There are parts of Brooklyn that match the energy at Boston, but NYC can often feel like people are out just to be part of the scene, where the Boston crowd really enjoys the entire day.


            As I was climbing the first of the Newton hills, I was still feeling great! At this point, I saw someone with a "Garscube" singlet, and I knew it had to be Finbad, as I recognized that name from his Strava results (see, Strava can be useful!). I quickly introduced myself, and after he said he was struggling, I said something like "I'm holding back until the top of Heartbreak." HA at that! Within a few miles, I realized how wrong I was.


            Fourth 10K: 20:20, 20:28


            I felt great climbing the first hill, very good on the second, but by the third I knew it was going to be tough. Going up Heartbreak, I felt that I was running through molasses. I can't believe those splits even came in under 7:00 because they felt like a recovery jog pace. I actually was still climbing faster than some of the folks around me. Once I got to the top, I thought "okay, let's get back to race pace"...but my legs just wouldn't. I was fully expecting that my quads would be trashed at this point, but they actually felt good. The problem was my legs at had no turnover. I kept trying to get them jumpstarted but they just wouldn't move any faster than they were currently going.


            It was here I realized that the weather and the course had finally gotten to me. I noticed at this point the sun had come out and I was thirsty, which is a feeling I've never had before in a marathon. However, my stitches at this point were really bad and I couldn't take liquids in at every station otherwise they would be outright shooting pain. I was battling one stitch on my right side so much that when I woke up on Tuesday, I was incredibly sore in that spot, almost like I had done a ton of crunches. As usual, my stomach gets to me in these races. I still think the Maurten gels made things much more pleasant than any other marathon, as these were better than last fall.


            The final 4 miles or so were terrible. I didn't think I could feel worse than I did last year, but this topped it. Had a lot of "why do I bother with this sport, I'm never doing this again, I should just walk, etc." but I knew that once I slowed down to a walk, I would never get my legs going again, so I just let the slow kiss of death settle over me as my pace kept fading. I have never felt so negative as I did during this race, and did not enjoy anything about running through Boston. I went from "I have a chance at sub 2:40" to "I don't really care if I even PR at this point." I know I say this for a lot of my race, but does everybody get this down and out during the last few miles of a race? I know it's part of the mental pain we go through, but this one was particularly dark/negative.


            Finish: 2:44:43


            Once I hit Boylston, I quickly looked at my watch and realized sub 2:45 was in jeopardy! This was the only point in the entire last 10K where I felt even remotely motivated to give it everything I have. It's funny that my pace in that last 0.3 miles was slower than my early race pace because it felt like I was outright sprinting to get it done.


            At the end of the race, I was pretty down and out given how poorly the last 6 miles went. However, when I went on Strava and started checking results, I realized that everybody was struggling out there due to the heat, and actually I shouldn't be so hard on myself. It considerably picked up my spirits that it wasn't a "me" issue but rather a mediocre day weather-wise.




            After a week of reflection, I'm pumped to get back out there. This cycle, I'm going to focus on getting up to 85 like I tried last cycle, but I'm going to be much more careful with quality days. MPW is king for the marathon, and even if I like running quality, I like the idea of PRs a lot more!


            I'm going to spend the next few weeks getting back at it for my Brooklyn Half. We'll see whether a PR is possible there. After that, I'm taking 10 days off for my trip to Japan. We are an obsessive group of runners in here, but just completely shutting down for some time off is so beneficial physically for me that I look forward to it.


            The summer will be spent on 5Ks and 10ks. I really want to focus on rep work and V02 max, as I've completely lost that ability over the last year. I haven't run a single successful V02 max workout at this point since September! After that, it's another 10 days off for a safari in late August and then a big 12 week push for CIM.

            5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:15:28 (3/20)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 


            Next Race: Whatever COVID-19 will allow me to run 

            Elite Jogger

              JMac - Great RR and I like that you’re so enthusiastic...just like a little puppy dog! I wouldn’t be too focused on peaking at 85....just go with the flow as what you’ve doing is working for you. If your CIM cycle is injury free and you add a bit more mileage then you’ll see another decent PR. Then 2020 it’s proper serious stuff. 😁

              5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)


                Those of you who have raced a marathon in 4%'s, how have your feet felt afterward? I raced in NB 1400s and most of my previously healthy toenails are now dead and I had very intense foot pain (quadratus plantae area) for 4-5 days afterward, so I am considering biting the bullet and getting a pair of 4%s for next time. Before I set my sights on a pair, I am curious how they've treated your feet.

                3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)


                Mother of Cats

                  Jmac - thanks for the report.  Makes me very happy I skipped this year.


                  As someone who has botched the meet-up plans herself, I get it.  It takes more planning than one realizes.


                  As for the urinal, us wimmins benefit from them as well, indirectly.  Every guy using a urinal is one less guy in a portajohn.


                  MMC - my feet have always felt fine post marathon in VFs, though my ankles get ouchy.  However, I previously raced in the Adios 2, and had no foot soreness in those either, so I may not be the best yard stick.  I've never had sore feet at the end of a marathon.

                  Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


                  And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


                    MMC - I actually got a dead nail this time whilst wearing the fancy nikes. This is the first time I've ever had a nail die in a marathon.

                    Upcoming; 14th Sep Scottish veterans XC trials, 289th Sep Great Scottish Run 1/2, 12th October TAMA half marathon, 27th October Leeds Abbey dash 10k


                      JMac - Great RR, and awesome race! Whether it's been a good marathon, or a crappy one, I've always had that feeling of hatred towards this hobby at the end. And then usually minutes later I'm thinking about my next and how I'll prepare better. Funny thing is though, I never really feel that way in a race at any other distance.

                      Upcoming races: Madrid (half) April 2020


                      Taper Czar

                        Andres - Same. I feel terrible during 5K and 10K, but right when I'm done I feel better. Probably because the marathon pain lasts so long that you spiral out of control.


                        DW - I thought about that, but then I saw the men in line and thought "well, if you're behind them, at least you know they're going to be in there for a while."


                        MMC - Feet feel great, but same as you and Fin, I have one dead toenail. Haven't gotten one of those the entire cycle, or during my half when racing in the VFs. Not the end of the world though.


                        Mikkey - Definitely going with the flow, realized big time this cycle to just see how I'm feeling each day and each workout and adjust as needed!

                        5K: 16:51 (8/19)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:15:28 (3/20)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 


                        Next Race: Whatever COVID-19 will allow me to run 

                          JMac: Excellent race report, I really enjoyed reading that. You had excellent pacing and did not slow that much through the hills. And yes, I do get that down and out in the later stages of races, but only the ones where I know a PR is not going to happen. If you know a PR is in the bag it helps a ton to get through the pain/exhaustion.


                          I'm glad to hear you will take it easier with the massive Q workouts this time around. Based on how you came back from your various injury lay-offs this cycle in top form, I don't think you are the type of runner who needs multiple hard workouts per week to sustain fitness. Add on to that the fact that they may have caused you to get injured, and it's all the more reason to space them out a bit more.


                          MMC: I didn't have blisters or sore feet after the race with the VFs. But like DW I also did not get them for the marathons when I wore a different shoe (Asics DS racers).


                          Seeing my son's track meets has got me fired up to work on the mile and 2 mile. I may focus on speed for a while before going back to marathon training.

                          2:52:16 (2018)



                            Just a quick note: the BAA had urinals, which I thought was an AMAZING idea. It was so great to be in line for under 60 seconds and be able to go! (sorry DW as our remaining female representative). I really hope NYRR starts implementing these if possible


                            For years NYC marathon had the "world's longest urinal" (basically a 300 foot long half-round trough) but did away with it in 2011 or 2012.


                            I ran NYC in 1996 and 1998 and can say the urinal was kind of gross.


                            If you google you'll see a thread on Letsrun about it.


                              Nice writeup JMAC.  I think I had a lot of the same experiences, just at a slower pace.  This was also my most negative finish by far of any races I've had, and it includes I think 9 marathons and several ultras.  If I were to guess, what many of us experienced was an intense frustration that we had paced things right, we were feeling alright, but our bodies were just not operating the way they were supposed to as the conditions just got worse and worse.  I decided I would never run a marathon again during that last stretch because I was so demoralized.  I'd rather run shorter races or ultras and focus on placing rather than time. Maybe I'll feel differently later.


                              I wore 4%, and I already lost one toenail, and got another one inflamed, but pretty much the same stuff as normal.  I do have intense pain very high up on my inner thighs.  It was very painful during the 2nd half of the race, and 7 days later it is still stopping me from running.  It's equal on both sides, so I don't know if it's related to the shoes (I ran a steeper decline during Steamtown in different shoes without issue).

                              5k- 18:55 (2018)    10K- 39:04 (2017)    Marathon- 3:00:10 (2018)


                                JMac - nice report, congrats!  For this past cycle you had a pretty good idea of when you needed to step back in order to get to the start line healthy.  Make sure to continue that if you are upping mileage in the next cycle.


                                JT - nice report.  Even though not a PR that's a good result for the conditions.


                                I was back up to 70+ miles last week and am planning 90+ with a VO2 max workout this week.  I signed up for the Green Bay Marathon on 5/19.  I'm considering just running by feel (i.e. no watch, hopefully find a pack to run with).  The course looks pretty fast but being mid May it could be hot.