Can I maintain this level of fitness after a marathon ? (Read 1484 times)


King of wishful thinking

    Hello, I'm pretty new on here so forgive me if I'm going over old ground. I've just recently (last weekend) run a marathon in 3.51. In the build up to this my training went very well. I lost 10 lbs and saw my 5k pb drop to 20.34 without doing any speed work at all. The marathon itself has left me a little flat but motivated. I trained for 8 m/m but got warned that often to take it easy, start slow etc that I ended up running without a focus and wavered between 8 - 9 m/m. It wasn't until the last 5 miles that I felt like I was working. Is this normal for a marathon ? To be honest the 'boredom' of running slower than training pace around the 10 mile mark was the toughest.


    I finished desperate to run another to have a proper attempt at a 3.30 - 3.40 time.


    I have a marathon lined up in March next year. What I'm curious/worried about is losing my level of fitness/performance over the winter. Do I maintain 40+ mile weeks with 15+ mile long runs or drop down to 30 ish and do some tempo work and then start again in January ?


    My training log isn't complete as my Garmin didn't want to archive properly Undecided

    King of PhotoShop

      You have so much potential to run faster and more successfully based on the times you cited.  Your fiveK time of 20:34 is quite fast when compared with your 3:51.  Certainly you can run the marathon closer to at least the 3:30 range, and probably faster.  First things first however.  Take the time to heal up and rest following the marathon.  Without prior experience, be conservative and allow a month.  This does not mean that you shouldn't run, just that you shouldn't resume hard training or race.  I often use the "one day of non-quality work for each mile raced."  This means 26 days of taking it easy.


      I am curious about your marathon training of 40 miles a week and long runs of 15 miles.  If you are fairly new to running, that makes sense, but you have unlimited opportunity to be a much faster marathoner with more mileage volume and longer long runs.  Good luck to you.  You have great running talent that is as yet unexplored.  Spareribs


      King of wishful thinking

        Thanks for the reply.


        I've always tried to maintain long runs of around 13 - 15 all year round. I did seven 20 + mile long runs in the build up. I think what I didn't do was enough mid length marathon pace work during my midweek runs.


        I agree with the potential to run quicker. My half time is 1:40 which I ran before my marathon training began. Again, I'm itching to push for a 1:35 attempt.


        How much of this fitness will I have lost ? A month of easy running sounds a lot.

          +1 to everything Ribs said.


          You may get some feedback about your 7 20+ miles prior to the marathon as being unecessary.  I like to to get in two runs approaching 3hrs with one 3 weeks out from the marathon.


          How long have you been running. Your log is pretty short.


          In my next training cycle I plan on concentrating very hard on getting a mid week longish run of 1.5 hrs or better. This run will be combined with a quaility element of say Marathon pace / Tempo Runs or intervals. My goal is breaking a 3:18.


          Your goal of 3:30 is well within your grasp. Go for it !

          King of PhotoShop

            You seem unduly concerned about lost fitness. I am not suggesting that you stop running.  I meant that you needn't do hard work for a month. By all means put in the miles.  I also agree with you that you do need medium long runs at HMP and MP to build stamina.  Also, re SLO's comment about 7 runs of 20 miles not being necessary, I would join in and suggest that next cycle keep doing the 20-22, but make sure you go into them slightly less rested.  Look for example to achieving the 30-mile weekend. I know I am very fit when I can do 10 on Saturday then 20 on Sunday.  Spareribs

            hairshirt knitter

              There was someone else who posted a question a couple of weeks ago with very similar times to us. My 5k is down to 20:42 and my half to 1:39, but I ran 3:40 for the marathon this year. Maybe we should start a thread for the goal of running sub-3:30 in 2012 - unless there already is one?


              My plan is to reduce/maintain mileage to 50-60k / week though the winter with one interval session and one tempo run, probably with a max long run of 12 miles or so. If I can do that consistently it should give me a good base to start a proper marathon training plan early in the new year for a May marathon.

                Count me in

                Consistently Slow

                  Run until the trail runs out.

                   SCHEDULE 2016--

                   The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                  unsolicited chatter


                  hairshirt knitter

                    I don't know much about starting such a thread - but I guess someone will keep me right if I do. We can compare notes on off-season training in that and the OP will hopefully get a range of responses too.


                    King of wishful thinking

                      I'm in for that too. Will certainly provide an extra incentive and motivation as well as.

                      Climbing Mt Ruapehu

                        I need to read this thread again in 2 weeks. Then I would have finished my first marathon and looks like fairly similar stats/ story to you.

                        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)

                          I'm in your boat.


                          I just finished MDI marathon on Sunday in 3:20.


                          I plan to run tonight just a few miles.  I will hold off on any speed work or long runs over 90 minuets for at least 2 weeks and maybe more.


                          It is sort of a reverse tapper, what you did last week before the race, think about doing that this week backward.

                          Feeling the growl again

                            Take 2-3 weeks to recover and just run what you feel like.  Then start building volume again.  The only reason you'd lose fitness over the winter is if you're the type to only start training for something a couple months prior.


                            The key to continuous improvement in this sport is consistency.  Winter is the perfect opportunity to build yourself up so that next cycle you're talking 50mpw instead of 40.

                            "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


                            I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills


                            No Talent Drips

                              I'm in your boat.


                              I just finished MDI marathon on Sunday in 3:20.

                               Except that you ran a sub 3:30 on a monster course.

                               Dei Gratia


                                 Except that you ran a sub 3:30 on a monster course.


                                I was replying to the subject of maintaining fitness after a marathon.  Everyone has their own standards of performance (my goal was 3:11).


                                It is something I'm concerned about, I've taken 2 consecutive days off, and it is bothering me.  In the back of my head I wonder if I'm injured, my knee had some acute pain after the race.  I hope to run a few miles without knee pain today.