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Two back-to-back marathon training cycles, similar training: what happened? (Read 972 times)

    Someone on here posted a really good article/blog a while back about training cycles with a metaphor of gears in a car...anyone still have that link?

     

    I think you might be referring to this: "The Runner's Cycle of Suffering, and How to Break It."

      Sept 2012:  2:51

       

      Then different, much more purposeful training, higher mileage, more intensity ==>

       

      Dec 2012:  3:09

       

      Things can also go drastically wrong, even when you try to do everything right.  But I still feel in my soul, although I won't have another chance to prove it for a while, that the changes in training took me several minutes faster in capability.

      - Joe

      all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

      runmomto3boys


        Thanks, guys!  I appreciate all the feedback.  I'm not sure what my goal is yet b/c I just started training this week!  I hope to knock a lil something off, though Wink

          If you had a really solid cycle where you trained hard, got in the miles, etc., ran a marathon, then did it all over again and had yet another good training cycle, say, w/in 6 months or so of the first race, how much did you improve your time?   

          I'm curious.  I see a lot of people who drop mad time from one cycle to the next, but there are lots of other factors at play (i.e., they up their mileage considerably, lose a lot of weight, or start doing speed work when they had not done any prior).  Obviously the two training cycles in question won't be identical, but assuming that you trained similarly as hard for both, I am wondering how much you improved, personally.  If you fit the description, I'm interested in hearing about how much time you slashed off your PR. (I'm not asking you to guess what will happen to me...that's impossible to do; I just wanted some first-hand accounts, if possible).

          I'm not quite sure if I even understand what you're asking...  You do realize however that the performance is based on a long term development off a sound training program.  What that means is; you'll make some improvement off a sound training program and, by repeating that sound training program, you'll make some more progress.  It may appear to be a very gradual process but that's the only way to go.  Some people do make a leap but that's most probably because the program they had been on was not balanced--but they'd been doing the ground-work--and, by balancing the program, bang!!  They'll make the accumulated progress.  The problem is; far too many people switch the "program" like color of the shoes.  It's almost like they want to try out all the training program available out there.  That's fine too if that's what your goal is.  But if improving your performance is your goal, you'll need to find the sound training program and stick with it for 3 or 4 years (that means 6-8 cycles).  You just can't rush it.  In other words, in most cases, if you expect some leap of improvement from "back-to-back training cycles", you're bound to be disappointed.  You just need to have faith and be patient and continue to work diligently.  

            Sept 2012:  2:51

             

            Then different, much more purposeful training, higher mileage, more intensity ==>

             

            Dec 2012:  3:09

             

            Things can also go drastically wrong, even when you try to do everything right.  But I still feel in my soul, although I won't have another chance to prove it for a while, that the changes in training took me several minutes faster in capability.

            Chances are; you didn't have enough time from your 2:51 marathon till the next one.  3 months is really barely enough.


            Trail Monster

              I'm probably way too slow for my input to be of value but here's what I have:

               

              May 2011 5:49

              Nov 2011 4:49

              Mar 2012 5:22 (did as a long run for an ultra)

              Oct 2012 4:36

              Nov 2012 4:33

               

              All were done with similar training and mileage and usually in between other races instead of as a goal race. For example the October marathon was one of seven races that month. For 2013 I am going with more mileage, more speed work, and fewer interim races. I expect a large PR in March.

              2013 races:

              3/17 Shamrock Marathon

              4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

              7/27 Burning RIver 100M

              8/24 Baker 50M

              10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

               

              My Blog

               

              Brands I Heart:

              FitFluential

              INKnBURN

              Altra Zero Drop

                Chances are; you didn't have enough time from your 2:51 marathon till the next one.  3 months is really barely enough.

                 

                How does 4 months sound, Nobby?  April 15 is right around the corner now.  Smile

                - Joe

                all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                  I'm not quite sure if I even understand what you're asking...  You do realize however that the performance is based on a long term development off a sound training program.  What that means is; you'll make some improvement off a sound training program and, by repeating that sound training program, you'll make some more progress.  It may appear to be a very gradual process but that's the only way to go.  Some people do make a leap but that's most probably because the program they had been on was not balanced--but they'd been doing the ground-work--and, by balancing the program, bang!!  They'll make the accumulated progress.  The problem is; far too many people switch the "program" like color of the shoes.  It's almost like they want to try out all the training program available out there.  That's fine too if that's what your goal is.  But if improving your performance is your goal, you'll need to find the sound training program and stick with it for 3 or 4 years (that means 6-8 cycles).  You just can't rush it.  In other words, in most cases, if you expect some leap of improvement from "back-to-back training cycles", you're bound to be disappointed.  You just need to have faith and be patient and continue to work diligently.  

                   

                  Nobby writes a lot of great stuff on these boards but this is one of the best (and most succinct!) things I've seen.

                   

                  As others have said, the progress is rarely linear. There are so many things that affect your performance on a single race day and you can only run so many max effort marathons per year. So sometimes it does take years for you to cash in on the progress you've made, and sometimes it shows up in big chunks all at once. All you can do is keep plugging and believing in the process.

                  Runners run.

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