How to Regroup after several off weeks and Marathon is only five weeks away (Read 349 times)

    I have been training for my first marathon since mid-December. Through January and February I had good consistent running. I felt strong, my long runs were solid and I was feeling confident. My race is on April 15th. My plan for March was to work a little speedwork into my routine, but otherwise not change to much, I wanted to do one more marathon pace long run and one 22 mile run before I started to taper in April. However things for the past two weeks have been horrible and I am really off of my game! I got very sick and ended up with bronchitis and missed a whole week, my mileage was cut in half and I didn't get a long run in at all that week. This week I am feeling better finally, but a family emergency called my husband out of town and I have missed another run and might miss my long run again this weekend. In one week my children will be on spring break and we are taking a trip to Florida. I will still be able to run, but am worried about how the temperature change will affect me, I am currently in Kansas City, and we will be traveling to Ft Myers.


    I know in my head that I am probably fine and just stressing out. But I had really high expectations for this marathon. My training was going so well and I felt so good for the past several weeks. I thought that I would easily nail my goal of a 3:45 time. Now I feel stressed and nervous and like I am losing fitness with each run that I miss. I kind of feel like this last four - six weeks is time to really kill it in training and pump myself up and get my confidence going, but instead it has been one thing after another and I will be going into the race at the weakest point this season!


    Any advice? I am not the type to commit to this type of training and then just run the marathon to "just finish"  I have been working towards my goal time and am pretty competitive, so even though this is my first time out at this distance, I'm not planning on anything over four hours. I know I need a healthy respect for the marathon and any number of things can happen during the race, but I am specifically looking for advice on getting back on track with my training right now. Thanks!

      Christi, I'm not what you'd call a veteran runner, but two things come to my mind reading your post. 1. You've been training for this marathon since December 2010, not just the last three months. I checked, and you have like 2000 miles in 2011. Pretty impressive, and it will serve you well in the race. 2. Your training is what it is. You can't go back and redo the last month. I think you can do well, but setting an ambitious goal for your first marathon is probably foolish. There's a real danger that you'll go out too fast and blow up in the last 10K. Better to run by feel at a pace you feel sure you can sustain almost indefinitely, then pick it up late in the race if you're still going strong. You really can't understand the race enough to set realistic goals until you've run one. Or ten. This is based only on my very limited experience.

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


        You've got a pretty solid mileage base behind you, I wouldn't fret too much about a couple of bad weeks. It takes a lot less training to maintain your fitness than it does to build it, and two weeks isn't enough time to lose a lot of fitness, even if you hadn't run at all. Just try to get back on track as soon as possible and you'll be alright. There's still lots of time before your race to put the final touches on your program. At this point I wouldn't change any of your training plans, just pick up where you left off. Don't try to cram extra workouts into the last few weeks, trying to make up for lost time is likely to leave you tired and worn out on race day.


        Try not to stress, you can't control what's happened, you can only control what's ahead of you. In any case, you've been training hard, the relative rest you've had for the last two weeks may be just what you needed heading into the final push for the marathon.


        Good luck in your race!