Trailer Trash


Need Some Training/Racing Advice (Read 45 times)


    I am registered to run the Tecumseh Trail Marathon December 7. It will be my first marathon...and it is hillier than what I normally train on. Training was going well until some abdominal pain and family issues kept me to little running and no long runs for 3 weeks. The pain is solved, the family issues are simmering on the back burner.


    The longest I have run is 17 on terrain similar to the marathon. At the time i did not think that another 9 miles would easy. My plan is to run either 20 on home terrain this week or the 17 on the trail i ran before.


    questions: have any of u run a race were under prepared for and regretted it??


    should i run 20 gentler miles or 17 rougher ones? Should I run an additional long run?


    should i defer to 2014?


    The past 3 days Ive run 7 wthout any problemsand feeling good. The two weeks bbefore all runs  were 3-4 miles...and only two each week. Really low low miles (can stress count as cross training?


    I appreciate any advice. Thanks!


    Eat to run, Run to eat

      It's hard to say, but I would go for the tough 17, then do a short  out and back if you can.. There is nothing magic about 20, except that it is the farthest you can get from 26 and still be in the 20's, so It's psychologically better.


      However, the point of training is to buld up your strength and endurance over the course of time with progressively longer harder runs.  backed up by regular runs of longer length as well. If you don't have the base built, a single long run won't fix that.  Plan on a lot of walking if you do the marathon, regularly , right from the start so you have enough strength to finish. No shame in that, as long as you don't go overtime and get pulled from the course.


      Sometimes life just happens, and there is no shame in deferring either.

      Stone Mill 50m 11/16/13  12:42

      Febapple Frozen 50k 2/22/14  9:20:55

      DIrty German 50m 5/18/14 12:06:16



      Endless trails

        I fully agree with jbyram2.


        As far as my own experience; I've under trained for a trail marathon and still

        finished but not comfortably. I've also made the mistake (very recently) of thinking

        that as long as I get my long runs in I'd be fine. These were important mistakes

        for me to make, since I'm a little stubborn and need to learn by falling down. We

        all know the long run is key to long races, but I also think mid-week longish runs

        are just as important.


        It sounds like you might be a little under trained, also sounds like you already know

        that. I would still run the race but plan a scheduled walk/hike plan from the beginning.


        But then again, you may just nail it out there so who's to say. Good luck.


          Do not defer.


          We've all probably run races being under prepared (see the recent Stone Mill RR's)


          For a trail marathon, any 15-18 mile run will help but if you've been having nagging injuries, I'd go for the easier terrain just to avoid any possible aggravations of a more technical run. Concentrate on hydration and nutrition as that will help you more at this point than running the magical "20".


          Saturday will be 2 weeks away, so no more long runs needed after this weekend.  On race day, start out easy and see how you feel as the race goes on.


            I ran my first marathon in October on rocky, technical trails. The trails I trained on had plenty of roots to avoid, but they weren't very rocky. My longest distance prior to the marathon was 16. Every time I had a longer run planned, it never happened. I did end up doing one back-to-back run that basically added up to the marathon distance (16 miles on Saturday and 10 miles on Sunday). I ran the marathon with a friend who is slower than I am just to make sure I took it easy and finished feeling great. It was after that marathon that I decided to register for a 50K that was a month later. Smile


            So to answer your questions, I ran a marathon and the 50K undertrained, IMO, and do not regret it one bit.

            Occasional Runner

              I would defer.




              Just kidding! I would totally fucking run it.


                So far I've run two marathons (very technical)  and one 50k ultra (not very technical). I was undertrained or gimpy for all three. The first one I was undertrained with a knee issue and I finished strongly and in a decent time. The second one I was healthy and had more training miles and I cramped up and suffered a lot. The ultra I was healthy but undertrained, and finished in a semi decent time.


                If you wait to be both healthy and  properly trained you'll most likely never run a longer race. That's just the reality of life for most of us. Crap happens and I believe that most people run these races either undertrained or not completely healthy.


                If I were you I would start the race easy with a goal of just finishing. You'll probably be surprised at how well you do.


                Follower of Forrest

                  1) Run a race underprepared are regretted it?  Run a race underprepared...yes (see RR). Regretted  I was prepared to accept a DNF, and I would not have regretted that either.  I am sure I would have regretted a DNS.


                  2) I would run the difficult 17 and focus on finishing feeling good...regardless of pace, amount of walking, etc.  Pick the lowest effort level you can.  Similar terrain is a huge + in my book, so is time on feet.


                  3) No sense in thinking about deferring yet.

                  6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi


                  A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


                  Le professeur de trail

                    1) Run a race underprepared are regretted it?  Run a race underprepared...yes (see RR). Regretted  I was prepared to accept a DNF, and I would not have regretted that either.  I am sure I would have regretted a DNS.


                    2) I would run the difficult 17 and focus on finishing feeling good...regardless of pace, amount of walking, etc.  Pick the lowest effort level you can.  Similar terrain is a huge + in my book, so is time on feet.


                    3) No sense in thinking about deferring yet.




                    As others said, 20 is just a number.  Time on feet and getting used to similar terrain are both very important.  Maybe you do a 15-17 miler on similar terrain one day, and then go out and do 10 miles of whatever terrain the next day to run on tired legs.  And if you're legs were not tired, then you are golden!



                    The incarnation of peacefulness and patience




                      Thank you so much for your responses.


                      jaybram: I think I will need to do some hiking on this...I had hoped intervened.


                      jonfer: i had hoped to get an ag finish. there are only five ladies of my vintage...but two of them finished with just over 11 minute miles...I'm not that fast ever!


                      Rabbit: glad to hear of a situation that turned out that well. I have never regretted a run..I just have not raced enough to have a feel for it.


                      Lace: When I read the first line I was kinda...sad...then I saw the second line.


                      dreamer: I have registered for two other marathons in the distant past...became injured for both. I think if I defer I may never run one..your situation worked out well...maybe mine will.


                      jsmzilla: I like the idea of doing Saturdays run the way I'm going to have to do the marathon...with some hiking. I think that will help my psyche on racing undertrained...I can develop a plan.


                      After listening to you pros..I think I am going t race I and hope for the best...hope I can Finnish. It starts at 10 am and they pull everyone off who has not finished at 430pm. I might have a shot..I hope!


                      2/3rds training

                        my longest run before my first (and so far only) 50k was only 19 miles.  I was underprepared for sure but managed well on race day and despite getting slower over the last 10 miles I finished still running everything close to flat or downhill.  go for it.

                          I agree with the folks who said run similar terrain versus the longer "easier" terrain. You could run a marathon on easy terrain or the road, and still be underprepared for hilly/technical terrain. I learned this lesson at the Vermont 50k, during which I climbed many more hills than I usually train on.


                          I would go for it if I were you. My friend just ran his first 26.2 at the Philly marathon with very little training, and while it was slow and painful for him, he still got it done!


                          But in all honesty, go with your gut. I've done that a lot over the past year and it has seemed to work out  well.

                          My Blog:

                          I Run for Oiselle


                          Hyner 50k:  4/18/15

                          Laurel Highlands 70M: 6/13/15




                            Like I had said a little while back I have run that event. Couple things--It will be very congested in the beginning and moving slow. Just start in the back and kind of jog and walk as things start to thin out a little. After that try to get some good running in thru the first half as it gets a lot harder probably from 15 miles on. There is no dishonor walking any of the hills and there is one that is long and steep on a gravel service road that the whole field is walking.  Also there is such a large field that you will be with people no matter what your pace and they will help to pull you along.


                            So as you can gather I am suggesting you do it. Oh yeah-I recommend the tougher 17 miler or why not add a couple more miles somewhere in that run to give you more time on your feet. Also for reference way back in the day I did my first road marathon with my longest prior run being 13 miles. It went fine.  So relax and enjoy yourself and good luck!


                              Harrier: Thanks! I had looked into that other marathon you suggested and as hesitant to do a multi loop course for my first Marathon. I thought it would make it too easy to drop. thank you for the advice...I am looking forward to this weekend's run...hoping it will build my confidence. I am planning on finding a extra couple of loops in the middle of the 17 to add afew miles.