OK what went wrong, or what should I have done instead

It’s hard to say what was the problem. I just got slow after mile 17. I don’t think it was lack of fuel — though I shan’t completely rule it out — but if that was the cause I didn’t feel weak or hungry.

I felt tired and my legs hurt. Primarily my quads. They still do to some extent (though mostly I’m feeling my calves).

I remember complaining about my quads hurting during at least one training run.

So my thought is that maybe my legs just weren’t up to the amount of moderately-high-speed pounding which a road marathon entails. Maybe I need to run trails less and do more longer road runs.

I don’t want to give up the long run/tempo run combo, I expect that is useful, but if I were to do another long run in the week… Not as fast as MP, but not easy either and without any rest for 3~3:30 hours? Maybe 7:15 pace? or even 7:30?

(I don’t mean start out with a 3 hour fastish run, but build up to it as I build my other long run).

Anyway, it sounds as though that’s what Ubaldo did, and maybe Laura as well.

It seems worth trying, and it’s all I can think of at the moment…

Of course I stopped running on pavement for a reason — I thought it was causing shin splints — but now I’m less sure. I think that, at least for me, it’s not the surface I run on as much as it is the speed at which I run (or possibly the speed at which I run corners). Anyway this past training period my shin splints were worse after running fast mile intervals on dirt than they were after doing a tempo run on pavement. And I have a recollection from a few years ago that track workouts (on a nice soft track) were again worse than tempo runs. So… I hope that means it’s OK to run pavement more, provided I don’t sprint on it.


The moment I posted the above my college friend, Dave Webster, told me that he did his longest run was 6 weeks out (mine was 3) and that it was 28miles for one marathon and 30miles another time (he didn’t recommend the 30). He advocated an easy pace for the whole thing, but that long was important (as was plenty of recovery afterward).

Now I did a four hour trail run 4~5 weeks out. But that wasn’t what I needed.

One final thought on road marathon…
I think there is a large accumulation effect…
My body accumulates fatigue and the marathon causes me to remember it
I can feel GREAT for the first half of a marathon, but that accumulated fatigue shows up in the second half
So, for me, I’ve got to be really, really rested going into a marathon
Or I’ll fade
SO I do my longest run easy and six weeks out….
And my speed work in the last month is always pretty short
As I said, though, your mileage may vary


The walkers weren’t really the problem. My annoyance with them probably took my mind off the pain a bit.


Rusty thinks I got dehydrated (which is likely given that I was trying to eat both more carbs and more salt so as to avoid the wall). And thinks that longer training runs just lead to injury without benefit to endurance.

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5 Responses to “OK what went wrong, or what should I have done instead”

  1. Dave Says:

    And, of course, I also include a “lesser” long run of 23 or 24 miles 3 weeks before the marathon – also EASY.

  2. Joy Says:

    My quads were shot. Completely. My quads never hurt. I could not walk much yesterday. The stairs at my home were suddenly evil mountains I had to climb up and down all day yesterday. Today is about 50% better but it still hurts like hell to get in and out of my car. Interesting that you feel my pain. LOL.

    • georgeruns Says:

      Today I can go downstairs frontwards without falling over, yesterday was a crab walk. Getting in the car after the race was very difficult, the bike proved a much better means of transportation. I suppose it isn’t that surprising we feel the same pain: We ran the same course at approximately the same pace…

  3. Celeste Says:

    Hi George,
    I met you up on Jesusita a while back when you were out running with Joy and Kary. I suffer from shinsplints,that’s my main thing and I find even if I run on the Douglas Preserve they are very easily exacerbated. It seems for me at least shin splints and trails, not so hot. However, speed work can also make them feel ‘tender’ but not to the extent of the trails. That’s my 2c worth.
    All the best with your training,
    Celeste

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