Monday, October 22, 2007

Marathon training recap

I haven't blogged at all since May. This does not however mean I haven't been running. Quite the contrary, I have been training moderately for the NYC marathon. With 14 days to go, my tapering formally began this weekend. No more long runs, no more races. I have had enough of those for the year. 15 so far, excluding the mid night run...but hey, who is counting. The one which really counts is coming up in less than 2 weeks.

This is probably as good a time as any to look back on the training so far; as for all practical purposes, the training phase is over and it now only wait and watch. Perhaps its easiest to compare 07 training with 05 when I ran my first marathon at 10min mile pace (4:22). I definitely ran less miles and less frequently. I did however run a lot more races including 4 (5?) consecutive weekend half marathon (incl one at 18 miles). Ironically PR was the first half at 1:52 with speed sliding steadily since. At 1:52 PR, I can shoot for exactly 4hr (1:52 x 2 +0:15)marathon if weather permits. If weather is a mess, may be good objective would be to beat my previous time of 4:22.

In general, the training this year was very bipolar. The races were typically pretty fast at 8:30-10mpm pace while training runs were unusually slow.
Also, work was heavier while food and sleep habits were wprse than last year. But perhaps keeping it healthy and stress-free in last two is what really counts.

Other aspect of the training different was the race strategy. I am almost certain that I will be shooting for negative split. I ran all serious race efforts with significant negative splits. This is partly due to the fact that I ran the races as tempo training runs. But I am not sure if I could have gotten the PR without negative split strategy. This strategy is however going to be a problem in the marathon as this will be a all-out effort and with second half much harder than first, making negative split would require first half to be unusually slow. Original plan was to run first half below 175bpm but this would push first half to 2:05+ (I tried this in the nyc half) forcing expectations for second half at 1:55 which could be problem...serious problem.

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