Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Marathon training: then and now

Out of the 11 marathons I've completed in my day, my most successful one was two years ago at the 2013 Philadelphia Marathon.  My goal was to come in under 3:05 and qualify for Boston, which I achieved with a minute and 55 seconds to spare after a very intense and bumpy training cycle.

Now, two years later, I am throwing everything I have at one last training cycle.  It's one last effort for a big PR.  Namely, a sub 3 hour marathon.  The problem is, I'm constantly wondering if it's enough.  I'm constantly comparing this training cycle to the one I went through two years ago.

Then: 32 years old and married.
Now: 34 years old and married with a 14 month old son.

Then: Ran almost exclusively in the afternoons after work.
Now: Running almost exclusively in the mornings before work.

Then: Topped out at 73 miles per week.  No running on Mondays and some serious speedwork on Thursdays, including lots of stadium stairs and 100 meter sprints at 100% effort.
Now: Topping out around 60 - 65 miles per week.  Maintaining my running streak by doing one slow mile on Mondays.  Speedwork in the morning is difficult because it's still dark at 5am.  Also I can't sprint at 100% for fear of aggravating my left quad.

Then: No alcohol or soda.  Significantly cut down on junk food and restaurant meals.
Now: No alcohol or soda.  Significantly cut down on junk food and restaurant meals.

Then: Brought my weight down to 130 by marathon day.
Now: Currently at 139.

Then: Strict bedtime of 10pm, up at 6am for work.
Now: Loose bedtime of 8-9pm, up at 4am to run then get ready for work.  Quality of my own sleep largely depends on the quality of my son's sleep.

Then: Strength work after every run: pushups, pull-ups, abs, dumbbells, etc.  Also jump roping.
Now: Always pressed for time, my post run routine has been significantly decreased.

Then: Rode my bike to work 2.5 miles every day.
Now: Riding my bike to work 1 mile every day.

Then: Ran the Rock n' Roll Philly Half at full effort in September; backed out of Baltimore Marathon in October due to shin splints.
Now: Rock n' Roll Philly Half moved to end of this month due to Pope visit; slated to run Baltimore Marathon this Saturday as a long run.

Then: Took 1.5 weeks completely off of running in middle of October and another week at low mileage to recover from shin splints.
Now: No major injuries.  Hitting all the miles.

Then: Self doubt high.
Now: Self doubt high.

Then: Wanted a BQ more than anything else in life.
Now: Sub 3 would be fantastic, but a PR or 3rd BQ would also be good.

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