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Adjusting Marathon Target

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Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  Chris Coleman on Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:44 pm

I'm running the London Marathon on 22nd April and it has been a terrible season's training. I started six or seven months ago with a hard but realistic target of 3:06 to 3:10, but I have been dogged by injuries, mostly hamstring. There have been so many setbacks that I have only had one week above 40 miles, when I had hoped to average 50. Race results, nearly all 10K, have been erratic, averaging 42 minutes. The final blow was a chest infection that had me bed-bound for four days and off running for nine. I have just about recovered from it now, but the marathon is only three weeks away.

I long ago gave up on any idea of breaking 3:10 and decided 3:20 would be a better target. Now, I'm thinking about 3:30, which would still be easily good enough for a Good-for-Age entry next year.

With my longest run so far 18 miles, and one 20-miler next weekend, am I still being over-optimistic, or a wimp?
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  JohnP on Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:21 pm

Chris, you've had a lot of setbacks this cycle, sometimes things aren't meant to be. One good thing, it doesn't seem you really need to taper at all based on recent inactivity. Since you are recovered, train pretty hard for three weeks and see how you feel. I think a 3:30 run for you is almost recovery pace, or at least LSD pace, so you should be able to handle it. If your main goal is to get the age group entry time, then it's better to not push it and just run the 3:30. Otherwise you may overextend yourself and miss even that. Just a thought.
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  KBFitz on Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:05 pm

Only you can sense how much fitness you've lost. But your recent 10K times (averaging 42 minutes) tell me that you've still got much of the fitness what you had before - you'll just need a few more stars to align for you on race day. See how you feel in your upcoming 20 miler -- and don't race it.

Before your sub-par training season, we were both in shape to consider a sub 3:10 marathon. My goal race was Houston in January (3:14:30). But I had NYC in November to play with. I suggest you do at London what I did at NYC -- run it easy (7:40-7:50/mile) with the last 10K by effort. You'll get your Good for Age qualifying time and you won't tax your system. In my view, this approach is NOT wimpy, it's wise.

Keep us posted Chris.
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  Chris Coleman on Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:23 am

Thank you for the comments. I have almost recovered from the chest infection and I'll be able to do my final long run before taper tomorrow. It's so hard to be objective sometimes, and I really value your insight. I might have been tempted to to push it a bit, but I'm now determined to take your advice and go with a target pace of 7:50 per mile. The discipline will be good for me and perhaps it'll feel good, after all the injuries, to run without a lot of pressure.
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  KBFitz on Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:21 pm

Good luck Chris. I share with you the difficulty displaying patience and holding a steady workmanlike easy pace early in races ... but it does pay off. I just ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and had to reign it back in consciously during the first 5K. But because I did (and that's rare for me), I was able to hold 6:50 pace throughout, never once sliding above 7:00. Patience does pay off.

I look forward to meeting you next year where I intend to run London with my own Good-for-Age entry (I'm in the process or relocating to London as we speak).

Cheers! - Kevin
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  JohnP on Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:09 pm

@KBFitz wrote:(I'm in the process or relocating to London as we speak).

Cheers! - Kevin

That's good news for the UK but bad news for the USA. But if you are relocating there, you will have a whole new world of races to run in Europe that will be an hour's flight away. I envy you for this relocation (and assuming it is not permanent).
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  Chris Coleman on Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:04 am

@KBFitz wrote:
I look forward to meeting you next year where I intend to run London with my own Good-for-Age entry (I'm in the process or relocating to London as we speak).

I hope we'll have a chance to share our successes next year Smile
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  ounce on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:41 am

@KBFitz wrote:I look forward to meeting you next year where I intend to run London with my own Good-for-Age entry (I'm in the process or relocating to London as we speak).

Cheers! - Kevin

I guess this means no more runs in Houston. Sad
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  Jerry on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:49 am

@Chris Coleman wrote:
@KBFitz wrote:
I look forward to meeting you next year where I intend to run London with my own Good-for-Age entry (I'm in the process or relocating to London as we speak).

I hope we'll have a chance to share our successes next year Smile

Hmmmm....... Very Happy
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  KBFitz on Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:27 pm

@Chris Coleman wrote: ... I might have been tempted to to push it a bit, but I'm now determined to take your advice and go with a target pace of 7:50 per mile. The discipline will be good for me and perhaps it'll feel good, after all the injuries, to run without a lot of pressure.
Nicely done Chris. 35K at 2:50:26 - that's dead on 7:50 pace. Looks like you eased up after that as your 'good for age' qualifier was in the bag ... and you even took 11th in your age group. I love it. Hope you're feeling well after that effort. Well, well, bldy Well Done!



@Chris Coleman wrote:I hope we'll have a chance to share our successes next year Smile
Indeed that possibility just got one step closer.
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  John Kilpatrick on Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:52 pm

GREAT Job Chris - you sure nailed that one! I admire the consistent splits there too - you really stuck to your guns with running disciplined - hope the injury bug stays away now...

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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:30 pm

Well done, Chris!!!!! Consistent splits and an AG placement! Nice.
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  Jerry on Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:15 pm

Strong!
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Re: Adjusting Marathon Target

Post  Chris Coleman on Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:58 pm

Thanks for the kind comments. I wrote a race report, but it's a bit longer than I intended. Stop reading when you get bored.
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