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Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

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Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Dave P on Thu May 09, 2013 6:01 pm

I originally thought that my chances to run Boston in 2014 were gone after my last two near misses. I didn’t think there was time for recovery & training or a marathon available before the 2014 Boston Sept sign up. Yet, 2014 is gnawing at me. I can’t get it out of my head. Maybe, since I did so much cross-training over the last two months & because I’m not injured now (just sore), I don’t need as much recovery time before my next training cycle. I also found a fast course marathon not too far away that “should be” just before Boston registration opens up (date not set yet.) There’s a marathon in Allentown, PA on Sun, Sept 8th. That is 17 weeks away from this Sunday. Of course, this assumes that I don’t get in the 5/29 NYC lottery, which is what I’m highly expecting will happen.

What do you all think? Am I crazy? I know for a normal marathoner it should be enough time, but now I’m getting a little paranoid about my susceptibility to injuries.

http://www.viamarathon.org/event_info/marathon/index.php
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Schuey on Thu May 09, 2013 8:31 pm

Well I don't think you are crazy. Do I think 17 weeks is enough time to get ready for another marathon? Yes, but the question that needs to be answered is do you think that is enough time? If yes, then the next step would be to put together a game plan to achieve your goals.

What I also think is important is that you have to really think about how you want and will approach the training. Personally I think you have to make some adjustments. I base that on 1. In past training cycles have you met your goals that you set out to achieve at your past marathons? 2. The last few cycles you have had injuries, which I believe are a result of how you have approached the training. 3. The way your body has been so spent after the finish leaves me to believe changes are in order.

When it comes to training and racing a marathon your training needs to be tailored to your strengths and weakness.

Here is how I would structure my training for the next 17 weeks:

First 5 weeks base training
Next 6 weeks pre-race specific training
Next 4 weeks race specific
Last 2 weeks peak (taper)

If you Are interested some time tomorrow I will be posting this same type of structure with the workouts I plan to be doing in each phase in my blog. If you have any questions feel free to pm me.

I do believe you can do it and BQ just have to take a different approach.
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Chris M on Thu May 09, 2013 10:08 pm

I paced a buddy to a BQ for him at that Lehigh race in 2011. The course is deceptively tougher than it appears on an elevation chart. Those early steep downhills make it tough to hold back early and beat your legs up a bit and the not huge hills at the end come at a bad time. My buddy was really struggling by the time we hit those late late miles but we snuck him in under the wire. Also about 1/3 of the course is run on a soft dirt path. Good for reducing impact on the legs but you work a little harder on that soft surface. Nice people running that event and well organized and supported. The point-to-point aspect makes some of the logicistics challenging. I considered it for my own BQ run in September but instead opted for the Presque Isle Marathon in Erie, PA.

As for "can you" or "should you" I'd say sure, so long and only so long as you are healthy. Can you go jog 10 miles this weekend with no soreness or problem whatsoever? If so, you'll be set with what amounts to a full training cycle. But if you are still so banged up that you can't jog a pain free 10 miles right now, I'd skip it and focus 100% on getting back to true full health before attempting 26.2 again.
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Jerry on Fri May 10, 2013 9:10 am

At this age, if you want something, you ought to go for it, especially when 17 weeks is plenty of time, unless you are under some conditions like injury.

Now once you start training though, you need to forget about the time goal and train progressively according to your body. The time goal is only for lazy Jerry who constantly can't get up on time.

I had a bad year 2012 and 10 weeks before Houston marathon, I could only run 1:28:24 half. Then with only slow running, but 60+ miles weeks, I did 3:03 in Houston. What I learned was while I lost fitness, there were still years accumulated training and base in my body. So no need to push over board, just stick to training principles.

I will see you in Boston, that is if I can consistently train with no soccer in fall. lol!
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Jerry on Fri May 10, 2013 9:17 am

Schuey, I like your training plan. Every 4-5 weeks continuous traing, my body moves up fitness level. At the end of each phase, reevaluate and adjust the training plan if needed.
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Dave P on Fri May 10, 2013 4:42 pm

Chris, I’m normally still a bit sore a week after a marathon. I’m sure I could run 10 miles, but I don’t think I should yet.

Schuey, I’ve been incorporating Periodization for years. This past training cycle for example, I still think I was doing everything right. I can’t put a finger on anything I did wrong. I built up a good base & was slowly increasing my mileage. I increased my complete days off to 2-3/ wk, vs. 0-1 in the past. I was doing short/very fast speed work in the beginning & building up to more marathon pace specific workouts as I got closer to race day. I was also doing exercises meant to build strength & stability. However, I’ll definitely look over your schedule, because I’m a strong believer in always learning. The one thing that I might do differently is have a week of nothing but cross-training 1/3 & 2/3 into the training cycle.

Jerry, as always, you're a great encourager.

Thanks for the input guys!
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Admin on Fri May 10, 2013 5:45 pm

Okay, bare with me on this as I try to convey a concept about training and injury...

First, I do not believe that certain people are just 'susceptible to injury' or 'injury prone'. Unless you just trip and fall a lot... in order for an injury to occur from running something is being done 'fundamentally wrong' for that individual. Injuries are the result of excessive stress or force being applied to the muscle or supporting structure. This can be from too much cumulative stress, or a sudden, immediate stress. Muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones adapt by design to the applied stressors over time.

When I see people cut out running days because they believe they will get injured if they run more, I'm always curious why? What is the underlying cause of the injury? Would you suffer an injury if you ran 1 mile a day, 7 days a week? Probably not. So, it's not running every day that's the problem. We can all run 1 mile every day if we choose.

So, can you run 2 miles a day, 7 days a week? I'd guess yes. Whether fast or slow, you can probably run 2 miles a day, every day. Now, as build onto this concept we need to consider EFFORT. Can you run 5 fast miles a day, 7 days a week? Hm... maybe not without a possible problem. Can you run 12 easy miles a day, 7 days a week? Hm... might be a problem. Okay, so now we need to understand EFFORT and how that effects tying days together. We can do some runs that take more effort, whether it's running faster or running farther, but we have to break them up in a fashion that limits the risk of injury...

There's an old running adage that says never do 2 hard workouts in a row. A more conservative adage says that you should separate hard efforts by at least 2 days. I would go so far as to say that it's MORE IMPORTANT to run some mileage every day, even if that means limiting the hard workouts to only 1x per week. Mileage and consistency provides cumulative fatigue, and cumulative fatigue is the greatest stimulation for physiological adapation. You really never want to go into a training run 'fully recovered' or your partially defeating the purpose of training. If you want your body to adapt such that it makes running EASIER, then RUN MORE! Do that by running daily; mostly easy, with a little fastish running once or twice a week.

Does that mean never take a day off? No, of course you'll have to take a day off now and then. Sometimes because life dictates it; sometimes because you're sick or just feeling run down. Don't plan them, though. Take them 'as needed'.

The problem with the 'do some running then take a day off' approach is that it sends a mixed signal to the body. The body is designed to spend energy efficiently. If you give it a running rythym by running every day, it will respond by expending energy to make running more efficient. If you run some, then don't run, the body RECOVERS, but doesn't necessarily make efficiency adaptations. You may feel 'recovered' the next time you run, but you likely won't be running any more efficiently.

Running efficiency is gained from repetition... the more repetition the more efficient you'll become. The more efficient you become the farther and faster you can run.

So, if we agree that we can run every day, if we want, and that the limiting factor is really EFFORT, then let's focus on how to construct a running program that makes running every day possible, without fear of injury. If doing so will cause us to become more efficient runners, then we will naturally see our paces and distances increase without a corresponding increase in effort. We will naturally get faster, and run farther.

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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri May 10, 2013 8:41 pm

How is it that I am agreeing with Matt today? I do believe that we are not susceptible to injury unless we are doing something wrong or we neglect something. Each time I have gotten injured, I was really forewarned (like I neglected my calves and didn't stretch them or I didn't pay attention to a niggle) or it was catastrophic (pulled a calf muscle playing softball; hurt my achilles running along a beach in the rain after a race (dumb)). I do find that if I can run (or even walk the dog a mile if I don't have the time I;d like to run) everyday, I do adapt better. I take days off, and sometimes they are planned, but most often that planning is because life dictates i.e. I spent the last two days driving to Boston and back to pack and pick up my daughter from school, and I find if I do run even for just 20 min on tired legs, I feel much better for it. In 2010, I had a staph infection that put me out for a few week,s; however, when I came back I successfully ran through 2011 and into July, 2012, with only 50 days of no running. I injured my achilles stupidly by running a race in worn out shoes and then running across the beach barefoot and I twisted it. I had also neglected stretching after the race and just did something stupid. It put me out until late August which is then why I chose to have a necessary minor surgery in late November. I did take more time off this winter than I wanted but it was usually due to the weather or issues related to my healing. I have started to run 7 days per week, and I am feeling better than I a month ago, and there was an almost marathon in there.
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Dave P on Sat May 11, 2013 6:36 am

Matt & Michele -

I'm with you two on the idea that no one is inherently prone to injury. We just do something wrong or stupid that sidelines us. I think that's related to my belief that Africans don't have some magic gene. I hear ya on the idea of running every day. I have also read very convincing articles based on studies that suggest quality is more important than running every day. I've done it both ways & have done something wrong or dumb that caused an injury. I will definitely chew on your thoughts as I try to come up with my next training plan.
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  fostever on Sat May 11, 2013 12:11 pm

Absolutely, make sure your recovery days and runs are actually that and you should do fine. The stats on the race sure lend themselves to a fast time.
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Kenny B. on Tue May 14, 2013 3:16 pm

Great responses.

But I do have a different view. I do believe some people are more prone to injury then others and even more prone to niggles (which can turn into injuries)

I started running in 2006 with niggles often and 2 injuries one putting me out for 10 weeks (achilles at start of 2009). I was religious foam roller, stretcher, etc etc.

Since then I got orthotics and stopped stretching and doing any form of lower body exercises. I have not had a niggle that I recall in the past 2-3 years and no injuries. I have run more miles, races, etc since 2009 running 7 days a week at times doing doubles and back to back hard days. I have not use a foam roller or taken a cold bath in 3 years.

Now my Achilles injury was I believe from running on the beach but I do believe my mechanics way my bones are in my left foot causes me to land improperly hence causing all types of issues.

So, point is everyone has a different body structure, mechanics, etc and to think we are all built the same seems unreasonable.

Best defense to injury is to know your body and use the tools to ward off niggles and injuries. If you don't know your own body how can you prepare. It becomes a guessing game of stretching, foam rolling, ice baths, etc etc. When all you needed to was maybe get orthotics or (stretch a better way, or whatever works for you)
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Schuey on Tue May 14, 2013 4:10 pm

@Kenny B. wrote:Great responses.

But I do have a different view. I do believe some people are more prone to injury then others and even more prone to niggles (which can turn into injuries)

I started running in 2006 with niggles often and 2 injuries one putting me out for 10 weeks (achilles at start of 2009). I was religious foam roller, stretcher, etc etc.

Since then I got orthotics and stopped stretching and doing any form of lower body exercises. I have not had a niggle that I recall in the past 2-3 years and no injuries. I have run more miles, races, etc since 2009 running 7 days a week at times doing doubles and back to back hard days. I have not use a foam roller or taken a cold bath in 3 years.

Now my Achilles injury was I believe from running on the beach but I do believe my mechanics way my bones are in my left foot causes me to land improperly hence causing all types of issues.

So, point is everyone has a different body structure, mechanics, etc and to think we are all built the same seems unreasonable.

Best defense to injury is to know your body and use the tools to ward off niggles and injuries. If you don't know your own body how can you prepare. It becomes a guessing game of stretching, foam rolling, ice baths, etc etc. When all you needed to was maybe get orthotics or (stretch a better way, or whatever works for you)

You Kenny I can get with what your saying and believe that is the part of the puzzle. That it why I think that it is very important that you train smart and make adjustments. If one is always getting hurt or not reaching there goals there has to be adjustments made.

If the case is injury and one is having re-ocurrring or niggles and training is being adjusted (example less miles, more recovery, less intensity, etc) and injury continues than I would agree it is time to seek professional advice to see if there is something off.

In the case of not reach goals it is time to change the goal or the way you train to achieve that goal. Good example would be how I decided to approach my training 5 years and that was pretty much taking all track speed work out of my program and build in more mid long runs and working more on my endurance. The payoff for me was I didn't waste a day on the track that would beat me up and leave me to recover, plus injury went way down. Also I had found that my aerobic base was hugely improve and bam with in a couple of years of this change my race time came way down.

Even today my training continues to revolve and always tweaking it to get the most out of myself but at the same time I have become very smart to know or have a feeling that what I'm doing or trying just isn't working and time to make a change.
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Jerry on Thu May 16, 2013 3:08 pm

No Kenny, you got injured because you think too much, not your body is more prone to injury lol! lol!
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Dave Wolfe on Sun May 19, 2013 11:46 am

Dave -- I say go for it. Here is a link to an old article on Marathon training -- http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/time-rethink-your-marathon-training-program . I posted the same thing in a thread when these forums first started under a thread started by Schuey titled what training program are you using (easy to find). One of the points was that 12 weeks or so should be enough time do marathon specific training. Might be helpful given your timing issues.
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Kenny B. on Sun May 19, 2013 11:55 am

@Jerry wrote:No Kenny, you got injured because you think too much, not your body is more prone to injury lol! lol!

can't argue with you on that.
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Re: Should I go for a 3rd attempt?

Post  Dave P on Sun May 19, 2013 7:16 pm

@Dave Wolfe wrote:Dave -- I say go for it. Here is a link to an old article on Marathon training -- http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/time-rethink-your-marathon-training-program . I posted the same thing in a thread when these forums first started under a thread started by Schuey titled what training program are you using (easy to find). One of the points was that 12 weeks or so should be enough time do marathon specific training. Might be helpful given your timing issues.

Thanks for reminding me about that article that I read years ago. It's good to refresh these things.
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