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Change my training plan?

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Change my training plan?

Post  carleenp on Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:52 am

I am scheduled to run both the Milwaukee and Marine Corps Marathons (4 weeks apart) this fall. My original plan was to race Milwaukee and just goof off at MCM--take the camera and have fun with it. But, I was a lot slower getting going again after my June marathon, with a lot less training miles run than I planned or would like, and I feel like my speed, what little speed I ever had anyway, isn't there. My endurance is fine, but I just just plain feel sluggish/slow when I run. So, now I am thinking of retooling and running Milwaukee as a training run and racing MCM. That will give me about three more weeks of training. Here are my concerns that I am interested in thoughts on:

(1) I don't recover quickly after marathons at all, but I think I might be OK if I run Milwaukee slow, walk all the aid stations, and walk plenty after mile 20 or even drop out at that point if I feel out of it. Then I would do a 4 week taper, is that too long to taper, or is it good considering that I recover slow anyway?

(2) Could the few extra weeks that this buys me really make that much difference? Or am I crazy and should just go back to my original plan? I'm still on track with that long run wise, my midweek mileage is just slightly down.

(3) I originally planned 2 18 milers and 2 20s. Should the 26 take place of one of the 20s, or should I consider an 18, 2 20s and the 26?

(4) Any other tips for doing it this way?
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Re: Change my training plan?

Post  Kenny B. on Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:06 am

I think knowing your body is the most important thing and as you stated "you don't recover quickly after marathons..."

Now racing a marathon and running it as a training run does not take as much time to recover from. If you are looking to run your best I would take the extra weeks and continue to improve your fitness/speed whatever so you can kick ass at MCM.

Use the Milwaukee marathon as a training run. I like to run them at LSD + 10 to + 20 and really enjoying my time and absorbing all that goes on in a race. No worries about walking through aid stations. This should be a pleasant 26.2 (well as pleasant as one can make 26.2 mile).

I don't know your schedule but the more long runs the better IMO. If you can do (2) 18, (2) 20's (1) 26 I'd do it.

I would actully suggest (2) 18's (1) 20, 1 (21), 1 (26) if possible then taper and run your ass off at MCM.

Other suggestion is depending on how you feel before the Milwaukee race I would take it easy for 2 days leading up to it for sure. Recovery run and/or rest day.

After Milwaukee I would do the same thing I would take 1-2 day off and 1-2 more days of easy running before getting back into speed work or longer mileage.
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Re: Change my training plan?

Post  Julie on Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:09 am

Kenny's advice makes sense to me. I've run marathons 4 weeks apart and now 3 weeks apart and the second one both time were my take it easy run but if you can hold back at the first one and make it a nice long training run all the better, I think.

I'm running 3 20s for my current marathon I'm training for and a bunch of 17s.

The other nice thing about pushing it at the second one is that it's that much more into fall and hopefully end up with a cooler day and you'll just feel better than we have all summer.
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Re: Change my training plan?

Post  carleenp on Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:37 am

I just did a bit of calculating and I can fit in 2 18s and 2 20s before the 26.2 pretty well. Before that would be several 16s (I'm at around 12-14 for the long run right now). It would also allow me to do one of my 20s as the CARA Ready to Run supported training run with my running group that is training for Chicago. That is definitely a bonus!
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Re: Change my training plan?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:21 pm

My only caveat to what Kenny said is that I would use the 26.2 as one of my "20s" and not fit in another. That is strictly due to knowing my body and the fact that long runs hurt me personally more than they help.

That being said, I don't know if I've raced marathons to my full potential in recent years, and maybe more long runs would help me; however, I can't focus on them as well and tend to really like the 16-17 mile distance. The here is knowing yourself, Carleen, and if you do not recover well from the longer runs, then I would err on the less is more side. Others here are firmer believers in long runs are more, so take it all with a grain of salt. As we always, say, we are an experiment of one.
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Re: Change my training plan?

Post  carleenp on Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:22 pm

I tend to find that more long runs at 18-20 really, really help my marathon performance, yet I do recover quite slowly from them. Something I tried the last two marathons that seemed to help was putting in extra cut backs after some of the longer runs.

So, right now how I have this written up, my long runs are set like this: 12-14, 14-16, 16-17, 18, 12, 18, 20, 12-14, 20, 12, 26.2, 12-14 (less if the 26 really beats me up), 12, 8, race

But I could easily retool this and cut out or cut down one of the 20s.
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Re: Change my training plan?

Post  charles on Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:54 pm

Have you considered that you might just have the BLAHs right now? The weather is terrible and you are rebuilding after your last marathon. What if come mid September you are running great - better than ever? You have almost eight weeks of training. If you have been consistent (relatively consistent) up to this point you can come out of the summer in great shape ready to race Milwaukee.

Speaking from my experiences . . . the few times I have tried to run a training marathon, followed by a race marathon - I ran two average marathons. Well below my expectations for the second marathon.

Last year after I blew up at mile 17 in Chicago, I turned around and ran a PR four weeks later. In Chicago, I went out too hard in tough conditions and died a painful death. Finished doing the dreadful walk, slog, jog, rinse and repeat. Four weeks later I went out easy and ran smart. PR by three minutes.

Something that has worked well for me in the last two years are what I call "blocks of mileage." I will do back to back 13 milers or 10, 18, 7, or 10, 15, 10. I have found that I get an incredible training stimulus when I put together two or three days worth of long runs. I think in the end however it comes down to more volume. I think the more volume you run the better. No doubt you need 18 & 20 milers to run a good marathon but I think you need a lot of miles first!

I don't think I answered your question - just rambled.
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Re: Change my training plan?

Post  carleenp on Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:10 pm

I could very well be having some "blahs" from the heat an such. My concern though is that I didn't get in real good training in the weeks since my last marathon (June 11) and am just now starting to feel like things are on track. So racing MCM buys me 4 more weeks of real training. But, the concern that running Milwaukee as a training run isn't all that good of an idea is a very valid one. I'm thinking I'll plan on it, but if I get closer and have any second thoughts on that, I'll either just not run Milwaukee and adjust accordingly, or force myself to drop out at mile 20 and do it as a 20 miler.

That is the current thinking anyway. But I'm interested in hearing more opinions on the subject!
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