Marathon Training

The last long run before the marathon is in the bag. Though I've done several of these, each time is different. My last marathon was really hard, even though the one before that was really great. so I didn't follow a past plan that seemed to work before. Instead, I did my own training plan based on how I feel right now and what happened last time. Last time I felt over trained, had been doing 2 marathons a year, got really overconfident and tore my quad. This year, I had a really low mileage base, with weekly high intensity speedwork sessions and short distance races scheduled throughout the year. Gradually, I extended the distance of those races. I changed my footwear to minimal. I did weekly tempo sessions on the course with some hill training. I slowed down the intensity a bit and instead of doing several cycles of building up mileage for the marathon, I just did 3 weeks of building after the half-marathon, going up to 22.5. I don't really subscribe to the notion that you can run a marathon comfortably and confidently with a long run of only 16 miles...Or I should say, my legs don't subscribe to that. There are some physical adaptations that take place only through training for several hours. After doing 22 miler really slow, I have to say my expectations are kind of low. I'm not really sure if I can drop 20 minutes off my time on this course as I've done each time before. Perhaps the taper effect will work it's magic!

Long runs:

16 miles
19 miles
22.5 miles

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