Still DIY'ing training but feel that has come to an end. I've had this vision of how the training would work out and it's been spot on, the problem now is tapering. I'm not sure how much to taper and where I could see in my minds-eye the plan for the overall training, tapering escapes me. After this weekend, with all my long events under my belt (2.4 mile swim x2, 149 mile bike, 18 mile run in a few days) I'm going to look for assistance on line.
Tapering and the boost in performance you get is something i've yet to consider.
One last note, running. This will be the area I taper the least. I've been slacking on the long runs. Last weekend, 15, then 18 this weekend, 20, 12 then race weekend. We'll see that the online plans tell me but for now...
DIYing up the this point has been priceless. I've trained for 10 marathons and 4, 150 mile one day rides. I've just applied all that's worked from those events. The idea was to break them out in waves, 3 of them that peak at different times; kind of like the image above. Swimming was the first wave, then bike then running which will peak next weekend.
The other benefit, injury. I train as often as i can and pick the event based on schedule. I don't force myself to do anything and if i feel the slightest tweak anywhere, I pull back and concentrate on something else. I've been told by others they love being guided by a schedule, for me the opposite seems to work. Energy is another factor, if i don't have it I don't go or go light. Nutrition, if it's not there, I adjust my diet and training volume.
Last note: don't try this. Really. I could fall flat on my face; but i doubt it .
My training was OK. I didn't miss any long runs, didn't do any speed work outs and could have done more non-long runs.
The day before the race was total panic. I had two cuts on the bottom of my right foot that got infected. With the help of my family i tended to it all day, in the end New Skin saved the day and it was never really an issue during the race, my foot was sore around the area afterwords but it was never really in pain.
The day of, it all started out good and got better, i was totally relaxed, had plenty of time to get my number get dressed, bathroom lines weren't long, and then i got shit on by a Seagull, I knew it was going to be a good day.
I lined up in the wrong spot, too far back but it was partially on purpose. I wanted to be forced to go out slow and it worked but i did exert a lot of energy in going around slower runners.
The mental prep for this race was pretty straight forward. This marathon was all about time, where in the past it was about distance. My training long runs were all about time not distance, so i was doing 2.5 hours instead of 16 miles for example. So the marathon would be layout out with the same way, maintain for the first 3 hours and hammer home after that. In summary, instead of looking at mile 20 as being the first half, this race that point was 3 hours.
It didn't go that way. I had no problem maintaining, for the first 2:30 but then it became very difficult. To go one step farther, i wanted to run with little effort until hitting 3 hours and bury myself. This is what this race was really about. For the Ironman im doing in July i need to train myself to run in total pain. I just happened to get that early in the race, when maintaining the 7.4 mph pace because painful. Then at mile 19 i hit the wall.
The wall was what it always is. Nothing worked. No matter how prepared you are mentally, you just can't get past the decisions you've made in the past. In hind site, i deserved all of this.
To avoid this in the future, bring GU. I only took in Gatorade, that's it, only 2 small cups of water all the rest Gatorade. I should have bought some GU, even a caffeine table to counter act the lack of coffee. I just figured they'd have it on the course, even though no were on the site did they promise any of this. So my bad. I have learned. I ran out of gas and that's that.
If i hadn't run out of gas? I would have done a 3:36, that was my pace up to mile 19. I was consistently in the 7.4 mph average the whole day until that point. It was nice having that feedback but if i could do it again maybe i was running faster then my training allowed for.
The weather was also a factor, the wind was bad by i was prepared for that, the sun was pretty intense and could have lead to my massive cramp at mile 23. If only it was overcast and not windy, but that what makes the marathon so amazing in the first place. If it was just a mater of running fast for 26.2 miles then then everyone would do it. But it's about running a smart race. I did not run a smart race, but not a dumb race either, so for that a sub 4 is satisfying but i would really like a redo.
Takeaways. The plan of learning from the pain was useless in that you can only apply it to a near upcoming event. What i gained from it will only be there in July if i continue on this same training regime. Nutrition, prepare better with GU, etc.
Dear Friends and Family... this time, it's good news. On July 22nd I will be competing in the Ironman Lake Placid. I look forward to updating all of you on this dream 12 years in the making! PS: an Ironman = 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run. Do this in under 17 hours and you're an Ironman.
I got an email from someone crediting my training posts for them exercising more. I was elated.
Likes 7 so far.
Mark I gotta be honest..i went to the pool on Sunday with 54 laps stuck in my head (which I completed) ...your motivating a few people....thanks
Yancy That's awesome Mark, and nice work! I'll go to the pool this weekend with Lance Armstrong's Sunday 2.6 mile swim suck in my head. PS did you time it, did i just say that?
Yancy Mark McGovern if you're the second person to step forward, does that make for 100 times improvement?
Lisa I've often thought that my posts were annoying until one day a friend said the same thing - and she ran the 5 miler on Sunday - that is the best feeling!!! and i'm gonna keep on posting!!!
George Yancy, you're basically saying I should keep checking in to the gym...
Yancy George, no, checking in tells me nothing, post stats, details, accomplishments.. Humanize the effort.
Mark Yes I timed it but I did not want to embarrass you with my Phelps like time...okay the reality was 57
Tamara I'm just glad ur not posting anything more obnoxious, I hate for the rest of ur ideas to catch on!
1. The Finish Line. I've learned from doing many marathons it's all about the journey. My first fear is the depression that will consume me over the days following the event.
2. The mass swim start. It's a very common fear that has subsided as my swim confidence has increased. Swimming 1.5 miles last Saturday helped, this is going away.
3. What if 1 is not enough? Deep into training I've noticed I've almost never been so happy, what if i don't want that feeling to end? We'll see where this goes. It could be that i need a dose of over-training to bring me down to earth.
In what seems to be a series of posts on training smarter I can't but notice another nuance. I've got to train more, no matter what. This means change. The time at which i train, where i train, it's all changing due to volume.
I'm trying to go as long as i can before I have to resort to the treadmill in the basement. This leaves running in the dark as the only way to get a run in. Due to where i live, the roads, lack of street lights, it's forced me to find a new route. This seem obvious but for someone that has run essentially the same route for 12 years, this is big, and as a result, exhilarating.
Last Sunday I had to go long, I didn't have a route planned and it was dark so I had to stick to roads in town that had street lights. I had a head lamp but country roads with cars going 55 was out of the question. So I improvised, making up the route as I went along. There was one point where I realized how cool it was, reminiscent of all the runs I've done while out of town on business. Getting to know the streets I've lived around for years make for a very fulfilling run.
And so there it is, no longer can i be a creature of habit. It's a great concept but a delicate one. Too many rules to follow. The freedom that comes with winging it seems to be working and knowing there is nothing hindering a workout is key.
In conclusion, habitual behavior has it's place, equipment storage, diet, gear, but route; no more.
Awful runs, until this year, drove me crazy. This year i've been embracing them. Pushing through them has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Figuring out dynamically why the run is bad and pushing through it will pay back big time when it's needed on race day; it has to.
A bad race is surely in the future, or at least a long stretch of bad. It's all about managing it and knowing how to battle it back.
Thoughts inspired by a promotional video on Geoff Rose, "Slogging to the Top".
I just read a post about the longest training day before an IM and it got me thinking. A guy mentioned "practicing nutrition". I think about this a lot. I have done a LOT of long efforts, many marathons and 100+ mile bike rides and both of the require, for me, different nutrition requirements.
An example would be solid food while biking. I'm pretty sure i can eat anything and bike, not fast but at a decent pace for about 20 minutes then up it as needed. For running, totally different story. The constant sloshing around of the stomach that running triggers is not one that agrees with my. For years I've had a 5 hour rule, where no food before a run. This rendered my stomach silent at the expense of being hungry.
Now put the two together, if the order were reversed I'd be golden, eat a ton after the run to get energy for the bike. So in training of the next year I have to pay special attention to this. My current thinking on the matter before testing it is to eat something substantial at the 90 mile mark to give myself an hour plus to digest it before the run then use gels during the run.
I can't wait to test. The longest days of training sound very exciting but I can't imagine the feeling of guilt i will experience when running for over an hour after spending 6 hours on the bike. Mental toughness will be epic. Bring it the fuck on!