Sunday, August 15, 2010

The marathon is a beastly thing -

But also kind of fun. I'm signed up for this marathon. I've only run a couple marathons several years ago and both took me over 5 hours. Lately, there's been a definite obsession with running roads. Could it be my fancy new shoes? :)
Or, maybe the growing desire to run fast?(er?) *For the record, however, I am still not committed to making myself hurt too badly to make this happen.*

I've no idea how to train for this kind of thing, so I need some help from you. I get that there are easy days, faster days and the long run. Resources say the LSR should be done 30 - 90 seconds slower than marathon pace. What does that mean for those of us who have no idea what marathon pace should be? Most of my shorter (3-6 miles) runs are done at a 9:45 - 10:00 average. Some faster, but usually not on purpose.

Yesterday, I did an 18 miler and ended up with an 11:00 per mile average pace. Eight of the middle miles were at an exact 10:04 with a couple more oops too fast 9:40's . Five of the miles were above a 12:00 per mile pace due to a couple very lengthy (as in a couple miles long), steady climbs. It's pretty hard to find a flat course here unless I went to the valley, but I prefer the South Hills view. For the most part, I felt great despite the last three miles into a direct headwind. I do admit that my legs suddenly wanted to shut down during the last half mile.

My questions for you:

1) Did I go too fast? Should I slow down my long runs?
2) Did I bonk the last mile due to going too fast or nutrition? (I took 3 gels, 2 Saltstick and water)
3) Should a person feel like she can keep going at the end of the long run?
4) How do I predict a doable pace for the marathon? I'd like to actually TRY in this one, but not make myself puke.
5) Also, if anyone is diabetic or has blood sugar issues AND runs marathons, what do you use for nutrition? I've got to be careful with the gel and sports drink because of sugar, but I also need calories. I tried Hammer Perpetuem, but the color, taste and smell make it impossible.
Thanks all!


Anne said...

According to my RUnning Room book, if you want to complete your marathon in 4h45m, you need to do your long runs at around 12:04 - 13:32 minutes per mile (includes walk breaks). The actual race pace is 10:52 for the marathon. Long runs need to be slow enough that indeed, you feel you could go for one more mile when you're done (so it says in my book).

Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...

Love your new blog look and nice shoes indeed! Nothing wrong with loving the road in my book, too and it brings a nice mixture and definitely calls for more speed. Unfortunately I can't answer your questions, having only run one marathon myself and that injured!!! But I would give myself enough time to train, perhaps follow a training program ie. Hal Higdon's or so.

Have fun and good luck.

Danni said...

I think that your pace is probably fine. While training for my best marathon some of my long runs incorporated sections of tempo so it doesn't always have to be slow. I think you felt tired because that's a long run. Duh :p I still think I might run that. I am slow to really commit though.

TooeleTwins said...

OK, since I'm slower than cold tar, I'm not much help in that area.

I can, however, tell you that for my best marathons (2 of 6), I did feel like I could go another mile or two after the finisher's chute.

For my worst marathons I felt like I could walk another ten steps after the finisher's chute but only because the water was that far away.

Worst marathons:
1) wasn't feeling great for a couple of days leading up to the race - queasy much of the run - lost all contents of my stomach at mile 24
2) didn't have a very good base built up and hadn't run enough long runs

Best marathons:
1) the ONLY time I've cracked 5 hours (but just barely at 4:59:25) felt great, had lost 20 pounds while training, had plenty of long runs under my belt
2) first marathon - was too stupid to know how horrible I was supposed to feel

You're going to be just fine. If you could continue the pace of this recent 18-miler for 8 more miles, you would be fine. Since you bonked at the end, go just a smidge slower for the first half.

As for food/gel/drinks - water is fine, 4 gels for the 'thon should be enough (3 is probably plenty). I've seen some people take little jerky strips for some protein and salt. Bananas around mile 20 might do the trick. If you can have someone meet you at mile 20-ish with some food choices (even a small plain turkey sandwich), it will be good. You can eat or not depending on how you feel. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to test it once or twice on a long training run before the marathon. Otherwise, you could pay for it on race day with stomach cramps or queasiness.

Good luck!

Iris said...

Wow, 12-13 minutes are my trail time. I better reign my road running in. I probably should have taken in a few more calories towards the end. This marathon will be an experiment and then we'll see. Thanks for your comments!