Road to the New Jersey Marathon.

Last week...

This is the last week before the marathon. On Monday I did last serious training: 10x 1K intervals with 1K of jogging in-between. My pace is muuuch slower than it should be (4:19 min/km). I cannot even blame it on Ithaca's hills as I chose the route in such a way that I do the intervals mostly downhill (and make up for it going uphill in the jogging breaks). Oh well.

I take Tuesday off. On Wednesday I catch a cold. Wonderful timing. I wonder whether to cancel remaining trainings of the week. If I knew it would help me with recovery I would do it right away, but it's not that simple with a cold -- sometimes sweating it out actually helps. I go for an easy run. It goes terribly. I go again on Thursday. Bit better. But not much. At least the weather is wonderful...

Big picture

I started preparing for this marathon at the beginning of the year. That means I had 17 weeks of preparation. Not too much. But this time I put my bet on regularity. My best weekly mileage was 82km -- not very impressive; I did 90-something in the past and occasionally even around 100km. But it was the first time when I was so regular, each and every week I did 4 or 5 trainings. No exceptions. In those 17 weeks I averaged 63km per week. I did a total of 1070km since the beginning of the year; not bad at all given that one of my new year resolutions was to do 2000+ km this year; a feat that I achieved only once so far (in 2004) and only barely. The graph below summarizes my 17 weeks of preparations and I have to say it feels good to see that they are kind of consistent.


So, the big question: what am I going to aim at? Well, the obvious one is to try to improve my personal best, which currently is at 3:15:17 (Rome, 2005). Even better would be to do a time that would qualify me for Boston next year -- I believe 3:11:59 would be the limit for that, but probably that's beyond my reach now.

McMillan's calculator seem to be a pretty good tool to get an idea of one's possible finish time. After the Warsaw half-marathon it predicted I would run 10K in Grootebroek in 41:50 and I did it in... 41:50. Now the prediction for the full marathon is 3:16:19; just one minute short of personal best. Since I still had almost a month of training after 10K, I was hoping that maybe I could improve my form a bit in that time... but now with the cold and everything I'm not so sure.

Good thing that I'm rested as I got plenty of sleep lately. Probably a smart thing would be to run for ~3:15 and then adjust according to my shape; possibly speeding up in the second half. But I've never ever run a marathon with a second half not being visibly slower than the first one, so I guess that will not be a first and I'll probably pace myself closer to 3:12 than 3:15. Anyhow. I'll do my best. Keep your fingers crossed. It's 8:00 in the morning on Sunday EDT time...


jean said…
Well see how t goes. Look for the right pace in the beginning, go gentle. And pick it up along the way.But not until 25 k. Then shake the tree and see what you got left. Plenty of time to improve on your time.
Good luck, i will be watching you from a far, but still closed!

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