Showing posts from September, 2011

Pacing - Melbourne Marathon

Getting the best performance in the marathon requires some sort of pacing plan. The Melbourne Marathon is a very straight forward course making a lot of the controllables reasonably predictable. What will it take to get the best out of myself on the day?
To form a pacing plan the main goal must be decided. For me that goal is to run the fastest time I can on the day. I am hoping this will give me a PB, but more on that area later. Running the fastest possible time will have quite a different slant than if aiming for a certain position. For me, the race will be a time trial and I won't need to worry about what any other competitor is doing. However, I can still use other runners to help me along to my goal.
Knowing how good marathons are usually run, plus where the risks are is the next step. The majority of world records have been achieved with near even splits. There is also a lot of empirical, and research evidence that suggest the optimal pacing results in a speed that stays with…

Short Taper

Time to talk about the taper for the marathon. As with just about every single element in training there is way too much information available on the topic. There is a science behind the taper, but there is also an art. My approach doesn't agree with a lot of the general consensus out there on the blogs and running forums. However, there is a lot of reasoning and I think, solid justification in my approach.

My Taper:

Last long run (33km), easy, building to near marathon pace and held oer the last 12km with some increased efforts on the final hills. 11 days prior to race day.

Taper then starts 11 days out.

The focus will be almost entirely recovery. Just a very small amount of faster running thrown in to keep the feel in my legs. My approach this year compared to previously will be to take everything even easier.

So most days will consist of a 30-60 minute run, performed very comfortably. The aim is to have it feel as active recovery, where I increase the blood flow, lubricate the joint…


It's been nearly two weeks since my blog post. I've noticed that my frequency of posting often goes down when the training isn't going as well as I would like. This gap is a bit different. First up, my spare time has been almost non-existent with doing some extra work shifts and renovating the garden. So where I portion the remaining time puts the blog low down. The other main reason is to help keep my head in the correct mindset for the marathon I tried to avoid thinking too much about my training.
This avoidance in concentrating on training when not actually running has been a tactic to keep away from negative thoughts. Since the overall training plan cannot be followed and the running I am doing feels like it is no where near enough, then the less I think about it the better. My recovery abilities have improved a little, but it is clear I am running a fine line. Some easy runs haven't been so easy on the body. I am training less, performing less intensity, but am sti…

Simple, Might Work

The first cycle has been covered. So far, it looks like I am finally on the right track for what's left of my marathon preparation. Two hard runs, and moderate run and the everything else being geared towards recovery gives me plenty of room to breath. The simplicity of this approach might be what will make it work.

A long run approaching the marathon distance. Done slower, but not substantially slower than race pace. A shorter run performed quite a bit faster than marathon pace. Then a moderate run where I practice running at race pace. It isn't exactly rocket science. It keeps me from getting caught up in the small details, and really only having two runs out of 8 days where I have to put in a concerted effort means that I do put in the effort where it counts.

Having more time and head space for recovery seems to have me more in tune to what my body is really doing. It might be placebo, but I seem to be able feel more of how I am responding to training. The good and the bad.



It has been said there is a big difference between just exercising and training. The key difference is the latter is much more goal directed. Since I managed to bury myself under my training load a few weeks ago I have found it a struggle to get back where I want to be. There is a big battle in my head between what I feel I need to do versus what my body will handle. As a result my last phase of training heading into the marathon is quite removed from my original plans.

Being just over a month out from the Melbourne Marathon, means I do not have the luxury of time. I still want to set a PR, but with the recent gaps in training, decline in performance and inability to handle the loading I believed was necessary, there are plenty of doubts about my ability to run well. That said, I still plan on aiming to meet my original goals.

From this point on the majority of my training is quite lean. My biggest limiter is a inability to handle volume. Running long threshold sets and/or stacking up…