Thursday, March 18, 2010

Marathon #3 Training Complete

I started training for the L.A. Marathon after recovering from Long Beach, but did not chart out a training schedule until November 22, 2009. Still, this was the earliest I attempted to follow a structured mileage build-up...the same routine I used for my first two marathons. Figuring that my performance increased the closer I stuck with the schedule, I was very anal about following it this time with one significant exception.

Nearly a full week off for snowboarding could have been a huge setback, but I got right back on schedule almost immediately after I returned home. My injured rib proved only to be a slight pain in the side, thankfully not a significant disruption.

And despite that break, I exceeded the planned mileage from November 22 through today by 7 miles.

Note how my average pace has improved since my peak mileage week:
02/21-02/27 8:47/mi (45.41 mi)
02/28-03/06 8:23/mi (36.16 mi)
03/07-03/13 8:08/mi (30.11 mi)
03/14-03/20 7:59/mi (20.17 mi)

Compare this with the month before the Long Beach Marathon in 2009:
09/13-09/19 8:51/mi (45.74 mi)
09/20-09/26 8:33/mi (39.09 mi)
09/27-10/03 8:24/mi (29.06 mi)
10/04-10/10 8:03/mi (20.29 mi)

In 2008, the month before Maui suggests I may have peaked too early due to races:
08/17-08/23 8:12/mi (17.03 mi)
08/24-08/30 8:45/mi (28.85 mi)
08/31-09/06 8:27/mi (31.88 mi...includes Disneyland Half and Hana Relay)
09/07-09/13 9:16/mi (15.79 mi)

My legs, ankles, and feet may not feel as good as I did in the weeks leading up to Long Beach or Maui, but this data clearly reveals I have continued to improve. My YTD average pace shows a similar trend (9:52/mi in 2007, 9:30/mi in 2008, 8:35/mi in 2009, 8:31/mi in 2010). Based on this data (and given that L.A.'s Stadium to the Sea course is downhill trending), I should at least be able to match my marathon PR on Sunday.

Of course, the weather could be the real spoiler. A race day high of 78 degrees is forecast for Santa Monica. My hope is to finish before it hits 70...

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