Friday, March 6, 2020

Marathon Training #10 Complete

That's right, nearly ten years after my first Los Angeles Marathon, I have completed my tenth marathon training schedule...and despite concerns of the Coronavirus outbreak and a slight chance of rain in the morning, all signs are looking positive for race day.

This is one of the few training schedules I actually exceeded my scheduled total mileage (104%), partly because I intentionally started my whole schedule one week early.  I did so because I wanted to insert a light week while I vacationed on the island of Oahu...a week which just happened to coincide with my usually scheduled peak distance week (and I didn't want to spend the bulk of my stay in paradise running and sleeping).  That's not to say I didn't miss an occasional run or two or swap days due to weather or a race...I just managed to make up for skipped mileage on other days.   More importantly, I stayed healthy and injury-free throughout this 16 week schedule, 19 weeks counting from when I completed the Long Beach Marathon.

While I would usually look to the data I have gathered over the last four weeks of training to help me determine my marathon pace, I realize I probably should swap the runs I did five weeks ago (which, due to the aforementioned trip, was my peak week) with my week in Hawaii as my pace from my time on the islands shows I may have spent a little too much time playing tourist (I did take a lot of photos while running since I started those runs before sunrise).  That said, my average pace over the past four weeks was 9:03/mile...considerably faster than the 9:50/mile I logged before Long Beach and still better than the 9:11/mile I logged before running Los Angeles in 2013.  I completed these races averaging 8:58/mile and 8:31/mile respectively...which suggests I should be able to achieve my targeted goal of finishing within the 3:40s.

Things get more interesting when I swap the peak week with runs I did on island time.  Initially I would have assumed that the peak distance (in this case, 24.33 miles) and the additional mid-week run (an 8 miler) would have slowed my average pace...but they did not.  While I ran at sea-level on Oahu, I did not shy away from hills during my peak week...and even that did not slow my pace.  My four week average after the swap is 9:00.8/mile.  Completing my next marathon sub 4 is practically guaranteed.

Additionally, Sunday's forecast is cool and partly cloudy (low 50's at the start with a slight chance of rain, a daytime high not expected to exceed the low 60's in Santa Monica).  These optimal conditions suggest I should really go for it...a time in the low 3:40s is not unrealistic.  As I have proven a few times before, I can easily shave 40 seconds per mile from the pace I set during my final four weeks of training.  If I can manage 8:20/mile, I may even have a shot at my Stadium to the Sea PR.

Ok...perhaps I'm getting a bit too optimistic.  I am concerned I may have peaked a week early.  Additionally, I set my Stadium to the Sea PR ten years ago...a time when my average training pace was significantly faster and practically the same as my race pace.  And above all of that, I still have to wake up by 3:30am on race day...the day we change our clocks for Daylight Savings Time!

I spent this week successfully shifting my metabolism to East Coast time so that on Sunday I will only need to wake up an hour earlier than my current norm...which shouldn't be too hard, right?  I want to give a shout out to playing GT Sport first thing when I wake up.  Usually I would log my daily "driving marathon" (yes, the game offers a daily reward for those who drive at least 26.2 miles) as the last thing I do before going to sleep, but doing it first thing in the morning has the benefit of increasing my focus and pumping me full of adrenaline.  When combined with coffee, I am up up up...

Final five weeks of this cycle:
02/01-02/07: 47 @ 09:34/mi
02/08-02/14: 28 @ 09:55/mi (reduced mileage while on Oahu)
02/15-02/21: 38 @ 09:04/mi
02/22-02/28: 31 @ 08:45/mi
02/29-03/06: 25 @ 08:32/mi
Average pace over last 12 months: 9:47/mi
Average pace over last 6 months: 9:23/mi
Average pace for last four weeks: 9:03/mi
Last four on mainland (include peak week): 9:00/mi

Reposting for reference:

Final four weeks before Long Beach Marathon in 2019:
09/15-09/21: 23.16 @ 10:11/mi (does not include cycling on 09/15)
09/22-09/28: 53.72 @ 10:04/mi
09/29-10/05: 19.22 @ 09:28/mi (with 5K @ 08:54)
10/06-10/12: 20.28 @ 09:02/mi
Annual average pace over previous 12 months: 10:19/mi
Average pace for month: 9:50/mi
Average race pace: 8:58/mi

Month before the Los Angeles Marathon in 2013:
02/17-02/23: 37.74 @ 9:29/mi
02/24-03/02: 37.17 @ 8:58/mi
03/03-03/09: 30.19 @ 9:17/mi
03/10-03/16: 20.41 @ 8:53/mi
Annual average pace for 2013 YTD: 9:14/mi
Average training pace for month: 9:11/mi
Average race pace: 8:31/mi

Month before the Los Angeles Marathon in 2010:
02/21-02/27: 45.41 @ 8:47/mi
02/28-03/06: 36.16 @ 8:23/mi
03/07-03/13: 30.11 @ 8:08/mi
03/14-03/20: 20.17 @ 7:59/mi
Annual average pace for 2010: 8:29/mi
Average pace for month: 8:24/mi
Average race pace: 8:22/mi (Stadium to the Sea PR)

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