Friday, February 24, 2012

Marathon 1 vs 4 (30 Minute PR)

Two years ago, I ran my first marathon in 5:22. Two weeks ago, I ran it 30 minutes faster than that. What did I do differently? Below is a comparison chart between the two training cycles (June to February). 

dateFebruary 28, 2010February 12, 2012
training goalfinish; have fun5 hours
baseless than 2 years;
24 races
(3 half marathons)
almost 4 years;
70 races
(3 marathons & 12 half marathons)
20+ miles training runs36
longest training run24 miles31 miles
speed workno track;
14 random races, mostly multi-sport
weekly track workouts;
9 races strategically substituting for comparable speed workouts
mid-week runs2 x 3 miles;
comfortable pace;
ran alone
2 x 4-6 miles;
tempo/race pace/track;
ran with group
race w/group?raced aloneraced with pace group
race intervals1/1, 2/1, 3/12/1 
goal pacecomfortable;
held back at start
push it!
leave it all out there
chip time5:224:52

I attribute my improvement mainly to consistency and added endurance. I had a much bigger base going into it this time. I only missed a total of 4 runs on my training schedule, added more volume, but paid very close attention to recovery to ensure I didn't get injured. I also made it a priority to warm up before all mid-week runs and races to allow me to hit those hard paces without risking injury. Part of my additional mid-week milage came from these warm up runs, but it was still time on my feet at low risk. 

Becoming an Athlete

This year, I felt like a true athlete. I've felt like a runner pretty much from the moment I ran my first 5K, but it's been kicked up a notch this year. Sure, my increase in speed has helped, but that's not really what defines an athlete. For me, it was been the consistency and determination to train for a goal that seemed so utterly out of reach just 2 years ago. When I ran my first marathon, I just wanted to do it once and finish with a smile on my face. I wanted to enjoy it, and I enjoyed every bit of that race and the training leading up to it. Before I finished training for it, I knew I'd do it again. 

This time, I didn't take the easy route. I wasn't in it just to finish, but I wanted to go big! I've given every part of myself this time, running in imaginable conditions from scolding heat to pouring rain to freezing temps, and it's paid off in a big way. I only ran 10 races this season, but this season was about quality, not quantity. I finished with a personal best at 7 of those races, but I never jeopardized marathon training to do it; most were actually run not much faster than marathon race pace. I dug deep this season, and I know it's still only the tip of the iceberg of my potential. I can't wait to see what next season will bring! :)


Green Girl said...

I love how you did this comparison. So proud of you, girl. You worked hard and it paid off.

Kitzzy said...

Thanks Mary! Any trips to the Orlando area any time soon?

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails