|#1: 4 h. 29 m. 46 s.|
I ran my first marathon when I was writing the first draft of Change with Confidence. Running 26.2 miles. Twice the distance of my longest run seemed like an appropriate stretch goal.
I created a detailed training plan and stuck to it. My big mistake was exceeding it, which gave me shin splints four weeks before the race. I could barely run for two and a half weeks.
The run was tough. My legs started cramping around 9 miles in and they seized at the 15 mile mark. I had experienced slight cramping in my longest training runs, but nothing like this. I got to the finish line but far later than I had planned.
|#2: 4 h. 8 m. 26 s.|
I followed my race plan, running '10 and 1' intervals and not starting too quickly. To my surprise and horror, my legs started to spasm at the same distances. I relived the progressive decline of my legs, just like watching a movie for the second time - a scary one.
The good news is that I finished the marathon and beat my first marathon time by over 21 minutes.
This time around, I have completely overhauled how I run and train. I have been:
- Changing my stride by shortening my steps and lessening the impact on my feet and legs
- Running continuously versus '10 and 1' intervals - I lost too much time walking when my legs were strong
- Limiting weekly training miles to 30 versus 45 - was I overtaxing them before?
- Running more preparation races prior to the marathon (7 versus 4)
- Seeing a physiotherapist two weeks before the race to discuss prevention and management strategies and tactics
- Managing what I eat, especially three days prior to the race - high carbohydrates, low fibre and protein
With 23 days to go, my practise races are a little slower than two years ago, but my form is better. This will be a good test of Marshal Goldsmith's adage, "What got you here won't get you there." The "there" for me is a faster time and stronger legs throughout the race. Either of them will be an improvement and both will be tremendous.