"By7", let's do you first. Your comments on my training and recent race results follow:
"I would like to offer my personal opinion:
1) it was a mistake to run the Tucson marathon, but only a slight one
2) the real mistake was not taking it easy after the marathon and do not allow time to recover ...26 Miles are always 26 Miles..
3) but the real root cause is that Mike "chased" the Mileage at all cost and all those miles damaged the performance in his key workouts: if you read back, most of the "critical" workouts were not too good because Mike was tired or still recovering from the day before.
After Tuscon Marathon I was 99% confident that Mike was going to hit easy 2h35', but later he begun to struggle at every key workout and still "hammer down" miles the following days. So I personally started to feel that he was overburning.
Probably for him today running 100 Miles are still too many, considering the work/family commitments. He must save some freshness for his key workouts.
On a more positive note: I believe that if he takes 2/3 weeks recovery and 1 month of "specific" training for marathon (long tempo run, MP, long runs with MP sections), he can make a fantastic marathon in mid/late March and hit easy the 2h35'"
"Mike has 'felt too much in love' with his own training and forgot that the purpose is not to run strong every day but to be ready on race day.
too many hard "easy runs" and poor recovery sealed his fate."
"The issue of the "marathon prediction" is quite interesting.
From his workout, I think Mike was ready to run in 2h35'.
In his 1000m interval, he was hitting "easy" sub-3'20".
For comparison, I recently did a 2h38' marathon and my 1000m interval were more in the 3'20"-3'25" range.
Probably he should have taken part in a 10k/HM race 4/5 weeks out from the marathon and really push the ball to understand the actual levle of fitness in racing conditions (eg: mini taper).
Anyway, we welcome further comments of Mystery Coach on the subject."
May of 2004 was the last time I ran a marathon without suffering through what I'll call bonking for the last 6-8 miles of the race. I faded horribly and lost big time during marathons in January and June of '05, January of '06, June of '06, December of '06 and October of '07. The amount of time I lost when this inevitably occurred varied from 2 to almost 20 minutes. I'm still not certain if some of the problem was psychosomatic-performance anxiety-mental fatigue, a fueling or fuel management issue, gross pacing errors or over-estimation of my abilities, or if I was simply not addressing my specific training needs with my running. The Tucson marathon, scheduled five weeks out from the Phoenix marathon, offered me the opportunity to break the cycle with a low pressure training run. Yes, in hindsight I ran a bit too aggressively. However, in all honesty I wouldn't change things. I came out of that race with a huge boost in confidence, and also a better understanding about how a conservative start could pay big dividends during the last ten miles. I believe these factors helped me run a better race in Phoenix and got me "over the hump", so to speak.
Now let's get down to it. Just for the record, I'm not you.
As a former coach you should know this. Just because you've shown us in your blog that you break down easily and often injure yourself when running moderate miles doesn't mean that the same thing necessarily applies to everyone else. I've averaged about 80 miles per week during the past two years, which includes holidays, vacations, down cycles and sickness, so to accuse me of "chasing mileage at all costs" is nonsense when I'm only averaging between 100-120 miles at my mileage peak. 1/3 more mileage during peak load over one's yearly average isn't pushing it.
My "critical" workouts actually came off quite well with the exception of the period where I was sick towards the end. I think Tinman has you a bit brainwashed with the adamant adherence to "CV" intervals and "big workouts". You seem to be a bit obsessed with interval times and distances, without really understanding that the actual stimulus counts much more than just the minutes or seconds.
Recovery is very dependent on the individual, both in duration and intensity. Easy is easy, sometimes at 6:59 pace and sometimes at 8 minute pace. I time it to leave myself a trail, but quite honestly for all the grief I get sometimes I second-guess posting it.
You did well to run your 2:38, but honestly you seem pretty arrogant about knowing what I've done wrong in my training. Perhaps you would do better to wait and better your own performance first.
In Arthur Lydiard's "Running to the Top" Arthur says he often tells young people, "Look, last year, you ran the best race of your career. Everything went right and you performed at your very best. Now, if you know why that happened and you put your training plan together properly to reproduce that peak performance again on the day of the first race you want to win this season, then I would say you know something about training. Until you can do that, you don't know a damn thing about it. You are just a good athlete who, one day, without realizing why it is happening, will run a good race." I look forward to your next attempt.
End of rant. I've taken it easy this week, skipping Monday, then putting in 5 easy miles on Tuesday and 6 on Wednesday. Wednesday night Finn came down with a virus, which meant a boat-load of vomit, four changes of bedding, and next to no sleep for anyone. By the time Thursday morning arrived I was in no mood to run, so it was nice not to need to. Last night Finn only made a few wake up calls and stayed in his original pajamas, so I felt good while trying out the new racing flats for 5 miles.
Training: 1/18, 5 miles, 34m, 6:42 pace
1/16, 6.2 miles easy in 43m
1/15, 5 miles, 37m, 7:20 pace