Spring vs. fall marathons

I’m a fan of the fall marathon. Spring marathons? Not so much.

From where I sit in the mid-Atlantic, training for a fall marathon has it all over a spring marathon. Weather, of course, is one of the biggest reasons. I love getting out for my long runs in the crisp weather we have in the fall. Temps in the 50s and 60s, donning a pair of shorts and a short- or long-sleeved shirt is the perfect way to put in 20-plus miles. It’s also the time of the year when I’m likely to be in my best running shape. I’ve just come off a season of racing and am hitting my best times in the fall.

Training for a spring marathon, however, requires putting in the long miles in some potentially arctic-like conditions. I’ve done this before, and for me, running the long ones in multiple layers, with cold air stinging my face, just isn’t as much fun. I’m also not in my best shape in the winter. I’ve likely gained a few pounds from the holidays and am coming off a lay-off from speedwork. Combine the two and you don’t get a very good marathon result.

So even with Boston in the spring, I’m not so sure I’ll be doing a spring marathon anytime soon. I did a 16-miler over the weekend in prep for a couple of half-marathons on my calendar, and that’s about long enough for me in January or February. I’m looking forward to next fall, however, when it will be time to get it in gear for a fall marathon.

What about you–fall or spring marathon?

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  1. Lindsey says

    I'm running a spring marathon this year, in hopes of qualifying for Boston in 2011. Already I've had such a tough time and been so frustrated that many of my workouts have been on the treadmill. It's supposed to snow this Saturday, but I've got an 11 mile run planned and I will NOT give in. I figured if I signed up for a spring marathon and didn't qualify then, I would at least have fall to try again. :-)