I am about three or four weeks into more specific marathon training now. It has definitely been an adjustment, but I am feeling pretty good about my training and making the decision to switch out of MAF training now. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had my rough days, however.
At the end of the first week of marathon-specific training, I had a 20-miler that included progression miles from mile three through 18. Earlier in the week I had done a tough hill repeat session, and the day before I had some shorter intervals in my workout, all designed in part to bring me into that long run tired.
I started out the run just fine and felt pretty good through about mile 12 or 13. But then the fatigue set in. It was also getting pretty warm and humid, never conditions high on my list when running hard. Those final miles of pace work? They about killed me. From miles 18 to 20, I had an easy cool down on tap, and it was a death march. When I finally finished that run, I realized that I ran those 20 in just about the same time I had run a 20 two weeks prior, but that one was at MAF pace. As you can imagine, this started me down the road of worry.
Had I really made the right move by switching? Was I EVER going to really be able to run the paces I wanted for a full 26.2 if I felt that bad during a 20? I of course sent an email to Jeff, as well as one to Jill, who has been a great sounding board throughout MAF training and into marathon training. Finally, after a few deep breaths and reassuring words from Jeff, I began to believe I would be ok.
Since then? I’ve actually been rocking my workouts. I’m really pleased with how things are going and am getting a bit more confident every day. The bottom line: bad runs happen. I don’t think I’ve ever had a marathon training cycle where one or another didn’t plain old suck. But it’s important to remember that a bad run, or even two or three, is a very small portion of what is otherwise be a really solid block of training. Don’t let a bad one get into your head or shake your confidence. It’s consistency that pays off for a marathon and as long as you’ve got that on your side, you’re good to go.
Ever let a bad run get to you? How do you get beyond it?