My current marathon personal best is the 3:53:59 that I ran that in 2012 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Since then, I’ve had elbow surgery and a summer of ankle issues that pretty much killed any shot at beating that time in 2013.
Heading into 2014, I’m looking at how to take a big chunk out of my marathon time. I generally run well, but I have a tendancy to fade in the last 10km. I know that if I can run more consistently from start to finish that my time will come down.
The $64,000 question is how to acheive that?
I’ve always trained with the Running Room program. Mostly that’s because it’s moderately challenging and leaves time to have a life outside of running.
I’m thinking about stepping things up heading into a spring marathon and I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer lies in running more mileage. A fair amount more.
Up until now, a 200km+ month was the upper end of my training. I’d break 200km towards the end of the training cycle – usually in the month or two before the race. Outside of that, an average month was somewhere around 160km on four runs a week.
The new program I’m looking at starts with 200km months on six runs a week and builds from there, peaking at about 360km towards the end of the program.
The problem with this program is how to get runs in six days a week and not end up divorced. Going out every night for an hour or more isn’t going to work, and with an 8am start to my work day, going out in the mornings for 8 miles isn’t all that appealing either (especially in the winter).
The one way I could get the miles in would be to run either to work, or home from work a few times a week. It’s a 13km trip each way, and while I’ve run it a few times, it’s always been a bit of a logistical challenge around clothing and computer.
I’m going to give this a go starting in January. It won’t be easy, and I have my doubts as to whether it’s even possible, but we’ll see.