Two things went wrong in Andrew’s race in Arizona:
- Fitness. He was ready to go 6 weeks before the marathon but then he pulled his hamstring and got pneumonia, and then put his rib out coughing and didn’t run a step for far too long before race day.
- Mental. There’s a switchback between miles 14-18 that felt really isolating, and that’s where his wheels fell off.
Obviously he couldn’t help the sickness and the rib injury but the hamstring pull was avoidable. I don’t believe in speed work, tempo runs or hill repeats for newer marathoners. He decided to do a pickup to “boost his fitness” at the end of a routine 4 mile run one night and that’s when he heard the “pop!”
I think that The Marathon deserves huge amounts of respect. That distance? Turns us inside out, gives us a couple of spanks and a wink before it leaves us for dead.
People ask me how I cut my marathon time from 4:15-3:06 and this is my answer:
I ran more.
I did more running.
More miles, more days, for weeks, months, years.
I covered more distance.
I taught my body to stay upright for a long bloody time. I didn’t do track work, I didn’t do hill repeats. I didn’t drink protein shakes, I didn’t strength train.
I ran more.
As for the mental aspect, Andrew and I typed out notes to each other during our flight back home. He writes first, and then we alternate back and forth:
The Marathon knows our weakness. During training, it’s our job to strengthen that weakness so that its flexion takes the race by surprise.
Andrew and I are going to do everything possible to get our goals of sub-4 and sub-3. Whoever is ready first will do Vancouver BMO on May 1st and whoever feels like they need more time will do Rock n Roll Seattle in June.
Andrew starts training tomorrow!
Have you ever received finisher’s jackets at a race?
This was the first time! We were so surprised.
What kind of race course do you like the most? Point to point? Out and back? One big loop or a couple of loops?