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Thread: Marathon Training Thread

  1. #1411

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    Sorry I missed your question during the last post, parrot head.

    5 weeks before marathon date we did a big downhill training run which really closely resembled the grade of the marathon course. We started on the slopes of Mount Shasta up at the trailhead that most climbers take on their way up the mountain. From there it was a 14 mile descent down the mountain and through the town of Mount Shasta, followed by 3 miles of flat to rolling hills terrain to the campground where we had planned to finish. Ended up with a net loss of about 3,500 feet.

    The first 11 miles averaged about 6-7% downgrade, almost identical to the Mount Hood course. It leveled off a little from there, but not by much for the next few miles. The first 10 miles of the run went by so quickly with minimal effort, it was the most enjoyable 10 miles I think I've ever run. However, I started to feel something going on with one of my toe nails at this time, which got progressively worse as the run continued. I thought I was going to lose a toenail, but it turned out just be a long nail that was digging into the adjacent toe. I was also concerned about possible shin splint issues, given the steep downgrade, but this turned out to be a complete non-issue.

    By the time we hit the flat section at mile 14 or 15 my quads were pretty shredded. Still felt pretty decent on the downhills, but it took a ton of effort to keep moving forward on the flats and uphills. And I could hardly get up from a low chair for about 3 days after. And just walking was so incredibly painful in both the quads and calves.

    Marathon is this Saturday. I didn't have a good training cycle at all. I strained my hamstring while reffing a church bball tournament just as my 18 week program was scheduled to begin. So i ended up getting the miles in, but wasn't able to do any speed work whatsoever. Not a single interval workout or tempo run; just lots of slow miles.

    I'm confident I'll finish this weekend, but it's not gonna be pretty. I started out hoping for a good PR, but now I'm sure I'll be lucky to break 4 hours. Oh well. I did it mainly to keep my buddy company on his long weekend runs. He is hoping for a sub 3:15 BQ time, which I'm certain he'll get.

  2. #1412
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Good luck!

    I am still thinking about doing Mt Charleston next year. I ran a 1 mile yesterday, walked 0.5 and then ran 0.5. Trying to come back slowly from the broken foot, so this is what week 2 has in store.

    My wife in prep for the downhill races, does a big descent every 3-4 weeks and not always on the long run. The one she did last week was worse than normal and she was walking funny much like you were. That is painful stuff.

  3. #1413
    Operation Hot Mother Parrot Head's Avatar
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    It's rather frustrating when you semi-injure yourself on Week 1, Day 4 of a training plan. I was trying to a do a progression run and I'm just not good at moderating my speed if my legs aren't tired. I started out slowly and just pounded or stomped more than kept a decent stride. My left knee ached and I continued to run on it for a few days. Now I've just finished what should have been Week 3, but I don't have much mileage to show for it. The original sharp pain behind the kneecap has gone, but my knee will feel like it tightly wrapped in a towel, tense, while I run, or I'll get soreness in the other parts of the leg that have overcompensated -- calf, ankle. On the bright side, I've gotten on the bike more and am enjoying that more than I have in the past 2 years since PAC's "incident."

    I think I'm finally going to take a few days off from running (more than just 2) in hopes of it improving. The good thing is that I have a good base of running this year (1k miles already) and the race isn't until December, so hopefully I'll get back on track soon.
    I have nothing else to say at this time.

  4. #1414

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    I did the Big Bear Marathon this weekend. It started up near Big Bear Lake and came down the canyon, finishing in Redlands. It was a gorgeous course for the first 23 or 24 miles, with the last few miles going through the city streets. Heavily wooded up top, opening up into canyon views before leveling out in the valley.

    There were some rolling hills for the first 8 miles. There a long, slow grinder at mile 2-3, which wasn't too steep, but definitely slowed down the pace for a bit. Then there were a few short, slightly steeper pitches between 6-8 miles. Once we hit mile 9 it was all downhill from there. The first 8 miles had a net elevation loss of about 1,000 feet, while the last 17 miles lost over 4,000 feet.

    The grades weren't too steep and never caused me to feel like I was running out of control. I had done 2 big downhill runs in training, and this one was overall more tame than them. But it definitely sped up the pace. We were talking to one of the race directors at the expo who told us we should expect our times to be 1-1.5 minutes per mile faster than on a flat. He was totally full of crap, but I would say that most people can probably expect 20-30 seconds faster on this course. This assumes that the legs hold up well and don't cramp up on you during the last 6 miles.

    I felt pretty well for most of the day. My original goal was to just go sub-4 hours, as I didn't have a great training cycle. Once I hit about mile 12 I was already about 5 minutes ahead of schedule for a 4:00 and I started to entertain the idea of a PR at sub-3:52. By mile 22 I was about 8 minutes ahead of 4:00 pace and thought it a long shot that I'd be able to finish with sub-8:50 miles. Calves started to really fatigue and tighten up at mile 23 and I knew I wasn't going to PR, so I just tried to enjoy the last few miles. And I did, as I felt really pretty good all the way to the finish. 3:56:17. My training buddy bested his previous PR by 12 minutes, finishing with a BQ time of 3:07.

    Revel puts on a great race. They were very organized and efficient, with tons of staff support at the expo and at the starting line. Rest stops were every 2 miles on the dot and were well supported. Lots of cheering going on from the volunteers that manned the stations.

    I knew it was coming and it hit me hard this morning. Feels like I have glass shards in my calves with every step today. Quads are pretty sore as well, but nothing compared to the calves.

    Good race. Would totally do another Revel race in the future.

  5. #1415

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    Nice report, BG. That sounds like one I'll have to add to my short list, especially with it being local to me.
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  6. #1416
    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    bg, I reviewed with interest your run on Strava. I'm sure the descent helps times a little, but I'm curious how much that gain is offset by the damage it's doing to knees/feet/ankles given the extra stress as one pounds downhill. Very nice run.

  7. #1417

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    bg, I reviewed with interest your run on Strava. I'm sure the descent helps times a little, but I'm curious how much that gain is offset by the damage it's doing to knees/feet/ankles given the extra stress as one pounds downhill. Very nice run.
    The muscle damage is significant. Iíve seen people hobble at the end of every marathon that Iíve done. But I saw a bunch of people with jelly legs from mile 23 on. It seemed to have hit them hard when the course flattened out from the steep grades shortly after mile 21. Several were walking the last couple of miles of the course with each arm draped over the shoulder of a family member or friend that came to help out.

    With how I felt during my last marathon in salt lake 9 years ago I assumed I would cramp up and was planning on some walking the last few miles. I was pleasantly surprised when things held together fairly well.


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  8. #1418

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    We finally bit the bullet and signed up for the Ogden Marathon in May. I am 41 and the longest race I have ever done is 10k. The longest my wife has done is a half once. I have a long ways to go and probably about 30 pounds to drop but I am committed. I have been doing the 11-7 intermittent fasting for about three weeks now and it seems to be helping (although I havent stepped on a scale). I have been able to eliminate snacking between meals for the most part so the next big step is to regulate the quality of the meals I have.

    On the actual training front, after not running for any significant period for probably the last 6 years, I started slowly with 2 miles a day three weeks ago. I'm on 2.5 miles today. My plan is to bump up to 3 just after Thanksgiving and to 4 by the end of the year. I figure if I can do that 6 days a week I'll be ready to start an actual marathon training program after Jan 1. The good news is I'm running in the early morning consistently for the first time in my life and it is pretty great. A couple more weeks and I think the temptation to sleep in will be much less.

    Also, running when you are out of shape is awful.

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  9. #1419

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    intermittent fasting ftw!
    I'm like LeBron James.
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  10. #1420

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    We finally bit the bullet and signed up for the Ogden Marathon in May. I am 41 and the longest race I have ever done is 10k. The longest my wife has done is a half once. I have a long ways to go and probably about 30 pounds to drop but I am committed. I have been doing the 11-7 intermittent fasting for about three weeks now and it seems to be helping (although I havent stepped on a scale). I have been able to eliminate snacking between meals for the most part so the next big step is to regulate the quality of the meals I have.

    On the actual training front, after not running for any significant period for probably the last 6 years, I started slowly with 2 miles a day three weeks ago. I'm on 2.5 miles today. My plan is to bump up to 3 just after Thanksgiving and to 4 by the end of the year. I figure if I can do that 6 days a week I'll be ready to start an actual marathon training program after Jan 1. The good news is I'm running in the early morning consistently for the first time in my life and it is pretty great. A couple more weeks and I think the temptation to sleep in will be much less.

    Also, running when you are out of shape is awful.

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  11. #1421
    Senior Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    We finally bit the bullet and signed up for the Ogden Marathon in May. I am 41 and the longest race I have ever done is 10k. The longest my wife has done is a half once. I have a long ways to go and probably about 30 pounds to drop but I am committed. I have been doing the 11-7 intermittent fasting for about three weeks now and it seems to be helping (although I havent stepped on a scale). I have been able to eliminate snacking between meals for the most part so the next big step is to regulate the quality of the meals I have.

    On the actual training front, after not running for any significant period for probably the last 6 years, I started slowly with 2 miles a day three weeks ago. I'm on 2.5 miles today. My plan is to bump up to 3 just after Thanksgiving and to 4 by the end of the year. I figure if I can do that 6 days a week I'll be ready to start an actual marathon training program after Jan 1. The good news is I'm running in the early morning consistently for the first time in my life and it is pretty great. A couple more weeks and I think the temptation to sleep in will be much less.

    Also, running when you are out of shape is awful.

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    As my Brother in Law once told me - NO ONE likes to run for the first 3 miles. No one.

    Keep it up - you'll do great. Ogden is a fun marathon to run. If I had any advice it would be this -

    1 - in your running, include some down hill portions. Lots of down hill in Ogden. I remember my thighs just being done at the end the first time I ran it.

    2 - The hill around mile 13-14 is a GREAT place to walk for about 3/4 of a mile and eat a granola bar or something. Seriously. Running up that hill was a mistake I only made once. It's not huge or overly steep - but not worth the energy burn to run it if you're just looking to finish happy.

    3 - when they bus you to the start, you'll basically be in a huge pasture waiting for the race to start. The grass is wet. It's kind of cold. Unless you want to stand for an hour +, take something to sit on. My second year I took one of those small/thin closed cell foam camping mats to sit on with a buddy. I also took a cheap duffle instead of the silly little runner bag they give you so I could put my mat, jacket, jogging pants, etc in it to turn in for them to carry down to the finish for me. Might as well be comfortable before you start to run.

    Good luck!

  12. #1422
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokymountainrain View Post
    intermittent fasting ftw!
    I fast every night for almost 8 hours. I call it sleeping. Seems to work well for me. I haven't weighed myself in about 6 months, but I was on a trip this week so I weighed myself in the hotel gym. Still at my high school/ college weight. I wouldn't mind losing 3 pounds of fat and adding about 6 of muscle.

  13. #1423

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    I fast every night for almost 8 hours. I call it sleeping. Seems to work well for me. I haven't weighed myself in about 6 months, but I was on a trip this week so I weighed myself in the hotel gym. Still at my high school/ college weight. I wouldn't mind losing 3 pounds of fat and adding about 6 of muscle.
    super mean post considering you know what a fat ass i am.
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  14. #1424

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    Good luck Omaha. I've heard Ogden is a great race. I wasn't ready by May of this year, otherwise that would have been one of my top choices for a spring or summer race.

    Eddie gives good advice. Make sure to incorporate some downhill miles into your program. In getting ready for Big Bear we did three big downhill runs. All three were in the 15-18 mile range and included a 3,000+ elevation loss. Those three long runs were more valuable to me than any other training run that I did. It was extremely good for training the quads and calves. But just as importantly it helped me psychologically seeing a training run profile that was similar to the race day profile.

  15. #1425

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    Thank you for the advice, Eddie and BG. It is very helpful. I continue to plod along. Last night I went over 3 miles for the first time and felt pretty good. But that may be because I'm in KC for Thanksgiving. I dont find a huge difference in difficulty exercising at altitude in Utah vs. the midwest when I am an shape. But when I am out of shape I can't breathe in Utah.

    I think I'm down about 5 pounds. 20 to go.

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  16. #1426

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    Go get 'em, Omaha! Keep it nice and easy for the most part as you build your mileage.
    "What are you prepared to do?" - Jimmy Malone

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  17. #1427

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    The holidays were a slog. Both eating and finding time to run were a challenge. But I managed to make gradual progress and get to the point where I could run 4 miles without dying by the end of january.

    Things have really taken off since then. Currently doing about 25 miles a week. I had the longest run of my life last Saturday. Only 9 miles, but it included some fairly large hills, I did it in 1:21, and I actually felt pretty good when I finished. This may not sound like a big deal but it is huge for me. Going to go 12 miles on Saturday. I'm about a week behind on the training schedule I'm using, but if I keep progressing at this rate I am not worried about being ready.

    I do worry about injuring my old body as the runs get longer. I had knee/ankle pain on the left side pretty badly when I started. I think weight loss (down almost 20 pounds from when I started training) and investing in some good shoes have calmed that issue quite a bit. But now I notice when I get over 5 miles the bottom of my toes on the left foot get really sore...to the point that I'm slightly concerned about going 12 this week. I have plenty of room in the front shoe so not sure what is causing it. I guess I'll see how the long run goes this week and then determine if I need to correct something.

    This training has been great for my wife and me. Coupling it with making more reasonable eating decisions during the week has led to the weight loss we have been trying to achieve for the past 5 years. Both are down around 20 pounds and both of us want to go 15-20 additional pounds.

    In spite of all the benefits, I haven't caught the bug and dont see myself doing another marathon unless something changes drastically in the next couple months. I'm glad we are doing this, but in the end I guess I just dont like running very much.

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  18. #1428

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    If you haven't already, go buy some Body Glide to avoid chafing on those long runs.

  19. #1429

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    Way to go, Omaha. I still remember the first time I ran double-digit miles on a training run.

    Going from 9 miles to 12 miles in a week for your long run is a big jump. Make sure you keep the build-up gradual enough to minimize the risk of injury.
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  20. #1430

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Public View Post
    Way to go, Omaha. I still remember the first time I ran double-digit miles on a training run.

    Going from 9 miles to 12 miles in a week for your long run is a big jump. Make sure you keep the build-up gradual enough to minimize the risk of injury.
    I ended up going 12.5 miles. I only walked up a pretty steep hill for about 50 m near the end and stopped three times for about 30 seconds to change my podcasts. Other than that I was continuously running, which was my goal for this run. The toe issue is potentially a big problem. I dont feel it right now, but from about mile 7 to the end it got progressively worse until it was pretty painful. I basically strike flat foot and I had to switch to heel striking near the end to lessen the pain on my left toes/ball of foot.

    I ordered several different kinds of fancy padded running socks so I will try them out next week. Hopefully they solve the issue because I really dont want to switch shoes. I like the ones I have a lot.

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  21. #1431
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    I ended up going 12.5 miles. I only walked up a pretty steep hill for about 50 m near the end and stopped three times for about 30 seconds to change my podcasts. Other than that I was continuously running, which was my goal for this run. The toe issue is potentially a big problem. I dont feel it right now, but from about mile 7 to the end it got progressively worse until it was pretty painful. I basically strike flat foot and I had to switch to heel striking near the end to lessen the pain on my left toes/ball of foot.

    I ordered several different kinds of fancy padded running socks so I will try them out next week. Hopefully they solve the issue because I really dont want to switch shoes. I like the ones I have a lot.

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    My first thought was it is the shoes. Good job. I am so out of shape I would die if I ran 12 miles.

  22. #1432

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    I went 7 last night in fancy padded socks. The onset of the toe pain was later in the run but it eventually arrived and kept me from going as fast as I would have liked. I read a lot about possible causes after my run last. One site suggested doing stretches to increase toe flexibility a few times a week. The main stretch is kneeling with your toes bent under your feet and then putting your weight back through your heels down to the toes. I'll do it but I have no idea if it will work.

    Any ideas what is going wrong besides shoes? The pain is only in one foot and it is the same side where my knee and ankle hurt a lot when I first stated training. Is it possible I did some weird compensated running for my knee pain and ended up screwing up my toes?

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  23. #1433
    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    I went 7 last night in fancy padded socks. The onset of the toe pain was later in the run but it eventually arrived and kept me from going as fast as I would have liked. I read a lot about possible causes after my run last. One site suggested doing stretches to increase toe flexibility a few times a week. The main stretch is kneeling with your toes bent under your feet and then putting your weight back through your heels down to the toes. I'll do it but I have no idea if it will work.

    Any ideas what is going wrong besides shoes? The pain is only in one foot and it is the same side where my knee and ankle hurt a lot when I first stated training. Is it possible I did some weird compensated running for my knee pain and ended up screwing up my toes?

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    Your body is just trying to tell you to stop running.
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  24. #1434

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Your body is just trying to tell you to stop running.
    True. But every part of my fat body has been telling me that since I started the long road back in November.

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  25. #1435
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    True. But every part of my fat body has been telling me that since I started the long road back in November.

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    You say you don't want to change shoes. How did you arrive at the shoes you are currently using?

    What shoes are you using?

    You should also consider that you may be a different runner now than you were in November and may need to reevaluate. I tend to believe we become more efficient the more we run. Your stride and foot strike may be changing, resulting in a need to a different shoe.

  26. #1436

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    You say you don't want to change shoes. How did you arrive at the shoes you are currently using?

    What shoes are you using?

    You should also consider that you may be a different runner now than you were in November and may need to reevaluate. I tend to believe we become more efficient the more we run. Your stride and foot strike may be changing, resulting in a need to a different shoe.
    I'm using the latest Adidas Ultraboost right now. Perhaps I think they were amazing because before I was using a pair of adidas cross trainers that I mistakenly thought were running shoes

    I went to a specialty running store and had them film me running on the treadmill and then we talked about different options and why they would be good for my running style. Ultraboost was one of them. I honestly cant remember the conversation so he could have just been selling me something. I have really liked them though.

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  27. #1437
    Strikes and Gutters chrisrenrut's Avatar
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    I’m no expert, but I went through the same shoe buying process, and the most expensive Adidas were their first recommendation for me too.

    You might want to try a shoe with less “drop”, or difference between heel and toe height.if you strike mostly flat, a shoe with a higher heel could be putting more pressure on your toes. Adidas Ultraboosts have 9-10 mm drop. Something like the Saucony Kinvara only has 3-4 mm drop.

  28. #1438
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    yeah those are freaking expensive. 100-120 is the most I am willing to pay. Of course I wear a brooks ghost so can usually get them at the end of the season for 1/2 price. When I find them for under $60 I will buy at least 2-3 pair.

  29. #1439
    Senior Member Eddie's Avatar
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    I usually buy whatever Saucony that fits me well and feels good out of those on sale at Big 5.

  30. #1440

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    I've used Saucony and Asics, but by far my go to has been Brooks.

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