Is it just me or does this not sound like a way to have a really fun week?
This Sunday 9/22/2013 I will be running a "Marathon as a Training Run." I am currently in training for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon which I will race on 11/2/2013. During my last training cycle I incorporated a few training runs over the standard 20 - 24 mile "longest run in a training program" runs. Most programs cap the long run here because it is thought firstly that a run longer provides very little more in the way of preparation and increases the chance of injury past an acceptable point and secondly because the runner could loose valuable days to the additional recovery needed from such an effort. My last time around though I found that I could do some longer runs pushing my body to be better adapted to the specific distance of the marathon and I could do them in a way that minimized injury risk and recovery time. I blogged about it back then here.
My plan was to do the same this time. I got the 20 mile runs going early in the program and got my 25 mile run in. Then I entered a facebook contest from the Carmel Marathon to win an entry in the Fox Valley Marathon. Wouldn't you know it, I won. I'm not sure I've ever won a contest before in my life and I win a marathon entry? (I've said it many times but for some reason God wants me to run. One day maybe I'll know why). I've done these super long runs on my own before and I'll tell you doing it in a full fledged marathon with other runners, crowd support, and aid station sounds like a much better way to get it done.
My stratagy to thwart injury and incur as little need for additional recovery as possible is 2 part and includes running well over a minute slower than my goal pace and doing my best to not "cash out" my glycogyn stores during the race.
The pace is easy. Find the guy with the 3:25 sign and follow him for the next 26 miles or so. Making sure I don't completly drain the tank has required a liittle effort on my part this week. I purposfully depleted my glygogyn stores this week through a calorie reduction and a couple of hard runs upfront in the week. It hasn't been a whole lot of fun and I was feeling pretty bad by the time I finished my run this morninng but this should make my body more responsive to storing the glycogyn that I feed it over the next 3 days which in turn will help fuel me through the full marathon and not leave me in a hole that will take more than a day or 2 to climb out of.
So there you have it. Now if you'll excuse me I've got some more food to eat.
P.S. I am aware that "they" say this kind of depletion isn't necessary. But "they" also say that a run longer than 20 for most and 24 miles for a few isn't necessary either. All I can say is that I try to do what works for me because "they" change their minds way to much.