Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Follow-Up

Five days have passed since the 2014 Virgin London Marathon, and I've been able to gather my thoughts on the race. It's certainly a relief to have the race behind me, but almost immediately after finishing I was trying to figure out how I could have done better, and what I will do differently my next time out. First off, I am pleased with the 45 second PR. While I was hoping to run a bit quicker going into the race, I am proud of the way I responded to the dynamics on this particular day. Our pace group went out a little slow through the first half (65:05), but that pace was still fine as we had a pretty good positive split. Our pace group slowly started to disintegrate over the second half, and by the time we got to 17 miles, I was doing most of the leading on a fairly windy day. Getting into the later miles the wind always feels worse, and the hills always feel tougher than they actually are. This was the first race that I was able to maintain confidence on miles 18 to 23 and not fall off pace. Mentally, this was a big step for me. I really had to give it everything I had to get under 2:11 on the last mile, so I know I wasn't holding anything back. This was another step in the right direction heading towards the 2016 Olympic Trials. I am happy with the first half of London, but for me to improve my placing in my future marathons, I will have to be confident and comfortable going out more aggressively. That will be the goal for the fall.

Now I'm looking forward to getting back on the track for a few months before preparing for a fall marathon. It's important for me mentally and physically to switch gears and get some shorter training and racing in. I plan to run the USA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento at the end of June, and before that I'd like to do a tune-up race (likely the Portland Track Festival) in either the 5,000 or 1500 meters. It would be fun to try to PR in the 1500 and marathon within a few months! I'll be taking this week completely off, and then listening to my body as I ease back into jogging next week. I've got plenty of time before the USA Championships, and I plan on continuing my season with a couple races in Europe. I already have the ideal base under me, so now I can focus on tuning up, and cranking out some fast track sessions.

I'm back spending time in Prague and my wife's village (Rodinov) until the 14th of May, enjoying my time with Eva's family. Eva will meet me here on Monday, so I will be spending a traditional Czech Easter without her. Without going into too much detail, Easter in the Czech Republic entails making a whip out of willow branches and using it to slap women on their behinds while singing a song demanding colorful eggs. Obviously the goal is not to actually cause harm, and it's all in good fun. Along with that, we'll be dying eggs and eating a meal called hlavička (a type of casserole with smoked ham). It will be a nice mental break from the stresses of training as I rest my body and mind for the next block.

A big thanks to London Marathon and all those who worked so hard to organize the race and make the elite athlete experience unforgettable. I hope I have the honor of running this race again. Thanks to everyone who participated in my twitter contest as well. I enjoyed it and will do something similar in the future. My last week of training is below if you'd like to check it out. I'll be posting again soon. Thanks for reading, and feel free to follow me here on twitter for more updates. Good luck to all those running Boston! It's going to be an emotional experience even watching it a few thousand miles away.

Week 14 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 10 5

Tuesday 5 x 1k @ 2:57 + drills 5

Wednesday 10 + drills and strides off

Thursday 8 Travel to London from Prague

Friday 5.5 + drills and strides off

Saturday 5 off

Sunday Race off




  1. Congrats man! Thanks for sharing your recovery week with us! Can't wait to see you race in Fall again.

  2. I love your running updates, but I think I love the Easter story even more.

  3. Congrats Ryan! Thanks for sharing your training experiences! I'm planning on running my first marathon in Chicago this fall and I was wondering, do you usually do a warm-up before racing the marathon? Or do you just get warmed-up through the first few miles?

    1. I do a very light jog for 10 minutes followed by some dynamic stretching and drills. The 10 minute jog doesn't do a lot for me in terms of actually warming my body up; it is more to put me in the right state of mind. The first fee miles of the race are the real warm up.

    2. How fast do you do most of your runs at? I'm aiming for a 2:36 finish but I'm not sure what pace I should be running at for the majority of my runs. Does 6:30-6:40/mile sound reasonable?

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