Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Less than 6 weeks to the TCS New York City Marathon: Last week's training

I am back to solo running for the most part after returning from Flagstaff, but it has given me more time to focus and reflect on the coming NYC Marathon this year:

The New York Marathon is the biggest marathon in the world, and New York is one of the greatest cities in the world. The participants, the crowd, and the New York Road Runners come together to make this event unimaginably massive, incredibly inspirational, and absolutely intense. It is arguably the world's most competitive race on the most challenging World Marathon Majors course. To place well at the TCS New York City Marathon you must be tough, you must execute a well-thought out race plan, and you must be competitive. It is the cross country of the marathon world, and that is definitely my style.

The New York City Marathon is the pinnacle of road racing. It is home to some of the greatest marathon performances in the history of the sport. Combine this with the atmosphere, the terrain, and the competition and you have the recipe for the word's greatest marathon. No matter your credentials or personal best times, New York is the true test of a marathoner's metal. 

Every marathon gets tough around the 18-20 mile mark. If you have prepared accordingly and executed your race plan well, this should be where the real race starts. This is typically the gut check point for marathoners and a point when I begin to question myself. While I've improved in each of marathons at having confidence at this point in the race, NYC will be a whole new mental and physical test as I plan to be more aggressive and mix it up with the lead pack. New York throws in it's own twist on this barrier as you enter Central Park at around the 23 mile mark. Central Park is hilly and full of turns at exactly the toughest part of the race. So much can be lost or gained during this short segment: minutes, places, glory, money can all go from bad to great or great to bad in the telling last few miles of the New York course. 

With just under 6 weeks left to the TCS NYC Marathon, I have another big volume week in the books. I ended up hitting back to back 150 mile weeks in preparation for having a few down days with travel to Berlin where I will be pacing Shalane Flanagan through the majority of her American  marathon record attempt. I had some recovery time built into the schedule already, it was simply pushed back until this week. Not only was last week high volume, but I also had two quality workouts on Monday and Friday. I was pleased with both workouts, but I was especially pleased with my ability to run those paces in the middle of back to back 150 mile weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing what I'll feel like with a few lighter days under my belt. After returning from Berlin, I will still have about 5 weeks of training leading up to New York, and that is still a lot of time when it comes to a marathon block.

The Monday workout was a 17 mile tempo. My legs felt tired and awkward going in the workout, but after shaking off the rust over the first few miles, I started hitting the 4:55 pace that I had originally set out for. I still have one more long tempo planned 3 weeks out from NYC, and that one will be slightly shorter, and hopefully slightly faster.

Friday consisted of tempo efforts of 4 miles, 3 miles, 2 miles, and 1 mile. I opted to do this workout on the track so I could really get rolling since the last month of training has been mostly on the hilly roads of Flagstaff. I have done this workout leading into most of my previous marathons, but this was by far the fastest. Again, coming off of Monday's effort and in the midst of so much volume, I was surprised that I could nail these times. With several weeks to go, we need to be careful not to get too far ahead of ourselves and put it on ice for a week or so.

Thanks again for reading. My training from last week is below, and follow me here on twitter for more updates.

Week 6 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Sunday 6 13

Monday 3 mile warmup, 17 mile tempo @ 4:58, 2.5 mile cooldown off

Tuesday 14.5 6 40 minutes 20.5

Wednesday 13 + 8 x 200 meters on the track @ 30-32 7

Thursday 15 7 40 minutes 22

Friday 4 mile, 3 mile, 2 mile, 1 mile tempo (18:51, 14:07, 9:24, 4:38). Rest = 4 min, 3 min, 2 min 6

Saturday 12 9




  1. Great work yesterday helping Shalane to a new PB!! Very cool thing to do at this point in your own training.

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