I feel like I’ve done some training wrap-up and recap for all of my marathons. It’s always fun to look back and see what worked and what didn’t. This training cycle mostly went off without any issues. I clicked along the miles, there were a lot of long runs in the wind, but for the most part things went to “plan”.
What was different?
Shorter training cycle:
This particular training cycle was shorter than most of my other marathon training cycles (all four other ones). But I think that worked out well for me. There wasn’t time to burn out and overdue it. In previous training cycles, I did somewhere around four months of running. My last marathon (2019) was a longer training cycle because I got injured the week before my marathon, so I delayed doing another one until two months later. I think I was actively training for a marathon for six months! But that didn’t work well for me, and I got to the start line more burnt out than anything, and it ended up being my slowest marathon.
Anyway, for this marathon, I trained from about mid-January to mid-March (with a taper). I was actively running longer runs and higher mileage for about eight weeks and then tapering and rest weeks the rest.
This is mainly because I didn’t want to drive into Los Angeles for a 5k. While I have no surplus of races 100 miles away, moving into Los Angeles the day before a race can be a lot. Usually, I prefer going the night before, but that can also get expensive. Suddenly a 50-60 5k (the average price in LA) is $200+ with the cost of hotels. So while it makes sense for longer races (like the marathon), doing that every weekend for shorter races doesn’t make sense. To be honest, I don’t know if this really “worked for me”. It made me focus more on longer, quality, runs versus still having high-intensity speed.
In turn, I got a lot of high-quality runs and training, which built up my fitness. I started building a base in December (not for a marathon, but just a base).
Rose Bowl Half Marathon: 1:34.55.
Napa Valley Half Marathon: 1:33.14
While 100 seconds doesn’t seem like a lot, the Napa Valley Half Marathon was windy, with some highly challenging miles in the second half. Not that Rose Bowl Half Marathon wasn’t challenging in its way, with hills, but I improved by 100 seconds in half. The Napa Valley Half is my fastest half since my whole back fiasco and injury in 2021.
What Would I Do Differently?
I don’t think it’s necessarily different because the training cycle went well. I do, however, lack a lot of life-long runs. I spent almost four years without running more than 10-13.1 miles. My endurance for 16,17, and 26.2 miles isn’t there right now. If I run another marathon (which, at the current moment, kind of interests me), I am going to continue to build on long runs. I doubt I’ll be someone who runs 25 miles in training, but I would like to get some more 16-20 miles in.
In all, though, I think my training cycle went well, and I enjoy the aspect of a 12-week marathon-specific training cycle versus a longer one. That doesn’t mean I’ll run no miles followed by 20-mile runs, but I think having a solid base followed by running marathon-specific training.
So What’s Next?
For now, I’m sticking with shorter races (13.1 miles). You could not pay me enough to run 20 miles in the Mojave Desert during summer. But after that, I am not sure. I think running another marathon this year might be in the cards. I’ve never run two marathons in one year (heck, my average is one every four years LOL). The thought of training for a marathon that isn’t warm or hilly appeals to me. Plus, I’ll have some extra t, time, so I’m not sure what I want to do.
You can see the LA Marathon Recap here and Strava here.
Questions for you:
Are you training for anything?
What’s the most challenging marathon you’ve done?