I have been jogging for 14 years but always in the 5 to 10K range 3 times a week. I'm 47, 180lbs and consider myself to be in good shape. This year I'm training for a full 42 at the end of September. I'm following a program a friend gave me. It's 4 runs per week, with the 4th being the long slow run. There are hill, hi tempo and steady pace runs in the program and the KM's vary. I can run 10K in less than 50 minutes.
I need advice in a few areas:
I have insertional achilles tendinitis. This area is sore to the touch after longs runs. I ice and heat both heals. I roll my calves as often as I could. I run with zero drop Merrells (Bare Access). I find less heal lift helps. I add a memory foam liner to add some cushioning as the shoe only has 8mm of cushioning built in. I pop two Tylenols before my LSR but when I get to the 25K mark, the soles of my feet are sore. I tried that heat tape on my heals and calves and did not feel a difference. The shoes have 350Km's on them. I don't know if it's just fatigue, my run style (heal strike) or my shoes but how can I make my feet feel better?
All LSR's are at 6:00 am on the weekend. I am at 31K for my LSR and I guess I'm hitting the wall around 28K. One week I was scheduled to do 24K and I cruised to 27K (sushi for supper the night before). It felt amazing. I used the same prerun formula the next week (two eggs with a coffee but no sushi at nite) and also the same run fuel which is a Cliff energy bar (a piece every 5K) and Ultima Replenisher. That week I had trouble getting to 29K. This week my gate started to feel funny at 28K and a cramp in my rib area stopped my at 31K. Aside from my great 27K run, my pace slows to +6:00/Km in the high 20km's. I start and maintain 5:50/Km. I think I'm going to slow my pace down to at 6:00/Km for my next LSR but what should I be eating prior to the LSR, the morning of and during?
My goal for the 42K marathon is to run steady without having to walk. I selected to do the race in 4.5 hours, which I think in realistic and a decent time for me.
ps I'm open to changing my program from now until the race.
Thanks in advance for all your help.
I personally find that my feet start to feel sore about the same point yours do. The best thing I can recommend (and this is a personal thing) is shoes with more sole/cushioning. I love my Kinvaras but I won't take them much beyond a half-marathon because the soles of my feet start to ache.
As for the achilles, you might do better with shoes with a little more drop, because less heel lift puts more stress on the achilles and calf. Also you might take a look at this:
Figuring out your fueling before and during your run is, for my money, one of the hardest parts of marathon running. So many factors have an effect on long runs that it's hard to decide what works. The weather varies, your mood varies, how much sleep you get, how well hydrated you are, etc. Sounds like you're doing pretty well and just have had some good days and some bad days. Hydration is very important. Make sure you are well hydrated for all your runs, but particularly for your long run. Maybe you just need a little refinement. By the way, usually energy bars or gels should be taken with water, not sports drink.
You might also consider doing your long runs at a somewhat slower pace to help be more consistent. But also because you're considerably faster then your planned marathon pace. The usual recommendation is to do them slower than your planned pace. Though I sometimes have doubts about that advice. But remember to start your marathon at a relatively easy pace. Starting too fast will kill you in the later miles.
My thoughts kind of mirror those posted from Len:
Disclaimer: I'm fifteen years older than you and need a lot more training than I did back when I was your age to be able to race at any give speed, however, last year when I got back into running I felt I wasn't ready for even a half marathon until I was running at least eighty kilometers per week (with some weeks up in the one-hundred-thirty kilometer range). I told you that to suggest my comments may be a bit colored by my age.
Fat old man PRs:
Both of your questions, re your feet and fueling, are very specific to each individual - i.e. what works for one runner won't work for another... But I do agree that a shoe with more cushioning is going to help for those long runs. For what it's worth, towards the end of my long runs I start fantasizing about how good a nice foot soaking and massage is going to feel when I'm done.
With regards to fueling, again since it is highly indiviualistic, I'll just offer my routine:
I don't believe in the "night before carbo-load"... if I haven't already established a good store of glycogen, trying to cram it all in the night before just isn't going to do it. The nutrition thing is a life-style - it can't be a fad for the moment. When I'm training I try to maintain my complex carb diet up to the day before my long run, and then switch to simple carbs. The morning of the run, I'll eat something like toast and peanut butter between 2 and 2 1/2 hours prior to my actual run. (yeah, that does mean that I wake up early, but that's ok with me...) For my long run I'll bring a couple maybe three, gu packets that I'll suck down every 8-10 kilometers or so. Sometimes I'll substitute a gu for a banana that I've carefully carried. For hydration, I'll create a 50/50 solution of water/gatorade. Sometimes, I'll just do water.
I hope this is helpful ! Best of luck !