I'm running my first marathon in Oct (Chicago). I've run several 14 milers, 16 miles twice, an 18, and today 20 miles. Today's 20 miler pretty much did me in - I had to walk the better part of the last 2 miles. My question: instead of taking next week as a "light" week (see training schedule below), should I go for another 20 miler next week?
Upcoming long run schedule:
next week: 13 miles
next: 18.5 miles (I've registered for a 30K event as a dress rehersal for the marathon...I'd like to not use this run as a full-out experiment)
next: 12 miles
next: 20 miles
next: 12 miles
next: 8 miles
I want to make sure that I have "the juice" to do all 26.2 miles. Today did nothing to instill any confidence in my ability to do so, thus I'm wondering if I should give it another go before the 30K event.
All comments welcome.
No, follow your schedule. There are a lot of reasons for your 20 being less than great. Maybe you need that step-back week. At any rate, you'll have good days and not-so-good days, and bad days. This was a not-so-good day (on a bad day, you would have quit at 12 miles). Accept that it wasn't all you would have liked, learn your lessons, and continue with your plan.
Also, avoid "racing" that 30K, it's a little too long. Maybe go at training pace for most of it and do the last 4 or 5 miles at marathon pace.
And BTW, you DID finish 20 miles.
Thanks for your reply. After sleeping on it I agree that I probably need that "step-back" week. I just want the confidence that I can run the full 26 miles. I"m confused as to whether I just ran out of "juice" (even tho I was fueling myself throughout), I was just plain tired, or if my legs just don't have it. I may be 54 (and only running for the last 3 years), but I've been doing 20+ miles per week since January, and 30+ miles a week for the last 4 weeks. I've been carefully pushing myself hard - I really, really want to do this marathon and finish reasonably respectfully. Thanks again.
Maybe you had a bad week at work and were a little more tired than usual. Maybe you got a late start and it was warmer. Maybe you didn't hydrate as well (can have a BIG effect). Maybe your pace was a little faster (also big effect). You've done two 16s and an 18, and got through 18 this time before slowing. I think you'll be OK for the marathon.