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2008 Training Group courtesy Chris Walsh

Web Master

Web Master
Blog Posts: 21
The Marathon Day Mystery
Web Master | 9/15/2009 at 5:03 PM

The buzz on the Posse trail: how on earth, if our longest run is 20 miles, will we ever finish the actual 26.2 miles at a faster pace?

Here is the response from Coach Steve:

As far as getting through 26.2 miles - remember you are doing all these runs in the middle of serious training. You will have a nice couple of weeks of tapering down to get ready for the marathon. A lot of it is mind set. Going into the race you will have mentally set yourself to be out there for over 4 hours. Being mentally ready for that ahead of time makes a big difference. Of course the last miles are going to be tough. On the other hand you guys have done awesome training so if it's a decent day to run and you run smart races (which I know you all will) they may not be as tough as you think.

And here is the response from Wayne McDaniel:

Excitement of race day, being more rested, hydrated and carbo loaded then you would/should (theoretically) be in your training phase - that's what you hope will get you through..  

You never know though. That's the difference between good and bad marathons. Sorry to say there's NEVER a guarantee that things come together as you plan. That's what makes marathoning so different then shorter races.  Most of those things above are things you need to consciously be aware of in your days leading up to race day (and guessing what you think is right for you).

This may sound weird but I consciously ensure that I drink at LEAST a gallon of fluids the day before a marathon!  I sweat a lot.  If I'm not hydrated to the max it will affect me getting through that distance at the pace that I want.

There are other things that will happen on race day - some you CAN control and some  you CAN'T control. The weather being a biggy that  you can't control - but it may affect your race day decisions on things that you can control. In the excitement of the race you can make right or wrong decisions during the race itself.  Things like: did you pick the right pace? Did you take in enough water, gatorade, GU's (or whatever) along the way?  That puzzle is unique for everyone. To make it even more challenging, the pieces of the puzzle will be different for each individual each time they run one!  I don't mean to get you nervous -  it's all part of the complexities of the marathon.

The good news is you don't have to get them ALL right! I've run over 30 marathons and I don't think I've ever gotten them all perfect on any given race. What keeps you coming back is having the runs where you get most of them right and the result was good enough to motivate you to try again with a little different recipe the next time.

So there it is: be prepared but expect the unexpected. For now, 3-1/2 weeks before our marathon, we are all just trying to avoid injury. We have a training challenge at the Classic Half (run the last 10 miles at marathon pace) and then we are looking forward to the fabled taper. And, on the plus side, we are all really enjoying feeling strong and in shape and having so much energy. Stay tuned.