by Colin Seymour ⚓
Earlier this year I took my first stab at a sub-3 hour marathon at the Milton Keynes marathon and completely misjudged things and in retrospect probably my abilities at the time, and completely blew it. On Sunday I took another stab at that elusive sub-3 marathon mark in my third ever marathon, the Abingdon Marathon, and smashed it out of the ballpark.
Following my disappointing run at the Milton Keynes marathon I decided I was going to create a properly structured training programme that would guide me to a great marathon time. After a little bit of research and reading I stumbled upon Marathoning The Hansons' Way. Intrigued by this approach and the relative simplicity (compared to The Daniels Runner Formula), I purchased their book - Hansons Marathon Method - in Kindle format, read it, and devised my four month training programme. This ended up being a great programme which I'll cover that in another post.
This is the big day I've been training for: the Abingdon Marathon. It has just tipped it down, so let's hope that's it until I'm done.
Well folks, today just wasn't my day. Didn't get even close to sub-3 hours, let alone the 2:55 I had in mind. I was well on target until just before half-way when my right knee said "Sorry boyks, no 2:55 for you today". Then with about 5km to go my calves very loudly told me "You can write off the sub-3:15 too". In the end I hobbled round the stadium (it was quite embarrassing) and across the line in 124th place and a disappointing 3:22:50. So it looks like no London 2014 for me. All is not bad though, it's a PB by a whopping 49 minutes.
Update: 3:22:50 is my gun time. Chip time and ergo new PB is 3:22:40. Those 10 seconds count
Oh look at that, the sun is shining. Think I'll pop out for a marathon.
So I'm just short of two weeks from my first marathon in over 14 years and I'm wondering how fast I can and should run it.
I've only ever run one marathon, the one I needed to do one to gain entry into Two Oceans marathon, and it was a terrible performance in which I got caught up with the half marathon runners that started at the same time and I crashed and burned just past half way. I finished, but not in a time worthy of screaming from the rooftops... 4:11 which is terrible when you consider my beautifully paced Two Oceans (56km) time of 4:48.
Since then, I've not raced anything further than 32km since, so I really don't have any recent marathon efforts to go on and thus I have to base my predictions on my performances over shorter distances.
Woohoo!!! My postal entry into the Abingdon Marathon on 20 Oct 2013 has been accepted. I am now running one of the fastest marathons in the UK. I'm very chuffed as this is a very popular marathon and the online entry has already closed. I can now do all four of the races for the Berkshire Champs. I don't expect to win the Berkshire Champs, but running all four races will certainly see me fair quite well.
Ever had one of those races where you wish you could just cut a corner and get the whole thing over and done with? Well, ever thought about making this a habit? It seems one Kip Litton in the US has for quite a lot of his races and it's got the attention of the running community over there.
Exploring the Web sites for each of Litton’s marathons occupied Strode for several days. Not every race was as well documented as Missoula’s, but wherever professional race photographers had been present he hunted for shots of Litton among other runners. He found images of him at the end of a course, only twice at the beginning, and never in between. And there was the chip-gun differential: with rare exceptions, Litton started two to five minutes behind the leaders. In a crowded field, wouldn’t a swift runner want to avoid weaving through clusters of slower runners?
— Is Kip Litton a Marathon Fraud? : The New Yorker
Despite a lot of evidence of cheating and disqualifications, it seems he still denies cheating and of course it means no one knows exactly how he did it, though the bicycle behind a tree theory seems the most plausible.
I'm not planning on running a marathon in a long time, but a recent paper - Metabolic Factors Limiting Performance in Marathon Runners by Benjamin Rapoport - may prove quite useful to those who do or when I do finally get around to running another marathon.
In short, Rapoport has devised a series of calculations that can be used to help you optimize your carbohydrate consumption and race pace to achieve a maximal-for-you performance over the full marathon distance. A brief explanation can be found in this Runner's World article
Seeing is believing...
Well, almost. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, Siraj Gena is indeed barefoot as he crosses the line, however he didn't run the whole race barefoot, just the last 500m or so.
As a tribute to Abebe Bikila and to honour the 50th anniversary of his Olympic win in 1960 in Rome, the Rome Marathon offered a €5000 bonus to both the men's and women's winners today if they took off their shoes and socks and run the last 300m of the race barefoot. The winners would also get 20 seconds off their official finish time to compensate for the time lost to taking off their shoes.
With the race in the bag by the 40th kilometer, Siraj fittingly paid his tribute and took off his shoes and pocketed a little extra cash.