Test Different Training Plans
When I first started running marathons, I tried to consume as much information as possible. Over the past 2+ years, I have learned a lot about what to do, what not to do and how my body responds to the training demands. I once read the more miles you run, the better your performance will be. It makes sense the more running you do, the more efficient your body can perform and hopefully that translates into faster race times. To prove this theory, I have diligently logged my training data for years to test this theory and have essentially found it to be true. My last marathon was my fastest after peaking at 60 miles per week during training and it was an amazingly strong run for me. That's not to say I wasn't tired and hurting as soon as I crossed the finish line, but I reached personal best times at the various checkpoints WITHIN A MARATHON. I completely amazed myself and felt incredibly strong and could run forever. A marathon is never easy but it didn't feel as hard as previous ones. My first mile was at an astonishing 7:15 pace and I thought it was around 8:15 based on how I felt. It was a very good day! I finished the race in 4:12 and my goal was to get under 4:15.
For my next marathon (only 2 months later), I am testing out a different training plan where I only run long one day and speed workouts for the other "hard" day of the week. The rest of the days are either rest days or cross-training days. So far, this has gone equally well. I am easily exceeding the suggested pace times for the hard workouts and I suspect it's because the easier workouts are acting like a mini-taper really resting me for the harder days. After pounding out 50, 55, 60 mile weeks prior to the last marathon, I have to say, this training plan is refreshing!