The biggest difficulty I find in any marathon build-up is the inconsistency in my workouts. I generally always have great long runs, which is what helps to build my confidence being a marathon specialist. However, my interval and tempo workouts and even my races leading up to marathon are very inconsistent and often lackluster. I did have some good workouts here and there over the past 8 weeks; 2 x 6 miles in 5:12/mile, 8 x 2k in 5:00/mile. However, with the combination of running up to 140 miles while trying to hit quality workouts each week, my performances at the races I have done over the last 2 weeks really suffered.
Two weeks ago I ran the AFC Half Marathon in San Diego, where my goal was to run about a 1:04:00 half, which would have contended for the win. Unfortunately, my legs and my body said 'No F*#@ing Way, Man!' and instead I struggled through a tough tempo run, finishing up in 1:08:27. Then, after two weeks of trying to get my legs to feel good again, I raced the US 20k Champs this weekend and again performed a lot worse than my expectations. There were definitely a few more positive aspects that I am able to take away from the 20k compared to AFC, but overall the race was not one to write home about.
Finishing up at the US 20k
Anyway that is marathon training for me in a nutshell. High mileage and low quality performances. All of which is part of a well calculated equation to run well for the marathon. Berlin is going to be my 21st marathon, so even with these poor results over the past couple of weeks my confidence is unwavering. All of my previous marathon experience has shown me that as long as I put in the work, the big race at the end of the training cycle will be great. And for me that is all that matters. Trusting that the process will yield great results is the key to my marathon training.