Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marathon Week - Race Strategy

Race week is upon me.

Here is the final set of training runs as the race approaches.

Week of Nov 7 (Race Week)
Monday - rest
Tuesday - jog 30 minutes
Wednesday - 4 mi at 9:00/pace
Thursday - rest
Friday - jog 20 or rest
Saturday - RACE day
Sunday - rest

Chapter 8 of 4 Months to a 4-Hour Marathon is called "Mission Possible."  It breaks down how you should tackle the marathon mile-by-mile to reach your goal.  I summarized below:

NOTE: I am not confident I can hit the 4-hour mark... just due to things I've noticed during training (e.g., struggling with tempo runs), but I will try to follow this as much as I can.  My specific race goals will be posted later this week.

  • Keep average of 9:00 pace, might be slower from crowding in the first parts, but don't worry.
  • First water stop at Mile 3.
  • Resist urge to go faster and relax.
  • Fuel and water at Mile 6.
  • Water (plenty) at Mile 9.
  • Fuel and water at Mile 12 and 15.
  • Shake out arms at Mile 17.
  • Fuel and water at Mile 18 and 21, 22, 23.
  • Water at Mile 24.
  • Recall the speedwork during training and know you're going to hit 4 hours during Miles 24-26.2.

Easy as pie, right?  Uhhhhh, right.

The fuel strategy is more frequent than my training runs, but I will follow this one if I feel I need to and will go by feel when it comes to water (since I have been training with a handheld water bottle).  I also plan on taking salt/electrolyte tablets the night before, before the race, and at Miles 6, 12, 18, and 22.

  • Few days leading up to race: incorporate coconut water, pickle juice, plenty of water
  • Night before: coconut water, 2 electrolyte pills
  • Just before race: 1 packet of Vega Optimizer Drink, 2 electrolyte pills
  • Grand total: 8 gels (I'll carry 5 and get the rest on the course), 8 electrolyte tablets, 1 packet of Vega Optimizer Drink to mix with water (if needed).

Now that I've got my plan laid out, the tough part is following it.  I'm a stupid former track and field runner whose strategy has just been "just finish the darn thing as fast as you can get through it."  Having a plan is a new concept to me.


  1. Are you going to have a plan on your wrist or is it all in your head? Im constructing my plan now, and don't know how to keep in all in my head. I tend to over think...

  2. Pickle juice?

    Good luck. At least the weather should be cool and wet and cooperate with you.