Posts Tagged ‘Advanced Marathoning’


Noun:A thing that completes or brings to perfection.
Verb:Add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it; make perfect.


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It’s time to complement – not to be confused with compliment.

No, though I’m sure I could write 1000’s of words complimenting all of you, today the topic is complement.


With every marathon that I’ve run, I have tried to follow a plan of some sort. For Manchester in 2009 it was the Runners’ World plan for Intermediate Runners. For Providence, and consequently Boston, last year (Spring 2010), I went with lots of long, slow, miles. For Smuttynose & New York (Fall of 2010) and Boston this year I followed my running bible, Advanced Marathoning.

In retrospect, I now believe I missed a very important part of the training process in each of these training cycles.

Yes, I put in the miles – man, did I put in the miles.

I ran fast.

I ran slow.

I ran hills.

I ran flats.



A lot!

See a “running” theme here? Despite mixing up the types of runs I was doing, I essentially did nothing other than run. Oh, I touched on doing push ups for a couple of weeks, planks for even fewer, but for the most part, every workout was about the run, run, run.


Now, my ego is still hurting a little from my collapse at Boston this year. Yes, I did manage to make Lemonade out of Lemons. I enjoyed myself immensely. But honestly, it is not the way I would have chosen to run this, or any marathon.

I’m not saying that my asthmatic episode was caused by a lack of core strength or lack of flexibility. I’m not looking for excuses. But I do know this – Pfitz’ 12/55 program call for 4 – 5 day of running per week. On the off days, the plan calls for either rest or cross-training. During the past two training cycles I have almost always chosen rest, and by “almost always” I mean always – an older guy like me needs recovery time, right?

Looking back I can’t help but wonder – would a stronger core have helped me expend less energy over the first 17 miles of Boston? would that conserved energy have translated into my breakdown happening much later in the race? would I have arrived at mile 17 just that much sooner? would increased flexibility have prevented the eventual tightening of my legs and shoulders after I went into survival mode? would I have been able to stride it out on the Newton Hills?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.  In fact, I’m starting to wonder if the episode was stress and anxiety induced.

However, I do know that every edge helps.

I went into Boston this year thinking that my legs were ready to run a 3:10. I still believe that they are, but I wonder if there are other parts of my running system that need a little extra work?

With that thought in mind, the next training cycle is going to be a little different from previous ones. I will still take rest days to be sure, but they will be significantly fewer and farther between.

There will be more stretching.

There will be more consistent core work.

There will be regular cross-training.

I’ve got 2 1/2 weeks to adapt to this new routine if I’m gonna run the marathon portion of the 24 Hours Around the Lake Race in late July. Hopefully, these complements will take my running up a notch and eventually take me to my goal.

…and then we can talk about compliments.

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