Thursday, December 08, 2011

Final thoughts on CIM 2011

Marathon training cycles take a lot of time and effort. I find it useful to try to write down as much as I can....hence all my "N weeks to CIM" postings.

When I train for another marathon and my memory for detail has faded, these postings are very useful. 

It's also just fun to remember when you have a cold or something and can't run at all. Sometimes I need inspiration that I can do it again..and do it better.

Basically, this blog is my way of keeping a running logbook, which is something all the books say you should do and I agree. 

So what do I want/need to remember about this training cycle and race? 

I enjoyed having a coach giving me a plan for the week. I did not always agree with the plan (sometimes it seems crazy hard) but it provided a good base goal for training with all the details.

When training on my own it was easy to read in a book "you need to do these strength building exercises, drills, etc", but it was hard to actually incorporate them on a regular was too easy to just go out there and run. Now they are a habit and I will always do them...they work!

It was also easy to avoid speed work (see scaredy-cat reference below) and just bang out miles at MP or slower.

strength training, drills, hill sprints, flexibility exercises were part of my success in this cycle. It took more time, but the payoff on race day was huge.

I can run fast and not break. I have always been a scaredy-cat about fast running after tearing my AT before the SF marathon in 2009 and healing up just barely in time to run that race. 

During the CIM training I did more fast running than ever before (8 m/m, 8:30 m/m).

But, I need to find a way to prevent AT training at fast paces: I survived this time but at these paces my AT, which I had completely gotten rid of, returned and kept me from doing some of the workouts and almost kept me from running CIM. 

I could be an even faster marathoner if I could train harder. I ran CIM at an average HR of 137 (75%)..this could be 145 (80%). Normally 8 bpm would be worth at least 30s per mile if not more. 

TRUMPING THE SPEED DESIRES is my hope to be running for many years to come. Getting AT is not something you can do over and over without repercussions (e.g. scar tissue buildup). Being able to run is more important than PRs.

Physical Therapy is Important. Repeat this 1000 times. Coach Jill 
nagged this into my head. Part of my success on this cycle was the improvements in my congenital right hip flexibility and strength issues due to the stuff I learned from my physical therapist. This will benefit me down the road whether running or not. 

Jill says every time you visit a PT you learn something new about your body and it's really true. A little knowledge here can go a long way.

The mind component is so important. We already knew this, right? But I don't just mean the ability to push through discomfort/pain while stay focused with form solid and staying relaxed...that's a work in progress in every race.

dawn at 2011 CIM start
No, there's something new: I can feel I'm not intimidated by a 9:00 pace anymore. Perhaps you can call this the 'Roger Banister effect' know, once he ran a sub-4 minute mile, suddenly everybody could do it? Yes, it is hard, but I having done all the training and having such a strong race I know I'll be there again and I won't be scared of it at the starting line.

But more on that in a "What's next" posting.


  1. These are all great thoughts, and they all seem dead on to me! I like the Roger Bannister effect comment too! haha

  2. Keep up the speed work and keep getting faster. Congrats on CIM!

  3. Great post Paul!

    So awesome to be able to look back to remember and learn.


Feel free to leave a comment!