Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pre-Race Stats, Thoughts and a Tip: Chicago Marathon 2014

Today is the first rest day I've had in the last 33 days. I actually went for a swim this morning to help me loosen the legs and burn off some nervous energy. I only have one more shakeout run on Saturday and after that I will sit and twiddle my thumbs until I head down to the marathon on Sunday. Instead of twiddling my thumbs today, I thought I'd keep busy by reflecting back on my training stats. As Kim mentioned in the comments of my last post she tracks lots of stats. I do as well! I tracked stats on every single workout and tracked every single thing I've eaten this training cycle. So without further ado, here are some of those stats from my marathon training over the last 3 months:

2014 Chicago Marathon Training Stats (7/6 to 10/8):
Number of days:91
Number of days run:80
Number of training runs: 133
Total miles run: 843
Average weekly run count:10
Average miles per day:8.6
Number of 16 mile long runs completed:    3
Number of "tune-up" races:  1
Number of yoga sessions:12
Number of strength workouts:42
Average daily calories consumed:2869
Average daily calorie burn from exercise:1278

The statistic I was probably most concerned about when coming up with my training plan was the "Average Mile per Day". That is the stat that determines my "Marathon Collapse Point". Basically, the Marathon Collapse Point theory states that you need to run 1/3 of the marathon distance per training day to avoid hitting the "Wall" during the race. So that means I needed to average at least 8.7 miles on each run day to avoid the Wall completely on race day. However, in the end, I averaged 8.6 miles (including my taper). So, if the theory holds, I should hit the "Wall" at mile 25.8. So, I'll only really struggle for 0.4 miles! I really hope this theory works!

9/14/14
I Have a New Race Nutrition Strategy
I have decided not to take chances on my mid-race nutrition, which has always been kind of spotty in past marathons. I used to simply eat everything sugary that was handed to me during the race. Sometimes that's okay and sometimes (like last year) it causes me some late race nausea from OD'ing on glucose. So in order to be more scientific about my nutrition, I ran a couple calorie deficit calculations and sought advice from marathon experts Erin and Sara. After getting their input, I think I now have a good plan in place and have a good idea of how much sugar I'll take and when I'll take it. Thanks for the tips Erin and Sara! 

A Small Marathon Race Tip
If you want something to help you get through some of those slow, lonely miles near the end of the race, all you need to remember is the number 42.2. That's the distance in kilometers of a marathon. You'll see a lot more kilometer markers on the course than mile markers (16 more actually!). So, near the end of the race, when mile markers are seemingly few and far between as we struggle to hold onto our paces, it's nice to see the kilometer markers in-between the mile markers. When you see the "37 km" sign, you know you are only about a 5k from the finish. Then you'll start seeing alternating mile and kilometer markers right up until the finish. Be on the lookout for them and they can be smaller milestones to look forward to passing as you make your way down Michigan Avenue!

9/14/14
Anyway, that's about all I have. If I think of another tip, I'll try and post it before Sunday! 

23 comments:

  1. I've never heard of the Marathon Collapse Theory, but that's really interesting! I'm going to have to look at my log and see where I'm at with that.

    Usually once I get on Michigan, I count blocks to the finish. Yes, I need the distance broken down THAT small, lol.

    Good luck on Sunday!

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    1. Ha! I like how you count the blocks on Michigan Ave. You can tell how many more blocks you have to go by the cross street signs: 35th St. all the way down to 12th (Roosevelt). Awesome tip! Good luck to you! :)

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  2. Aww, I like your km tip! And I have also never heard of that theory! I know I was no where near that for this race I just did. I should see if my average was closer to where I started to struggle at 21!

    Thanks for the shoutout! I really liked seeing all your stats. I would love to see a post of your typical training week (with the 10 runs) and to hear what you do for strength!

    I know you will have a fantastic race, so I am just going to say, have fun! :)

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    1. Maybe I'll post a typical training week after the marathon. My strength sessions don't last long, but I feel pretty good afterwards. Thanks, having fun is my #1 goal!

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  3. My collapse point has been all different places, even on the exact same training. For me it's all about pacing and not going out too fast. I have definitely noticed those km signs. Any sign of progress, I will take! Have a great race!

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    1. Yes, good point about pacing. Pacing is really important. I really really need to start slowly - however, once I start slow I need to gradually speed up, like five seconds per mile, so I don't burn up too much fuel when accelerating. Plus, I don't want to give away too many minutes during the first half that I have to make up during the second half! :)

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  4. I might have to chart some stats now because all your posts have been super interesting! Thanks for the km sign tip - makes a lot of sense! Plus it will give my mind something to focus on instead of twirling my thumbs. Break a leg!

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    1. Glad I could give you an idea of something else to focus on besides your thumbs! Good luck! :)

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    2. Is the formula for the average miles per day the total number of miles divided by the days of the training cycle? Because 843/91 is 9.26 so then you wouldn't even hit the wall......but I seriously suck at math so maybe I'm doing something wrong.

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    3. You are correct. My calculation is not clear using the numbers I gave above. For the average miles per day, I actually ran 98 days if you include my final 7 days of taper. For the calculation I divided by 98. So 843/98 = 8.6. If you take out my 7 day taper my daily training mileage is 804. Dividing 804 by 91 days = 8.8 miles. That would make my Collapse Point 26.4! Whew, hope that's clear. Sorry for the confusion above!

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  5. Gosh, I hope that marathon collapse theory is just that...a theory. I sure didn't run the miles you did. I'm hoping that even pacing and even fueling will be enough to get me to the finish.

    Any more hints, send them my way! Aaayy...my nerves!

    ~Wendy

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    1. Well, if it makes you feel any better I have read some studies that have shown that Collapse Point Theory doesn't hold water. Lots of runners who experience the Wall overcome it and finish strong. Your even pace strategy is the most important thing and something I need to focus on. Hope your nerves settle. Not much we can do right now except to get our race gear together. Good luck!

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  6. man, those are some awesome and seriously impressive stats. way to go, man. you better be smiling mighty large all morning on Sunday because you've already rocked this thing. (and thanks for the shout-out, too, though I'm hardly an expert!) :)

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    1. Thanks. I will be smiling. With the 20+ marathons you've run you are much more of an expert than I am!

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  7. haha, sorry for all the 'man' talk. :) (stream of conscious typing, much?!)

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    1. I use "man" all the time, so all is cool! :)

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  8. Very interesting post, I am sure I will reference this when training for my 1st marathon hopefully next year. Good luck Sunday!

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    1. Exciting that you will be running your first marathon next year. Hopefully this post will help a little! Thanks!

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  9. I like that the Marathon Collapse theory has a name! I call it breaking my run into chunks. You rocked your training and I know you'll have a great race. Good luck!

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  10. I wish I had read your post before this morning. I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure this out on today's run. Now I know, great tip! Hope you had a great run, what a magnificent day!

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    1. Hope your run went well today! Thanks!

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  11. Holy mileage batman! You go with your bad self! Can't wait to hear about your race!

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