Monday, October 7, 2013

Chicago Marathon 2013 Training: A Recap in Numbers

Now that I'm in the midst of my easy training week before the 2013 Chicago Marathon, I thought I'd look back on my eight weeks of marathon training with some stats:

Chicago Marathon Training Stats (8 weeks):

Number of days in training cycle:56
Number of days run:56
Number of training runs: 82
Average weekly run count:10
Number of 16 mile long runs completed:    2
Number of "tune-up" races:  1
Number of strength workouts:28
Number of yoga sessions:11

Now for some graphs....
Average pace was 7:54/mile over the eight weeks.
Average mileage was 44/week over the eight weeks
Analysis: So, how does this all this training mileage translate into a marathon finish time? Well, I made this handy chart which shows my weekly mileage training for my previous marathons and the corresponding finish times based on those numbers:
Previous average training mileage in relation to my marathon finish time
Last year my average pace in the last 3 weeks of training was a 7:55. This year my average pace over the last 3 weeks of training was 7:32. This probably means I am a little more fit than last year.

Prediction: If all goes to plan and the weather is nice, a sub-3:10:40 (sub-7:15/mile) will be mine! :).

Caveat: The weather was near perfect for the 2012 Chicago Marathon, so if the temps are a few degrees too hot on Sunday, I will drop the yellow line down a level and be happy with a 3:11 (BQ -14) to 3:23 (BQ -2).

Running Streak: BTW, my running streak will end this week (Thursday) at 60 days. It was nice knowing ya Mr. 60-Day Streak, but I need a couple of days of complete recovery before Sunday!

Conclusion: Numbers are nice, but all of this analysis could all go out the window if race day is hot, or I start off too fast like a usually do. We shall see...


  1. YES! Numbers! Charts! Graphs! Analytics!

    I don't know what's crazier to me - that you can train for a full marathon in 56 days, or that you've trained for a marathon with no rest days until now! Do you have stats on how many strength/yoga workouts you've done in other training cycles? I'd be interested to see if that makes any impact, since you definitely did your fair share of both.

    Looks like the weather will be decent on Sunday, with a slight chance of rain - would that affect your time at all?

    1. Glad I have one fan of charts and analytics! One thing about racing is it's numbers based, and that's cool. I think training for a marathon in 56 days is probably bordering on crazy, and there is a chance that it wasn't enough time to build a base. I guess it's an experiment in how little time is needed to get marathon ready. I'll see the results of this experiment on Sunday! No stats on strength/yoga for previous races, as I just started tracking them for this race. :)

  2. Totally excited for you! Seems like you are peaking at a great time. I'm praying for some pinch or light strain in my calf calms the F down by Sunday!
    You're going to be burning people left and right Sunday!

    1. Thanks. Hopefully you are correct about my peaking right now. Hope your pinch/strain goes away quickly. If we take it slow in the beginning, we can then maybe make a few quality "kills" near the end! :)

  3. These posts always fascinate me too! Pretty cool to see how it all adds up. Have a good taper week!

  4. Yup! Answered my own Question! Popped on over and I see you are doing Chicago! Looks like your training has been good! Good luck Sunday!

  5. Dang, that's some crazy training (to me). Good luck Sunday!!!

  6. Great training!! The weather forecast is changing daily for this Sunday. It seems to flip between too hot and rainy. I'm not sure which one I prefer!

  7. Wow that is a lot of training! Especially since you had to kind of cram it in in a short amount of time. It seems like you've seen quite a bit of improvement in the last few weeks so that's promising.

    I like your conclusion. Sometimes you just need to throw the expectations out the window. Hoping that the stars all align for you for the marathon Sunday!