Back in May when I wrote my training plan, I decided I was going to do everything I could to get closer to my marathon potential. If you're familiar with any of the running calculator's out there like Runner's World age grading calculator and the McMillan calculator, those tools can help evalate your performance and help you set goals for other distances. An age graded calculator gives you a percent grade based on the world record performance at the distance.
In my case, the marathon is by far my worst time. For comparison's sake, my 5k age graded time is 79%, my 10 mile 76%, and my marathon 69.5%. I know I've got some natural speed, but I've got to think that I can improve my endurance enough to get at least a little closer to my predicted marathon time.
You'd think my endurance would get better as I run more marathons, but unfortunately that has not been the case for the three marathons I've raced. For my first marathon I used a 10k to predict my marathon time and missed the prediction by about 6 minutes. For my next marathon I used a 7 mile race to predict my marathon and missed it by around 5 minutes. Getting better right? The next marathon I raced I used the same 7 mile race to predict and missed my predicted time by almost 7 minutes.
So, I decided that with my somewhat lighter schedule this summer I was going to do my best to improve my endurance. I'm pretty happy with my current 5k PR, and now I'd like to improve my marathon time (and perhaps my 1/2 marathon along the way). So, I'm running more miles than ever. Starting today I'm shooting for my first 100 mile week ever. I've been over 80 miles three out of the last four weeks, so while this will be a little bit of a jump it should be doable.
I'll try to keep my readers updated of my progress--I'll try to think of clever things to write (I'm hoping they can be a little funny, unlike this post) as I run for around 12 hours this week.