Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Marathon III Training Notes: Long Runs on Asphalt

With my first two marathons I had major leg muscle malfunctions by approximately the 32K/20M point, despite having run successfully up to 36K/22.4M in training. Since my first marathon I have been convinced that it has a lot to do with the asphalt/concrete running surface that most marathon routes consist of in my area.

With my first marathon I ran my long runs on surfaces consisting of approximately 20% asphalt and 80% dirt/crushed stone or forest paths. For the second marathon I ran about 60-70% asphalt and the rest on softer surfaces. With the latter marathon I actually made it further before my legs started hurting like crazy, and pretty much avoided the cramps that occurred with the first marathon.

Another interesting note is that I wore the same Adidas running shoes for both marathons. These are a pair that I reserve only for my races. I looked last night I have over 410K/255M miles on these shoes JUST from racing. I also know that I wore them for at least one of my longer long runs during each marathon training phase, plus I wore them some to break them in before I started racing with them. One of the reasons that I reserve them for races is that they are lighter weight than my other running shoes, which is great for 10K and HM, but I am beginning to think they do not offer adequate support for marathon running.

For marathon III two major adjustments will be made:

- I am going to get some new running shoes.
- I am going to run all my long runs on 100% asphalt trails (my other runs will be on softer surfaces).

I spent some time on Google Earth last night and mapped out my long runs, from 22K/13.6M to 36K/22.2M. As far as I know these are all asphalt bike trails. There is one stretch that I am not sure about that I will cover on my 22K run on Saturday morning.

If this doesn’t help, I swear marathon IV will be a trail marathon!

i did the same thing with my 1st (and only) marathon--at least 80% crushed dirt/grass etc. i didn't think that strategy would hurt me during the race at all but boy was i wrong. i hope to go at least 80% asphalt for the next one, i hope that helps me out!
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