Can you help this runner who’s getting slower during marathon training?

Anybody who’s training for a marathon knows how difficult it can be: the long runs never end, the mileage keeps creeping up, and those tempo runs are grueling!

I’m thrilled to be running right now… More at

Fatigue is a normal part of marathon training – there’s no way around it. But should you be getting slower? Should you be more and more tired as you train?

I don’t think so. And while everyone is going to be fatigued to a certain extent during any training cycle (this guy, for example, is delusional), it shouldn’t be severe or debilitating.

With a properly planned season, getting ready for a marathon should be fatiguing, but also rewarding, challenging, and make you feel like you’re a stronger runner.

Today, I want your advice about how to make marathon training a little bit easier.

David is a talented runner but he’s been struggling with putting together a good marathon. Can you help?

How should David change his marathon training?

David is a 44-year old who ran competitively from a young age. In 1990, he started triathlon training with other multi-sport and adventure races (but running was always his strongest sport).

He has PR’s of 16:05 in the 5k and 34:45 in the 10k. His best (and only) marathon was in 2013 where he ran 2:50:13.

Using a Runner’s World sub-3 program, he was gearing up for another marathon last year but was having issues.

This is what he sent me:

The problem that I’m having is that I get an initial spike in fitness and post some good times in races following the start (3 weeks) and lose weight but I find that I seem to be getting slower at races. It’s like I just don’t feel sharp and cannot get out of 4th gear and find races very hard work.

I feel good in training and even went sub-5 on the road for the mile recently which is a first for me – ever. I wonder am I leaving my races in training and pushing too hard?

For this particular question, it will be very helpful to look at his training plan.

Click here to see the modified RW program he’s using.

It also includes pace ranges:

Long run: 7:16 – 9:00 per mile

Easy: 7:15 per mile

Marathon: 6:09 per mile

Tempo: 5:50 per mile

Now, some questions!

  1. Why does David race well in the early part of his season, but then fizzle out later in the cycle?
  2. What (if any) red flags do you see in his training plan?
  3. Is his pacing appropriate?

Leave your response in the comments below and I’ll choose my favorite response on Friday night. The winner will get free access to any Strength Running product of their choice.

Good luck!

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  1. Andrew R says:

    It seems to me that there is a ton – probably too much – of speed work in the first 8 weeks of the training plan.

  2. I am a new runner, only 4 1/2 years under my feet but I have done a ton or reading, Strength running and the like and spent time with veteran runners on long runs. So in my novice opinion this is what I see…
    Why does David race well in the early part of his season, but then fizzle out later in the cycle? He is fatigued and overtrained
    What (if any) red flags do you see in his training plan? Too many “races” in his training plan
    Is his pacing appropriate? His long run pace high end is much to slow.

    I would like some feedback if that is available so that maybe I can get myself aligned with my thinking as well
    Thank you Jason

  3. Maybe some strength training. It has helped me as I age. (53).

  4. Jeff Busch says:

    * Long runs are too long – is he training for a marathon or an ultramarathon?
    * No cross training or strength training – body is adapting to the difficulty of running and those initial gains taper off as he doesn’t challenge his fitness level in other ways.

    1. Races well early in the season because of the quick pick-up in fitness level – tapers off because his training doesn’t adapt to the fitness gains (see above, no cross/strength training of any kind). Would also assume he’s having some nutrition issues as well, but nothing documented.

    2. Long runs too long; lack of ‘easy’ miles (most of mid-week runs are tempo/speed work.

    3. Pacing seems okay, other than long run pace is a fairly wide range – maybe dial down the top end from 9:00 to 8:30.

  5. I’m seeing a lot of good volume, but not enough extended pace work. Most of the tempo runs and fast runs are too short in duration. The program has good tempo work at the beginning of the season, but not so much later on. Also, the ‘easy’ pace window is pretty big.

    I mean, I love my easy runs too, but “easy” won’t get you a fast marathon time 🙂

  6. No strength training.
    Easy runs are not really easy;
    No cut back weeks to allow for recovery;
    Too many races mixed in with marathon training.

  7. Mark Dullea says:

    Overall increase in weekly mileage is too much to fast.
    Need to add in a strength training session during the week.

  8. Coffee U says:

    The biggest problem looks to be expectations. This is an 18 week training program with 3(4?) weeks of taper designed for an A race. Not an 8 week program designed for a killer 10k. The running time/distance keeps increasing, while keeping up intensity; of course in the middle of this anyone would be going a bit slower or finding it harder to get the middle gear. His body is working hard at adapting to the training changes.

    That also looks like a lot of races, instead of a 1-2 tuneup races in prep of the A race. Especially if he’s going all out (and a master athelete at that), it might be a bit more intensity than should have been in the original program. Racing too much might be killing him psychologically. It’s an 18 week program designed for an A race. Not an 8 week course to be strong for a bunch of B races.

    Lastly, this being Strength Running, he should be doing at least some work, probably 2x weekly until the taper starts. Week 16 looks a bit scary; I see that travel is involved, but check out some social running sites to see common running routes and get some running in if at all possible.

    • Coffee U says:

      Looking back I wasn’t really specific enough. In the first few weeks, he saw some quick improvement from cardio. But in the middle weeks of the program his body will be working a lot on his muscles, adapting those tired, tired legs. Of course he’ll find the upper gears harder to hit at this point; it’s the design of the program. His body is still working on adapting to the minor abuses that the traning is giving to his body. It’s about expectations.

  9. The long run pace seems too slow if he is aiming for almost 3 minutes faster per mile on race day. Also, the 18 mile long run the week before the race doesn’t seem necessary.

  10. The first three questions that sprung to mind were:
    1) How well is he sleeping?
    2) Is he getting enough to eat and eating good quality fuel?
    3) Why is he racing often in the early part (or at any part) of a marathon build-up?

    I don’t think his fatigue has as much to do with how he’s training as much as it has to with recovery and races in addition to training.

    • Peterann says:

      Good point about sleep and fuel. Didn’t even think of that cuz for me it’s a given. Lol.

  11. Peterann says:

    Might be racing too much. Increasing mileage too fast and possibly should listen to his body and take more rest.

  12. I’ll qualify this by saying that I’ve never trained for a full marathon (have only gone up to a half), but here are my thoughts:

    The mileage is short and fast early in the program, with big jumps to higher mileage after a few weeks. I would think he is not fully adapting before the mileage goes up.

    There are a lot of races and high-effort runs early in the program, without much recovery built in.

    While there are some pretty long runs, the total mileage looks low to me, especially for someone who is looking for a pretty fast marathon time.

    The program doesn’t really progress from week to week in a logical fashion.

    I’m curious to hear what others come up with!

  13. Lesley Mizer says:

    I see a lot of races and not enough quality long runs. It might be helpful to race more purposeful. For example, race one half 4 to 6 weeks before the marathon as a tune up. Also, there should be 3 to 4 weeks of build up in speedwork and mileage, then an easier week to recover and then start the process again. I like Jason’s approach to this where you keep your long run, but back off the mileage for the other workouts that week. Also, easy runs should be easy to help recovery. It should be boring so just slow down and listen to a good audio book to get you through. 😉 I like reading other people’s approaches. These are the strategies I’ve learned and it continually evolves as I learn more. Wish everyone the best.

  14. Melissa says:

    I think his tempo pace is way too fast & he should not be doing his long runs in the 7:00 mile range-too fast

  15. Gary Moneysmith says:

    Overall, this guy needs to focus on a plan for a more specific goal – the marathon. His modified program is peppered with too many short/high-intensity intervals that don’t serve the end-goal of a solid marathon. Here are suggestions I’d make:

    1) Eliminate any of the 1-2 min intervals. Replace them with weekly (or at least bi-weekly) tempo efforts. Start with 10-mins of tempo (preferably including hills) and work up to 30-40 minutes in towards the end of the training program.

    2) He can do races (I get it, they’re fun!), but has to agree to “train through” them. This is more of a mental expectation setting issue than physical. If he wants to run hard for 5k or 10k, fine. Build it into his weekly program and view them as workouts – not efforts to peak for. Oh, and forget his old PR’s AND the notion that he’ll get “faster.”Remind him he needs to run 6:29 per mile to break 2:50; his 16:05 5K is no longer relevant.

    3) Earlier, longer and more consistent long runs. For a dude who’s run 2:50, his “long runs” for the first 6 weeks are pretty low. I’d recommend starting with a 10-mi long run in week 4 and adding 1-mi per week thereafter.

    4) Overall mileage: His average weekly mileage for this program was only 33 mi/week. That’s super low for a 2:50 marathon talent. And it’s likely the reason his performances taper offer as time goes on. He needs to build his base consistently overtime as “platform” so his body can handle the increased workload. Getting into the low 50 miles/week by week 12 is very reasonable; even 65-70 mi/week is possible for a person of his skill/age.

    5) His cutbacks are pretty meaningless right now since his long, slow mileage is so meager. His body won’t realize any recovery without invest the work beforehand.

    6) Finally, since he *is* getting a bit older, doing the routine “body work” will reduce his chances of injury or at least aches and pains. Figuring out a modest 10-minute strength and stretching plan would probably be invaluable.

    We’re not spring chickens any more. We have to treat our bodies and training more consistently and methodically. Having the discipline and commitment to follow a focused plan should help immensely.

  16. Jesse B says:

    First – too much racing. If those are all “all out” efforts, then he’s going to sacrifice the workouts in the following days – leads to fatigue, as well as not getting full training potential.

    Second – the quality work for the most part doesn’t seem marathon-specific. Lots of very short tempo intervals for most of the weeks. Would be better served with more sustained efforts.

    Third – mileage starts very low for someone training for a sub-three marathon and ramps up quickly (though not actually that high). Would be better served to have a higher sustained base in the early weeks, then a more gradual increase.

  17. I think it is crazy to do an 18 mile run less than a week before the marathon and do not really know enough to comment on his paces.

    I would be inclined to suggest that he examines lifestyle and diet as he has successfully used this program before. It may not just be physical fatigue but mental too as he seems pretty down in spite if running his best mile ever. Personally I believe that half the amateur athletes leave their best racing on the training ground.

    In my opinion if you want to run your best marathon all this crazy racing is detrimental and if you must do a tune up race a month before preferably a 10K.
    He is a good athlete and that will tell him where he is at.

  18. Marnie E says:

    Inconsistency in the progression of his training plan is a problem. There are several inappropriately large increases in mileage, plus travel and having guests that interfere with training, and too many half marathons of fun at actual race pace are not going to help because of the need for recovery after. Midweek as well as long runs do not have a reasonable consistency in progression.
    Long runs are usually run at easy pace so it’s not clear why the huge difference there.

  19. Garth Atchley says:

    I see a few things in his training, although I’m not sure how they all add up to less than desired performance on race day:
    1. Lots of racing and speedwork in the early weeks, when ideally he would be working on building up his base. Not so much during the later weeks, when you would normally be sharpening up.
    2, Very little mileage at MP, no more than 4-5 miles at the end of a long run. This would seem to limit his pace-specific endurance for the marathon.
    3. Relatively short long runs. The longest weekend run I noticed was 18m and only one over 20 (and that one was oddly placed midweek the day after a tempo run and the day before another long run).
    4. Slow LR pace. I guess it’s good to run long runs slow, but his pace is up to almost 3 min/mile slower than race pace. For a 2:50 marathoner, that seems like a huge difference. Again, probably limits pace-specific endurance.
    5. Low overall volume. He hit 55 only once and was under 40 most weeks. He may not have built up enough of a base to sustain the pace he wanted for the full marathon distance.

  20. Douglas Nadybal says:

    His program has multiple problems. There is no base mileage build up. The program seems to start with either rest days or speed work. When the long runs finally come, they are too long and too bunched together and are too long as a percentage of total miles per week. His taper comes too early and concludes too early. He has too many races scheduled. He should have focused from the outset on gradually building his base and cut out 80% of the speed work and races. He is tired because his body was not prepared to handle an extended period of speedwork.

  21. My five-second answer is that this runner isn’t following the principle of progression. He keeps increasing his mileage (until the taper), and keeps exerting the same effort in his workouts.

  22. Philip Whitehouse says:

    1) Mileage ramps up continuously from week 6 to week 12. Off the back of two races. Week 12 is particularly nasty – 14 miles more than the week before, including a 22 mile run with MP effort.

    2) 17, 15, 16 would have made more sense.

  23. Annalise says:

    His easy runs need to be slower.
    HE SHOULD NOW PRESS FORWARD THOUGH! This is the portrait of over training and adrenal fatigue!! Get iron checked and rest more; support adrenals (there are number of supplements)

  24. I’m far from an expert, but I think there is too much speedwork & zero strength training.

  25. I guess he has very little variety in his training, he races too much during training without enough rest and his paces are way too fast based on his last marathon time.
    Also no running during week 16th followed by hard week again just before the race doesn’t make him any fresher

  26. overall i think he needs a better balance of volume intensity and recovery. i think he needs to really run easy runs easy…as in SLOWER to build aerobic endurance. i’m guessing a lot of his training is at or above threshold – explains gains in shorter distance races at the beginning of the training cycle…that type of work primes neuromuscular system/fast twitch, but where is the balance. if you are always running tempo/speed intervals and running your long runs on the lower end of LR pace, you can actually risk lowering your aerobic threshold and getting slower as your training progresses (been there done that!). He’s not training like he’s training for a marathon. Seems a bit confused as to if he’s training for 5K/10Ks as his A goal or a marathon, and the long run length is not incremental enough, no drop back weeks for recovery….shall i go on? also where is the strength training or active recovery days? it’s okay to use races as test of fitness at strategic times throughout the training cycle but that’s not what he’s done here. he’s focussed on the wrong energy system for his goal. his pacing is off. needs better balance of volume, intensity and recovery. no cross training.

  27. David is clearly a talented runner that has been unable to achieve his full potential due to a variety of problems associated with his training plan. Problems (red flags) with his plan include the following:

    Mileage Problems: 1) Not enough of an overall mileage buildup: Dave is clearly a very talented runner, capable of completing high weekly mileage. This is especially so given that Dave appears to run pretty darn fast for his age, even at an easy effort. Because of this, the amount of time David is spending on his feet appears much less than his capabilities should allow, and David needs to have more time on his feet in order to build the strength and endurance he needs to complete a marathon at or near his targeted pace. 2) Mileage climbs fairly steady over the course of the plan up to Dave’s peek mileage week, with no real recovery weeks worked into the plan. Lower mileage weeks involving reductions by about 15% or more every few weeks (I usually reduce by about 20% – 30% depending on circumstances) are necessary to allow periodic recovery 3) Dave’s mileage peeks too soon (week 12), and the week-to-week mileage changes from weeks 13 – 18 appear erratic and poorly thought out (43-10-44-7…really?). Traditional views suggest that a three-week taper is generally appropriate, while more recent approaches suggest a two-week taper. Also, seven miles is just way too much cut back in the final week.

    Too many races and inappropriate races: Dave is running too many races and inappropriate types of races that lack specificity to marathon training. A warrior run one week followed by a 10k the next is tearing Dave down, causing burnout that is slowing him down later in training.

    More Long Runs: Dave also needs to complete longer runs. Currently, Dave only has one 20-miler scheduled. He should complete at least three or four long runs twenty miles in length with perhaps one or two of those even a bit longer in order to have the strength and endurance to run the marathon at his targeted pace.

    Erratic scheduling and inappropriate pacing of speed and tempo workouts: Other issues include the erratic speed sessions. One thing that is helping Dave run well early in the season, aside from just having fresh legs, are the fast, short interval and hill workouts that occur two times a week. But add in the almost weekly races that are scheduled, Dave is then running 3 hard/fast workouts, with none having specificity to the marathon. In fact, some of the interval workouts do not appear to have much if any real physiological benefit for an advanced runner like Dave (1 x 4 mile reps at MARATHON pace???….how about lactate threshold HM – 10k pace instead?)

    Pacing: Dave’s long run paces give too much leeway on the slow side of things. Not that I’m suggesting he should have the afterburners on, but Dave should be able to easily handle an easy/long run pace that is about 45s – 1min slower than his targeted marathon pace. Taking it easy on the easy runs is fine, but especially for the long runs, I would suggest a long-run pace of about 6:55 – 7:00 min/mile.

    So, to summarize:
    1. Why does David race well in the early part of his season, but then fizzle out later in the cycle? 1) Aside from just having fresh legs, the fast, short interval and hill workouts that occur two times a week combined with near weekly races are contributing to Dave’s oomph in the early part of training but causing him to fizzle out as he builds mileage and training time over the accompanying weeks. Dave is also running too many races and inappropriate types of races that lack specificity to the marathon. A warrior run one week followed by a 10k the next, week after week, is tearing Dave down and causing burnout that is slowing him down later in training.
    2. Red flags: 1) Not enough overall miles 2) No recovery weeks where weekly mileage is reduced prior to the peek week of training in week twelve. 3) The peek week of mileage occurs too early in the training cycle. 4) Weekly mileage following Dave’s peek week is erratic (43-10-44-7). 5) Mileage is too low in the final week.
    3. Pacing: Long run mileage is too slow. Recommend 6:55 – 7:00m/mile LR pace.

  28. A couple things stand out. First, why are you running 10K races and expecting to perform well when you are training for a marathon? A practice race here and there is fine, provided that you use them to practice your goal race pace. If you go all out you will need several days to recover, which takes that much more training away from your goal race. You also increase the risk of injury. Second, given your age you need an R&R week at least one out of four, possibly even one out of three. Over the full course of the plan your weekly mileage should increase, but in a pattern like 10 12 8 13 15 9 14 17 10 … good old periodicity. Perhaps the original plan did not include enough, or was written for a twenty year old. One more thing: add at least one day a week of strength training. The older we get the harder it is to maintain muscle mass. Lifting weights does the trick. Yes, it will make you faster, not heavier. The goal is not to be a body builder. If you do not know what to do at the gym, find a coach who understands a runner’s needs.

  29. Laura Bender says:

    I just ran my first half marathon a few weeks ago but I spent months training for it. I’m in no way an expert, but here are my thoughts.
    Why does David race well in the early part of his season, but then fizzle out later in the cycle? It looks like he doesn’t incorporate any strength training. Not knowing what his diet is like could be effecting performance. Instead of building muscle it sounds like he is just losing weight and fat.

    What (if any) red flags do you see in his training plan? well it seems like he is adding the miles up pretty quick. I trained over an 18 week program averaging 20 miles per week. Might be too much of a load. Plus participation in the smaller races h is probably running wig a lot of effort. Adding that to lots of mileage might be a lot .

    Is his pacing appropriate? I’m not sure if the long run is correct? I would be correct. I’m thinking if he is running a marathon pace at 6ish he should be doing at least a closer to a 7:30 for the long run?

    Other thoughts- variations in where he doing the training runs. I learned to incorporate a couple hills in the long runs and practicing tempo.

  30. Ilene Fabisch says:

    2. Weight loss is a red flag: you can’t be catabolic and anabolic at the same time.
    You need to eat and fuel well for best muscle response.

  31. Chris Rudolph says:

    After seeing his fast times I was really expecting to see a lot more mileage. Two items which jumped out at me:
    1. His easy runs are way too fast
    2. Long runs are not long enough

    IMO he is wearing himself out on the “easy” runs. Probably if he backed off on his easy runs, and added a couple more miles to his long runs some of that tired feeling would go away

  32. Roman Furberg says:

    I see a # of issues:
    1) no recovery weeks until week 10 – should try to have a revocery week every 4 weeks
    2) His long runs are too long and his training volume 2 weeks before the race is too high
    2) Week 12 is too high of a jump in volume
    3) His long run pace is off – should be between 6:50 – 7:40

  33. Chris Rudolph says:

    I looked over his plan a second time and realized that I hadn’t scrolled all the way to the bottom. His mileage really does pile up there at the end, so I think my earlier statement about expecting more mileage was not accurate. Reviewing again I now see that he goes thru an 8 week slog over which time his mileage more than doubles w/out any break weeks. There are some break weeks built in early in the training & late in the training, but that 8 week stretch looks rather miserable. There is a 1/2 marathon on week 10. IMO he needs to take more recovery time in week 11.

  34. Nimisha Amin says:

    What a great exercise this is! No doubt that David is a great athlete but his plan certainly doesn’t look like yours. Here are my answers to your questions.

    1.Why does David race well in the early part of his season, but then fizzle out later in the cycle?

    Lack of adequate recovery time. His mileage ramps up from 18 miles per week to 43 miles per week over a 4 month period. It is no wonder his body is tired by the end of the 16 weeks and his race performance declines through the season. Although David’s “fitness age” is higher than average, he is 44 years old now and needs to pay more attention to recovery than he did 10 and 20 years ago. This includes what he does each day after running, making sure easy days are actually easy, building up for 3-4 weeks and then coming back down for a week and not having so many race day efforts followed by weeks of increased mileage. Nutrition and sleep could likely be fined tuned as well to further augment recovery and gains.

    2.What (if any) red flags do you see in his training plan?

    Zero strength training. If David is able to complete such a training plan without getting hurt, he is one of the few lucky ones that is not too predisposed to overuse injuries. However, the lack of strength training will ultimately result in a lack of progress, just as he reports.

    3.Is his pacing appropriate?

    Not so much. His long run pace needs to be narrowed down, closer to 6:45-7:30. His easy pace is not easy at all (which is part of the problem addressed in question 1), and should be closer to 7:30-8:00. Marathon pace is just a touch fast; I would aim for a range of 6:10-6:30. If he just did a sub-5 mile, then a tempo pace of 5:30-5:45 would be ideal.

  35. Matthieu S. says:

    1. The training plan is a bit lopsided in my opinion. There seems to be a lot of racing towards the beginning of the season and none at the end. I think David would be better off defining clearly which race distance he’d like to set a PR at and back out a racing schedule from there.

    Including a 5k or a 10k after the first 4 weeks of the cycle is generally a good idea, since it will “test” the speed a little bit (and could help adjusting the paces for the rest of the cycle). I’d include the half-marathon more around week 12-14 (at the latest 4 weeks out).

    I’m noticing that there is basically no recovery after the half marathon on week 10. It really depends on the effort at which the HM is run; if it’s close to maximal then the following week should include some significant recovery, even more so as there are several weeks left in the training cycle. In the same vein, the first run after the half marathon on week 8 is a workout… Unless you’re Galen Rupp, I don’t know any human being who recovers from a race effort with a workout.

    That erratic racing schedule is (in my sense) the main reason why David feels burnt out at the end of the season.

    2. The taper period is all over the place.

    I don’t really understand the purpose of the full week of rest in week 16. I’m assuming that it’s for personal reasons, but it still very unfortunate to cut mileage completely that close to the race. It probably leaves David feeling flat, and the hard week that follows immediately afterwards only serves to make things worse.

    That “no running week” is followed with 44 miles whereas the real taper should have begun. The longest long run (here 18 miles + 4 miles at race pace) is run too close to the race. That week, the long run should probably be somewhere around 14-16 miles at most, with marathon pace being included either at the end or in the form of cruise intervals.

    I don’t see any glaring issue with the final taper week, although the volume seems a bit low.

    As a side note, that “almost no running” week would be perfect right after the race.

    As regards the types of workouts, there seems to be a lot of miles at marathon pace. That’s a good thing when the goal is indeed a marathon. However, it would benefit David to include some raw speed here and there to shake things up a bit and avoid becoming a “diesel” engine. It’s not clear whether the easy runs include some fast strides at the end, but that could be a nice addition, too.

    I also noticed that the warm ups are pretty short. For me, the warm up is by far more important than the cool down (at least that’s what scientific research tends to point out). If David is really pressed for time, I’d still do 2 miles of warm up and none of cool down instead of 1 + 1. You can get the same benefits of a cool down by walking some more later in the day, or even showering your legs with cold water.

    3. I think that the easy runs are run too hard. And why is there such a fixed pace target in the first place? I won’t describe all the dangers of running easy days not easy enough but in my sense that could be another reason to burn out before the end of the season.

    It’s obviously very convenient to have an indicative range for easy days, but I’d say that the upper bound matters more than the lower bound (i.e., use the range to determine that you should not be going faster than X min/mile, but not to say that you shouldn’t be slower than Y min/mile). As long as you’re running very easy and not strolling with the old ladies walking in the park, you’re fine. At least that’s how I work.


    – Work on the race timing. A 5k/10k 4-5 weeks after the start of the cycle, a half marathon 5 weeks out is plenty.
    – Don’t run the easy days too hard
    – Shake things up a little bit in the workouts. Some speed here and there will only do you good.
    – The taper is one of the most important parts of marathon prep. That “zero running” week is VERY unfortunate, and mileage should probably be cut more progressively over the 2-3 last weeks of the cycle.

    That’s all I can see!

  36. Susan Gallo says:

    I think he is overtraining. Also, his long runs need to be towards the slower side to build and maintain his aerobic base. Other training sessions are for speed. Make sure the long run is long, SLOW distance!

  37. Hello everyone
    If he is following his weekly programme as planned and he is feeling quite well in his workouts he is propably dont have enough rest for the upcoming race. So he is doing wrong his tapering routine. It depends on the race how many days he needs for tapering for the race and this might be one reason of his bad performance.
    I think there isnt only one reason for not feeling well while racing.
    He may also not following the correct fueling plan days before the race and he is out of energy in the race.
    Having one or two target races planned in the yearly programme and using other races as tests or as workouts is the best way to be in the best condition for that targeted races.
    So enough rest and correct fueling plan i think are the reasons.
    Keep running

  38. By the looks of his easy long run, the pace is too fast. Even the elite runners easy long runs are at least 3-4 minutes slower than goal pace.

  39. Yoi Ohsako says:

    Hi Jason,
    I may not catch it all but here is what I see. I do see too quick of a weekly mileage jump when he goes from 44 miles/week to 55 miles/week the following week. I also see that his 22 mile long run and 55 mile week came too early in the training cycle. It should have come at week 15 instead of week 12 so he could have gradually build weekly mileage. The runner only ran 10 miles/week on week 16 which can throw his training off since he should not drop his taper that quickly. The runner also ran an 18 mile long run just 6 days before his marathon which can cause burnout on race day. I think that the runner should have slowly built a base before starting marathon training as his overall weekly mileage was too low for the first 8 weeks then he tried to rush things up and that is where he jumped from 44 to 55 miles/week. There also seem to be no structure in his training plan.

  40. Ross Wise says:

    What I see is over training. He does not give himself a recovery week. Every 4th week he should have a recovery or easy week with decreased mileage. Constantly just building and adding mileage does not allow the body to recover properly. There is magic in the rest. It allows muscles to heal and grow stronger. He is losing speed later in the season because he does not recover properly in his training plan.

  41. The base is everything!

  42. James Doanes says:

    It seems like he spikes total mileage at week 12 and never really ramps down. Week 13 to race week seem erratic. I would have expected the 1/2 marathon in Week 10 to be later in the training program. In fact, it seems like he has too many races in his program (e.g. Weeks 2, 5, 7, 8). That can really impact him.

  43. Do we have a winner here? Or none of us was close enough and it’s a tie? 🙂