I guess I am fortunate, in that I am blessed with the ability to run marathons on very minimal training, however, as I am trying to increase my mileage to improve my performance, I am finding that my legs remain in a constant sore state! The first 7 marathons I ran were on very little training, all in the 4 hr+ range, with one 3:57. I decided I wanted to try to qualify for Boston, so I sought out a fast course, and settled on St. George, which I absolutely love! I live in Atlanta.
In 2009, I ran a 3:40:28
my monthly mileage leading up to the race was: July: 9, August: 43, September: 61
my long run was 13 miles. Obviously, on this mileage, I was not hoping to BQ, and was thrilled with my time, PR by 17 minutes.
In 2010, I trained harder, and although my mileage was still low, I did a lot of cross training, Spin classes, and lost 18 pounds. As I am 44, I needed a 3:20:59 to get in for 2011 & a 3:30:59 would get me in for 2012. Despite my calf cramping up at Mile 25, I was barely able to hang on for a BQ with a 3:20:49
my monthly mileage leading up to the race was: July: 57, August: 80, September: 54
my long run was 17 miles.
My new goal is to break 3:10:00, so that I can get a guaranteed entry for New York ... and ultimately, I want to break 3 hours. I realize that if I am going to continue to improve my times, I am going to have to put in more mileage! I am registered for Ogden in May, although I do not think I will be able to make the trip, I am still trying to get into 3:10:00 shape.
I have made substantial mileage gains in the last 3 months
. January: 103, February: 120, March: 125. My dilemma is my legs remain in a constant state of soreness logging this many miles
which I realize is still extremely low mileage for what most people recommend for marathon preparation. After running 47 miles the first week in March, I felt I needed a break, so I took an entire week off, then just did two 8 mile runs the following week. With my legs feeling rejuvenated, I ran 16 miles on the Atlanta marathon course (pretty hilly) at a 7:07 avg. pace, which was faster than I planned, but I felt comfortable, and was even able to maintain that pace on some pretty big uphills. After my first warmup mile at 7:35 pace, my slowest mile was Mile 3 at 7:19 which had 114 feet of elevation gain. I ran Mile 16 in 7:07 which had 103 feet of elevation gain. Obviously, my added mileage has paid off, however, my legs remain in a constant tired state! The next weekend I ran a 10k, confident I would be able to beat my PR from last fall of 41:35, but my legs were shot & I was only able run a 43:45, 7:02 pace.
I know my mileage is still low for marathon training, but I really do not enjoy my legs being in a constant state of fatigue! I do not think I have increased mileage too quickly, and I would think after 3 months of 100+ mile months, my legs would have acclimated to that mileage, but they do not seem to have. Should I continue to try to increase my mileage or level off? Is constant fatigue the norm for someone training for a marathon or should my body eventually acclimate to my increased mileage? My apologies for the long post, I just figure if you dont know my mileage history, it is hard to understand the nature of my dilemma!