Friday, June 20, 2008

Poor Marathon Preparation

Two things never to do when preparing for and running a marathon:

1) Use the La Jolla Half Marathon as your only training run over 8 miles this year.

Really that's just dumb. You can see I ran a pretty solid half marathon practice back in December when I was ramping for the marathon. Granted this was in snow on icy roads, but still I was EXHAUSTED at the end. My 2:25 in the LJ Half Marathon also seemed brutal, but the weather and hills had something to do with that. I ran the first half of the RnR Marathon in 2:07 with ZERO Taper and felt GREAT at that point, and continued pushing a solid 9:45 pace til mile 19 when my foot started hurting like crazy, which brings me to:

2) Use fancy new Newton Running shoes for a full marathon. (Disclaimer: I LOVE my Newton running shoes, and they WARN you to take time with them. I had run 50 mi. on them but see 1 above)

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. I think the two problems go hand in hand. Had I had a couple more training runs I would have either adapted muscularly (I think my form got sloppy when I got tired), or realized I should use regular shoes for longer runs.

Basically those two issues compounded to ruin my race. All things considered my fitness is GREAT as I was still about 207 on race day but really the first 17mi. markers just seemed to fly by. As soon as I got serious pain in my foot I stopped, and pretty much walked the rest after a couple attempts to jog gave me bad pain in my foot. On the bright side my timely halt to running left me able to run a nice tempo run 2 days later (I finished, and still did a tempo run two days later?) with minor pain, and was totally fine by Thursday.

I haven't even begun to train hard, but I can see my run endurance is PLENTY capable for my 70.3 races this year. I'm predicting Sub 2:00 Splits for both races.

Winter Snowing Half Marathon in Portland:

Rock and Roll Marathon (First 24 mi.):

1 comment:

tko said...

Hi Tom,

Your blog was forwarded to me at Newton Running, and I wanted to get back to you. I think you said it yourself, sounds it was just a case of "too much too soon" and that your calves hadn't had a chance to adjust to the shoes prior to your race. As Newton shoes are designed to promote a midfoot/forefoot footstrike, the calf and achilles are engaged throughout the running stride. This does tend to fatigue the legs for a while until the athlete is accustomed to the new run style.

I hope that you have recovered from your run, and that when you start out again in our shoes, you'll take a few weeks of two or three mile runs to allow yourself to adjust.

If you have any questions, or want to discuss the shoes in greater depth, please don't hesitate to contact me at

Take care and run strong,

Tory Oakland
Director of Customer Service
Newton Running