Brighton Marathon Training Week 14: Undertraining Panic reprise

I’ve done very little training in Week 14, so instead I’m going to use this post to revisit an old post from just before I did the San Fran marathon, about the panic I was feeling at the time that I hadn’t done enough training. Which, let’s be clear, I absolutely hadn’t.

But I used that post to assess my training from almost all of my marathons, and muse on the strengths and weaknesses of it. I think it’s fair to say that I have never properly completed a 16-week training programme, and that I have never trained as much as I intended to, wanted to, or should have. And by and large that’s reflected in my results.

With Brighton marathon less than two weeks away, I’m feeling the same sense of panic now that the time has flown by, I haven’t trained enough, and I’ve missed another opportunity to get the result I ‘deserve’.

So, let’s see whether that stacks up. Here is the chart I created in the original undertraining post:


And here’s a similar one I made for my Brighton training to date (with the last two weeks not yet complete of course). Oh and yes, I did the week numbers the opposite, and more logical, way round on this one.

Week and Distance

On the face of it, my training has been much better this time. I didn’t quite maintain the distance curve I’d have liked to in weeks 9, 11 and 12. And 11 and 12 are a particular disappointment as I really ought to have been maintaining good long LSRs in these weeks.

However, I’ve done many more really long runs, been far more consistent, and had no absolute 0-mile weeks. Paris was my best training and my best marathon to date, and this clearly looks better than that.

As a final review, what do I make now of the observations I made in the last post?

  • “Most of my training is pretty inconsistent, and not that high: I rarely run more than 20-30 miles a week” – Sort of still true, in that most of my weeks are between 20-30, which is well below what most training plans would recommend. That’s not, I think, due to me not doing LSRs, which I do consistently on weekends, but rather is down to me failing to do the mid-distance 8-12 mile runs midweek, when it can be difficult to fit in a run that is still going to take 90 minutes to two hours.
    That said, in this case 6 of my weeks were 20+ and 2 were 30+, compared to Paris or New York when only four (for Paris) or five (for New York) weeks were 20+ and only one (for both) was 30+.
    As a final metric, even assuming I run sub-10 miles this week and next (discounting the race itself) I will have far fewer sub-10 weeks than any of my other marathons.
  • “Even in my best training plans I’ve had 0-mile weeks”. Assuming I run at least once this week and next, this has so far not been true. I’ve had very low weeks, but I have not had any entirely 0-mile weeks in this training schedule, which is nice.
  • “San Fran training was actually going petty well and fairly consistently for the first ten weeks or so. That’s when I hit the really long runs, which often seems to knock my immune system enough that I get a mega-cold and have to take a week or so off to try and recover enough to get back to training.” – This has been a theme of my training in the past and, thank God, wasn’t really the case here. I didn’t (touch wood) get sick at any point, and what mainly hit my training was social commitments, especially at weekends, and doing a lot of travel for work. The one issue I have had in the last few weeks is starting to get some soreness and niggles in my shins and knees when running, which made me less inclined to do one final long run last week or the week before, as I might have, but fortunately that almost ties in with when I would have been tapering anyway, so I haven’t lost too much time.

So there it is. I doubt I’ll post another training update as all I’ll be doing is some gentle jogging during the taper, but I may talk about race day prep or nutrition if I have anything worth saying. Otherwise, wait out for a full report on how the race itself went, which will probably be posted two weeks today! (Or maybe a little later if I have to wait for race photos to be available…)

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