Before my marathon predicting gets too out of control here, I need to take a step back and calm myself down. At the end of my last post I mentioned that my goal marathon pace is creeping closer and closer to 3 hours. Well, that statement got me thinking about my past marathons, the races leading up to them and how well the McMillan calculator did of predicting.
If, for example, I run a 1:26:38 half marathon and McMillan predicts that I’ll run a 3:02 marathon, AND I actually go out and run a 3:02 marathon, that’s awesome! However, what does history tell me?
Looking at my last 6 marathons or so, every single one of them was 5-7 minutes slower than what the calculator predicted. As an example, one year I ran a 15K in August that predicted a 3:01, but in October I ran 3:06. So, if my latest half marathon currently predicts a 3:02, based on history it really means I’m in 3:08 shape.
Now I’m wondering if there’s something missing from the Pfitz plan that I typically follow. Is there something I could add into my routine that will get me more in-line with the McMillan calculator? Or is this just normal for some runners? Anyone else out there experience similar results?
Long-time readers may know I’ve run a lot faster than I did on Saturday, so maybe you’re wondering why I’m perhaps overly excited. I mentioned that this is my fastest half in three years. But what really stands out is comparing my MPW between now and then. Here’s my weekly mileage for the 6 weeks leading up to my 1:26:08 in 2010; 64, 72, 77, 51, 80, 80. The 6 weeks before this year’s 1:26:38 were; 42, 40, 44, 35, 41, 35.
I know there’s more to training than just a comparison of weekly mileage, but frankly I was shocked to see the differences; three years older, 44% less miles and only 30 seconds slower. I think where this could really payoff is in the middle of August when I usually start getting the running blahs. At least that’s what I’m hoping for.