5 things I Learned After Running my 5th Marathon

by admin on March 5, 2013

Mickey Medal

This past January I completed my 5th marathon in as many years – in this post I wanted to share some things I learned after running this 5th marathon.  Even though I’ve done 5, there are still many things I learned during this last race’s training and during the actual race.  I felt that I was in my best running shape for this past race but the results weren’t quite what I was looking for.  Here are some bits of knowledge that I picked up along the way and will be using to improve in the future.

 1. Adjusting to warm temperatures isn’t easy

As I was crossing mile 5 in 70 degree weather, drenched in sweat already I realized that I am not going to adjust to the warm weather. I’d rather run when it’s 30 degrees out instead of 80 degrees, I just feel that I run better.  The problem with this last race was the heat & humidity during the race which was 70 to start headed up to 80 during the finish.  For my whole training period from Sept-January I was training in cool to cold weather, what a shock to the system it was when the race day temp was in the mid 70’s with high humidity. Once the sun came up it was over, way too hot to run any type of personal best.  I did make it a point to hydrate thoroughly during and before the race but the heat was just too much.  For my next marathon I’ll definitely be looking for a cooler weather race.

2. I continue to go out too fast!

I made it a point to myself not to go out too fast but of course I did (for the conditions). I was targeting to run a 3:45 so when I saw the 3:45 pace group I thought it would be a good idea to stick with them in at least the first half of the race.  With the warm conditions I should have known to take it easy and probably just aimed to get under 4:00. I was able to stick with the pace group for the first 10 miles but I felt like I was running way too fast and really should have fallen back much earlier.  Lesson learned: Go out slow and adjust your pace to the conditions!

3. IT Band Injuries Suck

I’ve never really had to deal with an injury during my training so when my IT band flared up during a long run I really wasn’t happy about it.  I definitely tried to jump back too fast into the longer mileage before it was 100% better.  The IT band is a weird injury, you will feel fine for many miles then it’ll just act up out of nowhere to the point where you have to walk.  I tried to push it and come back too early which probably set me back some more.  I’ll do another post in more detail about dealing with IT band injuries.

4. I love Runkeeper

I was never really a runner that needed to run with music or GPS.  For one of my earlier long runs I decided to try out the RunKeeper app to see what it would be like; after that run I was hooked and did the rest of my long runs with it.  The data it collects for your run (speed, pace, elevation plus much more) give you a lot of good data on your run.  The feature that speaks your distance, time and pace it really nice to have too especially on long runs.  I’ll definitely be doing most of my runs with RunKeeper from now on.

5. Time to take a break from marathons

As I said earlier this was my 5th marathon in as many years.  The time and effort needed to run the full was getting to be just too much that by the end I was starting to not enjoy it.  I’m definitely going to keep up with the running but just sticking to halfs and shorter.  I hope to spend more time on those shorter races working on speed before I take on another marathon in the next few years.

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