With 15 marathons under my belt and 4 marathons in 2013 (3 of them with times under 3:14:00), I started to look at my training plan, as well as ask other runners for some help. To be honest, that is one thing I love about the running community, the faster the runner, the more they are willing to open their secrets to success. It is no hidden secret my current goal is to break 3:05:00 then eventually crack the 3:00:00 mark.
Back in 2004 when I ran my first marathon I ran a 4:58, I never though being fast would be something I would try to work for. In fact even in 2006, my half marathon time was around a 2:12, nothing to go home and write about. Since December 2012, I found that high mileage running was helping me get to where I could really give the 3:05 mark a go. Then I realized I started running too comfortable, my 10 mile runs at goal marathon pace were getting easy, my hard runs were not hard enough. Every training run was just too comfortable.
I started thinking maybe I need to incorporate some “crash and burn” workouts to know where my limits really are. Those types of workouts will start to push me, give me some doubt, get me motivated and then hopefully provide me the speed I need to finish 26.2 miles as strong as I can. During my last training period, I started to think, training is just that … I need to train harder so that the race becomes more comfortable. Though I know that the final 10k will always be challenging, I need to be at a point where I am comfortable enough to push through tired legs.
Do you incorporate “crash and burn” runs in your routine? Have you found any benefits in it? Has training ever felt too comfortable? What are other ways do you push yourself to test your limits?