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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bring Your "A" Game. but Prepare With Your "B" Game

Hey all -- keepin' it short for the Oscars tonight.  However, I'd like to share a little running wisdom.

Several of the talented runners I've known throughout the years had grown beyond the limitation of only training for and running one marathon per year, and developed the technique known as running an "A" marathon and a "B" marathon.  This means that, in light of what training requires, the "B" marathon would come first, during which less effort would be put forth, and then the "A" marathon, at which time they'd be gunning for PR's.

Today, I found myself doing the "B"-side of my own personal singles.  An upstart organization known as NYC RUNS, which seems to be somewhat competing with NYRR to organize the best road races in NYC and beyond.  As luck would have it, they planned a marathon in Central Park in February.  Having been one of those runners displaced in November, I figure, what the heck, maybe this could be the next best thing.

Still, my sights were already set on running the Buffalo Marathon during Memorial Day weekend.  So what else could I do but treat this new marathon a kind of training run.

Most training programs will have one final long run of 22 or 23 miles before the tapering begins, with the rational that if you can do that, 26 should be no problem.  That may be true, but I think it's far better to actually go the distance at some point in your training so you can take stock of your strengths and weaknesses.  Maybe go out a little slower, maybe hydrate a little more, maybe wait a little longer before taking the GU, etc.  All of these issues can be explored in much greater detail with an additional 26.2 on an actual race course!

So for all marathoners who don't already do this, I encourage finding a race to bring your "B" game to -- as it can only make your "A" game that much more "A"!  Or better yet, you may be pleasantly surprised that your "B" game is better than you expected, and only a little tweaking is needed for the "A"!

That's all -- let's see if DDL wins for "Lincoln!"