SO I recently ran a very disappointing 3:12 at Boston. This despite by far my biggest training volume and best training plan. I am asking for your help to figure out what I need to do to get this right. I will provide all the detail I can in the hopes that it can provide answers.
Marathon PR, Boston 2005 (2:58:50, 1:24:58 for first half). I ran a 1:16:15 at NB HM 4 weeks out and my best 10 weeks of training I averaged just over 50 mpw. No MP work, probably 5 or 6 good tempo workouts. No runs over about 18/19 miles.
Last Spring I ran Vermont City in a disappointing 2:59:50. Training was similar to Boston in 2005 in terms of volume. No runs over about 18/19 miles, but I did a few bike rides, including a couple of hard 40 - 60 milers. Did a 34:04 10K (James Joyce) about 4 weeks out in 34:02. I went out too fast in the mary, 1:23:03 half and "maintained" to 20 miles (2:08:33) and then just was gassed. I realistically think I was in shape to run about 2:52 (of course before the race I thought I was in 2:45 shape, reason I went out so fast).
Boston 2009: I was inspired (honestly) by how much some people on this board run and really wanted to try do some miles. Was generally using the Daniels B plan, but I cut it down to 21 weeks instead of 24 and my mileage goals were not as high as his. No cross training, I was going to just run. After a 54:10 15K in early November I took a few weeks off and started training.
Here is my weekly mileage.
50 (climb Mt. Washington, not included in mileage)
60, race HM 1:15:41 (PR)
65 (climb Mt. Washington, not included in mileage)
63, race 5 mile 26:57 (PR)
I had to back off the intended mileage a few weeks here and there as I just felt like it might be a bit much. I did 3 20-21 mile runs (first time I ever did over 20 in training. Besides the three 20 milers, I did 9 runs between 15 and 18.5 miles. All easy mileage was about 7:25 - 7:45 pace (HR about 142 - 144).
A few key workouts were
12 miles, w/ final 10 at MP
16 miles, w/ final 8 at MP
17 miles, w/ final 10 at MP
16 miles, w/ final 14 at MP (about 16 days out from Boston, lat hard workout)
MP was HR of 158 - 162, which disappointingly only got me to around 6:30 per mile pace for the MP workouts (they were on rolling to hilly routes with wind). The last MP workout felt kind of labored, but I was getting ready to taper so I did not feel alarmed.
When I did tempo (172 HR)I think the pace was between 5:45 and 6:00. The only time I really measured distance was a 6 x 1 mile tempo (w/ 60 sec rest), and I hit times in this range.
I didn't race much and when I did I was not rested, did not feel particularly good, but still ran 2 PRs. Never really felt good during my taper, just flat. I did a little MP work in the taper (3 x 1 mile and 3 x 1000 in the final week) and an easy 12 miler the Sunday before (7 days out).
Race day felt okay. Did the first mile in 6:53 and did not feel spectacular. Cruised along a 6:30s, feeling okay (not great) and hit the half in 1:24:58. Thought I had a reasonable chance to run a PR at this point despite the last few weeks not being great. Got to about 19 and the IT bands started getting tight. Still made 20 miles in 2:11 and then it just got bad, punctuated by 15 minutes to "run" the final 2K.
So I see two main issues (maybe you will see more).
One, I just never "felt it" during my training and the taper was flat. Still managed two PRs, although I would love to know what I could have done if I felt good for those races. Very disappointed after putting in what I felt was a lot of effort. Was it too much? Still could of had a decent race if not for two...
two, IT band meltdown. I have periodic tightness in my IT bands but not like this. I do stretches and was getting massage once per month. I am attributing meltdown to the cool weather and my stupid failure to use heating rub (I forgot to bring it race morning) which I pretty much always use for races over 10K when it is less than 50F.
Any thoughts on (1) or (2). I would really love to run about 2:40 - 2:45 (who am I kidding, I would love to run 2:50 at this point) and think I have the tools, but I am just not doing something(s) right.