As I mentioned in my last post, my marathon time went from 4:10 in my first 26.2, actually went up to 4:25 in my fourth marathon, then gradually came down until I set my personal record of 3:16:38, an improvement of over an hour, or about two minutes and 20 seconds per mile.
I am writing this post to tell you how I did it. Before you read on you need to know this: It was hard. I'm not going to lie, the training was hard and the racing was hard. If you want to set a personal best time at any distance, you need to commit yourself to the training, push yourself beyond your comfort zone, find the strength inside you that will help you carry on, even when most people would stop, slow down, give up. Are you still with me? Good.
One more thing, though. This is not a workout for beginners or for first time marathoners unless you have a solid base of racing behind you. Everyone's results will be different. This training won't necessarily make you a 3:16 marathoner, but if you follow the program, stay healthy, and commit, you will improve your race times.
I'm not going to break this into a week by week program. I'm going to tell you the workouts that I used to improve my time, the miles that I covered, make some suggestions for workouts, and define some training terms. I'll be happy to answer any questions that you may have in the comments. I plan to break each aspect of training into separate sections with tips on individual workouts and ideas of how the workouts will fit in your marathon training plan.