Is it possible to run a marathon PR without doing a single 20 mile training run?
It is, according to an article I read in Runners World's January 2011, The Way of The Renegades. I have run 6 marathons since 2009, with a PR of 4:21:24 at the 2010 Chicago Marathon, and like most of my running friends, have always followed a training plan that prescribes 2-3, sometimes 4, 20-22 mile training runs. It seems completely counterintuitive that I could be better prepared by using a plan that has no run longer than 16 miles.
Two of those marathons were designated "A" races where I made a serious commitment to a traditional training plan in an attempt to break 4 hours. The first attempt was a disaster. The second attempt was the 2010 Chicago Marathon. In both training cycles, I was hitting paces during intervals workouts, tempo runs and half marathons that suggested I had should have a good shot at the 4 hour mark. In both races, my goal was lost because my legs cramped up terribly.
Now I'm ready to try something completely different.
However, beyond that initial article, I had a difficult time finding more details about the reality of this plan. Sure, there were some brief posts on the RW site attesting to successes achieved, but there was nothing about the process. Other google searches suggested that this plan would only work for elite runners.
So this blog has come to life to completely document one average runner's attempt to become a Renegade.
Target: break the 4 hour mark at the California International Marathon in Sacramento, December 2, 2012.
Day 1 starts in 5 hours at the track, 6 x 800s.
As the austerity of this page suggests, this is my first time blogging. Once I get used to the design process, I'll get my training schedule posted.