Training from the mile to the marathon.
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    Chris Barnes - Marine Corps Marathon 2011

    Thank you, Greg, for your training plan and guidance this Fall. I first joined your group training run for an easy 10 miler in July as I prepared to ramp up training for the October 30, 2012 Marine Corps Marathon.

    As the runs and weeks passed, I stuck to your plan. But with the hot Charleston weather, it didn’t always feel that my running was improving. You built the Dirt Dash Half Marathon on September 10th into my training plan. I didn’t think I had the endurance to meet the 6:45 pace you had on my plan. My 1:29 finish time was a new PR, a 6th overall, and 6:45 pace!

    The training continued with a mixture of long runs on weekend Saturdays, and tempo runs and track workouts during the week. I got to DC for my marathon and lined up with the 3:25 pace group. My marathon PR was 3:35 but my most recent time was only 3:50 so I thought that was a reasonable goal. The race started and I stayed at the front of the pace group, constantly reminding myself to slow down and save my legs. At the 13 mile mark, I finally allowed my legs to take over and pick up the pace. My splits went from 7:45’s to 7:30 and 7:15. I kept this faster pace through the last miles finishing with a huge 20 minute PR of 3:18! It was an awesome feeling to look at my GPS watch after mile 23 and see a 7:06 split! How did I just run that fast this far into the race???

    Two weeks later at the Yorktown 5K, I scored another PR. I took 40 seconds off my previous best time achieving an 18:37.

    I achieved all these new PR’s without increasing my training mileage from previous marathons. I kept my weekly mileage between 35 and 45 miles usually running 5 or 6 days/week. The Saturday runs were key to keeping me on the schedule. The “water truck” every couple miles spoiled me as well. I now hate going on a long run on my own and having to plan it around water fountains and convenience stores.

    Again, thank you!

    Chris Barnes