Training for a Marathon Only 6 1/2 Weeks Away

Nutella on a toasted bagel is not a bad pre-run snack, though I encountered this empty jar recently.On April 20th, I committed to running the Ojai 2 Ocean Marathon on Sunday, June 5th. Generally speaking, this is not something I normally do. Usually I give myself 4 to 6 months to train for a marathon. In fact, the only times I've given myself such a short amount of training time is when I've already run a marathon, feel recuperated, and decide to use the mileage base to run another one soon thereafter -  like running the Tucson Marathon just 4 weeks after the Malibu Marathon late last year. That didn't work out so well for me!

But this race sounded fun and it is a first time event. Plus it has a nice downhill. So without any particular time goals in mind, I'm signed up for it.

One thing I do have going for me is that my base mileage year to date is a consistent 40 miles per week, which to me is enough base to be able to ramp up my long runs to get a few 20 milers in before race date. I did 15 on April 21, 18.7 days later on the 24th, then another 18 miler last Saturday, April 30th, on a windy day. 

Tomorrow it sounds like I'll be blessed again with overcast skies and cool temps in the morning as I seek to get a 20 or possibly 22 miler out of the way.

With 6 1/2 weeks before a marathon, I really only have 4 1/2 weeks to train, factoring in a bare bones minimum 2 week pre-race taper (usually I taper down the mileage over 3 weeks).

So with only 4 1/2 real weeks to train, a decent 40 mile/week base, but no long (16+ mile) runs on my body since last year's Tucson Marathon, my strategy is to focus on getting 3 or 4 long runs in. There's not much time to consider speedwork or a 10K tuneup race. I'd love to fit a 5K or 10K into my training, it probably will hurt me more than help me with the marathon just 1 month away.