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What to race next after running a marathon?

Posted by George Parker on
What to race next after running a marathon?

 Last weekend, I completed the California International Marathon, running 2:58:03 to set a 12 minute BQ buffer. Not bad for an old man! What's next? Do I start training for another marathon? Or is it better to train for different races. No matter what, I'm taking two weeks off to rest and repair the body. In this video, I explain my thoughts process and what I will attempt next (transcript below) 

Good afternoon runners hope you guys are all doing well. As you know, as a lot of you may know, I ran the California International Marathon last week. So it's been a week ago now. And I am taking two weeks off from running, it's kind of an annual break, just to recover, give my body a chance to rest mentally as well do a bunch of other activities and chores around the house.

But now I'm starting to think about what do I do next? I'm teasing the idea of maybe running the Philadelphia marathon in the fall of 2022. And I like that race because I run my best races not in the heat. I am a heavy sweater, I know that I do so much better in the cool. And so I like the late fall marathon to the temperatures predictably cooler, I traveled to California because it is a very predictable climate profile in Northern California this time of year, it is a great course a big course with a lot of fast people there that I could run with. But it's a long ways away. It's all the way on the other side of the of the coast from where I live in Atlanta. And so the idea of Philadelphia, I think, is pretty interesting, because it is you know, it's on the East Coast, it's an easy flight to get to. I like the idea that it's also historic town. So there could be fun things to do with the family wants to come with me to, you know, I'm also a fan of history. And so I love to see some of the American history, there could be a really exciting thing.

If I run that race in November of 2022, what do I do between now and then? One idea is to focus on shorter stuff. The reasoning is, as I get older, the thing that I believe personally, and maybe a lot of you as well need to pay more attention to is keeping the speed up, what speed that we do have. And the way to do that is by having a period where you do some faster work, right. So maybe it is trying to run a mile, right to see what your mile time could be, or 5k, right. Things that are shorter, and require much higher outbursts to speed and kind of threshold running anaerobic threshold, your VO2 max type stuff. That's very different than marathon training. And it will ultimately help by increasing the speed. 

Then maybe the summertime transitions to more 10k work or half marathon work again, that's hard because I live in the south. And it gets very hot and humid. I don't do great in that temperature. And so a half marathon is a bit long for that type of work for me. Whereas 10k is long, but it's manageable. And so that usually looks like running the peach tree sometime in the summer. But I did that every year. And so maybe I mix it up. And then that sets me up for running the fall marathon again. So just some thoughts that are going through my head.

Maybe you're in the same boat, we just finished running a marathon you pick you want to run another one a year from now. And you're thinking about what do you do between then you know, it doesn't always have to be running another marathon or another half marathon, it could very well be that you want to do some speed work and focus on that and try to get a little bit faster. So that turnover work will only pay dividends in terms of hopefully increasing your top speed when you ultimately run the marathon

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