Been having a bit of a think lately regarding my training and how things have been going. I havn’t been struggling to train (far from it), and am currently training for either London or York Marathon, though I think we all know they aren’t going to happen so.
My current Marathon PB is 2:37 (Berlin 2019) and having run a solo 16:16 5k recently, im probably in the best shape i’ve even been in, and although im far from certain I can crack 2:30 for the marathon, id certainly be intending to go through 20 mile in 1:54 and see how spectacular a blow up I can have if I had have raced in October.
Im training using the Jack Daniels Method, running 60-75 miles per week, 2 hard long sessions and everything else easy each week. I train because I have the logic of if by some miracle it goes ahead im ready, and when it get cancelled I can bank the fitness and build again in future, but I have two conflicting scenarios in my head as to what the outcome of ‘banking’ the fitness is. I should also say I enjoy the training, I VERY rarely regret doing a session once its done (I cant remember the last time I did) and I don’t have any signs im on the way to an injury currently.
However, theres a bit of an old adage in running that it takes 7 marathons to really get it right (though Berlin was my 9th; but my 7th road, two went up Snowdon’s Pyg Track) and I think its predicated on the notion that eventually the central governor starts to get sick of training hard and you eventually reach a point where mentally you cant push yourself as hard as you have on previous training cycles, even if part of you wants to.
The alternative scenario for me is that until I reach an age where that starts to degrade my ability to improve, I should continue to improve with each training cycle as I am building from a stronger physiological base each time, and by training for a marathon that never happens, I get all the training benefits and then start the next cycle from a strongest position yet.
I guess my question is, is there any actual evidence or research as to how I might come out of it. By doing a training cycle am I effectively ‘burning a match’ and using up a finite amount of training cycle, or am I having a great base build cycle, and ill go in to training for London 2021 in a shape like never before. Maybe its neither, and ultimately, the fitness I gain before I go in to a rest period before starting the next cycle will actually have negligible effect and where I start the next cycle will pretty much be the same position as whether I carried on this cycle, finished it and had a base period with a bit of maintenance vs just switching back to maintenance now?
Any thoughts or interesting papers?