I followed this approach for several of my marathons but I found that I felt flat on marathon day. Yeah, I ran a decent time but the drive both in my legs and mentally was not what I wanted. Marathon training is tough. The intervals are tough. The long runs are tough. The commitment in time, energy, and motivation is greater on the body and the mind.
There is another reason why that I started reducing my marathon lead up time to around 8 weeks. Because my mileage already ranged from the mid 70s to low 80s per week, further increasing just didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Instead I concentrated on running my long runs and speed work.
Over my last few marathons, I have arrived feeling fresher and better prepared for the race. Does the reduced time hurt my performance on race day? Well, it is hard to say. I do believe that I never achieved my best efforts when I felt tired while standing at the starting line.
The old adage “better to be a little under trained and run above your ability than be overtrained and run under it” makes a lot sense to me.
The proof will be displayed on race day some 8 weeks from now so check back and see how that I do.
Sharing on thought at a time,
The Cool Down Runner