1 Week to Go + Prerace Analysis

1 Week to Go Prerace Analysis

Last Week of Training:

This week the SoFlo heat arrived in full force with its BFF, humidity. It felt miserable + I was kind of over running this week, to be honest, and if I wasn’t preparing for a race coming up so soon I might have decided to take a day or two off.

But . . . my marathon is in 7 days (!!!) so I followed my plan.

(Also, if someone gives me a plan it does take a LOT for me not to follow it. Sometimes to my detriment. But this cycle thankfully it all seemed to work out!!)

M: Run with Jacy, 9:10/mi ave and 9 mi total

T: 10 x 1 mi at 20-25 seconds faster than MP with 2 min rests. I walked outside and was greeted with a WALL of humidity. I honestly wasn’t sure I could complete this workout. I started at 5:10 AM and it was 79F “feels like 85” with 86% humidity according to Strava (but honestly in my memory it felt worse than that even!). I decided to take extra rest if needed but still try to hit the splits. I wore my aging Alphafly originals (200+ miles on those now) because I am saving my Metaspeeds for race day.

Overall ran 12.99 @ 8:46/mi ave (that included some parts at 0 mph as I rested or walked slowly between repeats). Mile repeat paces: 7:20 (lol unsustainable), 7:36 (still unsustainable), 7:42, 7:47, 7:42, 7:47, 7:53, 7:51, 7:47, 7:45. This was the hardest workout for me of the whole training cycle though I think the weather was a major factor. It just hasn’t been even close to this bad since probably September! I took an extra minute to drink water during 2-3 of the recovery periods.

W: 6.5 mi @ 9:20/mi

R: 8.5 mi @ 9:44/mi. I was so tired and weather was staying really stagnant.

F: 6 mi @ 9:12/mi

S (today): 14 mi @ 8:48/mi that included 2 @ MP (miles 12 + 13 were each 8:08/mi). It was again hotttttt (we are truly in a heat wave, high is 97 whereas normal right now is more like low-mid 80s). 92% humidity, 79-81F. I actually felt pretty chill during most of this run but the MP miles didn’t feel as easy as I hope them to feel on race day. Hopefully next week’s very light training load, a carb load, and SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER TEMPS will make a huge difference!

S: will be OFF

This week: 57 m

My coach definitely had me do less of a taper than some, but I am okay with that. I seem to recover pretty quickly and I think next week will be enough to leave me fresh for race day! And today’s 14 miler did seem oddly . . . short. Crazy how that happens.

Race Goals + Predictions

The coach I have been working with thinks 8:10 is a “conservative” marathon pace to shoot for. This is a 3:34:07 marathon. This would be an official BQ and might be fast enough to get me in the actual race (one elaborate prediction model I came across predicted something between ~5 and 7 minutes for Boston ’25). I’m honestly less fixated on actually running the race in 2025 (thinking more 2026 . . .) for a few reasons, but it would be super exciting to qualify.

A GOAL: Anything under 3:35. This would be so wonderful. A huge PR and a major training victory!

B GOAL: BQ, anything under 3:40.

C GOAL: PR, anything under 3:48 (vintage race report from when I ran that time — also my most recent marathon, yes it was almost 15 years and 3 kids ago!).

D GOAL: Finish strong and be proud of my effort

Prediction calculators:

Just for fun (and future reference), here’s what Metathon and Runalyze think of my chances:

METATHON: Based entirely on average pace and total mileage (from Strava data). I believe that Metathon greatly overestimates my abilities, probably because a) I feel like I have a relatively narrow range between easy pace and harder efforts compared to some and b) I run high-ish mileage (though not THAT high!).

I think on an ideal weather day, I could MAYBE run a half marathon at that pace. Full? Not in my current shape. No way. But interesting!

1716044437 355 1 Week to Go Prerace Analysis

RUNALYZE: In comparison, Runalyze is a killjoy and a Negative Nellie. I think there are three reasons behind this:

1- Whenever my watch cadence locks (ie puts my HR at 180-190 instead of the actual numbers), it makes my VO2 max look horrendous, and this artificially lowers my VO2 max calculation. (The predictions are all based on estimated VO2 max plus how “trained” you are.)

2- Hot weather raises HR and since they use HR to calculate VO2 max, this also artificially lowers my VO2 max calculation.

3- Whenever I run in super shoes, Runalyze gives me a significantly better calculated VO2 max which makes sense, as I’m definitely a far more efficient runner in those shoes (as are many, probably most people). I’ll obviously be in super shoes for the race! But I don’t usually wear supershoes (only for 1-2 runs/week).

1716044438 566 1 Week to Go Prerace Analysis

So, while I think Metathon is wayyyyyy off in the flattering direction, I sort of think Runalyze is possibly underestimating me. I guess we will find out soon enough!!

One more important prediction:

This looks absolutely amazing. PLEASE PLEASE STAY IN THIS BALLPARK, WEATHER!!!!

1716044438 527 1 Week to Go Prerace Analysis

It has been an awesome training cycle and I am so happy to be approaching the start line without injury. I could absolutely still get a virus or something and mess things up, but I’m thrilled and grateful (and maybe slightly surprised) that my muscles/tendons/joints were able to withstand training at this intensity.

TRACKING

If you are invested enough to track me on race day (assuming this is just a small minority, but figure it doesn’t hurt to share) — you can do so here by just entering my name. I won’t be using the RaceJoy app (I worry about it draining my battery!) but it looks like you’ll be able to receive text or email updates at various points with the other option.

In the Weeds

Sarah Hart-Unger

mother of 3 // MD // south floridian // ESFJ // upholder.
into: planners, great food, running, reading, writing, mornings, podcasting, and coffee.


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