The first marathon I did was the Chicago Marathon in 1996.Â The “official” time was 4:05 (although my watch time was 4:02)Â Back then, there weren’t timing chips so lots of time was lost just getting to the start line.Â I joggled 19 of the 26.2 miles.
When it was over, I was happy and inspired to do another, and another and another.Â Back then, my times were always around 4 hours.Â 3:55, 3:57, 4:11, etc.Â As I completed one joggling marathon after another, I rarely thought about speed.Â 4 hours was always a target but not a goal.Â It was only until after the 14th marathon that I decided I wanted to get faster.Â I wanted to make my mark on the joggling world.Â I wanted to be the fastest marathon joggler in the world!
To do so, more training was needed.Â For all my previous marathons I averaged 20 – 25 miles a week of running.Â It was rare that I would ever run longer than 2 hours.Â The result of that kind of training was a 4 hour marathon.Â To break the world record, I’d have to beat 3:20:48.Â That would require much more work.
I read a few articles and came up with what I believed was an appropriate training schedule.Â And I pretty much stuck to it.Â The result…I went from a PR 3:55 to a PR of 3:25!Â Significantly better, but not quite successful.
I was encouraged and inspired to keep going however.Â Two and a half months later, I did a 3:28 in Arizona.Â No world record there.Â Then at a mid-year Chicago marathon I ran a 3:34.Â No record there either.Â In this case, the course was measured wrong and we ended up running 1.5 miles longer than we were supposed to.Â My first unofficial ultra.
I buckled down and made another joggling world record attempt in Chicago.Â This time I got even closer 3:22.Â Unbeknownst to me, Michal had set a new world record at 3:07 just three weeks before.Â Had I beat the 3:20 time, it wouldn’t have been a world record.
Since that race, my times have been up and down.Â 3:57 New York, 3:57 Madison, 3:24 Chicago and most recently 3:23 Tampa Bay.Â However, it seems I’ve hit some kind of plateau.
So, I’m left to wonder what can I do to become a faster running juggler?Â Anyone out there have any suggestions?Â How have you gotten faster?
Note:Â The suggestion to stop joggling is not an option.Â That’d be like asking Linus to give up his blanket.Â Â