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How can a runner get faster but keep on joggling?

The first marathon I did was the Chicago Marathon in 1996.  The “official” time was 4:05 (although my watch time was 4:02)  Back then, there weren’t timing chips so lots of time was lost just getting to the start line.  I joggled 19 of the 26.2 miles.

When it was over, I was happy and inspired to do another, and another and another.  Back then, my times were always around 4 hours.  3:55, 3:57, 4:11, etc.  As I completed one joggling marathon after another, I rarely thought about speed.  4 hours was always a target but not a goal.  It was only until after the 14th marathon that I decided I wanted to get faster.  I wanted to make my mark on the joggling world.  I wanted to be the fastest marathon joggler in the world!

To do so, more training was needed.  For all my previous marathons I averaged 20 – 25 miles a week of running.  It was rare that I would ever run longer than 2 hours.  The result of that kind of training was a 4 hour marathon.  To break the world record, I’d have to beat 3:20:48.  That would require much more work.

I read a few articles and came up with what I believed was an appropriate training schedule.  And I pretty much stuck to it.  The result…I went from a PR 3:55 to a PR of 3:25!  Significantly better, but not quite successful.

I was encouraged and inspired to keep going however.  Two and a half months later, I did a 3:28 in Arizona.  No world record there.  Then at a mid-year Chicago marathon I ran a 3:34.  No record there either.  In this case, the course was measured wrong and we ended up running 1.5 miles longer than we were supposed to.  My first unofficial ultra.

I buckled down and made another joggling world record attempt in Chicago.  This time I got even closer 3:22.  Unbeknownst to me, Michal had set a new world record at 3:07 just three weeks before.  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.  3:57 New York, 3:57 Madison, 3:24 Chicago and most recently 3:23 Tampa Bay.  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?  Anyone out there have any suggestions?  How have you gotten faster?
Note:  The suggestion to stop joggling is not an option.  That’d be like asking Linus to give up his blanket.  

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. 3:23 OMG I didn’t know you were that fast.

    I dont know, do they have a training camps for Jogglers?
    I guess if they did, you’de be teaching it.

    Im totally blown away on your speed.

  2. Steve, good to hear from you. I am the training camp for jogglers!

    In my younger years I would’ve been more impressed with my speed. But now there are some other jogglers who are much faster than me. Those people inspire me to want to get even faster.

  3. I’m off the plateau and down the other side. And that’s without even joggling. But hey – it’s fun, and I love the views along the way.

    It’s the only thing that counts. And world records – pah, who needs ’em, anyway ? We can’t all be Seb Coe, although perhaps we can dream of it.

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