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Old 04-30-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
Luke Mullen
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THANK YOU - Finished First Marathon

Hello Crossfit Community,

On Sunday 25-April-2010, the wife & I ran the Big Sur 2010 Marathon (26.2-miles), our first marathon.

My only training was:
  • since August 2009 - the posted WODs at crossfit.com as I prepped for the Big Sur 2009 Half-Marathon (13.1-miles)
  • since December 2009 - the posted aerobic WODs at crossfitendurance.com

I thought my November 2009 half-marathon time (~ 2:27) would have been better had I been doing BOTH crossfit mainsite WODs and crossfit endurance WODs.

After running the Big Sur Marathon, I think my time did improve based on the April 2010 full-marathon time (~ 4:55) HOWEVER it is _NOT_ an apples-to-apples comparison:
  • The half-marathon was flat-terrain that I ran
  • The full-marathon was hilly terrain (~2100-feet of elevation gain, ~2400-feet of elevation loss). One uphill portion (Hurricane or "Hurri-pain" Point) in particular was a WALKING uphill. I planned to walk up this hill from the start.
As Brendon (SF Crossfit) said, I "let the intenisty find me"

In other words, even though I walked some portions of the hilly-terrain full-marathon, I still maintained my flat-terrain half-marathon pace. The implication is that had the full-marathon been flat-terrain I might have easily broken 4:00 (knock on a bumper plate).

I did both the mainsite & endurance WODs, less frequently scaled now, back-to-back, without the > 3-hour gap between them, best I could at 24Hr Fitness (one rower, too many treadmills, fair assortment of free weights, dumbbells, barbells, no rings) having done an on-ramp class at Planet Granite Sunnyvale (the local climbing gym) back in August 2009. It took some getting used to to figure out the Crossfit Endurance WOD lingo (SC, LC, U, and this means what exactly, still not clear, should I have been an LC or a U?)

Post-marathon race I had no pain, no injury, no cramping, and three trivial toe blood blisters. The next morning I did air-squats and went up & down three flights of stairs 2-steps at a time, several times. Later that evening it was four flights of stairs at SJSU Parking Garage & Engineering Bldg. No pain, maybe a little tightness. Tuesday evening I was back in the gym, Brendon's "Desire to Train"

My wife is in pain & exhausted, having only done LSD treadmill runs at 24Hr fitness.

Diet Regime? None. Week before the marathon I was doing Sausage Egg McMuffins with hash browns for breakfast. Otherwise avoided 'processed' food (e.g. donuts, most breads, etc).

FWIW, the Crossfit Journal QuadDipsea videos were an awesome inspiration for the Big Sur Marathon. THANK YOU Team Unscared!!! Unanswered question from those videos - Why is Dave Castro frightened of pink?

Cheers,
Luke
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:50 AM   #2
Nick Skirvin
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Re: THANK YOU - Finished First Marathon

Thanks so much for posting this! I'm prepping for my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I'm doing the CFE WODs in the morning, following the running WOD for LC or U, along with the main CF WOD in the afternoon. If I have to cut one of the WODs, it's the CFE that loses out.

Your post is very encouraging to me. Congrats on finishing your marathon!
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:14 PM   #3
Summer Sando
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Re: THANK YOU - Finished First Marathon

Congrats Luke! a first marathon is definitely one you will remember. I did my first 5 marathons traditional LSD like your wife, and I was hobbling around in pain like your wife for days later. However, since discovering CF/CFE, it's AMAZING how different I feel the next day after my most recent 2 marathons!! I was walking fine, no muscle soreness, could go up and down stairs with no problem.

at first I was skeptical... how will a few 400s, a mile weighted hill run, tabata sprints increase my endurance to be able to handle 26.2 mile. But, I've found out that Crossfit is magical!! I will Never go back to those 20+ long runs in training!
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:32 AM   #4
Luke Mullen
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Re: THANK YOU - Finished First Marathon

Some more details:
DIET - although the week before I was eating Breakfast McMuffins with Hash Browns, I was also taking three fish oil pills each morning & evening, beer & red wine on the weekends, maybe a year from now I'll be Paleo Zone man but not today

ACTUAL MARATHON - although every 1.5-miles there was an aid station with water, Gatorade, fruit/Gu/etc; I still ran with a Nathan HPL 2-liter hydration vest, with the front pockets filled with Gu energy packs & a camera. Instead of water in the hydration pack, I had one envelope of CytoMax electrolyte replenishment mixed with 2-liters of regular hotel tap water.

I did zero stretching. Life happens. Doubt I'll have time to stretch when something happens so why start now?

Pacing. I did not wear a sport watch to pace myself. At some point I found a team doing a 5:00 marathon finish pace, where they would periodically walk to insure that they would not cross the finish line before 5:00. Guessing most marathons have some pace crews.

YOUR MARATHON - it is _YOUR_ marathon not mine, your choice whether you want to follow my lead or not or pick what you like. If you don't like Gu then use something else. If you don't like CytoMax then use something else, etc etc etc.

MENTAL PREP - Watch the Crossfit SF Quad Dipsea videos. Absolutely Awesome!!! ... watch the four-part video several times, ponder what the Quad Dipsea is, think about both the distance and the elevation gain/loss, note what they are saying, how many finished, diet, visible physical condition as they crossed the finish line, etc. If they can do the Quad Dipsea with so little actual training runs then any Crossfitter can finish a marathon.

WIFE PREP - this is all a "cult" so we had to run an unnecessary practice half-marathon six-weeks or more before. It was the Mt Diablo Half (cross country - psych) Marathon. Steep uphills, stream crossings, steep downhills, mud mud mud. We both finished, but again she was a sore and in pain and exhausted and I was fine. Since Jan 1st, we maybe did four 'couple-time' runs that were maybe six-miles in length. Otherwise she ran many many many miles on the treadmill.

YASSO 800s - discovered this by accident, the concept is that your time running 800-meters during training will be your time to finish the marathon. If I didn't like the Crossfit Endurance workout (e.g. run 10km) then I would just do the Yasso 800s. My goal was a 5:00 marathon time, so I set the treadmill to 5:00 min/km when running ten-sets of Yasso 800s. Viola, I finished the marathon at ~ 4:55.

Closing thoughts? Your mileage may vary. I am not an expert, maybe I got lucky. Consult a physician before commencing an exercise regime, blah blah blah.
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:50 PM   #5
Jonathan Yoon
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Re: THANK YOU - Finished First Marathon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Mullen View Post
YASSO 800s - discovered this by accident, the concept is that your time running 800-meters during training will be your time to finish the marathon. If I didn't like the Crossfit Endurance workout (e.g. run 10km) then I would just do the Yasso 800s. My goal was a 5:00 marathon time, so I set the treadmill to 5:00 min/km when running ten-sets of Yasso 800s. Viola, I finished the marathon at ~ 4:55.
Yasso 800's are a good workout and (oddly) a good way to give a general prediction of marathon finishing times. Funny thing is that you could do nothing but Yasso 800's for your interval work and it'll never get old.
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