2020 Los Angeles Marathon | Data Review

LA Marathon finishline

Now, a couple weeks post-marathon I’m finally ready to dig into the data from the race. For those who are new to my journey, this is my second official marathon and my hometown race. The two previous years I’ve found myself cheering instead of running due to injury and this year narrowly avoided that fate after straining my IT band in November.

My approach was slightly modified from a traditional marathon prep in that I kept overall weekly running mileage low (about 30 miles per week) and supplemented off days with spin cycling (at home on Peloton).

Runs were broken into three categories: track work (8 miles), easy day (5 miles) and long run (progressive distance). My longest run was twenty miles which I only did once at a 7:18/mi average pace. My final longer run pre-marathon was a twelve mile outing at 6:44/mi pace about two weekends prior.

My key insight is that I think I was a bit under-trained in the 2 hour plus distance. Day-of challenges aside, this was a hurdle I could’ve been more prepared for but it’s easy to play critic in hindsight. The lead up for this race was stacked with life events and work stress; trips for work and trips for fun. All are a good reminder that no training cycle is perfect.

I finished the LA Marathon officially in 03:03:05.

Regardless of how I “felt” like training went, one piece of data that is irrefutable is that this was a 16:36 marathon PR for me! It also slid under the 03:05:00 Boston Qualifying requirement for my age group, so double bonus round for me! You can bet that come September when entry opens, I’ll be watching nervously (and hopefully) as they set the “cut off time.”

First lets look at the overall graphs highlighting elevation, pace, heartrate, performance condition and strides per minute.

These graphs really show how dramatic the change was from the beginning of the race to the final hour. The course was deceivingly hilly and it became increasingly hard to keep my strides up as my heart rate pushed higher and higher.

As for mile splits, I could be a little picky about coming out of the gate a little faster than I should’ve. Miles 1-2 I dropped behind the 2:59 pace group and felt stifled with the reserved pace. Mile 3 I pushed free deciding to just run my own race. That’s one decision I question, but on a good day I’m confident I could’ve dropped that group and held them off the whole race.

Something I am very proud of is that the final watch mileage was 26.33 miles. This means I only varied .12 miles over the course of 26.2 miles (or approximately a standard city block). That’s pretty damn good!

Another thing I can be proud of here is that my worst miles were faster than my average mile at my first marathon (where I also notice a trend of fading after mile 20…).

Up until the 2 hour mark of the race I had averaged approximately 9mph. If I could’ve held onto that pace I would’ve finished with about a 2:55:00 time so I know there’s still more speed in these legs, just have to keep working on the building my aerobic machine!

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