With so many factors involved during a marathon I’ve found that with each one I have learned lessons to be applied to my next effort. My recent effort in Philadelphia is no different. I have a couple of ideas of what I could have done better and what I can avoid the next time out which, as mentioned earlier this week, will be in May.
As mentioned in my race report, I had trouble with cramping in my right calf after 30 km in Philadelphia. This is something that I had issue with in my first couple of marathons but had not been an issue again until Philadelphia. So what went wrong this time?
My first theory involves the cool weather at the start. The race started at 7:00 and do to enhanced security measures we were asked to be at the start for 5:00. Although it turned out to be a warm day, it was cool at 5:00. I tried to prepare for this by bring extra layers with me. I had a long sleeve shirt and a jacket on over my singlet while I waited for the start of the race. Unfortunately, I did not have time in the week leading up to race day to find an old pair of throwaway pants to bring. As a result, I was cold at times and potentially wasted energy trying to stay warm.
While I was well hydrated in the week leading up to race day my second thought is that I may have had too much water and not enough sports drink the day before and morning of the race. When I ran a 3:12 at the Ottawa Marathon in May I did the opposite and did not have any issues with cramping.
Of course these are only my theories but based on my previous marathon experiences are a couple of things I did differently this time around. It is possible they led to my struggles late in the Philadelphia Marathon. I will be keeping them in mind as I prepare for the next Ottawa Marathon in May.
What lessons have you learned from marathons that you were able to apply to your next effort?