Next Marathon Will Be……

The marathon that I am going to do this spring is a part of an event that I have participated in several times before. Every single time it has been an experience that I have both remembered and enjoyed.

I am very excited to be running the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on March 16th!!! J and A Racing has done a great job with the event and I’m excited that they are going to have me back to be a part of the event again this year. Just last year I finished 4th in the marathon, but previous years have included a 3rd place finish in the half marathon (1:06) and a 5th place finish in the 8k (which is still my 8k PR (24:08).

I have yet to put together an “ideal” marathon. I have run 6, but still feel like I have not figured it out….both the training, racing and fueling. This time around I’m hoping things are going to be different. I am in much better shape than I was last year before building up towards Shamrock  and I am hoping that I will be able to get in a large number of specific marathon (Renato Canova type) workouts that I have not been able to get in before a marathon in the past. (In the past I would do a couple of these workouts, but I am hoping that I will be able to get in a bunch more this year and make a big difference in my result on March 16th).

For those of you that do not know, I am a big believer/follower of Renato Canova and his marathon training methods. I truly believe Rentato is one of the best (if not the best) marathon coaches in the world today. For those of you that do not know who Renato Canova is you can read about his philosophy here.

I love experimenting with my training and seeing what I am capable of (and the athletes that I coach!)….that’s what keeps me in competitive running. Every person is different and finding that right mix of workouts is never the same when comparing one runner to another. It is like a big puzzle and that’s what I love about coaching and running.

One other thing that I love about Renato Canova is he has said over and over again that with the right training someone of my ability (in races of 10k-half marathon) should be able to run under 2:15 with the right training. I am still trying to figure out what that right training is for “me”, but I know that I can get to that point eventually. I am looking forward to the Shamrock Marathon possibly being that race….

I also need to thank Henry Klugh and the Keystone Track Club for their continued support! They have been a huge part in helping me continue to run at a high level. Thanks Guys!!!


7 thoughts on “Next Marathon Will Be……

  1. Matt

    Hey Dave. I came across your blog researching some information about Canova marathon training methods to apply to my own training. I am really enjoying reading about your training. I am unsure how closely you follow his method, but I was wondering how long you stay in in what he calls the “specific preparatory stage”? Thanks! and good luck in VA Beach!

    1. daveberdan Post author

      Hi Matt, I do follow his training pretty closely. I will be doing a 9 week specific phase this time around. I have never really had a full “canova” build-up and specific phase. I’m hoping that this will help me make a big jump in the marathon. Pretty much all of my workouts from here on out are marathon specific in some way or another. Today I’m doing 6 x 2860 meters (I know weird number, but I have a flat parking lot loop that is 715 meters around) at 5:10/mile pace with 1430 meters recovery at 5:40/mile pace (basically 6 x 2 miles/1 mile). If you have been following Canova then you know that a couple weeks down the road that becomes 5 x 3/1….then 4 x 4/1…etc. I will also be doing 2 more harder long runs at 90-95% of marathon pace (22 and 24-25). I am also including a couple workouts that Dos Santos (via Nate Jenkins) has done in the past. These include running long and then doing marathon/5k pace work….for example this Saturday or Sunday I am planning on doing 2:00 at 6:10/mile…then 3 miles at 5:10/mile…then 6 x 400 at 68-70 with short recovery (:30-:40). I will also have days where I will do a high volume of 100 meter striders or hill sprints (up to 30…and on recovery days). Hope that helps.

    2. daveberdan Post author

      I should have also added that I think how long you stay in the specific phase depends on the individual. I feel like I need a longer specific phase as I am more muscular and think I have a higher number of fast twitch muscle fibers. I also need to make sure to take it really easy on my easy days because of this…if I try to run at 80% of marathon pace too often I am flat and exhausted. Most of my recovery days are 8:30 working down to 7:30 or 7:00/mile. If someone is more of a “natural” marathoner I think they can get away with as little as 6 weeks of a specific phase….

  2. Matt

    Thanks for the response! I am in the process of heading towards more marathon specific workouts that you were talking about above. (thanks for the ideas) This is the first time I am trying to follow Canova’s training system, and I tried my best to go through the “general” and “functional” stages for my upcoming marathon.The weather here (Philadelphia) has been not been cooperating recently. I was getting a little worried that I didn’t spend enough time in the functional stage, but I was in decent shape coming into training. I think I’d be better off spending the next 8 week in the specific stage. Thanks again for the response.

  3. Nacho

    Aupa Dave!!!!
    I found your blogg looking for Canova methods training. I’m now involved on Boston preparation and as a follower Of Mr.Canova try to make as much as possible workouts following his rules. Mainly, I pretty like Fartllek with recovery close to pace marathon!!!!!!
    I’ll follow your training for Shamrock marathon, and sure I’ll learn a lot…

    1. daveberdan Post author

      Hi Nacho! Glad you found my blog…and great to see another person out there following Canova principles. It makes sense! Good luck with the Boston training.



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