|Comparison of planned and actual marathon training outcomes|
Most of my working life was spent managing and analysing data and information, and I have a passion for numbers. So, it's not surprising that I have diaries for fifteen of my prime running years in which I planned and analysed my training from many aspects. One of my base measures was the seven-day running mileage total and I took a look at the twenty weeks leading up to my best marathon time in 1979, and compared it to the twenty weeks leading up to this year's Melbourne Marathon.
Not surprisingly, when in full training, I was averaging more than twice the mileage. However, perhaps the most valuable information was that in the lead-up to that race in 1979 I lost significant training time to a quadriceps tear and a serious bout of tonsillitis, and had a few very poor race performances along the way.
The lesson for me is not to lose faith in my ability as I encounter obstacles, lose training time, or perform badly. I have often said that potential is defined by your best performances (and training), not your worst.