November 7, 2017

Amanda Basham: Transitioning from the trail to the traditional marathon

Basham is a proven performer on the trail, but throwing a late season marathon into the mix brings up it’s own set of challenges

Before I became a full-time trail runner, I actually started my running career as a sprinter on the track. My transition to trail running was gradual though, and I’ve run plenty of traditional marathons in my time too. I’ve had a long season, so undertaking the Philly Marathon is more of a bonus than a goal in its own right.

Transitioning from trail to road

It’s been awhile since I raced on the roads, but the training has felt solid getting back into it. I’ve been taking my off season seriously since completing the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, somy legs are still rusty, but they’re finally getting a little snap back.

The challenges

The biggest challenge coming from trail races to the road is getting leg speed back. I’ve been racing long distances on the trails for a long time, so although I have a history of faster running, and know I can do it, it definitely takes time to get there. Running multiple six-minute miles back to back will never feel good, but right now it feels especially painful!

Off season racing: free from expectations

The Philly Marathon is a great end of season race for me. I don’t have any huge goals going into the race, but it’s also refreshing to race something different in my offseason, where I have no pressure on myself, and no expectations from anyone else, either. I’ve raced a lot this year, so I’d like to see where my speed is at after training specifically for 100-milers. Although I definitely do not expect a personal record at this event, I have a longer-term goal to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials. That means there will be a few more road marathons in my future. This seems like a great starting point to get my legs back underneath me.

The training

In the lead up to the race, I’ve kept my volume low, due to being in the off season, and also being comfortable with where my aerobic fitness is at. I’ll be training for the Tarawera 100k this winter so it’s important to make sure I’m recovered from the 2017 season.

In the longer term, road marathons will form a more important part of my season. I plan on being ready to run a PR on the road in the fall of 2018. I have a couple of years to qualify for the Olympic Trials and this time next year will be my first shot at it!

The Philly Marathon

The Philadelphia Marathon is a long running event, having begun in 1954. The race ranks top ten in the United States for largest marathons with over 30,000 runners, 60,000 spectators and 3,000 volunteers. The 30,000 runners come from all 50 American states and over 40 countries.

The Equipment

Shorts: GORE® Running Wear Air Lady tights short
Top: GORE® Sunlight Lady top
Shoes: Altra Paradigm

Extras: GORE® Essential light gloves and GORE® headband.

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