Kevin Fallon destroyed his previous lifetime best of 4:49 (Boston, 1999) by running 3:01:59 at the 2002 Hartford Marathon. Both halves of his Hartford race bettered his previous 13.1M best of 1:33, set in April 2002.

Below are his 18 weeks of training before that race along with what he feels were the seven greatest keys to his success. Detailed notes on his training weeks follow the log itself.

1. I focused on increasing total miles early in the year. I cut back on my pace by 1:30-2:00 per mile. Initially I ran shorter distances but much more often, sometimes two 30-minute runs in a day.

2. I ran more miles in the 18 weeks of training than I did all of 2001 combined.

3. I recognized before it was too late (midway through my training) that the miles and speed workouts were increasing at the same time and that something was about to give.

4. I started recognizing the reasons behind niggling injuries - e.g., hamstring troubles are directly related to a lack of strength in the quads and hip flexors.

5. I started understanding what proper effort was for tempo, VO2 Max, speed, and - most importantly - MP workouts.

6. I found suitable training partners, e.g., people that run easy days EASY and don't try to race every workout.

7. I got off paved roads at least half the time. Actually, a good balance between all running conditions is in itself a form of cross-training.
Week of June 10 
M: 10 Trails
Tu: off
W: 7 w/u    2.95 race   3.1 c/d     (13)
Th: am: 3.5 ezy  pm: 3 easy (6.5)
F:  8-12-16-12-8  2:00 R  6:00 pace (10.5)
Sa: 10.2  Twisted Ankle
Su: off
50.2 miles

Week of June 17 
M: 4 ezy lunch  6.5 ezy pm  (10.5)
Tu: 8k tempo  6:38 pace  (11.4)
W: 11 Easy
Th: 10x30sec Strides  (7.5)
F: off
Sa: 5.6 Trails Easy
Su: Bedford 20K  1:23:29        (18)  6:43's
64 miles

Week of June 24 
M: 22 Bike 1hr27min
Tu: 10 Trails Easy
W:  12 trails/ track/ road.  Easy
Th: 5.2 Trails  Easy - Mod
Fr: off
Sa: 12 w/10x30sec strides         G
Su: 3 Hours  Trails        20 miles
59.2 miles

Week of July 1 
M: 7.5 Trails   62 min  Easy-Mod
Tu: Hill Repeats 10x200m (10 total)
W:  7 Trails       65 min Easy
Th: 2 Mile Race  11:35         (11)
F: 10.25 Trails    85 min Easy - Mod
Sa: 13.5 Trails  1hr56min   Easy
Su: 10.8 w/10x30sec strides
70 miles

Week of July 8 
M: 16 Bike     60 Min
Tu: Hill Repeats 12x90sec (13.25 total)
W:  11.75 Railtrail     95 min   moderate
Th: Marathon Sports 5M - 6:24 pace  (12)
F: 10.25 Trails    87 min Easy 
Sa: 11.75 Road Easy  98 min
Su: 3 Hours Trails       ~20 
79 miles

Week of July 15 
M: off
Tu: 4x400 (79's)     4x200 (36's)    (12)
W:  8.25 Easy (5 on track)  70min
Th: 5.5 Easy  Trails       45 min
F: 4.8 Easy  40:23
Sa: off
Su: Stowe 8M   6:40 avg (13am  3.2pm)
46.75 miles

Week of July 22 
M: 12 Trails Easy  1:47:00
Tu: 12x:45 @2% w/:90 rec  (6.5 tm 6.8 rd)
W:  12.25 Trails Moderate
Th: 10k Tempo 6:31 pace  (13.5)
F: off
Sa: 10x40sec strides (11.5)
Su: 3 Hours   21 - Long  G
83.5 miles

Week of July 29 
M: 4.9 Rd Ezy  6.7 Trl Ezy  11.6
Tu: 4x1200 (4:29)   4x200 (:39)  12.5
W:  4.9 Easy   18.3 Bike
Th: 6 Easy
F: off
Sa: B2B 10K MP run    6:48  (14)
Su: 2 hours     14 - Long
63 miles

Week of August 5 
M: Bike 25
Tu: am: 19.2 B  pm: 26.8 B
W:  20.75 B
Th: 7.5 Easy R  13 Mtn B   3.2 Mod R  19.2 B
F: 5k Easy R  24.5 Bike
Sa: 8.6 Mod R  26 Bike
Su: 3 Hours   21.6 - Long  
44 miles, 174 Bike

Week of August 12 
M: 5 Easy     pm 23 Bike
Tu: 5 Easy     pm 23 Bike
W:  pm 7 Easy
Th: 9M MP (6:58's)     14 Total
F: 5 Easy  Evening massage
Sa: off 
Su: Mass Tri Relay 12.4 bike (6.75 Run)
42.75 miles, 64.4 Bike

Week of August 19 
M: off
Tu: 6.5 Easy
W:  12x200m Track :36 full rest (10 Total)
Th: 7.5 Easy Trail
F: 2.5 Ezy    5K Tempo   x-country
Sa: 13.2 - Long   7.2 - Tempo  (6:49)
Su: 7.5 Easy Trail          30 Bike
57.5 miles, 30 Bike

Week of August 26 
M: 6 Trails Moderate  48 min
Tu: 8x800   2:49-3:08  12 total
W:  7.6 Trls Moderate   58:14
Th: off
F: 5x1 mile tm 6:30/mile   14 Total
Sa: am: 7 Trails Mod         pm: 7 trls easy
Su: 7.5 Easy   Trail
61.5 miles

Week of September 2 
M: New Haven 20K  6:41's  1:23:03  (19.4 total)
Tu: 8 Easy
W: 6 Easy    Massage
Th: 16x200 39-35   last mile of c/d @MP  15.3
F: off
Sa: 12 Easy    10 X Strides  G
Su: Mill City 5k  (18:56 w/5:44 1st)  6.3
67 miles

Week of September 9 
M: 10 Moderate Trails
Tu: 9.4 Mod (9th mile @MP)
W: 10x800    2:56 avg - 2:53 rest  14.7
Th: 16.3 Bike
F: 7.5 Trails with 5.5 @ MP
Sa: 3 Hours    23 - Long  G
Su: off
64.6 miles, 16.3 Bike

Week of September 16 
M: 6.5 Mod  Road
Tu: 6x1 mile @MP (14)  6:40 avg
W: 10.5 Easy Trk and Rd
Th: 6 Easy  Twisted Ankle
F: off
Sa: EC 30K  DNF 10@<MP  17.5
Su: off
54.5 miles

Week of September 23 
M: off
Tu: 20x100m 100m recovery (9)
W: 9.7 Easy     G
Th: 3x2M@MP 13:23,43,49   (12.6 in 90min)
F: off
Sa: 13.1 - Long  1:36:06  
Su: Ro Jack's 5M 30:44  (7)
51.4 miles

Week of September 30 
M: 6.2 Easy
Tu: 9.4 + Strides
W: 5 Easy
Th: 2x3M@MP 20:32/20:36 (10)
F: off
Sa: 10 Easy     G
Su: off
40.6 miles

Week of October 7 
M: 4 miles @MP   (8)  56:30
Tu:6 Easy  Massage
W: 6 w/strides 22:11/20:24
Th: off
F: 2 Easy
Sa: 1.5 w/u 2hrs prior Hartford Marathon  (3:01:59)
Su: OFF!!!
49.7 miles

Week 1: Wednesday - Used CMS 5K @ OH for Tempo Effort. Too fast. Need work at using races for workouts Friday - 8-12-16-12-8 ladder workout for VO2. First time with this type of workout. TOUGH Saturday - Twisted ankle 6 1/2 miles into 10.2 mile run.

Week 2: Tuesday - 8k tempo on track. 6:38 pace. I like tempos on track for instant feedback. Sunday - Bedford 20k. Humid Day. Felt crappy at end and hamstrings were tight and pulling. Cheryl yelled at me to stop stretching the hamstrings as they were quivering. Never realized this. This started me to realize that stretching isn't always good. Stretch the opposite muscle instead (quads in this case)

Week 3: Sunday - first 3 hour run of training. nice and easy on trails. Kind of a recovery week from Bedford

Week 4: Tuesday - First hill workout. 10x 40-45 seconds. Kevin B suggested they should be longer (90 seconds). Will have to slow the pace down or not as steep of a hill for that long. Thursday - 4th of July Johnny Carson 2 Mile race. 11:35! Very hot day. Encouraging given conditions. Note: no day longer than 13.5 this week but hit 70 for the week for the first time ever.

Week 5: Tuesday - 12x90 second hill workout. Not as steep of a grade. Had massage on Monday night which seemed to loosen up legs but the hill seemed to reaggrevate the hamstrings. Thursday - Marathon Sports 5. Planned Tempo. Went out too fast but due to having to retie shoe, I quickly got back into tempo. Sunday - second 3 hour trail run. New weekly mileage high of 79.

Week 6: Taper week going into Stowe. Tuesday - 4x400 4x200. Fun workout to experiment with speed and not worry about burning out. tried glycerol drink for first time. never had good results with it in training. although I've never had good long races in heat anyway. Sunday - Stowe. Way too fast. Had too high expectations. Shut it down with a mile or so left as the pace already dropped off considerably. Have to learn how to recognize I'm into acid buildup and sacrifice an early mile to clear it out. I try to hold as high a pace as possible and it just never gets better.

Week 7: Thursday: 10k tempo on track. 6:31 pace. again, temo on the track is one of my more favorite workouts. Tried Kevin's advice that tempo pace should be faster than 6:38 in week 2. Sunday: third 3 hour trail run. New weekly high of 83.5 miles

Week 8: Tuesday: 4x1200 4x200. Combo VO2 and speed workout. 200's tough after what was probably too hard on 1200's. Need to learn to run by "feel" instead of splits Combo of bumping up miles while adding speed workouts catching up to me. Hamstrings are constantly tight. Saturday: Beach to Beacon. Hamstring problem convinced me to run this as MP rather than race or even Tempo

Week 9: Something has to give. Hamstrings aren't responding. Have TRI Relay in 2 weeks that I am riding so decided this is a good opportunity to switch to bike to get Quads more balanced. I've been neglecting my Hip Flexor and Quads. 174 miles of biking for week. 44 running. Sunday: Fourth 3 hour trail run.

Week 10: Less biking: 64 miles. 43 miles running. Thursday: 9 mile MP on railtrail. Ran back and forth on a 1 mile stretch, slightly uphill out and surprisingly (duh!) slightly downhill on way back. Hot and Humid conditions forced me to try to get away from traffic and heat. In hindsight, this was too hard effort wise. Sunday: TRI Relay. Second place for the teams. I was 4th fastest Team cyclist with a 21+ MPH avg.

Week 11: Start switching bike mileage back to running. 58 run, 30 bike. Wednesday: 12x200 track avg :36. This is another workout I like. Saturday: 13.2 miles easy right into 7.2 @ Tempo. 5th run of training over 20 miles.

Week 12: Back over 60 miles for week. Tuesday: attempt 10x800. Way too fast on first few and working too hard at end without results. Stopped at 8. Need to find proper pace. Shorter distances I can get away with it, but longer repeats are killing me. Friday: 5xMile on Treadmill @ Tempo. TM is harder effort for same pace for me. TM should be last resort and I need to adjust pace for perceived effort.

Week 13: Monday: New Haven 20K. 1:23:03. Even though this wasn't "Raced", it was too fast for MP. Didn't admit this until later in training when I realized it was suicidal to go out at 6:40's in the marathon. Thursday: 16x200. Great w/o but hamstrings started twinging so didn't continue for planned 20x200. Went for extended cool down and finished 15+ miles for day. Need more of these long days with workouts while shortening the easy days. Hindsight is beautiful and I realized I was padding too many miles into the easy days. Sunday: Mill City 5k. Dragged out with "big boys" and left writhering in the fetal position on the side of the road.

Week 14: Wednesday: 10x800 workout. Nailed it averaging 2:56's. 14.7 miles total encorporating longer workout days into training and making easy days easy again. Sunday: Fifth 3 hour run and first run on the roads. 23 miles total.

Week 15: Tuesday - 6x Mile on Fred's course. 14 miles total. 6:40 avg. Hindsight too fast for MP, too slow for Tempo. Still hadn't admitted to myself that MP was not 6:40's. Thursday - twisted ankle Saturday - EC 30K. First DNF ever. Too fast early on in Hot Humid conditions. This was good though because it convinced me that 6:40's are NOT MP.

Week 16: Begin taper. 60 MPW avg bringing it down to 50. Need to learn feel of MP or marathon will be another bust. Thursday: planned mile repeats turn into 3x2 miles on Fred's course. Perfect location as I can run 2-Mile stretches and then jog till I reach a new "marker" on the marathon course. Starting to dial into feel. Sunday: Ro Jack's. Remained relaxed at beginning and didn't go with pack. Realized that being a Grand Prix race, there will be tons of people in front of me. Steady pace throughout as effort increased. Great execution. 30:44 predicts 3:01ish Marathon

Week 17: continue taper bringing miles down to 40. Wednesday - 2x3 miles @ MP on Fred's course. Really dialing into feel now @ 6:53-6:56 pace. Easy days are starting to get faster with less effort. Things seem to be clicking. The MP interval w/o's including w/u and c/d are avging 7's. Second w/o of week is just easy strides for turnover without stress.

Week 18: Monday - 4@MP. Ran w/u and c/d too fast but maybe this TEMPO effort helped give me a last jolt of training. Wednesday - strides plus weights plus bike for glycogen depletion. Ultra Fuel drinks last 2 1/2 days prior to marathon with little solid food gives me my needed calories but ensures stomach distress will be minimal. 3 16oz bottles Wednesday night. 2 on Thursday, 2 on Friday and 1 more Saturday morning for breakfast.

Race Day - w/u 1.5 miles 2 hours prior to race. Need to try this morein future. Came back, showered to continue to warm up muscles and had carbo drink. No solid food. 3:01:59 final time. 1:30:35/1:31:24 splits. GU @ 6, 10.4 and 15-16. Electrolyte bottles @ 6.2, 12.4, and 20. Didn't drink much of last bottle. maybe should've had one last GU @ 20 or drank more of bottle. Pace dropped to 7:10 in mile 21 and stayed there.