The law of specificity says that you must train for the event that you will perform. To become efficient at an activity you must practice the activity. So I began to practice the activity.
Starting four weeks before the marathon I ran a half marathon. This race began the final peaking period for marathon race day. This race did many things, showed me how my training was going, allowed me to practice drinking on the run, practice taking gels, and begin to figure out my weaknesses.
Taking the resulting data I then devised my peaking plan. First I needed to work on my endurance more than I realized. Second my stride had shortened considerably from all the long runs that I have done. And third my nutrition needed some fine tuning.
To work on my endurance I ran my last long run of 23 miles the next weekend. Then I began to run a lot shorter on my easy days. I also included longer tempo runs and marathon pace runs.
Three days after the final 23miler I ran a 10 mile tempo run. Two days after this I ran another moderately hard 10 miler. The rest of the week I ran easy for 40-45 minutes.
Two weeks before the marathon I ran me a two hour marathon pace run. Three days after the marathon pace run I ran an 8 mile tempo run. I rested an extra day this week and ran easily for 40-45 minutes on my other scheduled days.
The final week before the marathon beginning on Sunday I ran easily for 60 minutes. Rested two extra days and ran 30-40 minutes easily on the other days. When I began to feel antsy I ran a couple of strides to shake things up a bit.
To fix the shortened stride that I was encountering I began to visualize what good running form was. Each run I would concentrate on running more fluid and relaxed. Also I came to realize that running with stiff straight legs that was causing the shuffling action that I had.
Lastly I worked on my marathon nutrition plan for the race. In the past I always ran out of gas during the last six miles. I tried taking two gels at the 13 mile and 20 mile point in the race. This seemed to be the ticket to fixing my collapse during the final 6.2 miles of the marathon.