Look, I couldn't put in any decent training last year as I was injured (shin splints). My low weekly mileage was the max I could do without it getting intolerable.
I had lots of sponsorship for the marathon so had to complete it. At the end of the 15 mile training run I was totally shattered, I could hardly lift my feet. No way could that run have turned into a 26 miler. But 5 days later I was recovered, I felt fine, and I ran the whole marathon. I am 100% certain I could not have done that without that training run.
I know my own body. I've been running for the last 25 years when injuries permitted. I'm 48 with dozens of shorter races under my belt. Sorry if this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but I was more than happy with my training and my time.
And running 15 miles 5 days before wasn't the brightest idea.
Au contraire it was one of the best training runs I've ever done. Without it I would never have managed the marathon. I was fully recovered by the Sunday, felt great, and did the extra 11.2 miles with no real problems.
I do marvel at how people can put in so many miles in training. I feel like I do a lot, I ran 6 days last week but I know my 27 mile total is well down on most training plans.
For the Manchester marathon last year my training consisted of an average of 13 miles a week in the 10 weeks before. I'd never run further than 12 miles in my life until 5 days before the race when I did 15. I managed 4.20 on race day, I'm hoping for sub-4 this time.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I sometimes think that posters on here tend to be the more serious runners and that my training isn't that unusual for a casual marathoner. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the majority of runners averaged less than 25mpw.
Some interesting comments about training plans here.
I'm going for my second marathon in April, aiming for sub-4 from 4.20 a year ago. My training "plan" is currently 4-5 days per week, 25 miles per week, gradually increasing to maybe 30-35. Long run so far 10 miles (today).
Would I benefit by doing the same mileage but following a proper plan?