Training: Week 11

This was the biggest week so far, and although there are 2 more big weekends to come, it is currently the most miles I have run in one week, and also the most miles in a weekend I have ever run, including marathon weekends!

The normal Tuesday run was up to 5m this week, and as is to be expected with a 7 month old baby there was a bit of juggling of times for the 10m on Wednesday. It wasn’t too bad I just had to go out in the evening instead of the morning, which to be honest, was probably better as it meant I didn’t have to get out of bed at 4AM! The longer run was good as I managed to do what I consider “marathon pace” at the moment i.e < 9min/mile.

I went for a cycle on Thursday, but for the second week running I came back feeling worse than when I went out. There seems to be something about cycling just now that is aggravating the problems in my hip and back. As I don’t seem to be having any of these problems when actually running I am going to switch the Thursday workout back to a run for now and see how it goes.

The weekend was the first of the 20 milers. These have always been a challenge for all of my previous marathon training plans, this one more so though due to the fact that a 10m run was required the day before!

The shorter run, as on the Wednesday was fine, and once again I was under 9min/mile. I felt really good, a bit of a runners high I think, and I had to make sure I didn’t go off too fast knowing that Sunday was just around the corner.

The 20m run turned into 21m, the plan calls for 3 x 20m runs. However, in my first 2 marathons I only ever went to 20m in training and I hit the wall on both races at exactly 20m. For this reason in my last training plan, for Disney in January, I went to 20 and 22m, and I felt way more confident going into the race knowing I could go the distance, and it proved it in the race. Therefore, I have decided that I will do 21, 22 and 20 for the 3 long runs, more to get my confidence up than for anything else. I am sure I am not deriving any fitness benefit by going further, it is all mental.

The route I did was just the 10m route from Saturday twice. It might be a mental thing, but it was actually a good route, as it was only 3 miles in one direction from the house, then 3 miles back, 2 miles away from the house and another 2 back. This broke it down in to small chunks, so it was only ever a couple of miles until I was turning on to another section. This made it seem much shorter than thinking I had 10m out and then the same 10m back ahead of me.

I felt OK the whole way around, looking at the splits, I was really consistent for the first 10 miles or so, from mile 13-14 I dropped a bit, this was mainly due to the wind that had built up since I started and I was headlong into it from miles 14 – 18. I was even able to raise the pace for the last two miles, which made me feel good about my general fitness. It showed I had something left in the tank, and having checked my heart rate for the run, it only went over 150 in mile 20 and my calculated Lactate threshold limit is about 155 bpm, so in theory I was running slower than I actually could have.

The average pace and the time I did would have given me about a 4:15 marathon time, which I would be happy with. It is not guarantee I will do that on the day, but with the decrease in temperature and the fact I will be  better rested come the race mean I am quietly confident that this won’t be the disaster it was looking like after previous weeks.

The best new is, this week is very much reduced from last week, 12m long run on Sunday and everything else is 5 or 6, so relatively easy and nice to recover!