I am halfway through the hardest 9 days of the training plan now. In little over a week I will have run in excess of 80 miles, which considering the lack of long runs I had managed to complete over the summer is a lot!
After the high of running the half-marathon in Disney it was back to earth with a bump on the Tuesday (I had Sunday and Monday off after the race) with hill repeats. Once you added in the warm-up and cool-down the total came to 7.5M.
Wednesday was a 4M recovery and Thursday a 45min Tempo run with 20 mins at slightly slower than 10Kpace.
Saturday and Sunday called for 9 & 19M. I actually did 10 and 19.75, I was feeling good so decided to do the extra. The Saturday run was a pace run, so taking the heat (about 85 heat index when I set off) in to account I decided to try for 8:20 min/mile pace, which should represent 8:00 min/mile pace in the cooler conditions later in the year. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but I completed it without too much of a problem; 9 miles at the right pace and then the last mile I backed off for a bit of a cool down.
Sunday, while not a walk in the park, was completed without an issue. My legs were tired by the end and I had a handful of walk breaks when I was taking my ClifShot Bloks. The average pace was 9:36, so within the 60-90 seconds slower than race pace window that long runs should be.
Considering the relative lack of long runs that I have compiled over the summer months it was good to get this one done, and with the pace run on Saturday working out nicely I am feeling confident about the challenges ahead.
There is no rest for the wicked though, this upcoming week is about 50Mbefore I finish on Sunday to give me the 80Min 9 days total. At least next week is a step-back week and the hardest part of training will then be over with only 2 more really long runs to do before the Cayman Marathon!