Sat down in front of the laptop to write this weeks blog and can’t think of what to call it. Does this bode well?!
After the miserable end to last week with an atrocious 20 mile run(hobble) I was keen to get going again this week, which according to the schedule was a slightly easier week and perhaps pencil in a half marathon on sunday if I could find one I felt like doing.
So the weeks running got off to a pretty good start on Tuesday with a kind of interval session. However, I set Eduardo up for the times (10mins hard, 5mins easy)x2 but not the actual paces (plus w/u & c/d). So I set out and actually ran by feel. I felt like I was pushing quite well in the intervals, and that I eased off suitably (not too much) during the ‘easy’ portions. I was really pleased when I got home to have actually set some pretty consistent splits.
And on Thursday it seemed to get even better. I set out for four miles in the beautiful evening sunshine and was aiming for about marathon pace of 9:10min/mi. As it was though my legs, lungs and heart felt great and I actually averaged 8:14.
On Saturday Alma, Sean & I all headed back to Banstead Woods again for another parkrun (evidently this was my eighteenth – will I make it to 50 this year?) I’m still not aiming for PBs in the few weeks leading up to MK marathon so as to not exert too much energy prior to long runs. With this in mind though as we set off towards the back of the pack going nice and slow I was just on Seans shoulder. now, in the last couple of weeks I have lead Sean until about halfway, so I decided that I would stay on his shoulders for as long as I could and drop back at about the half way mark. I felt good though for the first lap, and figured that’d try to hang on. The hill though was pretty tough as always and mountaingoat Sean took off into the distance. I thought fairly hard about easing off and just bringing my carcass home in a reasonable time, but decided I was doing pretty well so why not carry on. I kept trying to push as best I felt I could.
And the best I could do was set another PB of 22:43 – creeping ever closer to my new years resolution of a sub 21min. Woops, who said anything about taking it easy?
Still, I had hoped that perhaps it would have set some pace up in my little legs for todays long run which was just 15 miles. I love that part of marathon training where you can reflect on ‘just’ popping out for a 15mile run. I had thought about a half marathon today with it being 4 weeks to go, and whilst there are a few around locally I decided to stick with my training routes. So with the aim of getting a little speed in my legs, and inspired by a recent MarathonTalk episode I decided to do an increasing pace session. I split the run into three equal 5mile blocks and set out at ‘easy’ run pace of about 9:30min/mile. The next block was performed at target marathon pace of approx 9:10min/mi. And I finished off aiming for about half marathon pace of 8:30min/mile.
I spent blooming ages trying to set the garmin up to do it for me but to no avail. By setting a workout, the garmin center won’t calculate individual miles so I was trying all kinds of interval repeats and other such things but they refused to load onto the watch afterwards. In the end I had to settle with three blocks of 5 miles – so I got the average pace for the block, but I didn’t know the individual mile splits. What I don’t know though, is that if the garmin training center can’t display them – why can endomondo when I upload the workout?!?
I set off conscious of having gone too fast last week, and settled into an easy pace for the first five miles – feeling basically terrific in the beautiful (unforecast) sunshine. As the fifth mile was completed I was heading past the Reigate golf club and I sped up a little to my planned marathon pace effort. I was pleased to feel pretty comfortable at this pace right the way through to the 10mile mark even if the tenth mile was a little slow (entirely uphill so I guess it’s justified). Had I been able to see actual mile average pace though I suspect I may have been able to go a smidge slower in miles 6&7 and kept a more even pace over 9&10.
At this point I called at the house where I had left a gel and a fresh bottle of drink before setting off at half marathon pace. I continued to remind myself that I had maintained this pace at Silverstone for the full 13 miles – so it was perfectly manageable today. But on your own, with no crowds and no other runners around it feels so much harder than when racing. I am pretty sure that it is that which will get me round the marathon. The last couple of miles were tough – more so because of a blister rather annoyingly placed on my ankle – but I think I showed a certain fortitude in completing the run strong.
Training by numbers:
28 miles this week
368.98 miles this year
58.03 total hours of running
253 donuts burned
1418.2km remaining in 2012