Marathon Training Week 5 – A Solid Block

Sometimes I am not sure whether the act of running 4 or 5 miles at an ‘easy’ pace of 9:30 is all that easy at all. The aim of my Monday runs is to recover – generally from a parkrun on Saturday and a long run on Sunday – but it feels so slow that I almost have to force myself into running so slow that it starts to feel unnatural. The other problem is that if there is nothing to really look at whilst going so slowly it quickly becomes a very boring run!

On Tuesday I wasn’t able to train with the Gee’s on account of the fact that I was a few hundred miles away visiting the in-laws. However one of the local schools has incorporated a small leisure center which just so happens to have a four-lane running track that can be used. I headed down there and for the princely sum of £2.50 I could use the track as I wished. I got there early, keen to be done and dusted before the running club started up at 6:30, and there was only a small group of girls practising on the hurdles and one other lady running a hard session. So the track was pretty much free to use. I had received the group email early in the morning for the session details, so I knew what I was working towards – 4x (800m, 600m, 400m) all off of a minutes recovery. This was a tough session, and doing it on my own meant that the rep times probably dropped off a little quicker than they might have otherwise done. Tough session though, and interesting to see on Strava that a few of the Gee’s had actually only done three sets at the track – I checked my emails, and I had it right so maybe they were being lazy (or injured etc.)

I shuffled my week around and ended up doing my long run on Thursday before we went out for the day. I knocked out a steady 12 miles in one hour 42 and visited Saltburn, Marske and Redcar along the way. I also missed the rain shower by a matter of minutes, so that was good. Once the little one was awake we headed to Whitby and made a bee-line for the Magpie chippy to see if it lived up to its reputation – it does!

Friday was a day for indulgence as Lyndsey and I enjoyed massages at My Serenity in Guisborough. I had a full leg work-over to ease out the stresses and strains incurred during the marathon build up thus far. He also spent a little time focusing on a glute issue that does not want to go away!

So surely I was on for a winner at parkrun on Saturday morning; well rested, relaxed, some solid training behind me. I like Redcar parkrun because it is flat and Locke park is reasonably interesting to run around. The only bit that isn’t flat is the two tiny bridges on each lap. That’s right, it’s laps! Three of them to be precise – which can make it a bit dull, and because Locke Park is also pretty small it also makes for a VERY twisty course. This is where I lost my time; you simply cannot get into a rhythm!

oops, it appears I got quite wet!
oops, it appears I got quite wet!

Over the course of the run there are 31 corners that are pretty much 90degrees or tighter.

My final time was 20:12; a full minute off my previous Redcar best, and an overall PB of 8 seconds. Eeking my way slowly towards sub twenty.

Lyndsey and I went away for our anniversary and enjoyed a delicious three course lunch on Sunday at the Crab and Lobster where we got married four years ago. This made the evening steady six miles a little uncomfortable and I was close to being sick a couple of times – but I powered on through to rack up 34 miles for the week and with 12 weeks of training to go I am feeling pretty darn positive.

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