Marathon Training Week 8 – Discovering Progression

Feb. 20th 2011

15 mile long run
Not too bad a run, felt OK, but about 8 miles started trouble from blister left foot. cramp in calf in final 0.5 mile. had to run/walk finish

Avg. Pace 11:07min/mi
Avg. Pace 11:07min/mi

Feb. 27th 2011

17 miles easy.

Not sure if easy is the right word. Much flatter course than usual as I ran predominantly along the coast roads of Redcar, meant that I only stopped to walk once to relieve myself. Felt good, but noticeably slowing up towards the end. Final 2km averaged almost a minute slower than everyone preceding them.

Flatter, but ave. pace still 10:57min/mi
Flatter, but ave. pace still 10:57min/mi

Interestingly this run was followed by almost an entire week off for no reason whatsoever it would seem, though as I look back through the blog archives I must have been heartened by the simple fact that I managed to attain the holy grail of a four-run week.

Fast forwarding from London Marathon Training in 2011 to Frankfurt Marathon Training in 2015 it is easy to see the differences between the two. For starters, I was only hitting 15-16 miles with six weeks to go. Now, I am still nine weeks away from the target race. I have also completed the five planned runs every week for the last six weeks, since I was a little bit injured and faced an enforced period of rest.

This week has been much like the few that have preceded it with an easy run on Monday; a hit out at the track on Tuesday with 10x500m plus a hill rep attack and then a fast mile; Thursday saw a marathon paced session of 7 miles which felt great; Saturday was a toasty run on the downslink as I was volunteering at parkrun in the morning owing to an engagement in the village at 10 which meant I couldn’t run first thing.

This morning I opted to do the same as I had last week with an early alarm call dragging me out of bed with the aim of getting my run done without detracting from the family time. Ever since I got my plan for the week I had been dreading this session. On paper it seems so simple, but also a little terrifying and I was nervous right up to the moment I stepped out of the door.

The target was 11 miles at marathon pace (8min/mile) followed by five miles at 7:30min/mile. For starters, I hadn’t run more than seven miles at that pace yet, and the last session that I tried to up the pace like this had resulted in failure.

From the doorstep the marathon paced section was actually not too bad, though I felt that I really needed to keep an eye on my pace as it was wandering a bit during each mile. As the end approached I was worrying about the next five miles; I was right to do so. From the very beginning it was super difficult and I struggled to get below 7:45. I held on for the next two miles at this pace (just), but it completed unraveled in the fourth mile and I struggled back to 8 minute pace. I was close to home and decided that this was no longer achieving anything so I called it a day at 15 miles rather than 16. I had chosen to do five mile loops this morning so as to keep a fairly flat profile, and this worked for that purpose, but it was a mental challenge as a result.

As a final piece of comparison – in 2011, in the first week I managed to complete 4 runs (ever) I did a sum total of 43km; this week I have completed 43miles! Boom.

Have you had a good week?

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