The Wales Marathon 2014 – Week one

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Run 1 : 9 Miles with 4 miles at HM pace – Tuesday

Well this run didn’t go quite to plan, I took a slight wrong turn and ended up covering 9.75 miles. However, I had left my 4 miles @ HM pace until the last four miles and luckily I knew exactly were that point was. Other than that mishap the only thing of note was seeing some young boy on the other side of the road rolling along on a skate board arms stretched out to the sides, as if he had scored a goal , staring at the cars that went by him. And who said kids have nothing to do these day!

I completed the run in 1:16:42 which is quite good going.

Run 2 : 11 Miles – Wednesday

On this run, I learnt whilst we have had a few sunny days of late in the England, it still gets dark early. Leaving me running around the country lanes in the dark…….granted I had my hi-vis  running jacket on, so it wasn’t quite a kamakarzi run but I really should of taken my torch with me!! That said I got home in one piece, learnt a valuable lesson and completed the run in 1:28:31

You can see my 11 mile route here :

Run 3 : 5 Mile Recovery – Thursday

Nothing of interest occurred during this run……it was a plane simple 5 mile recovery run.

Time 42:00

Route :

Run 4 : 9 Miles – Friday

Taking advantage of being a agile worker, I worked from home on this day, allowing me to complete my 9 mile run during the early afternoon, giving my body an additional few hours to recover in time for Sundays 20 mile race. Which considering ive not specifically trained for or taper for will come in handy.

There was a strange incidence during this run when a bird flew all around me and I had to leap over the little thing three times, as it went down around my legs before landing on the ground in front of me. Thinking about it afterwards, perhaps I should of stopped to check it out and make sure the little guy was ok. This left me feeling quite guilty, but I guess if it was flying around then, it was probably stunned by a car or something will of no doubt of recovered…….I hope so anyway!!

Time : 01:16:52

Route :

Run 5 – 5 Miles – Saturday

I skipped this run, as I am racing 20 miles on the Sunday, on what should of been a 15 mile medium long run. So while I wont meet six runs this week, I will complete my mileage target and I get a rest day before racing……it will be needed.

The Trimpell 20 Mile

So it was race day and my return to the Trimpell 20, a race I first and last did in March 2009, as a taster in preparation for finally moving up to the marathon. On that day, I chose to run 10 miles at an 8 mins per mile pace and then race the last 10 miles……just from reading that statement you would have easily guessed, that I was someone who had never run over 13.1 miles before at that point in time. Surely enough things didn’t go to plan and by the 17 mile point my legs were shot and I staggered to the finish line.

Five years later, 7 a.m. Sunday March 16th 2014 and I am slowly waking up to get ready and head back to the scene of one of my disappointing races experiences. However, I am more experienced over longer distances now and I have more of a realistic plan. 7.45 mins per mile until the 17 mile point and then see if I can either make a dash for the line or continue with my plan if I cant. While 7.45 per mile is faster than my marathon PB pace, i was confident that as this race is 6 miles shorter than a marathon, I should be able to maintain it for 20 miles and its a good minute per mile slower than my half marathon PB pace.

I set of 10 minutes later than planned, which if you know me isn’t a real surprise at all. However, If I had known about all the road works I might of actually gotten around to setting of on time!! Stress levels were high, especially as I was sat in queuing traffic in Lancaster, walking distance from the race HQ with just 40 minutes until the off…….


10:35 and ive finally parked up!! Thank goodness!! Enough time to get my number and carry out the traditional pre-race visit to the bathroom and get my stuff together before heading to the start line.

Lining up at the start it was clear that this race has gotten slightly bigger than when I last ran it, with club vests from all over the country on show, with the Barnsley Harriers, South Shields Harriers and the Winchester & District AC to name just three. To top it off a strong cold wind was blowing and as the instructions about running over timing maps and how traffic free the course was, were read out all you could think of, was hurry up and start the damn thing!

3,2, 1 and we’re off!!

As I hit the one mile marker, I could tell I had gone too fast and sure enough my watch read 07:06 ooops! Not to worry, I could slow down , which I did. However for each of the next four mile markers, taking me to the five mile point, i found my self 30 seconds ahead of schedule. I had also noticed, that a young club runner in blue would speed up when ever I got near him. To prove this theory, I ran up along side him and sure enough he pushed on… to be sure I tried it once more and yep he did it again. Noticing he had no gels with him and how competitive he was being just five miles into a 20 mile race I figured he must be new to the distance and slightly cruel as it may seem, I figured I might as well use it as an opportunity to practice some competitive running, all be it, I was running at a controlled pace and he was racing. So I edged ahead of him a couple of more times to see him up his pace and fly by me again……..However, this fun was brought to an end when I passed him just as we headed into a narrow path and another runner in green came along side me, meaning there was no space for any one to by us for perhaps 150 metres. I never saw the chap in blue again, but had an interesting conversation with this new runner about running into the wind and we shared a couple wind hit race stories….

By the 6 mile point I found myself 1 minute ahead of plan and I decided that the green runner was bad for my plan, so I let him push on slowing down so much that by the 8 mile point I was just 20 seconds off my plan. However, by mile 10 I was back to being a minute ahead of my plan…… doh!

Also at mile 10, I started to notice less and less runners going by me , whilst I took over more and more with actually trying too hard. It was clear, that those who had taken the first half the race too quickly were either slowing down intentionally, realising they still had another 10 miles to go or they were running out of stream.

The stats for the 10 mile point, show that I was in 123rd place with a time of 01:15:24.

By the 13th mile, I knew that we would be entering territory that a lot of runners had never been to before, mostly due to the fact that there very few races between the half marathon and marathon distances. So I decided to stop, trying to slow down and carry on with what I was doing. I also decided, if I still felt good at the 16 mile point, I would take the last of my gels and just go for it from that point rather than wait for the 17 miles marker.

Sure enough, that it was what happened and I got a feeling a lot of the runners I past, were surprised to see someone pushing on so far from the finish, with only the occasional runner trying to keep with me. If I am being honest, in the back of my head was the concern, that would I run out of steam and had I gone too soon. Only time would tell and carried on with my plan passing a number of runners and getting some excellent feed back from the numerous race marshals.

As I entered the race track for the final 300 metres, I could see only one more runner ahead of me, about 100 metres up the track, so pushed on even hard, passing him with perhaps just 100 metres to go. As I passed him, I though to myself, that I couldn’t push any harder, I will just maintain this pace, he was plodding as it was, so I should be good. However, just as that thought passed, another runner came speeding by, I tried to keep pace with him, but perhaps 10 metres from the line, I realised I couldn’t do and as he upped another gear, I let him go. Its not often I am beaten over the last few metres, but I had nothing left to give, having working so hard for the past four miles. So I was kinda of pleased with that effort, but It will bug me that I was out sprinted at the end, he had obiviously more left to give than me, so hats off to him.

My finishing time 2:27:53, place 97.

So I had managed to over take 26 people in the second half of the race, with the guy who piped me, showing as having been a whole 7 minutes head of me at the half way point, almost a mile!! So I think, that in itself shows how hard I worked in the second half of this race. Perhaps I could of pushed harder, sooner or set myself a quicker average pace, who knows. Either way, I did well, I got a confidence boosting time and my first week of marathon training is over.

Also this represents a race PB by a good 16 minutes, as my previous time in the race and for the distance was 2:44:07

Race splits : 0 – 10 Miles : 1:15:34 , 10-20 miles 1:12:19  – Finish time 1:27:53

Training week one states

Runs 5 / 6       –      Miles 54 / 54

progress1So what does week 2 have in stall for me :

Monday  : Rest / Cross train

Tuesday : 8 miles with 10 * 100 metre strides

Wednesday : 12 miles

Thursday : 5 miles recovery

Friday : 9 miles aerobic

Saturday : 5 miles recovery

Sunday  : 16 miles with 8 miles at marathon pace

In other news :

Mo Farah collapses after finishing second in New York half-marathon

Danish study challenges pronation fears

Susan Partridge to lead GB team at World Half Marathon Champs




3 thoughts on “The Wales Marathon 2014 – Week one

  1. Thanks I surprised myself with it to be honest. I never expected it to go so well. Guess my five week custom loop training plan was well stitched together after all!

  2. Pingback: The Wales Marathon 2014 – week two | sjpc14

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