This was the week that the global marathon season kicked off in Paris, with Kenenisa Bekele laying down an early marker with a course record of 2:05:04 on his marathon debut no less. I wish mine had gone just as well……i guess his first marathon was only 2 and bit hours quicker than mine, so not much in it………..
So it’s over to the guys in London next Sunday where the majority of the world’s top male distance runners will be competing, including Britain’s Mo Farah who makes his marathon debut, it’s not to missed.
Looking at the course route in Paris, it looks very much a must do race, passing some of Paris’s most famous sites. I will have to add to my marathon bucket list!
So here’s how four week of training for Wales went :
Tuesday 9 miles with 10*100
What lovely day, the sun was out and the temperature was high. It was so warm in fact that for the first time this year not only did I head out, without a run jacket but also without my gloves or cap. I can’t remember the last time I did that.
Once out running I found that there were loads of runners and cyclists about the place, all in high spirits with waving, nods and smiles a plenty, it was as if everyone was high on sunshine. It was great running weather and whilst, I didn’t quite manage the nine miles in my planned pace plan, I worked hard in each of the strides although again not recording the times to keep my focus on the longer distances.
Time : 1:13:27
Wednesday 14 miles
I got the feeling I had over done things on the previous night almost immediately into this run, as i was suffering with stiff legs. However, I pressed on making the half way point within my pace plan time, around 53 minutes. A mile or so later on the tougher half of my run things started to go wrong as yesterday’s hard work took its toll. Running on empty may have also had an affect and by the ten mile point I was doing my best to beat the plod returning home in 2:00:08.
Annoyed……a little, but I’ve still got out there after walking to and from work and completed so 14 mile run on empty, so I shouldn’t be too disheartened.
Next up a recovery run, thank goodness!!!
Thursday 5 miles
With less than 12 hours, between last nights poor 14 miler and today’s pre-work run, i was again feeling the strain….
Perhaps its more than just over doing the strides on Tuesday, perhaps its my new training programme taking affect. Thoughts of maybe this is too much for me, begin to creep in, its a big step up and it is hard work getting out there six times a week, but then a reminder creeps in……..Last year i moved up from a 4 times a week 30-40 miles a week runner, to a 5 times a week up to 55 miles per week runner. Early on in that training plan, I had the same thoughts, the same doubts and the same tiredness, i went on to record my greatest ever marathon time, narrowly missing out on a sub 3:30, my target was sub 3:40. Hang on in there, i say to myself, hang on in there!
So off plodding i went through the early morning streets, thank goodness it was a recovery run, as instantly i knew there couldn’t have met any time targets during this one! I also noticed, that my heels were sore, i had a twinge in my angle and a little bit of tightness in my shin muscles…….all the signs that it’s time for some new trainers!! And i have decided to buy the updated version of my current pair, the KipRun MD, from Kalenji. Ive found these to be a great pair of trainers and 500+ miles in, i can see why they were Runners World new comer of the year 2013. They are lightweight, cushioned and durable, basically they feel like a pair of asics and your get the same amount of wear out of them, as you would with a pair of New Balance , for a very reasonable price.
7 AM and another pre-work recovery run, i am quite enjoying these, although for a change, it had to happen one day, that on this day it was raining – my first experience of a pre-work rain run. Although it was more a misty drizzle than actual rain and after a 24 hour rest since my last run i was feeling in much better shape completing my run in 41:46
Saturday 11 miles including ParkRun
Part of me will always regret doing a ParkRun and a good few miles on top of it the day before a long run, but what can you do, it’s a great event and it’s great to catch up with some of my running friends.
With having to run eleven miles miles, I opted to run three miles before ParkRun and then five afterwards. Although as I set off five minutes late I was forced to run the three miles there at a much quicker pace than I planned covering the distance in 23:33 but luckily I had a good ten minutes before the event to recover from this.
Having spent the previous two days running recovery runs, I felt in fairly good shape and was contemplating going for a fast time and when the runner I remembered from a sprint off some time back, went by me with in the first 100 metres my mind was made up. I decided to stick with him for a while, resulting in a six minute first lap , sticking to my plan of never over working the climbs I waited until the top of the hill on the second lap before passing him and catching up with the next runner along, which resulted in a bit of duel between myself and this new runner, before I moved on past him.
At the beginning of the third lap my sprint off rival returned and with the effort he was putting in it was clear he had decided to make a go of it for the entire third lap. I kept pace with him and again sticking to my plan of not working too hard on the hill as he powered by me only to slow down as he reached the summit, where I caught him up and went by him before pushing on myself.
I could see the next two runners where in sight. One, the fastest of junior runners that takes part in this event and the other, one of the quicker club runners who always finishes amongst the top lot. I quickly caught the junior runner and pasted him before gradually running down and catching the fast club runner, passing him as we entered the final half of the last lap. I pushed on further but I wasn’t able to loose him and he remained just a few seconds behind me as we both sped up towards the finish. Entering the final straight and a sprint off…..but I had worked so hard during this event, that I knew, as he drew level with me I could not hold him off and having coming from behind he had the element of surprise and all the momentum allowing him to pip me to the finish.
Slightly disappointed, being a competitive so and so. But that said I had worked hard and it showed with a new PB of 19:25. I’m getting faster!! Advanced Marathoning really is the best running book I’ve ever bought. After watching the the remaining runners finish and catching up with friends, I headed home completing the 11 miles in 1:23:45
Sunday 18 miles
Surprisingly I didn’t feel too sore after yesterday’s ParkRun PB, which may of been down to some extensive foam rolling action the previous night and this morning. Although I was a little sore it was manageable and having made the decision to set my pace plan using both the upper and lower range suggested to me by the runners world pace calculator 7:55 – 8:57 per mile pace. I set off at much more comfortable pace than on last weeks long run and ran my route Kenyan style, speeding up when I felt like it and easing off when I didn’t, all the while keeping note of my target time range and how far off the finish i was. Then on the final three miles or so I found myself in a really good running rhythm , which just as well as the end of my route saw me take on a couple of tough climbs and the time I saved by speeding up here helped ensure I didn’t reach this point with too much work to do. Arriving home in 2:33:49
Progress so far :
The week ahead
So what does next week bring me :
Tuesday 9 miles with 5 at half marathon pace
Wednesday 14 mile medium long run
Thursday 5 mile recovery run
Friday 12 mile medium long run
Saturday 5 mile recovery run
Sunday 18 miles with 10 at marathon pace
In other news :
Please check out this guys charity page and donate , even if its just one pound :
Your find his blog here :
Its all very inspiring and you should at least give it a read.