Archive for July, 2012

24
Jul
12

marathon training – weeks 5 & 6

Type “Marathon” and “Mental” into Google and you are faced with page after page on how crucial mental preparation is and how your state of mind can affect performance. This past couple of weeks have been a testament to that as I found out that my job was to be made redundant. After the initial discussion at how the position was “at risk”, I did not feel as bad as I had expected. Redundancy seems to have become an occupational hazard and, having been through the whole process before, felt that I knew what to expect.
The hardest part was after the second consultation when I was told that it was a done deal and that I was now on my notice period. Suddenly it all became very real and enormously disheartening.
Obviously, moping around feeling pissed off and angry is not perhaps the best mindset. I began to think that there was perhaps no point in continuing to train for the Berlin Marathon… after all, it was a pointless thing to do. I probably wouldn’t even be able to pay my airfare and accomodation so, really, what was the point??
After a very black 24 hours where everything annoyed me, things got back into perspective. I would train and I would be ready for the Berlin Marathon. And I’d use my training as both a catharsis and an inspiration.
This little revelation coincided with a ramping up of the distances… the training regime goes through a series of increases in distance then dropping back before increasing again. I am now midway on that upward curve. The long run of week 5 was 23kms… Week 6’s long run was 25km. This coming weekend, I have 27kms to look forward to. What should come as no surprise however is that each distance feels tough. I, perhaps foolishly, thought that as the training progresses, the runs would feel easier. This is not the case because of the steady increases… you are always pushing just a little further, or just a little faster. And if the long runs are not getting longer, then the intervals and tempo runs are getting tougher.
Sunday’s 25km was hard as this was, for the first time during this training, when the sun had come out and the temperature had crept up. Looking back at the figures on the Garmin, the pace during the last few kms dropped off quite radically as I really began to tire and the temperature increased. I am still well inside the target times for my long runs but the margin is getting slimmer all the time.
So, with some “Gardening Leave” from work on the horizon, I am hoping that I can spend the next few weeks at least hunting down a new job, training and enjoying the Summer. If I haven’t found anything by September then I shall really start to worry, but for now…
Soundtrack to this post: Sly And The Family Stone – If You Want Me To Stay

10
Jul
12

marathon training – weeks 3 & 4

Ah, where to begin…
Another couple of weeks of marathon training which have, if I am honest, been a bit of a mixed bag.
The plan for week 3 was to follow the schedule but sacrifice my long run of 21kms in order to take part in the Dunwich Dynamo. For those of you that are unfamiliar, the DD is an overnight cycle ride from London Fields to Dunwich in Suffolk. It is organised (by the very lovely people at Southwark Cyclists) but not marshalled so it is very much a case of turn up, meet a few thousand other cyclists and head off overnight to the seaside. It is brilliant and a little bit scary and a little bit tiring but worth doing if you fancy a brisk 190km overnight cycle ride. Hauling My Carcass and I had completed it last year and had made a few improvements to our preparation for this year. It did not, however, quite go according to plan. Head over here to read HMC’s account of our ill-fated overnight adventure.
The rest of the week 3 marathon prep consisted of one session of 6 x 800m intervals and a short tempo run of 11km. Both passed without too much incident although the 800m sprints were tough.
Week 4 was 3 x 1600m sprints (very tough, especially as the one moment it decided to stop raining and be hot and sunny was as I was doing these!), a 5k tempo run and then a 16km long run at the end of the week. The 16km run felt laboured and tough, perhaps because I hadn’t done a long run for almost 2 weeks because of the Dunwich Dynamo, so I decided to look back to week 1 when I had previously done a 16km run, to see how I had faired. Incredibly, I had run exactly the same time TO THE SECOND. It had felt a lot slower and a lot tougher but I was genuinely surprised that I could be so consistent.
In general, I am not interested in stats and times and technicalities (which is probably why I am such an average runner… I try not to get too bogged down in times and distances preferring to gauge the quality of the run by how I feel) but following a training regime quite closely forces you to pay attention to your pace and distance and I have found it quite interesting how my performance will alter over a series of intervals. The first few are generally fast, the next slower as I try to modify my speed and then the last few are close to the target speed but definitely slower than when I began as I begin to tire.
So with 4 weeks complete and 12 to go, it feels a little odd to think that I will actually be able to complete 42.2kms come the end of September. Improvements are slow, sometimes imperceptible, but I am feeling stronger and physically better than I have in a while… even if my 16km time has not budged.

Soundtrack to this post: Neneh Cherry & The Thing – Dirt




RSS Unknown Feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Fit Artist

RSS Unknown Feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Ware2Barefoot

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Unknown Feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Unknown Feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

contact

Vision Treadmills at Fitness Superstore