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


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