02
Aug
12

marathon training – week 7

Well, the Olympics appear to have got successfully under way and I am little under halfway through my 16 weeks Marathon schedule and things are becoming tougher. I’ve never followed a “training” regime before – I’ve usually cobbled together something myself or just ran as much as I could and hoped for the best. This time, because of the distance involved and the potential of total failure, I have tried as much as humanly possible, to follow the schedule to the letter. Some of my times have been a bit quicker than intended but, long runs apart, I have usually been within seconds of my target times for the shorter runs. As I learn to pace myself, things are coming easier and I am more comfortable with the idea of running something slow and steady knowing that I will come in around the required time.
Sunday’s long run of 27km was a case in point – I had planned the route so knew (within about 500 metres or so) where I would finish. I tried to keep a steady pace, picking it up on the uphills and reigning it in on the downhills as much as possible. It was a good run made better by a bit of foresight as I knew the temperature would pick up later in the run so planned a return leg that was mostly in the shade.
It doesn’t seem to matter how far I run, the last couple of kms are always a struggle – probably the psychological effect of thinking that “I am nearly there” with 3k to go and not thinking that 3kms equates to roughly another 18mins of running. What I am finding however is that my recovery times are getting shorter. At the end of Sunday’s 27km, finished with 4 mins still in hand, I spent a few minutes under the shade of a tree cursing under my breath and drinking the dregs from my water bottle before walking home and having a normal family Sunday afternoon. If I think back to my first Half Marathon and the achey few days afterwards, it seem amazing that I can now run 27k and barely feel it later that day.
Another massive boost has come from watching the Olympics. So far, it has been enormously enjoyable and I was even lucky enough to get to Richmond Park to watch the Men’s Cycling Road Race come through – you really can’t appreciate exactly how fast they travel into you see them hurtling past just inches away. And still at that speed after 9 laps of Box Hill. Truly awe-inspiring.
Unfortunately, in the ensuing days, I seem to have picked up a sore throat / head cold that has taken the edge off of things. I completed this weeks intervals under duress and have delayed on the midweek 16k in the hope that I will feel a bit better before tackling it. The last thing I want to do at this stage is get ill and miss out on training but equally I don’t want to push myself if I can take some time to recuperate… Surely, even Bradley Wiggins has dilemmas like this. So, perhaps me and a Gold Medal Olympian have something in common after all…
Soundtrack to this post – Ben Harper – Ground On Down


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