London Marathon Training – Week Eight

Mileage for Week Eight
Mon – 0 miles
Tue – 4.4 miles with Sarah Instagram
Wed – 10.1 miles with Kevin Instagram
Thu – 0 miles
Fri – 5.4 miles
Sat – 3.1 miles
Sun – 20.1 miles Instagram
Total – 43.1 miles

Well what a running week that was! My longest ever run both in time and distance and the largest total mileage run in a week.

I had two goals going into the week: firstly to run 20 miles on Sunday and if I could manage it, go for a Personal Best (PB) at parkrun. I happy to say that I achieved both.

After our weekend in Chester Sarah and I were both feeling good. We had both had good runs at parkrun, I came close to a PB and Sarah had her best run in a while. The Running Gods had other ideas though. We ran for 4.4 miles and we both struggled, each mile was a chore. There are always days like that even for the most accomplished runners.

Wednesdays run was supposed to be 50 minutes but Kevin wanted to run 10 miles in preparation for Merthyr Half. He’s doing well although this run was a little slower that the last time he ran the distance. He’ll be fine for the half, which will be his first.

Parkrun on Saturday was a blast. The weather at Parc Bryn Bach is always interesting. The winter months are cold, wet and windy. The summer months are wet and windy. It is a fantastic place to run though.

As I had come close to my PB at the more challenging Chester parkrun I thought it possible to get close to my best time of 22:10 at the flatter course in Bryn Bach.

Despite the conditions I positioned myself close to the front and waited for the start. I stuck with the front pack and was within the top 10 all the way around. I finished in 8th place, my highest ever finish at parkrun. Which was helped by some more prominent runners being away for races and it being a rugby weekend.

My time was 21:19, taking 51 seconds off my PB. I was amazed that I was able to keep my pace going, it must be all the miles I’ve put in, even if they haven’t been at that pace, it must count for something.

The splits by my Garmin were:

1 – 6:50
2 – 6:47
3 – 6:45
0.1 – 5:56 (I put in a little sprint to the line!)

I felt really good all the way around and it was only the last half lap that I could feel the pace getting to my legs. It’s not in my plans up to the marathon to attempt a quicker time at the 5k distance but I may look at training after April to reduce my PB further.

And so to Sunday. My long runs are all done early in the morning, be that Saturday or Sunday. This is so that I have the rest of the day to recover and that running doesn’t take over the day. I do intend to run my longest long run at the same time I’ll be running the marathon.

The alarm went off at 0330; I stick to the ‘eat 2 hours before’ running instruction. I had my now usual weetabix and a pint of water. I followed that up with a banana and some chocolate snack-a-jacks.

I then watched a film before getting myself ready to run. Once I was ready I headed out. It being 0530 I went out with a long top over a t-shirt but that was removed after a mile, as I was too hot.

The first few miles eased me into the run, I’d run the route of the first nine or so miles during my 16 miles a few weeks back, so knew what was coming but I still went ahead of my target pace, once again getting quicker up towards Cradoc.

There is nothing new in the complete route I ran and that familiarity is useful. Next week my long run takes me from Glangrwyney to Brecon on roads I haven’t seen for over 20 years! It’s only once I’m about 7 miles from home that I hit familiar surroundings.

So knowing what’s coming doesn’t help my pace as I know the route and know I can push the pace up!

I was almost always under my target pace of 9:00 minute miles. This helps mentally as the routes here are much hillier than anything I will meet in London.

During my 16 miler I hit ‘The Wall’ at 11 miles, this time I was fine and got to that part of the route at 17 miles with no walls in sight. I even picked up the pace.

Strava tells me that I ran a total of 20.1 miles in a time of 2:58 at an average pace of 8:52 min per mile.

On the day that would bring me under 4 hours and I would be very happy. I think I can go faster in the second half of the run. I have long runs planned where I can test this.

Coming up for me are the following Long Runs:

5 Mar – Glangrwyney to Brecon – 20 miles (I’ll add miles to the route along the way)
12 Mar – Silverstone Half Marathon – 13.1 miles
19 Mar – Brecon to Llangynidr to Brecon – approx. 22 miles
26 Mar – Merthyr Half Marathon with Kevin – 13.1 miles
2 Apr – Brecon to Glanusk to Brecon – approx. 26.2 miles
9 Apr – 10 miles in Brecon area (taper)
16 Apr – 6 miles in Brecon area (taper)
23 Apr – The London Marathon!!

I’ve decided to move away from my regular route of Cradoc, the hills are fun but I think although I can maintain pace up there, I need to go less hilly. The test will be on Sunday where I run from Glangrwyney to Brecon. I used to live close to the village and was amazed when some of my Dad’s workmates used to run home from Brecon. I’ll be running on the B road which if successful will be used for my 22 and 26.2 mile attempts.

Not long to go but there are still a lot of miles to cover!