London Marathon Training – Week Nine

Mileage for Week Nine
Mon – 0 miles
Tue – 5.4 miles
Wed – 4.1 miles
Thu – 0 miles
Fri – 0 miles
Sat – 22 miles Instagram
Sun – 0 miles
Total – 31.5 miles

My second three run week in the past three weeks. The first was because we were going away to Chester, this was due to tiredness and my body telling me it needed a break.

I ran on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Which gave me two days rest before the longest run of this process so far.

The weather on Tuesday was a mixed bag. I had the gusty wind behind me for three miles but turning around for the run home of two miles was into the wind. On top of that the gusts got harder and it rained! It wasn’t all bad though as I kept roughly to pace.

It went a bit wrong on Wednesday. The planned run was six miles but I had to cut the run short and managed four. My left knee was aching after about three miles and I didn’t see any point in pushing the run further than I needed too. Not with a long run to come on the weekend.

At this point in the week I was still due to run three miles on Friday but was edging towards skipping it to rest me knee, which I did.

Those two days rest helped and once again I moved my long run from Sunday to Saturday, this has been very helpful in giving me more time to rest and recuperate.

I got up at 3am to have food and as I had the time, watched the first episode of SS-GB; pretty good but I’m not entirely taken with it. I was out running at 5 am. It was dark of course and stayed that way until just after 6am.

I had planned to run from Glangrwyney to Brecon but shelved that idea for another day. Instead I ran an out and back route along the back roads to Llangynidr. Previously I have run from Talybont-on-Usk to Brecon so that bit was familiar but once I was passed there I was mostly on unfamiliar roads.

The last time I had been on that road beyond Talybont was when I used to get the bus to Brecon college, so that’s over 20 years ago.

That unfamiliarity is fun as running where you don’t know what is coming keeps you on your toes. If you constantly run in familiar surroundings it’s easy to get complacent. When you go to races it is usually an unfamiliar place.

As I left Talybont and looked forward to the next four miles to my turn around point, I hit a hill! Which was quickly followed by another! To say the route was undulating is an understatement, no longer had I gone down an incline than another one to run up seemed to appear. It was fun.

I got to Llangynidr and the 11 mile halfway point in 1:42 or so. I had stopped to take a quick Snapchat photo in Talybont and swapped my water bottles in Llangynidr. I tried to take a second Snapchat but only managed to get the picture, that’s all my phone would let me do, my cold fingers wouldn’t operate the screen!

I set off again and got back into my stride, I looked at my watch as I went through 13.1 miles and I was just over 2 hours, a decent time considering the two stops and the undulating route.

The final five miles were the hardest, I can’t say it hit ‘the wall’ but I certainly had an energy dip and felt like I was just shuffling along. My watch told another story as you can see in the splits.

My aim on the day is to run the first half at my goal pace to bring me in around 2 hours at 13 miles, then once we’ve turned right over Tower Bridge start to pick up the pace and keep that pace picking up once I’m back on the Embankment.

The splits told that story and I’m happy overall with my time and pacing, even with the energy issues towards the end. As I’ve said before London will be a lot flatter than the Brecon Beacons.

Splits:

1 – 9:37
2 – 9:17
3 – 9:33
4 – 9:05
5 – 8:49
6 – 9:17
7 – 9:19
8 – 9:08
9 – 9:05
10 – 8:33
11 – 8:48
12 – 8:42
13 – 8:33
14 – 8:33
15 – 8:30
16 – 8:37
17 – 8:43
18 – 9:11
19 – 8:34
20 – 8:29
21 – 8:54
22 – 9:01

As you can see from mile 10 I was certainly able to manage a faster pace even with the undulating route. This bodes well for the big day. The average pace for the run was 8:55 per mile, which would bring me in around 3:54 on the day.

The aching knee that curtailed my run on Wednesday didn’t resurface until once I had finished running and then it gave me lots of trouble over the weekend. I’ve rested it and iced it and it seems okay so far. I’m running again on Tuesday so that will be the test.

I’ve been advised by much more experienced marathoners to not increase the distance I’m running. I had planned to run two more 20+ milers but have shelved those. I read on a website this weekend when researching if I should run the full distance before the day, that for amateur runners, running over 3 hours or 20 miles poses more problems that positives.

Apparently the body starts to break down at a faster rate at these points. How accurate that is I have no idea but I realise that I can run 22 miles, not with ease that’s way to blasé but I can run it and I will be able to run 26.2 miles on the 23rd April. To that end I am not going to test myself further at 20+ miles. Yes it’s a long way to the big day but I want to be in a position to run free of niggles.

My long runs for the next seven weeks look like this:

12/03/2017 Sun Silverstone half 13.1
19/03/2017 Sun Brecon 10 route plus Llanfaes loops 13.1
26/03/2017 Sun Merthry Half 13.1
02/04/2017 Sun Llanfaes loops x 2 & Llanfrynach 5 mile route 13.1
09/04/2017 Sun Llanfrynach 5 mile route 10
16/04/2017 Sun Lock and back 6
23/04/2017 Sun Marathon 26.2

As I won’t be running 20+ miles I want to keep the legs moving and tested somewhat, so I have decided to push out a few other runs at the half distance. This should hopefully keep my body aware that it still has to run!I have two organised half marathons Silverstone and Merthyr, the former will be a PB (1:55:51) attempt and the latter will be run with my Brother-in-law for his first ever half.