A better week!
The five days self imposed rest last week certainly helped. It’s clear from watching the live casts Martin Yelling has been doing on the London Maraton Facebook page, that lots of runners are worried and anxious about taking time off during this training process.
I too was a little unsure but knew that I was far enough out that I wouldn’t affect my training too much. I would normally have run three times across those five days and whilst I did miss it a bit, I was happy within myself that it was for the greater good.
The cold I was suffering from was in the last stages this weekend, if I had run whilst run-down it may have still been in full flow.
Additionally, the rest period would have helped my dodgy right calf. The calf seems better than it was but still not 100%. I certainly need to warm up before running, I’m one of those runners who considers the walk from the car to the start a warm up!
Onto this week and 41.8 miles, an increase of 28 miles over last week.
Starting the week with 8 miles was a boost, having had no calf issues at the Merthyr Half the Sunday before, I was hopeful that my calf would now be ‘fixed’.
I was trying, as I have been throughout the plan, to keep to my Marathon pace of 9:00 min /miles. Strava tells me I averaged 8:58 over the run and I was certainly up and down. My legs were heavy from Sunday and took a couple of miles to get going. I took myself out and around Llanfrynach and back into town. A good route which I’ll run again another time.
Wednesday was a run with Sarah and a solo 1.5 miles at the end. Running with Sarah is fab and has probably kept me from injuring myself over this process!
On Friday I was hoping for 6 miles and ended up with 7. The right calf, which gave me no issues on Tuesday and Wednesday became tight within a mile! it took another 3 for it to feel normal again. I slowed myself down when I needed it and speeded up when I could. I even ran up Cerrigcochion Road, a local hill that is a good test of the legs and lungs! I normally avoid it but decided to take a run at it.
Sunday arrived and my last long long run, I’ve seen this weekend described as Super Long Run Sunday on Instagram, I’ll stick with Long Long!
In the passed few weeks I said I was going to only go for a 16 mile run, having run 20 miles twice so far. Me being me, I decided to change that idea to 20 miles and a 10 out 10 back run on most of the same route I used previously.
It was a lovely sunny day, so the sunglasses and sunscreen came out! Sarah was going to a 10k in Cardiff Bay with Laurie, so I started my run just after 8am as they left. I’m usually about to come back off my long runs at that time. The day being warm was good, the sun was out and there were no clouds, as we’ve only been running in the dark, cold and wet it was a good test.
Prior to going out I had peddled a bit on our exercise bike, I was concerned that my calf would be an issue. Once running I started gently in order to warm up. The first 4 miles were over my target pace of 9:00 min /mile. It would be a further 9 miles before I went back over that pace. If I’m honest I went too quick in places, my legs were feeling good, the calf was good, it was a lovely day and I was just running.
Miles 15 to 17, which I can’t remember, were my best miles if I was looking at pacing. They were pretty much bang on where I want to be.
Between miles 7 and 13 I went too fast and I felt it in my knees. Once I got to 13 I slowed myself down for the next 5 miles and only speeded up for the last 2 miles as I wanted a pee and my ‘phone had alerted me that Sarah had just started her run in Cardiff.
The splits were:
1 – 9:42
2 – 9:20
3 – 9:31
4 – 9:10
5 – 8:49
6 – 8:51
7 – 8:37
8 – 8:29
9 – 8:18
10 – 8:17
11 – 8:24
12 – 8:51
13 – 8:32
14 – 9:26
15 – 9:00
16 – 9:01
17 – 9:06
18 – 9:36
19 – 8:34
20 – 8:52
Long run done and now the taper begins. Next Sunday I’m looking to run 10 miles, with 6 being the max the following week.
The hard work is done, now I must keep up the frequency of runs but keep the pace down. Giving my legs time to rest and recover is my goal between now and 10am on Sunday 23rd April.