As a youngster, I would get home from School, get changed and go out to play with my pals.
Now I'm older, I get home from work, get changed and go out to play with my pals, but now I call it training.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Looming large

Not so very long to go now - just over two weeks to go  til London Marathon

At the weekend I had a plan for 24 miles at easy pace. Prior to setting off I decided 23 would actually be sufficient and it turned out that from my house to Darrens was 11.25 miles. So by the time I ran back home it was 22.5 miles - near enough I reckon, especially as I ran 26 miles two weeks prior. The circuit is kind of a horseshoe so any wind is cancelled out as tailwind in one direction becomes headwind the opposite way and vice versa - so I was delighted to run two and a half minutes quicker for the second half (on my own too). Not fast, it wasn't meant to be, but sub 7 pace nevertheless.

The next day I didn't find time for a run as I was busy photographing events. It would only have been an easy 5-8 anyway.

On the Monday I had a jog around the parks with scamp for about an hour. Since the weekend I'd felt the beginnings of a head cold and sore throat coming on. I had mostly ignored it as I never get ill and figured my body would fight it off before it gathered any momentum. but then on Tuesday my nose was streaming all day long. Subsequently my head hurt from the pressure of blowing my nose every few minutes and I certainly didn't think it wise to run at all.
A fine example of a large loom

Due a few days holiday anyway I took an extra one and finished work for the week on Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning I was 95% better and by the evening felt I could (and should) run. I was mighty pleased, as a week off training at this late stage would have put all manner of doubts in my mind as I then eased down for the final two weeks. My session was the same as last week, and I ran it 30 seconds faster - 10 miles of 11 minutes on 4 minutes off. I ran 63:15 which, considering it was much worse weather than last week and I'd been a bit off colour was a satisfying result.

Today I ran for 1hr 58 minutes very easy offroad with Scamp. The training must be working because this honestly felt no more effort than a stroll in the park. Filthy day for it though - spitting rain and wind so strong it blew may hat off time and again.

Today I'm 42. Same age as the number of summits Bob Graham Stustod and Iain Kelly visited. No plans though - apart from a spot of lunch in town soon as I hit "publish post"

As regards target pace/time for the marathon Rick. If I could stretch it to the full distance, the 6:25 pace for the 18 mile run I completed 4 weeks out would give about a 2:47 which is pretty much what I ran last year. Ideally though I would like to run a bit faster than last year and if all went incredibly well then maybe just nick in under 2:45. My '10 mile of reps' results suggest I'm equally as fit as last year and I'm definitely more prepared with the 14-18 mile marathon pace runs, as I have done twice as many of those as I did pre the 2010 race

My 15 mile marathon pace run this coming Saturday will be the final chance to set my target pace.  If I only manage 6:25's again then that will be my target pace for the 17th. Thing is, 15 miles won't feel so very far - even at such a brisk pace, so it's important not to run myself into the ground just to convince myself I could repeat and add 11 miles more on the day.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Return of the Mac(intosh)

I took my old faithful iBook to Lanzrote and back.

Since I returned home (now over two weeks ago) I have completed plenty of good training. Tiredness has began to overtake me though and although I have been putting the effort in - the stopwatch has shown I have been suffering from the effects of all these weeks of intense training.

My first long run once back home was a solid 26 miler comprising 4 laps of the hilly Talkin loop. I was well outside my usual sub 3hrs for it though! next long run is tomorrow - 23 miles - aiming to run 7 pace as its a flat route.

Marathon Pace run went well - I ran a negative split (by 10 seconds) on an out and back course DESPITE a headwind for most of the return leg. Pace was 6:25 - I had hoped for sub 6:20, but on the plus side this didnt seem to take a lot out of me and I was able to race the following day.

For reps Ive been doing 5 by 3minutes over a 3 mile circuit (5:30 pace on both occasions) and I've also done my four, two mile reps, around the 10 mile loop. This took me 63:45 but considering 16mins 45 of that was jogging recovery between reps I am damn pleased with the pace there.

The midweek long-but-easy run is now so long (at 2 hrs) that I'm struggling to think of places to go to avoid doubling back or going on tarmac. Poor Scamp, who accompanies me for these, is gonnna suffer when marathon training is finished

Only one week of seriously hard training to go now. Then two weeks before marathon day to go I'll do 16 miles at marathon pace then ease right back for a week then taper for the final week.

Also got (another) new camera today - for a change I might even include some photos on my blog - once I've learnt how to use it

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day Five
Bugger all running which, considering how windy it has become was a relief!

Day Six
Nice early start meant I'd completed a 30 minute jog and was tucking into breakfast soon after 9 o'clock. 
Ridiculously windy all day. Good for dramatic shots of waves breaking against rocky volcanic coastline. Salty seaspray and windblown sand not so good for the camera itself though!
5x 6minute reps tonight. Ridiculous wind hadn't abated which meant the distance I covered in the first two uphill headwind reps was the same distance I then covered in the next downhill tailwind one! Testing times indeed.

Day seven
Easy but long run. Usually offroad by the river and usually accompanied by A small B&W k9 but with the Champion of Manhatten currently incarcerated and there being no rivers round these parts a bit of improvisation was required. I ran (and walked) for almost 2 hours including a some tarmac roads, some steep sided volcanoes and quite a lot of soft sandy tracks. All very easy pace

Day Eight
Set off for a short easy run just after 8 o'clock but only got as far as the nearest supermarket a mile away. Intended to continue jogging once I returned home with provisions but the lure of breakfast proved too great
In the evening I ran up the hill through our village. bottom to top took just over 2 mins 30'secs so I decided that was near enough to my 800m time that I would do my 800m session. I usually do 6x800 and I actually ended up doing 8 of these hill reps. They began to bite by the third and by the final few I was glad of the enforced additional rest period whilst I jogged back down the course in the same time it took me to sprint up.

Day 9
No run this morning. Saving myself for 10 miles this evening. Timed it so as to complete the run  in the last of the daylight. Cooler then too. Started out nice n easy then pressed on the gas a little more after 10 mins. After about 25 mins i began to really enjoy the run. It felt like the effort that would give me about a 65 minute 10 miler.  Easy enough to sustain the pace without straining, and short enough to not cause much fatigue  but also hard and far enough to know it's worthwhile training.

Day 10
25mins easy in the AM
30 mins easy in the PM

Day 11
1hr 39 minutes marathon pace run.
Set off as soon as it got light. Ran for 49mins then retraced my route. 
Although i ran this hard I know I didn't make 6:21 pace like i waz doing back home. The hills, the daft early start and the heat will surely have cost me
10-20 seconds per mile. But the effort was good throughout and im damn pleased to now be sitting on the terrace looking out over the Atlantic ocean eating my Spanish cornflakes.