This time next week I will either be a sub 3 hour marathon runner or I won’t. I’m excited to find out which. During the 17 weeks of the training period I have run 830 miles, an average of 49 every week. I have done 5 runs of 20 miles or further, with a longest run of 24 miles.
Have I done enough? Next Sunday will tell me. I guess we always think that we could do more, but training can never be perfect. After all we are treading a fine line between training our bodies to improve and damaging them by causing injury.
Ideally, my mileage would have been higher, but as we all know, at times life gets in the way. I am not a professional athlete, I have a full time career, which at times can be demanding and stressful and often requires me to travel around the country at inconvenient times. However, I can say that I have trained about as much as I could have done. I don’t think that I have ducked a single day’s running since December 1st 2013 when I wasn’t either away from home or ill.
I said last week that I may have tapered too much. This week I ran every day and covered 53 miles, so not much of a taper at all. However, after the brutal eyeball wrenching effort of the Thirsk 10 last Sunday, the running this week has been done without much intensity. Even the Tuesday night hill session was run at about 80% effort. I ran the Roundhay parkrun yesterday for a change of scenery. It’s a three lapper with a tough climb at the end of each lap. I ran controlled-hard for two laps and then put my foot down on the last lap for 11th place in 19:13. I felt strong.
The highlight of the week was an honourable mention on the Marathon Talk podcast! – co-host Tom Williams recounted our last mile battle at Thirsk to Martin Yelling. Tom very generously said I ‘dropped the hammer’ when he caught me at 9 miles. I think ‘desperately followed me on my shoulder’ may be more accurate.
You can listen to the podcast via the following link (My mention is around 8:45 in):
It has been fun following a fairly rigid programme for 17 weeks. My training previously has been somewhat vague and aimless. I feel really fit, I’m lighter than I have been since my teenage years, I’ve eaten and slept much better than I normally do. I think I am ready.
Nothing that I do in the final week will make much difference to my marathon performance. I won’t run very much next week. I’m away at a concert Monday night, then working in Birmingham for two days. I expect to run only on Monday lunchtime, maybe Wednesday evening, Thursday lunchtime and I’ll do a steady parkrun on Saturday, aiming to run it in 21-22 minutes – marathon pace or slightly slower.
I hope to do another post the day before the marathon setting out my final thoughts – my race strategy, nutrition plans etc.
M – 1 Weeks / 53 miles. Longest run 13 miles. Parkrun (Roundhay) 19:13 (11th). Weight after Sunday run 11 st. 2.4 lb