Brighton Marathon Training – Week 7

Weekly Stats
Running Distance – 29.4 miles
Running Time – 4h 13m
Cycling –  62 miles
Cycling Time – 5h 15m
Total Calories – 8817
Gym Visits – 1
Days hiking – 1

Better late than never… And January’s done too. 104 miles of running this year so far. Well on the way to my unofficial target of 1000 miles for the year. It’s not a challenge and it’s not happening but if I get to the stage where it’s achievable then my stupid brain will convince me to do it. 19 miles on average per week is all that is required. Compared to my average of 10 miles per week last year it is quite an increase but I had a lot of time off injured so we’ll see. Watch this space.

This week was extremely productive for my running. There were some great runs which really makes me feel that the training is paying off. And I managed to squeeze in a hike in the Cotswold’s and some beer in Soho. Not bad at all.

Distance – 4 miles
Time – 38:25
Pace – 9:25/mi

Run 25-1-16

The first of the 4 milers! This week saw an increased mileage which meant that my easy 3 mile runs have now become easy 4 mile runs. It’s only 1 mile more but it all adds up in the long run (pun not intended). It felt good. A much warmer week than previously which made the run fairly enjoyable. Ok, so it was still dark, cold and windy (probably raining too) but it’s better than negative degrees!

Distance – 4 miles
Time – 37:15
Pace – 9:19/mi

Tuesday was utterly wet and cold. Doing my threshold run in this weather is entirely unappealing. It’s unappealing at the best of times. Let along doing it in bad weather with an additional mile too. Instead I did something I very rarely do. I went to the gym and ran on a treadmill whilst listening to a podcast. How disgusting. It was horrible. Boring, too bright and excessively warm. Seems I do prefer the dark, cold nights! The podcast was pleasant but nothing can distract you from the mind numbing tedium of the dreadmill. There was no way I was going to do 7 miles at pace in this environment! No map for obvious reasons as it would be about as interesting as the run itself.

Distance – 7.1 miles
Time – 53:36
Pace – 7:31/mi

Run 27-1-16

Here it is then. After Tuesday’s poor effort of running inside it was time for an outdoor adventure. I was going on a route I didn’t know on roads I didn’t know so was memorising the map in my head. I knew exactly where to turn and yet I still managed to get lost. I blame the roundabouts. And the fact that my heart was beating at 83% of it’s maximum. That alone certainly has a detrimental effect on my ability to navigate! I did eventually head in the right direction and found familiar roads to get me back on track but there was one point where I nearly went 180 degrees in the wrong direction. That would certainly have boosted my weekly mileage…

It’s easy for me to write about how great I felt and how everything felt amazing but it’s not the truth. Running is often about second tier fun. It’s much more enjoyable once it’s over and you can reflect on it. During the run itself I had heavy legs and was struggling with the constant battle going on in my lungs. It was only when I stopped that I realised I had gone faster and longer than the previous week. It keeps sneaking up on me. I feel like the run itself is not going to be much and then it turns out it is one of my best. A thoroughly pleasing end to the weekday runs.

Distance – 14.2 miles
Time – 2:04:03
Pace – 8:42/mi

Run 31-1-16

Sunday’s epic saw me return to the same route as my 14 miler during last year’s marathon training. It’s just easier to choose a route from my watch. Laziness is the key to marathon success… It’s actually quite pleasant, considering it’s in London. The first 4 miles are off road on the Wandle Trail. Then it’s along the river for a bit before heading down through Barnes and Roehampton. Cut across Wimbledon Common before heading back through Wimbledon. The second half is a bit roady but now that the mileage is increasing I should be able to get some good Richmond Park long runs in. Should be good for the hill training too!

I knew I was going faster than my easy run pace but I didn’t care. I wanted the workout and to see if I had the endurance to keep it up. 14 miles at a great pace, 20 seconds quicker per mile than the marathon pace I am aiming for. It’s very positive this early in to the training schedule to be able to knock out a 14 miler at a strong pace so I’m hoping things will continue to progress as the long runs increase.

Just to add, I did this without any additional fuel during the run. Last year I was on the gels very early on. This year I am going to see how much I can do without them. Obviously if it all becomes too much then I will start finding something that I can use to fuel my body but in the meantime I think it’s a good idea to train my body to use fat for energy. No matter how well I fuel myself on race day there is 100% chance that my Glycogen stores will run out.

This coming week sees me keep the same mileage during the week with an increase to 15 miles on the weekend. Hopefully it will be a pleasant morning and I can take in the sights of south west London once again.

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