Running Distance – 36.4 miles
Running Time – 5h 21m
Cycling – 46.6 miles
Cycling Time – 3h 53m
Total Calories – 7512
Right, so I have definitely missed the last 2 weeks of marathon training blog posts, but that doesn’t mean that running has not been occurring. I won’t bore you with all the details from the missing weeks but rest assured there was a 17 mile run in there at a pace of 8:59/mi which translates to 10 second faster per mile than my targeted marathon pace. This is very pleasing news as it means I am definitely in the right ball park. Yes, there is 9 more miles to do but it’s about 20 minutes better than last year’s 17 miler and there is still time to improve.
I had a week off from work. And running… I was hiking in the Brecon Beacons and the Peak District which meant 5 days of pretty intense hiking. As you can imagine I was in no position to be doing 30+ miles on top of that so I was resigned to the fact that it would be a cross training week. To be honest it was probably good to do some low level walking on squidgy, muddy ground rather than pounding the hard streets of London. My running has continued to improve since so I can only assume it’s worked.
I’ve also started the 30 day plank challenge which is something my girlfriend is doing with her fitness class. So far we are on day 15 which is meant to be 90 second but I did 105 as I know it goes up to 2 minutes tomorrow. By day 30 we are aiming to do 5 minutes. Seems unrealistic and out of reach considering all we are meant to do is a plank a day. We’ll see I guess. I feel good for doing it. Definitely pumps the core. That combined with the fat loss of running is really doing wonders.
Ok, on to marathon training week 11 out of 18. Less than 7 weeks until the big day. According to Hal Higdon’s plan the remaining long runs should be 12, 19, 13, 20 before the taper. However, due to my schedule I will be doing 19, 12, 20, 20. Might be a bit crazy doing the last two weekends but I think I will be ok. I can always lower the weekday miles a tad if needed. I think having 2 x 20 mile runs in my back pocket will really give me the confidence I need when it comes to race day. Here’s how the rest of the week went.
Distance – 5 miles
Time – 45:42
Pace – 9:03/mi
After a day off on Monday due to a puncture and a bad attitude I was feeling fresh for the first of my easy runs. After a week off I was a little apprehensive to see how a 36 mile week would feel. Would it be too much of a shock for my body and cause an injury or would the previous couple of months have given me a good base to work from. I was hoping for the latter. The 5 miles felt easy and it felt good to run again. With increased mileage comes the option to go places I haven’t been before and explore previous unexplored areas. I didn’t. I just mangled a few of my usual shorter run routes together.
Distance – 8 miles
Time – 1:00:53
Pace – 7:34/mi
Next up was the threshold run. An additional mile was needed this week to take it to the grand total of 8 miles or 1 hour of running at 85% of the max heart rate. It’s not entirely pleasant but damn it feels good after. This time I did take the chance and went somewhere new. To a place I didn’t even know existed. It’s crazy that after 5 years in London I still don’t know a place within a 4 mile radius of my house. North of my house I know very well as that is towards London. As you head south in to Surrey things begin to get a bit mysterious. Maybe I should visit more.
Distance – 5 miles
Time – 50:22
Pace – 9:53/mi
The day after the threshold run is always a little tricky. The third run is all about getting the legs going whilst also giving the body and muscles a chance to experience what it is like running on tired legs. Something which you will feel all too clearly during the final echelons of the marathon. I was lacking any sort of enthusiasm so settled for a familiar plod around the Earlsfield/Wimbledon Park area. Quite slow. Quite cold. Quite uninspiring.
Distance – 18.2 miles
Time – 2:44:07
Pace – 9:00/mi
Those are some tasty looking numbers! After my 17 miler a couple of weeks previous I was over the moon to be hitting exactly the same pace on my 18 miler. It’s almost as if the training is paying off… I love the long run. The need to explore is deep within my bones and having 18 miles to play with is great. I ran the north section of the Wandle Trail up to the River Thames and from here I ran for miles and miles alongside on the path. I went all the way up to the London Eye until I reached Southwark Bridge. From here it was back south through Elephant and Castle and then following the northern line back home. I needed the toilet from about mile 11 which really helped boost my pace on the final miles! Although it was a little uncomfortable.
Last year’s 18 miler was done 22 minutes slower. I’m well on my way to knocking that 30 minutes off my marathon time and getting to my goal of a sub 4 hour marathon. Come on!